The last two months spent at home have been a real pleasure. The temperate weather punctuated by regular rainfall, meant that it was comfortable to be outside and the grass and flowers still look great with little help from us. All the plants and bushes that died from neglect and excessive heat when we were in Alaska last summer have been replaced and the new plantings flourished in the regular rain. We’ve completed some home improvement projects, installing outdoor blinds to make watching TV in the sun room feasible, and getting rid of the ugly laminate kitchen counters and installing stone looking ones that are promised to be no maintenance. After the professionals left, Ken plumbed the new sink, faucet and water osmosis with help from our brother-in-law with little swearing and only a few trips to the hardware store. We also installed a metal tile back splash, a team effort do-it-yourself project. Now it’s back to saving up for the next project; the home improvement list like the travel destinations list still remains long.
Time at home also meant catching up with family, new and old friends and lots of tennis, golf and bike rides. We know of no other part of the country that has as many paved, off road bike trails as ours. The level terrain is kind to elderly riders and the view from the path along Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago still is a favorite. Ending such a ride with a picnic in Millennium Park listening to a free concert is still as much fun as it was on our first date 40+ years ago.
Ken has profited from the flying (and crashing) experience of our neighbor who built a model quadcopter over the winter and has purchased his own, attaching a camera for unique aerial shots of the neighborhood. It is more than likely that aerial views of the spots we plan to visit will be included in our account of this trip.
When you are away from home almost half the year, doctor’s appointments tend to pile up, especially for older folks. We’ve worked our way through all the tests and check ups and are ready to hit the road with a physician verified clean bill of health. Time for some new scenery!