Sunday Morning 1/6/2019 On the Road Again

The suitcases look stuffed, but still weigh less than 44 pounds! No discount flights for a while though so we’re in good shape.

Our suitcases are packed, the house is clean, and in a very short while WenYu, YaYu, Brett and I will be heading out the door of our Portland Airbnb. Meiling returned to Eugene yesterday afternoon, but this morning we’ll take YaYu over to her friend’s house, and then the remaining three of us will head to the airport to drop off the rental car and check in for our flights. WenYu departs about 45 minutes ahead of us, on a non-stop back to Boston. We’re both flying the same airline though, so we’ll be able to hang out with WenYu until she boards.

We have had a wonderful month in Portland even though we arrived with bad colds and dental issues, almost everyone picked up a stomach bug for a while, and the weather was hard to take at times. We enjoyed extended quality time with the girls, had a marvelous Christmas, ate lots of tasty food, and reconnected with friends. Brett and I are already looking forward to being back here during the summer. We’re not sure if anyone will be joining us although WenYu said she will come to Portland if she can’t find work in Boston. YaYu is talking about spending the summer back on Kaua’i as she can make so much more money there. She would stay with a friend, and have to find a job there, so we’ll see if she can get it all worked out.

As always before any travel day, I have butterflies in my stomach from both anticipation and nerves. I’m so excited about visiting India, a long-time dream for me, but also worried again about the very long flight over, jet lag, and all the luggage wrangling (or our luggage getting lost). And, I dread saying goodbye to the YaYu and WenYu.

I wrote some of this yesterday, but this morning I am:

  • Reading: I finished Ian Rankin’s House of Lies on Friday and I’ve picked up Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered again. I started it when we were in Florence, but set it aside when I couldn’t concentrate.
  • Listening to: Everyone is sort of moving around quietly this morning, eating breakfast or tucking last-minute items into their suitcases. There were some very strong winds (sounded like a freight train roaring past at times) and heavy rain last night but it’s very quiet outside this morning (although still gloomy).
  • Watching: I watched several episodes of “Weeds” with YaYu this past week, and also watched most of the episodes from the new Marie Kondo show on Netflix about tidying. Other than being a bit younger than I thought, she is just how I imagined she would be – delightful! I especially love it when she hugs Americans because hugging is definitely something not done in Japan! She throws herself into it though.
  • Cooking/baking: I baked up the last of some frozen almond and chocolate croissants we bought at Trader Joe’s for our breakfast this morning, but obviously no other cooking or baking will be happening today. It will be two weeks before I step into a kitchen again.

    Gifts for our Airbnb hosts – everything is lightweight and easy to pack
  • Happy I accomplished this past week: Brett and I went to Made in Oregon at the mall and bought small gifts for our upcoming Airbnb hosts: each will receive a Portland tea towel, small jar of Oregon-made jam, and a small package of roasted hazelnuts. The store also sold small reusable tote bags for less than any paper gift bag we could have found (49¢ each) so that’s what the gifts will go into. Getting packed again was a big accomplishment after a month of pretty much not looking at or thinking about our suitcases. Both Brett and I took some things out of them this past month, but we each got a new piece of clothing for Christmas and I also bought three new (lightweight but warm) tops the other day at J. Jill so had to make room for those. We still have a lot of cold/cool weather still to come in India and when we get to Japan.
  • Looking forward to next week: Being in India! By this time next week, if all goes well, we will have toured Delhi, seen the Taj Mahal at both sunset and sunrise, and will be in Jaipur. I am also very much looking forward to eating Indian food. I am not looking forward to the long flight over to India – we’ll be spending nearly 20 hours in the air (two flights), the longest stretch of flying in the entire adventure.
  • Thinking of good things that happened: We had a great birthday celebration with the girls on Friday evening. We went out for pizza then came back to the house for cake and presents – we gave each of the girls some more cash (their favorite present these days). I also had wonderful reunions and catch-ups with three long-time friends this past week – I’m was so happy we were able to get together.

    There is nothing better than getting together with old friends to catch-up! Joan (upper photo) and I have known each other for 25 years; Elaine (lower left) for 14 years: and Sylvia for 16. Sylvia will arrive in Hong Kong the day after we do, and we’ve already planned a meet-up there! I also got together for coffee with friends Judy (16 years) and Pat (18 years) earlier in our stay, but forgot to take photos!
  • Thinking of frugal things we did: We sent lots of leftover food back to Eugene with Meiling and ate the rest so nothing was thrown away. There was nothing left to eat this morning except for the croissants. I got everyone else’s miles transferred over to my Hawaiian miles account, and now have enough to at least get YaYu over to Kaua’i if she decides that’s what she wants to do this summer. I shopped the sale rack at J. Jill and received an additional 40% off the marked down sale prices on the tops I bought. The price for all three ended up being just slightly over the starting price for one of them (my motto with J. Jill is never, ever pay full price for anything – everything eventually goes on sale).
  • Grateful for: I am so thankful for the time we have had with our daughters this past month. I’ve loved cooking, eating, shopping, and playing games with them, and also seeing them reconnect with their Portland friends. Best of all has been hearing them interact with each other every day – it’s been like listening in on a super fun slumber party. Brett and I have also appreciated their thoughts and input about what and where we should settle after we’ve finished traveling later this year.

    Black cards are fill-in-the-blank, and white cards are answers submitted by players in Cards Against Humanity. The goal is either to either have the sentence make sense or make it as silly as possible. This pair is actually quite tame compared to some of the options!
  • Bonus question: Do you like to play board games? The girls love them but I don’t care for games all that much. Other than Scrabble, Yahtzee, and a couple of others I’m not much of a game player because I can get too competitive. However, Meiling brought her set of Cards Against Humanity (“a party game for horrible people”) from Eugene this past week and we all played on New Year’s Eve. Oh. My. Goodness. It is a very risqué and un-PC game, and nothing I ever thought we could do with our daughters, but we all had so much fun and practically laughed our heads off the entire time (we tended to go with silly answers). In fact, we were having such a good time that we didn’t even notice when midnight rolled around and the new year started! Brett and I plan to buy our own set of cards when we get back to Portland next summer and then figure out who won’t be offended when we ask them to play (which would be pretty much all of our friends).

I hope everyone had a very good start to the new year, and had a good week. I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to write again – we are arriving in Delhi a day ahead of our tour in hopes of getting a head start on combatting jet lag, and the tour will be keeping us busy every day after that. We are ready though!

24 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 1/6/2019 On the Road Again

  1. Funny. I brought those tea towels and jams last trip to D.C. and Virginia. It was great seeing the girls and you and Brett. I am sorry it seemed I didn’t remember WenYu but it has probably been 20 years since I saw her last:) The young women you raised are all lovely and smart and doing so well. When you return to Portland, I will play that game with you, for sure:). Looking forward to more photos and trip news.

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    1. Our gifts had to fit three criteria: size, weight and cost, and the three things we found did the trick. Love the little MIO bags too – better and more affordable than paper gift bags.

      We loved getting together with you – I’m glad we could make it happen after our earlier troubles. We’re looking forward to being back in Portland for the summer. And yes, we will play Cards Against Humanity – that game is a riot! Your boys and spouses/girlfriend would love it too – family gatherings will never be the same.

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    1. Hi Joe! We are having a grand time. All our best wishes to you on the changes you have put into place (but there will never be anything quite as good as one of your banana frosties).

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    1. I loved that just when you think you couldn’t laugh any harder, the next round of answers would make you do just that. I did pretty well – Meiling and I tied for the top spot.

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  2. I have been reading your blog for a long time — at least a couple of years before Brett retired and you moved from Portland to Kauai, so feel like I “know” all of you. It has been fun reading about your time back in Portland (my home) and I look forward to traveling along with you on your new adventures! I am learning a lot from you as I am 3 or so years out from retirement myself and LOVE to travel so am learning so much! Good luck on your looooong travel day to India, also a place a really want to visit. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! I’m thrilled to learn that you’ve been reading as long as you have been.

      The trip over here to Delhi was VERY long (I’m crashing as soon as I finish answering comments) but we are here and ready to begin our tour.

      Do you follow The Senior Nomads? Their retirement travel is what inspired us. I don’t know if we would have had the courage to do our traveling if not for their example.

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    1. Thanks! We had a very long, but very good trip over to India. Both of us are looking forward to getting started on the tour day after tomorrow (we arrived a day early to rest and hopefully not suffer too much from jet lag).

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  3. I didn’t know Marie Kondo had a show on Netflix…I can’t wait to watch it! And I just got Unsheltered from the library, so I am going to read it this week.

    Sounds like you had a great time in Portland and it was just the break you needed. I’ve heard of Cards Against Humanity, but never played it. I’m curious now!

    Safe and happy travels! I can’t wait to read about India.

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    1. Marie Kondo is a pure delight – I’m thrilled she got a show and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Each of the families is so different but she is very motivating.

      We were sad to leave Portland, especially having say good-bye to all the girls. It was so wonderful being together with all of them. That card game was the most fun I have had in a long time – really laugh-out-loud fun. If you get it or play, prepare to be shocked (but in a very funny way).

      We arrived safely – flights were long but no problems and we got through customs easily and to our hotel. We are ready to see India – I am thrilled to be here!

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  4. I bought the entire set of Cards Against Humanity because I have a horrible family lol. Even my aunt and uncle in their 70’s love to play. We do have a rule that if you get a card that is just too horrible, you can trade it in! Safe travels to India!

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    1. We are getting a set as soon as we get back to Portland in the summer. We also did a trade about halfway through the game – you could swap out at least three horrible cards for three new ones. One of my new cards was just as horrible, but the other two I got were winners!

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  5. My kids brought “the Cards” to a family gathering about five years ago. WE laughed until we cried. We, also, have a trade in place. 🙂
    I am excited to hear how the flight goes and India!!! Woo Hoo! Even if you cannot post a full blog—pictures on Instagram?

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    1. That game is the best! At first I wasn’t sure how it would go with the girls but they were wicked players – so funny!

      I have already decided that the first thing anyone who wants to come to India needs to know is that it takes a long, long time to get here. Be prepared! (We were and did OK, but it with the layovers added in the trip was much longer than expected).

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    1. Well, here we go! I hope to get a post up tomorrow evening about our journey over here – it was an experience, that’s for sure (not a bad one, just long).

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  6. I started out the year the same way you ended yours last year. Broken tooth! Dentist said he had never seen anyone break a tooth (in front of course) the way I did. I have surgery on 1/21 and the costs will run into the thousands as he has to remove the tooth and give me a dental implant.. He says it will be months before I can eat normally again. At least my emergency fund will cover the expense.
    Never heard of Cards against humanity until your blog. I used to love playing Scrabble when my aunt was alive because she was so good at it. Haven’t played in a while. I do like word games on the computer.

    I hope your 20 hour plane ride goes smoothly. Am looking forward to your comments on India as I have heard so many good and bad things about the country. Like Janette says –lots of pictures please.
    Safe journey!

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    1. I’m so sorry about your tooth breaking. Brett broke a tooth in front the year before we moved to Hawaii and ended up having to get an implant. I was very lucky this time that the dentist was able to attach the (currently temporary) crown to the remaining part otherwise I would be looking at an implant as well.

      I like word games on the computer as well as sukoku. I play every day (at the expert level now, but I like a challenge).

      There will be pictures – stay tuned!

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  7. I absolutely ADORE games! My family is not as fond, so every year for my birthday everyone plays board games with me as part of my present. A few years ago, I decided it would be fun to pick up a new game while the husband and I were at Target. Completely oblivious, I picked up Cards Against Humanity, not knowing what it was about, just that it was popular that year. Husband knew what the game was but decided to NOT say anything to me. I popped the game into the cart and went upon my merry way.

    Fast forward to my birthday brunch, with two grandmothers, a grandfather, aunt, mother, and father around the table. I had not opened the game, nor even done as much as looked at the back of the box. I proceeded to dole out the cards according to the instructions and we began.

    Well! Most of my family is not… how shall we say? Comfortable with R-rated jokes, ribaldry, etc. They are fairly straight-laced – well, at least with other family members! I heard my grandmother say things that day that I will *never* be able to wipe from my mind! But we all soldiered on and did have some good laughs! I don’t bring that game to family events anymore though – back to Scattergories for us! 🙂

    Also, I don’t comment often on your blog (in fact, I think this might be the second time), but I wanted to say that I truly enjoy it. We have family in Kauai, so while you were there it felt like a little bit of a glimpse of their life, and I am now greatly enjoying your travel exploits. I also appreciate how well-written your blog is.

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    1. Thanks, Rachel!

      I was laughing so hard the entire time I was reading your story because I could picture what the looks on my own mother’s, grandmother’s, aunts’ and uncles’ face would have been if they played CAH. Like yours, they would have gone through with it but I imagine I would have paid for that mistake in some way later. At least you had the excuse of not knowing what the game entailed before you brought it out.

      I miss Kaua’i more each day we’re away, even though we’re having a grand time on our adventure. I don’t think we’ll move back though, not will all our children staying on the mainland, but it’s nice to dream about it once in a while.

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