6 degrees of Separation
Who? How? Where?
this is nearly the whole crew at the National Park across from St Mary’s Island... how’d we all get together?
it all started with this guy , Michael Feingold and his partner Diane.
Michael has a passion for traveling and for good friends. He has combined these two passions as an ambassador for the Upper Cape Ski and Bike Club.
This trip marks the 5 bike and barge he’s organized and he has 2 more trips scheduled this year. He’s taking a group from Amsterdam to Bruge in July and another group through Vermont during Leaf peeping season.
How did we fall into it? Michael came to one of my open houses and said...”you should really join us on one of our bicycling trips, they are a lot of fun”...
I called Mark from the open house, told him there was a cabin available for the next trip and he told me to “write the check”....
We had to become members of the club in order to go on the trip.
at some point another cabin became available and Mike asked if I knew anyone who may want to join us. I immediately thought of MARCY BOWDERS who was my assistant director at the Armed Services YMCA 30 years ago. She and I had kept in touch over the years, had traveled to the French Alps together on the spur of the moment and since North Carolina seemed so far away...meeting in Amsterdam seemed like a plausible place for a reunion. Had she been on a bike in 30 years? No! But I knew her well enough to know that would not stop her. She then asked her parents good friend Linda from Ohio to be her roommate....had Linda been on a bike in 30 years? No! But getting out of Ohio seemed like a good choice so she joined us in Amsterdam!
The fun doesn’t stop there.... Linda then raves about the trip to her cousin Michael from Florida who then meets us in Munich for the next trip. Michael is an athlete who raves about the trip to his friends at his Gym and he brings Debbie, Jan and Tony.
Jan and Debbie are seated in the center! Jan then invited Stefanie to her left...and well, you see how new friendships take shape!
so after 2 successful European bike and barge trips with Michael and his motley crew of adventure Travelors we then convince our best friends and longest friends Nancy and BRIAN Garner to join us on the trip...
Had they been on a bicycle? Nope!
so last year they joined us in Paris and rode to Epernay. We drank champagne and had a blast. Not sure they’d ever do it again...
but alas, it’s a great way to vacation! So here we are in front of the Monestary...
this “earn your dinner” vacationing is a blast.
The life long friendships are irreplaceable . The crazy joy of the reunions year after year. The indisputable fact that there is no room for whiners on a trip promising this kind of adventure. We are a crazy family of rag tag bicyclers who want to see the world a little differently...
So if you think you could handle this much fun...
join the Upper Cape Ski and Bike Club
because Ohio, Florida, North Carolina did!
Last year our friends Roger and Lynette from Australia joined us in Paris!
Today we cycled two different Islands
the first island of Sipan offered sweet winding roads and two fishing ports...there were loads of kids out of school as tomorrow is May Day.
I decided i want to buy this house and fix it up... it’s been abandoned since the 80’s... I think it has potential.., mark thinks it has potential for tetnas.
The roses are in bloom!!! Rosemary is everywhere and the olive trees line the road sides
Donna Lee was beattful !
Be Generous-Surprises of Travel
I Walked to breakfast with Nancy and Brian and thought about how cool is that? I mean, to get a text saying “meet me for breakfast” and to be able to walk the two blocks to be there! City life, there are advantages.
The Old Town was teaming with runners for the 5K and 1/2 marathon. Hundreds of school kids ran the 5 K which I later found out is a school requirement. I just couldn’t believe all those children were running cause they wanted too! But it’s a fit culture in Dubrovnik and they have to walk so many stairs a 5 K is a cake walk for most!
We cheered on Michael, Debbie and Tony from our trip who did this destination race. So much fun.
We packed up our bags and left them is the Lobby of our apartment building. When we returned there was a note on our bag...
Tipping is in usual here.
I had a young cabbie (he had to be 18 years old) look at me and say “you’re frightening me right now” when I told him to keep the change. I said “no need to be scared just have a beer on us after your shift!”
He beamed and said “thank you missus”
The Harmonia is lovely and our crew is terrific! Sennott is a historian and gave us quite the walking tour of Old Town. He and Lucy are our bike guides. They are 33 and have been doing this 4 seasons. We learned a lot about what it was like to be 7 years old at the time of the war. We learned of Sennots time in refugee camps from age 7 to 12 and how the countries who accepted refugees often moved them between countries during their time as refugees...never wanting a refugee family to get too comfortable. Fascinating stories... I think we will have great fun with these two guides.
A good nights sleep ahead and miles to pedal in the morning!
Filler up, Please
Preparing to kayak the Adriatic
Today was a day of Re-booting. You know the kind of day where around every corner, with every greeting, attached to every completed chore there is a fulfillment that boosts your depleted coffers. “Filler up, please!” These Days boost us.
Waking up in our apartment above the ice cream store on Marathon day is like being stage center 40 minutes before curtain. The city was alive with volunteers, setting up for the thousands of runners...
We high tailed it out of the “old town” as we didn’t want to get trapped and made our way to meet up with friends for a day of kayaking the Adriatic. We climbed the 110 stairs to the predetermined meeting place. We saw 20 or so stray cats along the way. We wondered who was coming on this amazing day of kayaking????
Delightfully we were greeted by old friends. Friends who had bicycled other countries with us. Friends who live only miles away on Cape Cod but are best shared in foreign countries, “Filler up, please”.
You see, traveling together on adventure trips in Countries where the language, currency and GPS is a struggle...binds us. Traveling together to places where our phones are turned off, our jobs don’t define us and our families don’t distract allows us to be present with each other.
Sure, maybe I’m being sentimental. Maybe almost losing my life to a wood chipper a week ago has me looking at these relationships closer. I’m holding everything a little more dear. But still, the reunions are sweet and always sincere. Let’s face it, people who sign up for the 40 mile a day bike trips thru foreign countries are a different breed. There is a commitment to having fun, there’s very little whining and the shared memories of back roads and tiny villages is priceless.
So today was a day to say “Filler up, please”! The 3 hours of kayaking, the sun burned skin, the soak in the cold april Adriatic and the conversations with ‘annual’ friends was just what I needed to fill my tank.
As I write this in “old town” Dubrovnik it is midnight. The thunder rolled in like a freight train bringing with it a pounding rain that quieted the streets! My thoughts drift to John Snow and Game of thrones. This is Winterhaven. I’m hearing the rain bounce off the cobblestones of this rock fortress as lightening brightens our bedroom...
Tomorrow we walk the WALL!
Still more...”Filler up, please!”
climbing the mountain of stairs
thousands of stray cats throughout the city
An old fortress behind us used as scenery in Game of Thrones
gal pals of cycling
Love these guys!
tender times until I butt in
we made it❤️
MARCY and I ran the ASYMCA together nearly 30 years ago at The Mass Military Reservation in Bourne. Forever friends! She lives in South Carolina so we reunite all over the world!
best girlfriend from high school, Nancy Garner
Cindy took this photo ! Just getting use to the sea kayak! Digging the rudder.
a busy back alley at dusk
Rich with History, Rich with diversity
It’s when we leave our comfort zone that our horizons widen. Our minds expand. Our biases are challenged and we are challenged by the Universe to grow.
Dubrovnik is rich with multi cultures, languages and people. As we walked the streets of Old Town with its tiny stone alleys lit by gas lanterns and it’s hidden town squares, we heard the music of the world.
Live performances. Musicians of all abilities with their hats at their feet, working. Acoustically the stone fortress provided an unforgiving amphitheater so if you are marginal at your chosen instrument you and your audience know very quickly. We giggled as we walked and heard the piped in Musac of The Bee Gees flowing into the streets from late night conveienent stores. Every ones just “staying alive”...
I love the energy of this sweet fortress. The Irish pubs, Italian pizzerias, Croatian fish joints are just the back drop for a rich and vibrant life.
One restaurant owner shared its his first time with a full time job in 10 years and he could not find the time or money to travel as he is raising two sons, a 10 and 2 year old. He has a 14 seat Croatian Jazz club named “Soul”. As we sat, enjoying the cellist, he turned away 30 different people because he just doesn’t have the room. A good problem to have yet so disappointing to the Travelors who are missing out on the charm of the space.
We ate dinner on the veranda of Posat which overlooks the back lit towers of the fortress. Henry, our waiter, brought a tray of fresh sea food caught from the Adriatic that was being prepared that evening. Mark chose Octopus I went with fresh black olive encrusted cod. The service, the view, the company and the food were all top notch.
There is a marathon today. All night long Old Town prepared. Although it was noisy in our sweet apartment above the cobbled streets, it was also fascinating to hear and witness the hours of preliminary work that goes into their version of our BOSTON Marathon.
While here I heard one of my beautiful listings went under agreement and another new listing on the water was signed up. All good news for our team.
While here I heard one of my clients welcomed a daughter into the world and another friend bought her Nantucket dream house.
My world is filled with blessings. No matter where I am in the world, the good stuff just keeps happening!
Off for a day of Kayaking!