After spending the better part of the year helping my son, we finally left on our long-delayed and eagerly anticipated trip west. The farther west we went, the calmer I felt. Monsoon season in Santa Fe gave me a rainbow every day. Nights were cooler and much drier than at home in Austin.
By the time we arrived in Durango, Colorado, I felt myself letting go and…
ALL PHOTOS ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2018. THE CHURCH AT THE BOTTOM OF COPPER CANYON.
Have you ever dreamed about going somewhere and then discovered the reality of getting there was more than you’d expected? This may not come as a surprise, but that’s happened to me more than once. The problem with having a bold, adventurous nature is you reach the point where you think you can go anywhere and do anything.
Making my way to the bottom of Copper Canyon, Mexico, to see an old Spanish church was one of those trips.
ALL PHOTOS ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2018. THE CHURCH OUTSIDE BATOPILAS, MEXICO.
Thirty years ago the road to Batopilas, Mexico, was a real life rollercoaster gone off the rails. Nestled at the bottom of Copper Canyon and framed by the Sierra Madre Mountains, Batopilas began in 1708, as a remote silver mining village. Complete with legendary silver barons, lost Jesuit gold mines, bandits, Indian revolts, the secluded Tarahumaras and a serial killer priest… I had to go.
Ten heart-stopping hours later, including a side trip to convince a woman to come back from the dead, we arrived.
For the first time in months I’m warm without triple-layers, mittens, and shearling boots. I’m barefoot. My legs are freshly shaved. I’ve met our zany neighbors… I’m one happy camper!
We are in Bisbee, Arizona, a place we knew nothing about two weeks ago. The drive here from Santa Fe led us south to the U.S./Mexico border, through miles of beautiful desert, an oasis in the San Bernardino Valley and back up into the mountains. Continue Reading
Our RV lifestyle has enabled us to see some wonderful parts of our great country. Recently we decided to drive up the Natchez Trace, an historic forest trail that goes from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Our first stop was Natchez where we stayed on the banks of the Mississippi River. We watched huge barges, pushed by tugboats, that carry goods from port-to-port. And like they’ve done for more than a hundred years, they leave a muddy wake behind them.
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. Mississippi was my first “big” spelling word, as I imagine it was–and still is–for many children. Continue Reading
THE VIEW OF TUSCANY FROM OUR VILLA All Photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
My recent trip to Italy was the best trip I’ve taken in a long time. Perhaps it was because my traveling companions were women approximately my age. Whether we talked about cultural references, age-related issues we’re all facing, or went gaga over the scenery, this group of women was an easy-going sisterhood.
Next September, 2018, my friend and professional guide, and I are talking about a 1010 Park Place trip to Tuscany! Are you interested in coming with us?
All photographs @Brenda Coffee, 2017
If you saw the video tour I did, last year of my new house, then you may remember my favorite food is prosciutto. Just the mention of the word ‘prosciutto’ is akin to food porn foreplay, and when I’m actually in the presence of thinly sliced prosciutto, I’m more than ready to go all the way and indulge myself with wild, orgiastic abandon. On my recent trip to Italy I not only ate copious amounts of prosciutto, I indulged in fresh pasta, figs—straight from the tree—and gelato. Lots and lots of gelato.
Every time I’m in Italy, I’m reminded of how much better and how different the food is from the Italian American food we find in our neighborhood restaurants.
I first heard about ‘Sisters on the Fly’ this spring when we were camping at Lake Georgetown, TX. It’s one of my favorite spots because there are sites where you can watch the sun rise and set over a beautiful lake and never have to move out of your lounger if you’re so inclined.
We noticed a trickle of vintage Airstreams, then and all manner of sweet little trailers, some decorated extensively, coming into the park… all driven by women! We may never have met any of them if not for the fact that a woman knocked on our door to tell us we were in her spot.
In the face of the disaster in my home state of Texas, I was hesitant to post about my great trip. I reflected on what made it so wonderful, and it wasn’t the places we’ve visited or the great food we enjoyed…
It was the people, both cherished friends and new friends, even a complete stranger, that made this trip as memorable as it has been!
My mother always told me, “Don’t tell people your problems; half won’t care, and the other half will think you deserve them! Yes, this RV lifestyle can be an escapist’s fantasy – but sometimes it’s less fantasy, and more horror show! Continue Reading