Great Friends and Great Surprises :: Rices’ Radical Sabbatical in Anacortes, WA


We have had a great couple of days.

On Monday, Candy and I drove up to visit with Pete and Shara Heiniger and their 5 girls and had a great time. Chase was one tuckered out puppy after the visit with those girls, as he swam all afternoon long and fetched balls they tossed to him. He is a sucker for ball fetchin’! He could barely walk when he got home to the camper.

We shared a nice meal with the whole family at Red Robin (Yum!) and headed back to Anacortes. It is always great to share time with them…they are doing such a great job with their girls!

Today was a surprising day for us. I had received an email from my aunt Chris last night stating: “You “might” get some surprise visitors tomorrow…..just saying…………….” Well, I responded to her saying “Really? We will be ready…” I did not have a clue who might show up or if anyone would.

Well, around 10:30 am or so we hear a knock on our trailer door. Surprisingly enough, we were NOT ready as I stated we would be. I slide the window over and looked out to see Bobby and Belinda Walker. They said “Do you know who we are?” and I said “Oh…of course I do…it’s the Walkers!”

I had not seen them in over 16 years. Seeing their faces brought back so many awesome memories. I was fortunate enough as a young kid to meet them in the early 1980s when my grandmother and Chris had a camper at Seaside RV Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. My brother Tony and I would play with their two sons, Brian and Brad, every summer when we would go to the camper. They have been dear friends to my family for nearly 30 years.

In addition, they are expert RVers and Candy and I peppered them with questions throughout our time with them tonight. They were coming back from a trip into Canada. I asked when they were heading back to Alabama and Belinda said “Whenever.” Now, those are our kind of people! They even have a blog!

They were so nice to have a great cookout at their RV with grilled chicken, hot dogs, baked beans (made with a special recipe that Belinda has mastered), and Strawberry Shortcake from the local Safeway store. It was really great!

We then went out to the bay and sat in chairs and watched the sun set and even noticed seals out in the bay swimming around, though we could not get a picture of them. We also saw a Bald Eagle. It was just a great day…Bobby and Belinda are some of the nicest people Candy and I have ever met. They made the effort to come to our campground specifically to see us (thanks to Chris and her directions…thanks, Chris!). They are heading to Friday Harbor tomorrow and I am sure it will be a good time for them…it was for us.

We head out on a flight back to Colorado tomorrow on business for us both. We have really enjoyed being here and wish we had more time. It is truly a great area to visit. We are kenneling Chaser for the next 10 days here in Anacortes. It is not ideal but at least it will be a safe place for him to stay. Candy will come back on July 19th and I will be back on July 20th after a short flight to Austin, Texas, to meet my new team and their parents at the Regents School of Austin. On July 20th or 21st we will head north to Alaska.

Have a great day tomorrow and thanks for following along! Photos are from Candy’s Droid…enjoy!

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