Archive for Travel Posts

published in Activity, Inspiration, Joy, Laughter, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | April 23, 2019 | No Comment

Disneyland For Dummies

 

MA & Laura on the Dumbo ride

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

– Karl Barth

So I took a little break from unpacking boxes…

And went to Disneyland over the Easter weekend with my niece, Laura, who turned 27 while at the park (she got to wear the Birthday Button). We had a BLAST!!

Our 3-day adventure was as fun as it was mainly because Laura is a Disneyland-guru.

By that I mean she knows Disneyland…where to get the freshest churros (don’t settle for ones that have been sitting around for 20 minutes), how to use the FastPasses AND the FastPass app, which ride to tackle first in the day before the line-up gets too long (Radiator Springs), where to watch the World of Colour show (and to remain seated as long as possible, to rest those aching feet, before the park wardens make you stand up), how to appease an Aunt who is weirdly obsessed with the Star Tours ride (take Aunt on said ride over & over again until she has seen every single variation of C-3PO’s intergalactic journeys), how to make that Aunt even happier (take her on her second favourite ride, Soarin’, over and over again), and so on.

The trick to having a successful visit to Disneyland is simple: go with a pro who makes things smooth like buttah (speaking of which…oh, the popcorn!)

45 hours, 75,0000 steps and 60 rides later (we’re weren’t muckin’ around), I can safely say we got our money’s worth out of Disneyland and California Adventure.

And the food was AMAZING…from churros, corn dogs and hot fudge sundaes to fried chicken, monte cristo sandwiches and deep fried pickles (but for Heaven’s sake, don’t bite into them right away…let them cool a moment. Laura warned me but I did listen? No, of course not…and the roof of my mouth is still sore). If you haven’t had the Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep bar, you may wish to add them to your bucket list…yum!

Here are some snaps from our 3 days of fun:

My most Magical Moment: meeting Minnie Mouse 🙂

If you’ve been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld, what are some of your favourite rides, food and/or memories? 

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

– Milton Berle

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

published in Animals, Change, Decision Making, Dogs, Home, Inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized by Maryanne | February 27, 2019 | 12 Comments

Gypsy Caravan Slows to Halt

 

Loading up the CRV (then unloading it again & leaving half of it behind at my bro’s, of course, because it wouldn’t all FIT), preparing to leave AB, Jan 2019

“Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers.”

– Anon

Well…it had to happen eventually, I suppose.

The Pink Gazelle Gypsy Bohemian Road Trip Warrior & her Fearless and Furry (but rather lame at the moment) Retriever Sidekick are having to, dare I say…put down roots.

Here’s how it all went down:

Sadie and I left Alberta at the end of January. I loaded up my 2001 CRV (yes, the one with 350,000 km) and staggered across multiple mountain passes. And I do mean staggered…the CRV did fine; the retriever not so much. She literally WAS staggering along on three legs, trying to keep weight off her injured shoulder. Being held captive in the back of the vehicle for a few days was probably the best thing for her.

We arrived in our VRBO in Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island in early Feb and I promptly got into a spectacular argument with one of the neighbours. This decidedly unwelcome welcome to the neighbourhood was countered by another neighbour arriving at my door with a plate of sandwiches and goodies. Life in a nutshell, right there 🙂

Then the snowstorm hit:

And I got to thinking…it might be time to revise my plans?

What the plan had been was that I was going to Australia for 2 weeks in March to visit family. Then Sadie & I were going to head to Eastern Canada to house sit for family in Ottawa.

But as the snow piled up outside my window and my wounded retriever softly snored, I admitted to myself that she was not going to be sufficiently healed by March, to be left in the care of others. Nor was she was likely going to be up to a cross-continent road trip in April.

So what did I do? I sighed, reached over and picked up a quote card from my “Intuitive Insights” quote card sets. This is what it said:

Ahhh…yes. I smiled, leaned back and had another sip of hot chocolate. And it hit me: I was exactly where I was supposed to be. The snowstorm and subsequent road conditions were forcing me to sit STILL (very difficult for a gypsy gazelle), be quiet, listen to what my soul was trying to tell me…and then act accordingly.

Two days later, I calmly made the decision to postpone my Australia trip to the fall. I then found and booked another inexpensive little VRBO for the month of March (just north of Qualicum Bay). Then I contacted the bank about a mortgage, called a realtor and started to look at homes & neighbourhoods in the Qualicum Beach area.

Within a week, I’d found our adorable new home AND a new (to me) CRV with low kilometres!

Sadie and I move in to our new digs at the end of March. No muss, no fuss…it all just clicked into place when the time was right.

Here are 5 lessons I’m taking from these transformational past 3 weeks:

1. Sometimes we just have to STOP, be quiet and make the decisions we need to make.

2. We know what we need to do. We just need to be quiet and listen to what our soul is trying to tell us what the next step needs to be.

3. Sometimes all that is needed is to make one decision or change…and then everything else just clicks into place. It’s almost like the Universe is waiting for us to take that first step.

4. The time comes when we reach an age (15 for some, 50 for others) where we finally realize that listening to the chatter of other people’s well-meaning advice & opinions may do more to confuse than clarify.

5. The only thing worse than making a bad decision is making no decision.

I hope there is something in this blog & lessons learned that resonates with you.

I will share pics of my new home & vehicle in the weeks to come. In the meantime, here are a few photos from my time here in Qualicum Bay:

Sadie (left) & her look-alike friend, Belle

P.S. Sadie is doing much better! She continues to improve, slowly but surely, and is going for longer and longer walks. Why…it’s almost as if her shoulder injury was part of the plan 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here

If you would like to order the (dare I say magic?) “Intuitive Insights for Soul-Inspired Living” Quote Cards ($7.95 per set), please visit our new store on Etsy!

 

published in Boundaries, Humour, Travel by Maryanne | February 6, 2019 | 10 Comments

Of All the Gin Joints…

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

– Famous line from the film, “Casablanca”

Call for stories about ANNOYING PEOPLE ON PLANES  

What does Casablanca have to do with annoying people on planes? I’ll tell you what!

Picture this: you’re on an evening flight to a tropical paradise for a much-anticipated vacation. The plane has just taken off. You lean your head back and let out a sigh of relief that you’re even on the plane because you’ve just endured six dizzying weeks of vertigo. Both your doctor and physiotherapist have given you the green light to go on your holiday…just as long as you take it easy, stay quiet and for goodness sake: no sudden head movements!

Ahh…but the woman in the seat behind you has different plans.

Even before take-off, she begins to talk. And when I say talk, I mean TALK…about anything, to anyone in her vicinity. And when those people stop listening, she stands in the aisle and chats to whoever has made the dumb decision to stretch their legs. But of course, when she goes to stand up (for the fifth time), she puts her hand on your headrest, hauls herself up with a mighty heave-ho then releases your chair, thereby delivering a nice foreword snap to your head…just in case you had somehow managed to doze off during the non-stop talk-fest.

Surely, you think, this dreadfully annoying 70-year-old woman will tire out eventually…right? I mean, she can’t talk for entire flight…right?

Oh, you bet she can. And she did. Here are a few gems from her repertoire (which I happen to remember because they were repeated multiple times):

“I can’t sleep! I am not tired AT ALL!”

“This is the longest flight EVER.”

“It’s funny but I’m just NOT TIRED.”

Seven hours later, Chatty Cathy was still talking. She did not stop talking for the entire flippin’ flight…oh, except for the occasional three-second interval when she paused just long enough to give the back of my traveling companion’s chair a nice big KICK that again projected her head forward at vertigo-inducing speed.

Was she crossing her legs? Practicing a karate move? Doing chair yoga?

Toddlers behave better than this on airplanes (but only if they have decent parents who tell them not to kick the chair in front of them, etc). Well…most of the time. There was the flight home, after all. More on that in a moment.

Thankfully (despite the odds), my traveling companion’s vertigo did not flare up again. And after a few days, we were even able to laugh about the annoying woman on the plane…knowing we would likely never see her again.

Then we went for lunch at Tommy Bahamas. And I kid you not but in walks none other than Chatty Cathy (and her entourage of listeners) and sits at the table next to us. I saw her before my friend did and when she saw Chatty Cathy, the look on her face was priceless. She shook her head and said, “Of all the gin joints…”

To which I roared with laughter.

“Sweet biscuits,” she said with a sigh, “what are the chances?”

I roared even louder. Chatty Cathy and her friends promptly stood up (who wants to sit beside noisy people?) and moved to the bar…a wise decision for all concerned (except for the poor bartender who had no idea what the next seven hours had in store for him).

As for our flight home? Yup…there was a toddler who screamed the entire flight. Not sure what was going on there but this much I do know: if a child is in distress or discomfort (or is just a brat) that’s one thing. When a 70-year-old woman behaves like a brat, that is quite another.

Do you have any stories about annoying people on planes? If so, I’d love to hear them, including how you handled the situation!

In the meantime, here’s lookin’ at you kid 😊

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.