Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Canada Affair to Write About

By Cal Orey

Vancouver Canada is a fine destination
Today, I find myself getting all my ducks in a row much like my Aussie tries to do with my cat and other dogs. Next week I depart the Sierra and head to British Columbia. This trip came to me. After all, a Canadian Coffee and Tea Show press pass spawned the adventure...and then, other invites followed. So, it is in motion. The only glitches are feeling separation from my two dogs and cat. But this morning I was told that the boys do well--probably better than I do! So, I found this post last year before I left for the PNW. Guess preliminary jitters are part of the game. I can do this because I did it before; this time other places to go, modes of transportation, lodging are a bit different to take me out of my comfort zone and add excitement, yeah it's a bit like that...
Seattle is my first and foremost stop
Decided no way am I taking a ferry to Victoria in the Pacific Northwest winter! After talking to locals on the phone, they're telling me grueling tales of choppy water to storms tagged "Seasick City"!  Plan B, a turboprop was off my table of viable modes of transporation to Victoria after a quick online search to verify my gut instincts about small aircraft in the wintertime. This fall-cold bug is a kick of reality and blessing in disguise. Yep, I will go to Seattle for the book signing; and the next day take the train to Vancouver, Canada--done. I made up my mind during this bout of a cold. I will pass on nightmare-ish plane and boat rides.  

On Saturday night I felt feverish and my throat was raspy. Come Sunday the aches from head to toe hit. A cold-flu paid me a visit. Was it getting up in the early morning every day to feed the cat and let my dog duo do their business and enjoy their breakfast? Or perhaps it was the weekend neighbors who left their flood light on all night, forcing me to play the character in that film "Insomnia" trying to barricade the windows for needed darkness to sleep. Maybe I didn't wash my hands after store runs. And there is always the chance it was our temps plummeting to 28 degrees and soaring to the upper 60s in the day.  Welcome to cold season--it's a sign.

What was I thinking? On the weekend in between sneezing and drinking herbal tea and honey for my sore throat, using a heating pad for my aching back, I booked a flight and hotel for my trip to Seattle in January. At first, I announced it would be a Barnes and Noble reading/signings in Bellevue, then onto Vancouver via train. In my mind and to friends, I didn't stop. I boasted that I was going to hop onto the chartered bus for 1 1/2 hours to catch a B.C. ferry and in another hour or two be on an island--Victoria.  Then, a few days later, it would be back on the cold, choppy winter waters (providing they didn't shut down due to poor windy conditions)  to catch the bus, train, and two plane rides, shuttle bus, cab to my cozy warm home. Am I crazy? Do I want to work hard to land on a strange island when I live in paradise?

Why in the world would I bundle up and bundle all this traveling in the wintertime? Maybe if I didn't get this cold I'd feel more adventurous. I sense this pesky bug is a cue from the weather gods whispering to me: "You are not 21! Yes, you are normally healthy and have energy but be sensible!" So, I negotiated in my mind: "The flight plan will include a cab to the shuttle bus onto Reno for a flight to Utah then onto Seattle...another cab ride to Bellevue. A few days in Washington, then a cab to the train and four hours later in Canada. That is a long, long trek. Done!"
Back to SLC Airport is just the
tip of the journey

After all, I vowed to revisit B.C. all by myself, not with an incompatible travel mate. I will revisit Vancouver Aquarium as well as enjoy the diversity of the city, organic food markets, and swim at the hotel in a foreign city. No need to get onto a ferry and weather the elements to get onto an island. Water will be all around me. I live in the mountains with a cold climate in the winter that includes shoveling snow and making fires. Why do I want to work harder than I have to during a business-vacation? 

People travel to Tahoe in the winter...   I won't be gone for long
Why would I go to Whistler when I have snow here
Saving Victoria and the fickle ferry for a fall time getaway. Gosh, dealing with a cold-flu virus is not fun. It would be easier with one cat. True, my dogs give me so much but at times, like now when I don't feel my energetic self, it's like taking care of two-year-old twins. But as my grandma used to say: "This too shall pass." And then I will continue to envision my trip to Seattle and Canada. That is doable and will suffice.  Caveat: If the weather is dry and the wind is calm (I forecast it will not be), I may change my mind in a heartbeat and book a B.C. ferry for the thrill of experiencing Victoria.
Coming back home to Tahoe--my home--complete with snow, a crackling fire in the fireplace, swimming at the resort pool in early mornings (to dodge ski-goers) and cuddling up with the fur kids will be nice, too. It's mindful to save Victoria for a crisp autumn day. Where is my heating pad? The Brittany and Aussie are staring at me again. They want more food, a walk. I feel sicker than a dog. Fine. I'm getting up.  

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