America... the land of plenty. After 3 years of never being able to find what we need, we had forgotten just how easy it is to buy whatever one needs being back in America. We are in awe of the grocery stores and how much food is available, 24 hours a day, and how cheap everything is compared to where we have been. One example: Once we left Mexico, we have not seen plain corn chips, except for a $9 dollar bag in Egypt. Here in America there are whole rows of corn chips in massively sized bags. There are so different brands of beer to choose from, and more brands of wine one could possible want. Need to order something? Just get on the internet and it will be on your doorstep in days! Want something to eat? Just hop in a car and in minutes you can be eating any kind of food you can possibly want.
Just a short list of where Team Sandpiper has been in Corporate America since returning: Taco Bell, Cracker Barrel, Fry’s Electronics (my favorite), Target (Amy’s favorite), Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy (x 3), Kroger Groceries, Marsh Groceries, Whole Foods Grocery, Gap, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, Best Buy, HH Greg Electronics, Steak & Shake, Sam’s Club.
The electronics that have come out in the last 3 years are quite impressive. Amy and I spent a day at the local mall checking out all the new gadgets. We planted ourselves in large Lazy Boy chairs at the Sony store and watched, memorized, at the new 52 inch high definition TV’s with Blu Ray technology. They are quite impressive compared to our 7 inch DVD player on Sandpiper.
Also, a couple of other really cool gadgets that I think will be great for boaters are Sony’s Mylo, and Apple's iTouch handheld computers that have WiFi and Skype. This is something that is easy to transport ashore and all one has to do is find a wifi hotspot and now this gadget is a phone via Skype to anywhere in the world. They are both a bit costly. So for now will be on our Christmas wish list. Santa.... are you reading this?
This is only the Third time I have been to Indiana and this is Amy’s hometown. Being in a house (Pat’s) after 3 years certainly has it’s attractions. Hot showers whenever we want. A large refrigerator that holds a lot of food that is easy to get out without unloading the whole fridge. A freezer that always has a full ice bucket full (whenever I hear the automatic ice maker dump its load into the freezer it makes me smile). A large sink that we can run the water as long as we want. Garbage disposal, electric toaster, blender, dishwasher, a washer and dryer where we can wash our clothes as many times as we want. TV with hundreds of channels of great American TV to watch. Air conditioning. And more than 35 feet of space (right now Amy is upstairs and I am downstairs).
When there is a lightning storm I do not care how strong the winds are, or worry that we are going to be zapped by lighting. There is internet 24 hours a day. A guy comes once a week and takes all our garbage away. There is electricity to turn on as many different appliances on without having to worry about recharging batteries. An electric coffee maker. A bed where Amy and I can get in and out from our own sides. A yard. A car to drive wherever we want to go. Etc., etc.
The last 10 days have been very busy with friends and family. Amy’s mom (Pat) put up her house for visitors. Mom Larson flew in from Arizona. Amy’s dad, Bob, flew in from California. Amy’s grandma, June, flew in from Florida for her 80th birthday. Amy’s Aunt Doreen & Cousin Marilyn drove down from New York. And now all have all returned home.
Also, we have been visiting friends locally and enjoying seeing them again as we have not been home in 3 years. We have been getting out fill of Mexican food and margaritas as much as we can. And went with the moms to see the new Batman movie at an Imax screen. If you have not seen this movie, it is a must to see this way. I have never seen a movie on an Imax screen before and have to say I am a big fan!
We also got lucky to be here when one of our favorite groups of musicians ‘The Micky Hart Band’ breezed through town playing at The Vogue in Broad Ripple. If you are an old Deadhead you know who this is. But if not, Mickey Hart is the drummer from the Grateful Dead. The keyboard player, Kyle Hollingsworth, is one of our favorites from the band 'String Cheese Incident'. And the guitar player was Steve Kimock along with a few other musicians that totally rocked. We were so close to the stage our left ears were 1 foot from the speakers so the next morning we could not hear very well. After the show we stopped at a bar nearby where another band was playing where we met a guy that supplies salsa all over the U.S. and has the contract to supply Jimmy Buffet’s restaurant chain ‘Margaritaville’ with all it’s salsa needs. We dubbed him ‘Salsa King’.
Sandpiper is getting a bit of fame back here in America as well. Carmel Indiana’s local paper, 'Current in Carmel’, is going to put us on the front page of their newspaper. And the sailing magazine Latitudes & Attitudes is going to put Sandpiper in their October publication as their featured boat. You can also read Sandpiper’s latest update in the Presidio Yacht Club's latest newsletter [PDF].
Team Sandpiper's current plans are to keep enjoying being back in America for at least the next week till we can figure out when the best time is for us to get a standby flight back to Sandpiper in Turkey.
One last note. Big birthday wishes go out to Mom Larson and the master of this blog Brother Ron!!
More when we figure out what we are doing.
Tom and Amy
25 July 2008