Gratitude – Day 048 (Travel)

I have had some pretty amazing travel experiences. I suspect that by moving from Alberta to Nova Scotia when I was 7 years old, the zest for travel was created at a young age. Also, many of the family slide shows were pictures of trips my parents and older siblings took all over the USA, Cuba, & Mexico. I did not start my own travel adventures until I was 23. That was when I went to California and Alberta in one trip. It started the journey of my own travels.

I think that travel is a luxury. I do not take it for granted. It still amazes me that I can wake up in Regina, Saskatchewan and go to bed that night in Dallas, Texas. That is pretty damn cool. Over the last 25 years, I have been very fortunate to have taken some great trips. There is so much to see and experience. Some people spend all of their travel budget chasing the surf and sand on annual tropical vacations. I guess I understand the attraction, but I really like the variety of experiences.

Just off the top of my mind, some of the highlights for me include:

  • Nashville, Tennessee a couple of times: River cruise, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, NFL Game, Geocaching.
  • Miami, Florida a few times: Coconut Grove, Stone Crabs, South Beach, New Year’s Eve, Drive to Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Art Deco.
  • Denver, Colorado a couple of times: Drive to Pike’s Peak, Above an electrical storm, Elk Steak, Dinner at a restaurant that used to be an old bank vault.
  • San Francisco, California: Alcatraz, Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury District, Huge music store, Celtic pub with Irish wolf hound, streetcars, Golden Gate bridge.
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Cheers, Historic parks, Lobster, Chowder, Great walking, vibrant feel to the city.
  • Chicago, Illinois a number of times: River architecture tour, Miracle mile, Sears (Willis) tower, Fantastic walking, Millennium Park, Live blues, Lou Manotti’s pizza, Roger Water’s concert.
  • Toronto, Ontario on a few trips: CN Tower, Yonge street, Eaton’s centre, Hard Rock Cafe, Blue Jays game, Maple Leaf’s Game.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia a number of times: Granville Island, Stanley Park, Renting bicycles, Walking & touring, Suspension bridge, Circe du Soleil, Kits Beach, Lion’s Gate bridge, Les Blues, Denman avenue, Deep sea fishing, guy balancing rocks on beach, Aquarium, Cricket match.
  • Seattle, Washington: Pike’s place market, Jen Skahen, Great food, Space needle, lots of walking, superb microbrewery beer.
  • Portland, Oregon: Micro breweries, great walking, organic markets, Powell’s book store, Thursday night game night at a pub, transit system.
  • This list is getting large and I have only scratched the surface. I thought when I started this entry I would list the highlights and be done. The highlights keep coming. This is ridiculous. I have even more to be grateful for that I thought. Have not even touched on: Great Canadian Beerfest, Harrison Hot Springs, Deep Cove Hot Springs, Victoria BC, Cathedral Grove, Seas Kayaking at Tofino, Sea Kayaking in San Juan Islands, Rogue Brewing in Newport Oregon, Astoria, Oregon, Tree brewing in Kelowna BC, Ainsworth Hot Springs, Lussier Hot Springs,  Cannery Brewing in Penticton BC, Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway, Cycling the Golden Triangle, Radium Hot Springs, Waterton Park, Hiking the Carthew-Alderson Summit, Hiking the Crypt Lake trail, Takakaw Falls, Horseshoe falls, Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, Great Sand Hills in Saskatchewan, Great Sand Hills in Colorado, Disney World, Disney Land, Las Vegas, The Gun Store in Las Vegas, Ziplining on Fremont Street, Cirque Du Soleil in Orlando, Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Crazy Horse Monument, Mount Rushmore, Cave of the Mounds in Wisconsin, House on a Rock, Wisconsin, Don-Q-Inn near Madison, Wall Drugs, Mitchell Corn Palace, The Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri , White water rafting on teh Snake River, Jackson Hole, Tidal Bore rafting the Shubenacadie River, Montreal, Cruise out of Miami, Cozumel, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman Islands, Snorkeling in Jamaica, Swimming with the Stingrays, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, The Devil’s Tower Wyoming, Custer’s last stand, Bryce Canyon, Columbia River Gorge, Waterfall hike outside of Portland Oregon, Acadia National Park in Maine, Cape Breton Island, Napa Valley Vineyards, Kelowna Vineyards, Osoyoos Vineyards, NHL Game in Greensboro North Carolina, Indoor Skydiving in Las Vegas, Outdoor Skydiving at Waterville Nova Scotia, Halcyon Hot Springs, Grand Tetons, Logan’s Pass and teh Going-To-Sun Road in Montana, Drumheller Alberta, Jasper Park Alberta, West Edmonton Mall, Mall of America in Minneapolis, San Diego, The Coronado, Grumman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, Universal Studios, Huntington’s Beach, The Inn on Spanish Head in Lincoln, Oregon, BoardGameGeek convention in Dallas, Texas three times, New Orleans, Kennedy Space Centre in Florida…
  • Then there is an entire list that would reflect England and Scotland.

Okay, this almost came across as a brag list. Not my intention. It just flowed and blew me away. I am sincerely and deeply humbled by this list. I could have kept going, but I had to stop somewhere. If, perchance, I should get run over by a bus tomorrow, please do not mourn my passing. This list in another indication that I have been more fortunate than most people on this planet. I have been given the opportunity to see and do many things and for this I feel extremely blessed. I think some of these trips need to be broken into separate “gratitude” entries in the coming months. Some of these trips were absolutely spiritual for me and it would be great to explore the memories on the blog in a deeper hue of gratitude. Until then, travel safe, keep tabs on your passport, and greet life’s new adventures with a smile and sense of exploration. There is a whole lot of world to discover out there…

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.  ~ Mark Twain

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