“Do you want to come inside?”, the small elderly man said as we furiously snapped pictures of his century home in New Orleans’ French Quarter. A quick glance between me and my husband prompted thoughts like “hmm, if he is a serial killer, I think we can take him”. So we responded with a resounding “yes, please!” and went inside.
The RV jostled and bounced with each rock and bump as our family made its way down the gravel road to Canoe Lake. We were tired, we were ready for the cool lake water and fresh smell of pines and woody air. We eagerly anticipated long boat rides exploring hidden coves on the lake and languid dinners grilling fish on the fire and sharing tall stories. This was summer vacation in my home province of Saskatchewan, Canada. My dad, an avid fisherman, sought out the best lakes for walleye (his favorite) and took us all with him on fishing and camping adventures throughout the province. Canoe Lake, even though remote and only accessible via tiresome gravel roads, was his first choice, and each year we made our trek – family, RV, and boat – to this little haven.
I am on my way to Nashville again, and I booked my stay in an Airbnb! And that’s reminding me of this cute bungalow I rented on a previous visit. When I started exploring options for lodging to attend a conference in Nashville, I quickly realized I couldn’t afford to be downtown, nor did I really want to be amidst all the action. Because I am a huge fan of Airbnb, I decided to take the opportunity to explore the surrounding neighborhoods and came upon this darling cottage in East Nashville. I was unfamiliar with the location as I am still learning Nashville neighborhoods, but I decided to take a chance and book it.
Ahh, travel, wanderlust, seeing new places, revisiting the old… love it all! But packing for Europe can be a very stressful, time-consuming process when agonizing between comfort vs style, unlimited space vs carry-on, etc. In America, you can throw some sneakers and flip-flops in your bag with some T-shirts, jeans and shorts and be good to go! Europe is a little different. They tend to shy away from white sneakers, shorts (you may see men in capris), and flip-flops.
The drive in from San Francisco felt a little long. We chose the northern route and came into the Yosemite Valley through Sonora and Big Crane Flat (Highway 120). I kept waiting for mountains to appear but I just think the long series of switchbacks that led us into the valley didn’t reveal their elevation as we climbed the foothills. I was half expecting the Rockies or Tetons to appear on the horizon, but the Sierra Nevadas present their elevation much more subtly. I was also saddened by the amount of damage from forest fires we observed on our route into the park. It wasn’t until we passed the Tioga Road and drove through our first tunnel that I caught my breath.