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Imagine Going There Travel
For Culture-Collecting Clients & Friends of Imagine Going There Travel THE COMPASS
Do It Before You Wish You Had
Did You Know ...
Viking has two new sailings for 2025!
“What in the world do we get Mom for Christmas?”
Grand Australia Circumnavigation – 32 days Sydney-Sydney This new sailing starts in Sydney then sails the Australian Coast with visits to 16 ports, including Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands and Cairns. You’ll sail through the beautiful Coral, Arafura and Timor Seas, before stopping in Darwin and Komodo, with an overnight in Bali. End your trip with a visit to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Tasmania. (2 countries | 15 included excursions) West Indies & Panama Canal Passage – 18 days | San Juan to Los Angeles Overnight in San Juan before sailing to Curaçao, then on to Cartagena, before transiting the Panama Canal. Visit the wildlife in Costa Rica, then sail to León, Nicaragua. Enjoy some scenic sailing before stopping in beautiful Cabo San Lucas. Finish your journey with sailing the Pacific Ocean before ending in Los Angeles. (8 countries | 7 included excursions)
That’s not the first time we asked that question about my husband’s soon-to-be 89-year-old mother. As she has said many times, “There’s nothing I want or need. I just want to spend time with my family.” I have to admit I echo those same feelings. At this stage of life, I’m blessed to not need much, and if we did need it, we could likely buy it. As the saying goes, “All assets eventually become liabilities,” even those assets that are sentimental and need dusting. (Side note: Likely the best gift we could give our children is to whittle down some of those collectibles, so our kids don’t have to after we’re gone!) Last month I wrote about our trip to Hawaii for our 38th anniversary. One morning as we were watching the beautiful sunrise over Mt. Haleakala and recalling the fun we had driving the Road to Hana the day before, I had an epiphany. I said to Doug, “There’s nothing we can buy Mom for Christmas that she would want, but we could take her with us to places where she doesn’t have to walk a lot. We should do it while she’s still able to travel, and give her some great memories while we can.” He said that was a great idea. The first surprise gift was one for both Doug and Mom as I booked tickets to the Fox Theatre to see “Riverdance.” (Thank
you, Violet Evans for telling me they were in town!)
The second gift was a “walk down memory lane” to take her to the
Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Mom and Dad were married just shy of 62 years before he passed away. Every year they would drive to the Smokies to celebrate their anniversary, enjoy the holiday lights, and eat at their favorite restaurants. She had often reminisced how she would like to go back. So, we planned a surprise getaway for her the day after Christmas, and told her CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ...
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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most
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about it a week in advance to make sure her schedule was clear. She was so surprised and excited!
In fact, we enjoyed giving her this gift so much, we’re telling her about another one at the same time you’re reading this newsletter …
We left the day after Christmas, and had the extra magic of a couple of inches of snow to enhance the glow of five million lights on display in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge! The surprises didn’t end there, either. Our daughter, Meredith, was the only one of our girls home for Christmas this year, but had to leave Christmas evening to be with family in South Carolina. When she found out what we were planning, she
Mom has always wanted to take an extended train trip. Since I book Rocky Mountaineer in conjunction with Viking’s Alaska sailings, we thought we should personally experience their highly rated vacations so I can better represent it to our clients. So, Mom, keep your calendar free, as sometime this summer you’ll be taking a Rocky Mountaineer first-class rail journey with us!
wanted to be part of the gift as well. The next evening, she drove three hours — through snow-covered mountains — and knocked on the door. It was a great fun to see Mom’s delight as her Christmas gift continually unfolded before her eyes. We spent two days wandering around shops, eating at her favorite restaurants, snacking on delicious fudge and driving around at night to see the lights.
More details to follow, and of course, I’ll be reporting back on how that surprise turned out as well!
Advice from Someone Married to An Estate Planning Attorney —Carol Shaddix
3. Bank Statements and Passwords — Put the name of the trust on the bank account so that the trust owns it, and that will make things so much easier for your heirs. Then — whether you have a trust or not — make it an annual habit to put a copy of your most recent bank statements (along with updated passwords) in a safe place. Without a digital assets provision in your power of attorney (POA) and wills, your heirs may have difficulty accessing important financial information (not to mention photos from your Viking cruises!) on your phone or computer. It’s much easier if they don’t have to use a POA to access your records. These are easy things to take care of now, and will prevent a lot of headaches for your family in the future.
Yes, that would be me ... I joke that Doug helps people protect their money, and I help them spend it! Doug has a great heart, so often widows will reach out to him for help when their estates are gnarled up in probate. He doesn’t do probate work, but tries to give general advice, and help them steer clear of the types of attorneys who might take advantage of their situation. So, take some tips from a bystander who has heard some heartbreaking stories — most of which could have been prevented with just a little advance planning. 1. Get a Trust — No, it’s not just for the ultra-rich, and it can save your heirs both time and money, while
shielding them from the confusion and public exposure probate causes. A trust is a living document, and — unlike a will — future changes can be easily made without the need for an attorney so that your wishes can be kept up to date. (And, provided you’re not using a high-and-mighty law firm, trusts are not that expensive, either.) 2. Check for These Six Most Important Words — right now — go check the warranty deed to your home to see if it says “Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship.” (It’s probably in the second paragraph). If it doesn’t have those magic words, your spouse can’t legally sell or refinance the property after you’re gone until a court date is set and the case goes before a judge for review.
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HOW ONE PIGEON SAVED 194 AMERICAN SOLDIERS The Story of Cher Ami Animals have always played a role in military efforts during wartime. Cats were kept aboard naval ships for pest control, horses and camels provided transportation for supplies and soldiers pre-World War II, and dogs are still used to this day for search and rescue efforts as well as mine detection. But one animal profession became obsolete with the advancement of communication technology: messenger. Often used during World War I, many dogs and pigeons became responsible for delivering messages of high importance. Of all the animals used during World War I, one pigeon named Cher Ami defied the odds to save nearly 200 American soldiers. On Oct. 2, 1918, Major Charles Whittlesey got trapped along the side of a hill in Northeastern France with 550 of his men. They ended up behind enemy lines with no food or ammunition, and — to make matters worse — his battalion started to suffer from friendly fire since allied troops remained unaware of their location. With nowhere to run, Whittlesey tried to send runners to contact the allies about their predicament. Unfortunately, their enemies consistently intercepted or killed these runners until only 194 men remained. Whittlesey decided to dispatch messages by pigeon. The first pigeon got shot down almost immediately, so he sent a second pigeon with the message, “Men are suffering. Can support be sent?” That one also got shot. Finally, Whittlesey turned to his last pigeon, Cher Ami, and scribbled down a quick note on onion paper that read, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.” Cher Ami took flight, but even after being shot down by the Germans, the bird defied the odds and actually took flight again! The effective delivery of this message helped save 194 men, but Cher Ami did not escape unharmed. He had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and had a leg hanging only by a tendon. Army medics treated Cher Ami enough so he could travel to America, where he eventually succumbed to his wounds. The bird was then taxidermied and displayed in the Smithsonian, where you can still see him today. So, the next time you’re in Washington, D.C., stop by the “Price of Freedom” exhibit at the National Museum of American History where you can personally see this brave pigeon.
“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.” —HENRY VAN DYKE
Weeknight Scalloped Potatoes
Try this easy way to make a weeknight dinner feel special.
Ingredients • 2 tbsp butter • 1 medium onion,
• 2 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick • 1 cup canned chicken broth • 1 cup heavy cream • 2 bay leaves • 4 oz cheddar cheese
chopped (about 1 cup) • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp) • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves • 1 1/4 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Directions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. In large Dutch oven, melt butter on medium-high and heat until foaming subsides. 2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. 3. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 4. Add potatoes, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium- low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped in and out of potato with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. 5. Transfer to 1 1/2 qt casserole; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cream is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown — about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.
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Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most
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Everything you love about Viking, only better! A great destination is just one part of an amazing vacation. Just like having a master chef prepare your meal at your favorite restaurant, as one of Viking’s largest representatives, we’ve booked these vacations countless times. We intuitively know how to enhance the outcome of your experience so it consistently delivers above and beyond your expectations (and know when those special promotions such as extra shipboard credit or free airfare are available that you might not know about). Whether you are interested in an individual reservation or want to travel together as a group, call 770.421.9627 for your free consultation on how to make your next vacation even better than you expected! Tip: If you’ve already booked direct with Viking in the last 60 days, contact us to add some additional bonuses to your reservation!
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
MEMORIES MAKE GREAT GIFTS
ADVICE FROM SOMEONE MARRIED TO AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY THE UNLIKELY HEROICS OF CHER AMI
WEEKNIGHT SCALLOPED POTATOES
TALES FROM OUR SAILS
FRAN AND STAN’S VIKING ADVENTURES Tales From Our Sails Florence and Stan are anxiously awaiting their next Viking experience: the Holland
crew is impressive! From the moment they meet you at the airport, you know that you are in good hands,” they stated. “When they return you to the airport after your trip has come to a close, they walk you in and stick with you until you go through security — they truly care about you.” The friendships created on Viking cruises are second to none. While Florence and Stan were docked in Naples, Italy, on their Mediterranean Odyssey cruise, they grabbed a bite to eat with another couple. At the table, each ordered a slice of Margherita pizza. The waiter did not speak English very well, but he nodded and took the order. But, instead of returning with four slices, he had a whole pizza! Not only that, he was followed by three other waiters, and each of them was carrying an entire pizza as well! They said, “We got such a kick out of it,
and we had so much pizza left over that we brought it back to share with the rest of the group and had a giant pizza party. It was a grand experience.” For all Viking travelers, Florence and Stan stressed that whether you are traveling alone, with your friends, significant other, or in a group, you will never be alone. You are sure to create friendships and become engaged in conversations for hours and hours with fellow travelers. Everyone is kind and friendly — the best part about Viking is that the crew is fabulous, helpful, and enjoyable, and the travelers are just as fun and kind! Florence and Stan, thank you so much for sharing your travel experiences and memories with us. We wish you tons of fun on your next adventure in July! Bon voyage!
and Belgium river cruise in July. Thus far, they’ve been on two other Viking cruises: The Mediterranean Odyssey ocean cruise and the Paris to the Swiss Alps river cruise, and have fallen in love with the adventure Viking delivers. “Both the river and ocean cruises offer a different experience, but you can’t go wrong either way,” Florence and Stan tell us. “The river cruises are a bit more intimate and allow you the opportunity to really bond with other travelers, but the ocean cruises are just as enjoyable.” They say that each Viking cruise has its unique and special feel, but one thing remains the same: Viking brings out the best in everyone.
“Not only are the passengers all pleasant and friendly, but the Viking
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