Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Healing Powers Series Author's Adventures in Victoria, B.C.

By Cal Orey

Last week during the Fourth of July invasion of the tourists at Lake Tahoe I kept a promise to myself. I fled.  I didn't want to cope with dogs off leash, flood lights, hot tub late night delight, and chaos. I craved quietude. 
Months prior this year I booked a trip to Canada. I've been to Vancouver several times but not Victoria. It was taking the ferry or CRJ700 that spooked me. This time, however, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and just did it...

Getting up at 2:00 A.M. to catch a cab, shuttle and 6:20 A.M. flight was a challenge but not as grueling as I had anticipated. Actually, taking my Aussie Skyler to the kennel earlier in the day was more heartbreaking. He had a semi-anxiety attack (put his bum on the floor and played mule to protest); and I cried out loud when calling the kennel a few hours later to see how my boy was doing. We both are super sensitive, Type A, high maintenance souls and do not like to be apart. A soulmate with paws? Speaking of paws...

My Siamese-mix Zen sensed I was going. He was extremely affectionate the last night except for shredding my arm later in bed after a purringfest. Another pet sign of rebellion? Despite the cat and dog acting out we endured the separation. I walked out of my cabin at 3:00 A.M. packed with a carry on and one piece of luggage. And all of my ducks were in a row. Exhale.

At Reno-Tahoe International Airport
Last time around TSA searched me in the early morning thanks to silver on my combat boots to necklaces. I was half asleep and stunned but it woke me up. Not fun before a cup of coffee. This time, because of printing out my ticket and it being scanned earlier by the higher up ticket people, it was smooth and easy, a pleasant surprise. There was time for caffeine and a bagel. Missing my fluffy Aussie was on my mind as I held onto my necklace (a heart locket with my pics of Zen and Skye)... but boarding the first aircraft, a 320 Airbus en route to Salt Lake City took me to another place literally.

I was on my way to an exciting fantasy. It was the beginning of leaving my life full of must-do lists and flying to Carefree World.  And this time there was no rough air. This small airport is easy to navigate and I seem to always find the salt water taffy (it takes me back to the boardwalk days in Santa Cruz). I passed on them going to Canada (thought of my dental cleaning); the tortilla chips and unforgettable salsa because you never know what you're going to get on a flight to cloudy Seattle. So, I ordered chamomile tea. It sufficed and I certainly give the herbal must-have kudos in The Healing Powers of Tea (reviewed by Publishers Weekly).

3 Hours of Sleep
Craving a Cup of Joe
A few hours later on my way to Seattle--a second home to me. I have a sense of belonging there--grey skies, S.F. type of city. 
Again, on the737-800 plane no rough air. Actually, I don't mind turbulence and actually missed a few bumps in the day. I did munch on sea salted pretzels, watched the film La La Land,  a 2016 musical romance but I was semi- thinking about Canada, a romantic place to me--and dreading the small regional flight--one folks warned me of bumps galore. 

Once at SeaTac, taking the "soul train" like in Atlanta (I love Georgia), and onto the upstairs waiting for the little but scary CRJ700 it was a surreal time. I felt like I had flown to an Asian country. Nobody spoke English. Now this was adventure. I called my sibling to get a lifeline to my world and ask about my fur kids. I left a dramatic message saying that I felt at last out of my comfort zone. In another world. It was fun! Cultural shock like I experienced when I was 21 arriving in Montreal--the first time. The metric system, French speaking people, and intensity was over the top but not the second round decades later.
Enjoyed a lingering conversation about quakes, aging, and health with a bohemian boomer, like me, who left New York for a self-help meditation retreat off the grid in Victoria. We made a connection.It was kind of like me looking for environment in Victoria while leaving beautiful Lake Tahoe. Well, it is healthy to depart your home looking for greener grass even though you may discover it was green enough all along where you were supposed to be.
No rough air on CRJ to Victoria

At last, I met my monster face to face. The CRJ! However, since it was a clear day, the flight attendants were calm, I sensed all my fears were in my imagination. But, the Australian woman next to me put on eye shades, ear phones (with those talky relaxation tapes), and a bib as she whispered to me: "I'm a nervous flyer." I winced and nodded. And into the air we soared...

To Be Continued...

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