Tag Archives: Passion

Victoria, BC, Canada

Greetings! And welcome back to my weekly rambling blog. If your eyes are reading these words, then I truly thank you for spending some moments with me here today. If you like what you read or experience here, please give my blog a “like” or spend a few moments and post a comment so I know you were here and I thank you in advance for that.

This “nook” of mine covers three main topics: Travel and my random adventures, Life in general (experiences, travel, my stories of sorts, life hacks, photography etc), and Minimalism. For today, it is back to my favorite thing; Travel and photographing new places. If it were up to me I would continually travel to anyplace, anytime and for any reason. But gainful employment kind of puts a damper on that, so I am learning ways to work around that ole time clock, make the plan, buy the ticket, and figure out details later. This is exactly what happened with this trip. And I will forewarn you, there will be a load of photos……

Restless Feet…..

Those of you who know me know that I have a serious case of restless feet and am always looking for the next adventure. At this particular time, I was seriously struggling with work, life, just everything in general. My answer is and always will be going someplace new with a camera. I had limited funds, about $500 that I could spend without guilt. I’m in Northern California at the present time, and started thinking about where I could go. I first looked at the calendar, there was some random Friday off for an Indian celebration day and asked my boss for that previous Thursday off as well, she agreed. So wha la! I had four days, and $500 to create some kind of an adventure. Where oh where to go. I was thinking with limited funds I was looking at driving somewhere, but as I hunted about online, the bill started adding up. So, I figured check the airlines, maybe somewhere has a deal. And if there’s a deal? I’m just the girl to find it. Several sites have sites designed for free spirits such as myself as you can look for flights on price alone. And what do you know…….. found a round trip flight from San Francisco airport to Vancouver Canada, fitting my dates, leaving early, I have a passport, and without thinking too much, five minutes and $180 later, I had a booked seat.

$320 Left……With a List of Things to Pay For……

The priciest piece of any travel is accommodation. I have definitely learned alternative staying spaces beyond the proverbial hotel. So many other options for sure. Since I am a solo traveler for the most part, my typical routine is to get up way early and come back to the place I’m staying post dinner in time for a bath, some review of all the photos I took for the day, and a journal entry before bed. So I looked for AirB&B’s and found two that would work for me. One night in Vancouver and two in Victoria. Total of $120, leaving me about $200 for four days.

I find when I travel cheap, I don’t need to eat a lot. Some energy bars, a refillable bottle of water, a few pieces of fruit and coffee in the morning do me just fine. I’m good with one solid meal and just healthy snacks for the duration. Saves money that way, and for this trip? I had to pinch my pennies. I did pack some healthy protein bars, and a box of crackers in my backpack. Did I mention that I went backpack only? I have an “Osprey” 40L  backpack, and that was the only thing I packed and took for the four days I was gone.

Groupon is my friend and I searched the site for inexpensive things to do in both Vancouver and Victoria, I got an all day hop on, hop off bus, a fish and chip lunch at Fisherman’s Warf, another fish dinner, and a lunch in Vancouver. Total? $70 leaving me $130 of my original $500 budget.

The kicker here is that you have to somehow get to Victoria from Vancouver over the water. Yes, there are ferries, but the more I read, it is time-consuming and pretty confusing. Lo and behold, I found (what I thought) was a cheap transport from Vancouver International Airport to Victoria via Helicopter. (yes, another groupon!) Have never flew on a helicopter  before and the price was right for $100 round trip, so I figured why not? Ohhhhhh brother was I in for a surprise! In fact, the whole weekend was one whole surprise.

So? I had a whopping $30 to spend. Read on……and travel with me……..

That is NOT a Helicopter!!

Made it to Vancouver. Found the shuttle and went to Harbor Air (or something like that) and went to register for my first Helicopter ride. I was just a tad bit nervous to be honest. And that went to MACH TEN when the very kind lady stated “Oh no dear, these aren’t helicopters, You’ll be flying in the last aircraft parked on the dock” as she pointed…..that way. I finished check in and went outside to see what the heck she was talking about. She was talking about THIS…..

Uhhhhh…..ok. I didn’t have much time to think about it. I took off in 15 minutes. I grabbed a free cup of coffee. Took a short walk outside to collect myself. And headed down the “gangplank”. A total of four seats and a pilot. The “safety” instructions were presented on an iPad that looked like the original version ever created. No one else seemed to be bothered, all three other passengers. So I belted myself in, took a breath, as the engines revved themselves up.

I was very surprised. It was smoother than a normal plane. The views were INCREDIBLE as you don’t fly very high and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Still yet another thing scratched off the ole bucket list.

IMG_0186Land we did, smooth as satin, and I was in Victoria! It was cool fresh air, crystal blue skies and an entire day to just walk around and explore. I knew this day was going to be kind of slow since I would be with a backpack all day, but it was just fine. I was in no hurry at all. Here are some things I found on my first day.

I found my AirB&B, in a beautiful neighborhood that was a joy to walk through with friendly people, picturesque streets and only about a 15 minute walk to downtown. The AirB&B I stayed at was run by a lovely young couple who were so accommodating I felt very spoiled. I knew it was meant to be when the main theme for their home was Star Wars! The room was comfy and cozy which was awesome. And close to a corner market where I went and bought some cheese, a roll, a banana and an orange for the next day, (so far keeping with my budget just fine)

Day #2 was the biggie in Victoria. I did not carry a backpack, just an over the shoulder carry all for my cameras, snacks etc. I took off really early in the morning, and walked downtown. My hop on hop off bus and fish and chip lunch were on the agenda today. All prepaid thanks to my BFF Groupon.

ChinaTown

This is the 2nd largest ChinaTown location in North America, only behind San Francisco. I found it absolutely fascinating, friendly, simple and real.

And there was an abundant supply of freshness; everywhere.

Feeling Like You Are In a Postcard

So many beautiful sites. From architecture and history, to neighborhoods with all of their own personality and charm, to the endless water that is different depending on where you go. I rode the hop on hop off bus three consecutive times as I simply could not get enough.

Finding the Unique and Quirky Side

Fish and Chips on the Warf

Fisherman’s Warf was a wonderful place just to walk around and definitely have some fish and chips while sitting outside watching the boats and the water. Live music on the corner and lined with houseboats with vibrant colors.

Random

Just some shots of things I found either quirky, beautiful, unique.

Some more…..

Some more……

I saw a castle……

I got a great deal on an official afternoon English Tea. Apparently there is a lot of competition for the buses etc and so I got a $35 English tea for $7.50, and it was one of the highlights of the entire day!

IMG_0231

My two very packed full of activities was over. I slept well, got up super early for my “flight” back to Vancouver. One side note…….there was a delay due to “whales on the runway”……and no, I’m not kidding!

I had a very short stint in Vancouver, and to be honest, didn’t experience much of the city. I took a wrong turn on my walking after riding the subway to what I ‘thought’ was the correct stop. Instead of exploring, I got tired and sat under a tree with two homeless gentlemen and talked for over two hours. They ended up wanting to “treat me to lunch” at the Salvation Army. So I went. And ended up being “Macaroni and Cheese Girl” for the afternoon serving up the homeless in Vancouver……

But that’s a story for another time. Here are the two photos I took there……

The top one is my AirB&B, I stayed on the top floor of an Antique Shoppe, and the bottom is the infamous Steam Clock.

All in all it was a beautiful weekend, a beautiful place, and I only went over my budget by $22 for a cab ride back to the airport. I would highly suggest Victoria. It was very British.

Final Thought

IMG_0226Life truly is a beautiful place if you choose to find the beautiful in every day things. No, I don’t get to take off on planes all the time, but when I can, I do. In the meantime, I encourage you to notice the sunshine, appreciate the raindrops, respect the trees, and don’t pick the flowers….just love them where they are planted.

Let me say, that I appreciate your time. It is the one thing we can never get back so when its spent, it is simply gone. So thank you for spending some of your moments here with me.

Until next time……be kind…….always,

Polley93

aka Tink

Wknd in Mendocino

Greetings!

A wonderful thing happened the week of both mine and my sister’s birthdays. She flew out here to Northern Cali from Phoenix for a three day weekend. I decided to take her to the coast, a welcome different view from the desert. After an evening dinner at a nearby restaurant, drinking “grouchy old men” drinks (not kidding and they were awesome), we got some sleep and headed out the next morning. A couple hour drive through the twisty, turny, hairpin turn mountain road……and we reached the big water.

First stop, my beloved Glass Beach. I love this place for a lot of reasons, but mostly for the surf. It curls, its a beautiful color and it is simply pure peace.

We headed north on the Pacific Coast Highway to the quaint little coastal town of Mendocino. It is small and quirky, right on the water with lots to do and awesome streets to venture down. But first? Our hotel.

I found it on my BFF hotels.com and had a credit so I got a night at this place for a song. So thankful it only  cost a total of $22……the gardens were absolutely gorgeous, but the room itself was somewhat of a cross between the Eagles rendition of “Hotel California” and a room straight out of “The Shining”…..I kid you not. It was a one time experience for sure! Creepy. It was supposed to have a dining room, a lounge and bar, and a spa. The only thing we got was a 15% discount coupon for breakfast that was about five miles away. No dining. No bar. No spa. All we could do was laugh. A lot. I kept thinking I was gonna see a set of twins down the long hallway, and yes…..I must admit…..I whispered “all work and no play makes jack a very full boy all work and no play makes jack a very dull boy……..etc” yeah….that happened.

Flowers! Flowers! Everywhere! It was such a great environment for writing. Fresh. Full of color. Everything blooming. Combined with a cool ocean breeze.

The coastline is very difficult to describe, and quite honestly? Pictures simply do not do it justice. The environment, the ocean breeze, the salt in the air, the smell of things blooming, the sound of the surf. It almost puts your whole soul into somewhat of a trance. One must experience this at least once in a lifetime!

We took long strolls down little dirt paths along unfenced cliffs. We found a water cave that was really cool, and very beautiful. I actually caught the water spray and colors coming out with the wave!

We took a different path and found an endless journey of lillies. They were nowhere else, just in this one area, but they went on as far as the eye could see.

The Town of Mendocino is very quaint. The architecture of the buildings was truly unique. Every road lead to another surprise. Markets, restaurants, mom and pop kind of shops, luxury shops, sprinkled with artists and their easels and friendly people literally from all over the world. Lots of accents around.

Another scene, another flower lines alley, another garden, another peek at the coastline, every time a corner was turned.

It was a weekend VERY well spent.

Although the area is beautiful, the food was great, the hikes were therapeutic, and the big water was her usual amazing self, the best part of the weekend was my sister. To reconnect, to share the time, to laugh uncontrollably, to talk and cry, to share and support, and to reconfirm what is truly most important in this life is the memory I will tuck away and keep forever from this weekend. Truly special.

As always, thank you for spending your moments with me here on my simple blog. I am working on a potential plan for an extreme trip in October which I am truly excited about. For now I will keep quiet until things are sealed and cemented.

Until then, I will live in my hotel room, with my few things, and find my adventures in this magical land of northern California for a few more months. I have a list of areas here that I will explore and post about. So stay tuned! Remember, everything can be an adventure if you choose to make it so!

Until next time……be kind……always.

Polley93

Writing a Book

CC and UK 2014 018

Why write a book? With the hectic pace of life these days, an endeavor such as this sounds borderline insane. For any of you avid readers out there, I know you understand the feeling when you’ve finished reading a book and thought to yourself “I could have written that” to the other end of the spectrum, to have finished a book that literally changed the way you think. Or? You could be like me, with the above mentioned two scenarios with an addition of having a thousand stories tucked deep within your soul that are just dying to get out.

So? Im following my heart, and my heart’s desire, and am writing a book. I had no intention of starting with a work of fiction. Im a very factual person with a scientific mind. But I fiddled with a lot of ideas, and then one day I just took a walk, similar to the area pictured here and the thought came to me.

I have strong views on many subjects but love the creativity of writing. You can include your beliefs and paint it into a story that is palatable to readers. With tough subjects such as politics, religion, war, and right vs left, there is one thing that captures my heart more than any thing and that is being a mother. With everything I have done, places I have gone, things I have tried, there is nothing on this planet that I am more proud of, or that drives me, and that is being a mother.

So I started writing. And I have realized that you basically pour your soul into a laptop and it can be quite shocking when you read it later. I have heard that “first novels suck”, and? Perhaps mine will. But it is something I have wanted to do my entire life, and so with my best foot forward? I am going to finish this and publish it in 2015. (fingers crossed)

Here is a sample included below. It’s a rough draft only. Please take the time to read it and give me feedback. All comments, suggestions, criticism (I want real not nice!) are more than welcome. Please let me know what you think.

As Always…..Until Next Time……..Cheers!

Polley93

264 MOONS

Eli laid on the soft mat that he called his safe place for all of the circles of  his life. His mat laid flush with the floor of the awkward structure he called his home. It was only he and his mother that resided there. One single thought of his mother filled his heart to the brim with that warm feeling. The feeling that covered him with warmth and felt like safety and love. For all practical purposes, he had lived nine circles. he was facing a small makeshift window to the side of his mat and looking at the moon.

It was the 264th moon. usually the moon was a good thing, especially the full ones that were orange and beautiful. The orange moons did not happen often, but when they did, Eli thought you could almost reach out and touch it. The orange moons were so full, round and big that they seemed to kiss the earth and linger there. Eli loved those nights. It was on those nights something special happened. the light and color of that orange moon skimmed over the hills and the huts and made everything glow.

The moon was special to both Eli and his mother. They had gazed upon hundreds of them as they shared thier thoughts and dreams and gazed upon it together. The moon could light your way if you had to do some late night work in the gardens. The moon could keep you company on those nights where sleep stayed distant and thoughts ran wild.

Eli loved the moon and the connection he and his mother had to it. But not this one. Not the 264th moon and most certainly not the 264th moon during the ninth circle of his life. Eli thought if he could just shut his eyes tightly enough perhaps he could drown out the light of that dreaded moon. Why did it have to be this way? And why him? He wasn’t special. Just a boy with a mother who had lived in this land for all of the circles of his life. Who created this life changing rule that on the 264th moon, a boy with only nine circles of life behind him, could possibly wake up in a new land, knowing nothing about it, and knowing not a soul? There were only three other lands that were spoken of and they all sounded frightening. Were there other boys that were in thier ninth cirlce of life laying on their mats and having similar thoughts? Are they afraid? Will they miss thier mothers as much as he would miss his  every single day and with every single moon he gazed upon at night? Eli had never lived even one moon of one circle without his mother. As his eyes became heavier and heavier, and the more he fought it, the closer he got to driftingoff to sleep. Then the light of that 264th moon would creep in through his window and he would slowly open his eyes, and shudder.

Why a Blog?

CC and UK 2014 046“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination”. (Don Williams Jr.)

My life has been a complex collection of successes and failures that have culminated into the person I am. I think we all can look back and see where we have missed it, but the beauty of it is that the lessons are all there for us to learn from, gain from and grow from. We can continue on the same ride, or we can change it.

If I had my dream life I would be a writer. Just write everything. I can picture myself in a room with some kind of antique desk in front of a big picture window somewhere on the English countryside pouring thousands of words into a laptop. Trouble is, I love electricity and sometimes writing just doesn’t keep the lights on.  I always knew I would write, I must have a thousand novels hidden deep within my soul and this dream of mine has always played second fiddle to the demands life offers. I always knew that someday I would be able to follow my true passion, and I feel like even though I won’t be in front of that picture window somewhere on the English countryside, I can do the best with what I have and simply start. And this I have done. My first work of fiction is well underway. “264 moons” has indeed become my fifth child. I plan on self publishing this novel, along with a coffee table book of my photos and a book on the current travel endeavor, with a chapter for each location.

I somehow raised three sons and one daughter (who by the way are my whole and entire purpose for this life and are each adored for the amazing people they are), and educated myself a little later than most and am now a Family Nurse Practitioner. I am working to combine the two vocations, one out of being capable, and one out of passion, to create something, although I’m not altogether sure of what it is I’m creating. As with most things, time will tell. I am not in control of what is around the next corner, and although it may not be book worthy, it may be blog worthy. This is my hope. Being a lifetime amateur photographer will paint a picture along the way.

At this  juncture in life I am more of a “why not” person instead of a “why”. I have chosen to give up my home (scary, yes) and travel for the next two years or so with certain goals in mind. Again, from experience, I realize that plans can change, goals change, and sometimes things just don’t work out. I feel there is a lot to learn out there, tons of pictures for me to take, more stories for me to both tell and write, and people to help. There is much need in this country of ours, especially with the aged, the Vets, single parent homes and children. I’m not sure I can make a big difference, but I do believe I can perhaps make a small one and write about it on the way.

It is my wish that this blog can be both a diary of sorts, and a place to share. A format to express views no matter if they are similar. Those of you who know me know how I love a good banter! I am hoping that there will be some that would like to come with me and share in my journey and participate when the opportunity arises. I honestly do not know how this will turn out, but that is what makes it the adventure it was born to be.

So, as I sit here and realize my life is in boxes in some storage unit, my kids are in four different cities and scattered in different states, I have two suitcases in the process of being packed, and I depart this next coming weekend for some dot on the map in North Dakota, I don’t feel scared. I am open for whatever life has in store for me, am open to learning new things, meeting new people, and finding new words to describe the experience. For those of you who will follow this journey, I assure you it won’t be dull and I thank you for taking the time. (you can follow or get emails alerting of new posts on the sidebar to the left) I welcome any and all comments or suggestions, and perhaps will be in need of an occasional couch to rest my head if these assignments don’t line up as I hope they will. I guess you could call me “professionally homeless”, and that makes me laugh!

Until next time…….Cheers!

Polley93