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Roadtrip Romance

We love adventures. Stringing together the bits that make this long-distance relationship work, Priority #2 is, We Love Adventure.

We both know at a deep level that life is inherently filled with risk, that stepping off a cliff into the unknown can bring great benefit, or maybe disaster, it’s a risk after all. But sitting paralyzed in fear of the unknown is the biggest risk. It could bring total boredom, regret, death -or who knows -ecstatic joy?

Even though the itch to be together (Priority #1), cuddled together in the night, is strong and ever-present, this situation created for us, this chance to be in harmony in this unusual way, is part of our story.

We believe love is the energy that creates all good in the universe, and that it is the love we offer each other that inspires others to come along. Not necessarily to a physical place, but a mental, emotional, and spiritual place where we are deeply together, even while the physical is elusive.

Our dates are when it all comes together.

Date #10 we were together on a 5000-mile road trip in the eastern/southeastern United States, December 2021. Looking through photos from that trip, we got absorbed in the ones from the southern-most point of the trip in Naples, Florida.

Backing up, Jan arrived from the Netherlands on Thanksgiving weekend 2021. We packed up Maggie’s car. “I’m in,” said her beautiful blue Subaru Outback, “It’s what I do. I’m a Subaru, after all.” That was after someone suggested we rent a car to save wear and tear on her car.

Our program: a meeting for Jan’s company in Georgia, visiting relatives and friends in Florida, following the coast through New Orleans and on to Houston for family, then heading a little north for the return trip to Delaware. There were changes. But today we’ll cover our wonderful visit with a mutual friend and mentor from our involvement with Young Living, Marilee Tolen.

Marilee has been living in Florida full time for only a short time after hovering between New Jersey and Florida for a decade. Her darling house is nestled on a quaint street not far from the Gulf of Mexico in Naples. One of the wealthiest cities in the United States, Naples is home to the second-highest number of millionaires and has the sixth-highest per capita income in the country.

We neglected to ask Marilee if she is a millionaire, although we hope so because she works so hard on her Young Living business, always supporting those of us on her team. Maggie met Marilee in 2001 and a friendship struck up right away. We were excited to meet her romantic partner Wade and visit the area.

As a side note on this visit, it turns out that in all his adventures, Jan had never ridden in a convertible! Marilee has a Volkswagen Eos Sport Convertible. So he got his first ride in a convertible and a chance to drive! There were two more convertible rides on this trip but we'll save that for later.

A treat was sunset at the Ritz Carlton. Following the wooden walkway toward the beach from this recently remodeled and expanded icon hotel, we captured the sunset with a romantic kiss right between the famous pelican statues! Idyllic!

Later we met Wade at the renowned Seed to Table 'grocery, restaurant, bar, music, etc. fun place'! After selecting the cut of meat or fish and all other parts of our meal, we settled at a table looking in wonder at all the people, liveliness, joy, and abundance.

Marilee and I went to the upper balcony and danced with the live band while waiting for our food. Ok, what is so special? Everything, not the least of which was after two years of severe Covid restrictions, this place didn’t know the meaning. And we liked it! More to come!


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