Ranchos couple expands horizons through travel

The warmth and beauty of Acapulco, Mexico provided a welcome holiday haven for Ranchos residents Wendell and Jeanette Jenness. They spent 10 days among the beautiful cliffs of Acapulco Bay and say Mexico is one of their favorite vacation destinations; one which they return to time and time again.

Wendell and Jeanette have shared innumerable travel adventures throughout their 32-year marriage. As newlyweds (following a honeymoon in Mexico City, of course), Wendell whisked his Southern California-bred bride off to Sweden for a yearlong work project.

"I had never even seen snow," Jeanette said, laughing.

She explained that while en route to Sweden, they opted to spend a few days in Copenhagen. On the taxi ride to the airport following their excursion, Jeanette realized she had left her parcel (which contained all of their necessary documentation and airplane tickets) on the hotel lobby table. Miraculously, after a speedy ride back to the hotel, the parcel was exactly where she'd left it. That experience calmed any fears she had about traveling abroad.

Jeanette relayed another story about a time in Copenhagen when a local resident in a bar approached them. The man asked if they were American and struck up a conversation, as he had spent some time in the United States himself. After chatting a while, they discovered that they had lived only two blocks away from each other in a Southern California neighborhood.

"The more you talk to people about travel, the more you realize that everyone has 'small world' stories like that," said Jeanette.

Photography is Wendell's hobby and he has an extensive photo collection of all of their travels. In addition, his photograph titled "Ghost Fence" tied for first place in the people's choice division of the recent "Between Fences" photo contest at the Carson Valley Museum & Cultural Center.

Wendell shared a photo memory book he created a few years ago for their anniversary. The number of different places they have visited throughout the world is staggering. Their extensive travels include hiking and camping trips in Baja and the Grand Canyon, exploring Shanghai, trekking the Dolomites in Italy and rafting down the Amazon River in South America.

During the Amazon River trip the Jennesses met and befriended a couple from Germany. Over the course of their 20-year friendship, they have traveled to each other's homes numerous times. They have also met for travel adventures in Venice and a photographic safari in Kenya.

Wendell and Jeannette count the trip to Kenya as one of their most memorable. For two weeks they stayed in seaside accommodations and took chartered planes into the backcountry to explore and photograph wildlife.

Another favorite excursion was their trip to the Galapagos Islands for Wendell's 60th birthday. A retired research scientist, Wendell was fascinated by Charles Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle," and had always wanted to experience the islands for himself.

"I wanted to see where Darwin was coming from," Wendell said.

The islands had similar animal species, but unique physical adaptations could be found dependent upon the specific environment of each particular island. The trip was a dream come true for them both.

This spring they'll take an Australian cruise, which will include ports of call in New Zealand and Tasmania. I can't wait to hear about their latest adventure.

If you plan to take a trip to just about anywhere, the Jenness' would be an invaluable resource. Wendell and Jeanette are wonderful storytellers and welcome all inquiries regarding their travel experiences. If you would like to contact them, call 265-1506.

Happy Trails.


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