Just a thought... Jobs fill your pockets but adventures fill your soul. [Jaime Lynne]
Well, here it is Friday. It's also the end of a long couple of weeks that included our dear friend's funeral, a Celebration of Hope (did you see the pics of Mike and me on Facebook?) and two truly enjoyable emcee opportunities with Canada Awards for Excellence and the Canadian Real Estate Association's Real Time: Let's Talk event.
Between flying into Toronto from Victoria, then driving to Ottawa, driving back to Toronto, flying back to Ottawa (stay with me here...) flying back to Toronto again, on to Markham and then heading to Halifax, you can just about imagine how anxious I was to unpack my big blue suitcase and stay put for a while.
That's exactly what is going to happen, but we're going to do this together, you and I. You see, I didn't fly from Halifax home to Victoria, BC on Wednesday. Instead, I took a nearly six-hour flight to Calgary...and it was gorgeous as we took off after a three-hour wait.
A comfortable three-hour flight took me to beautiful Palm Springs, California where Rob and I are going to be for a while.
Why Palm Springs? Because of the climate (warm and dry), the politics (not a red state) and the fact that it's familiar: my mom and dad, as well as my sister Cindy and her husband, spent a few winters in nearby Palm Desert, so Rob and I came to know and love the area.
In case you're worried about the rampant fires that have made California history this month, Rob drove down from BC in safety and met me at the Palm Springs airport and we are situated hundreds of kilometres from where the flames are at this time. Of course, we'll be careful and, although Rob experienced smoke during part of his three-day trip, his travels were not affected. We know full well how lucky we are and will be contributing to those who are not.
You can see some of the smoke in the distance in this shot I took as we began to descend for our landing.
We've got a calendar filled with guests over the next little while (almost all from Ontario, looking for a chance to visit while escaping the cold) as friends come down to share in our rental home's three bedrooms and some sunny hospitality. We'll spend time here unwinding, recharging and escaping the Victoria winter rains until we have to pack up and get set for the hectic but exciting book tour in February.
Although this journal has always been about transparency, I have had reservations about sharing these travels with you and it's about you, not me. Because my outright disdain for the political situation in the US is no secret, you may wonder why I'd choose to put myself or our money here.
The reasons: we had reserved this place months before Canada became Trump's imagined "enemy" and, besides, we weren't going to let Orange Julius Caesar spoil our visions of becoming snowbirds for the first time. All of those years of dark, cold, early mornings, I think we dreamed of doing something like this. And this year we've carved out the time to try it on for size. And if there's an engagement that I have to come back for, the airport's just minutes from us.
Maybe we'll love spending the winter in California. Maybe we'll hate being away from Canada for so long. We have no idea what to expect as we shift gears and try something new.
Here's where you come in: if you'll keep coming back and stay with this daily journal, I'll continue to write here. Some of the stories will be observations of life in and around this area, some will be perspectives on Canadian stories, just as I've always written. Many will come from within me (as usual) and I'll also be sure to keep you updated on what's going on with life in general.
For the most part, you won't notice a difference from my Victoria-based journals. I won't intentionally make you growl at me for posting pictures of warmer climes than you may be enduring at any given time between now and February, but I may post a stunning sunset or a view or adventure that anyone on a vacation might share. Sound fair?
Stay with me here - this could be a lot of fun. In the meantime, enjoy the parade(s) this weekend and know how much I've loved sharing these many, many adventures with you. I'll do my best to make sure you're glad you do, too. Talk to you here Monday with the perspective of a dear friend on her way here as I type, who's also just hung up the headphones (sort of)!
(@erindavis on Twitter)