At the beginning of this year, I had decided to hang a large map of the U.S. in my office so that I could stare at it every day, reminding me of what was to come. So that even just by glancing at it, I could make mental notes here and there of what needs to get done. I joined several Facebook travel groups in hopes to make new friends, but more importantly, to also hear about others travel experiences. I have screen shot so many things I want to see, that I have to take just a day to go through each one and write them down in my travel notebook. I don’t mind keeping notes on my laptop, but there’s just something about pen and paper that makes me feel more in control.
I have begun to buy tickets to events, and THAT is exciting to me! I have been waiting to see how everything was going to play out, and would I even be ABLE to travel because of the state of things, but it looks like I will be able too with a mask on for now. I thought planning this for the summer of 2021 was pushing it out far enough, but as we all know, it just keeps cycling right now, so I am going ahead with extreme caution. Like last summer, I will follow the protocol I gave myself of always washing hands and sanitizing after touching everything and anything outside my space. Masking up, keeping safe distance, I hope I will be ok. ALSO getting vaccinated tomorrow, VERY happy about that!
So what am I buying tickets too? Well, I have some really odd, amazing, and fun likes in, and of, life! I bought tickets to a Puppet Museum to see the largest display of Sesame Street items, and then booked a Paranormal tour at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky. I am going to go and check out the life-size “Noah’s Ark” also, and probably hit up the Kentucky Derby area too. I LOVE me some nature so any State and National Parks I have time for, I will try and see. This summer, a heads up, SEVERAL National Parks are asking you RESERVE your day for when you are coming to see them. Also, you will need your National Parks pass AND they are charging at some an additional fee to come into the Parks. Yes, you read that right. I assume they are watching their numbers, but it is a pain to try and pinpoint when I will be EXACTLY where and not a “go with the flow” on this one. Basically I will have to reserve a couple days at each to give myself a small window in case of delays. Because I am staying in Yellowstone I assume I don’t need a reservation, but I am still researching this.
By the way, this is basically what I have been doing every day…research. It’s not only about one city, it’s many. And it’s not just the city then, it’s where to stay. Is it safe, is there food close by, gas, etc… Then how far are the places I want to see from the hotel, are the roads easy to drive or is it all mountains? Things like this I really try to prep for because the “SURPRISE” sometimes isn’t so sweet. I mean there isn’t much I can do once going “up”, just keep my foot on the pedal and pray! I do A LOT f singing when I am nervous while driving, helps calm me down and get the anxiety out.
Last but not least, I booked my weekend for the opening of the Hot Air Balloon Festival in New Mexico!!! I rewired some of my plans to make it fit, having to double back a bit on what I was going to be doing, but this has ALWAYS been on my bucket list. So I found a hotel a couple miles from the Festival, and booked the entire weekend in case one day has bad weather. I am going to try for the VIP tickets when they come out because you can go to a private patio and watch them with food and drinks. Sounds like a fun way to meet people and enjoy the view, so hopefully I will be able to snag one!
I am trying to stay focused, but life has a way of sneaking up on us as we plan something else. Bob is COMING HOME today and so I am SO happy for my Mom who is relieved and just SOUNDS so much better. They hope to head back to Green Bay in the next coming weeks, and I will be up there in June to see them again. And with life it’s one big rollercoaster ride, and as I got news Bob is out of the woods, I still have a dear friend deep in them. So I am praying and thinking about Eric all week, and so touched that he called me on Monday to connect on what was happening with him. In fact we did have a laugh, I told him that I was having the whole family vaccinated this Friday, and he said “Why, why would you do that?” I said, “So we don’t get it.” And he started to laugh and said “Oh, wait, I thought you said you and the family were being EVACUATED” and we both laughed. Small things, big moments. I pray he’s ok, they intubated him less than 24 hours after that call… and now we wait. Please keep him and the family in your thoughts and prayers.
So that’s been my week thus far, I keep moving forward, keep stepping out of that comfort zone, and keep hoping that life gets back to a normal we can all agree on, soon.