Return to the USA

American Flag, Google

We flew from Cusco, Peru to Guayaquil, Ecuador and spent the night with Tracey McGuiness, aunt to niece Bonnie Craemer’s step children. She had graciously had us spend a couple of days with her before we went to Peru and had offered to take us to the airport which is 10 minutes from her house for our very early morning flight out of Ecuador to Miami.

We arrived in Miami and then took a plane to Orlando where Pat Maloney, Dan’s sister, met us. It felt so good to be back on American soil where we could speak English to everyone and drink the water. (Fun fact, we didn’t see any water fountains in our Latin American travels because you don’t drink the tap water there!)

I flew back and forth to San Antonio to help with some things for my sister, Marsha, while Dan stayed with Pat and helped do some stuff on her house.

When we finally bid a sad farewell to her after over 2 weeks, we headed to Kennedy Space Center.

View of control room exhibit, Kennedy Space Center website

We only spent one day there and could have easily spent another day.  We went to the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center after visiting friends in Tallahassee.  This is a preserve that is has a 100-200 year plan to return the area to native plants and animals. We had a pleasant private tour and got to see an endangered Gopher Turtle.

We drove to Alabama and went to The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery. These facilities are very close to each other and they are informative, thought provoking, sobering and very intense to visit. Even writing about them several months later, I feel touched almost to tears. The museum is extremely well done and I encourage you to visit it if you get close to Montgomery.

Memorial compliments of
Mountain carving is huge! A person can stand inside the horse’s mouth.

From there we went to Georgia where we met up with our niece, Bonnie, and stayed there several days. We took Bonnie and the 3 kids to Stone Mountain. That’s an amusement park/historical civil war site. After having been to the museums in Montgomery, it was very poignant. Did you know that more people died from disease in the civil war than from battle wounds? We enjoyed several activities there, especially the dinosaur show.

Front row: Bonnie, Finn, Astrid, Dominic, Dan, Lindie
Finn, Astrid (facing away), and Dominic in front of animatronic dinosaur
Elvis Presley’s birthplace

After a couple of more stops along the way (including a very quick stop at Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, MS) and the restored ironclad USS Cairo ship in Vicksburg, MS, we finally made it to Austin. Can’t say how great it was to see Mitchell, Nicki, Bre, and Beth, not to mention a lot of friends. Beth rode back to Colorado with us stopping at the Abilene Zoo for a private tour with Krista Rader, Heritage Museum (cowboy museum) in Hobbs, NM, Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. She was with us for about 2 weeks, some of it in Denver at the Children’s Museum and Dinosaur Ridge and Red Rocks area.

Bre came for another two weeks, during which time we could finally move back into our home which had been rented out. We spent time in Creede seeing a number of plays/activities (9 to 5, Wizard of Oz, Barefoot in the Park; Ms Sherlock, a backstage tour, and an improv). Bre had a great time there.

Now we are settled in, happy to be back in Durango which had a major forest fire this summer about 10 miles from our house. Fortunately the fire fighters were able to handle it with no injuries, deaths, or loss of structures!

Now we stay busy with Lindie working out almost every day and Dan spending lots of time volunteering with the Solar Barnraising folks. And time with friends. Winter is here and hopefully we get a good snowpack this year. We’ve had a little snow so far and frost many days now.