HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM GEORGE & ERIKA!!!
As most of you already know, George and I are now in the first months of our 9-month European adventure, and are having a grand time (that’s a photo of us taken in Vienna’s Konzerthaus, just before seeing Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony). It has been an action-packed year to be sure, so I will try to summarize.
We started thinking about the possibility of a long trip around Christmas time last year. George had decided he would retire in July of this year, on the stroke of turning 66. Part of our thinking was based on the fact that with retirement income, we really can’t afford to stay in our Pasadena house, and realized that if we could rent out our house and call in all our karma of 40 years of visitors and dear friends, we could actually live much more cheaply abroad. So why not take the trip of a lifetime while we are still relatively ambulatory? And that’s what we did: we found a great person to rent the house for 9 months, through our Austrian connections (thanks, Wolfgang!) managed to arrange a visa so we could stay in Europe longer than 90 days, found cheap rentals of nice places through online sites and through the wonderful generosity of friends (thanks, Henry & Val, Edith & Hans, Wolfgang & Nora, and Evy!) and cashed in as many extra funds as we could. Now we’re off! We have already been in London and Berlin, and now are spending several months in our favorite place, Vienna. In January we will begin a month each in Lisbon, Barcelona, Athens, Dubrovnik, and Trieste, before heading back to Vienna, then Germany, and home via Toronto!
As for the rest of our year: in February, G. got hit by a car while riding his bike–a nasty mess, but thankfully, he was not badly injured. But it did make us more committed to the idea of going on this trip! It took a while to heal, and to get insurance to pay, but in the end, we are so grateful for a good outcome. And in July, George did retire, after 45 years of a peripatetic working life! He seems to be perfectly happy with retirement mode, although so far we’ve either been preparing for a trip or travelling; we’ll see how he feels when we get back to a boring routine, if that ever happens.
And in other happy and enormous news: Max, as one of the only people in the entire country to get a real tenurable position, was appointed as Assistant Professor in Biology (Genomics) at Regis University in Denver! So our lives have come full circle: Denver is where George and I met (in library school)! G’s father and brother still live in Greeley, Colorado, so this all seems a fortuitous development. And their good news doesn’t stop there: in July, for George’s birthday, Max & Dottie sent us ‘’gifts’’ which announced in a very sweet way that they were expecting our first grandchild in January! We are so happy with this news, even though we won’t be there for the birth. BUT due to our own flippant responses to an earlier question from Max– ‘’if you have a kid, we would move to Denver’’–we are kind of obligated to do just that when we return to the States. So lots more changes in store for all of us!
I hope that most of you know that 1) I’m a Facebook addict and put up gillions of shares and photos on that site; and 2) we have a blog that we are adding to quite regularly on this trip, so please check it out: https://esauboeck.wordpress.com/. I also put up occasional mini-videos on YouTube, so check that out, too!
Again, I want to express our love and gratitude to all of those people who have helped us fulfill this dream–including George’s beautiful cousin Shelly Powell, who died of cancer on December 26, 2014. This was devastating to all of us, and we miss her still. To our total amazement, she remembered us in her will, a completely unexpected gesture that has helped immensely to make our adventure possible. And to all of you who wonder if you could do the same, we say: YES, JUST DO IT!
LOVE TO YOU ALL! Please write to us on our email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow our blog: