A visit to the States is always challenging as we try to squeeze in errands, chores, friends and family across 3 different states. But this visit is even more difficult as Matt is returning to the U.S. for the first time in 6 years!
Our priority items for this trip are:
- Trip to Ohio to clear out house
- Doctor visits and scans
- Renew Christine’s driver’s license
- Renew Matt’s driver’s license (brand new driver as license expired more than 2 years)
- Repair watermaker clark pump
- Resize wedding rings
- Pick up huge order of boat parts
We arrive in LA around 10:30am after traveling (20 hours). My dad picks us up and we head straight for San Diego to drop off our Spectra Clark pump (for the watermaker). The distributor is in San Diego and will be repairing it as it is only producing at 50%. We also pick up a new membrane and end caps for the watermaker. A pricey visit. We grab a quick bite to eat and head back to Hermosa Beach. Just a 8 hour diversion.
The next day we fly to Ohio where we meet Matt’s brother and his family. We spend the next 4 days cleaning their mom’s 5000′ house (plus the basement and attic). It was a tough job working 13-15 hours a day, but we were all super productive and got a lot of work done. The weather surprised us with a few days of snow! We were ill prepared for this part of our visit to the States!
Matt’s family: Mike, Kim, Preston, Clara, Will and Haddy and cousin Margaret.
I even get an opportunity to visit some of my family in Ohio. My uncle Mike had a stroke a few years ago and although he could not speak, he had a lovely smile during our entire visit. Thank you Kathy for making this happen. It was incredibly special to see you both.
My cousin Devin is pregnant with her first child and we got to meet her husband Skylar. Yep, I am wearing multiple borrowed sweaters.
Our primary focus in Texas is to renew driver licenses and see doctors. My license was easy as it does not expire until January 2023 (15 minute appointment). However, for Matt we had to jump through a lot of hoops as his license expired more than 2 years ago and he is considered a brand new driver. He had to take the written test, an online “Impact Driving Test” and the road test again! But he passed with flying colors. We celebrate at Hula Hut one of our favorite eateries.
Our friends the Nelson’s were visiting from the East coast so it was truly a grand reunion.
Jamie flew in from Oklahoma in a surprise visit for our big reunion at Heather and Michael’s house. I just love this girl!
We gathered a spectacular group of people. It has been many years since we have all been together. What a special treat to see everyone. The girls (top: Diana, Barbara, me, Lisa, Missy, Kim, Heather, Marcie, Amy, Jennifer, Heather, Stephanie, Traci, Tiffany) and the boys (Matt, Kevin, Daniel, Matt, John, Larry and Chris)
Love the new iPhone 13 Pro Max which takes amazing photos at night!
Heather and Michael created a Cinco de Mateo theme in honor of Matt’s 55th birthday. Everyone contributed food, beverages, coozies, and lots of good fun.
I had not seen Brian in well over a decade and I got to meet his new beautiful wife.
We got a little obsessive with the girl pics.
The Austin skyline has changed a lot – but what hasn’t changed in the states?
We spend a week in Los Angeles so I can see my family. My dad is still battling cancer, but he is strong and fighting every step of the way. We visit him and his side of the family (uncle Joe, me, dad, Kelly, Adrian, Day, Kimberly).
My dad is a fighter and I am so proud of him.
Somewhere between all the travels in 8 cities, in the snow and in the pollen infested city of Austin, I catch covid. Seriously! Somewhat of a mild case, only 2.5 days of real sickness, body aches, sore throat, coughing, stuffy/runny nose. But it prevented me from spending more time with family and seeing a lot of friends.
Matt sees our friends Yanell and Missy. They moved to El Segundo after they sold their beloved boat Hoodoo.
And Matt gets in several long bike rides (35 miles from Hermosa Beach to Santa Monica).
I’m Out of Isolation
Finally after I receive a negative test, I get out. We visit with our friends on Hoodoo (Yanell and Missy) and our friends on Sea Jay (Fred and Chris) who were all in California (we met in French Polynesia). What a small world!
Super tasty dinner at Palmilla on the Hermosa Beach pier.
Another celebration of Matt’s birthday….and it continues on and on…
We go for a small hike around Palos Verdes to see a beautiful light house and come across a lot of goats brought in to mow the grass.
So many baby goats!
Such a beautiful day!
Visiting the states is always hard for me as I want to see everyone and always end up spending a little time with many people vs quality time with a few people. But what can you do? It is nice to feel loved that is for sure.
Our good friend Deborah came to visit me. (We know her from Austin)
My aunt Donna drove up from San Diego and spent the day with us.
We both get to see Cameron (my youngest nephew and a senior in high school) in his volleyball playoffs. He is a rock star and just kills it!
Traveling Back to French Polynesia
When Matt left he carried back (2) 50lb bags and a 30lb back pack. When I left I had (2) 50lb bags, (1) 30lb bag and a 20lb backpack. Talk about a lot of “stuff”
A quick 9 hour flight from the States to Tahiti, a 3 hour layover and a 90-minute flight to Raiatea. During my layover, my good friend Eve brought me a beautiful floral crown.
Now back to the boat on the hard. Hope to splash soon.
Sugar Shack goes on the hard at Raiatea Carenage to get lots of work done. Events from this blog in early April, 2022. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.