“There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't sit still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will. They range the field and rove the flood, And they climb the mountain's crest; Their's is the curse of the gypsy blood, And they don't know how to rest.”
- Robert Service

Monday, 8 June 2015

For Those Who Want to Know

In the last year, I’ve hardly written anything here. It’s not that there hasn’t been much to write about - in fact I’ve got pages and pages of things to write about - but I think I’ve just been content to do those things. That and I had a discussion with a tarot reader in New Orleans about finding the right audience for my travel stories. Basically I told her that I was conflicted about genuinely wanting to share my experiences with people but I was worried that my friends would start to feel like I just wouldn’t shut up about them. She told me to just not bring it up with people. I’ve now decided that if you’ve made the effort to come over and read my blog, you’re probably more interested than bored. Awesome!

 Here’s the recap from the last 12 months:

Summer 2014:
I went back to Camp Tanamakoon as Head Nurse. Though I came away exhausted, I love spending time with inspiring and adventurous young women (and a few young men). I’m going back this August!
Just a few of the Trippers and Camp Counsellors from Tan!
We travelled to Alberta for by bestie’s wedding. Finally! After the festivities were over, Mike and I met up with some friends in Banff for a couple of solid days of hiking and merriment. Fun Fact: It’s always a good idea to rent the “vintage swimsuit” for $2 when visiting the Banff hot springs. We finished that trip off by driving the Jasper parkway. This would not be the last encounter with glaciers this year!
I'm pretty sure these suits were unisex. And there was only one (older) other lady in the pool rocking this sassy number
To round out the summer, I took Mike on his first backcountry canoe trip in Killarney. We made great pace and paddled ahead of schedule (good thing, too, because the last 30 hours of the trip were in a downpour), and Mike turned into a real CanoeHead! Despite the work and the rain, I’ve got him on board for another trip this year…
Carefully maneuvering the canoe beyond the mud
 Autumn 2014:

For some reason, we keep travelling to cold places when it’s cold out already. The windy city did not disappoint. Chicago was both windy and cold. Good thing they have great pizza. We tried to visit most of the Ferris Bueller landmarks, took in some improv comedy, and followed quite a few architectural tours. The Second City  has some prime design! We were lucky enough to get to go skating under the glare of the giant bean, too.
Getting cultured at the Modern Art Gallery
 By November, we were tired enough of Sudbury’s chill and bee-lined it to Orlando. Mike has been wanting to show me the “Magic of Disney” since I first told him I’d never been to a Disney park, so I caved. And in the end I really did have a great time! Rides and movies aside, one of my favourite parts of  Disney World was dressing up every day. The official rulebook says that if you’re over age 6, you can’t dress in costume, but they don’t say anything about dressing up Disneybound. On more than one occasion, my character-suggestive outfit garnered a “right this way, Princess” from a staff member. I’d go again just to do that!
This is Mike's favourite photo. He wasn't as much a fan of the twirling teacups as I obviusly was.
 Winter 2015:

As always, we went home at Christmas. It’s nice to do the fam-jam thing, and we got a couple of days of snowboarding in at Sun Peaks. Our first adventure of 2015 was to visit Mont Tremblant! A friend of ours had warned us that it would be cold, but I had no idea! Thankfully, I’d brought along hand warmers. But still! The great terrain was worth it, though.
Stopping in Ottawa on the way home, we made sure to skate the canal and eat a beaver tail!
 February was busy with Tommy!, but it was enough to tide us over until early March when we met our friends again in Utah for a ski week at Park City. Lucky for us, it snowed almost 40cm on our first night. Best powder I’ve ever been on! We were able to check out the terrain at three different mountains, and on our two off days we poked around the Mormon Tabernacle, and took a road trip out to Arches National Park (which I would highly recommend!). It was along day, but the views were fantastic.
One of the smaller arches in the park, but damn we had great sunlight!
 Spring 2015

We found ourselves in New Orleans at Easter. As it turns out, Louisiana is quite pleasant in the spring. To boot, though we weren’t in the Big Easy for it’s most famous festival, there were three parades on Easter Sunday - my favourite being the “Gay Easter Parade.” Just think of all the fabulous Drag Queens in their Easter bonnets. Yassssss! Other highlights included the cemetery tour, an airboat ride to the swamps where we fed marshmallows to gators, and visits to voodoo landmarks (both fun and strange). Also the food. One day I’m sure that everything I ate was fried -breakfast to midnight snack.
Obviously we'd visit "Mardi Gras World" while in New Orleans.
 Next up, Mike ticked another goal off of his bucket list, and we travelled to Cozumel to learn how to scuba. It was a big change from our other trips because on some days, there really wasn’t much for us to do except drink a beer by the water. We earned out Open Water dive tickets in three days, and then went out on a charter boat trip to a large reef. I spotted a sea turtle and a ray, and some from our group saw a couple of nurse sharks! It took me a while to get the hang of it all, and the strong currents didn’t help much, but I hope we get to go diving again soon because it really was great to see sea life so close up. On a “day off” from diving, we travelled to the main land to visit some Mayan ruins, one of which we were able to climb to the top of. Lucky us - most of the other ruins won’t allow this anymore.
"Atop a Mayan ruin, Sarah gets sacrificed for the good of the group."
 Most recently, we adventured to Iceland. It’s truly the land of ice and fire (despite what George R. R. Martin thinks**) where volcanoes and glaciers meet and trolls and gnomes hideaway in. In another life, I might have preferred to go when the weather was a bit warmer and the grass was a little greener, but it still turned out to be a fantastic trip. Mike and I rented a small car and ventured to drive the ring road in a week. We could easily have taken two weeks to do it - there’s simply so much to see, and so many great walks and hikes. You hardly even have to leave the road to see things - grand waterfalls just spill over within sight.  One of my favouite activities was visiting a volcanic formation that is the backdrop to many stories about elves, but in particular about Iceland’s Christmas Elves - the Yule Lads. Rather than having one father Christmas, there are 13 lads and one comes by each night until Christmas. They have rather peculiar names too - like “Spoon Licker” and “Sausage Stealer.” Our last two nights were spent in the capital city - Reykjavik - where we joined the Saturday night life (which doesn’t even start until 1am…when the sun is still out) and I tried out one of Iceland’s most infamous foods - Hakarl!

**Several scenes in Game of Thrones have actually been filmed in Iceland.
1:30am, Reykjavik
 I'm not able to upload my favourite video from Iceland to this blog, so I'll make sure it hits facebook. Spoiler: Anthony Bourdain calls Hakarl "the worst food he's even eaten" for a very good reason.

No comments:

Post a Comment