Adeus (goodbye) Madeira!…Travel day post…A beginning to share from long ago…Reporting back from Paris tomorrow!

On sunny days, the blue of the sky is breathtaking.

As we rushed around the house preparing to leave this morning, we knew there would be no time to write a new post for today, as we usually do, each and every morning.

The variety of colors of flowers on the island have been a pleasure to see.

This past week when reviewing some of our past posts, we noticed a number of editing errors that remained in place, either one of my errors that we missed or editing errors when we had a poor connection. 

We drove through one little village after another on our most recent road trip.

I’ve finally decided to go over each and every one of our previous over 700 daily posts and begin making corrections on at least 10 each day. Unable to use the costly internet time while cruising for a month, it may take over three months until I’ve completed this task.

We’ll never forget the terraced hills, beautifully manicured for growing gardens and farming.

Beginning this process a few days ago, I stumbled across our very first post. Not only did I find several of my errors to correct but, I was anxious to see if our thoughts and opinions had changed much over the almost two and a half years since we began posting in March 2012. Surprisingly, most of our basic principles have remained the same.

Many areas had many homes built in the past 20 to 30 years as the surge of tourists has increased over the years, inspiring tourists to buy vacation/holiday homes on the island.

In lieu of writing a new post for today’s travel day, knowing full well I won’t be able to wait to write again once we’re situated in Paris, today we share these final photos of Madeira and, our very first post for those of our readers that joined us partway in the telling of our ongoing story.

What are these berries on this bush?
Blue flowers found recently on a road trip.
The flower grew from a pod in our yard.

We’d love to hear your perspective if indeed you see that we have changed (other than my hair-brained notions of how much luggage we should bring). Please feel free to comment at the end of this or any post.

There’s always heavy humidity in the ocean air, at times visible in photos.

We’ll be back with you from Paris. If time allows and we have a WiFi connection during our layover in Lisbon we may write a short update as to the progression of the day.If the flight is uneventful, we’ll be back tomorrow from Paris!

From time to time we’ve spotted religious shrines in public areas.

Here’s our first post from March 14, 2012:

“Sunday morning we both jumped out of bed at 6 am with a peculiar sense of urgency to begin the painstaking process of changing the myriad clocks in our home. Daylight savings began during the night.  

Over the 21 years that Tom and I have joyfully enjoyed life together, we seem to have assigned ourselves which clocks we each change, two times each year. We scurried about the house, mumbling to ourselves as we adjusted one clock after another, realizing that this will be the last time we will change clocks in this house, in this state of Minnesota, and perhaps in this country.  

In 7 months and 22 days from today, our journey will begin. Tom retires on Halloween after 42 years on the railroad (I retired 16 months ago) and off we go to the adventure of our lives, time being relevant to us in the future only in terms of the time of our next cruise, the time of our next flight, the time of the next ferry, or the time when we move into yet another vacation home.  

As we each finished our last clock, oddly about the same moment, I said to Tom, “We need a domain name for our future website and blog.”  

He chuckled, and said, “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.” It’s equally odd how couples often have thoughts simultaneously. We never cease to be amazed by this phenomenon.

We had been mulling over some names the past month, as we booked our plans well into the future, knowing the time to document this process was coming near.

Last year, I wrote my first blog, as our beloved Australian Terrier, WorldWideWillie’s precious life came to an end, finding solace in the process. With over 400 followers we found comfort in their invisible, lurking presence as I wrote almost daily from Willie’s perspective, his final days, days filled with love, humor, and tears.  

When Tom returned home each night, I read him the daily postings, often crying a river through the sobs that welled up in my chest. Tom cried with me, unashamed by his vulnerability, a charming aspect of his manly demeanor that which I have always adored.

We chose to honor Willie by using part of his name, WorldWide, by adding a 3rd word beginning with a “w.”  Sitting at our computers we looked up all the “w” words that may be available as a domain. We stumbled across “Waftage,” a word that means “travel gently by water or air.”

How perfect a word when in fact this blog will be about us leaving our well-established lives here in Minnesota to travel the world, leaving our grown children, including our six adorable grandchildren, other family members, our longtime friends, our amazing neighbors, and all of our “stuff,” to be sold off at an estate sale… days before we leave on Halloween, 2012. 

This blog will document a journey that at this point knows no end, a journey meticulously planned to be affordable and yet rich in comfort, visually stimulating, surrounded by nature, filled with history, all the while enjoying that which we have enjoyed the most, simply being together.

We’re lousy photographers but we’ll post photos. We don’t like tourist traps but we will visit some. We don’t care to buy trinkets but we’ll surely buy a few.  

Ironically, neither of us has ardently enjoyed “sightseeing” but, we will seek out those that appeal to us. We don’t like crowds, gridlocked traffic, loud noises, or waiting in line but, we will experience all of these.  

We are both gluten-free, wheat, grain-free, and sugar-free. We won’t eat bread, croissants, or pasta. I don’t drink alcohol. Tom drinks a little but doesn’t like wine. Tom doesn’t like to go for walks. I love walks. Occasionally, we’ll walk.

Then why will we do this? 1. Because we have figured out a way to afford to make this possible with some creative planning, which we’ll share with you along the way. 2. Because we want to!  

More than the concept of world travel in itself, we relish in the concept of stepping outside the box; getting out from behind our computers with fingers flying across the keyboard with our latest preoccupation; getting out of our comfy chairs while watching one of our big flat-screen TVs playing a popular premium hi-def series; playing another rambunctious competitive game of Wii Bowling or looking forward to the next great homemade meal.  

We have loved every minute of our lives, whether hanging out with family or friends or looking out the window for another delightful morsel Mother Nature throws our way:  an eagle swooping into the trees outside our house, a beaver building a den along the shoreline, a pack of coyotes looking for “little dog lunch.” We have loved it all.

So…we registered our domain name early Sunday morning. We poured ourselves a cup of perfectly brewed coffee, topping each cup with a dollop of real whipped cream, and sat down at the bar in the kitchen.  We both smiled, eyes locked on each other. The little crinkles around his eyes made a wave of something wonderful wash over me.

We both looked up at the same time to notice we hadn’t changed the time in the big clock in the kitchen. We both jumped up simultaneously and said, “I’ll get it!” We laughed. We have all the time in the world.”

                                            Photo from one year ago today, July 31, 2013:

Palazzo Ducale in Lucca is located in Piazza NapoleoneDecorated in the center is the statue of the Criminal Lucca Francesco Carrara.  For more photos and story of our visit to the walled city of Lucca, please click here.

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