It was then northward, to visit Bill's hometown of Blackshear, Georgia, where we checked on his mom's grave site and had lunch with his niece. We stopped in Macon, Ga at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and then spent a few days with our step-son and his family south of Atlanta. It is always fun to see the grand-kids.
While in Atlanta, we visited with a cousin of Bill's and her family, and had dinner with his nephew and his family. Traveling on, we stopped at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky and then ended up in northern Indiana at Pat's college roommate's. We spent a few days sailing with her and her husband on their boat (beautiful 38ft Island Packet) from Michigan City to Chicago for the 4th of July. Unfortunately, this year Chicago opted to cancel their big fireworks show, so it was a pretty quite holiday.
We stayed in Milwaukee for a few weeks, making the required annual medical visits. It is amazing how much more involved that seems, the older one gets. We had lots of fun spending time with Pat's younger sister and her family. Her mother-in -law has been in a nursing home for three years, and her house on Lake Butte des Morts near Oshkosh has been sitting empty since then, so they offered to let us stay there, for some routine maintenance and re-modeling. Even though we weren't on our boat, we could still get up in the morning and look out at water. We made a trip to NW Wisconsin, to spend time with Pat's P.T. school roommate and husband at their lake house, and then drove, from there, up to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands National Seashore, where Bill worked and we lived one year about 22 years ago! We also attended the big annual EAA air show in Oshkosh, which was like a huge boat show with more vendors than one could ever get around to in one day. People fly in from all over and camp by their planes for the week. The daily airshow had military planes and "bombing" exhibitions from the WW II era, and they had their first night-time airshow---Quite spectacular! There was also a visit to Green Bay for the Tall Ships' Regatta and a drive through Door County to see the Fall leaves and visit the maritime museum. We discovered that the Marine Travel Lift was invented there. (For those non boaters--that is a big sling apparatus for lifting boats out of the water.) The first one is in a museum there!
Lots of time was spent gathering the things we needed to take back to Guatemala. By the time we were ready to leave, we had three big bags jam packed and weighing just under the 50 pound limit and one old suitcase in which Bill packed a new battery charger/inverter. (That one weighed almost 58 pounds, so cost extra to take on the plane.) We also had two carry-on duffel bags and two computers. We stored our car in the garage in Oshkosh, and Pat's sister drove us to O'Hare in Chicago on October 13. Thank goodness for luggage carts! Bill watched apprehensively, as three different TSA agents opened and studied the suitcase with the inverter. They finally waved at him and said all was fine. Amazingly, the other three bags made it through the x-ray machine and onto the conveyor belt without further inspection. As we were boarding the plane, they took our two carry-on duffels and checked them, as the plane was full and the last 20 or so passengers had no place left on the plane for carry-ons. So we had only to keep up with the two computers until we claimed the baggage in Guatemala City.
Upon landing in Guatemala City about 9:15 PM, we were a little nervous about clearing customs with our 6 bags and computers, but after retrieving the checked bags, we wheeled them to Immigration, had our passports stamped, and then gave the form we had filled out on the plane to the Customs man, and he just waved us on through. We were back "home" in Guatemala!