KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The setting sun put on a splendid show for us as we neared the Rocky Mountains off in the distance on the far side of Denver. We arrived just before dark and found our way off the interstate with help from a quick call to Audrey. We told her we were near Murphy Creek Golf Course and asked whether we should head north or south from there. Anil and Audrey had played Murphy Creek in May, so I knew we were close. Once we left the I-470 we found our way easily because we had spent two weeks with Audrey following our return to Canada and the US from Japan. It was like coming home. We had put 12,000 km on the Volvo and it had only required a regular (or should I say premium?) diet of high-priced gasoline and one new tire to cover that great distance. We had travelled an additional 2,000 kms in other people’s vehicles so you could call us road weary for sure. It was time to park the car and rest for a couple of weeks.
Time flew by with unseasonably warm weather and plenty of great food and golf. Anil and Audrey played the challenging Saddle Rock Golf course several times and Audrey even lowered her standards and played with us a couple of time on the J.F Kennedy Par 3 course. I didn’t play well when she was there to watch my putting, but did manage my best round one day when Audrey stayed home to start packing for our trip. Anil feels that I am improving steadily, but for me, it’s still amazing that I am playing at all. I never dreamed that I would enjoy being outside playing a game that I have watched all my life on television. It’s wonderful to share time with Anil on the golf course and never again can I call myself a golf widow.
While driving across New England Anil and I were constantly reminded of our previous journey there when we focused on the Civil War battlefields. We decided that we wanted to watch the Ken Burns miniseries about the war, produced and aired in 1989. We signed up for Netflix, the on-line DVD rental company and ordered all five the DVDs in the series. One by one, they arrived and we watched them together with Audrey. She had not seen the series before and was dumbfounded by the brutality of the struggle between the Union and the Confederate states.
We didn’t choose to watch The Civil War because of the pending US election, but it turned out to be an incredibly interesting time to learn more about this period in American history. Time and time again, during the campaign and then especially on election night when Barack Obama was declared President-Elect, references were made to the Civil War and statements that major players had made to the people of the North and the South. It was even said, that the election of the first African American President in the United States of America was the culmination of the efforts of people as far back as the beginning of the war.
Worn out from the heart-rending drama of the miniseries, we ordered a movie called The Visitor from Netflix. To our surprise, this moving drama was set in New York City and we recognized many of the famous places and several streetscapes that we had just visited during our time in New York. At one point, I leaped out of my seat when the main characters walked out of a restaurant after eating shwarma. I recognized the small eatery located in The Village, it was the same place that Adia, Geoff, Anil and I had ducked into to eat one afternoon as we walked through the neighbourhood.
The food had been so delicious that I had asked Anil and Adia to pose under the sign so I wouldn’t forget the name this wonderful place. If you are ever in NYC and love Middle Eastern food, be sure to stop in at Yatagan Kebab House. The walls are lined with photos of famous people who have eaten there; I spotted Robert De Niro during the few moments I raised my head from the huge platter of delicious food.
One last thing we had to take care of before we fly on to Los Angeles was the storage of our trusty steed. We were thrilled when Adia and Geoff offered to give us back the Volvo for our road trip and we planned the journey with the intention of leaving the car in Denver once we had finished driving our circle tour. We found an affordable storage lot listed on craigslist.org and settled the car there. We had initially planned to register the car in Alberta once again, and take out our own insurance, but this became too complicated and expensive.
In the end, we left everything in Adia’s and Geoff’s names and simply carried on under Geoff’s insurance. When we parked the car, we were required to remove the license plates and send them to Victoria in order to change the insurance from coverage for driving, to coverage for storage. When we went to a FedEx outlet, we were astounded to learn that they would charge over US $90 to deliver a simple envelope with the plates inside. Luckily, we checked with express mail at the post office and ended up paying US $9 instead. Ten times the cost is not in our travel budget, especially when we will have to get new license plates sent to us next summer when we want to drive the Volvo back up to Canada.
At last I find myself writing the last paragraph of my journal for the Summer/Fall of 2008. I apologize for getting so far behind with my stories, but the reason for this long road trip was to visit friends and family across Canada and the United States, and it was really important that I focus on them and not the solitary work of writing on my laptop. We leave tomorrow to begin what I call Retirement - Year Three. This will be the first time Anil and I have ever travelled south of the continental US and we are looking forward to a relaxing month in Manzanillo at the rustic apartment we have rented with Audrey.
At the end of our stay there, Audrey will return to prepare for Christmas with her sons and grandchildren when she and Jordan travel to Pittsburgh to join Darin and Kristen there. She has just made a big leap and purchased a condo near the home of Darin and Kristen. She is planning to spend her winters in Pennsylvania with the grandchildren and the summers in Colorado with her golfing buddies. We are delighted, a new home to visit her in should we ever decide to take a break from following the sun. For our part, we will start our journey through Central and South America. Hope you will be along for the ride.
We’ve been playing the James Taylor song Mexico ever since we decided to head south of the border. The words are engraved on our minds and the practice margaritas are tasty on our lips. Must go now, Audrey and Anil are impatient to have me join them for a glass of red wine on this our last night in Denver. Oh, Mexico, here we come.