Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sixty new travel experiences the year I turned 60 - part 3!

41)  Visited the Montreal history museum - very interesting to learn more about the history of Montreal. The museum really impressed me a lot.  There is a larger museum covering Montreal as well so if I ever find myself back in Montreal a return visit is definitely in order.

42) Had a bagel at the famous Fairmount Bagel Shop in Montreal - no indoor seating so managed to find a bench outside to sit and enjoy it.   Very good - second only to New York bagels!!!

Fairmont Bagels - well you knew there had to be a dog in there somewhere didn't you?

43)   I did the 10km capital city walk in Quebec City -I could now say I have walked in all the capitals of every province/territory in Canada.  No one can ever accuse me of not seeing my own country!!!

Inside the walls of the Old City of Quebec

Quebec City Provincial capital - no Canadian flag....grrrrr..........
 44)  While walking back from a feast (burp) at Aux Anciens Canadiens (oldest restaurant in Quebec City and a real tourist trap - but the food was good  - can't use it on this list as I was there in 05!) who do I see walking ahead of me but a familiar figure - my niece!!!  She and her boyfriend Andrew (who both reside in Toronto) were on their way to Newfoundland and Labrador and had stopped for a quick look at Quebec City!  I hadn't seen her in nearly two years.  What a shock but a very pleasant and wonderful surprise!!!  What are the chances?  

 45)  Saw Neil Diamond in concert in Saskatoon - I had to travel to get there!!!  What an awesome concert!!!

 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ALERT:  Four good friends threw me a VERY surprise birthday party at the end of June.  I thought we were celebrating Norma's birthday until a 60th birthday napkin got put in front of me.  :)   We went from one friend's house to the other for sausage rolls, soup and scones, shepherds pie and trifle - and alots of drinks.  What a fantastic evening that I will remember for the rest of my life...or until the dementia kicks in!   I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends.  Okay technically  not travel but a celebration of turning 60.One of the highlights of my year.

Me and my buds..

Notice a theme for the table here?

46)  Did the CVF 25th anniversary walk in Edmonton, Alberta with the walking group there. I had never walked in that part of Edmonton before.

47)   Celebrated Canada Day in Edmonton with my sister - was up there to help her celebrate her retirement as well as a farewell to Edmonton - she now lives in Toronto!!

60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ALERT -  Had another birthday party thanks to my great friend Kathy.  Here are me and all my buds.  What a fun time it was!!! Another HUGE highlight of my life at home but it won't go on as a travel number.  (hey bear with me here...I am running out of numbers...)

48)  Visited the beautiful Cypress Hills and stayed with my friend Dena in their beautiful cabin.  Fantastic weekend - what a beautiful part of the world and it's here in Saskatchewan!!!   I had been to the Alberta side but never to the Saskatchewan side so a definite first!!!  Thanks Dena and Randy!


49)  Dogsat in Chicago!!!!  I hung out with my buddy Casper (canine companion of my friend Terry) for a week and we had a fab old time.  Explored Chicago at my leisure - visiting beautiful Oak Park and Wicker Park area for the first time as well as revisiting tourist sites, gorging myself on Garretts Popcorn and going to see Million Dollar Quartet.  As well as walkies and snuggles with Casper of course!  I really want to do more of this long distance dogsitting.  I have talked about doing it for ages but finally did it!!!  Anybody need a reliable dog sitter? 

 50)  Attended my first doggie Hallowe'en parade!!!

51)  I have had a sheltered life...went to my first Hallowe'en Haunted house with Terry's neighbour in Chicago and got the shit scared out of me - fun times!!!  You walk through the basement of this huge old church - the stuff of nightmares.  Trust me...

52)  Visited Kentucky for the first time!!!!  Frankfort Kentucky to be specific...had quite a few firsts here - first crawfish pie, first bourbon pie, first Kentucky brown....(can you tell I am starting to try to fit it all into 60?)   

 53)  Missed my first bus/train/any kind of transport EVER in Kentucky!!!  Traumatic for an anal "I must be on time" person!!!  I guess this is a lesson to just go with the flow. 

 54)  First time to Indianapolis. (but not the last)  I really liked the city and it helped that I stayed with a very friendly couple at my airbnb accommodation.  This was my third airbnb accommodation of the year and I absolutely love it.  An affordable way of traveling while meeting the locals.  The frustration?  Only having one day there...see number 53!!!  I did the 11 km capital city walk which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

55)  First trip on the Megabus.  Nice change from Greyhound - cheaper and the buses seem cleaner with (it seems to me) a different crowd of people on them.  I will use Megabus whenever possible rather than Greyhound on future travels.  Plus the double decker thing is fun!!!  

56)   First visit to Columbus, Ohio.  Once again I stayed at airbnb accommodation and the place was convenient and clean.   I did the capital city walk there and attended the Columbus International festival which was fun.  I loved the Short North area with it's funky shops, restaurants and murals.  Hmmm...they have a well known marathon there too.....

57)  Took an Amtrak train for the first time...Chicago to Springfield....then Springfield to Jefferson City and Jefferson City to St Louis.  It won't be the last time!!! 

Leaving Springfield
yes Abe it's pretty cold!
58)  First trip to Springfield, Ohio and I fell in love with Awesome Abe!!! Of course I knew all about Abraham Lincoln but I felt I got to know the personal side of him, his family life so much better.  I definitely would like to read a well written biography on him. While the city itself did nothing for me I enjoyed visiting Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, grave, museum, etc.  Would I go back?  Probably not but I am sure glad I went!!!      

Rubbing Abe's nose for luck

59) Visited hilly Jefferson City for the first time...I did the capital walk there as well and enjoyed the city.  Would I go back?  Doubt it but I enjoyed it. 

Lewis and Clark statue in front of the state capital building

State capital building

Governer's Mansion

60)  St Louis!!  For the second time but I did see Paul McCartney there, celebrated my friend Pat's birthday and did some first time tourist sights including taking a Mississippi river boat for the first time and posing with the Chuck Berry statue on Delmar Blvd.  What a great weekend!!! 

Oh Vancouver....Vancouver...what can I were great but I ran out of room....I ended my year with a long weekend in Vancouver - the purpose?  Well to see Sir Paul do his first concert in Vancouver since 1964 of course!!!  Bonus?  Getting to do five beautiful walks with some Vancouver walking friends and see a long time friend. (since 1967!) 

 I also visited family in Lethbridge in early July - seeing my Uncle Tony for the last time...but I am so glad I got to see him.  Time with family is always special. 

What a year it's been.  I certainly didn't turn 60 quietly.   I am a very lucky lady to have wonderful friends and family,  good health, a safe warm place to live,  a part-time job I love and the means and independence to do all the traveling I do. 

What will this year bring?  Well as of this writing in ten sleeps I will be off to Singapore and Cambodia for four weeks.  A family wedding in Alberta in August...a trip to the UK in the early autumn....we shall see what else happens!!!

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