Our trip home for Thanksgiving has been a wonderful success. We not only reconnected with many friends and family, but also reconnected our taste buds and stomachs with many of our favorite foods. Too many! Our stomachs were about to burst by the time we finished the Thanksgiving meal! But, that’s the American tradition. Who can argue with turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and topped off with pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie? Of course, spending time with family was the best part of the holiday. And, that was a joy as always.
We also took care of business while here dealing with our tax accountant, checking on our property in the mountains, and checked on our storage of our belongings that have been awaiting our return now for over 5 years. Everything went smoothly with those things, with only a few follow-on actions required.
The biggest disappointment of the visit here was that one of our daughters has moved to California, and her work did not allow for her to fly over and meet with us. But, she will be coming to join us in January in South Africa – so we’ll get to re-connect properly then. We did do some delightful Skype video calls with her since we have excellent Internet here. And, we got to spend some quality time with the other daughter living close by which was also delightful.
Speaking of excellent Internet, I spent a lot of time working on backing up our photo and video archives to the cloud. And, I also bought new storage devices for our computer and picture backups so I could leave our previous set in the US as an “off site” backup. I also discovered someone finally created an adapter for the Thunderbolt port on my MacBook Pro to create a USB 3.0 port so I can now do much faster backups on my laptop. And, one of the drives works wirelessly so our devices can tap into our archives with minimal hassle. I also bought a USB 3.0 flashdrive (with 128 GB!) so file transfers are 3 to 10X faster!
The most common question we were asked on this trip was “What will you do when you get back next year?“. Our standard answer was still: “We don’t know yet.“. We do know that we will spend a few months re-connecting with our friends and families, and the country where we were born. We’ll probably get an apartment in North Carolina for convenience, and so we can start going through our belongings left in storage. Then we’ll have to decide whether we’re going to do more travel, continue sailing, or find a place to live and buy a house. We have no firm ideas about a location, including whether it will be in the US. We do know it will have to be a place with good Internet, and convenient access to travel so we can stay connected with our scattered friends and families. A bonus would be somewhere where we can keep Tahina.
We had a little scare on Thanksgiving morning when I got an E-mail from one of our boat neighbors who noticed our power cord had been unplugged. It turns out the plug was disconnected the day before when someone was doing work on the dock, and they forgot to replug. Our boat can easily managed 2-3 days wi.thout shore power (relying on batteries and solar), but our freezer/fridges will drain the batteries if it goes too long. This is why we had people checking the boat while we were gone. Special thanks to Chris of s/v Gryphon 2, and Whilly of s/v Freebird, and our neighbors s/v Gromit.
We are all packed and ready to leave today for the two day return trip to Tahina. Naturally, we are coming back with the maximum two checked bags each. We have stocked up on lots of stuff most easily bought while in the US. But, surprisingly, none of the bags are at the maximum load this time. So, maybe I won’t hurt my back while lugging the bags. The heaviest items this time are mostly foods, but we do have one boat part that weighed 8 lbs (a new 12V inverter).
Our big goal when we get back is to be ready to depart as soon as weather allows. We need to get Tahina to Cape Town quickly since we have a reservation for the 15th and our first daughter is arriving on the 20th of December.