Old Friends and Family

It was quite a heave to leave our house and hand over the keys to the tenants, but we did it. The last few days were a whirlwind of mad packing, moving boxes to the garage, and decision making. I don’t make very good decisions late at night, but sometimes you have to suck it up and work with what you have. Our tenants are nice people, so our house is in good hands. At least we have that going for us, and that’s a lot!

Our farewell party with friends was terrific. We enjoyed seeing all “the usual suspects” from our gang and had a wonderful summer evening in our friends’ garden. Here I am with the hostess, my dear friend Machelle. You can also get a glimpse of some goofiness with my husband, Michael! A good time was had by all. Thank you Machelle for such a lovely send-off!


The first leg of our trip started with a drive to Denver from Durango. This is a drive both of us have done many times, but it’s been a while since we went over that road. The views did not disappoint however, and we even saw a fresh dusting of snow on the very tops of some of the highest peaks. We arrived at another good friend’s house in time to enjoy some cocktails on the porch and breathe a sigh of relief. The decompression had begun! This process was helped along by some mighty fine Painkillers – a concoction of rum, pineapple and orange juice, with coconut milk and a dusting of fresh nutmeg. Delicious! And a reminder of other great times shared at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, whence the drink cometh. Many thanks to our friend Art for hosting our first night!

The next day we had a full day in Denver to relax as we didn’t fly out until the following day. It was strange to shift gears so abruptly from having so much to do in a short time, to having no agenda! We spent some time at the REI flagship store where I used to work, and I really enjoyed seeing so many old friends and former colleagues. It was a blast to catch up  after so many years. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 7 years since I left Denver and moved to Durango!

Late in the afternoon we made our way to yet another great friend’s house to spend the night. We were treated to a fabulous meal and a happy reunion. How lucky we are to have so many wonderful friends and what a great way to start this journey!

In the morning we flew from Denver, Colorado to Boston, Massachusetts on an uneventful flight and arrived to lovely weather. We spent the night at my brother’s house and enjoyed a leisurely evening catching up with my sister-in-law on their back deck. The next day we picked up a rental car and drove down to our family summer house on Buzzards Bay to join my mother, brother, niece and nephew. This is a house I spent many summers in growing up, but now that I live in Colorado, I haven’t been back very often. It is a lovely place in which to relax and unwind completely. There are beaches to walk on, swimming to enjoy, views to admire and all manner of relaxed or energetic pursuits to suit your pleasure.

We have spent this week basking in the fine weather and, as my husband would say, getting our slack on. Some highlights have included evening walks to the beach to enjoy the beautiful late light, watching the Wednesday evening sailboat races from afar, sailing my brother’s small sailboat off the beach, and a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum for a special event, which included a tour of the museum and wine and cheese on the deck with a magnificent view of the harbor. Here are a few photos that I hope capture the beauty of this place.

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The South Beach

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View of the marsh from our bedroom window through the screen


New Bedford Harbor

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The fishing fleet at the docks in New Bedford – so many boats it’s hard to tell one from another!




Jockeying at the start

Here is Mom wearing her Cat Diesel Power hat, which she found on the beach long ago.


Flowers down the beach road

And last, but not least, our house. It was built in 1885 by my great grandfather.

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Today we are off to Cambridge for the weekend to visit another part of the family.

See you down the road!


Gearing Up!

Hello faithful readers and newcomers! Thank you for tuning in. I know it has been a while since I’ve posted on TravelMyBliss, but that trend should be changing in the coming months.

Preparations are under way! Michael and I are getting organized to leave on a long awaited sabbatical. Our plan is to be gone for over 9 months, returning to our home in Durango, CO next June. We are off on a big adventure, a trip we have talked about doing for many years. But for us, this is more than just a chance to travel. It is a chance to hit the reset button, recharge, explore our lives and the world, and discover anew what it is we want and how we wish to live our lives. It is exciting and daunting at the same time!

We have been preparing for months now, chipping away at a long list of tasks. It’s not easy to leave one’s job, one’s home, and all the routines and mechanisms in place that make one’s life run smoothly! Add to that the possibilities, research, and decisions involved in planning an extended trip overseas and you can begin to see why we have been quite busy!

We have each left our jobs in order to pursue this dream. It is both liberating and anxiety provoking to be free of that commitment! We are trying to focus on the freedom. When we return, we will need to find employment again, but that is a good ways in the future. We are extremely fortunate and filled with gratitude that both our employers have suggested that we might return to them. Michael had been with his company for over 12 years and was gratified and pleased to receive a nice sendoff from his coworkers.

Here is Michael setting off for his last day of work. As you will notice, he has a big grin on his face!



Another aspect of leaving home for this length of time is deciding what to do with our house. We knew we wanted to rent it out, but two things made our rental a little unusual. We wanted to rent our house furnished and we were renting for less than a year. Since we wanted to rent it furnished, we had to be very picky about to whom we rented. Finding a suitable tenant was an arduous process, but I am happy to report that we succeeded in finding a terrific young family. We are thrilled that our home will be well cared for and that we can rest easy about that aspect of our trip. It is always gratifying to find a solution to a problem that satisfies the needs of both sides – a win-win!

So now we are in the throes of packing up belongings to store or to take along, getting those small chores done around the house that have been nagging at us for months, and giving everything a good cleaning. The garage is starting to fill up!


Next week we set off on the first leg of our journey. We’ll be driving the 6 hours to Denver, visiting friends, and then flying to Boston to visit family for a few weeks.

After flying back to Denver, we will drive to California via Durango and some prime camping spots along the way. We’ll spend roughly 6 weeks in California with a quick trip to Chicago at the end of October for a wedding. Then, in early November, we leave the country. Our destinations include the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia. I will go into more detail about our overseas plans later on. For now, I must continue the marathon of packing and tidying, soon to be interrupted by the welcome distraction of a bon voyage party with our friends!

P.S. I plan to do some upgrading of this blog site over the next few weeks, so please bear with me if things look a little different when you next visit. If you find something is not working correctly, please let me know so that I may make adjustments. Thank you!