“You name it, we’ve done it,” said resident Francine Whippen when discussing the world travels she’s experienced with her family.
It all started 30 years ago when she and her husband, John, went on a cruise to Aruba. After spending the day there swimming in the ocean, they purchased a time-share before getting back on their ship. “We saw a time-share being built and my husband said, ‘We ought to buy one,’ and I said, ‘sounds good.’”
Today, Francine and her sisters, cousins, a few friends, many nieces and nephews, and one of her sister’s friends have a time-share in Aruba, too.
“Family and friends would visit, stay two days and then buy their own time shares. We’d all go down together, eat together and have a wonderful trip. We went every year.”
Some of her favorite things about Aruba are the people (“they’re so nice”), the food (“it’s not too expensive”) and the ocean (“it’s beautiful”).
“Mom and dad have been to all the Caribbean islands many, many times and have been on 37 cruises, mostly in the Caribbean,” said Karen Osborn, Francine’s daughter. “They love the warm weather and sun and little umbrella drinks. They would often be invited to join the captain of the ship for dinner and share their many travels around the globe.”
On a visit to the island in 2004, Francine’s husband died unexpectedly.
“I had known John since we were nine-and-a-half years old. He lived around the corner and used to do work for my mother and grandmother. We stayed together all those years and then got married on June 14, 1959.” They were married for 45 years.
“I miss him terribly, but we did have a good life. We worked and saved our money so we could travel.”
Over the years, Francine, John and their two children earned frequent flier miles traveling to California, Hawaii, Canada, Michigan, Europe and Italy (where they met the Pope).
“My kids have learned so much from traveling. They were only 10 years old when they first went to Aruba. We always made sure the kids came with us.”
In recent years, Francine travels with her daughter, Karen, and her family—husband, Steve, and children Meagan, Clay and Bailey. While she doesn’t have any trips currently planned, she hopes to go to Arizona to visit a friend and go back to Honolulu to visit her sister. She’d eventually like to make it to Australia, too.
Francine moved to Newton Presbyterian Manor from her hometown of Boston in 2016.