The End of Our Year
One year ago today we boarded a Hawaiian Airlines flight (after being delayed for six hours by mechanical problems) and landed in Seattle where we battled colds and flu for the next month. Thanks to our dear friends Jim and Donna who let us stay in their gorgeous condo with views of Puget Sound, we were able to recuperate in style. That rough start was not an omen of things to come, though… the next 11 months were perfect in every way.
Over the last year, we
- traveled to 8 countries
- and 37 states
- slept in 62 different beds
- visited 157 old friends and family (or they visited us!)
- made 28 new friends
- drove 10,473 miles (our trusty Honda Element, above, has been great!)
- flew 16,532 miles
- and traveled on 18 European trains (so much more pleasant than flying!)
It’s Been A Magical Year…
We saw wonderful musical events, theaters, museums, art galleries, and more churches than we can count. We had fabulous dinner parties. Along the way we laughed, ate, walked, rode bikes, and learned a lot about the world and about ourselves. The best parts were the times we spent with people: family and old and new friends on two continents. Never in our dreams did we expect to have such extraordinary experiences each week, and it has been an honor and privilege for us to share them with each of you. The generosity extended to us throughout our year has been humbling.
This last week was a true highlight as we came full circle back to our former Northern California home, driving US 101 from LA to the Bay Area.
We visited Mike and Jeanne in Scotts Valley. We spent a few days in Sunnyvale with Fritz’s family and some of his best friends. We had a reunion with colleagues from our former companies and it was great to see everyone happy and doing so well.
Bill and Mary, who lived across from us when we lived in San Mateo, treated us to a special lunch at the Stanford Faculty Club; being back on campus reminded us of how impressive Stanford is and how fortunate Harrison was to attend business school there.
A visit to San Francisco to see Kate and Cathy is always on the agenda when visiting the Bay Area, and since Cathy lives in Sharene’s old apartment, it is a real homecoming! Harrison spent some time with Kevin at his Tiburon home that overlooks all three bridges in San Francisco Bay.
So many people to photograph in just our last week!
Since we don’t have a “real” home (yet), the perfect way for us to officially end our “year of being homeless” was to come to the closest “home” we have: Sharene’s sister and her husband’s beautiful place in Stockton. We haven’t seen them in 14 months so it was a wonderful homecoming last night.
This Is Our Last Weekly Update
So what happens now?
From Stockton, we’ll make our way back to Seattle for a couple of weeks. We have some organizing to do of stuff we stored there last April. Then on March 1 we fly to Honolulu for 10 days to check up on our rental condos there and take care of some other business.
After that we finally head back to the Big Island after what will be an absence of 13-1/2 months. We have rented a condo right on Hilo Bay where we will spend the next few months deciding how to transition to our next life adventure. For those of you who have been following our newsletters closely, it will come as NO surprise that our first choice for a place to spend most of our time is Amsterdam. We’re not 100% positive we can make that happen, but we’re sure going to try! And as soon as we figure it out, we’ll let you know.
So this is it! We’ve had a once-in-a-lifetime experience this past year, and the fact that we could share it each Sunday with people who mean so much to us has made it even more special. These updates started out going to a few friends, and by the end we had a couple hundred people reading them.
We have tried to thank everyone along the way who played a role in our extraordinary year. We do want to say a special mahalo to Jim and Karen in Hawaii, the Kimes in Washington, Sarah and her family in Switzerland, and Frank in Amsterdam. Without these very special people, our year would have been much harder; with their help and friendship, it was amazing.
Thanks for sharing this year with us, and from our heart to yours,
Aloha, mahalo, and a hui hou!!!
Sharene and Harrison