We left Newport RI October 10 and spent the night in Boston. Morning of October 11 at 5:30am we were heading back to Logan International Airport in an Uber for a flight to LAX. We had booked an Airbnb for two nights in Corona Del Mar which is a seaside neighborhood in Newport Beach. We did this to break up the 21+ hour flight from Boston to Melbourne and to connect with five sets of friends living in the area. We landed before noon and picked up a rental car from one of our favorite rental companies, Sixt. We have used them extensively in Israel and the UK. They offer great cars at good prices. They unfortunately only have a few US locations. We drove directly to Venice Beach to meet up with Tom O’Toole who we first met in Mexico City earlier this year. Since meeting Tom in CDMX he has returned to Boston, sold his loft apartment and started in on a similar odyssey to ours and is presently living in Marina Del Rey. He says that our inspiration and example was the nudge that he needed to start on his journey.
Our next appointment is with an old friend who we both worked with in the late 70’s and 80’s at New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham MA. Allan Bock was a surgeon there until he decided to become a real doctor and went into Emergency Medicine and moved to California. Allan met us at our Airbnb and then drove us to a lovely waterfront dinner. Unfortunately his beautiful wife Cheryl who is an Emergency Nurse Practitioner was on duty and could not join us. It was great reconnecting with Allan though. We have stayed in touch through the years.
Saturday morning, we have two more friends to meet up with today but can’t resist an early morning run along the Newport Beach coastline with its fancy homes and beautiful views.
After our run we cleaned up and went for a delicious homemade brunch at the home of Anette and Terry Parsons in Irvine. Anette Palm grew up in Ethiopia with Jim and their parents were very close. Anette and Jim attended the same one room schoolhouse there.
Anette also lived at Jim’s parents house for one year of high school and Jim sublet Anette’s apartment in Loma Linda during his first semester of Medical School. We always have a very special time when we get together with Anette and Terry. She is a big follower of this blog as she also loves to travel and has traveled the world extensively.
Saturday night we get together with one of our two “perfect strangers”, Kelly Leonard. Both of our perfect strangers have been showcased in our blogs in the past as they both ran the Boston Marathon in 2018 and we visited Melissa Conlon while in Colorado in August/September of 2018. They are perfect strangers because we met both on the front stoop of our home in Boston, Kelly in 2014 and Melissa in 2016. We invited both to our after marathon party and they both showed up and we have been friends ever since. Sandy also gives them a copy of the book If not for the Perfect Stranger which is a heart warming compilation of vignettes of Bostonians helping out Marathon runners after the Marathon bombing in 2013. We also met Kelly’s boyfriend Charles Courville in 2014. They stop by to pick us up at our Airbnb and discover that we are renting from a very good friend of theirs. Small world. Kelly is a very competitive runner, often winning her age group and occasionally being the first female finisher. She is presently in pursuit of running the six major marathons which were mentioned in our last blog on the BMW Berlin Marathon. Kelly will complete the sixth marathon next April in London.
Sunday morning we are getting together with our fifth and final friend Gary Bailey and his wife Eugenea. Jim and Gary went to school together in Asheville NC in the early 60’s and have not seen each other or been in contact until they hooked up on Facebook a few months ago. We discovered we had much in common with one another, sharing a love of travel, staying active physically and eating well. They had to drive about 80 minutes from their home in Menifee to meet us for brunch. It was so nice to meet each others spouses and Sandy and Eugenea hit it off splendidly as did all of us. We had a three hour meal with them due to all of the animated conversations.Kelly and Charles had asked us to invite Gary and Eugenea on our afternoon Duffy boat ride in Newport Bay which they gladly accepted. We love when our friends meet each other as we usually know when they will be compatible as was the case today.
Yes, we did forgot the corkscrew and none of us could coax the cork out so we pulled up alongside another boat and asked to borrow their corkscrew and some Grey Poupon.
After dinner we drove to LAX for our 10:45pm flight to Melbourne. We left LA on the 13th and arrived Melbourne the morning of the 15th. Where did the 14th of October go?