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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flying High

During the summer of 1998, my older son and his friends decided to throw caution to the wind (as only kids on college break can do) and they went skydiving.      

Well, fifteen years later this non-twenty year old also jumped out of a perfectly good plane.   To say it was incredible is too much of an understatement.     From the day I made the reservation in December until I made the jump on March 14th, I didn't have even one second of doubt or trepidation.   

The day of the jump I had my own little cheering section.    Obviously RJ was there, but also my close friends Cheryl and Pete were traveling in the area and came to cheer me on.     None of them was willing to go with me, however.

I met my tandem guide and he got me dressed in my jumpsuit, gloves, goggles and harnesses.     There were certainly a lot of large metal hooks – Mike and I would not be parting company any time soon!       We were the first jumpers, so no time for second thoughts.     According to the pictures, I never stopped grinning the entire time.    It was wonderful!   

I commented to RJ later that it was extremely hard to breathe before the chute opened.    His response:  “if you had closed your mouth it would have been much easier”.       Actually I was told that I didn’t stop grinning the entire day.   

Mike let me control the steering for a bit after opening the chute.     I don’t know if I pulled too hard or what, but we definitely took a couple of sideways dives.     What a feeling of power.       Then, the peace of gently floating as you look out at the desert and mountains below.    The highway looks like a small ribbon.      I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so calm and at peace.

Would I do it again – Definitely.

Will I do it again – I don’t know.    First there’s the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge in Northern Ireland.     It’s about 65 feet long over a 98 foot deep gorge connecting the mainland with an island.     Magic date is September 18th……..

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Where Shall We Go

Planning a three month adventure – who knew it could become a full time job.     RJ is busy with the nitty gritty (insurances, change of address, credit cards with the new chip, etc).    Remember that file cabinet full of paper – he visits it a lot!       I have the assignment of making this first trip a reality.     Where shall we visit?     In what order?     I know I need to see our young grandchildren in the U.K. at the beginning and end of the trip, but other than that we can go anywhere.     RJ requested extended time in Ireland and Scotland.     That gives us a good start.    

I also know I don’t want hotel after hotel.     We have the time, let’s get to know the people and how they live.       I checked out HomeAway, VRBO and AirBnB, among others.     AirBnB seems to fit our needs best.    I quickly made the executive decision that if we were in one spot for more than two nights we would get a local apartment.      On the other nights, we needed a room with a private bathroom and all places must have wifi.     Also, no more than one flight of stairs without a lift.     (in some places that was a real challenge)

A week from today we will be in the Minneapolis airport waiting for our flight.       I hope you enjoy hearing about our travels.      I will post pictures as we go, but first I have to figure out how to do that.   If I can learn how to book a room in the home of a lady in rural northern Scotland who rehabs and works with birds of prey, learn to book trains and ferries in eight different countries and figure out to live for three months out of a 20” suitcase, I can certainly figure out how to add pictures to this blog.

To find out if I succeed, see my post later this week with pictures (I hope) of my big adventure 18 months ago…….

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Was Meant To Be

After reading the book, RJ and I decided it was time.      We would put the house on the market next spring and go from there.     At a neighborhood pool party I shared this decision.    Imagine my surprise when one of the neighbors showed up the next morning with a friend who wanted to tour the house.     Nice lady, but I thought no more of it…….until the doorbell rang an hour later.    The lady had returned with her husband for another tour.   Mmmmm      This is really getting interesting.    At the end of the tour, the husband asks that we give them a couple days to think about it and asked that we arrive at a selling price.      Wait a minute, the house isn’t even on the market, we aren’t ready, are we really sure we want to do this?  
Well, at the end of the two days they signed our homemade sales agreement.      We had four weeks to sort thru 45 years of stuff.    We gave away most of our furniture and sold the rest.      There were many many trips to goodwill and the dump.    What we ended up with fits comfortably in our 10x10 storage unit.      At lunch one day we mentioned to a friend that we were looking for a furnished apartment to rent for three months.      Guess what – he has a condo he’s not using.      We are set.

I’m a believer in the philosophy that if things fall in place very easily, it was meant to be.    I think this adventure was meant to be.       Now all I have to do is plan our first adventure ….. Western Europe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Seed is Planted

It was time to shake things up a bit.     Retirement was getting routine –  a lot more fun than working, but still routine!     As we watched the CBS Morning Show,  they were interviewing Lynne Martin about her new book, Home Free Adventures.    WOW!    The Martins are older than us and they decided over dinner to sell everything and take off.     They now live several months at a time in various places all over the world, renting homes or apartments to use as their home base.   That plan seems a little over the top, but I’ll bet there would be some great ideas in the book to do a modified version for us.

I was at B&N when they opened to purchase my copy.     By the time I was on page 8, I informed RJ that we should extend our proposed 2-3 week trip to the UK to a much longer trip.   Surprisingly, he agreed.   I need to finish this book…….