Saturday, July 18, 2015

Reflections between trips

After nearly three months at home after our winter in Tucson, we've begun leaving town again. Here are the past and upcoming adventures:

Atlanta and around - July 1 to 7

This much anticipated trip - for a convention, sightseeing in Charleston SC and a high school reunion - didn't turn out as expected because I got sick. We came home a week early. Even so, here's what I remember:
  • Atlanta has a great public transportation system. The train to the neighborhood of our lodging left directly from the airport and we got off three blocks from our destination.
  • Our first Airbnb experience was a great success. Our original four-night stay was extended to six. We met interesting people from all over and shared a kitchen and bathroom with no problems.
  • Where we live, the most common non-Caucasian ethnicity is Asian. In Atlanta, it's African-American. On the trains and in our Atlanta neighborhood, our white faces were in the minority. At first it felt odd and unfamiliar, but quickly became ordinary. When I got home, everyone around me looked positively pasty! I was reminded once again that it's a matter of perspective.
  • I lost my CPAP ("breathing machine") on the train and did my due diligence on finding it. When I got home and ordered a replacement I learned my insurance will pay 80% of the cost. Only $144 for me. Lucky Medicare recipient!
  • I may have lived on the east coast for a dozen years of my childhood, but the summer heat and humidity are way too much for me as a retiree. The Pacific Northwest is the place for me in the summertime.
A southern Oregon wedding - July 24 to 26

My ex-husband's niece Bridget is marrying Gilbert on July 25. Bridget was born after my ex and I divorced, and I met her only two years ago at a family funeral. She and Gilbert live in Tucson. I am the mother of her cousins James and Russell, so we are indirectly related. Here's what's good about the upcoming weekend:
  • Bridget comes from a welcoming family. Even a long-ago aunt and unrelated uncle are welcome to join the festivities.
  • Both my grown sons (James and Russell) will be in attendance. And both their girlfriends (Cinthia and Amanda). And my twin granddaughters (Mary and Malayne).
  • I will have conversations with my ex-inlaws, all of them good people.
  • We have a choice of two vehicles to make the 800-mile round trip. Husband Art's Prius gets the best gas mileage, but my new Honda Accord is quieter and more comfortable, and needs to be road tested. I'll let Art decide. He'll probably want me to decide. Stay tuned!
  • We're having dinner one night with Jeanne, an old and dear friend.
  • Art and I will have a conversation with my ex-husband John and his girlfriend Shirley. We have known each other for a long time and it will be good to see them. Even after John and I divorced we continued to communicate as our sons grew up.
Visiting Canadian friends - August 5 to 12

Judy and Ken were our neighbors for three years at the Voyager, where we live in Tucson in the winter. They sold their place this year and I was sad about that, but we're continuing the friendship which is wonderful. They live a couple hours north of Toronto in the summer. Here's what I'm looking forward to:
  • I laugh more with Judy than just about anyone else. She doesn't realize she's so funny!
  • Art is staying home, tending to local business. He will get a nice break from me.
  • I'll be staying by a lake ten miles from town where it's quiet. Judy tells me I should bring a good book, so I'll load up my Kindle.
Eastern Europe - Attempt #2 - August 28 to September 16

We'd planned a cruise in Eastern Europe for April of this year, but cancelled it because of a medical issue of Art's. He is now doing well so we're doing a land trip to the same area.
  • The travel insurance payout for the cancelled cruise just about exactly covers the cost of this trip.
  • The cancelled flights from April were partially refundable, so the new reservations didn't cost so much.
  • Art and I both feel confident that he's medically stable. Nothing like the correct meds and adequate hydration for a fellow with every-once-in-a-while cardiac arrhythmia! I'm especially fine with this because, on our trip to Atlanta, we walked seven miles in heat and humidity on our first day there. I know we've got the stamina for travel walking in Europe.
Our financial advisor told me once that people usually travel for five years after retirement, and then they come home. It's been just five years. I thought we might stop traveling since we live in Arizona in the winter - and we did cut back last year after Art's cardiac arrest - but it appears we're still on the go to some extent. I'm glad it's turned out that way.


DJan said...

I don't travel nearly as much since I retired, but there are still trips. I even went to Turkey in February, which surprised me! I am glad you are going ahead with that Eastern Europe trip, and that )your travel insurance made it cost so much less. It's a good idea to get it. I cannot imagine going to the East Coast in summer, since I'm suffering so much from the unaccustomed heat right here at home! :-

Anonymous said...

You are indeed fortunate to have the health and the finances to be able to travel as you do.

Tom Sightings said...

Well, I can see that nothing is slowing you down! But the pull of family and friends is strong, isn't it ...

#1Nana said...

We do different kinds of travel now. I'm enjoying the fifth wheel camping. Well probably do more volunteering with the parks system. I don't feel the need to constantly be vacationing, but when the urge hits us, we're gone...

Linda Reeder said...

I just found your last post, so now I am caught up. I saw snatches of your events on Facebook, but I was never quite sure where you were of what you were doing. So sorry you got sick. And yes, we were very happy to return to the PNW after traveling in the south in June. It was always so sticky there, or else the air conditioner was blasting inside.
We have slowed down in our traveling, but we did do another big international trip last fa,, and a family wedding had us traveling down the Mississippi in June. No more plans for now, just trips to the family cabin on the Oregon coast and Whidbey Island. We'll day trip around here if we get wanderlust.

Kim said...

We are going to Prague and St Petersburg this fall and I am realizing the need for travel insurance at this age! Do you have any thoughts on good companies to check for that? Thanks and I enjoy your blog !

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm always impressed by how much traveling you do--it takes lots of planning and stamina, and you are good at both. Isn't it nice when families of ex-spouses can get together and enjoy one another? It makes life much nicer for kids and grandkids (or nieces) too.

Janette said...

Your planner must not know many travelers who have family and friends in different areas :)
Sounds like you have a great finish to 2015 coming your way.
We hope to get to Eastern Europe and Turkey before we decide that we just don't like airplanes anymore!
I agree with Kim. We need the name of your travel insurance company.