Retiree SpotlightsSpotlight

 

Share your adventures, updates, travel stories or general musings.

Email: vrexius@schoolcraft.edu or by phone at: 734-462-4501.

 

Ken Munro
Ken Munro

When it became common knowledge that I was retiring from Schoolcraft College, many asked where was I going to live; stay where I was, move up north or perhaps Florida or Arizona?

Well, I picked Illinois, my home state before coming to Michigan.

Then came the responses; It's the same crappy weather as we have here in Michigan. And that is very true. But one of the things that Michigan didn't have was my children and grandchildren.

My choice was very simple after 20 years of going back and forth to see them; move back to Illinois. And as much as I miss my friends back in Michigan, it the best move I ever made.

Made me think of my brother, Jerry Munro, who, since you are all retired, will remember, was the first Director of Human Resources at Schoolcraft College. When he retired and moved to Arizona it was great for a few years; the kids and grandkids could come out once or so a year for a nice visit. But that didn't seem to be enough and they moved back to Michigan to be able to see them all of the time. I wasn't going to make the same mistake.

I made the move to Illinois eight years ago and I’ve never looked back. The grandkids are older now. The twins, Hannah and Kaila are now 17. My grandson Ryan, it's hard to believe, turned 24 on tax day, having a great job in quality control after getting his degree from Western Michigan University. My little Brit (4'11") has one semester to go at Eastern Illinois University as a special education major; working with kids is something she loves. It’s great being so close to family and actively involved in their lives.

As a foot note, I should add, at the time of this writing I am going through cancer of the liver treatment. I am grateful to have the support of my family and friends during this difficult time. I have a very positive attitude and I look forward to being around to see this update in print for all of you to read.

Art Lindenberg
Art Lindenberg

Australia and New Zealand, two amazing travel destinations, 1,500 miles apart offer amazing variety for the experienced or inexperienced traveler. From late February and March, my wife, Karen, and I toured there for five weeks with fourteen other adventuresome seniors.

We started our trip in Melbourne, a city of four million on the southeast coast of Australia. This hip and cosmopolitan metropolis contains beautiful buildings, art, history, wonderful restaurants, arcades, and more.

Our next stop was Adalaide, a fifty-minute flight. This southern Australian city has beautiful beaches, is surrounded by a wildlife park, and has a great museum with exhibits of the Aborigine peoples. But it is perhaps best known as the wine center!

Our next stop, a two-hour flight was Alice Springs in the Outback. Two thirds of Australia is desert, but the artesian springs leave most less than barren. But the vastness here has to be experienced, over a million and a half square miles with a population of 750,000. In this vast lands, are Aboriginal preserves, and Ayers Rock, known as Uluru and sacred to the Aborigines. We then spent a few days in the tropics. We saw a section of the endangered Great Barrier Reef, hiked through python infested rainforest, and boated up an estuary with sea going crocodiles. But our guide kept us at a safe distance.

After a two and half hour flight to Sydney, we spent three days touring Australia’s metropolis of nearly 7,000,000 people. We saw an opera in the famous opera house and toured a city where we could have spent three days more. But we now bid Australia farewell.

A three-hour flight took us to Auckland, New Zealand, where we acclimatized to this very different, very friendly, and very beautiful country. Here, we met a Maori prince who talked to us about the culture and history of this Polynesian people. We also toured the major parts of this city of a million and a half people.

Rotorua, in the center of the North Island, about a two hours’ drive south of Auckland, has almost as many hot springs and geysers as Yellowstone National Park. This beautiful spot is a Maori center. We were invited to a Maori village for dinner and entertainment.

A flight to Queenstown in the south of the South Island, took us to some of the most beautiful scenery we have seen. The rugged, snow covered Southern Alps were where much of “Lord of the Rings” and other films were made. We visited lakes and the fjords on the coast, where we cruised beneath the jagged peaks and saw dozens of waterfalls, bringing down the glacial waters. We spent time along the ocean where the mountains almost reach the coast. It was breathtakingly beautiful.

Finally, we made our way back to the North Island and north of Auckland to the Bay of Islands, a subtropical paradise of azure seas populated by dolphins and dotted with sailboats. Alas, this concluded a marvelous adventure and vacation. It is one that I hope some of you will be able to take some day.

 

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