Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A year in review

Well this is the time I usually go over my travel  year complete with photos however my photos from 2014 are on my computer at home, on the original memory card, on a flash drive in my bank safety deposit box and on an external hard drive.  (Paranoid much Laurie?)  Not with me here in London... so here's my year WITHOUT photos. Okay one I borrowed from my Facebook page... 

While 2014 wasn't the epic year it was the previous year it was a good started in late January when I got to walk another state capital in Jackson, Mississippi and stay at a lovely hotel.  Not particularly expensive but a charming old southern hotel.  I then moved over to Biloxi on the Gulf Coast (I have been there before and enjoyed it)  just in time for a winter storm to come through.  I did manage to get in one walk and that was it - otherwise it was walking around the deserted streets slipping and sliding on some ice.  Roads and bridges were impassable which made traveling impossible until I was able to get a private shuttle to join a friend in New Orleans.  I got there a day late but we made up for it and had a great time.  We stayed in a great shotgun house in the 7th Ward through airbnb.  It was a great local experience and while it wouldn't be for everyone it certainly was for us.  This was my third time to New Orleans and it wiggled its way into my heart even is my favourite American city.  Maybe because it doesn't feel like America?  It feels like its own country somehow!  When people tell me they are going to Vegas I always say "go to New Orleans instead"  It's a party town (oh yeah) but with loads of history and just so much more to it..not to mention the most awesome food.  I thought maybe three times in New Orleans would be enough....nope!  We also did the half marathon down there which was fun even though the route left a bit to be desired.  

From there I flew up to New York City for the annual Fest for Beatles fans (always to known to me as Beatlefest) to celebrate 50 years since the Beatles invasion of North America.  Happily it was the exact (to the day) date since the first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show so a few of us crazies happily posted under the Ed Sullivan sign.  

Me pretending to be screaming like I certainly would have done back in the day.

When I first arrived in New York I stayed in East Harlem in an airbnb place which was interesting....however the weather conspired against me once again and there was snow and muck everywhere which did not make for a good walking experience.  And it was damn cold.  Cold you say?  When you are from Saskatchewan?  Yes but I was wearing the jacket above (which by the way is the jacket I am wearing over here as well...I have an updated version (2011) of the same jacket I bought in 2001 in Vancouver....Taiga....Canadian made and boy do they last....plug plug) and layered.  Due to being in the south I didn't want to bring a winter jacket...although in retrospect that would have helped....I then moved into midtown to the Ramada (got a great deal through a travel agent friend)  where my friend Pat joined me and we attended the fest.  After the fest I did do some more exploring...New York you're okay (it grows on me a bit each time...I hated it my first trip in the late 70's) but don't even think you can be compared to London....and don't get me going on their subway system.  Paul and the Beatles has always brought me to New York...either for a Beatlefest or an actual live concert.  I've never gone to New York just to go to New York.  Seeing New York during the Christmas season is on the bucket list so if you're reading this Mr. McCartney how about a concert in New York in December?  

Then it was home...for three months... in May I took three trips in a row - each weekend I would take off somewhere....the first one was to Vancouver, British Columbia to meet up with my friend Julie from Australia.  We had a great time together and managed to see all the highlights.  We visited Gastown, took a day trip over to Bowen Island, drooled over the goodies at Granville Island market, walked around the Seawall in Stanley Park, went up Grouse Mountain by tram and went on my first chair lift since I was a kid..., marveled at the Capilano suspension was a great weekend.  The next weekend was an overnight trip to Saskatoon to do the half marathon there.  Then the next weekend three of us drove to Banff for our semi-annual CVF walking convention.  We did some absolutely breathtaking walks in the area and saw walking friends from all over Canada  - the weather gods smiled upon us and the weather was marvellous.  A fantastic weekend. 

In early July I took off for Buffalo, New York to see my friend Pat and off we went with our friend Vicky to see Mr. McCartney in Albany.  Pat had phoned and said the words "Paul and state capital"and that worked for me. :)  The concert was amazing as it always is and after my friends drove back the morning after the concert I headed out to do the Albany capital walk.  Later that day I headed off to Hartford to do another capital walk.  I had the chance to see Paul again in Pittsburgh but opted to do the capital walk instead....yes I guess my priorities are changing... from there I started to head home but due to flight delays I was stalled in Chicago (lets make a short story of this one)  I convinced them to let me take an evening flight (though they didn't go for making it another day later so I could see Paul play Chicago as well) so I was able to explore downtown Chicago again (I've been there a few times but I do love Chicago)  and get a paid for hotel.  Worked for me!

Other than a day trip I stayed at home until I flew over to Iceland on the 10th of was a very long five months....I am not used to staying at home that long but its all been worth it.  (I injured my back around the time of the Albany trip and was going to physio for months so it was a good thing I wasn't traveling...) I am now on my dream trip which will last until into June.  

So while my year didn't have the highs of visiting Cambodia, Singapore, Scotland and seeing my hero in my own home town like 2013 did it was certainly a great year.  And 2015 is going to be even better..I can feel it!!!  


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