Dear Friends & Family,
I'm writing this at the request of my good buddy, Chuck Weller, he evidently really read and enjoyed my silly recap of our trips or "adventures"! I stopped writing them for awhile. So for those of you who could "care less" go ahead and delete it, it won't hurt my feelings!
I have to make this full disclosure first................getting old sucks and the older I get the more difficult these "fun little road trips" are, not that I don't love them but it is physically hard and I feel like I'm such a burden to Jim, although I make him laugh at it all, as I do!!!!
The first leg of our trip was to Grants Pass Oregon to visit, for one night, John & Sandy Bettencourt. My gosh their home is a showcase and the grounds, 3 acres are like a beautiful estate bordered with majestic tall trees with rolling green grass, stunning flowers everywhere, and the cutest guest house you ever saw! It sits up on a slight hill with tall trees as a background, and grass & flowers surround the front porch. Naturally, I couldn't stay in the "darling guest house" because I couldn't do the stairs, no railing!!! We did stay in their Granddaughter Marin's room, absolutely darling, but a "cozy" double bed. I loved it, we could snuggle, Unfortunately in the morning the dog loved it too, and wouldn't let me back in at 5:30 AM. It was hilarious!! The night before they took us to a spectacular restaurant located on the Rogue River. We sat outside and the boys died in the sun but Sandy and I loved it!! (If the wife ain't happy nobody's happy) :-) What great folks they are!!! We had a ball with them and look forward to seeing them at our annual "Walker River Trip" in July!
Second stop was Eugene, Oregon to have iced tea with Scott & Paula Anderson & their son Bronson. We drove up and all I saw was a hilly neighborhood and a house with lots of stairs...........the bain of my existance!!! Anyway we had a short lovely visit, I missed the upper level tour of their home though!!! It was great to see these special friends that moved to Oregon a few years ago.
We arrived at our good friends Chuck & Janet Wellers home in Sherwood, Oregon, a suburb of Portland, later on Tuesday. They have a darling house with "lots of personality"............Janet's personality..........she decided to do a decorative wall and , for heaven sake, we all know we would paint it bright purple to match our hair!!! (Janet has a bright purple streak in her hair) :-) Well the last time we stayed with them, we had the downstairs bedroom, but NOW it has been turned into a "game room" for the grandchildren with huge machines so we had this magnificent guest suite..........yep, upstairs!! It had railings so I could "pull myself up" , another pitiful sight! :-) Worth it when I got to the top, Janet had thought of everything, including a coffee pot, snacks, bed tray, and on and on!! We had a ball with them, they treated us to a beautiful luncheon Cruise of Portland, and we just laughed, talked and had a lot of fun with them & their family. They should run a B&B, they waited on us "hand and foot"!!! On Friday, we headed over to the coast for our "Grand Adventure" in Florence, Oregon along the National Sand dunes Park!! This old 73 year old (74 next month), managed to crawl into a dune buggy, get thoroughly strapped in , along with my Jimmy and three other people AND we "flew over mountainous sand dunes" at, are you ready, 75 miles an hour!!!! WOW, WHAT A THRILL!!!! FOR AN HOUR YET!!!! We were given goggles but had sand EVERYWHERE ELSE, including, "where the sun don't shine"!!!!!!!!! :-)
The next day we drove to Eureka, Ca. on the Coast. We hit the jackpot with our room, it was huge,reasonably priced, glamorous, and had an elevator and room service from Marie Calendars! Yummy, turkey dinners and coconut cream pie that was to die for!!!!!!!!! From there on Sunday we drove the "Avenue of The Giants" stunning redwoods, As we drove these roads, the scent and quietness of the Redwoods, absolutely staggers the heart and brain, Along the drive we talked out the window to three cute young people actually bicycling from Oregon to San Francisco We then cut over from 101 to HWY 1, to Mendocino, one of our favorite places. As we approached Mendocino we stopped and toured, yes I said toured 47 acres of the Mendocino Botanical Gardens!!!! How did we do that .........they have handicap carts for "crippled Karen" & "Weak heart Jim" It is the most glorious place you have ever been through and at one point is the trail to the ocean, with a view that is absolutely breathtaking!!!! It is always a highlight of Mendocino for us. In Aug & Sept their Daliah and Begonia Gardens are in full bloom and it is the most beautiful place you can imagine!! We called our very favorite places to stay, the Agate Cove Lodge, a B&B on the ocean with little cottages with front porches with a view. We couldn't afford the bigger cottage but heck the small one would do. WRONG! It was adorable, but the bed was so high I couldn't get in or out. The linens were slippery so it honestly took several attempts. (I used to be 5'8" tall, I am now 5'5" short!!) I think they keep trimming my bones when they operate!) ;- " Old people" travel with lots of stuff, pills, computers, crutches, phones, tote bags, purses GPS units, wine, separate rolling bar. We had so much stuff in that little beautiful room, and it was darling, canopy bed, etc,, but there was no room for us!! :-) It did have a fabulous Jacuzzi tub.......but you're right, I couldn't get in or out of that either so it didn't get used, bummer! It was hilarious, The really sad thing is we were waiting for the beautiful sunset that was supposed to happen at 8:45 PM and we both "conked out" & missed the whole thing!! I have to "use the potty" several times a night, ( another "old person" thing) and I slipped off the bed, grabbed my crutch and "clunked" across the wooden floor to the bathroom. I felt like Captain Bligh!!! Getting back in was equally funny!!! I would grab Jim's arm & he would pull me "up and over"!!! The best part though was Monday morning, We had breakfast in their main house, seated in front of one of three picture windows overlooking the bright blue waves crashing on the rocks in the morning sun............it was stunning!! The breakfast was fabulous, homemade apple crisp, gingerbread pancakes,orange juice and delicious steaming hot coffee. Would I go back, sure, mabe just a little bigger place!!! The trip is worth it just to go to that Botanical Gardens! The scenery up and down the California and Oregon Coasts is breathtaking, oh and the air smells so crisp and fresh!! It was sunny and the temperature was around 70 degrees, perfect!!!
On a somber note, but not without humor, all along the was we found beautiful, private, spots along the ocean cliffs and in the Redwoods to spread the remainder of Dave's ashes. I had spread most of them in a ceremony in Hawaii, but saved the remainder for all of Dave's favorite places and his last request just before he died was the drive up the Ca & Oregon Coasts, which I did with the help of my Cousin Linda. Anyway, the humor was in some spots, Jim had to hang on to one of my arms so I wouldn't go over the cliff. We did it and I feel so wonderful about it & Dave would have loved the whole trip , all his favorite places.
Well, are some of you still reading??????????? Amazing!! I guess the bottom line is, I will continue to do the crazy, stuff I do and love it, with Jim's help, of course. He is my rock, he is my everything!! But, the reality is, it is a lot of work, and I am exhausted today as I prepare for a listing appointment tomorrow. I'll probably be selling houses till the day I die (If my brain holds out).................my body is already shot,
that's for sure!!! Oh well, "It is what it is", so we just go onward & forward!! Life is still really good!!
Maybe next year I will write from a nice verandah overlooking the ocean in Hawaii, that is what my poor body is calling for now !! (That is, after this years annual trip to the Walker River in July where we cook party & fish with wonderful friends that are more like family now.) On this annual trip our car and eventually our little room with the knotty pine walls & tiny kitchen will be equally crowded...........BUT we will be with some of the best folks in the world and we can't wait!!!
Love to you all,
Karen (Jim Too!) ( The Long & Little of it)