For years, with only Nine of Cups as “home”, we stayed with friends and family when we traveled on land in the USA. We referred to these trips as our “mooch tours”. A few folks came to visit us aboard Nine of Cups, but the visits were few and far between … especially when we were halfway round the world. Sure, we’d spring for a dinner or two when we visited or maybe bring some wine and a bouquet of flowers, but it never quite seemed like we reciprocated in kind. Now that we have a house and a guest room, we’re beginning to welcome guests into ‘our’ home for a change.
A few days ago an old friend and her husband came for a visit. Diane and Steve have hosted us several times in their beautiful home in the Twin Cities (Minnesota). I met Diane nearly 30 years ago at a medical trade show. Her booth was next to mine … we were both working the show alone … we got to chatting … we shared dinner and the rest is history. Actually, our two companies did some business together, but mostly we just stayed in touch over all these years and when our travels brought us to Minnesota, we always stopped by and took advantage of their hospitality. Now, it was our turn and we welcomed the opportunity.
The best thing about old friends is that you can get together after years apart and just pick up where you left off. We chatted; we ate; we drank; we tried out the new fire pit on the deck; we reminisced; we played cards (we taught them Golf and they taught us Five Hundred). We introduced them to one of our favorite places in Nevada … Valley of Fire State Park … where we hiked around, took in all the gorgeous and unique red rock formations and just enjoyed a pretty perfect day in amiable company.
We saw lots of desert animals. Sometimes it required using our imaginations.
We made tentative plans for a visit to see them in Minnesota in mid -summer. It seems there’s a Tall Timber Festival in Grand Rapids, MN in August that will definitely rival the woodsmen competition we enjoyed a few years ago in Tasmania. Not to mention that Grand Rapids is the home of Judy Garland and the Judy Garland Museum is located there … just sayin’.
So … all you ‘mooch tour’ hosts over the years … you know who you are (Lin, John & Nicole, Marlene & Benno, Laura & Andy, Peter & Melanie, Kelly & Mike, John & Millie, Nancy & Burger, Emil & Gabbie, Bob and Kathy and so many more of you) ... and now you know where we are!