Week 276 July 13, 2019

At the start of this week, Loren and I were still in Ipswich, where our AirBnB host – who taught us about microwavable pancakes – took us for a kayak ride in Plum Island Sound. Fortunately she knew the water patterns and it was an enjoyable day, though we could see how easily it could have been grueling if instead we had been fighting the currents. We finished the evening playing a game of Scrabble together. 

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The next morning Loren and I took a stroll around Strawberry Hill. Unlike the trek we took on Poon ‘Hill’ in the Himalaya, this ‘hill’ is a flat walk on a mowed path to the water’s edge. Then we returned to the house for the Women’s Soccer Finals, where we watched the US defeat the Netherlands.

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We also went on an historic town walking tour. Ipswich boasts several homes and buildings still standing from the 1600’s, 1700’s, 1800’s, reminding me how and where parts of early America was settled and claimed its independence. And everywhere tiger lilies are blooming.

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Then we were off to New York. We first stopped in for a final — for now — Bikram yoga class in North Andover.


Once in New York we drove through Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonia neighborhood which we had seen last Thanksgiving, again in appreciation of his unmistakable home designs. Afterwards we read how UNESCO World Heritage thinks his works are extraordinary too, adding these eight of his innovations to their official list:
     . Fallingwater in Pennsylvania
. the Guggenheim Museum in New York
. the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles
. the Jacobs House in Wisconsin
     . the Robie House in Chicago
. Taliesin in Wisconsin
. Taliesin West in Arizona, and
     . the Unity Temple in Illinois
We finished our day with a wonderful evening with my brother, his wife and younger daughter, then spent the night at an AirBnB in the Battle Hill neighborhood of White Plains, named for one of the sites led by George Washington in the Revolutionary War.

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Our connecting flight the next day took us through Detroit, then we were on our way to Omaha. Dear cousins from Denver picked us up, and as we drove south, we were in Iowa for about one mile, which their new car’s navigation system loudly announced upon our brief departure and reentry into Nebraska. Along the drive we stopped for a lovely dinner together. Then we arrived at the precious farm where Loren’s first cousin lives. 


We had a lovely first day at the farm, then while this cousin was attending to the needs opening the County Fair which she oversees, another cousin took us on a tour of rural cemeteries in nearby Rulo and Falls City to find family plots. Here I noticed markers proclaiming certain headstones as “G.A.R.” I came to learn that these denoted the soldiers who served in the “Grand Army of the Republic” during the Civil War. Over dinner with these cousins we toasted with “Bloody Beer,” a drink of tomato juice mixed in with beer. 

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In the morning we helped a cousin with a small part of his home remodel, holding up a mantel piece for him to bolt in place. Then we reminisced about the history of this home, which was beautifully preserved for the ages through paint on an old saw.


This is also where Loren remembers 50 years ago this month watching the old black and white television in this living room when Neil Armstrong said his famous quote heard over the airwaves on being the first person to land on the moon on July 20, 1969:

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

He also proudly showed us the buckets of trophy home run balls his daughter has earned over the last few years, as she approaches her junior year in High School this fall. 


We bade our Denver cousins a safe drive home before we headed off to see the goat showing competition at the County Fair… please read more on this in next week’s post.


Week 167 June 10, 2017

We have been blessed with sunshine most of this week! Highlights of our last couple of days in Madison include taking a tour of the Capitol building,
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and, meeting friend Cary and a few of his friends to see a Pat McCurdy concert/singalong/show.

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We were heading to Sturgeon in Door County, where we would pass by Oshkosh – I am learning that so many of the names and places that I have heard of over my lifetime that I had presumed to be fictional actually do exist! However, when we learned that one of our friend’s father lives in Little Sturgeon, we looked him up instead of going to Oshkosh. He is of full Belgian heritage and raised his family in and around the largest Belgian settlement in the US, making his living as a cheese farmer and welder.
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Several friends and acquaintsnces had told us that we had to “do a fish boil” in Door county, so with our friend’s father, we did! He knew to take us to Pelletier’s in Fish Creek where they make quite a show of preparing the locally caught whitefish, served afterwards with pie made from locally grown cherries. Yum!
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Another highlight this week was watching Game 2 of the Cavaliers vs. Warriors basketball finals with our friend’s father. The Warriors won. Go Warriors! After saying farewell, we looked around Sturgeon Bay a little before camping at Peninsula State Park, where we enjoyed bicycling, hiking, and, beautiful sunsets.
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We then ferried on the SS Badger – the badger we learned is the Wisconsin state animal, like the very prevalent robin is their state bird. We sailed from Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan. During the 4 hour ride we had fun playing Bingo, and, watched the moving film, Sully. That evening at 9pm – start time for the game as we are now on the east coast, we headed for a local bar – as we were camping, to see the Warriors again defeat the Cavaliers in Game 3! It was fun to root along with the bar owner for our Warriors among the many Cav’s fans. Loren cheered them on with his 22oz dark amber draft beer…
Also in Michigan we toured the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, which – as with all the others we have visited, was informative and educational, specifically about his years in the White House.
Now we are in Toledo, Ohio, where we watched the Warriors lose Game 4 to who I am now calling the LeBronaliers. It seems his teammates are at a loss if he is not on the court. Being a Friday night, a lot of the younger crowd were vocal in cheering for their own state team. Still, it was a good night out, just sad to see our Warriors lose.
For some reason – perhaps because Loren and I have spent so much time on or near waters or driving over rivers lately? – I have had Moon River running through my head. So, I leave you this week with its especially-meaningful-to-us-right-now lyrics that at one time prompted The Atlantic Monthly to report, “This is a love sung to wanderlust.”
Moon River
Moon River, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
You dream maker
You heartbreaker
Wherever you’re going
I’m going your way
Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
Waitin’ round the bend
My Huckleberry friend
Moon River and me.

REPOSTING in Progress: Weeks 2 to 109

This place holder is for the entries from our original blog to be added, eventually. Please check back – this re-creation is a labor of Love and will take a bit of  t-i-m-e- which, while still traveling, we do not always have a lot available to devote to this.