- March 2000: a week in Florida.
- June 2000: two weeks in Europe - a week on Lake Constance, and a week near Arles, in the south of France.
- August 2000: two weeks with het Buese boys - a week in Maine and a week in Seattle.
- December 2000: moving Christine from Seattle back to Maine.
Late March, we took off and went to Florida to see the sun, visit our friends the Haywoods and the Farrel's in the Ft. Lauderdale area, go canoeing in Mayakka State Park, and for me to get my Seaplane Rating at the famous Jack Brown's Seaplane Base flying school near Lakeland.
Plenty of gators in the park - though the often stay submerged when it is cold outside
We spent a day in Mayakka River State Park where we rented a canoe. This park is wonderful, with lots of wildlife such as aligators. If you are visiting Florida you gotta go there! It is located just outside Sarasota. Pack a lunch and go down the river. The main section back to the park entrance is about 2 miles. Roundtrip can be done in about 3½ hours.
It took me 5 hours of flight instruction to get my Seaplane Rating in Lakeland. As the name suggests, there are plenty of small lakes in this area. Great for "lake hopping" in a float plane. Unlike most other countries, about 90% of all public waters in the US are open for use by seaplanes!
This year's annual wonderful two-week vacation with the Buese family: we spent one week at their house near Lake Constance, and the second week in the Camargue part of the Provence region of southeastern France, joined by the Langer family.
Our three gîtes ("vacation cottages"). From left to right: Fam. Büse, Fam. Dörenberg, Fam. Langer
The adult group
Christine and myself atop a tower of the Arena in Arles
Horseback riding in the Camargue. I prefer having more than one horsepower and no pain in the ...
Bettina's old horse was disobedient!
Alex, Rolf, and Andreas during a 10 mile hike through the salt marshes
The impresssive Roman "Pont du Gard" aqueduct bridge (height: 50 m, 161 ft)
Relaxing on the backyard deck of the Buese's
Lunch in a Biergarten with Elfi & Konrad
Our second vacation this year with (part of) the Buese family! Alexander and Andreas joined us in Boston, and we spent a week at Christine's parents in Kittery Point, Maine. The second week we were at our home near Seattle, and did day trips.
Andy & Alex with one of the lobsters we just bought
Lobster meal with Peg & Chuck Cowen
Alex & Andy kayaking in the creek behind the house
Alex & Andy tubing behind Carolyn's motor boat
Visiting the USS "Albacore" in Portsmouth
Alex & Andy trying to hit a bottle with slingshots
Seattle's Space Needle
Time for a 3D movie at the IMAX
Alex is reverting to his teutonic roots
Picknick at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle/Ballard
Final approach into Friday Harbor airport on San Juan Island for lunch
Andy climbing the "Pinnacle" wall at REI
It is a 2½ km (1.6 mi) steep climb (up 425 m, 1400 ft) on the trail to High Rock Lookout
After Christine and I decided to each go our own way, she moved back to Maine. We drove the fully-loaded moving van, our cats, and a trailer with her car, from the Seattle area to Kittery Point, Maine. A looooong trip, especially in the middle of a bad winter. Took us five days!
Coast-to-coast (3100 miles / 5100 km)
In 2001, I repeated the trip, to drop off my little Honda car in Maine before I moved to France. Drove by myself this time: 3 days of 17 hours driving a day - "Canon Ball Run" stuff! The worst part of the trip is that for almost 2/3 of the way, all you get on the radio is country music and religious crap! Highlight of the trip: two country chicks at a gas station thought I was Bruce Willis.
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