In loving memory

My mother died two weeks ago. So, a lot of things have changed. First off, I’m grounded. No trips, no vacations, nothing for the foreseeable future. So, that’s different for me. I’m needed at home. There’s things only I can take care of.

Secondly, I didn’t know that she had aspirations of being a travel counsellor. We found a resume in her things. It’s from 20 years ago, but she was hoping to make a move within the organization she worked for and take on a role of travel sales.

In this resume she declares a love for travel and a thirst to see more of the world. I didn’t know this. Actually, it comes as quite a shock. I say this because she openly challenged me when I talked about planning trips. She didn’t want me “jetting off.” “Going to strange places.” “Stay closer to home” she’d say.

But maybe that “don’t go” attitude only applied to ME. Maybe her love for me simply outweighed the see-the-world zest for life and ambition she once had. Or the travel ambition she had for herself, or others.

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The woman who taught me to get up & go. I like this photo of her. It really shows that spunk. That fun-loving side of a younger woman who toted kids around coast to coast, spun tires, played loud music and showed us how to “road trip.”

 

In recent years, she hated the thought of me going anywhere. It actually caused her great anxiety. So, it got to the point where I didn’t even tell her of my plans. I simply went where I wanted to go and told her about how wonderful it was, once I got back.

Despite attempts to sneak away, she would sometimes hear about my plans from my brother. I’d be off on a weekend adventure, like I was in Cleveland, and I’d get a text from her. “Hope you’re having fun in Cleveland.” I never knew how to take these messages. Was she busting me? Was she sincere…. as in “have fun dear.” Or was it sarcasm? Whatever the sentiment, it was moments like those, I’ll miss and cherish now.

Keeping tabs on me was her hobby. I’m sure of it! And further, she would report my every move to my Amma. (Icelandic for grandmother) I resisted, at times, feeling like the “Amma Squad” was a division of the FBI or something. I’m kidding, of course, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I was just indulging my independence and free spirit. I am an adult, in every country on earth, with age and wisdom to spare, after all. Our game of travel cat and mouse, was a pretty typical mother-daughter thing, I’d say.

Her health challenges were what limited her travels ultimately. I don’t think she left Canada in the last decade. “No need for a passport” she’d say. I, on the other hand, applied for a passport as soon as cross-border travel required it and have been busy trying to get those pages stamped ever since. I really felt like my passport was an actual ticket to adventure.

I’ll get my wings back. I’m looking forward to 2017. I have to. I need to keep my chin up and eyes to the sky, take things one day at a time. It’s how I’ll cope with this incredible loss. And I do take comfort in the fact that she had her own travel aspirations and a spark inside her, like I do, to see the world and experience what it has to offer.

Gotta love a Mustang!

My teen son has a new fascination with Ford Mustangs. And while he’s still a couple years away from having a driver’s license or a car, that hasn’t stopped him from obsessing.

This morning over breakfast we watched a documentary called A Faster Horse, it was a 50 year history of the Ford Mustang. I’ll admit it was interesting and I enjoyed it almost as much as he did. The people, the struggles and triumphs of the brand make for a great story.

They say that a Mustang isn’t a car you buy with your head, it’s a car you buy with your heart. They say there’s an emotional investment in owning a Mustang….and, I have to agree. After all, I am a Mustang owner! I’m on my second, and my father has had four. I guess that makes us “Mustang People.”

There’s just something about the rumble of the engine, and the sculpted, staunch lines of the body that makes you want to hit the open road and just drive. You feel powerful, and connected.

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So, not surprisingly, after seeing the movie, my son asked if we could go for a ride. So we did! Top down and open road we went for a spin and then we called Grandpa to say hi.

After we got off the phone with Grandpa, my son said, “Mom, we should go to the Mustang museum, or let’s go to the next anniversary rally. Or maybe we could go on a road trip and see Route 66.”

How do you not smile and start planning, when your teenager says he wants to spend time with you? What a fantastic challenge! I best start planning, and book the ol’ Mustang in for a tune-up. And while I’m at it, I should download the theme from the Vacation movies, “Holiday Road,” or whatever it’s called. I might just have an epic road trip in my near future.

Picnic in Glenboro, Manitoba?

Looking for a day trip from Winnipeg, or perhaps an afternoon out of Brandon?

If you venture down Highway 2, at this time of year, you will marvel at the lush greens of the crops in the rolling hills and valleys. It’s gorgeous! Just 60 kilometres from Brandon, or approximately 160 kilometres from the province’s capital (Winnipeg) and you’ll come across the town of Glenboro.

If you’re looking to stop with your packed lunch, there is a picnic site at Glenboro and right alongside the highway. Can’t miss it! It’s in the shade of their giant statue of a camel, Sara. Be sure to pose for a Sara-selfie! If you didn’t pack a lunch, that’s no worries, there’a  Drive-In serving burgers and shakes a mere half block away.

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This stretch of highway 2 also has designated picnic sites, and highway diners along the way. You may want to stop at Treherne or St. Claude to the east. Just keep your eyes peeled for signs.

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Early June you’ll see thousands of pink wild roses growing along the highway ditches. Late June and early July, you can stop at a Strawberry Farm and pick a pail of the season’s best.  There’s one in Glenboro called Good Earth Gardens & Berries.

Looking for a lake side retreat? You won’t want to miss Pelican Lake in the Pleasant Valley area. Great golfing, sailing and you can even park your RV and stay a few nights. See Pelicanshores.ca for current rates and availability.

Visit Tourism Westman for more area information and to start planning your road trip adventure.

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Area map. Highway 2, is parallel to the Trans-Canada, and is the slightly slower and much more scenic area. Passes through Glenboro