Travelling 2


Yesterday I posted a lot of pictures – boy is that fiddly in blogspot! And looking at it, I realized it looked as if we’d travelled a lot. I guess we have, but then again, that covered 28 years of our married life. Hubby and I travelled a lot pre-kids – it was one of the things we’d promised ourselves before we ‘settled down’ as parents – but once we had them, it stopped until the last ten years because frankly it’s just too darned expensive.

Both Hubby and I have been to England, but not together *pout*, I went with my parents in 2000 and spent a lot of time staying with relatives (it’s cheaper that way), and Hubby was sent there for work in 2002 (?). Plus he’s been to Germany and got to stay at a castle (He had a turret room!) for a week’s training in what would have been East Germany but a few years ago.

In yesterday’s post, I didn’t have a chance to include our trip to Jamaica in 1979 – where I wouldn’t go again. Nor did I include our trip to New Orleans in 2000 – not because I didn’t like it but because I literally ran out of numbers. I would visit there again, but if I did, it wouldn’t be between May and September, it would be in February or March, when it’s not so hot. Until I went there, I’d never had my glasses steam up upon going outside because it was so hot and steamy. I’d only ever had that happen going from the cold wintry outside into a warm house.

And before you start thinking we’re rich, we got lucky for some of those trips and travelled, for the most part, on someone else’s dime.

My husband travelled a great deal as part of his job. So if it was during the summer when the kids were out of school, he’d ask if he could drive down instead of flying. Usually the company said yes, because their cost for gas/mileage would be less than the cost of a plane ticket. Knowing our gas would be covered, and we’d all share his hotel room which would also be paid for, we took advantage of it as often as we could and drove a lot of places.

That’s how we ended up in New Orleans in 2000. We actually took the kids out of school for ten days for that trip figuring there’s nothing as educational as travel – we went to the amazing Aquarium there, and took a swamp tour where our guide called an alligator to the boat – yes, called it like a puppy dog – and fed it marshmallows. We went through the D-Day Museum, rode on the Streetcars (no, it wasn’t one named Desire), and took a tour of the city and saw the above-ground cemeteries there as well as the Garden district. (Nora Roberts captured the New Orleans essence perfectly in her Midnight in the Bayou, as did Sherrilynn Kenyon in The Fantasy Lover – it’s so neat to read a story and say ‘I’ve been there!) What I found interesting five years later was that during the tour of the city, the tourguide stopped the bus at a point in one of the dykes and said ‘there was a study a few years back that said if there was any point going to breach, it’s right there.’ When Hurricane Katrina hit, I looked up some of the overhead photos of the breaches, and what do you know, one of them was at exactly that spot.

The trip to Washington in 2003 was also a company paid trip. Which meant that hubby was off working conventions or on courses, while the kids and I got to tour around – in 104 degree heat — we went to Arlington cemetery, and stopped outside the Pentagon which had just been repaired after 9/11. We went to the Air and Space Museum twice, and the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian. We walked past the Washington Monument, and visited the Vietnam Memorial, as well as the one nearby for Korea while we sweated buckets. And if you’re ever in downtown Washington, you have to stop off for lunch at Fudruckers! The best burgers around!

And we’d often stop off at places on the way too and from our destination. Places like the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania, and the nearby Indian Caves (which I think of whenever I read of the Glittering Caves in Tolkien’s The Two Towers.) We’ve stopped at Neil Armstrong’s museum in Ohio, and the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Kentucky – where they served a ‘home made apple pie’ made in Ontario! We’ve taken a ferry across Lake Champlain, and accidentally discovered a gorgeous stop called Ausable Chasm on the way to Lake Placid – another gorgeous place by the way.

The numerous trips to Montreal and Ottawa too were usually paid by his company – where I got to indulge my embroidery hobby, Ottawa had a wonderful shop that carried the linens and special threads I needed that I couldn’t get locally, but only online. To actually pick them up, finger them and decide upon just the right colour was heaven!

So far we’ve visited:

Canadian Provinces:
Ontario – d’uh we live here, Quebec from the western border through to Quebec City, New Brunswick, British Columbia (including Vancouver Island), Alberta, and Saskatchewan. (Hubby has also been to Manitoba and Nova Scotia.)

US States:
(Not alphabetical, or in order we went through them, just the crazy way my brain remembered them)
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC (yes, I know that’s technically not a state), North Carolina, Georgia (where the waitresses would have an exquisite southern drawl which impressed us until one admitted she was originally from New York as were a couple of her compatriots), Florida (had to decide yesterday whether Disneyworld or the Kennedy Space Centre was our favourite place), Kentucky, Tennessee (should I mention we met a man who talked exactly like Boomhauer on King of the Hill here?), Ohio, Michigan, Alabama, Missisippi, Louisiana. (I think I’m missing one somewhere in there) Hubby and I have both been to California, but that was pre-kids (See #13 from yesterday’s post) Hubby has also been to Illinois (Chicago), Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Missouri and Massachusetts. I’ve also been to Illinois and Texas but they were mere stopovers as I changed planes at the airports, but that still counts, doesn’t it? (Plus I should have more exposure to Texas later this summer.) There, I think that’s them all. Does the US Virgin Islands belong here, considering it’s not a state but a territory?

And I should mention that my eldest went on a school trip in grade twelve and has been to Italy, Greece and Germany.

So our kids are well travelled and have been exposed to all sorts of adventures and people. But now hubby works for the provincial government so our days of travelling are numbered. We took one fling on the last of his lay-off pay-off money, and flew to Vancouver last year then drove back through the Rockies to Calgary. Considering a civil servant’s salary, I doubt our youngest will be treated to a school trip unless he earns it himself.

I am planning a trip to Dallas this summer – I need to do that soon as the flights are already going up in price daily. But that’ll probably be the last of it, and we’ll be back to camping in the backyard as we used to when the kids were little. But I’d still love to go back to England, and I would love to see Italy as long as I had a guide. Come to think of it I’d love a guide in England rather than relying on sights from trains and buses. I LOVED England. Perhaps it’s because my family is originally from there, but it’s absolutely amazing to stand somewhere and know it’s been there for several thousand years and the natives shrug and think nothing of it, when a building here is considered historical if it’s 100 years old.

I really need to win that lottery one of these days.


2 thoughts on “Travelling

  • Sue L

    Funny that you’ve seen so much more of the states than I have! But it sounds like you’ve had some wonderful times.

    We’ll have to plan our time carefully in July, if you want to visit any especially interesting or historic sites – although … the visit down to visit my ‘ponies’ is already planned and that’s going to be hard to top! 😉

  • Amy Ruttan

    Holy cow, you get around. I envy you. I wish I could have travelled more before kids. But my first was a surprise three months after I was married.

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