I have a little downtime before my plane leaves this afternoon.
I’ve actually had a lot of downtime, but didn’t feel much like writing. This time in Costa Rica has been really great, a completely different experience than when I was here two years ago with Bamboo for two weeks working for turtle conservation. I have to admit, spending time in the cold and rainy cloudforest was a bit challenging. But here is a picture of me from yesterday morning when it cleared a little:
After this picture was taken, we started out on a guided walk, but it quickly became uncomfortable, and our young guide, pleasant as he was, stopped too many times along the way. It concluded with the Hummingbird Garden, and I left the group at that time, glad that I had found my way there the previous day, when I captured this picture of a hummingbird just sitting for a minute!
It took about twice as long as usual to get back to our homey casa in San Jose. Traffic was at a standstill due to construction and just – people! I was glad to be able to just chill in the back of our small bus, and leave the driving to the driver! I actually dozed off for a bit!
We ate so late in the afternoon that we decided to just stay home and eat snacks.
Accompanied by wine, we enjoyed a long last sobramesa!
I traveled 4400 miles in 15 days, and crossed state lines 21 times. Only two of those states were new to me – New Jersey and West Virginia. I think I’ve been in 44 of the lower 48 states now.
My time on the road, driving, was about 80 hours. I slept on 2 couches and a day bed for free, 3 hotels, and 9 airbnb’s. I spent $2200, about half of that for lodging, around $400 for gas, the rest for food and miscellaneous. Not bad, really, I had budgeted $3000.
I feel overstuffed with travel, kind of like that overstuffed feeling you get after a Thanksgiving feast. You look forward to the meal, enjoy it immensely, and afterwards think you might not ever want to eat again. That’s kind of how I feel about travel right now. Stuffed. Not only did I take this trip, I spent two months in Chattanooga and two months in Carson City (for work) this year. I looked forward to it, enjoyed it, but right now, I don’t want to make any more travel plans!
The best food I ate was that prepared by my kids. The rest of the time I struggled to find anything that was really good. I ate in the car on the road for lunch quite a bit – leftover pizza, cookies, and apples. The apples I picked in Massachusetts saved my life, I think. I got a really bad pizza in Niagara Falls. I’ve learned to really dislike eating out. Yesterday at home was lovely. Oatmeal for breakfast, omelette with the eggs and veggies I was given in New York for lunch, and a delicious butternut squash soup made by my husband for dinner.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live other places, and staying in airbnb’s gives a tiny taste of that. They were mostly great, but a couple of the beds were like marshmallows. My favorite, I think, was the one near Goshen, NY with the fabulous patio.
Most places have keurig coffee makers.I really dislike that kind of coffee. I did bring my French Press and supplies, but water heated in the microwave for coffee just isn’t the same. I was glad for coffee shops.
In this not quite post pandemic world, masks are still a thing. In some places, all the signs were down, in others, masks are required. I pretty much wore my mask when I went inside anywhere. Why not? Even though I’ve been vaccinated, it certainly doesn’t hurt me or anyone else to wear a mask, and it could make a difference for someone.
I didn’t do anything “touristy”. Even when I went to Niagara Falls, I only paid for parking, and spent time in the public areas. I didn’t go to museums or other attractions, although I sometimes enjoy doing so. Sleeping in a different place every night and having those experiences was really what I wanted out of this trip, after seeing my kids of course!
So now, I will nest at home. I will enjoy cooking, crocheting, playing with the grandkids, embracing the uncertainty of life as it unfolds. I will start working full time again, after the first of the year. I plan to keep writing here, just not as often.
And, no doubt, at some point, I will be on the road again.
My daughter got up early to make homemade vegan biscuits, to eat with apple butter from yesterday’s fun. They were delicious!
It was a gorgeous day, temp in the 50’s in the morning, so we set off for a short hike and sat by the Deerfield River for a bit. It was really great to be out in nature. So much beauty in this area! If it weren’t for the winters, and being far from grandbabies, I would want to live here.
We went a bit farther down the road, to Shelburne Falls, investigating the shops, not buying much, and then had a really delicious lunch at Hearty Eats.
Then we enjoyed walking across the bridge of flowers. So beautiful!
We found Mo’s Candy store at the other end, and I got some fudge for the trip home – hopefully I won’t eat it all, and can share some with the husband when I get home!
I’m so glad I go to spend time with these children of mine, 2000 miles from home.
I’ve driven 2400 miles in one week, and traveled through nine states.
I very happily arrived in western Massachusetts where my youngest two children live, grateful for the sights and experiences along the way. It was another rainy morning, but I had only 100 miles to go, and arrived in time for lunch, vegan sandwiches from a local shop. I’m so glad to see them.
I drove the back roads through the Green Mountain National Forest, thrilled by the changing fall colors.
We got sandwiches from a great shop for lunch, then hung out and enjoyed catching up and being together. My youngest rents a room, and her landlady invited me to sleep on the daybed in her upstairs room, an offer I gratefully accepted.
In the evening, my daughter went off on a previously planned commitment, and I had time alone with my other child and their partner, and enjoyed a delicious vegetable soup with pasta and tofu.
I look forward to being here for the next couple of days, with these beautiful people.