"One of the pleasantest things in the world is going on a journey, but I like to go by myself."
William Hazlett (On Going on a Journey)
It's true, and I usually travel solo, just as I did this weekend when I made a bus trip to the Interior to visit my friend and family members. In spite of earlier disappointments, it turned out to be an excellent weekend. The weather was perfect, balmy enough to go without coats. Vernon is in an arid 'desert' area of the Interior, between two lakes and brown rolling hills. The Interior is much like Southern California with mountains nearby that have popular ski resorts. There are orchards and vineyards all down the Valley where the best B.C. wine is produced.
My grandson Mike was supposed to come up for a weekend of skiing with him Mom, my daughter Alex, but unfortunately due to having his green card stolen, and the slow process of getting a new one issued, he was unable to cross to border. It was a huge disappointment for everyone, especially him and his mom and of course me, because I haven't seen him for eight years due to one thing or another. Now it looks like I might have to try and figure out a way to go down to California if I want to see him, although my daughter will fly down next week to try and sort things out and activate an application for him to get U.S. citizenship. It's all part of the hassles these days due to the extra securities etc. Travel to and from the U.S. isn't as easy as it used to be.
I got to Vernon about 5 p.m. on Friday and in the evening Rosie and I drove the 45 mins. south to Kelowna to the Blue Gator Lounge where my son Steve's band was playing. (See the band's website at http://members.shaw.ca/westcoastblues ) The place was already packed when we got there. My daughter-in-law Sue had come up too so there was a nice little crowd of the band's relatives. We had a great time dancing.
The next day we drove around Vernon sightseeing: went to Planet Bee the honey place and got some delicious honey. In the evening we went to see an excellent ballet at the Arts Centre. "Merlin", performed by the Atlantic Ballet Company from New Brunswick, Canada. Most of all the dancers had been trained in Kiev Ukraine or Russia. That was my cultural treat. It's been ages since I'd attended a ballet. At one time in my life I would go to every one and had aspirations of dancing myself, though I started much to late in my teen-age life.
Sunday my daughter drove down from the town where she lives and we went for lunch by the lake and had a nice visit. She's best friends with Rosie's daughter so it was good for the girls to see each other too. Of course, Sunday night was the Academy Awards. This year I enjoyed the gorgeous gowns and glamour. And thank goodness no more of those long, tedious thank-you speeches!
The drive to and from the Coast is spectacular, through the mountain pass. There's still snow on the peaks, but Spring has arrived early to the Coast and the Valley. Driving back into town I noticed more trees in blossom though it had started to rain in the city.
It was a much-needed rest and change of scene for me this little get-away. I had a lot of things to sort out, soul-searching, coming to terms with the end of a friendship that had been important to me, seeing my daughter and enjoy the little time I had with her. And, of course, my friend Rosie has been one of my best pals for many years so we always have fun together. She's another traveler like me, and we've been through a lot of life's experiences together, our families very much extended families through the years.
Now I'm back and it's time to get into the groove of writing again, back to the journey with Alexander's little son and his Successors. And a time of planning too. As soon as I get my tax refunds figured out I'll be able to start planning my next big trip. Destination: England, Wales and Greece sometime in late May. Keeping my fingers crossed!
"The longest journey
Is the journey inwards
Of him who has chosen his destiny." Dag Hammarskjold