When we are not on AMARA, we can be found driving all around North America. This year that meant making almost two full laps of around the mid section of North America seeing our friends and family, attending concerts, baseball games, birthday parties, graduations, hiking, biking and more.
This trip was originally planned around attending nephew, Joshua’s, high school graduation, June 3rd, but when Rick’s Mum, Dale, fell and broke her arm in early March, we moved our trip up a couple of months. This meant we were able to surprise Mum with our arrival and be there to celebrate her 85th birthday May 1st, and spend time getting her home ready to go on the market (which is still available as of this writing if you are interested).
Next we surprised Rick’s sister Kathy for her 60’th birthday (did I mention she really doesn’t look a day over 40!). We invited her to join us for the musical show, Stomp, (which was wonderful, I highly recommend it). After she accepted our invitation, we went to work making arrangements for Jo-Anne, her best bud from BC, to meet her at the show. What fun to see the surprise on her face. Her kids then joined us after the show for dinner.
On our way to Fort Wayne, I dropped Rick off at the airport in Chicago to catch a plane to Annapolis, Maryland. He wanted to help our friend, Steve Dyer, move his boat, “Willow”, up to Newport, Rhode Island. Have I mentioned Rick can not get enough sailing? He did a Facebook live feed as he sailed past the Statue of Liberty, a bucket list item for him.
Rick arrived in Indiana in plenty of time to make it to Joshua’s graduation. We are so proud of the young man Josh has become. After the graduation, we headed to Tennessee for the week to help Will and Rebecca from AniBeaTru on their remodeling project. They are always helping others on the island of Mayreau, when they are in the Caribbean, so it was especially fun to help them for a change. You can check out more about them at http://catchthewindsailingministries.org/home.html. We got to celebrate Will’s 70th birthday while we were there which involved a trip to Gruhn Guitars in Nashville. Rick was in seventh heaven checking out the guitars there.
On the way back up we made stops at Mammoth Cave and the Kentucky Derby. We enjoyed both tours. Rick grew up following horse racing so he really loved the Derby back lot tour. I grew up seeing my parent’s honeymoon pictures of Mammoth Cave. So it was fun to see a bit of it for myself.
We returned to Fort Wayne, in time for Susan’s (Brenda’s sister) surgery. Rick took off in the camper with Jordie the day after the surgery to spend time with his kids and friends in Denver. I stayed with Susan for the next 8 days to keep her from overdoing it. I had a great time on the way back. Brother, Don, drove me to Chicago for my flight to Denver. It turned out the Cubs were playing so I made it to my first ever Cubs game in Wrigley Field!
After I flew to Denver, we were able to house sit for Glen and Linda who run an AirBnB from their home. They are such great friends. We got to stay in their beautiful home and take care of the sweetest dogs in the world. I got to play in some dirt and Rick got to play with power tools. We also were able to celebrate our precious friend Libby Butler’s birthday there.
We greatly enjoyed our time in Colorado, getting in lots of visits with many of the wonderful people in our lives and spending time in nature which we love so much.
We got to go camping with Caleb, who was also in Colorado to attend a wedding in which his girlfriend, Susan, was participating as a bridesmaid. We were able to get most all our kids together in one place on the Saturday night before we left, which meant Connor was in the same restaurant but, unfortunately, he was working.
Our next trip north took us straight to Lake of the Woods, being sure not to miss our annual stop at the A&W on the way. We got in a few days at Uncle Tom’s cabin and with Tom himself, which was wonderful as always. Rick even downloaded a loon ring tone for his phone. Tom thought it was a poor representation of the real call of a loon, but I get to hear it any time anyone texts him now.
It was good and a little sad to return to Winnipeg to say good-bye to everyone there. Rick is sure we will not be back for at least 18 months if not more. So they all need to join us where we are! On our drive south, for the second time of our North American tour, we made a stop in Minneapolis, to meet with potential new crew, John and Cathy, and for Jordie to make a new friend.
We enjoyed a short stay in Indiana to see everyone there and set up Jordie for his next season. It is very hard say good-bye to our Baby, but was made easier knowing he is in good hands with Kristen and Alex.
Then it was drive to Chicago and fly back to AMARA in Grenada. We got to enjoy many visits in our nearly four months “State side” and “Great White North side”. We got our doctors visits completed and did many preparations for our up coming voyage to Australia. Now, to go get all those boat projects done!