5 1/2 Months– Week 20

IMG_4134Can you believe it? Week 20 is our final week on Guemes Island and our final week on the west coast. We begin our journey home on July 1st.

In reflection, I cant believe that we have traveled by car nearly 10,000 miles, plus by air travel to Maine and the Ferry travel in Canada, plus the day-to-day Ferry travel to and from Anacortes to Guemes Island and back again day after day after day.

IMG_4159Our thanks to Mark, Kelly, Rumi, Teo, Brian, Emily, Fisher, Amaya, Kris, Kerry, Sienna and Seba for not letting us feel like we were an intrusion on your lives, even if we were. And, thanks for all of the good times together these past 90 days. It’s been awesome!

This final week I played golf with Tim and Michael, two of the three guys I met at Avalon Golf Club last month. We dropped in on Kerry and Kris and the kids for a final look at Big Mama’s farm. We had Amaya spend the night with us on the west shore. Friday Sandy saw Rumi and Teo’s work from their Art Class Camp.

So, we are saying our goodbye’s to our beautiful view of Cypress Island. We say goodbye to the porpoise and baby seals, to the ducks and to the eagles. We will miss our search for the Orcas (we’ve seen two) and Sandy said she heard two from afar early this morning.

We plan to travel to Hood River this Sunday and then spend an extra day to explore the Mount Hood and  the Columbia River area. Then, we head further south to Bend, Oregon before heading to Idaho, then Utah, on into Colorado.

Next week we will try to capture the delights of that trip on this blog as we wind down the travel days. We are looking forward to seeing Craig, Nicole, Olivia, Evan, Ella, Todd, Jessica, Scarlet, Brent and Dani plus all from the West Coast as we  converge for our special 50th Anniversary SashBash in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Travel safely everyone. See you on a mountain top in Colorado.

5 1/2 Month – Week 3


Blue Hill, Maine-morning view 2/28/18

At three-thirty this morning Sandy brings me a cup of coffee to begin the day. By 4PM, Karl arrives to take us to the airport. The American Eagle flight arrives via DC in Bangor Maine by 12:15 pm. Samantha picks us up and then we head to Mark’s Subaru dealership to pick up a new Outback for our week stay.

We dropped by to see Samantha and Chloe and spent time walking through their newly remodeled home, including the new Barn/Apartment for visitors. This is a beautiful place with a magnificent view of Blue Hill Bay. Mark, my nephew, bought a brand new John Deere tracker and gave it to his wife, Sam, for Valentines Day. He is some romantic guy. Funny thing is there is no need for a tractor here, but, Mark wanted it. That’s the way the Politte’s do things. It’s a hand-me-down family trait.

Wednesday–Sandy and I had a lovely scenic drive up to Belfast, Maine. Belfast is a small little town with an interesting ship making history. Now, it survives,somehow, on Tourist season revenue.

We just learned that our friends, Gerry and Sue, who were supposed to arrive in Bangor today had to cancel their trip due to the nor’easter hitting Philadelphia with 60 mile p/h winds. What a bummer! They were to spend four days with us in Maine. We had planned all kinds of side trips. Sandy has made two crock pot dinners for four. Now, we will have to endure this fantastic place without them.

We are headed to the LL Bean store in Ellsworth. Sunday, we will head to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor. We’ve been to these places previously but you cannot get tired of visiting Acadia, Cadillac Mountain.

Today We Begin a 5 ½ Month Journey, February 8, 2018

As most of the world knows by now, February 23, Sandy and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.  I say “most of the world” because this morning Sandy told the grocery clerk in Springfield, Illinois all about our five and half month trip plans. This women, plus over 200 people at the Dorchester, all of our friends and relatives are aware of our anniversary date and plans through July. If each person will tell just one other, well, you know, word travels fast.

We have been considering a variety of travel options for most of the past year. At first, we were planning a trip to Italy and then a Viking Cruise through Germany ending in Amsterdam. Sounds awesome. Maybe next year.

Sandy came up with the idea of subleasing our apartment for a few months so that we could travel the US and then end up in the NW. We could then spend more time with our children and grandchildren who live north of Seattle.  She was tired of being a “Skype Grandma” and wanted to live near the kids for a few months to experience what it’s like to be a real grandma, not one who visits for a few weeks each year and one you can only see via Skype. Of course, that plan would allow me to be a real grandpa too. I’m all in.

Things have worked out well. We have sub-leased for four months through mid-July. We have planned a big SASH BASH 50th Anniversary party for July in Breckenridge, CO. All six kids, wives, husbands, significant others and all ten grandchildren will be there. So, from this day through the return to ST. Louis mid-July, I plan to write a daily blog highlighting some of the adventure.

We will be gone five and half months, 165 days, I believe. And, today is…

Wk1/Day 1: We arrived at Randy and Chris’ summer home in Springfield, Illinois, unloaded our things for a two week stay and relaxed before bed via a Netflix original. The next morning we enjoyed coffee with a spectacular view of Lake Springfield, ten deer passed through the open yard beyond the swimming pool, and at least 100 ducks and geese swam by in the lake. What a wonderful way to begin this journey.

Late morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Charlie Parker’s (must go to place), dinner with Craig at Boone’s Saloon, and on to watch Evan and SHG win a high school basketball game 62-56.

Wk1/continued: Thanks to the generosity of Randy and Chris this beautiful home on Lake Springfield will be home for the next two weeks. Saturday night I broiled steaks and vegetarian k-bobs on the outdoor bar-b-q pit even though it was 20 degrees with an ice storm just beginning. Craig, Nicole, Evan, Ella, Todd and Scarlet enjoyed a meal  and some laughs around the kitchen table set up to serve sixteen (that’s one long table). Todd and Scarlet braved the hot tub as the ice snow pelted down.

Sunday morning Todd and Scarlet left for St. Louis. The rest of the week was a bummer. Sandy had the flu from Sunday-Thursday. We laid low. Watched a lot of television. Good thing we had Winter Olympics and Netflix Originals to watch.

By Friday we had cabin fever. So, we acted like a Springfield, Illinois tourist. We started with a freezing walk along the lake at Lincoln Memorial Gardens—had the whole place to ourselves. No other visitors on a cold day like this. We got in two miles then headed to the Lincoln Museum. If you haven’t been there we recommend it. This is the best Civil War time period exhibit we have ever seen. After a light lunch at Wm. Van’s coffee shop we walked around the Lincoln family home neighborhood. And then, we wrapped up the day at the Adams Wildlife Sanctuary. How’s that for acting like tourist.

Tomorrow we are headed back to St. Louis to meet family for dinner on the Hill as we celebrate my brother Tim’s 60th birthday. That will end week one.