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Do Retired People Just Play Golf All Day?

Many assumptions are made about life after retirement. I know that I had a few assumptions on what people did or do in retirement. Many think of endless golf games and outside entertainment in Florida.  In retirement I have played two golf games, admittedly, not very well. In comparison, I just played trumpet at my third wedding this year. I am excited to have played at more weddings than golf courses.

Rochester Trumpet Players

Glen and Chris prior to the Rochester, MN wedding

I love the thoughts from Roger Whitney, “Go, go years, slow go years and no go years.” In my retirement we are in the go, go years.  Here is a recap of what we have been up in the last week—from a travel perspective.

Glen and Friends at the Reds

Glen, Eric, David and Mike: Reds Vs. Cardinals.

Last week I was able to help out a friend who had received a retirement gift of baseball tickets and he and two others joined in at the Reds game. We even got to see a dramatic finish in the 10th inning (for the other team L). What a fun opportunity to stay out late and not worry about being late for the office the next day.

Kim and I went out to the local playhouse for a production of Shakespeare in Love. We really enjoyed the acting and the escape. We also did not worry about when we left or came back home.


Last weekend, we hopped on a plane for Rochester, Minnesota, to be a part of the wedding for Karen and Phil. I was pleased to play trumpet for their wedding. Our hosts for the weekend, Chris and Cindy, were also part of the music for the wedding. I really enjoyed our time with Karen and Phil as well as Chris and Cindy.

We did a tour of Rochester, including a visit to the Mayo properties in downtown Rochester as well as a quick visit to the Plummer house.

The area around Rochester (in the summer!) is really nice. Of course they have these things called “sky bridges” that connect the buildings downtown so the residents do not have to go outside in the winter.

We enjoyed the walking as well as the bike ride we did near Silver Lake. Minnesota is the “land of 10,000 lakes” and the county we were in is one of three counties that does not have a natural lake. Interesting trivia for the day.

Geese by the hundreds dwell on the Zumbro’s shoreline where it widens into Silver Lake. The geese are a scenic addition and responsible for the local restaurant’s name where we ate breakfast, the “Canadian Honker.” The food was good and the location was nice. The local story is that the power plant keeps the water in the Rochester part of the Zumbro River warm all year long and the geese never leave.

For fun, Kim and I rode a tandum bike. It was an interesting experience as we bike ride a lot at the same time, just not together on the same bike. I think we are, for now, keeping our individual road bikes.

Rochester Bike for 2

At the start of our ride

A few lessons learned.

Rochester Retirement advice

  • Be helpful. The history of the Mayo Clinic is that it was founded by people that helped out.
  • Be intentional about friends. Our friends Chris and Cindy “Friday with friends” event where they are intentional about getting together with friends each week.
  • Always be yourself, unless you are Batman… We saw this sign at a men’s clothing store in downtown Rochester.


Other highlights:

We also spent the prior Friday exploring the bike trails in Aurora, Indiana. We were pleased to find the trails. They are close to the house and provide a nice ride along the Ohio River. It is good to see the scenery from the other side of the river, looking into Kentucky.

There is a new person retiring all the time. Are you next? The gate agent on our flight to Rochester was retiring. As our incoming flight was delayed we had a few minutes to chat. She is off to Peru and then will be looking for some volunteer work.


We went to a local farm and enjoyed their fall festival, including a hayride and picking a pumpkin. The spiced cider was not yet ready for us, maybe next week! Happy fall to everyone.

Trip by the numbers:

States visited: Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. Does a stopover at the airport count as a visit? We did two stopovers in Chicago, so did we visit Illinois? I say, yes we did…Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. We were several nights in Minnesota, had a bike ride in Indiana and a play and a baseball game in Ohio.

Activity statistics:

  • Biking miles: 26, with the addition of Minnesota to our list of states for a bike ride.
  • Hiking/Walking: 7 miles.
  • Trumpet playing at Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Rochester Bike End


The Biltmore Estate, America’s Largest Privately Owned Home

We visited the Biltmore Estate in lovely Asheville, North Carolina, and had a great time. If you were a bachelor from one of America’s riches families and grew up in New York City, of course America’s biggest house on 125,000 acres (now only 8,000) in North Carolina would be a dream.


The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

We visited the fairly land house and really enjoyed our time. We did manage to stay the evening prior to our tour at the newly constructed (2015) Village Hotel and loved the accommodations.

The tour the evening before included a drive around the grounds from an Estate driver (tour vans hold about 20 and we had it to ourselves), a walk on the grounds, and wine tasting in Antler Village. It was a perfect evening and the food, locally grown on the estate, was tasty.

We did tour the estate. Wow! We were up before the tours start and decided to bike on the estate. We were not the only riders out that morning. It was a fun time and we enjoyed the wildlife and the quiet scenes along the French Broad River.

After breakfast and checking out of our room, we took the van to the estate. George Vanderbilt, and later his wife and daughter, lived in Vanderbilt’s 250-room French Renaissance chateau after it was completed in 1895. The finished home contains over four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. We loved the in-ground pool with electric lights and the bowling alley. Our favorite rooms were the library with over 10,000 books and the porch that had great views of the country side.

After the tour we strolled through the conservatory and gardens and walked to the Bass Pond dam as well and saw the Glen Bridge on, of course, Glen Road. We needed a picture! Kim enjoyed the waterfall from the dam and we were all set to enjoy more waterfalls.

I did run into a former co-worker who had just completed the Rooftop Tour and loved it. Our tour was of the main house and it was almost overwhelming. We did the audio package and it was well worth it.

I said fairy tale house; I met a man whose 5-year-old daughter thought that the house was a fairy tale castle. She had on a princess dress as we went into the wine tasting. We did see the 5-year-old girl on the tour the next day and she was in heaven enjoying the house in her princess dress.

A few travelers shared their advice and thoughts on how they get along in retirement.

One of our van drivers on the estate was retired. He moved back to the Asheville area after retiring and loved the Biltmore.

  • He was glad to hear we were not moving to town as he said too many already have.
  • His thoughts were to find what you love.
  • He grew up in the area and does not consider driving on the estate work. He indicated that the Biltmore will have to pry him out of his seat to get him to leave.


After our house tour we ate lunch with another retiree who had just come up for the day with his season pass.

  • This gentleman had been retired for a year and was looking to get back into the workforce.
  • He missed people and wanted to get back into society. He thought the Biltmore did not pay enough. Interesting contrast to the van driver in his outlook.
  • Lesson learned–try things out and keep active. It is harder to re-start.

Other highlights: Several of the local residents have season passes and come often to the grounds. We can see why; we plan to come again for another season of the landscapes in the fall or for Christmas.

Trip by the numbers:

Travel days: July 18-19

Visited two states, Tennessee and North Carolina

Activity statistics:

  • Biking miles: 8.3 miles, 1 ride.
  • Hiking/Walking 3.4 miles, not including the house—all around the estate.
Bike at the Biltmore Estate--River

Early morning biking along the French Broad River at the Biltmore Estate.