Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Back at Work to Recover from My Vacation

At the end of August, I took a 10 week leave from work. Yes it was unpaid but gave me a taste of retirement which is a few short years away.

The first three weeks were spent travelling around Ireland. Of course I tried valiantly to blog about everything we did and hope you were given a taste of the Emerald Isle with what I was able to post. Click on the Ireland link under Groups on the right to read about our trip. We had amazing weather and very little rain. All in all it was a great trip and we are already thinking about our return to tour the northern areas of Ireland one day. 

But it was time to come home. Back to my comfy bed and excited to start ticking off "My List of things to do on my vacation". Those things I had planned to fill up all that time off. But life got in the way and the unexpected popped up. Which made for a great time and a longing to jump into retirement. 

Overall, my 10 week "Vacation" was in one word, exhausting. My one planned activity was painting my main bathroom and redecorating it in plums and grays. It took me a few days and when I was finished, I ached all over. But it is done and looks lovely. 

At the end of September we had an unexpected invite to visit friends at their second home on the Rouge River in Quebec. We had glorious weather, some hiking, great food, wine, laughs and talking with old friends. The leaves were almost at their peak and these were taken early one morning on the still river.

Then one day in late September, we were without power for the day. They were replacing the hydro box which is in our backyard and had to lift all the equipment with a crane over our house. It was fun to watch, especially while enjoying a glass of wine while the guys worked.
The first week of October saw my BFF come for a visit and we had a grand time exploring Ottawa.
  • Hiking in Gatineau Park on the 9 km Wolf Trail, a climb along a rugged path to an outlook over the Ottawa Valley. This time the leaves weren't at their peak. 

  • Inukshuks along the Ottawa River. People balance rocks in the water and they are pushed down by the ice every winter and rebuilt in the spring.

  • PumpkInferno at Upper Canada Village. Thousands of artificial pumpkins light up the night. Amazing carvings. Such a beautiful fall night to walk around the displays. Can't wait for the Christmas light display in December.

Just Buried
Moose and Maple Leaves
Singing pumpkin heads.
One dragon reflected in the pool below.

Next up was Hubby and I celebrating our 32nd Anniversary on October 10th. It was rather low key after our big trip with just a quiet dinner at home. The Canadian Thanksgiving arrived October 12, 13 and 14th along with a house-load of family. We always go to a big Thanksgiving dinner at hubby's brother's house and this year it was full of people and of course lots of food.

Recovering from the busy weekend, I was off to New Orleans for 5 days with a bunch of my crazy girlfriends. Loved the time with them in an amazing city. Too bad I had to spend so much time travelling by air to and from. We stayed in a old, old house. I got the bedroom in the attic, AKA, "The Anne Frank" room or "Children of the Attic". I have no photos but will let your imagination take over. I just thank the lord, Cam agreed to sleep in the other bed to keep the spirits away.

I also had my palm read. Cool. I'm going to live to my 90's. I'd say 95% of the stuff the lady mentioned was accurate. Or at least my brain made sense of it all. Can't remember much but it was fun. I didn't want to know about my future. What will be will be. 

So what did we do? Toured through the French Quarter to St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, an above ground cemetery. Ate lots of food, including a Muffeletta, Beignet, Gumbo and lots of fish. Had a Hurricane at O'Brien's and sang Karaoke at the Cat's Meow. Bourbon Street is a mass of people all night long.
St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Muffeletta. Only able to eat one of the pieces.
New Orleans waterfront.
Saint Louis Cathedral, French Quarter
Bourbon Street
Jazz Band Wedding outside the rental house.
Beignets from Cafe du Monde
Well, it took me almost an entire week to recover from the trip to New Orleans. The body just doesn't bounce back like it used to. But I still had two glorious weeks of vacation left and I had more stuff to do.

Off I went to Hamilton where we hiked along the escarpment (Hamilton Mountain) on the Bruce Trail. Another 8 km steep climb.
Stream along the Bruce Trail, Hamilton
Felkers Falls
October ended with Halloween and my granddaughter dressed as a pink Cookie Monster. She grew much over the last two months and I was able to visit with her a lot. It is so cool to see the changes, almost daily. She's 9 months now, crawling a bit and quite inquisitive. Bragging Nana here.
My gorgeous granddaughter Jo.
It was a glorious 10 weeks. I did lots of walking and hiking and soon the snow will come and the snowshoes will be put into action.

I'm back to work now. Recovering.

But dreaming of doing the same thing next year. And the retirement countdown is on!


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♥ Drazil ♥ said...

Sounds so fun!

Darlin1 said...

You are sooooooo LUCKY!!

My grandson is totally into being Elmo.....or as he say's Nelmo. We will need to hook them up some day.
I'm going to have another grandson in the next week or two!

Sounds like your vacations were marvelous....I'm envious!! I have never been to Ireland....definitely on the bucket list and love New Orleans...spent some time there. Wish I was part of the A list!!!

Come visit me in Southern Ca.....after you relax a bit.....;-)


Steph said...

And I thought I liked to travel. Sandy, you have me beat...but it was so much fun to have you there with all of us in New Orleans! :) Love you!

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