We left off in Maui, February of this year. It was six weeks of chill. Two weeks in Maui and a month in Oahu. It was just what the doctor ordered. It had been 11 years since we had been there and it will probably be that long before we go back. From the time we arrived to the time we left tourists were coming out of the woodwork. Occupancy had gone from 70% to 98%.
It felt good to see people trying to resume some sense of normal. We were so emboldened by this that we became outright anarchists (well, the kind that doesn’t burn things down and loot) and disobeyed the elevator placards that said only one person (family) can ride at a time. We let strangers in the elevator! Let freedom ring.
It’s been a Zigzagging year so far: Charleston to Northern Nevada (January) to Hawaii (February) back to Nevada (March) and then back to Charleston (April). Return to Nevada (May) back to Charleston (June) and soon return to Nevada (July). Phew! We have one more back to Charleston (August) and then we keep going to Nairobi.
YES, Nairobi. Can’t wait. Total time stranded in this country – 21 months. A record for us.
Bill has been feverishly scanning the globe and asking me where else should we go. My reply “Wherever I can’t get Covid”. He stopped asking!
The only part that I know for sure is that after a couple days in Nairobi we’ll be 50 miles from nowhere and walking…. for miles and miles…. with men carrying big guns – for 11 days with no electricity, a shared toilet and hopefully our own set of sheets each night. Yeah, yeah I’m super thankful that there will be dudes with guns but I’m really worried that each night when our camp is broken down, moved and re-setup we won’t get the same sheets that we slept in. Welcome to my world!
Our time is spent visiting family/friends, babysitting granddaughters, walking, getting our yoga on and snapping photos. We even celebrated Bill’s 75th birthday.
Grateful and blessed are two words that describe our state of existence.
I know some of our friends have adventures on the books. What do you have planned?
I looked back to see when we last blogged. It was November 2019!
Holy $h!+ Batman has a lot changed since then.
Bill and I had just returned from South America – altitude sickness, messed up travel plans because of Yellow Fever and being caught up in the riotous ousting of the Bolivian president for election fraud made up for a conundrum of a trip. (Click on photos to enlarge).
No sooner did we return to our little slice of heaven in Charleston and our twin granddaughters were born. They were a month early – their mother extremely grateful for that. Talk about living tiny – they were busting at the seams!
Bill and I in a moment of joyous bliss (when we heard the impending news) lost our minds and committed to babysitting 3 days a week for a year while the girls’ parents figured out balancing life, work and two babies.
Ponder our situation. Staying put was going to be our challenge – not watching babies!
Two months into our routine Covid happened. Kids kept their jobs and so did we.
Routines didn’t change except for the added use of Lysol wipes, hand sanitizer and wearing face masks.
At first we relished in the eery quietness of our daily strolls around downtown Charleston. The community came together – storefronts signs and chalked sidewalks were messaged with words of unity. As time passed and the chalk marks faded, for lease signs flourished as Charleston shuttered business after business.
In September our home in Indian Wells, California sold. We masked up and headed West to empty the house and sell the treasure we had collected over the years.
My heart was heavy as each person carried away a momento from our moving sale. We passed on stories that perhaps they too could pass on.
Tiny living in Nevada and South Carolina meant there was no room to keep things.
By about the fourth day of dealing with the massive lockdowns in California vs having come from a state that had opened most things up we were suddenly over our sadness of selling. We shortened our trip and got the hell out of Dodge.
We feel for you California. ❤️
It was bittersweet. The end of one chapter and the beginning of another…
We drove a few personal items back to Nevada (enough to necessitate renting a Store-all). Visited with family and friends and headed back to job numero uno.
Babies cooed, rolled over, crawled and walked. Before we knew it our time was up. What a difference a year makes.
Bill wanted to leave the country and old scaredy-pants here asked for a compromise. So we flew to Nevada to shoot ducks and geese and to catch up with family and friends.
After a month we have flown to Hawaii.
Feels like a different country but there’s American healthcare.
First stop – Maui to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary where we said “I will”.
(Prepping for our marriage vows Bill asked me to ask him specific questions where he could answer “I do”.
The hippy who married us apparently didn’t get the memo and asked us questions where the only appropriate response was “I will”!)
I will laugh at your jokes. I will let you do the dishes. I will love you for a life time and I will travel the world with you!
We pray that all is well in your life. PLEASE tell us about you in the remarks!
The beginning of October found us driving across the USA from “Mona” (tiny house number one) in Northern Nevada house to our “Fort” (formally a tiny house until we bought the unit next door this summer – still a tiny one bedroom but a mansion to us) in Charleston, SC.The drive was uneventful and flat and luckily there were only a few minutes of rain.Our building in Charleston is a construction zone. Down with the old balconies and up with the new. The stucco is being fixed as well. To say the least it’s noisy and a great time to bail…So I write this from the Charleston airport. Late this evening we’ll rest our heads in Quitó, Ecuador. The second highest capital in the world standing at 9,350′ above sea level.
It was questionable if we were going to make it there. Sunday saw the end of 12 days of civil unrest. The indigenous Ecuadorians traveled from the Andes and the Amazon to Quito to protest rising fuel prices – 30% on petrol and 50% in diesel, 20% decrease in wages, reduced vacation time by 50% and more.
* This blog and future ones from South America will be published from a cell phone app which is why they won’t look polished. All photos will be taken from my iPhone. I have my good camera but decided to leave my laptop home so that Idon’t spend hours editing photos while we’re traveling. My husband is happy about that!!!
The first three months of 2019 found us in Indian Wells, California. It was an attempt to follow the sun only to have record breaking amounts of rain and flooding. It was all good – we gladly sacrificed the sun to save California from a drought. It was ultimately rewarding because when the sun finally came out so did the super bloom.
We managed to find a yoga studio 2.5 miles away so we walked to yoga and back, got in some golf, hiked and visited with numerous family members and friends. Rinse and repeat…
A quick stop in Nevada to add a bit of fabric softener then off to our home in Charleston, South Carolina for the spin cycle. And boy what a spin…
As Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, was quoted “change is the only constant in life.”
He got that one right!
Preston and Chloe announced they are having twins. Say what??? Twins! Double the pleasure, double the fun. We’re super excited. So excited that we momentarily lost our minds and committed to babysitting three days a week for a year.
Bill and I have really settled into life in Charleston and managed to keep ourselves quite busy.
No wonder Travel and Leisure magazine lists Charleston as the number one destination in America. It’s rich with history. There’s architecture dating back to 1694, lavish gardens, daily events to choose from and tasty restaurants. Being fortunate enough to live in the walkable historic district allows us the freedom to slowly soak in this city. A feast for the soul.
Looking to take advantage of the culture, art, reading, music and parties – we joined the Charleston Library Society (the second oldest lending library in the country) and the Gibbes Museum.
Before the Gibbes Street party
The juxtaposition is our membership to the Middleton Place Plantation. A car ride away and home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America. There are 110 acres to roam and drink in the beautiful grounds. We particularly like the Stableyards where there is a menagerie of animals and craftspeople forging iron and making pottery. Top that off with fish & grits and a glass of red.
Hold onto your hats! I’ve become a Charleston Hat Lady. No, not a red hat or purple hat (those are worn only if they match the outfit). It’s about wearing hats, volunteering and meeting other ladies.
Spoleto is here. Per their website “it’s one of America’s major performing arts festivals. It was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who sought to establish a counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy.”
The talent is over the top. Folk music singers I’m with Her made us new fans. Check them out on YouTube. Wow. “Path of Miracles” a theatric/musical about the Camino de Santiago was interesting to say the least. It was a minimalistic production where the singers (pilgrims) dressed in everyday street clothes (no walking sticks or backpacks – they must have used Camino Ways) sang music that sounded like a cross between Gregorian and Tibetan chanting in several different languages. Hmm. Think about the last time you went to a modern art museum and knew you were experiencing art but felt a bit confused… we wondered if those in the audience who hadn’t walked the Camino would understand. The standing ovations proved it was a success none the less.
Time to brag. Last month I had the honor of winning Charleston Magazine’s gate photo competition. Historic Charleston is famous for their iron works. It’s a scrolling web of forged beauty.Best part of Charleston is we get to spend time with the family. Especially with this little princess – now 8 months.
It’s our last week here and we’re gearing up for our big fundraising event for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation this Saturday, June 8th. If you’re in Charleston please stop by our Lemonade Stand at the corner of Meeting and Calhoun in Marion Square between 10 and 6 (bring your umbrella). Otherwise, if you want to miss the rain you may make a donation by clicking on this link or head over to paigeshaw.com use the code LemonadeDays (valid until June 9, 2019) and take 30% off your purchase (proceeds are donated to ALSF).
Known as Lemonade Days (from June 1st to 9th) 2,300 lemonade stands across the USA will raise funds to help ALSF change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.
My goal is to raise $8,000. which will pay for a month of research. Any donation – big or small all add up. Thanks!!!
Photography sale to kick off my partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
30% discount on photos and keepsakes for the rest of February. Please head on over to www.paigeshaw.com and use the code ALSF upon checkout. Make a purchase and help cure childhood cancer at the same time.
If you wish to donate and not make a buy there is also a donation tab on the front page of the website.
Save the date. Stop by our Alex’s Lemonade Stand in Marion Square – Charleston, South Carolina – June 8th. Late morning until early evening.
Let’s raise enough money to fund a month of research.
$50 = 1 hour of research
$400 = 1 day of research
$2,000 = 1 week of research
$8,000 = 1 month of research
The mission of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.