After a wonderful five day visit with the grandgirls, we made a slight detour on the way to the Philadelphia airport. It was just a two and a half hour drive from Quantico to Milford, Delaware, where our friends Bob and Rosemary have settled after their two year stay in Italy. You might remember Bob and Rosemary from their Italian blog LIVE CHEAP MAKE ART, and maybe you’ve continued to follow them now that they’re back in the states via their LIVE CHEAP MAKE ART USA blog. Between Rosemary’s beautiful watercolors, Bob’s amazing photographs and the attention to detail, both the blogs are practically travel guides.
After living for 20+ years in Arizona, then taking a two year break to explore Italy, Bob and Rosemary decided on Delaware based on two criteria: closeness to their granddaughter, and proximity to the ocean. They invited us to spend a day or two with them before we flew back to Italy, and we were happy to accept. Of course we wanted to catch up with them, to see their new home, and to see how they were adjusting to life back in the states, especially since we’ll be making that re-adjustment too once we sell our house.
On Saturday evening we spent a relaxing evening with Bob, Rosemary and several of their new neighbors. Many people in this area are transplants from other places, recent retirees who’re ready to enjoy their lives. This makes it much easier to make friends, because everyone’s in a similar situation. When we return to the states we plan to move back to Louisville, but even though we still have friends and family there we’ll have to reconnect, and to figure out what we’ll do with our time. It’s always helpful to know that others have successfully done this, because sometimes it seems a little frightening!
On Sunday Bob and Rosemary took us on a driving tour of the area. I guess they’re about 20+ minutes from the nearest beach, and we enjoyed the winter quiet and solitude of the cute little beach towns. During the summer these same towns and beaches are filled with tourists, families on vacation, kids hanging out, and when you live here full time I guess you tend to stay away during those times. We were able to walk the beaches and drive around looking at the wonderful neighborhoods with great houses, picking out our favorite ones. We stopped for lunch at a quaint little New England-style town, and just had a wonderfully relaxing day, talking and laughing all the way.
Monday we called the airlines (again) to check on the availability of standby seats, and although out chances seemed iffy, we decided to take a chance. Before we left Bob and Rosemary took us to Dover, Delaware’s capital. The state house has just recently been renovated, and we had a private tour with an interesting and entertaining employee.
The approximately two hour drive to the airport had only one minor glitch, when the map directions told us to ‘keep right’ on a six to eight lane highway. Unfortunately the directions were WRONGWRONGWRONG!, and we needed to keep LEFT, something we didn’t realize until it was too late to cut across multiple lanes of traffic. Luckily there was a nearby exit, and easy access back onto the expressway.
Even luckier, after much hemming and hawing, we decided to buy upgrades to first class, just in case, and we were rewarded for our efforts with two seats in first class for the flight home! Because my respiratory infection had flared up again that day and I was feeling like death warmed over, I was so grateful to have access to unlimited orange juice, hot tea anytime I wanted it, and a seat that would lay almost flat for some attempt at sleep. Although I didn’t feel great when we landed, I can only imagine how much worse I would have felt had I been sitting up all night in the economy section.
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