It has been a year since I officially retired from the workforce. After 48 years it came as a welcome relief. Yet, there were several challenges ahead that included selling off furniture and appliances we did not need for our relocation to France, and prepping the house for sale. We had lived in St. John’s for 22 years in our lovingly renovated 1923 Craftsman Bungalow. Anyone who has gone through this transition can understand the emotional ups and downs associated with relinquishing the nostalgia of time spent in a place you have dedicated so much of your life to.
We then set out for what would be a 27,000 mile long journey through the US and Canada, all of which is chronicled on my blog.
I have compiled a slideshow highlighting our travels: We are often asked “what was your favorite place?” It’s not something that can be answered easily – the national parks, monuments and sites we visited were all incomparable; they are unique unto themselves and I urge everyone to travel to as much of North America as they can. You will realize the conundrum of that question when you see where we have been!
One of our more significant stays was on Oahu where I was able to trace my father’s WWII legacy from the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach to Pearl Harbor: I dedicated a special write up on my blog for those interested!
Part of the challenge also included selling our house – we managed to close while we were on the road in Canada, signing the final papers in Fairbanks, AK right before the market started to cool down; we counted our blessings on the timing!
At the end of September, after months of being on the road we were able to take a breather upon our return to Portland. We had a bit of a fretful wait while waiting for our French long-stay Visas. Fortunately, we had given ourselves enough time for the French to do their processing which allowed us enough elbow room to wind down our life in the U.S.; visiting friends, family and familiar haunts…and bidding our final farewells.
We landed in France mid-November and got ourselves settled in a gite, traversed the Dordogne until we landed on a lovely Colombage house in Lot et Garonne (about two hours from Bordeaux). We then set out to spend the holidays with family in the UK where we celebrated and English-style Christmas with family and spent time hiking through Malvern with its beautiful priory and countryside.
We also visited famous sites such as Stratford on Avon, the home of William Shakespeare and its amazing holiday lights.
Finally, on New Year’s Eve, we motored around the English countryside in Kathryn’s Mini. We ended 2022 with a traditional cream tea followed by fish and chips – wrapping up the year in an authentically British manner!
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and wonderful 2023!!