Monday 23 May 2016

As our adventure is winding down to an end.  I reflect on how different this experience was to our last adventure back in 2010.

The highlight for me I would have to say was seeing so many National Parks – the hikes and scenery were spectacular – seeing the wildlife up close and personal in Yellowstone was magical and Yosemite  was somewhat of a religious experience and definitely an “ah ha moment.” 

Another way this adventure was different was that I had more alone time.  I think the reason for this is that we moved around so much and we never really got settled enough to connect with people.  I search for the lesson in this - as you all know I believe everything happens for a reason and every person is brought into our life for a purpose.  I have come up with the conclusion that my alone time taught me -  I already have everyone that I need in my life and it gave me time to reflect and give thanks to each of those people – I have images of phone calls home and catching up with the important people in my life – most of these calls happened from the most beautiful locations – and now that I look back it was that beauty that brought those faces to mind.  So thank you for the part you each play in my life and our adventure.

I look way back to the beginning of our adventure and the time we got to spend with Steph, Lou, Payton and Ethan and I will always hold that time dear to my heart.  Princess P and E-man are at such a perfect age to build memories with – and we had so many days together and so many special things we did together - 

They reset the child in me and I was able to bring that forward with me.  It allowed me to see everything as new and magical.  It awakened all my senses.  They also taught me to let go of the serious adult in me and not be afraid to use my imagination & let go and be silly….I had fits of giggles with them that have continued to stay with me right up until last night!

I am thankful for my time & talks with Ted and for the night of fun in the box seats at the Calgary Flames Game. 

I am so thankful for our time with Lance, Christine, Anna & Maria – Bozeman was amazing.  We loved camping out in their driveway and taking part in all their family meals, movie nights and backcountry skiing together – they each played a huge part in getting me ready for the rest of my backcountry ski time and boosting my confidence and ability to be in the backcountry!  It was so great that we also got to spend a week with them in Utah in March in that incredible ski house – I know there are move adventures to come with the Riek family!!!

We loved our time in Lake Tahoe with our friends Jim and Chuck & Jan (we missed you dearly Karen.)  We loved skiing & playing in the snow with Jim and Woody.   It was great to have a little break from the trailer as Jan was having no part of us sleeping outsideJWe enjoyed many delicious meals together prepared by Jim and learned a few tricks by watching him in the kitchen – Chuck and Jan prepared a departing breakfast and care package for us that kept us full for daysJThank you.

It seems only fitting that we spend the last leg of our time in Cape Cod which is one of our most favorite places to be and with some our most favorite friends – and once again we are exactly where we are supposed to be --to walk beside our friends in the loss of their puppy Woody and to help Janice and Jerry with getting Jan’s mom moved and settled into the nursing home.  Bill and Jerry enjoyed playing in the Ocean and built a new outdoor shower --I enjoyed listening to them argue like my 2 favorite grumpy old men--Walter Matheau and Jack Lemon.

Jan, Karen and I enjoyed our favorite pass times-- shopping, long walks  & listening to music – dancing to Prince and just  being together –

 I look forward to seeing my mom, my Aunties and all my friends. 

I look forward to returning to work, getting a haircut & color, my wardrobe & slipping on a great pair of shoes!

I feel such a sense of warmth with the thought of home and what that now means to me.


States visited:


Wednesday 18 May 2016

Our friends Janice& Jerry, Karen & Jim.  So great to be in Cape Cod!

April 29-May 12, 2016
We have making the yearly trek to Cape Hatteras for the past 19 years – my relationship with Hatteras is definitely a love/hate relationship – we have made some of our very best & like-minded friends in  Hatteras and have weathered out some pretty big storms on the island and life together. 
This year was very different and I guess when I reflect on the reasons for the change and the many missing faces – I remember the loss of our dear friends Bob, Charlie and Esther. 
The physical change in the island is much like the changes in our lives – every year a piece is missing or not quite the same.  I guess that is what happens over 2 decades.  We have held on to each other thru cancer scares and divorces.  We have traveled to celebrate weddings and tried to help friends with young kids continue to make the trek. 
This year things were definitely different with our gang not there.  We did enjoy some meals and fires with our friends Nil and Anne from Quebec.  We love hearing about all their incredible adventures – They are both retired kayak guides and have travelled to many remote parts of our country.   They enjoy backcountry skiing and are big kiters – we might vacation with them next year on the West Coast for a hut tour. 
We also joined the River Rats for a few fires.  This gang is from New York and windsurf in the Hudson River – that is how they got their nickname.   I loved spending time with Marty who is 82 and still windsurfing and in the Winter he is a ski instructor for disabled skiers.  This was Marty’s first year back to Hatteras since losing his wife Esther in 2013 – I watched him go out with all his gear on a light wind day and was worried about him as he struggled lifting the sail and heavy gear.   I sat eagerly by our window in the trailer and watched him for a good hour before finally the wind picked up and lifted his sail and away he went – I jumped up and down and clapped in excitement for him and maybe even had a tear.    He got his ride – and he definitely still has it.
We also spent some time with our friends from North Bay who rented a house – Dave, Kim, Agnes & Gerry.  We even found some Astorville friends at the campground Claude and Lise.
Meeting a new friend always brings joy to my life – thank you to our new friend Craig from Squamish BC who is currently doing his residency in Burlington.   Bill and Craig enjoyed some surfing and SUPing sessions and a few short road rides.   Great to spend those few days with Craig – sharing meals and nightly fires - thank you for biking at my speed and for letting me draft you - and for watching the (Unidentified) fireflies with me –  I am not done with my recruiting efforts.  Hope you come and see how beautiful North Bay is – you are welcome any time.

Monday 2 May 2016

April 25-May 1, 2016

5 days on the road.  First 2 days weren’t very productive as Monday we had pretty bad jet lag from flying all night and the time change was kind of messing with us and then Tuesday we came to a sudden hault as a wicked storm rolled across Kansas - We arrived in Hatteras on Friday late afternoon. 

We enjoyed the drive across country – as the miles flew by;  Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and North Carolina – the prettiest part of the drive by far was Western North Carolina.  I enjoyed the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We passed the time by listening to Martin Sexton – played some air instruments – for Payton and Ethan.  Replayed Martin Sexton’s version of Purple Rain quite a few times as we still mourn the loss or Prince.  We did watch the movie twice in Maui – and Bill has remarked that my hairdo looks a lot like Prince’s guitar player Wendy – not a good thing – The 80s were a scary time for my parents when I decided to dump MJ for Prince.
We had a long talk to Steph and the kids – heard a more about their trip to Mexico – all the animals they saw, the lazy rivers they rode and some of the shows they went to – which they have re-enacted for us in a video.  Ethan says he has been practising his moon walk and it is pretty good, but he needs a little more work on his lean – and according to him “it is not impossible!”  Then he quickly had to let us go because he wanted to pack up and sleep in the RV for the night – nothing like camping in the driveway.   Payton enjoyed her trip and is patiently waiting for her easy bake oven recipes to arrive as we were a little tardy on the Birthday gifts this year…
And unfortunately we got some very sad news on our drive here - that Karen and Jim lost Woody – they had brought him to the vet for a simple dental procedure and something went terribly wrong.  We are so heartbroken for our friends.
We were all together in Tahoe last February when they had to put Nimbus down and we were all so excited for them and their new puppy.
When Jim went to pick the puppy out for Karen for Christmas– he took his time watching all the puppies and it was Woody who picked him by walking over to him and sitting on his foot – Woody was an exceptionally smart puppy and I believe he knew if I go home with this guy – I will have the best puppy life possible – I will be able to play in the snow and run on the beach and never be left alone. 
We are so thankful for our time with Woody this March and we will never forget him chasing us down the mountain and through the snow as we skied, our nightly walks and all the kisses and cuddles we received.  We had never met a dog so full of love.

It has been really hard on everyone – so we are sending love and healing hugs to our dear friends Jim and Karen.  Also to Janice , Jerry & Amy who will miss Woody's visits.  See you in a couple weeks. xo
I like to think there is a puppy heaven and Kona, Nimbus, Moon & Josie are all there to take care of  Woody.

Thursday 28 April 2016

April 24-28, 2016
We had a great flight back to Denver.  The flight was a little shorter coming back; 6 hours 40 minutes with the jet stream. 

I didn’t carry my flashlight and poodle noodle with me; although, the thought did cross my mind.
I sat beside a young mom and her 9 month old baby.  Her husband and her two other children were sitting a few seats up from us and dad had his hands full because their little girl had a broken arm and wanted her mommy.

I was glad to help out.  She let me hold the baby a few times to give her a break as her arms kept falling asleep from holding her.  We finally got the baby settled and we raised the arm rest between us and put a little neck pillow on my lap and let her lay across the both of us.  I smiled to myself as mom was finally able to get a little sleep herself – they had to fly from Maui to Denver – Denver to Dallas – and then a 7 hour drive to their home in Missouri.  I helped her gather her belongings and get the baby into her snuggly so they could run to catch their connecting flight -  she was very thankful – little does she know she helped me with my airplane anxiety by allowing me to help out.  There is nothing sweeter than watching a baby sleep so peacefully  - I kept retrieving her soother when she spit it out and I was able to let go of my obsessive thoughts of plunging into the ocean without my poodle noodle and flashlight.

I love seeing young families travelling together – we met another couple a few days before we left- at the condo.  They were from Saskatchewan and had 5 kids.  They had decided to surprise their 2 teenage daughters with a trip to Maui – they didn’t tell them until they got to the airport, nor did they tell the 3 younger ones who were staying home with Grandma.  They just wanted to experience a vacation with their teenage girls while they still thought it was cool to travel with mom and dad.  We loved seeing the girls playing together in the pool and giggling around the condo.  We looked forward to hearing their stories in the evening of all the great places they snorkeled and where they went sightseeing.  They got along so well (reminded me of the Mathias girls). 
Things went very smooth at the Maui airport with Bill’s gear and we were charged $150 less than when we left Denver.  They are more familiar with windsurfing gear than Denver; although the ticket agent asked if we had oceans in Canada – yikes –

We were picked up by our friend Dave from the Front Range Shuttle Service (yes we had to get the executive shuttle againJ) He was enjoying the rest of our story and the drive went by quickly as we exchanged stories.  I think he gets a kick out of us.  He even came to see our trailer and said “you are kidding – you must really like each other!” when he saw what we have lived in for the last few months.
The Christian Brothers were glad to see us and had actually thought we were going to be back last Monday.  They had even dug our trailer out from an ice storm – they told us when we didn’t show they just laughed and said “I bet they heard about our weather and are staying another week!” 

Unfortunately in all our confusion getting off the plane we forgot the crate of chocolate macadamia nuts we had bought for them.  We have a lost and found report in with United – what do you think our chances are of getting that back???   I am working on a back- up plan – maybe ordering some more from Maui.
Well that’s about all – oh ya except that we got caught in a giant storm in Topeka Kansas – you might have heard about it on the news – it was pretty wild – we have never seen lightening or hail like that.  We did have to stop at a rest stop for a few hours along with a bunch of truckers – we were able to make it to a Wal-mart, but between the thunder, lightning, jet lag and time change we watched episodes of the walking dead (which was exactly how we felt) - until 2:30am. 

Today we blew thru Kansas, Missouri & Illinois – just right at the border of Illinois and Indiana – looks like we are heading to Hatteras and then to see our friends Jan, Jerry, Karen & Jim in Cape Cod, if they will have usJ 

Saturday 23 April 2016

Mark Twain once said - "I went to Maui to stay a week and remained five.  I have never spent so pleasant a month before, or bade any place good-bye so regretfully.  I have not once thought of business or care or human toil or trouble or sorrow or weariness, and the memory of it will remain with me always."

We took this photo from our condo the night of the full moon.  It was beautiful.
It is always so hard to leave this island - but we know we will be back soon.

(Bill and I jokingly started a little point system shortly after leaving home as we are in such close quarters and it is just the two of us 90% of the time so the way this works is +1 when you do something nice for the other person and -1 when you are not so nice:) --so it was great to be here for 3 weeks and know Bill couldn't joke about putting me on the bus.)