Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Revisiting Kauai: Memories of Georg

My last visits to Kauai were in 2002 and 2004 with my beloved husband of 46 years. It has always remained fondly in my memories as being the most idyllic, romantic vacation spot. At his memorial service last year we showed a slideshow (which my grandson Nathan put together) made up mainly of pics of him on the island and underscored by Iz singing "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World". I felt strongly that I wanted to return to Kauai with my family.

The trip was filled with memories of him, hiking Waimea Canyon, eating Jo-Jo's shave ice, eating at Keoki's Paradise, driving to the north shore. My grandson retraced his steps and my daughter-in-law took a photo of him standing at the very edge of the canyon my husband did and she stitched the two photos together to look as though they were standing there together. Our last day, which happened to be Georg's birthday, we tossed a lei off the balcony into the ocean.

We rented a beautiful condo right on the ocean, enabling us to take in the tropical breezes and the sparking blue water.  Nathan learned how to dive at the pool and discovered a newfound love for hiking.  I took him on his first helicopter ride to see the amazing scenery of the inaccessible places on the island.  It was a special time of togetherness that I shall never forget.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Respite in Florida

Winter in Michigan can be a test of endurance, especially if you are not a fan of skiing or ice skating.  I hibernate like a bear, racing from the warmth of my house to the heated car to the warmth of my office until springs breaks in April.  Not everyone is able to escape to a warm climate in February.  My sister Caroline and I were lucky enough to do just that.  Our friend Carol and her husband Jerry opened their home to us in Naples, Florida for a long weekend of blue skies and 80 degree weather.  Their home was like a five star resort and we were treated like royalty.  Each bedroom in the house opened onto their toasty screened-in pool and we spent all our time outside.  We thank them for their hospitality and friendship.

We enjoyed many restaurants and trips to the beach, as well as relaxing poolside dining and drinks daily.  Our 80 degree weather with blue skies all weekend could not have been more perfect,.  It was a welcome respite from the wind and chill back home.

Full photo album available HERE.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Bucket List

When you get to a certain age, you start thinking about your bucket list.  How much time do I have left to see some of the things I have always dreamt about?  Of course, none of us knows when our time will come, whether in youth or old age.  I am so glad Georg and I were able to enjoy many of those items together before we lost him too soon.  After two difficult years it is time for me to assess what's left on my list.

One thing was a helicopter ride into the Grand Canyon.  Georg and I traveled there together and were amazed at the majesty of God's creation.  But we never attempted the hike down and that is definitely beyond my capability now.  I was on my way to Lake Havasu for the annual balloon festival (the second thing on my list).  Since my plane was landing in Las Vegas and I was driving to Arizona, I decided to stay in Vegas first and do the helicopter ride.  My hotel recommended Maverick Aviation Group, for their safety record.  They picked me up from my hotel and we signed up at their office.

I will never forget flying over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and the endlessly fascinating colors and rock formations of the desert landscape.  Best of all, landing in the canyon for champagne and a light snack.  The whole journey, from door to door, was about four hours and worth every penny.

Then it was on to my next destination, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, a popular vacation spot and water recreation area.  In particular, it is also famous for the London Bridge, which was dismantled in London in 1967 and relocated in the city by Robert P. McCulloch.  The structure was completed in 1971.  It is the site of the annual balloon festival.

The view from my balcony at The Heat Hotel, overlooking the bridge, afforded the best possible vantage point from which to see the balloons.

What's next on the bucket list?   I want to get back to Hawaii and I've been wanting to see Orca whales up close for a long time.  Hopefully I will be able to fulfill those dreams this year as well.  God willing!