My husband, Grant, and I moved back to the Tri-Cities in 1994. Richland is where we met in 1964, had our first jobs, got married and had our first child and moved away. And then, 26 years later, after living in some great places, we found that we would probably retire in the Tri-Cities. Yes, growing up in the town of Richland was “unique” and actually I did not realize it until later in life. But to move back? Hmmmm.. ..So once back, we attended a financial seminar – how to handle retirement – what to do – what can we afford? Thank goodness, Grant and I got the same message: be active, travel, enjoy yourselves – later, may be too late.
We had both worked a lot, I volunteered in many avenues of society and would continue to do so, but traveling, yes, we got the bug. Here are a few highlights of our travels and what made them special.
2004 – In a 100’ reconstructed WWII mine sweeper turned tourist ship, we toured Glacier Bay, AK and into the beautiful glaciers and back, kayaking along the way. Son John was our guide and among the four couples were Glenda (Ervin) and husband.
2005 – A month of touring Australia & New Zealand included Melbourne, Adelaide, train trip East to Perth, back to Ayres Rock, Sydney and the south island of NZ. Highlight was visiting Bill & Judy Eaton at their beautiful home in Queenstown, NZ.
2007 – April – Peru/Ecuador/the Galapagos. We took our son John for his 40th birthday. Machu Pichu is unbelievable and amazing countryside. It was fun being on the equator.
2007 – September – Italy. Toured Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Venice – so many tourists, so many cathedrals, so much art, so much tourist food. But we found a fabulous authentic restaurant in Florence called La Pentola dell’Oro.
2008 – May – Russia. We went down the Volga River from St. Petersburg to Moscow in a small ship. The scenery was beautiful and this trip was a big eye opener for us – how progressive that country has become. Grant thought the “Russian dolls were lovely!!” And he wasn’t talking about the wooden ones; he meant Oksana, Olga, Anna and Irina!!
2008 – September – Croatia/Slovenia. With friends, this is one of the highlights of our travels. Croatia is very open to tourists with interesting sights and history, great food and relaxed, safe surroundings. One highlight of this tour was a trip to Mostar, Bosnia with the best guide, Petar – Meritum – Dubrovnik [firstname.lastname@example.org]. In Slovenia, we were able to see my Grandparents homeland and that was quite special.
2009 – April – Turkey/Greek Islands. This was the tour our daughter Angela picked for her 40th birthday trip. Who would ever believe that Istanbul with so many millions of people could be so enchanting? Cappadocia, with hundreds of huge tufas was like a man-made landscape – who could live there? Ephesus was the largest area of ruins we have seen with so many being so well preserved – amazing. The Greek Islands we stopped at were all so different, educational and interesting.
2011 – January/February – India/Bhutan. This was the latest trip that we just got home from. India and Bhutan were Charles’ choice for his 40th. We toured Northern India, flew to Bhutan, back to Kolkata, Goa and flew home out of Mumbai. There are not enough words to express how much we learned touring all those places. There are so many people, it consumes you. The poor that we saw live shabbily, but many appear to be happy people on the streets, cooking, eating, and conversing. The sights of the architecture of the palaces, temples, forts and some turned into monasteries, the paintings, and textiles were all incredible. Every sight was different than the last – so much to see. The sacred town, Varanasi and its river, the Ganges was dramatic and very colorful. Bhutan was quite peaceful and the mantra of the country of 800,000 is happiness.
And now, back in the Tri-Cities, is there any other place in the world I’d rather be – well, no. Being here enables us get out and explore the world. Life here is pretty happy too.
And when it comes down to it, one of my most favorite places to be is………..well…………in my own back yard…..Mt. Rainier