Adventures in British Columbia, Part Three – Vancouver


After having another visit with Judy, enjoying a wonderful sushi dinner at a Vernon restaurant with her and Keith, and then another night’s sleep, I was back to the airport for my morning flight to Vancouver. This time my bag had a few new items in it, including a piece of fairly flat pottery, but I had left a couple of pieces of clothing with Sarah so it wasn’t much thicker. However, this plane was smaller and the overhead bins were just a little more shallow. Neither I nor the men around me were able to squeeze my bag into place. I was stuck with it on my seat while I waited for everyone else to get past me, then I told the flight attendant of my predicament. She said, “No problem. I have magic hands.”  She did indeed. With very little effort and no pounding, she got it in! At the end of the 45 minute flight I had to ask for her assistance again to get it out.

It seemed like every plane had landed at Vancouver Airport at once because the pickup area outside was jammed with traffic. But my daughter, Ann, eventually got to me and we were off to Abbotsford, where her husband was playing baseball. We caught only the last few minutes of the game and then socialized while we waited for his daughter to appear with the two grandkids, one of whom I hadn’t yet met. That was a special time.

My great-grandchildren, Lucas and baby Andrew

My great-grandchildren, Lucas and baby Andrew

We finally arrived at Ann and Frank’s place in Burnaby where we had a late dinner at the nearby Golf Club before we all crashed.

The next morning Frank was back to the Ball Tournament and Ann and I headed to the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) where we indulged in some carnival food and drinks, watched the Super Dog Show and the Langley Ukulele Ensemble performance. As we wandered through the Market Place Pavilion I found a few things of interest, but remembering my problems with getting my only suitcase onto the last plane, I refrained from purchasing.

Japanese Lanterns

Elephant Japanese Lanterns

Obviously I was still a little weary. I forgot to take my camera along and captured only these two pictures during the whole day!

On Monday Frank was back to work. Ann had the day off and suggested we drive to Squamish to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola and see what was to be seen at the top of the mountain. It was a perfect day to walk the trails and enjoy the views from the patio while enjoying lunch.

Taking the Sea to Sky Gondola

Taking the Sea to Sky Gondola

Taking the Sea to Sky Gondola

Taking the Sea to Sky Gondola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlooking  the Fjord

Ann Overlooking the Howe Sound Fjord

Views from the top

Views from the top

Along the Trails

Along the Trails

Made it to the Top!

Made it to the Top!

After dinner at home the three of us went out for Gelato and then it was time to repack my bags in preparation for the next part of my journey. My visit with Ann and Frank was brief because they both had jobs to go to the rest of the week.

I have to admit that by the time I crawled into bed I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the traveling and almost wished that instead of boarding a ferry the next day, I was boarding a plane home. But after a good sleep I was up for the challenge early in the morning, knowing that Frank was going to take me to the ferry terminal so I didn’t need to worry about catching buses and sky trains. That was so much appreciated!

Advertisements

Retirement and Getting Lost in History


We’ve been home for a few weeks now, and, after getting caught up on household chores and reconnecting with friends and family, it was my intention to write one or two more blog posts to complete our latest journey.

But last week I’d decided to spend a day sorting through the huge box of photos and memorabilia to see if I could downsize a little more. In so doing, I came across a very old photo of some people that I’m sure could be the grandparents that I never knew. I scanned it, along with many others so that I could look at it more closely later.

Johnstons

Then, after I got into bed, I got thinking about it, and wondering who these people could be. I had some ideas, but needed to check out some dates on the Family Tree.  So, instead of getting to travel writing in the morning, I logged into Ancestry.ca and looked for clues to solve the mystery.  Most of my ideas were eliminated by date discrepancies, but while searching some people, I discovered other hints for other family members, and then I was gone.  To me, researching family history is like a big jigsaw puzzle. Once I find one piece, I can’t stop. I’m drawn to find more. Before I knew it, three hours had passed and I hadn’t even started to write! But I have no regrets. Genealogy is just another one of my passions. I actually created another blog about it a few years ago, but then posted only twice, and never made it known.

I took a break to make some lunch, and as I worked, I thought of the long To-do list that I always have running through my mind:

Write travel blog posts

Update/improve my website, monetize it perhaps

Write memoirs

Research family

Edit photos

Make photo books

Develop new blog: Unfolding Our Past

Then I asked myself, “Why do I put these burdens upon myself?” What difference will it make if I do none of them? I don’t expect to earn a living from any of them, because technically I’m retired. So why can’t I just relax and enjoyment retirement? But then, what does retirement mean? It should mean having the freedom to do whatever you want, right? For some, that might mean reading a book, watching TV, playing games or doing nothing at all, but for others, like me, it means having the time to pursue passions that keep the mind and body active, that give pleasure. That’s why I want to do these things, and more.

What does retirement mean to you? Do artists ever retire?

Pickle Ball – The New Senior Rage


If we weren’t quite fit enough for the mountain climbing in Arizona, we should be better when we return this year!

While we were at Mesa Regal RV Resort, we learned the basics of playing Pickle Ball. Yes, Pickle Ball. We get many odd looks and requests for explanation when we mention it.

Pickle ball is best described as a cross between badminton and table tennis. It’s played on a badminton-sized court with a low net and wooden or titanium paddles, similar to table tennis paddles, but a little larger. The game is played in doubles, using a whiffle ball.

Pickle Ball Paddle and Balls

Pickle Ball Paddle and Balls

The story goes that the inventor of the game named it after his dog Pickles, who would chase and retrieve the balls that went too far astray from the court.

When we were at the RV Resort we didn’t have any paddles of our own and there was always a waiting list to get some from the Loan Centre, so we managed to get in only two or three games before we left for home. To our delight, Karen’s family gave us a set upon our return, delayed birthday gifts. But would we have to wait until our return to Arizona to play again? We knew we needed to get active again or it would be a very long summer, so Jim did some searching online. He found a few older abandoned  courts nearby, and then eventually was given the name of someone to call in Peterborough. A new group had recently formed and members were playing three afternoons a week at the Wellness Centre. We were there!

We weren’t sure how we’d be greeted, our skills still very poor. But it turned out that there is a mix of players, some not much more practiced than we, and some who’ve been playing for five years. Most are snow birds who learned the game while wintering in the south. All were very friendly, patient and helpful with instructions. We played hard for two hours and crashed early that night. I needed a long soak in a salt bath before climbing into bed. But we felt revitalized.

Seniors in Action

IMG_20140604_104634316

Senior Pickle Ball Players

Senior Pickle Ball Players

And so, we’ve become involved in the growth of this organization, sharing in the discussions and decision as to a name. Because there are times when the gym at the Wellness Centre isn’t available, an alternative venue needed to be found. One of the instigators, Greg Anderson managed to acquire permission from the city to use the pad at  Legacy Bowl, a former outdoor hockey rink, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for two weeks.  He has since been negotiating to make it a permanent site for @PickleBallPtbo.

After six hours a week, for the last week and a half, we’ve learned at lot, and improved our skills and our stamina. It seems to be addictive. Although it is open to anyone who can find the time on a weekday morning or afternoon, so far we are all active seniors, with fifty people signed up. Not all make it out everyday, thank goodness.  Where would they all play?