Week 274 June 29, 2019

It was more than a full week, spent in memorable times with my cousins, and with me taking a robust Bikram Yoga seminar. Hence this post is more than a little late…

Loren and I began our week still in New Hampshire, where the state license plates proclaim: Live Free Or Die. We had another good visit with my cousin and her husband, this time including their children and grandchildren, and her mother. I found a photo of my great-grandfather holding my mother’s cousin – my cousin’s father, on display in her mother’s room. We also helped setup for the big family party to celebrate my cousin’s husband’s 65th birthday.

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Later that afternoon Loren and I took a drive around Lake Sunapee, where I had hoped to be able to spot the cabin I had visited a few times with a dear friend some years ago. Alas, without the address and directions, it turned out to be simply a nice drive around a large New Hampshire lake.

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That evening our AirBnB hosts offered us a ride around the smaller Lake Horace in their motor boat, something they often do with their dog. It was a nice way to finish our day.

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The next day was the big party. It was awesome to have more chances to visit with each of them, their children and spouses, see the grandchildren play, and spend time with their extended family members, neighbors and friends.

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We enjoyed lots of good food and games, and the next day we returned for a delicious brunch, thoroughly enjoying more time to visit together.

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Then Loren and I were off to Massachusetts, where the state license plates proclaim: The Spirit of America. Loren had a mostly relaxing week at another AirBnB, while I attended the seminar each day, well into each evening. I have now taught over 250 Bikram Yoga classes – of those I taught well over 100 just in the past year, so it was time to take my experience and skills to the next level. It was also great to see three of my teacher training Littermates from our 9 weeks spent together in 2014.

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Another teacher brought her family along for the week. It was fun to see her studio’s advertisement for Bikram Yoga on her son’s t-shirt. On one of the days, Loren had the opportunity to participate in a private lesson demonstration for us, and he actually took several classes with us this week.  

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Our week ended with a fun visit to nearby Hampton beach,

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followed by a delicious “lobstah” dinner, ice cream desert, and, my first viewing of the The Princess Bride from 1987 with Peter Falk, Billy Crystal, Andre the Giant, and others.

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Not only did we have a fulfilling week, I expanded my knowledge for future classes and Loren and I met and got to know more wonderful world-wide Bikram Yoga teachers. 

Week 273 June 22, 2019

This week we celebrated Father’s Day with my brother and his beautiful family at their lake house in New York where we were staying. Despite the overcast and on-and-off rainy weather, my brother was still able to go out on his boat and fish a little. It was his wife who caught the fish while out on the boat with him.

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Otherwise we spent the day relaxing, celebrating his upcoming birthday and enjoying a scrumptious mix of takeout and home made dishes for dinner. 

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My only disappointment that evening was there was no Warriors v Raptors Game 7 to watch… Congrats to the Raptors once again.

The next day, after a too short but memorable visit with my brother and his family, Loren and I drove 4 hours north to visit in New Hampshire. This is the view of Lake Horace from the deck of our AirBnB. Loren has enjoyed kayaking a couple of mornings.

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We enjoyed taking lunch nearby to my cousins here and seeing all the additional work they have put in on the house that they moved into last summer. We also admired the beautiful birds who visit her generous feeders – and she can differentiate all the species!

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Then we had a fun evening with friends who live in New Hampshire who we had met in Italy a couple of years ago. They suggested a restaurant in Manchester that is “an institution in the area—started years ago by a Greek family.”

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The next evening my cousins joined us at our AirBnB for a dinner I prepared, including a desert to celebrate both her husband’s and Loren’s upcoming milestone birthdays…

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While in New York and here in New Hampshire I have enjoyed taking some Bikram Yoga classes, which is what Loren and I did the next morning. We were treated to a class by one of the visiting teachers from my teacher training in Los Angeles in 2014. I love it that I can enjoy the same yoga class when we travel to areas that offer the Bikram yoga style!

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That afternoon Loren and I visited the Currier Museum of Art, and we were both enraptured by the glass paperweights display from the mid-1800’s. 

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We finished the day visiting another Frank Llyod Wright house that is owned by this museum, donated to them by the original and only owners, the Zimmermans. 

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Tomorrow we are looking forward to my cousin’s big birthday bash!

Week 248 December 29, 2018

Dear Family and Friends, you are especially on our minds at this time of the year, and we were fortunate to spend time with a few of you this week!

For me, while Loren was with his Mom, I had a lovely Christmas Eve Eve hike with a friend and two of her friends, followed by dinner at her home afterwards. It was a wonderful time, but I forgot to capture a photo… Then I had a memorable Christmas Eve lunch date with my friend and former supervisor. She has moved out of the area since we’ve been gone, so it was wonderful to see her while she was in town. All I have of that special occasion is a screenshot of the restaurant’s website…

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After the nice lunch date, I took myself over to the Anderson Museum at Stanford University, where they have a large collection of Rodin works, and, an Andy Warhol exhibition until early January that I have wanted to see. I did capture a few photos…

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Then it was Christmas! Loren and I had a little celebration in the morning. Then Loren was off to spend the day with his mother and sister while I taught the 2 classes of yoga that day, then I joined Loren and his Mom and sister for a good meal and a not so good Warriors vs. Lakers game – LeBron hobbled off the court with an injury, but worse, our Warriors still lost. I neglected again to take any other photos, except one of the cousins’ Christmas letter with a photo of her grandchildren. Oh, and one from where another dear cousin celebrated on the east coast, I have her photo that she sent as well.

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Since I did teach on Christmas, I am also capturing how the studio is decked out this week with festive touches…

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and, another photo from after a different class this week, another one of a new wall decoration as the new owners are bit by bit renovating the studio space, and, another one of a heron who had a unique perch on my way home from class one day!

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Loren and I had a wonderful lunch date with friends the day after Christmas – again where was my camera? Then we spent another couple of days seeing cousins nearby for a great overnight visit that included outstanding weather.

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This particular cousin’s home where we stayed is a school teacher, and I love her inspiring home art!

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Not only that, but she had saved a handwritten dated January, 1961 from our great-grandmother to her mother who was visiting too. This great-grandmother is how she and I are related. What a treasure!

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Now, Loren and I are wishing you and yours the happiest of New Years yet!

Week 244 December 1, 2018

Loren and I started this week in New York at the lake house, graciously offered to us by my brother and sister-in-law for our stay. The day was clear and chill, with ‘Ol Jack leaving frosty reminders of his overnight escapades, until Ageless Sol – or Helios, or simply Sun, melted his doomed icy sparkles into droplets of water, to soon disappear.

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Meanwhile, from inside her own home, my sister-in-law texted how she was enjoying her coffee with my Thanksgiving gift of macaroons…

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We then spent a day in the financial district of Lower Manhattan with her, my brother and their younger daughter.

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We opted not to visit the top of the Freedom Tower, as the weather was too cold and the views would be too limited. My sister-in-law and I did briefly go inside to see the spectacular new building next door, which turned out to be a stunning entrance to the subway station that includes an abundance of glitzy shops.

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We spent the bulk of our day at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial. It was quite moving. Sadly, the photos of the events seemed all too familiar even though it has been over 17 years already since that tragic day. To put it in perspective, my younger niece was just an infant.

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This wall represents the color of blue that the people of New York chose for how they remembered the sky on that particular morning before the first plane struck the South Tower. Behind the wall the remains of many of the deceased repose. The Virgil quote honors their deaths with:

   No day shall erase you from the memory of time.

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We finished our great day together with a delicious meal out, in time to reach home before the predicted major rainstorm was to arrive. New York has had an excessive amount of rain this fall, and we have noticed overflowing ponds and fields that attest to their recent presence.

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The next day Loren and I drove north to New Hampshire to visit a couple who we had met while awaiting a train in Italy a couple of years ago. The weather warmed up to 38 degrees outside which seriously felt warm to us – in other words, we did not need our coats between our car and their home, even later into the evening when we retrieved our luggage from the trunk! The next morning we delighted at the magnolia buds outside our bedroom window, though, we felt the cold when we went outside again…

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After a leisurely breakfast with these delightful friends, we were off to visit near Concord with my wonderful cousin! Unfortunately her husband was away on business, but we throughly enjoyed our visit with her and her mother in their beautiful home.

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The weather app on my phone gave no notice of the 1-3 inches of snow that she was certain from her local weather report would arrive overnight. How right she was!

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Remarkably, the birds seemed not to mind the cold or snow as they continued to visit her generous feeders.

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My cousin later toured us with a drive around the area. In Henniker we lunched overlooking the Contoocook River which feeds into the Merrimack, the lower end of which is familiar to us from previous visits in Massachusetts. Later, in nearby Concord, the capital city of New Hampshire, we stopped outside the State House, as well as at some of the shops recommended by our friends. We too can now endorse the bakery and bookstore on S Main! It was another wonderful visit, for which we are most grateful.

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From New Hampshire we worked our way south to visit the gracious owner of a Bikram Yoga studio and her husband. Before we reached their home though, we enjoyed a wonderful catchup visit with another special friend who met us nearby for a good hike on Osgood Hill. Then, Loren and I attended the 4pm Bikram Yoga class. 

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We finished our week with a morning Bikram Yoga class, followed by a luxuriously long coffee date with a fellow yogi. At 82 she is a remarkable woman, seeming more to be a vibrant 42 than her actual age. I am disappointed that I neglected to capture the occasion with a photo to share. I will remember next time! 

 

Week 222 June 30, 2018

While Loren has spent each day of the past 2 weeks with his mother in California, taking her to sit by a local lake on several occasions and visiting with a few friends, for me there were several highlights while I have been on the east coast. I left New York for New England, stopping to see my older niece on her job in Connecticut. I was so proud to see how professional and personable she is with the elderly population who she works with. She invited me to join her in a rendition of Heart and Soul, the piece I taught her to plunk out on a piano when she was just a little one. We then switched places and I was also impressed with how much she has learned to embellish the top part!

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Next I drove off to have lunch with a cousin-in-law who lives father north in Connecticut. We had a nice visit and I met the newest addition to her household – a rescue basset hound, coincidentally named Cali! Then I arrived at my friend and Bikram Yoga studio owner’s home in Massachusetts. She and her husband were already off to Boston to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and as there were no other visiting teachers there that night, I enjoyed cooking my dinner alone that evening. I was up early to take the first morning class, then I made my way towards New Hampshire.

A dear cousin of mine has been diagnosed with cancer and had decided to downsize her home. But just a brief few weeks before the move her husband had unexpected open heart surgery to repair a faulty valve, and his doctor limited what he could do physically. Given the fortuitous timing of my visit, I was able to help in a small way with settling them in to their lovely new home.

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Her daughter was also supportive with caring for my cousin’s mother overnight and providing sumptuous dinners, twice at her nearby home nestled in the woods and once delivered to my cousin’s home. My cousin and I were both delighted to hear the call of the whippoorwill on two of the three nights of my visit, the first night they were either not active or at least not noticeable due to an overnight storm. And she, her husband and I shared great conversations over the several breakfasts and lunches that she prepared. 

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One treasure for me while helping to unpack my cousin’s mother’s books was in finding a booklet of short stories and a few poems that our great-great-grandfather had written that I had never seen before. I was able to make photos for myself and other family members. I also found a meaningful travel quote on the front of one of her photo albums, as travel is a love that my cousin’s mother, my cousin, her husband, Loren and I all share. 

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I returned to Massachusetts to take my studio owner friend’s class, which always has such inspiring images around the studio. We had a nice evening together though we missed her husband as he was out of town on business. I was up early to take the first class of the morning, then she and I also had a wonderful visit over breakfast.

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I drove to New York mostly through another storm in time for an appointment to have our van’s windshield replaced. Can you see the crack that developed over a harsh winter? I was unable to stop into the Apple store while they worked on it as I had planned.More importantly I was also in time to celebrate my brother’s birthday dinner out! We missed my older niece as she was at home, ill in bed. That night I found the moon that my cousin’s husband said would be full on the 28th was indeed full as it was beautifully reflected in the lake near where I was staying.

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At the beginning of this week I realized that the 2 mosquito bites on my arm, and the new ones that appeared above and below my lips – which I wondered how I had not felt the pests in those places – were not mosquito bites at all but another bout of poison ivy reaction, like I had 2 summers ago in New York. Everything I have read says that the blisters may develop as long as 72 hours after contact with the plant’s oil – meaning 3 days, however, I am so allergic that small spots still continue to appear at this point now 10 days later. However overall it is improving and diminishing….

After a morning yoga class, I spent a brief time planning for my cross country drive to California. Now I have driven 4 hours of it to visit a dear junior high school friend and her daughter who live in Pennsylvania. 

 

Week 173 July 22, 2017

Our biggest highlight this week was seeing my cousin again in New Hampshire. She and her husband treated us to another wonderful stay at their home, and, we had a delightful time together. From delicious meals, great conversations, gardening, a dunk in the pool, a dinner out,

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to celebrating a sibling cousin’s birthday with their sibling – my cousin and cousin-in-law, and, their Mom too,
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and, a potluck dinner with my cousin’s friends to talk about Portugal travels,
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to just hanging out in their comfy home and yard. All wonderful times!
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In addition, Loren and I attended Sunday service at their neighborhood UU church. Later Loren and my cousin’s husband had a hike up Mount Major with grand-dog, Sully while my cousin and I had a great visit together. A meaningful memorable long weekend in all!
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Afterwards, Loren and I camped a couple of nights on Lake Winnipesaukee. We stopped to see another of Peter “Wolf” Toth’s Whispering Giants Trail statue at Opechee Park in Laconia. Then the weather was perfect for a boat ride on Squam Lake, where On Golden Pond was filmed, and, where we saw nesting loons. Then we went for a hike up West Rattlesnake mountain for a different view of the lake. Another gorgeous day made for a fun half day kayak ride on the lake, with a picnic lunch on one of the islands. Here we learned the name Winnipesaukee means “Smile of the Great Spirit,” to Native Americans.
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Before leaving New Hampshire, Loren and I visited The Loon Center, where we learned more about this protected species. Also, we had a good hike out to see another of their nests. I must mention how during our nights camping and a few times during the days we were fortunate to hear their unique seeming doleful calls. Very special treats!
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Last week ended and this one began with me reciting the wildlife we had seen in New York, and I am surprised at the list I can now share about the different wildlife we saw while in New Hampshire: loon, wild turkey, what we had thought was a wolf crossing the road in the dark of night but later learned from our Massachusetts friends was more likely a Fisher when I described how much more like a hyena it had seemed in my bright headlights because of its hunched back – another learning on this amazing journey of ours, and, three deer – who had long white tails that stuck straight up as they ran, looking almost like the tails were wagging on tall, graceful dogs…
Now we are in Massachusetts, taking yoga with our dear studio owner friend and her fabulous community. It feels good to be back in the hot room since I had not taken a yoga class since my extreme reaction to the poison ivy…
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Week 139 November 26, 2016

We are very thankful this week for more memorable visits with several people who are so special and for the mainly moderate sunny fall weather, but with regrets again of not taking more photos…
Continuing this week in Massachusetts, we are thankful for friends and their family…
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…for cousins in New Hampshire, and their family and friends for a special birthday…
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…for attending an especially touching Unitarian Universalist Sunday Service in New Hampshire for the week of Thanksgiving… for seeing the wonder of the first snowfall of the season while sharing two more memorable days with cousins in their lovely home…
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…for a meaningful visit with cousins in Massachusetts, including catching up on twenty years of joys and sorrows since we last visited together…
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…and, a sweet visit with cousins – one our age, and age 90 and 93, in Connecticut…
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…for more Bikram yoga classes in New York, and, for a fantastic Thanksgiving with precious family and their neighbors.
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Now, on the day following Thanksgiving, I must mention how very thankful I am for all the wonderful times we have enjoyed over these last few weeks in New York, New England, and New York again. As well, I have such deep gratitude for special visits with family members and friends old and new, on our more than two and a half years of travel in parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Central/Eastern Europe, so far. I just tallied the visits of our journey, and – depending on whose definition of countries you subscribe to, Loren and I have now visited 44 countries together over the 25 years that wehave been together. We feel so blessed to be realizing our extended travels dream!
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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.

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