Thursday, January 15, 2009

Better late than never

Since Fall 2001, more specifically a few weeks after celebrating our own retirements from Ed Biz while simultaneously being enraged by the terrorist attacks of September 11, we've been traveling. By most folks' standards, we've traveled quite a lot.

United Airlines tells us we've each logged about 650,000 lifetime miles with them, and we've flown enough miles on other airlines to estimate conservatively that our backsides have been in airline seats for upwards of three quarters of a million miles over the past seven years. We've qualified as United 1K, passengers who fly 100,000 miles or more annually, for several consecutive years. This enables us to earn 100% bonus miles, upgrades that result, more often than not, in Domestic First and International Business seats, and being treated by the airline in the way that all passengers would be treated in an ideal world.

We've logged close to a hundred total cruise days on Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Cunard (Queen Mary II) and our current favorite, Oceania.

We've lived in an apartment for a month in Menton, France, and spent another month on a Turkish gulet cruising the Mediterranean and Aegean. We've walked to the top of the Great Wall at Badaling, driven out from Cairo to view the pyramids and the Sphinx (shades of Ozymandias), and attended the opera in Vienna, Singapore, Sydney, Prague, and Cincinnati. We've been privileged to attend the weddings of two former exchange students, Hannah's in Sweden and Lene's in Denmark.

We've spent the night in a Reef Sleep on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and snorkeled ourselves silly there on one of our three trips to Oz, along with visits to Melbourne, Sydney, Hamilton Island, Broome, the Outback, Tasmania, and even a Manly (The Manly Aquarium that is -heh) shark dive for Brian.

One of our very favorite adventures was a 16-day Ikapa Vistas of South Africa bus tour of South Africa in September 2008, in the great company of Kathy's brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Ellyn. We've also enjoyed a variety of cruises and other travels with Kathy's other brothers and sisters-in-law, Greg and June, Bentley and Brenda, with Brian's brother Dennis and sister-in-law Maureen, and with Brian's stepmother Louise.

We've gathered with our three children and their spouses, Karen and Chuck, David and Dana, Kim and John, and our grandchildren (now a total of six) on three separate occasions for reunions in Puerto Vallarta, and in 2008 alone visited Australia (twice), Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Swaziland on a 16-day bus tour, Kauai, Singapore, and Prague, while making our second transatlantic cruise ship crossing from Brazil to Barcelona.

Our favorite trips? Visiting our grandchildren in Chilliwack British Columbia, Issaquah Washington, and Birmingham Alabama. Other than those, our favorite trip is always "the next one." Needless to say, there were numerous trips in 2008 to visit Jake and Tegan in B.C., Avery, Lily, and Peyton in Washington State, and Riley in Alabama. Riley already maintains her own blog, the little rascal.

We're leaving early next week for our very first trip to Bangkok, followed almost immediately by a trip to Italy after flying into Munich - a brief tour of Sicily and the Amalfi Coast in the company of Greg and June.

Thanks for visiting and drop back if you're at all interested in our efforts to live up to our mission statement: seeing the world while we can, and to our motto: You're only young once, but you can always be immature.

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