2017 Year in Retrospect

On the Move in 2017


2017 found the Oestings hunkered down for January in wintery Ambridge, Pennsylvania; yet our itchy feet didn’t stay long in our temporary digs.  Our new professional development company for Montessori communities ClassrooMechanics really took off – literally as we criss-crossed North America in our reliable Mazda CX5.


2017 saw 50,000 miles added to Schooner’s odometer by crossing 30 states as we headed to housesits, business trips, and visiting friends and family.


2017 will be etched on our hearts as the year Mali left for college; she has a passion for the arts and is a freshman at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Lakewood, Colorado.


2017 took us all over the United States and we’ve been privileged to reunite with family and friends from coast to coast.  For this, we are so grateful.


Enjoy our retrospective of 2017 and this glimpse into a few highlights of our experiences this year.

Typical downtown Pittsburgh, PA scene – what you can’t see here are the thousands of rainbow-clad people surrounding these gentlemen concentrating on their game.

Visiting family in Maryland allowed us to visit Washington, D.C. for a week.  Caught the sweet light on the Washington Monument

Loved this monument to Dr. King and the message that stays with me, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964)

We drove from Pennsylvania to San Diego, California with a few stops on the way.  One of our favorite experiences was visiting Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.

Another beauty from Chicano Park in San Diego, CA.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, New Mexico built in the 1800s and filled with light in its Romanesque Revival architecture.

New Orleans continues to be one of my favorite cities.  Love the music, food, art, history, and architecture!  Fancy, repeating corbels are indicative of New Orleans-style architecture with Italianate brackets upholding a deep overhang frequently adorning shotgun houses.

The emptied Garden District Streetcar in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This infamous New Orleans cemetery didn’t seem like it had ghosts . . .

Exploring the Manchac Bayou outside of New Orleans, Louisiana with the help of amazing guide Kate at Wild Louisiana Tours.

Cypress knees glinting in the midday sun in Manchac Bayou, LA.

South Congress Bridge in Austin, Texas, not only is a fantastic bird-watching perch, but the home of millions of bats that take flight each night.

Popular sport along Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin, Texas.

Four o’clock dusky light in a high mountain meadow on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park where we had a blissful housesit for several weeks!

View from Palisade Mountain towards the Great Divide in Colorado.  Our housesit was minutes away from this lovely viewpoint.

Can’t believe you can’t see the hordes of people hiking the Flat Irons in Boulder, CO on that hot July day.  Crowded, but worth every moment.

Our fascination of red rock continues with a visit to The Garden of the Gods several hours south of Denver, Colorado.

Just one spectacular moment in a day of spectacular moments in the Denver Botanical Gardens.

In honor of International Day of Peace and to quench our Buddhist spirits, we loved visiting the Shambala Mountain Center in Colorado.

Blue Lake beckons high in the North Cascades of Washington State.

Is this macaw petroglyph found on volcanic rock at Petroglyph National Monument outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, an indicator of widespread trade in ancient times?

So lucky to housesit nearby during the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico where hundreds of hot-air balloons take flight days on end!

This is my “peephole to migration” in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge where the beginnings of a great migration of Sandhill cranes were visible from our subtle blind.

We can highly recommend this day trip from Albuquerque, New Mexico to the Very Large Array on the Plains of San Agustin.  As you can see from the very bottom of the photo, the VLA Telescopes reach for miles in four directions.  Phenomenal to see them move in unison.

Ubiquitous chile pepper swags, wreaths, condiments, and more reflect part of the New Mexican culture as seen in Santa Fe.

Beautiful flight from Las Vegas to Phoenix caught receding Lake Powell (above) and spectacular views of the Grand Canyon.

The Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida was full of surprises including this modern Asian Art wing.

The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida blew us away for both the collection and the architecture.

The view from wintery Grand Lake, Colorado where earlier in the summer we saw a huge bull moose!

2017 taught me yet again that it is our attitudes and willingness to grow that move us forward.  That hard work and passion coexist in the day to day life of an entrepreneur.  And that letting your child experience independence as a young adult is as necessary as birthing them.


2017 brought great joy in the form of connections and visits with family and friends all over the world.


Looking forward to 2018 and all that it brings.


In peace.


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