Medicals included our annual wellness exams, dental checkups, eye checkups, and since getting hearing aids, Tom’s audiologist. These appointments have to be made well in advance, especially when we have such a limited window of time. Yes, we could get many of the same services elsewhere while on the road. But why not keep going to professionals we know and trust?
Aside from our serious ‘business’ related dates, our fun social calendar seems to fill rapidly with visiting family, friends, former colleagues plus a seemingly endless string of events, planned or otherwise.
As we were going to be in the area longer than usual, we didn’t feel the same pressure we have usually felt trying to cram a lot into a compressed span of time. But for some reason, it didn’t translate into a slower paced visit like we thought it might!
|family, good food and an appreciation for nature|
Our modus operandi is to meet people for lunch or dinner at favorite locations: The Stone Cellar, SAP, Antojitos, Wally’s Still, Vinny’s, Applebees, Culvers, The Queen Bee, Pullman’s, El Azteca, Cozzy Corner, Taste of Tai, and the Bluespoon, just to name a few!
|the next Joseph Alessi?|
|good to see him outdoors!|
Mid June is the time for Lawrence University’s Commencement ceremony, and, for Tom to visit with former colleagues. It also meant that within two weeks, it would be the beginning of Appleton Farmer’s Market. With our extended stay, Carol would not only enjoy the fruits of early crops but be around long enough to enjoy fresh tomatoes, squash and canning opportunities. Most every Saturday after the market season began found us in Downtown Appleton (plus many breakfasts at the iconic Queen Bee).
Caitlin and Graham’s wedding took place in late June covered in an earlier post.
In early July we attended what used to be a weekly ritual: Monday night martinis. Started years ago, and usually hosted at Larry and Teddy Page’s house, it was a time when we got together after work to solve many mysteries of the universe and all the world's problems. Since our life on the road, the Monday night ritual remained, but for us so far away, only in spirit (or spirits). Sadly, Larry has passed away earlier in 2015. But Teddy, now living in Michigan, happened to be in town visiting family and was able to join the group. We hadn’t seen Teddy since Larry’s passing so this martini night was especially heartwarming.
|Kate and Dennis|
|Wickus side of the Idhe reunion|
|Melissa, Carol, Jerry, Chris|
|Paul and Nick|
|out with the old, in with the new|
A week later, after a painfully abbreviated ride for Carol on her woefully older Trek cross-bike (covered barely a mile) it was back to Wheel-and-Sprocket for a third time where Carol traded for new bike with a frame and seat specifically designed for women. First ride out? She went twelve miles!
|Birding by Beer at Debs and Stuart's|
|Betty, Scott, Carol, Tom on the Red River|
|Tom, Carol, Marti, John|
|Dale and Penny|
|Carol, Tom, Maryann, Janet|
|Steve the pizza guy|
The fun just kept coming. Dinner at Antojitos with Jess and Jim, more reunion committee meetings, meals out with the Ward’s and more happy hours at their place in the gazebo.
|Carol, Warren, Marge, Tom, Sharon|
|Phillipe Coquard (wine maker) and Carol|
|Mito, Rita, Carol, Tom|
|Tom, Betty, Dave at Leigh Yawkey|
|Jennie, Alrick, Graham, Caitlin|
|Carol, a reluctant Hamish, and Alvina|
In early October, as planned, we departed for South Africa. By the time we returned in late October, we had just enough time for lunch with Caitlin and Graham, pack up the RV and begin heading west to a new volunteer position. November 2 we were on the road to Arizona having spent the longest time in Wisconsin since we began full timer RVing. We managed to cram in a whole lot with almost every day as busy as the next. We needed a vacation from our retirement! However, that wasn't to be - stay tuned.