Tour de amigos

Slobes and the Hendricks family in Park City.
Slobes and the Hendricks family in Park City.

We are now at our 9th home since the start of our adventure one month ago. No matter how many times we move locations, it still takes us all morning to pack, clean and get ourselves out the door. Luckily, all our hosts have been incredibly understanding and accommodating. It’s no small favor to open your door to the entire Slobe family, dog and all, for 3-7 days at a time. You know the old saying, house guests are like fish, both spoil after 3 days, or something like that. We haven’t stayed at any home less than 3 days, and we haven’t been kicked out yet. We truly have amazing friends.

Wright and Slobe Family in Tahoe-Donner.
Wright and Slobe Family in Tahoe-Donner.

We have enjoyed every moment of our “tour de amigos.” We have had more quality time with some of our oldest and dearest friends in the last few weeks than we’ve had in years. The Hendricks and Wright families, Kelly Ryer and Sean Safreed, Brooke Wheeler and Jez Hildred, and Nita Winter and Rob Badger. Many, if not all, of these friends we’ve known for nearly 20 years from our time living in CO and CA. Sadly, they all live far away from us now and we only get together a few times a year if we are lucky. Seeing them all again has been uplifting, comforting and a little bittersweet as we continue to press onward toward Mexico where we literally know no one.

Here are some of our favorite memories we’ve made with our friends on this trip so far:

With Nita Winter and Rob Badger at Tennessee Valley Beach in Marin, CA.
With Nita Winter and Rob Badger at Tennessee Valley Beach in Marin, CA.
  • Touring some of Salt Lake City’s best new eating and drinking establishments with Robbi and Brandon Hendricks, and serendipitously ending up at the Mormon Temple Assembly Hall for a free concert.
  • Stand-up paddle boarding with Cyndi and Dave Wright on Lake Tahoe, and watching their sweet boys Simon and Thomas play with and read bedtime stories to Maya.
  • Brian getting to mountain bike sweet Park City and Lake Tahoe single track trails with Brandon and Dave.
  • A spectacular sunset picnic with the Kelly and Sean to celebrate Brian’s birthday, where we saw whales, played Frisbee and enjoyed a rare warm and wind-free evening on Ocean Beach, San Francisco.
  • Enjoying an amazing home-cooked meal and playing Cards Against Humanity with Kelly and Sean and Brooke Wheeler and Jez Hildred in Noe Valley, SF, where we laughed so hard we snorted and cried.
  • Hiking to the West Point Inn on Mount Tamalpais and to Tennessee Valley beach with Rob and Nita in Marin County, CA.
Dinner party with Kelly, Brooke and Sean.
Dinner party with Kelly, Brooke and Sean.

Each place and friend we visit, we have such a good time that we don’t want to leave. But I know that more reunions and great experiences are waiting for us at each new location, so we move on. And, of course, we don’t want to be old fish stinking up our friends’ homes.

Tomorrow we leave Marin and start heading south. Our first stop on our southerly journey will be in Arroyo Grande, CA, where my cousins Jacquie and Devon and their new baby Gavin live. I can’t wait to meet one of the newest members of our family, reunite with my cousins and explore the Central Coast of California. Southward ho!

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