2018 Travel Plans

Yes, you read the title correctly; while I am still finalising our 2017 trip to UK, I am also planning for 2018. After the six weeks of snow and freezing temperatures, we were subjected to this winter, we are reverting to the snowbird lifestyle.

During our recent stay at our Indio condo, we visited our old neighbours at Indian Waters RV Resort & Cottages and immediately felt the desire to return. Therefore, I just completed a reservation for February 1st 2018 until the end of March. On departing Indio, Judi really wants to see iceberg alley, off the coast of Newfoundland, which is normally at its peak about middle of May and June. So, we will embark on a 4,000 mile voyage up to Labrador & Newfoundland.

Departing Newfoundland we will head to Shipshewana, Indiana for the 2018 Redwood Rally, then straight back to British Columbia, to ensure we meet our minimum of 5 months per year in BC. Once we get back to the Okanagon, we are considering heading down to the mainland and picking up our grandson and bringing him for his first RV excursion.

Between Indio and Newfoundland, I am currently researching routes, with The Alamo, Memphis and Nashville being our immediate thoughts for stops enroute.

Can you provide any other suggestions for points of interest, that should not be missed?

 

RMS Queen Mary, A Truly Grand Ocean Liner of a Bygone ERA

queen-mary-bowAn iconic landmark on the Long Beach waterfront since her arrival in 1967, the RMS Queen Mary is undoubtedly one of the world’s last, grand, old trans-Atlantic ocean liners. While initially built to ferry passengers across the Atlantic, before the onset of air travel, she also spent the war years as a troop carrier. As a passenger liner, she carried multiple classes of passengers, from those expecting the ultimate luxury experience, to steerage class that slept in multi-bunk dormitories.

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Sunday Brunch on the Queen Mary

qm-from-water-sideOn October 31st 1967, the venerable grand old lady of the Cunard fleet, the SS Queen Mary, departed Southampton on her final voyage. She arrived in Long Beach, California on December 9th 1967, where she remains to this day. For almost 50 years this grand old liner, has remained in Long Beach, as a functioning hotel, with multiple restaurants and attractions.

Considering the number of times we have visited SoCal, and my many trips into the adjacent San Pedro Cruise Terminal, it is surprising that neither Judi or I have previously visited the ship. Well, our first visit to this grand old lady was more than a stroll around the decks, as we enjoyed an exceptional Champagne Brunch.

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Anaheim – Should We Visit Disney??

pool-and-clubhouseAfter a fairly short, but definitely interesting drive from Indio, we arrived in Anaheim, just as the sun was setting. We have 2 options for condos in Anaheim, both less than a mile from Disney – Worldmark Indio and Dolphin’s Cove. On a previous visit we stayed at the Worldmark, so this time we tried Dolphin’s Cove, which is a Wyndham resort.

We have visited Disney Resorts, both in Anaheim and Orlando, many times and have no doubt we will be returning with grandkids in the future. Therefore, it was rather easy to give the most obvious Anaheim attractions a miss. But, what else does this area offer??

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Bye Bye Snow, Hello Sunny Indio

lazy-riverAs we arrived at our Worldmark Condo in Indio, the storm front that had dumped many inches of rain over the previous few days, had moved through, leaving clear blue skies and that big, round, yellow ball. It’s been so long since we had seen the sun, we almost forgot what it is called.

We only have a few days in Indio, but they will be busy meeting friends, visiting The Living Desert and we might even find time to sample the wares of at least 1 craft brewery.

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Escaping Pacific NW Snow For SoCal Rain

vandusen-lake-lights-3Retirees frequently embrace the “Snowbird” lifestyle of running South for the Winter and enjoying summers at home. Unfortunately Judi & I seem to have the concept backwards, as this is now our 2nd winter in B.C. Last year wasn’t an issue – zero snow, temperatures rarely down to 0C (32F), bulbs sprouting in January and cutting the lawn in February. Well this year is different – suffering snow on the ground for 6 continuous weeks and temperatures of -10C (14F). You would almost think we moved to the East Coast, but NO, this is what we experienced on the West Coast. We simply have to head South!!!

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Vancouver’s Stanley Park – Bright Nights & Christmas Train

bright-nights-main-entranceStanley Park’s miniature railway, a favourite attraction for kids of all ages, has been a Vancouver icon for over 50-years. Opened in 1964, engine # 374 is a miniature replica of the Canadian Pacific “steamie” engine that pulled the first` cross-country passenger train into Vancouver, in the late 1880’s. The original engine is displayed in the Roundhouse located on the old Expo 86 land on the shores of False Creek.

Bright nights is a seasonal attraction hosted by Vancouver Park Board and BC Professional Firefighter’s Burn Fund. It comprises lighted displays around the station and an amazing light display along the train tracks. Entrance to the station plaza is by donation, while the train requires a ticket purchase, which is highly recommended in advance.

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Capilano Suspension Bridge – Canyon Lights

canyon-lights-drone-dec-2015This was our 3rd venture out into a bitterly cold wintry night (-6C/21F), this Christmas Season, to view the Canyon Lights, at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver. We had intended to take my dad, grandson and daughter-in-law, but our grandson had a bad cold and fever, so Judi stayed at home with him. While we have visited the suspension bridge many times, normally when hosting friends/family from UK, this is our first visit to the Canyon Lights display, with this being the 11th season for the display of lights. It certainly won’t be the last.

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Enchant – Vancouver’s Christmas Light Maze & Market

enchant_poster_11x17_10xWelcome to our 2nd Christmas Light adventure; heading out on another uncharacteristically bitterly cold December evening, we visited Vancouver’s newest Christmas attraction – Enchant Christmas Light Maze and Market. Billed as the world’s largest Christmas Maze, it comprises 55,000 square feet of lighted sculptures, with a market featuring local vendors and a dozen food trucks. An interesting combination and even kid friendly.

The media hype has ensured that almost everyone in Greater Vancouver knows about the new attraction. Based on the media reports and the content of their website, we eagerly awaited our visit.

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2017 Travel Plans

uk-national-parks-mapThe planning phase is complete and with 2016 drawing to a close, we will shortly commence our travels for 2017. Since retirement four (4) years ago, we have a routine of embarking on extended RV excursions every two (2) years.┬áTherefore, to maintain the routine, 2017 should have the RV predominantly in storage. While we hope to get at least a few weeks of RV’ing, it will remain in storage, probably until September. Next year will consist of 4 totally separate excursions – California, Ontario, UK and our home Province – British Columbia.

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