Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Third Anniverary Of Embarcation

Three years ago we departed Missoula in a flurry--no, an avalanche--of activity, packing, storing, donating, selling just about everything we owned that would not fit into a checked bag and a carry-on each. A day later we were in Tokyo, and a day after that we were in Beijing. Our three years of travel have had their respites, sometimes months long. And, not surprisingly, the most important and memorable events of those three years have not been about travel: rather, the engagements and weddings of our daughters and the birth of our grand-daughter. Now we are back into an extended respite, grand-parenting Penelope by day while Rebecca and Jeremy work, in Menlo Park, Middle California. Not a bad place for a respite!

I am not sure what to do with a travel blog when one is not traveling. It is also a retirement blog, certainly, but mostly about our travels. The coming months will bring opportunities for reflection, editing of photos and blog, and website, and planning of our next travels. Some of those things will appear in these posts.
Daddy's girl: Penelope shows Grandma a coding error in
line 14...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Return To Reality

By Monday, all the guests were gone, our dentist and optometrist and doctors' appointments were done, good-byes said to the Sehestedts, and we returned to our storage unit, to finish the latest round of re-sorting, re-packing, and re-organizing. Things change, plans change, needs change. But we left the place in probably the best shape it's been in since August, 2008, when we headed off to Asia.

By Wednesday evening we were back in Sandpoint with Bob and Beth and stayed another day to see Norm and Marie (back from touring Alberta and BC) and to enjoy yet a second of Bob's wonderful filet mignon dinners. Hey, at this point we were no longer dieting for the wedding!

Our thanks as always to the friends and family that hosted us. We always wish we could have stayed longer in Missoula and seen more people. But duty called in California, and we were back in Menlo Park very late Friday night.
In our unit, Hellgate Canyon Storage Center;
home is where your stuff is; plus, it's a gated
community, great views of Mt. Dumbo, and
has water features too

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rachel's Wedding (And Will's)

The big day was Saturday, August 6th, but it was preceded by a variety of dinners, float-trip, baseball game (Will throwing out the first pitch at the Osprey game), pedicures, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner at Fort Missoula, preparations, decorations, and much more. The bride's parents' headquarters was the Babs, near the Hip Strip, although Vicki and I stayed at Dave and Kim's, house- and dog-sitting and addressing a minor flood in the basement. All in all, it was a great week, finishing with our second perfect wedding and reception...due very largely to Rachel, who put all her abundant planning and coordinating skills to work, with some help from a wedding coordinator and numerous family and friends. Vicki, whose involvment from Europe was difficult, nonetheless saved the day with her seamstress work on the wedding gown. And, for the second summer in a row, for us, it was a joyous occasion with family and friends, seeing a wonderful daughter married.
Ceremony at Washington Park, UM campus, beneath the M; I had a front row seat 
and so couldn't get the entire wedding party in the picture...

Wife and Husband

Get-away car

Pre-reception at the Florence

Groom and Bride

Seated, for just a minute, at the dinner

Me in a more spiritual moment (there was an open bar)

Vicki with my sister Carole, Pat and Jim Mitchell,
and Beth McCoy (Bob's wife)

Vicki and I set a personal best for dancing, and but for our
friends the Mitchells, nearly won the anniversary dance; the
partying went on well after the 11PM close and departure of
the elders; Will updated his Facebook page to "married" at

Of course there were professional photographers and many others taking pictures (and video), and I'll post a few more or link to Rachel and Will's site, when they return from their honeymoon.

Road Trip!

After Vicki's rejoining me, we spent a few days moving into and setting up our new temporary quarters, a small one-bedroom "cottage" in Menlo Park, just a few blocks from Rebecca, Jeremy, and Penelope. But then it was time for a road trip, to Missoula, via Sandpoint, for the big occasion of the year...
Laden with a cargo of bar stools and library card catalog
furniture (true; revealing), and a few personal items and
souvenirs from Europe, we drove the Saturn up through
California and across the middle of Oregon, finally hitting I90
in WA and then 95 in Idaho to Sandpoint; 19 hours of driving;
and then, a day later, 200 and I90 to Missoula; that's
Mt. Shasta above, in northern-most CA; all the volcanoes
were similarly snow-draped, even in early August

Return to America

From Boston we divided forces, Vicki heading to Orlando for a few days of sun and fun (and heat and humidity and insects) at Disneyworld with Marie and Norm and Stacey and the boys, I directly to Middle California, where we will be for a few months, helping Rebecca and Jeremy care for Penelope.
On her third month-day, shortly after I arrived

Looking properly skeptical at her mother; she has given Vicki
and me the same look as we learn her ways and try to imagine
that we understand infant cognitive development