We had this trip mostly planned for June of 2020 and my 60th birthday, but COVID struck, and we cancelled it along with everything else. Luckily, we hadn’t bought plane tickets or paid any money to the tour organizer. Then, one January afternoon in Maui as I meditated on the hillside overlooking the sea and islands, the thought floated into my mind, “I think it is our 40thanniversary this June…we should take that trip to Greece!” It was very easy to reconstruct the itinerary with the incredibly helpful travel agent, Takis, who plans trips for the Hellenic Studies Department at PU. Prices were more expensive than they were in 2020, but still very reasonable compared to the rest of Europe. Traveling in early June we were also very lucky with the weather, which was cool and cloudy before the blistering heat of the summer set in.
After an uneventful direct flight from Newark to Athens, we arrived in Greece on June 11, our anniversary day. We were met at the airport and taken to our lovely hotel, the Herodion, only a short walk to the Acropolis Museum and charming Plaka district. We walked around a bit and rested in the afternoon before a delicious cocktail at the hotel’s rooftop bar, followed by a magnificent dinner at the famous Dionysis Restaurant overlooking the south face of the Acropolis – a suitably grand way to celebrate this major milestone in our relationship!
I learned about this trip a few days before I was leaving for Maui for a month. It seemed crazy to make plans for another adventure, but the dates were perfect during Spring break, a lot of my bike friends from Morris Area Freewheelers would be going, and you couldn’t beat the very inexpensive price, so I put down a deposit. Emily would be accompanying Michael and the PU Orchestra on tour to Sofia, Belgrade and Budapest, and the pet sitter we had for Maui was available again to stay with Louie. After three years of not traveling at all, I guess it was time to start making up for it.
I rented a cool and funky house in Berlin MD for a family beach get-a-way this summer. I was very happy to avoid a complicated trip to Europe, or anywhere that involved flying, especially after the travel hassles of Utah. I was even happier that Emily could join us. The house was attractive and comfortable with a fenced in area for Louie, AC, WiFi, and beautiful outside garden areas to cook, eat and even watch TV. The host lived in a trailer at the back of the property, with “Boyfriend” and three dogs. Louie made friends with Laurie’s dogs through the fence, and “Boyfriend,” a chef at a local restaurant, even shared some fresh off the boat tuna with us one night. Laurie was a warm and generous character with unending helpful advice about everything.
My 60th birthday trip to Greece was definitely not happening this summer. Thank goodness we hadn’t paid any money for it before the world shut down. Instead, we stayed home, safely enclosed by our fence, and had a lovely summer. Louie was the happiest dog in the world as he ran free in the back yard with his humans constantly home. The wildlife was plentiful as well, including turtles, a groundhog, and a hawk’s nest at the very top of one of the huge pine trees near the house. The three babies were awe inspiring to watch as they grew and explored our back yard all through June and July.
Emily did a two-week quarantine, got a negative COVID test, and came to stay with us for three weeks in June, and then again for seven weeks in August and September. She brought her two kitties, Buster and Moon, and we all laughed a lot watching Louie adjust to his new roommates. Emily and I did zoom yoga classes on the deck, went on long bike rides, and cooked amazing meals together.
It was time for a winter get-a-way to someplace warm. It was also a great opportunity to see my sister again. We decided on Tucson where we could relax and visit for a few days before I went on another Backroads biking trip. Susanne thought the last time she had visited was 2007, the final year my parents spent the winter there. For me it had been much longer. Continue reading →
Today is my sister’s birthday, and I just got home from a wild time we spent together in Las Vegas (well, not so wild really) and a fantastic bike trip in Death Valley. Ever since a meditation buddy told me about a transformational trip he took there, I have always wanted to go – to Death Valley, that is. It seemed fitting to use some of the money left in the joint bank account I had with my mom to finally go, now that she is gone. Continue reading →
This summer we were invited to visit Michael’s old Eastman buddy, Michael Coren, while he was in residence at the Vail Festival with the Dallas Symphony. We decided to combine Colorado with a return to Idaho and the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. It was another journey of discovery and healing, grieving and recovery. Continue reading →
Today is my parents anniversary and they are both gone. Michael and I just returned from Rhode Island and Cape Cod where we took my mom’s ashes to rest in her favorite places. It was just a year ago on Father’s Day that we buried my dad’s ashes in the Temple Beth-El cemetery in Providence. Now, once again on Father’s Day, we gathered with friends and family to reunite my mom with my dad in that lovely spot. Except this time it was pouring! Continue reading →
Our travels over Fall Break accomplished a number of things, all having to do with the heart. We started out in Barre at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Remember when I went to seshine with Michael? (see the blog entry from June 17, 2012) Well, he was finally making good on his part of the bargain – to come to something at IMS with me. Continue reading →
Michael will be taking the PU Orchestra on tour to Ireland in January, so we decided to go scout out some performance venues while having a bit of a vacation too. We flew into Dublin, stayed three nights at a lovely small hotel right off the bustling Nassau Street across from Trinity College. We saw the book of Kells, the famous library, and took the tour at the Jamison Whisky factory. We also managed to catch some fun music in various pubs in Temple Bar – Continue reading →