Notes written down while riding the Hogwarts Express

Greetings, dear readers!  To every one of you (all vicarious adventurers, friends and family near and far, and random blogosphere connections included!), I feel obliged to offer both an apology for the lengthy delay since the YoF’s last update and an explanation as to what could have possibly been causing such a delay.

Well, the short explanation ought to go something like this: “Despite our best intentions to keep up with our blog, we’ve been too busy making sure we’re being reasonably responsible with regard to our Year of Fun master plan.  In other words, we’ve had to take on the role of real adults for a short while.”

But what I’d like my short explanation of our absence from blogging to be is this: “WE’VE BEEN HAVING TOO MUCH FUN!”

In reality, however, as I sit across from the other half of Team Awesome in our roomette on the Hogwarts Express Amtrak’s Empire Builder and the beauty of our nation’s northernmost states passes by, I’m reflecting upon both of the aforementioned explanations and recognize both to be true.

Let me count the ways in which we’ve been having too much fun:

1. San Diego, CA happened.  Friends.  Halloween party followed by dancing.  Friends.  The San Diego Zoo.  Dinner with friends.  Good food.  Great friends!

Where's Waldo?  You may think you just found him, but this is actually just the fake Waldo meant to distract you while the real one continues to elude you.  Note the '80s rocker hair...

Where’s Waldo? You may think you just found him, but this is actually just the fake Waldo meant to distract you while the real one continues to elude you. Note the ’80s rocker hair and how this Waldo is hanging out with White Goodman…

Lots of the old Ann Arbor gang of best friends, all reunited and happy in San Diego.  Thanks, Mike and Cindy, for great food and great company!

Lots of the old Ann Arbor gang of best friends, all reunited and happy in San Diego. Thanks, Mike and Cindy, for great food and great company!

2. Visalia, CA happened.  More friends!  Sequoias National Park.  Games.  Yummy food!

Garrison & Anna just hangin' out with some huge sequoia trees and their friends Ben and Jodi.  Kudos to Ben for the sweet pic!

Garrison & Anna just hangin’ out with some huge sequoia trees and their friends Ben and Jodi. Kudos to Ben for the sweet pic!

3. Visiting Crater Lake National Park happened.  This is where we saw the first real, live cougar that either of us had ever seen.

Crater Lake!  Too cold to go swimming this time.

Crater Lake! Too cold to go swimming this time.

Then, after we saw the cool mountain lion, I had this song stuck in my head for the next few hours.

4. Seattle, WA happened.  Reunion with some great friends!  Games!  A huge feast!

Butterbeer toasts in Seattle with great friends!

Butterbeer toasts in Seattle with great friends!

5. Finished the Harry Potter books!  Yes, it has finally happened.  You may remember that we had originally set the goal of finishing them before we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL.  Well, it was the opposite corner of the country, but we finished them!

And now, friends, let us recount the ways in which our two protagonists have most recently been imitating responsible adults who have everything under control:

1. Health Insurance was purchased.  Yes, folks, Anna and Garrison have finished the process they started on June 19th.  They now have health insurance procured for their time overseas.  It’s truly amazing how complicated and difficult of a system the current health insurance establishment is, when you consider how frustrating (more like infuriating) and difficult it was for two college-educated, native English speaking, healthy individuals who are simply looking for reasonable coverage for BOTH a man AND a woman.  And while they didn’t go with a plan through the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare website, Garrison did create an account on the website just to check options and has yet to run into any of the problems the news keeps reporting.  Very interesting, when considering the major news outlets always need a story to captivate their viewers so they can keep making money……

2. Auto Insurance was purchased.  Yep, you heard that right.  Another kind of insurance.  Another headache.  Made complicated by the fact that A & G are technically and officially Michigan residents, although the portions of their lives in Washington must also continue.  I’ve heard some stories of a few of my ancestors who led double lives.  Kudos to them for pulling it off — it’s not easy!

3. Speaking of the car, it’s been taken into the shop.  12,872.9 miles driven during the road trip!

4. Foreign Visas were, and continue to be, looked into.  So many things!

5. Team Awesome has been heartlessly paring down their belongings they will take on the overseas legs of their journey.  Noteworthy items that are now in the storage unit: one maize and blue Denard Robinson jersey and one adventure skirt.  Guess which one was Garrison’s!

So there you have it, folks.  If you’ve read this all the way through, you are pretty much doing the Year of Fun.  Thanks for joining!  And remember, as Professor Dumbledore once said, “And now , let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure!”

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One Response to Notes written down while riding the Hogwarts Express

  1. This is awesome, team awesome. I love reading about your adventures and seeing your beautiful happy faces. Maybe after this you can get paid for helping all of your friends arrange their own YoFs! Love you guys! SO glad you didn’t get eaten by the cougar!! xoxo

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