Tag: Travel

A New Day

A New Day

Originally posted on

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This morning brings another day of travel, this time back to our home to collect things needed for a longer stay in Kamloops.

The sun is shining, albeit from behind a veil of smoke. Fires burning elsewhere have left their mark on these skies, providing a grey cast to the air and a red filter for the sun.
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The travel will take the better part of 7 hours and on Sunday I will do it again, retracing my path to return here with a carload of belongings.

I’m not sure how long my stay here in Kamloops will be, could be 6 months or more. The verdict is also still out on my feelings toward it. Only time will answer both.

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle, or at least on the horse. The saddle may have to come later.

It was my intent to post something much sooner. I said at the outset of creating this blog that it was my goal to post daily, or close to it. It seems I lied. My post frequency has been closer to weekly, or certainly that’s what it seems anyway. ‘Things’ just get in the way. Poor reason/excuse I know. I haven’t even posted photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge lately (to be honest I’m not even sure what the topic is.

The summer has been proceeding at a pace unforeseen or unexpected to me. In many ways it’s just been a spring and summer that has taken on a schedule that I don’t like. I’ve done numerous trips, by car and within 1000 km (~600 mi.). Some have been for pleasure and a few have been to see or support loved ones in need. That being said, I appreciate that I shouldn’t lament the reasons, and I don’t, it’s the time away from my castle and my ‘stuff’ that I lament. That and my apparent inability to manage my time effectively when I am at home.

One thing you do get is to see a bunch of interesting stuff when you’re on the road. This gent was operating the espresso machine at a coffee shop on the road called “Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino Bar”, one of my favourite haunts while en route to Kelowna or back home from a visit to my grandson.

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You can see it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that since I retired last year I often feel overwhelmed and under capable to handle my various stresses, most or all self inflicted. Plain and simple I see my world as full of these opportunities and things I want do, and certainly there’s no shortage of things I should do. There’s always cutting the lawn, doing dishes or the laundry, shopping, cooking, washing or maintaining vehicles etc. etc.. Never mind the fun stuff like camping or seeing my grandson.

Woe is me, my life is sooo tough isn’t it. Just smack me upside the head.

Like camping was such a hardship. While I didn’t post much I did do some journaling, and what a view. The photo doesn’t do it justice, albeit this was with my phone.

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Early retirement has provided me with challenges I didn’t see coming. Many people have asked me since I retired “What do you do?”, or “How do you stay busy?”. I just laugh. Life is so full, how do I get to do everything I want to, that’s the question.

So if you have any time management tips, or ways you think may help me in my time of need please let me know. I’d love to hear. In the meantime I’ll mount up and ride into the sunset of my golden years……

Return to Civilization

Return to Civilization

Today is the day we return to civilization. Not the civilization of man but that of my personal space. The civilization of my home.

My Mother and I, the ‘we’ in this equation, are heading home after two days in Phoenix. I accompanied my Mom to the Tuscon Festival Of Books where she was doing a book signing in one of the many booths. Her books, all 3, were self published and the publishing house or company (whatever it’s called) was actively promoting certain authors by supporting them at the festival and assisting with promotion. She was allotted a time, and a tent to sign at, and even had an assistant calling out to passersby to drop in and get a free book.

It was an interesting experience for me and I’m sure a great one for her. She commented many times how the event was something totally out of her comfort zone and something she would likely not attempt on her own. Thus my attendance, in addition to being a support of course.

The festival, at least our part of it, is complete and we are now on our way home. While I’m happy to heading back I am also disappointed we didn’t have more time there. Phoenix, Tuscon, and surrounding area is beautiful and while the visuals of it are much different than our home in British Columbia it is stunning nonetheless.

It was unfortunate too that the brief stay did not allow me to get out and photograph the Arizona beauty, and due to the uncommon rains that occurred during our stay the Sonoma desert was beginning to bloom. I was told by our hosts the resulting spring blossom of desert wild flowers was spectacular and that thought alone is inspiring my return.

We are in flight as of this writing, likely to have landed at the time of posting. There are no onboard electronics of course, writing is acceptable but transmission is not.

I feel somewhat trapped in my seat as I frequently do on planes. I’m seated in the center position between my mom on the aisle and a gentleman by the window. He is spread out somewhat with his arm partially in my seat, his apparent lack of concern is annoying but being that I’m a such a soft touch I fail to comment. He is after all a senior and I’m Canadian. We often won’t say sh** if our mouth was full of it. My size is as much the issue as anything, airplane seats aren’t meant for 6′ 200 pound adults. (Ok, 210 pound adults)

In front of us is a group of 20 somethings, loud but not too, drinking and playing cards. While the noise is a bit distracting I’m as much envious as annoyed. I only wish that group social activity was something that came easily to me. Never did, likely never will.

So we’ll be landing shortly. We will collect our bags and locate my car, moving onto the next phase of our journey. Tonight we stay with my brother and tomorrow Mom will go to visit her sister while I travel to stay with my daughter and family. Only after that will my return to civilization be complete.

All Done and Done In

All Done and Done In

I’m back on the mainland staying at my daughters and my first annual sunshine coast tour is finished. I’m pooped and ready for a holiday.   The reviews are mixed but generally I’d have to consider the party a success.

I took lots of photos with both my iPhone and camera and have yet to download, organize, file, and edit them(or edit then file, I’m not sure).  I’m a little overwhelmed by the thought of the task but will make a charge at it once I get home.  Any suggestions or comments as to how best handle these tasks would be appreciated.  This particular shot I took with my phone as I was leaving Gibsons.

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Today I completed my walk through of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden and attached park and as of yet the verdict is out.  I need to ponder my reaction to ensure it’s fair.

It’s not that I didn’t like them, because I did.  I suspect it’s more that I wanted to like them too much.  Anytime you have high expectations you’re bound to be let down, or that’s my experience anyway.

Well, as I said I’m a tad weary so I’ll say goodnight.  I for one will have sweet dreams.

Road Weary

Road Weary

The last couple of days have been long, or they feel like it anyway. Even though I’m enjoying the quiet time and solitude the driving is becoming a pain, literally and figuratively. My back and bum are getting sore and they’re telling me it’s time to take a break.

20120924-221214.jpgI’ve stopped in Gibsons for the night. I arrived a bit later than I had hoped and the weather hasn’t cooperated as far as sunsets or other nice shots however I got a few from the ferry.  I’ll see about posting some of the nicer ones from by dslr soon. In the meantime I’ll put up one I took with my iPhone. On the whole I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with the pictures it takes, not super hi-res but pretty good.

Tomorrow will be my recharge day with a visit to the Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden in Vancouver.  I’m excited, and hopeful it will lend me some peace.

On the Road Again…., Again

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Mocha to Go

Mocha to Go

Before I leave on the next leg of my trip I’ll break bread with my current host Diane. I would love to share my morning with her husband Bruce as well but unfortunately he will have left for work a few hours before I awake. He the master of the mocha (sorry Diane) and often performs interesting artistic expression on the tops of his mochas, as seen here.

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Something happened to the end of this post, it wasn’t uploaded from my phone. I had commented the crema swirl looked like a squirrel. Some here said it was a raven but I don’t see it, it’s definitely a squirrel. Kinda hate to spoil it.

Out of Touch

Out of Touch

I’ve been bad lately, not posting, certainly not posting as regularly as I should. Not a good blogger at all. At any rate I’ve been traveling a bit and am currently on Vancouver Island, in Victoria.

20120921-180802.jpgToday we visited Ogden point and breakwater. I love getting out, fresh sea air and autumn sun. A dream.

Been a long time

Been a long time

10 days have past since my last post. Where have the days gone? Where did the many hours slip to?

In that period we have travelled, shopped, attended a car show, and drove some more. We had anticipated taking this most recent leg of our travels to Edmonton to help our niece and nephew move into their new home. Enroute we planned to divert to Kelowna to see our daughter and family, and to take in Cirque Quidam.

Over dinner on Tues., the first night here, we discussed the upcoming events, particularly the Cirque concert we were planning to attend on Wed.. Not having seen the tickets, even though they were purchased in Dec., I asked to have a look and to my surprise saw the event they were scheduled for was on Sat., not Wed. as we first thought. That put a proverbial wrench into the works, now our weeks events would have to be rethought.

We chose to stay in Kelowna hoping not to overstay our welcome. 5 days can be a long stay with any family member so we are cautious, or attempt to be, when it comes to our visits.

We will see Cirque on Saturday and while it’s later than first thought, and we we won’t be involved with the family move, we can bond with Madden and I can take more photos. On one of our trips I purchased a Nikon D-SLR and look forward to posting some photos. Another interest, for another day.

Why DO We Camp?

Why DO We Camp?

20120730-162440.jpgWhy do we camp, emphasis on DO as in why DO we camp?  I thought I knew the answer but like so many things now I’m doubting what I do and don’t know.

I think I’m in a funk, I’m “funking”, and while it’s not a terminal condition it is one that is nevertheless somewhat debilitating.  I’m not really in a bad mood as such, it’s not that my knickers are too tight, it’s more that I just feel tired and somewhat out of sorts.  Is it because I’ve f***ed with my meds? (that will be another post).

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