The Springer Brothers Reunion Tour (Part 3)

The Springer Brothers (Jim, Pete, Bill, and Tom) from our Family Reunion in Two Harbors, Minnesota in 2021

One of the more interesting aspects of human nature is we share some common traits while also having qualities that make us unique. Some people in our lives are extroverted, and others are introverted. I fall somewhere in the middle. While I like my quiet times and privacy, I typically enjoy being around others.

Besides the obvious health concerns that Covid presented, one of the other main challenges for me was the periods of isolation. I craved social contact and missed being around family and friends. It’s curious how we fall into roles without initially being aware of them. One of my unique traits is I am an organizer—a guy who tries to foster togetherness. I am the person who plans a monthly retirement lunch, someone who schedules get-togethers with friends, and the guy who will reach out to others by phone or text to stay in touch. The one thing that Covid reinforced for me was never to take these relationships for granted.

One of the curious things about my three older brothers and me is that we each live in a different time zone. More than three decades ago, my parents started a tradition of getting together for a family reunion every three years. One of the brothers would typically plan the gathering. Since we take turns organizing these events, each brother’s turn happens every twelve years. We’ve made memories with eleven separate reunions now. Mom and Dad have since passed, but we have carried forth their tradition, which I hope will continue with the next generation.

While the reunions have been a great time to gather as a family, I wanted to spend quality one-on-one time with each brother. When the pandemic happened, I decided to make this fantasy a reality once things opened up again. My wife gave me her blessing, and I jumped on it.

While I am the chief organizer for getting friends together, my wife usually handles all the logistics of our travels. She is a superb planner and always does an admirable job, but I wanted to take the lead since this was my trip. I booked the flights, hotels, and rental car and developed a travel plan. Before visiting each of my brothers, I planned to rent a car and meet up with two blogging friends on the east coast. Phase #1 of my trip was to get together with the incredible Jennie Fitzkee and visit her preschool classroom in Groton, MA. https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2022/05/20/the-springer-brothers-reunion-tour-part-1/ Phase #2 was a planned stop to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Jim Borden, who teaches accounting at Villanova University near Philadelphia, PA. https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/2022/05/27/the-springer-brothers-reunion-tour-part-2/

While those visits couldn’t have gone any better, it was time to move to the main event. The first brother gathering was in Warren, New Jersey, with my oldest brother, Jim, and my sister-in-law, Nancy. Jim was a research chemist and worked for the pharmaceutical company Merck. One of the qualities I most admire about him is that even though he is brilliant, you can’t meet a more likable and humbler guy. Much like my environmental parents, Jim shares their love of nature and is happiest when outdoors, enjoying butterflies and birds. He is vice-president of the North American Butterfly Association, and I was sure that we’d spend a lot of time outdoors looking for butterflies. As a lepidopterist (someone who studies butterflies), Jim tries to photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time I was in New Jersey, but we did get a chance to get out some. Some of our other stops included the Morris Museum, The Raptor Trust, a wildlife refuge, and dinner at an Afghan restaurant.

Jim and Pete searching for butterflies in New Jersey.
The weather was mostly too cool and overcast for butterflies, but I got this photo of a Morning Cloak.
Jim and Nancy’s home.
One of the beautiful flowering trees in Jim and Nancy’s yard.
Jim and Nancy’s lush backyard was a haven for many plants and animals.
T-Rex at the Morris Museum in Morris, New Jersey.
Bald eagles at the Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey. After these majestic birds heal, they will be released back into the wild.
We went to this wildlife refuge and saw many different species of birds.
Dinner with my brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Nancy at an Afghan restaurant.
My first dining experience at an Afghan restaurant. The food was delicious.

From New Jersey, it was on to Litchfield, Minnesota, to visit my brother, Tom, and his wife, Ann. Tom is the other brother in the family who taught. He taught 40 years in Litchfield, 39 of them in third grade. I’ve always admired Tom’s patience, which served him well in his teaching career and as a parent of four children. Tom and Ann’s children (my niece and nephews) all studied abroad, yet now all live within an hour of each other in Minnesota. That means that Tom and Ann are often on grandparent duty. On one of the days in Minnesota, I was able to see all six of my grandnieces and grandnephews. That was an unexpected bonus. Tom is the President of the Rotary Service Club. He is active and enjoys pickleball and golf. On the one day the weather cooperated, we shot eighteen holes. There were heavy rains, lightning, and even tornado warnings. One of the cities only ten miles away reported tennis ball-sized hail. Can you imagine? We spent a lot of time indoors, including some hotly contested ping-pong and pool matches. On the way to the airport, Tom and Ann took me to see the largest ball of twine.

My brother, Tom; sister-in-law, Ann; and five of their six grandkids.
I regret not getting closer for this photo. In the middle of the fairway, are two Canada Geese. Unfortunately, you can’t make out the young goslings that were waddling along between them.
Tom’s putt is about to go in.
It was a beautiful day to golf. One of the benefits of retirement is there aren’t many people on the course in the middle of a weekday.
71 years of combined teaching experience. Tom taught 40 years while I taught only 31 years.
When it rained we moved indoors for some ping-pong and pool.
My sister-in-law, Ann, with me in front of the world’s largest ball of twine.
Check out these statistics on the world’s largest ball of twine.

I spent the final leg of my trip with my brother, Bill, in Aurora, Colorado. Aurora is the third largest city in Colorado and is only a few miles from Denver. Bill spent many years as a loan officer at a bank and as an accountant in his tax business. He enjoys walking a few miles each day. Since I also like to exercise, I knew we’d get plenty of opportunities to walk and visit. While in Colorado, we saw the well-known Red Rocks area, a geologic wonder and home to many outdoor concerts. We also attended a professional baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the Kansas City Royals and spent part of the day at the Denver Zoo.

Part of the beautiful Red Rocks area in Morrison, Colorado.
Another stunning rock formation at Red Rocks.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.
Many big-time music performers have played at Red Rocks for many years.
Bill and Pete enjoying some professional baseball.
Great seats along the third-base line. The two teams forgot they were playing baseball and ended up with a football score—Kansas City Royals 14 Colorado Rockies 10.
Mountain goat at the Denver Zoo.
Gibbon climbing the ropes at the Denver Zoo.
Red river hog at the Denver Zoo.
Black Rhinoceros at the Denver Zoo.
Southern tamandua at the Denver Zoo. (Too many other animals to show.)

This trip was a memorable two-week experience, and it was wonderful to spend quality time with each of my brothers. If life has taught us anything in the last few years, we need to embrace these opportunities when they happen. It was special spending this time with my brothers. One thing I’ve done well in retirement has been to follow through on some of my long-term goals. I would advise others not to take life for granted. My life philosophy since retirement has been “no regrets.” Make those dreams come true, whatever they may be.

107 thoughts on “The Springer Brothers Reunion Tour (Part 3)

  1. I grew up in Warren, but I barely recognize it when I return to visit my mom. Red Rocks is on my bucket list. Great story…great photos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 6, 2022 — 9:02 pm

      I wonder if we’ve talked about this (Warren) before. As usual, my memory is a bit foggy. My wife is a big concert fan, and I can see us going to a concert there. I have noticed from your blog that we like much of the same brand of music. My wife is more of a country music fan, and I still like my rock.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful trip with family

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 6, 2022 — 9:05 pm

      Thanks, Norma. One of my favorite small world stories is the one about finding out that your dad was my mom’s doctor back in Downers Grove.

      I had a nice conversation with Kent Willis (he taught for Gene) the other day, and he had some great things to say about him.

      Like

  3. Wow! First, it looks like you have an amazing family. It’s great that you manage to stay close to your brothers despite the distance and time differences. It feels like such a meaningful and fun trip. Having said all that, I keep going back to the Afghan restaurant. We used to go to one in Toronto, but it closed many years ago and we haven’t been since. It looks delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 6, 2022 — 9:10 pm

      My parents did well—raised four solid men. I’m proud of my brothers and the kind of people they are. I assume you’re like me (home now), but reporting your trip details in the past tense. I hope everything finally worked out with the van.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, at home trying to catch up with our travels and getting ready for another trip to Denver. Maybe I’ll run into your brother 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pete—if you grew a beard you just might look like Jim’s twin. You Springers do share a resemblance with one another. Great photos. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 7:49 am

      Interesting, as people often say that Tom and I look alike. Both Jim and Tom have way more impressive beards. I go for the stubble look. Just think of all the time you’ll have to travel soon, Pam.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful trip, getting to see everyone and visiting so many parts of your very big country must have been a treat after the restrictions of the last few years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 7:51 am

      I don’t think I’m the type of person who takes things for granted, but I appreciated it more because I wouldn’t have been doing this in the previous two years.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You sure had a great time, Pete. The photos are fabulous and really enhance your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 7:55 am

      Denver was the only place it was dry as they were in the middle of a drought. It didn’t matter to me what we were doing; it was just the opportunity to be with my brothers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seems liKe you had a great time with them all 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderfully told story of your trip, my friend! Family is forever.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 7:58 am

      I can see that you and your sister are close by her many supportive comments on your blog. It is heartbreaking to learn that others are estranged from their families.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. so fun reading about the family portion of your summer tour. you all definitely bear a resemblance, though each have chosen their own path and have their own interests, what is the same is that you all sound like kind and caring men. bravo to your parents. how great that you used your organizational skills to make this happen. I’m quite sure it’s a trip you will never forget – priceless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:03 am

      It was a memorable two weeks. So many memories are etched in my brain. In retrospect, I wouldn’t change much. My son and his fiancee are coming into town today—they have a tough act to follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh, boy – good luck to them! have they set a wedding date yet?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 7:55 pm

        June of 2023 inside of Custer State Park in South Dakota.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. that will be an amazing location

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful images and post of your trip you made many memories it all looks amazing, Pete… I would love to eat in an Afghan restaurant but have never come across one yet 🙂 x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:06 am

      The service and food were excellent. It was fun to see the owner interacting with Jim and Nancy as they have gotten to know him over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats good to hear, Pete and it must have been so lovely to see a snapshot of their lives and a friendship forged over the years 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, Pete! Your brothers must have been thrilled to spend one-on-one time with you. I couldn’t agree more that we shouldn’t take life (or the people in it) for granted.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:11 am

      I’m glad there were no major snafus, as this coincided with the recently lifted mask mandate. Though I’m fully vaccinated, I felt more comfortable wearing my mask in the airports and on the plane. I’d estimate that 2/3 of the people were not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m still afraid to go out amongst other people.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. How wonderful to make the effort to spend time with each of your siblings, Pete. And how great to take in a tour of so much of the States at the same time. Making memories to last a lifetime. It’s important to take nothing for granted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:13 am

      The first day was a long travel day as I was up at four, flew to San Francisco, jetted cross country to Boston, and drove to my hotel in Massachusetts before going to Jennie’s class the next day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those distances don’t make much sense to me, but it does sound like a hectic schedule. You did well.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great recap, Peter!
    So fun to be part of this adventure!
    Ann 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:15 am

      Thanks for making me feel so welcome, Ann. Seeing your kids and grandchildren were unexpected rewards. Your boys are such wonderful dads.

      Like

  13. What a great trip. Lots of great memories for you. It is obvious that you really enjoyed yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:18 am

      It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t change anything. The cost of airfare is crazy these days, but I didn’t worry about that too much. Carpe diem!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pete: this is rich! As a semi-native Coloradoan (since 1969) I greatly appreciated your calling Aurora its own city. Too many non-natives insist it’s a suburb of Denver. Just sayin’…
    Anyway, you are so blessed to be able to take such a trip (I know you know that) and I’m more than just a little envious….geesh I think I said that about your visit to Jennie’s classroom, too! Oh well, I’m nothing if not consistent.
    Also, I’m like you on the intro/extro VERT thing and even coined a word for it: we’re ‘flextroverts’ How’s that for using my brain, teacher?!
    Shine on, Springer Brothers!
    😎

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:21 am

      Okay, I’m officially giving you credit for that term. Flextrovert—a term coined by Laura Bruno Lilly in 2022 for those who function part of the time as introverts and extroverts. Look it up—it’s in the dictionary. 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I do envy you your siblings – I have only one! But he loves not far away and if we don’t get together we talk on the phone. What a marvelous trip and so many new memories!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 9:47 am

      I remember the looks of sympathy Mom got when she’d tell people she had four boys. She would just smile and say, “I love my four boys.”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I know that wonderful feeling that’s so obvious in these photos. I feel that with my sister. I’m glad you-all had such a great time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 9:49 am

      Even though I don’t see my brothers often, it’s easy to pick right back up with them. One change is that we Zoom once a month since Covid. Apparently, we’ve started our own tradition.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is wonderful–the Zooming! A great family tradition for brothers who live so far apart.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I am both a introvert and an extrovert myself. I don’t like human nature but I also don’t like to be secluded for such long periods of time. A trip to get coffee and just be around people makes me feel less alone even if it’s just small talk. I LOVED the opening picture and that you and your siblings make time for one another while carrying on family traditions. I’ve also loved hearing all about the amazing blogging friends that you’ve gotten to visit with. Incredible travels!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 11:46 am

      I admit it was a bit of a leap of faith to spend a day with people I only knew from our blogs, but I consider myself to be a good judge of character. I have no regrets about any of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that putting yourself out there was pretty brave of you!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you for sharing your trip with us, Pete. Your photos were terrific and looks like you had a great time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 11:48 am

      Since the future is the great unknown, I’m glad that I took these steps. Now that we’re all retired, we have the luxury of planning things together without worrying about work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Work is the curse of the drinking class.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. How wonderful to get to spend time with your brothers, Pete. It is time you’ll always treasure. Great photos!! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 11:50 am

      Thank goodness for visual proof. We think we’ll remember everything, but I look back at events from years ago that would be wiped away from my memory entirely without photographs.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. How wonderful that you got to see all of your brothers. The family resemblance is strong, especially between you and Tom. Where are you placed in the family? I am thinking youngest perhaps. At least you all live in the same country. One of my brothers lives in Thailand, one in Alberta, Canada and I’m in Spain. But we keep in touch on a regular basis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 2:16 pm

      Yes, I’m the baby. People often say that about us. I changed grade levels a lot, but we ended our careers in 3rd grade. That was an enjoyable age to work with since most kids still love school and are becoming more independent. Zoom has been a big key for us as we schedule a regular call once a month.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. It sure looks like you had a great time with the reunion(s). I think the pandemic makes seeing friends and family an even sweeter experience now. I agree. We should not take these relationships and people for granted. I applaud your efforts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 2:22 pm

      Anytime we lose control of something for a time (travel and independence), it feels great to get it back. Since you are a world traveler, you must have felt the pinch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I missed traveling very much. It is surprising how hard it is to get back into the swing of things.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. What an adventure you have taken us on with this post, Pete. It was a treat to meeting up with Jennie and Jim – and now I have now been introduced to the three other amazing Springers and their families. I have traveled to Warren, New Jersey, Litchfield, Minnesota, and Aurora, Colorado. I have met up with amazing family members, plus butterflies and Canadian geese. I have seen the Red Rocks, the largest ball of twine and Bald eagles at the Raptor Trust in Millington, New Jersey.
    And all this from my kitchen table. No jet lag!! Many thanks for an extraordinary post.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:13 pm

      Thanks for following along, Rebecca. I know not everyone is interested, but I’m so happy I decided to make this trip. It was a wonderful treat to spend time with each of my brothers, and the icing on the cake was meeting Jennie and Jim. You are another great piece of the blogging world, and I enjoy your podcasts.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. What a wonderful trip. I enjoyed reading about your travels. I have lived in both the Twin Cities and Colorado (Boulder) as well as now in California. Never New Jersey, but I did live in New York, so this is all pretty familiar to me. I am glad you had such a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 7, 2022 — 8:09 pm

      Thanks for checking in, Rosi. How funny that we’ve been to many of the same places.

      By the way, I’ve been reading to seniors at one of our local assisted living centers. Part of the challenge is selecting something stimulating without being too complex a plot to follow. The answer? Middle-grade books. The first one I read was the one I won in one of your drawings (Say It Out Loud by Allison Varnes). Today I started The Misadventures of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty. I’m having such a great time with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Thanks for the introduction to your brothers. People outside the family think my sisters and I look alike, but our personalities and interests are completely different, no surprise. I believe strangers are better at detecting similarities while those related to one another see differences. It is a treat meeting your relatives and spouses.

    Thanks again for the travelogue. You’ve made me curious about Afghan food. I’m sure Jacksonville has such food–a diverse, seaport city. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:20 pm

      One of the beauties of traveling is being able to experience new things geographically and culturally.

      Having taught many second-generation students and siblings, I found similar personality traits and habits more interesting than physical traits. Observing the same abilities and similar unique skills was more fascinating to me than family members who had the same physical characteristics.

      Like

  25. Looks like you had fun. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to travel around the country now? And to have someone to go visit!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:24 pm

      All the simple pleasures in life are just a little sweeter. I feel very fortunate to have such great brothers and sad for those who have poor relationships with other family members.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. What a great way to share each of your brothers, and in doing so, your reunion. I love Afghan food, Pete. That must have been a treat. I enjoyed seeing Jim’s beautiful home and yard. And too bad you couldn’t get a golf game in with Tom everyday… hey, but you saw the world’s largest ball of twine! Looks like you had fun with Bill too. Now that’s my kind of landscape… rocks! And great smiles at the game. A fun post, Pete. How wonderful to get together with your brothers. Loved hearing about all the fun you had.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:28 pm

      Making any long-held goal come to fruition is satisfying. I’m reminded by some of your thoughts of how there are benefits to getting older. One of those is we realize there is only so much time left to fulfill our dreams, and we’re not about to get sidetracked worrying about what someone else thinks about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. I actually enjoy being a senior for that very reason.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Hi, Pete! Thanks for taking us along on your family reunion tour and introducing us to your brothers and their families. Such a wonderful way to celebrate family!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:31 pm

      It isn’t so much what we’re doing but who we’re doing it with. Could the weather have been more cooperative? Sure, but being with family and friends was more than enough.

      Like

  28. Oh my, there are so many Jims I’m losing track. But your brother Jim does have a beautiful home indeed. As someone who lives right next to a busy street, I definitely dream of owning a house like that someday. You’re really having fun with this tour of yours, aren’t you? Anyway, thanks for the great shares thus far, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:35 pm

      The travels have ended, but the memories are still there. I neglected to get some photos of the wild animals in their yard (a family of foxes) and several varieties of frogs who were croaking it up.

      Like

  29. You all look alike 🙂 Thanks for taking us on this memorable journey with you, Pete. I’m glad you were able to reconnect with your brothers, family is so important. It’s been four years since I’ve seen my two younger brothers and their families, this makes me want to do my own road trip!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 8, 2022 — 10:37 pm

      This idea had been brewing in my head for some time, and it was time to make it happen. Having my wife’s encouragement made it a lot easier. I hope you get to do something similar, Jacquie.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. You knocked it out of the park (almost as much as the Rockies 🙂 ) with seeing your brothers and doing so many varied, wonderful things Pete. I’m sure it meant a lot to each brother that you made the trip to visit with them one-on-one and now everyone benefits with new memories. Great photos too! “No regrets” is a key philosophy to live by.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 9, 2022 — 8:23 am

      I wish I had developed that attitude much earlier. I’ve been good about living my life that way for the last few decades. When I was younger, I spent far too much time worrying about things that could go wrong instead of things that could go right. It is a much more positive mindset. Of course, we don’t always reach our goals, but it’s not going to be because I can’t summon up the courage to try.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi Pete, what a wonderful time you had. So nice to spend time with each of your brothers separately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 9, 2022 — 2:31 pm

      Geography is the main reason we don’t see each other often, so that’s one of the reasons our family reunions are so important.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Great pictures, Pete! “No regrets,” is a great motto. Seems as though you’re living it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 9, 2022 — 2:33 pm

      I’m trying, John. It seems like the only way to live.

      Like

  33. What an amazing trip! At first thought, I felt sad that you and your brothers live quite a distance from each other but then seeing you being able to visit and spend quality time with each one (not to mention visit their cities like a tourist) was amazing and a good trade-off, truly! If you can’t be near your loved ones, at least they’re only a plane ride/long drive away!

    Thanks for sharing those photos too! Can’t believe you fit in so much in 2 weeks- you must’ve been wiped when you got home though haha! P.S. In that one pic of you and your brother, Tom – you both look sooo much alike! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 9, 2022 — 2:37 pm

      We get that a lot. Not only that, Tom and I taught elementary school (many years in the same grade) and share many of the same interests. One of the perks of retirement is there is more time to do things we want.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Wonderful, Pete! I’m so glad you pulled this trip off. 🙂 Well done on planning and making it happen. It looks like you all had a wonderful time, despite the bad weather in some parts of the country. Very diverse terrain as well. Quality time with family and friends is precious. None of us should take it for granted. And, I agree with your motto “no regrets”. It has been my go-to wish for decades. 🙂 Cheers to following our dreams, our goals, our desires, and our passions!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 9, 2022 — 9:40 pm

      You are like the poster child for that motto. I’ve enjoyed living vicariously through your travels over the past couple of years.

      Any thoughts of a follow-up book to Plunge, or is that a secret?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. I love your enthusiasm. But I have zero time to write. Can’t even keep up with the blog and what’s happening in our lives right now. One day, maybe. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  35. Just wonderful, Pete! As great as it is to have the reunion every three years, your one-on-on brother visits were surely the best. I love all the photos, and reading about the many (and varied) experiences you had! And, I have learned a new word- lepidopterist. My best to you, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 10, 2022 — 3:26 pm

      I remember catching butterflies with a butterfly net when I was a kid. Lepidopterists, who focus primarily on taking photos of butterflies in their natural habitats, would frown on that practice. The overall butterfly population has been on the decline for several years. The main theories as to why are habitat loss, pesticide use, and warmer fall weather.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is a great memory, but I can understand (and agree) that this is not a good thing for butterflies. Thank you for telling me more about a lepidopterists. Any butterfly is a joy and a treasure. Any decline is very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Sorry to be late to the party Pete I have been up to my armpits in decluttering ready to have a truck load taken away. But delighted you had such an amazing visit with each of your brothers and the photographs are fabulous.. Thanks for sharing this trip including the meet ups with Jennie and Jim.. memorable.. hugsx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 8:05 am

      Nobody works harder at this blogging thing than you, Sally. No apologies are necessary. I often think of you when I’m reading about Imogene and wonder how often her life intersects with yours. I suspect you share the same work ethic. That’s a Springer trait too. We all know how to put in an honest day’s work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete, I know that if I don’t have something to ‘work’ at I get up to mischief, which usually means Haagen Dazs lol.. xx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor June 16, 2022 — 10:16 am

        If you’re going to get into mischief, Haagen-Dazs doesn’t sound like a bad way to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. I’m bringing up the rear here with my comment many days after this post went live, Pete, but I’m glad I visited. This was a delightful post and I loved the family history and the photos of your travels. It must have been great to visit with your brothers and their after a long period of not traveling. I love that you’re living retirement to the fullest!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 17, 2022 — 4:01 pm

      I feel like I’m in that sweet spot in life where I have fewer responsibilities and more time to do the things I’ve always wanted to try. I also think some of this is a consequence of Covid because I have a greater appreciation for life’s simple pleasures and a determined attitude. It’s good to see you back blogging again, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Pete. It’s good to be back. COVID had a silver lining for many people—a greater appreciation for family and friends and spending time together.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. I love this post! The facts were fascinating and the pictures great but the thing I loved most was the close relationship (and appearance!) the four of you share with each other. I lived the experience through you and it was a heart-warming trip. Many thanks for sharing it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 8:39 am

      Thanks, Trish. This trip will stay with me for a long time. I think it’s human nature to say that we want to do something someday and then come up with excuses each time the thought comes to our minds. Instead, my mindset has been, “If not now, when?”

      Like

  39. And I loved the Springer hoodies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 8:42 am

      That tradition started with Jim and Nancy. They would always commemorate each family reunion with some article of clothing. We’ve had hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and even grilling aprons.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love it!

        Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey, Pete! Its fantastic to see how a close connection you are having to your brothers, even they are living so far away. Simply great! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 2:21 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Michael. My family has remained close even though none of us live near one another. It makes me sad to hear of families who have falling-outs and don’t speak to one another. I don’t think that sets a good example for one’s kids.

      Like

  41. Wow Pete. Looks like a bucket list trip of a lifetime. How blessed to have that comraderie with your brothers. The photos are beautiful. I’m so glad you got to do this fantastic trip! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor June 20, 2022 — 3:58 pm

      I loved meeting Jennie and Jim and spending quality time with my brothers. As an experienced traveler, I’m sure you’ve had some trips that didn’t quite live up to what you imagined. This trek checked all the boxes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It certainly looks like it. And I would love the chance one day to meet any one of my blogging friends. Good for you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  42. it does my heart good to see brothers thriving & enjoying each other. thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor June 25, 2022 — 4:16 pm

      It was a great time to reconnect with them. It was also wonderful to meet my first two bloggers in the flesh. 🤣 Much luck to you, and congrats for hanging in there and finishing that novel. I look forward to making that official announcement someday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. your encouragement means a lot 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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