When I first started riding/racing motocross, people (parents, mostly) warned me. “You’re going to hurt yourself. It may not worry you now, but you’ll pay for it later in life.” Whaddayaknow, they were right! I tore my left ACL during a night MX race at Goodtimes track in Natalia. All I knew at the time was the twist, “POP!” and “ouch.” Months later I realized that the knee could pop out of whack, and cause much pain until manually put back. I let this happen (more and more frequently) for about ten years.
I finally decided to get the ACL repaired around 2000.
After the surgery, I was an invalid. Or rather, I acted like one. Amy waited on me hand and foot for over two weeks. I kept telling her, “I’ll take you out for a nice Italian dinner to repay you for all your wonderful nursing. In Italy.” In 2004 (after two more knee surgeries—long story) we finally decided to schedule this payment on a debt, and book a trip to Europe.
In late 2003, the dollar began to slip against the Euro. By mid-2004, a U.S. dollar would get you about sixty or seventy cents worth of vacation. As we had no desire to either take a bargain-basement limited vacation, or else pile on a huge debt, it looked like our vacation was off. We considered staying in the States, or maybe doing a Canada coast to coast train trip, or even a visit to Alaska. None of those ideas struck a chord. Somehow, the thought of Australia and/or New Zealand came to mind. A quick search on exchange rates, and Bingo! Heavily weighted in our favor. Instead of getting seventy cents on the dollar, we would get almost a dollar-forty.
And so it was scheduled. First, time off from work. Easy for me, hard for Amy. A few months after scheduling her time off, we discovered that the first Milford Trek (one of the things on our (“do before we die list”) of the season didn’t start until almost a month later. Hearts in our throats as she asked for a change to the immutable leave schedule. Dancing for joy as it was approved. Now our last five days in New Zealand coincided with the first trek of the season, November 1, 2005.
To be continued …