High Tea at the Spa with my sister, and ten-pin bowling with a bro!
In the UK I spent time with my sister, two of my brothers, and my father, and there was plenty of laughter, and even a few chores I was able to help out with; being Christmas it seemed all the more important to relax and enjoy the company of all. It was great! I also got to spend time in Manchester and the surrounding countryside with my best friend Annie and family.
The cat didn't want Christmas to be Over, and a country walk along a somewhat narrower canal than the one we are to transit shortly.. (with the Marple aqueduct off to the right) amazing engineering of its age!
I returned to the USA and spent some time with Kyle's Mom, and with friends in Norfolk, and eventually meet back up with Kyle. There was days of snow, and days sat in a pool watching the stars, and there was plenty of catching up and laughing.
Fun with Mom, and hiking about in the local White Tank Mountains in Arizona
[Kyle]After leaving Panamá, I spent most of a month at my mother’s, bathed in her maternal affections. Since I wasn’t there for the long term, this involved lots of special, high calorie meals. All of my favorites were there, one after the other. We would then spend the evenings in long conversations while we split a bottle of wine. Mom really is the best.
While there, I also managed a long solo road trip to see my “little” brother Darren at his cabin in the California Redwoods. It’s been a very long time since Darren and I had any one-on-one time so it was nice to catch up on our long walks through the redwoods.
After a hike in the Colorado countryside, a nice bottle of wine reminded Kyle of an earlier time!
After that, I spent a weekend in Denver visiting my oldest friend, Geoffrey and his wife Sarah. Since high school, we have led widely divergent lives. Geoff and Sarah have both been so many different places and at almost each one of them, they stayed long enough to learn the language and the culture. Geoff seems to speak all languages fluently, although he modestly says it’s more like “only” six. He claims Spanish isn’t one of them, but he seems to know more than I do. He and Sarah spend most of their time in a purposely modest house within walking distance of one of the coolest neighborhoods I have seen. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with them. On my last night there, we were down in Geoff’s basement rooting through his wine cellar, trying to decide what to have with evening conversation. A beautiful bottle of red from Pauillac appeared. My face lit up as I remembered our first French landfall at this little town and the decision was made. A little research afterward revealed that it was one of his more valuable bottles. The wine was fantastic and it was an honor to be deemed worthy of such a grand treat.
We then spent another weekend in Norfolk, most of my allotment of which was with our friends Kate and Mark, the couple who joined us in Greece. Since it was fuh-reezing in the U.S., we had a mostly indoor weekend of movies, conversation and marvelous food. As always, I wanted to stay way more than the time available. They are so easy to get along with and we always have so much fun.
So then it was back to work again and then back to Panamá. While I did another stint at work, Maryanne dashed back to Phoenix to collect all of the extra boat stuff we had ordered by mail for our return. She then dashed back a couple of days later to meet me after work for the flight to Panamá City.