06.21.2018 - 06.26.2018
So...when we took off on this adventure, selling our possessions and homes and hitting the road, we knew it was going to be an adventure. We knew the only thing we really knew was that we would figure it out as we went. That we would need to try different things and visit lots of different places to see what we liked and what we didn't. We also knew this first six months would not be representative of how we really wanted to travel - slowly. We've taken this time in Calgary to re-evaluate and make some adjustments. If you follow our travel map, you will see BIG changes we've made. More later on that.
Calgary is a Weird and Wonderful Place
Here in Calgary, we've been staying in the neighborhood called Bankview just off the funky 17th Avenue SW. It's a great location to be able to walk to restaurants and bars and still be in a residential neighborhood. Against all odds, we've totally gotten into the World Cup. Scott had it on for the first games this morning at 8:00 AM. We've eaten Greek, Jamaican, Mexican, and Thai along with plenty of good pub food.
The neighborhood is filled with eclectic, funky folks covered with tattoos, an older avant garde generation, and everyone in between. Truly a wonderful mix of all kinds of kinds. We've mainly been home-bodies but have gotten out a few times to walk around downtown and to tour the riverwalk and the heights.
We went to the historic Lougheed House built in 1891 on what was once a farm on the outskirts of town but is now completely surrounded by the City. It had a wonderfully fragrant garden.
Downtown Calgary has awesome public sculpture all over. Here are a couple we visited.
Fort Calgary is a cool story of a city reclaiming the Bow Riverfront for recreation and rebuilding replicas of their earliest history. It's an interesting place to learn about the history of Calgary and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. And the Riverwalk is a beautiful park.
The bluffs above the river provide a great view of the city and you can see all the way to the Rockies.
So we've been enjoying ourselves and this city break before heading back to the mountains and National Parks. But back to the changes!
Traveling in Any One Area for More than a Month Or So is Probably Too Long FOR US.
You Can Become Numb to Even The Most Beautiful Things
Any of you that did that month in Europe at some point I'm sure can relate to getting weary of plazas, palaces, and Roman ruins. No matter what I've done in the past, there is a limit to how much of anything I can absorb at one time. And we are feeling that now. We are mountain weary and forest full. Although we are looking forward to Banff and Yoho with Courtney and Morgan, we've realized that's gonna be our limit. The prospect of more mountains and forests with seventy degree days and forty degree nights, even the beautiful mountains and forests of Oregon and Washington, just isn't calling our names right now. And going to the Pacific beaches might be qualified as torture given the water temperatures!
There are Beach People and There are Mountain People
I've always known there are beach people and mountain people. My great friend Jill - mountain person. It doesn't mean you don't like both - it means if you can only own one vacation house, where would it be? Which are you? In any case, we are definitely beach people. And I'm talking warm sand, warm water, hot sun, cold beer and noodles and floaties. At some point I realized that given our current plans, we weren't going to see a beach with warm water until November! We're retired and we're going to miss an entire summer! We're tired of being cold and long for our toes in the sand. Add to that the amount of time we've been on the road, almost three months now and we decided to make some big changes! WE'RE HEADED TO MEXICO EARLY!
First, we've decided to head straight down to Fort Collins, Colorado, next for about a month with my parents. We want to spend time with them and we love Fort Collins but haven't ever been to Colorado in summer. We're looking forward to some short excursions, too. We also need to get some health stuff done. Dentists. I want to try to get LASIK done, etc. And we want to take the opportunity to regroup and regain some semblance of a routine - other than packing and unpacking everything every three days - before we head south.
Maintaining a Healthy Routine is Very Hard When Traveling
And on that point, it's been really hard for us to maintain any kind of healthy routine on the road. Those of you that like exercise won't relate but as I mentioned previously, we're pretty lazy. Without a regular routine, we always opt for something other than exercise. And the exercise we like - walking, riding bikes, yoga - is hard on the road and in the cold. We had done really well building exercise into our life in Florida but that's very much fallen but the wayside. Time to get it back!
It's also hard to maintain a healthy diet. Again, those of you that prefer salads won't be able to relate but we are in the land of beef and potatoes, fried food (I never knew cheese curds were such thing!), and craft beer. Ummm - I know what I'm going to eat. Cooking at home helps but that isn't always an option. So we're looking forward to a month in Fort Collins, where it's warm and beautiful and easy to find exercise options and eat better, and then 5-6 months on the beach in Mexico. La Paz, where we're headed, has a Malecon (beach walk) right outside our door and the locals walk it every morning and evening so we'll have good role models! And there's fish fish, fruit, and vegetables in the markets.
We Want Time to Be a Part of a Community
Finally, as compatible as we are, and we are amazingly compatible, we miss being a part of a larger community. We've decided we want to try the approach of staying somewhere long enough to find our favorite markets, bars, restaurants, and yoga studios and to meet the people that work in them. We want time to get involved in projects in the community and to meet friends. So rather than the "long road trip" approach, we're going to try the "hub and spoke" approach. Get a home base cheap enough to allow for short trips out to other areas and then come back "home". Most of the U.S. isn't compatible with that at a price we can afford. In fact, staying our budget oaths road trip has been difficult. In Mexico we are renting beautiful, two bedroom houses, some with pools, right on the water for $50-75/night! Now that's affordable!
When we thought about it in our planning, we thought maybe three to four months would be good, so this is will be longer but that's the way it's working out. We have to stay in North America with Cadeau, we want to be warm, and we have a budget. So Mexico here we come until sometime next year. But first, Banff, Yoho, and Fort Collins and Colorado. Stay tuned in!
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