Henry and his wife began the tour of California in Santa Barbara

Henry had worked internationally for most of his adult life.

  • He met and married his wife Annah while stationed overseas.

They lived a good life and brought up three kids. All of them were doing great. Henry and Annah always believed they’d return to the US and settle one day, But before doing so, they wanted to explore the whole country and choose a place to build or buy their retirement home. Their first pick of a state was California. After flying back, they found a temporary place to stay and began their new chapter. Annah wanted to explore Santa Barbara, which was where her grandmother was born. The city set at the coast was warm and lovely for most of the year. This was a huge selling point for a couple used to sunny places across the world. Another pro was weed dispensaries where they’d buy lots of things like edibles, CBD oils, and balms since weed is legal in the state. Annah wanted to begin their tour of Santa Barbara by going to wine country. They had been to some fantastic wine-growing areas in France and knew California was also an excellent area to explore. Annah had plans to get a few bottles which she would add to her wine collection. The dream home they had in mind had to have a wine cellar to house their fantastic collection from all over the world. The days spent in the wine country were unique as they even got to learn how to make wine. The Santa Ynez valley had a wine tour for all people, and along the way, they made some wonderful new friends.



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Living in Santa Barbara was a dream come true for my folks

We grew up in the frigid north.

While other people only had to experience a few months of snow, it felt like an eternity for us.

Our parents had been born and brought up in the area. But, they always harbored a dream of moving somewhere warm and lovely one day. Once we had all left the house, we went our separate ways, and I ended up in Santa Barbara. I had started a small business and was fortunate enough to land a massive investor in the city. The company grew, and I also got a chance to fall in love with this lovely place. One thing that held my heart was that it was warm and marijuana was legal, so I could buy some cannabis oil at the local dispensaries. I even got to fly my siblings and parents over for the holidays, and they all saw why this was a fantastic place. Mom and dad expressed that this was the location they had dreamt of living all their lives. So, my siblings and I decided to make their dreams come true. We feigned one of us was not doing well, and they had to fly to Santa Barbara immediately. All the while not knowing we had found a lovely new house which we bought. When they arrived at the airport, I took them to the house instead of my place. I lied. I had recently moved but then told them, “welcome to your new home” when we pulled up the driveway. Mom and dad were blown away and could not believe we had made their dream come true.


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We had to move to Libertyville last year

All our lives, we lived on the coast.

The town we grew up in was near the beach.

You can already imagine the weather. Apart from some few weeks where we got rain and cold weather, it was always warm. I never thought I wanted to live anywhere else. But, life can be unpredictable. Last year, dad got a job in Libertyville, IL. I knew about the state but not much else. We had about two months to get our affairs in order before relocating. He has the opportunity of becoming CEO of a company in the area. Once we heard the news, we were happy for him but a little worried. The little research we did showed it snowed in Libertyville. None of us were a big fan of freezing temperatures. Dad assured us we would be fine and finally get used to the seasons in the town. In addition, the house we’d move into has an air conditioning system to keep us warm in winter and cool during the summer months. I must admit that was a bit of good news. But you could still tell we had some reservations about the move. We were saying goodbye to everything and everyone we’d known since we were kids. But, we were a little excited that this was a chance to see and experience a new place. Mom reminded us we always wanted to travel, and this was a chance to start a new adventure. All that made sense and we promised to give the new town a chance and explore lots of different attractions come summer. My only hope was that I’d find the schools in Libertyville as good as the ones I was leaving behind.
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My daughter wanted to tour the Children’s Museum of Evansville

My sister was getting married, and I was one of her bridesmaids.

She was so excited and looked forward to my daughter and her joining her in Evansville, Indiana.

We booked a flight and flew out a week to the wedding day. I had taken my annual leave from town and intended to relax after the wedding before flying back home. After the wedding, she went on her honeymoon, and we stayed in her house. It was in a lovely neighbourhood away from the noisy areas and had excellent air conditioning. The HVAC system was perfect because it was so hot and humid in the city. One morning, we were having breakfast when my daughter brought up a topic I had been dreading. I had promised her a tour of Evansville, and she already had a place picked out where she wanted to go. It was the Children’s Museum of Evansville. The museum was located downtown and covered a whole 18000 square feet. The thought of the massive place made me shudder, but a promise is a debt. We put on our walking shoes the following morning and headed to the museum. It turned out to be the next experience of my life because we got to bond so much with my daughter. We were encouraged to experience the place together, and I was glad to hear her ask so many intelligent questions. We also got to do many fun activities together, including climbing and playing the laser harp. With so many wonderful things to do and see, the museum wasn’t as massive as it had been the previous day. On the first floor of the building, we spent time at the Freedom gallery and Quack factory. My daughter also enjoyed the Work Smart Technical and Mechanical exhibit as someone who loved technology.

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Football season in Denver got more interesting after I got some excellent seats

I’ve been playing football all my life. It was one of the sports that kept me out of trouble. We did not have much growing up, and mom was always working. This left me with a lot of time to get into trouble. Our school principal advised mom to encourage me to try out for the football team in high school. Once I was on the field, I felt different, and our coach helped me choose a different path. I later joined the University of Colorado, graduated with honors, and got a good job. My boss was a good team builder and always knew how to keep us motivated. He was more of a leader than a manager. Last spring, I succeeded in bringing in a new client with a top account. My reward included good seats at the Empower Field. This was the home tuf of the Denver Broncos, which is my favorite team formed back in 1960. Work had been crazy, and football took a back seat. But I was happy to attend the game and see my team play. I decided to take my teammate, who had made the account access possible. She lived on the outskirts of town, and I drove up to pick her. The day was quite hot, and I felt wonderful sitting in the car with air conditioning while waiting for her to gather her things. We planned to have lots of fun and go out dancing later on. When we got to the stadium, it took my breath away as it always did. Picture this: over 75000 fans chanting and cheering in one place. You’d have to be there to experience it, and we had some of the best seats in the place.
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I surprised my son with a visit to Denver to watch baseball at the Coors Field

My son loved everything about baseball.

It was a fun pastime we shared ever since he could hold a ball and glove in his hand.

We’d spend hours talking about our favorite teams and watch different matches on TV. At home, we attended many matches and loved the competitive atmosphere. But I knew my son wanted to tour different places and see other teams play. So, for his thirteenth birthday last year, I planned a surprise for him. We were going to fly to Denver, Colorado, and watch some games at the famous Coors Field. When I gave him his gift, he almost knocked me down, giving me the biggest hug ever. I saw he was fighting back the tears as he thanked me profusely. He was ecstatic to see the Colorado Rockies play. The day of departure came, and he was ready to go hours before our flight. We flew into Denver on a lovely summer afternoon and were greeted by the July heat. We stayed with a friend of mine who was also taking his son to see the games. Their home was in a beautiful area and had a sound HVAC system to keep us cool during the visit. We woke up early the following morning to get to the stadium on time. There were thousands of people attending the match, given that the Coors field could hold 50000 people. My son and his friend were beyond happy, and we all had a merry time cheering for our favorite players. Later we went to the Interactive center, where we got a chance to test our skills in video batting cages. We all got such a kick from all these activities and had a great father-son bonding moment.


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Visiting Larimer Square in Denver, CO

My parents were not entirely happy with my decision to take time off college.

It had only been a year, but I felt strongly I was not doing what I wanted to do.

So, I planned to leave college and travel for some time. I found myself in many unique places in the country. Last summer, my adventures took me to Denver, Colorado. I could not wait to behold the mighty rocky mountains that we had learned in high school. I flew into the state and found a nice place to stay. My mom had made me promise not to take significant risks with the places I visited during my travels. She worried about a lone female traveler and called me every day. I got a lovely budget hotel and booked a room to stay. It was so hot outside so imagine my relief when I realized they had an excellent cooling unit in the rooms. In addition, there was a room fan if I needed to use it when I was indoors. That evening I went out for a stroll and found a place to have some dinner. The actual exploration would start the next day, and the top of my list of places to visit was the famous Larimer Square. The area was one of the most visited in Denver and was founded back in 1858. A bunch of native Indian guys had come across an excellent gold deposit, and word spread. Soon many people streamed to the location to try their luck, which led to settlements coming up. The city of Denver developed around Larimer square. My guidebook suggested this area as the best place to start my tour of the lovely Denver city. I was so excited and headed there early the following morning.

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Humidity is a problem in the winter.

I couldn’t believe how humid it was when we got to Spokane, WA. My friend had invited me to spend Christmas in his house. The house was located near Manito Park in Spokane, WA. Mom came to Spokane with me, and she brought a friend with her. Her friend couldn’t believe how humid it was, and that’s all she kept saying. She wanted to get inside where there was good heating and not so humid. I couldn’t understand why mom liked her so much. I thought the woman was an oddball and she talked too much, but I didn’t have to spend my time with her. I was going to be on Mt. Spokane with Bill. When we got to Mt. Spokane, I realized I was overdressed. We hadn’t even walked a mile when I had sweat rolling down between my shoulder blades. I didn’t want to complain because it was such a beautiful hiking area, and I was with Bill. He must have noticed my discomfort because he asked if I wanted to go back. I told him I wasn’t tired, it was just that I hadn’t expected humidity in the winter. He told me that they didn’t have any humidity in the summer, so it was a good trade-off. I asked him if they had a dehumidifier in their heating system, and a humidifier in the air conditioning? He laughed at me. He wasn’t sure about the HVAC, but it was comfortable in the house all year round. I apologized for the questions, but my dad was an HVAC technician. The rest of our time in Spokane, WA was so much fun, that we didn’t even notice the humidity.
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Traveling back to Albuquerque after living several states north during undergrad

Although I grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from West Mesa High School, I was desperate to leave the state when I moved further north for college.

Although it has a rich history and Native American culture, many people fail to realize that Albuquerque is in the middle of the desert in New Mexico. You can drive to the mountains on the outskirts of town, but the city itself is on desert land. With so many excruciatingly hot summers in New Mexico, I was excited for cooler weather up north. I would have never expected to miss the heat in Albuquerque after being away for several years. When I graduated from college, I started looking for jobs in Albuquerque so I could move back to my hometown and be near my friends and family again. Since cannabis was recently legalized statewide in New Mexico, I was even more eager to get back to the city than I would be to begin with. In recent years I have read about the various Native American tribes located through the city, including the several Apache tribes and the Navajo Nation. Old Town Albuquerque is dominated by shops and businesses owned by various Native American locals who live in the city. There are caves east of the city where you can see prehistoric stone art that has been preserved for tens of thousands of years. If you want entertainment, you can catch a concert at the Sunshine Theater, which was originally Albuquerque’s very first movie theater when it was opened in 1924. I’m proud of Albuquerque and it’s rich history, both culturally and anthropologically.

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Just when I thought I was done for the day

Ever since weed was legalized in the state of New Mexico, I’ve been going to the dispensary every Friday after work.

The marijuana shop delivers, but I like to look at the selection and the specials.

They don’t always post the specials online. Prices on medical and recreational marijuana have dropped by thirty percent since weed was legalized for everyone last month. For pot smokers like my friend and I that is really great news. I work for a really busy plumbing company in downtown Albuquerque. Everyday I work from 8am until the jobs are completed. Sometimes we aren’t very busy and I might be done by 3pm. Other days, I am swamped with plumbing repair calls and I don’t get home until 8pm. My girlfriend always finds this schedule to be impossible, because we can’t make any afternoon plans ahead of time. I was working on a plumbing issue for a large restaurant in downtown Albuquerque last Friday. I was finishing up and thought I would be headed over to the dispensary before the happy hour sale was over. I was excited to be done on a Friday before 6pm. I should have known better. Right as I was pulling out of the parking garage, I got a call from my boss. There was one more repair call on the schedule and I was the first person finished. I thought I would make it to the sale on time, but I was wrong. I had to settle for paying full price instead of saving 20% on the entire purchase.

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