Saturday, November 21, 2009

The tales of a 6,000 mile trek...

Another month has passed since I wrote! Time flies when you're retired. :) I'm calling myself retired, because it sounds better than unemployed, which I am. But I chose this, so I feel a little bad about saying that. I've had several people give me that "oh you poor thing" look when I tell them I'm not working currently. Given the economy these days, its understandable. But the fact that I chose this makes me feel differently I guess. I don't want sympathy - I'm absolutely loving this time off!

So, since I last wrote, I have driving over 6,000 miles! I spent about a week in Northern CA -the Davis area mostly. Then I drove up to Seattle to meet my mom. We spent 2 days in Seattle where it rained basically the entire time! We had a great time wandering around anyway in the rain! I love Pike Place Market (as does mom), so we spent a fair bit of time wandering through there. Then we went to Moses Lake, WA to my cousin Elizabeth's family's place for her son Dash's first b-day. It was a great time! We spent the night there and then headed up to Chelan, WA. My mom, aunt Helen, and uncle Jim and I went to visit Holden Village in northern WA. The three of them worked there in the summer of 1968 and none of them had been back since 1969!

So, we took a boat 1.5 miles up Lake Chelan and then got off and onto an old school bus and made the 12-mile trip up to Holden Village (an old copper mine turned into a Lutheran retreat center). We spent two days wandering around the village listening to the three of them reminiscing about the old days and remember bits and pieces from their stay there over 40 years ago! It was a beautiful location and we all had a great time!

After 2 days, we went back down the scary switchbacks, this time in an old church van, and back down the lake. We drove to Spokane Valley, WA where my aunt and uncle live and spent several fabulous days there! We explored the local area, went for walks, saw a fun musical, and looked at lots of pictures!

Then mom and I drove down to Portland and stayed with friends we met when Heidi and her family lived there. It was fun to see them! Then mom and I began our trip down the Oregon coast. We headed first to Tillamook and then went south after stopping for some amazing cheese and ice cream. We took three days to go down the coast and absolutely loved all the views! We ended up in San Francsico for a couple days before mom flew out. What a fun trip!

Then after a couple more days in San Francisco with Cate and some friends (and a fabulous Halloween night in the city), I went back to Davis for a little bit. Highlights of this visit included dinner with Leah and Linus and high tea with Cate and Leah. Davis truly is a fun city!

Then it was back on the road for the trip east. I stopped in Salt Lake City one night and then on to Colorado Springs. Spent the weekend with great friends - Whitney and Seth - and got to see Wicked in Denver too! Then I was back up to Laramie for a week to visit all the great people there. It was a fun week!

I made the trek back to Iowa and got to spend about a day in Ames on the way, which is always fun. Now I'm back in the Quad Cities and I'm enjoying being settled, getting back into working out, and enjoying each day.

I'm working hard now to apply for jobs and there are lots of opportunities. I've had one phone interview with a follow-up interview in a few weeks for a job in China. I'm still researching and haven't decided what I want at this point. There are also some new opportunities in Ecuador, Chile, and France that I'm working on. Basically, I'm learning a lot about the process and feel like the ideal job will appear in time. In the meantime, I'm happy and enjoying this fun journey!