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September 8, 2012
A visit from Jayne and Stefan

Jayne, Stefan, Gail and Russell in Bad Gödesburg, December 2001

When we traveled around the world 11 years ago , one of our stops was to Bad Gödesburg, Germany, to visit our friend Jayne. (Jayne, an American, was working abroad for the United Nations at the time.) We spent New Year’s Eve with her, and saw her again in April on our way out of Europe. At the time, Jayne introduced us to her “goofy German friend” Stefan.

That was the last time we had seen Jayne. Several years later, she and Stefan married and moved to the United States, but settled one state north of us in Oregon. Stefan toured California by motorcycle in 2005 and stopped at our mountain home, but he was traveling without Jayne.

Gail, Stefan and Russell in May 2008.
Stefan camped overnight when our mountain home was still a shell.

So we were thrilled to learn that both Jayne and Stefan would be taking another motorcycle trip together. One of their planned stops was once again at our mountain home.

The original plan was for our sons to join us for the weekend. However, Jayne informed us she would be arriving Thursday instead of Friday. Since Cameron was working and Joss was fighting off a cold, we decided to go childless and meet our guests on Thursday.

At 7:00 pm on September 6, two motorcycles pulled up in front of our mountain home. Jayne, who is newer to motorcycles, did not enjoy riding the last steep half-mile up a dirt and gravel road to the top of our mountain.

Stefand and Jayne with their bikes

But once everyone arrived and settled in, it was as if we had just seen them yesterday. Jayne and Russell are both geeks and film fanatics. So we played a board game called “Geek Battle.” Sadly, Team Jayne/Stefan won handily against Team Gail/Russell.

We also watched a couple of movies. Jayne is a huge fan of “Star Wars,” but she had forbidden Stefan from ever watching it unless he could see “Han shoot first.” Russell pulled out his bootleg copy of the original version, and Jayne was all squeals and squees. We followed that up on the second night with a blu-ray disc viewing of “Jaws.”

Jayne cooked breakfast on Saturday morning with a menu that included turkey bacon. As a result, we were beset the entire weekend by a rafter of wild turkeys roaming all over the property. Jayne was convinced they were out to get her for revenge.

Our local wild turkeys. Gail counted 17, and she was able to get quite close to them.

The weekend was also Stefan’s birthday, and we celebrated accordingly. On Friday night, we went to the American Legion Hall in nearby Glencoe for their weekly hamburger dinner. It was Stefan’s first experience in a country-western bar (Jayne grew up in Kentucky), and it was a fun cultural experience for all. (We imagine that they don’t get too many Chinese and German folks.)

The four of us at the American Legion Hall.
This was Stefan’s first cultural experience at a country-western bar!

At home, we celebrated Stefan’s birthday with strawberry shortcakes, featuring fresh local strawberries

During the days, Jayne and Stefan toured the area while Gail and Russell continued construction work. The bikers got a welcome break by driving our Prius, and they made it as far as Columbia, a fully-restored Gold Country town.

Watching Stefand and Jayne plan their route brought back memories of our world trip!

On Sunday morning, we sadly bid farewell to our visitors. Jayne and Stefan will continue east to Nevada before returning to Oregon. Of course, no sooner did they depart than the rafter of turkeys came right up to the house, the closest they have ever come. We guess they feel safer now, without a turkey bacon chef around.

Stefan keeps mementos from each of his travels. Gail made him a custom sticker for our “Highland House.”

Right after our guests departed, the turkeys came all the way up to the house!

Jayne, a travel writer, has posted a mock review of our mountain home on her blog. Check it out here!

Jayne, Stefan, Gail and Russell at “Highland House,” September 2012


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