Summer, Beaches, and Babies

Author:  Pete
Location:  Michigan and Wisconsin

I’m trying hard to make sure errantries does not become solely a baby-picture dispersion platform.  That’s what Facebook is for, right?  That being said, the trip back to the Midwest for summer was all about showing off Leonora to family and friends.  Consequently, the aforementioned initiative has been voided for this post and its unabashed infant imagery.

Flying back to the Midwest went without a hitch.  Leonie slept almost the entire time as we trained to Zürich then flew to Chicago and Appleton.  We spent the next weeks seeing family and friends around Green Bay and dipping the baby in the lake at the Pashouwer’s cottage.











Leonora was sad to leave Wisconsin, but did really well on the six hour drive over the top of Lake Michigan.  She seemed to like her first trip over the Mighty Mac.  Back in Charlevoix we spent another couple of well-fed weeks making the rounds of our favorite beaches and spending time with our favorite people.










We made it down to Traverse City to see the McGurn clan, and spent a lot of time with Mikey and his son Hank when they weren’t busy at Stiggs Brewery in Boyne City.  Pretty amazing to me that we’ve been buddies since seventh grade and managed to have offspring within the same couple of months.  Good planning on our part!  In all the excitement Miranda and I even manage to weasel in a date night!  How amazing is that?










About the time we were to head back to Switzerland I found myself overlooking Lake Michigan as a squall rolled through.  Two things occurred to me:  The first of which is that I felt relieved to be ashore as the rain and wind washed by, to be able to enjoy the beauty of the commotion without concern over the safety of my vessel and crew.  The second was how distinct the lines were between the stormy and blue skies.  The duality reminded me of how variable our compartmentalized lives feel sometimes these days. Things switch so quickly from work to play, from home to abroad, and from squally cries to sunny smiles that it’s been hard to catch up with my own thoughts.  Maybe one day with a more focused mind I’ll be able to better articulate them.  Maybe.

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Knot Tying in Texas

Author:  Pete
Location:  Dallas, Texas


I was a little apprehensive about leaving my baby to fly all the way to Hal’s wedding in Dallas, but Miranda insisted that she’d take good care of the boat in my absence.  Long flights don’t get to me, but it’s tough seeing the thousands of hard won miles of open ocean sliding effortlessly by under the 737, deceptively benign and maybe a little smug. 




Hal picked me up at the airport and it was game-on despite the jet lag.  Pre-wedding frivolities ensued which I will leave without description in the interest of dignity preservation.  In accordance with Texas state legislature though, guns and whiskey were central fixtures of the wedding weekend.  For safety concerns, these civil liberties were not enjoyed at the same time.  Nothing pisses off a bride, even as chill as Taylor, like an unscheduled hospital run.




Hal and Taylor threw a couple incredible days of reveling.  The ceremony was held in the oldest post office in Dallas.  Sounds odd, but it was a fabulous venue.  The upstairs courthouse that held the reception had once presided over the trials of Bonnie and Clyde’s cohorts and Roe v. Wade.  Hal looked like a million bucks, with a smile as enormous as his personality beaming out from under that Grizzly Adams beard when Taylor came sparkling down the aisle in her dress.  The ceremony was lovely; I think some residual sea salt worked its way into my eye at some point.  Dinner, dancing, and debauchery followed in true Foster fashion, spiced up by some old Charlevoix amigos, Spencer and Brandon.  You’d need to work hard to not have fun with a crew like that.  I was, however, appropriately sad that Miranda wasn’t along to join in the merriment.  






Another perk of the trip was getting to spend some time with my buddy Mike.  We remedied the wedding hangover with a tour of the Dallas brew pub scene.  Mikey is a master beer craftsman and is opening his own brewery this year in Boyne City, Michigan.  We disguised our afternoon bar crawl under the official seal of Stiggs Brewing Company as “research and industrial espionage.”






Travel back to the other side of the world went as well as could be expected.  Sixteen hours to Sydney with a ten hour layover, four hours to Auckland, and a harrowing three hour car ride on the wrong side of the road back to Whangarei.  The total dissolution of December 14th completed my chronometric vertigo and rounded out the trifecta of days lost to the International Dateline.  I’ll take jet lag over seasickness any day though!