On The Go: 2009 & 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                    




ON THE GO 2009 and 2010

Florida January 2009  On Monday, January 5, 2009 Don and Mary flew to JFK.  Then Don flew to Orlando to play bridge and Mary to Ft Myers to rent a car and go to Naples.  Karen flew to Florida to visit for a few days and the following Sunday took Mary to the hospital as Mary was a little dizzy.  She had two units of blood as she was anemic.  Don came down that evening from Orlando.  Mary was in the hospital until the following Friday and had a lot of tests.  The end result being her meds were causing the problem.  She is now off "Plavix" an anti clotting drug.

We both are going to Cardiac Rehab in Naples on Mon Wed Fri.  Don is playing tennis on Tues Thurs Sat.  We had lunch with Don's favorite cousins, Dulcy and Doris (nee Burton) on Sunday February 1, 2009.

Costa Rica February 2009 On Friday February 6 we flew from Miami to San Jose, Costa Rica and stayed at the beautiful Grano de Oro ("Grains of Gold" referring to coffee) Hotel. We took a non memorable City Tour that afternoon.  The next morning we were picked up at 0615 and taken by minivan to Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean and stayed at Laguna Lodge.  We were there two nights and toured their canals and saw birds, Anhinga babieshowler monkeys, tree frogs, the J C lizard (which walks on water), etc.  Don quickly fell in love with gallo pinto, black beans and rice, the national dish of Costa Rica.   Some professional pics.

We then went by boat and minivan to the Arenal volcano area and stayed at a lovely cottage at the Arenal Springs Resort at 3:45 pm for three nights.  Saw many toucans there plus a beautiful "Hawk-Eagle".  The next day  Don went zip lining and Mary took a nature walk from the tram.  That evening we went on a rafting trip...the major item of interest being the bats. The next day we rented a car and went on Hanging Bridges in and above the canopy of the forest.  Had lunch at the lovely Tabican Hot Springs.

On February 12, 2009 we left Arenal Volcano area at 0845 in a minivan and arrived at the Fonda Vela Lodge (near the Trapp Family Lodge) in the Monteverde Cloud Forest at noon...and stayed two nights.  Saw many crocs from a bridge over a river. That afternoon we visited a Butterfly Garden and a Reptilian Exhibit.  The next morning we saw a fox outside the dining room before we were picked up at 0715 to go on a guided tour of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.  (Our guide, Sammy, the youngest of 14 children was terrific.)  We saw howler monkeys, quetzels, humming birds, and other birds, 3 and 5 toed sloths, etc. We then went to Saint Ilena for lunch and visited an Orchid Garden. 

The next day we were met at 0745 and took a minivan to the Quepas/Manuel Antonio National Park area on the Pacific Coast arriving at Casitas Eclipse Lodge at 1:30 pm and stayed there four nights.   Had a nice dinner at Si Como No Hotel to see the lovely sunset.  The next day we were picked up at 0730 and went only a few kilometers to a guided tour of the Manuel Antonio National Park (with Marie and Eric Hanse from the Netherlands) and its lovely beaches.    That night we went to the lovely Makanda Lodge overlooking the Pacific  for the sunset and dinner.  The next day we were picked up at 0820 and went on an all day Catamaran Cruise to see birds (Brown Boobys and Frigates) and snorkel .... although we did not snorkel.  Saw the lovely sunset from our boat.  The next day was terrific as we went white water rafting in Class 2 and 3 waters of the Savage River.   Part of getting to the river involved a trip in a Hummer where we seemed to go straight up a narrow lane and then across a dry boulder strewn river bed with no problem.  Had dinner at the fantastic La Mariposa Lodge and again had a terrific sunset.  The next morning we lazed around and at 1:15 pm took a minivan to San Jose arriving at the wonderful Grano de Oro Hotel at 5:15 pm.  Dined again at the beautiful restaurant in that hotel.

Costa Rica Albums:  San Jose Arrival   Tortuguero National Park   To  Arenal Springs    Ziplining   Hanging Bridges   To Monteverde Cloud Forest    Cloud Forest   To Quepas Manuel Antonio National Park  Boat Trips  White Water Rafting   San Jose Departure

A great article on Costa Rico was in the NY Times April 13, 2014 about the Corcovado National Park and the Basque del Cabo Lodge on the Osa Peninsula.  See this park's location  and other National Parks on a map of Costa Rico.

Panama February 2009 On February 19, 2009 we flew from San Jose to Panama City in 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Checked into the Marriott and relaxed that afternoon.  The next day we took a super City Tour in a taxi of Panama City.  We were amazed at the number of skyscrapers and the number under construction.   Panama gets $3-5 million per day in fees from boats using the Canal.

On the 21st we took an all day transit of the Canal.  The Princess Queen and about 300 of us departed from  a dock near the end of  the Causeway on the Pacific at 0730.  We arrived at Colon after 50 miles thru 3 locks to get us up about 87 feet to Gatun Lake and then down thru 3 locks to get us to the   Atlantic by 6:30 pm.  Saw many frigate birds. We were then bused back to Panama City in two hours.         Great view of the canal.

The next day we had breakfast at the lovely Bristol Hotel and then flew from Panama City to San Jose and then to Miami.

Panama Albums:  Arrival   City Tour  Full Transit of Canal    Departure

Some Pictures From Costa Rico.   More Pictures from Costa Rica.   Pictures from Panama.

David March 2009 David had a good day parasailing at the end of March.. 

Mary in Hospital March 2009 On Sunday March 29 Mary was admitted to the Naples Community Hospital.  Her Gall Bladder was removed the following Thursday April 2.  She was diagnosed with ischemia of the right  colon when she was hospitalized in early January.  It reoccurred in the hospital in April and caused her to remain in the hospital another week.  We hoped it would clear up.  It did not and she had a resection of her right colon on Saturday April 11.  On Monday, April 20, 2009 she was released from the hospital.  So good to be home after three weeks..  On Wednesday April 29, 2009 we had dinner at P F Chang's with Dulcy Stark and Doris Bell, Don's twin cousins.

Vermont May 2009  On May 1 we flew to Vermont for the summer.  Erin Principe, one of our granddaughters, made a potato figure in school.  Here is the picture and a letter she wrote in which she credits her Nana as its inspiration, giving a number of reasons including ".... she is as nice as a pineapple upside down cake."

Sara's Graduation June 2009 On Sunday June 7 we went to Sudbury, MA as Sara Kinsel Whitney will graduate from High School tomorrow.  We had an early celebration of Mary's 75th birthday, which will be on June 11.  The next day we drove into Boston and had lunch on Newberry street after driving by Franklin Street.  Don worked at Hartford Life from 1963 to 1967.  The Hartford had purchased the Columbian National Life Insurance Company in 1959 and renamed it Hartford Life.  The property consisted of three buildings that were connected at their third floors.  The street level was rented out. Don's office  was on the second floor of the red brick building which housed Lauriat's Book Store on the street level. That evening Sara graduated.  We had a terrific steak and shrimp barbecue with the entire family.  Guests were Don and Mary Terry and Allison White, along with Duncan's sister Elizabeth and her husband Bill.  Here are Don, Sara, and Mary.

Mary is 75 June 2009 Thursday June 11 was Mary's 75th birthday.  We went to the Victorian Inn in Wallingford, Vermont with Bev and Jack Grald for dinner.  At 7:30 pm we went to the Paramount Theater and saw CR Productions On Tour (from Cohoes, NY) put on one terrific performance of The PRODUCERS, a Mel Brooks musical.

Our cat Gray and Amy's cat, Crystal who spends the summer in Vermont, love to bring chipmunks into our house and release them.  Sometimes they bring them into our bedroom in the middle of the night, so we now close the bedroom door.  Gray is quite regal.

Bald Eagle August 2009  Wendy Buser sighted a Bald Eagle on a branch at the north end of Beebe Pond.  Last year, Vermont had just one Bald Eagle. This year, Vermont saw two successful Bald Eagle nesting sites, with two eagles hatching, fledging and taking to flight. For the first time in 60 years, two bald eagles have successfully fledged in Vermont:  one in Concord, the other in Barnet.  An adult Bald Eagle makes a return to its nest in Barnet.

Georgian Bay September 2009  On Tuesday September 8 we went to Ontario, Canada for 8 days. Our destination was  "Georgian Bay", a part of Lake Huron.  We were  enamored by each "Inuksuk" we saw. (pronounced "in-uk-shuk") They can be a single stone or a number of stones piled on top of one another The inuksuk may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for hunting grounds, or as a food cache. Inuksuit (plural) have been used by the Inuit people as guides and markers for special places in the Artic, marking trails, caches of food, nearby people, or the migration routes of caribou. Such a marker is of considerable importance on a landscape that could be otherwise featureless or constantly changing because of ice and snow. These "signposts" were essential for survival and Inuit tradition forbids their destruction.  Here are two large ones: u  u2  

Day 1  We drove to Ottawa, had lunch in the Farmer's Market area, took a boat trip on the Rideau Canal, viewed Parliament Hill, had a terrific dinner at "18", and stayed at a Marriott.   Day 2  A nice drive to the Algonquin Provincial Park where we stayed at the Killarney Lodge.  Truly a lovely area.      Day 3  Arrived at Parry Sound on "Georgian Bay" and took a terrific 3 hour cruise thru the 30,000 islands on the Island Queen.  We then drove to McKellar and stayed at the Inn at Manitou, a  beautiful 5 star Resort .  Day 4  A short drive south to Midland where we stayed two nights at The Little Lake B&B, a wonderful spot (www.littlelakeinn.com) and stayed in the Rose Suite.  In the afternoon we took another 30,000 island cruise on Miss Midland.   Day 5   We visited a Huron village in the morning and the Wye Marsh in the afternoon where we saw an outstanding exhibition of trained birds of prey.  Mary even got into the act with a red tailed hawk.  In the evening we took a 3.5 hour dinner cruise on the Georgian Queen out of Pentanguishene with live music  They  played old familiar tunes. 

Day 6  Our next stop was Peterborough where we boarded the Island Princess on the Trent Canal. We went through a conventional lock and then through the largest dual hydraulic boat lift in the world, rising 65 feet.  The two sides of the locks enable one boat to go one direction and one to go the other.  The water in the upper chamber is one foot deeper than the water in the lower chamber. The extra foot weighs 144 tons, which enables the dropping chamber to power the hydraulic lift, which simultaneously raises the lower chamber. The chambers are each  33 feet wide by 140 feet long so there is 4620 cubic feet of extra water. At 62.43 pounds per cubic feet, this is 288127 pounds or 144 tons. Wow!   We also visited the National Canoe Museum.

Day 7  We checked out of the Moffat House B&B and drove to Kingston, the first capital of Canada, and took a 3.5 hour cruise on another Island Queen through the Thousand Islands.  This luncheon cruise also had live music. We then drove to Gananoque and stayed at the beautiful Victoria Rose B&B.   Day 8  We crossed the bridge over the St Lawrence and entered the US, had lunch in Lake Placid, took the ferry from Ticonderoga to Vermont , and then back to Hubbardton.

Connecticut October 2009 October 9 we drove to Connecticut and stayed at Eric and Cindy's lovely Town House in Bloomfield across from CIGNA in Bloomfield.  Had dinner with them at Rizutto's and celebrated Alexei's 11th birthday.  The next day we went to Amy's where Amy and Tom hosted a great family party so the the Sondergeld's could meet Tom's family.  A great day..

Vermont October 2009 Another lovely fall: Beebe Pond and Eagle Rock in mid October.

Florida October 2009 We flew to Florida on Monday October 19 and Mary had her right knee replaced by Dr. Michael Havig on October 26.  She went to Glenview Rehab three days later.  Here she is.

Thanksgiving November 2009 We returned to Vermont Thanksgiving evening.  We had Thanksgiving dinner here at the lake at Karla's.  Also saw Amy and Eric and Karen that weekend.

December 2009 The Brosteks bought some old 78 rpm records of songs from 1947 of Camp Awanee and of Twin Lake Camp that we had made into CDs. Christmas Eve: Dinner at Karla's at Beebe Pond and the Christmas Eve caroling at the Breckenridges. We saw all of our children, except David, over the holidays.  Amy and her fiance Tom, were here at the lake for a week.  We had our usual New Year's Eve Party.

January 2010 Florida Over a foot of snow fell on January 3, 2010.  On January 4 Mary flew to Naples and Don flew to Orland to play bridge.  The plan was to stay in Florida until April 29.  We saw Don's twin cousins Dulcy and Doris  in Ft Myers in January.  Also, Rhoda Bannon visited us in Naples.

Barred Owl January 2010  On 1/31/2010 the Pareti's  saw this beautiful barred owl on their property at the south end of Beebe Pond. 

California March 2010 On March 4 we flew to California to visit David for a week.  Mary then flew back to FL.  Don took Amtrak to Reno where he played in a National Bridge Tournament.  Here are some pictures from California, including  David and his girlfriend Rita. We spent two days and one night in Carmel and Monterey. We had a great dinner with a terrific view at Hyatt Carmel Highlands - Overlooking Big Sur Coast.  http://highlandsinn.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp

The real champion bridge player in our family is Mary Sondergeld shown here with her partner Janet Adams.  They each received $100 for winning a party bridge league in Naples, Florida in March 2010.

On Sunday, March 28, 2010 we  had lunch with Dave & Fran Wakely at the Crow's Nest in Venice, as Venice is midway between Naples and Belleair, FL.

April 2010 Great news!   Duncan Whitney joined Allegro Diagnostics, a leader in the field of molecular diagnostics for lung cancer, as Vice President of Research & Development. 

April Fool's dinner at Charlie Chiangs                 in Naples,  with Steve & Sandy, David ,         Mary, Amanda,  and Lucy Earl

April 25, 2010 we had lunch at La Playa in Naples, FL with Don's cousins: Dulcy & Doris Mary did some rocking and sitting.

Vermont Late April 2010 We flew from Florida to Vermont on April 29, 2010.  A  mother bear and her three cubs trashed our bird feeders and has also been visiting our neighbors.  On Saturday we drove to Connecticut to attend the confirmation of our grandson at Bethany Lutheran Church.  Here is Aleksey relaxed after the service.  We also saw the house in Canton, Connecticut that Eric and Cindy bought and will move into soon.  It is lovely and Alexei can't wait to move in.

And here we are in front of Amy's house on May 2, 2010.

New Hampshire June 2010 On Tuesday June 15, 2010 we drove to Cornish, New Hampshire and visited Saint Gaudens. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_Saint-Gaudens We then had lunch at Simon Pearce in Quechee, Vermont by the waterfalls.  A nice day. 

Manchester Vermont June 2010  On Friday June 18  we drove the 5.5 mile long toll road to the 3848 foot summit of Mt Equinox in Manchester, Vermont.  The origin of the word  Equinox may be that it is a corruption either of the Indian word Akwanok or Ekwanok. These words can be freely translated to mean the top or the place where the very top is - an appropriate name. Here is Mary on Mt. Equinox:

After lunch, we visited Hildene the beautiful summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, who was Chairman of the Pullman Company. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildene

Lilies and Moran's Anniversary July 2010 The lilies are terrific at Beebe Pond on July 11.  On July 25 we attended a lovely celebration of John and Betty Moran's 50 years together at Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburg, Vermont.

Rehearsal Dinner August 2010 On Friday, August 6 we had a "Rehearsal Dinner". Here is a picture of our big helper "Gray".  Also, a slide show.

Mary also had the opportunity to see her brother John.

Amy's Wedding August 2010 On Saturday August 7, Amy & Tom Kullgren were married at the Waybury Inn in East Middlebury, Vermont.  Here are a few pictures.  The happy couple went on a cruise from New York City to Nova Scotia where Tom learned to play the piano and Amy learned to sing:

Great to see our five kids at Amy's wedding

August 21, 2010  We drove to Burlington, Vermont and attended the Bat Mitzvah for Merrick, daughter of Jenny Beckenridge Mendenhal and David Mendenhall.

October 3, 2010 we drove to CT to drop off our two cats.  Amy and Tom had a great dinner for us and invited two of the Old Broads: Brita Tate & Ilze Krisst.

October 5-14, 2010 in British Columbia We flew from Burlington VT to Chicago to Vancouver, arriving late.  The next morning we picked up a rental car and took the lovely 1.75 hour ride on the ferry to Vancouver Island.  We stayed two nights at the Fairmont "Empress" Hotel and took a Harbour Tour the first afternoon.  We missed the unveiling of the statue of Emily Carr.  See very humorous article. The next day we went to the fantastic Butchart Gardens and had one of our best meals ever at Matisse Restaurant in Victoria.

The next morning we visited the Royal BC Museum and then drove to Parksville and stayed at one of our favorite places: Tigh Na Mara Resort.  We slept late and then drove to Tofino on the western side of the 300 mile long Vancouver Island, stopping briefly at Port Alberni and then had lunch in Uclelet at the Black Rock Resort and watched the waves crashing on the rocks.  We then drove 25 more miles to Tofino and stayed at the outstanding Wickaninnish Inn.  The next morning we had a nice whale "seeking" trip.  Although we only saw two gray whales it was great being out on the water and enjoying the scenery.

We went bear "seeing" at 8 am, at low tide, the next day  when the bears roam the beach and catch fish that were caught in the rocks. We only saw one small bear, but the 4  hour trip was nice. We were captivated by a 3.5 year old damsel from Melbourne Australia. We then drove to Ucluelet and had another lunch with a view at the Black Rock Resort.  We arrived at the ferry in Nanaimo  at 5 pm.  It was October 11, Thanksgiving Day in Canada. They do sell reservations that are "open" as well as "time specific".   I had an open reservation for the 11th. When Don Francis told me I should pay an additional $15 and reserve a time. I had done this, but half of the reservations are time specific so the only time slot left was 9:35 pm. However we managed to get on the 7:20 ferry so it was only 10 pm when we arrived at the home of Don & Patricia Francis  instead of midnight.

We spent two nights with Don and Patricia and their two sons Stephen 21 and Michael 16.  It has been many years since I have seen Don, who I worked with from 1969 to 1979. The next day we did our usual garden tour: Sun Yat-Sen Garden , Queen Elizabeth Park & Bloedel Floral Conservancy (with its triodetic dome), Van Dusen Gardens, and Stanley Park.  We had a great lunch at the "Seasons In The Park" restaurant in Queen Elizabeth Park that has a terrific view of the city.  The next day we drove to Whistler/Blackcomb, stopping at Cypress Bowl on the way.  The drive to Whistler has outstanding scenery.  That evening we had dinner with Don and Patricia at The Salmon House, that overlooks Vancouver, in West Vancouver. We spent the night at a hotel next to the airport after first dropping off our rented car. The next morning we took an early shuttle to the airport to fly to Burlington Vermont   Here are a few PICTURES.  Don and Patricia Francis are below.

On October 26, 2010 Mary's brother, Dr John Towne and wife visited us  in Naples, FL and stayed three nights. They split two sets of tennis one day against Don and Paul Younkin. Here is a picture after Connie held serve in a 12-10 win in a very long set the next morning.  John & Connie's win was celebrated  by dinner at The Doc(k).

We see many beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico in Naples, Florida.  The sunrises seen from our condo are also beautiful.

On November 13, 2010 Don celebrated his 80th with Mary and his twin cousins, Dulcy and Doris, at The Ritz in Naples.


Mary is relaxing at the Naples Botanical Garden on November 21, 2010.  See this slide show..

December 1, 2010 was quite windy at our lake in Vermont:

But apparently not windy in Sudbury, MA in December 2010.



This site was last updated 04/16/17