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.