Taking a 'leaf' from Oz's post I will start this ball rolling.
Last weekend we went 'down' to Christchurch, 2 hour flight from Hamilton. Hadn't been there since before the earthquakes. The reason was a family reunion event. As a descendent of the first Stokes family to arrive in Canterbury NZ in 1850, an historian has researched the family and finally published a book and has detailed genealogical charts of the descendants if William & Sarah and their 11 children! My mother was a Stokes as was I as she never married. It was great meeting up with cousins I know but had lost contact with over the years, it only met at funerals. Also meeting other relatives I had only heard about. We had a reunion dinner one night, a bus tour of the areas our ancestors settled, and a church service and an unveiling of a new plaque for the gravestone of the original parents. Our son lives in Christchurch so had a nice time with him as he showed us the new developments in the city such as the new Art Gallery, as well as the sad areas such as the Cathedral and the Memorial Wall. Another highlight for us was meeting our Granddaughter, Michael's daughter. She lives with her mother and stepdad and we last saw her when she was 5. She is now a young woman who will turn 16 this month! So we are grateful that her mother finally allowed us to meet after all this time! We have always kept in touch via gifts for Xmas and birthdays but have had no other contact, so this was a break through. May it continue.
Thank you Solaria for this new thread. I miss reading what is everyone doing, my fault too since I don’t check the site often enough. Nice to read about getting in touch with family, specially your granddaughter.
Greetings everyone!, I haven’t travel much outside the USA, although I did go for a week to Germany and a Danube river cruise with my son and dear DIL last June, they had planned the trip to include me, and then the doctor found my DIL had breast cancer and had surgery and chemo, she finished the treatment a couple of weeks before the trip, and like a trooper she is, we went along with the plan. I had been to most of the territory we covered except Nuremberg, and that was for me the highlight of the whole two weeks. This was my first trip back to Europe since 2016, I have family all over the USA, grandchildren graduating, others getting married, three great grand children, one more in his way, and one daughter getting married in Canada, (although they live in the state of Washington) They are both sailors and fell in love with Princess Louise inlet in British Columbia, not very easy to get there, but flying to Seattle, renting a car, driving to Vancouver, taking the ferry, driving some more and taking a speed boat got us there, gorgeous place! I do plan to see a little more of Canada soon. Just had a nice trip to Arizona for a Cancer walk and baby shower, the best time of the year to visit. And that about is for me, my health is not the best so I’ll be staying close to home for now on, like I said, I have family all over and I will visit anytime they want to have me over!
Happy holidays and a great 2020 for everyone, enjoy many safe travels , thank you OZ and Owen for keeping the forum alive!
As for me, I've been busy with work (3 days a week) - I thought I might have retired myself off to pasture by now but I couldn't resist a job offer a couple of years ago that pays well, keeps me intellectually engaged and still gives me a 4-day weekend. I plan to stick with this arrangement for a couple more years and then decide whether to keep doing it. Mrs Oz also works 3 days a week so the arrangement fits our needs at the moment. We spend most weekends at our beach house where I can tow my motorboat down to the boat ramp and launch it to do some fishing on the bay. That's where we see seals, dolphins, black swans, gulls and plenty other wildlife.
Travel-wise, we enjoyed China last June (and if I can get some time I'll post an overdue travel tale). In 2020 we're headed on an overseas tour which I'll later post on the Countdown thread, and also a caravan holiday where we plan to revisit the Australian outback in an incredibly long road trip of about 14,000km (9,000 miles). My photography hobby will be useful throughout that trip.
A few months ago Mrs Oz and I started speculating about what overseas destinations we'd like to visit and we sort of came up with a bucket list that grew and grew. Yikes! I thought we had pretty much exhausted all the main tourist places already but there's still plenty left! Looks like I really will need to retire to find the time.
Sounds you and Mrs. OZ have found a perfect happy medium! And yes, there is so much world to see! “ Two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a crazy world to see; we are all chasing after the same Chasing after our rainbow’s end “ you made me think of Moon River! Happy Travels, OZ and Mrs OZ
Last September (2018), I did a trip to the Balkans and enjoyed many beautiful places and three days in Sarajevo, a city I love.
This past spring, I spent a week in a villa an hour outside Venice, in the Prosecco Region. I spent the week hiking to different little towns untouched by tourists and enjoying lots of food, wine and Prosecco. It was nice to unpack for the week and the area was just named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
I followed this up with three days in Venice.
I just recently returned from a week in Spain, highlighted by the Alhambra in Granada and beautiful Córdoba. This was followed by a week in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal, highlighted by a day on the Presidential Train.
Up next, I’m trying Egypt again. Previously booked with Trafalgar in 2011 and cancelled when the Arab Spring broke out. This time going with Exodus including 4 nights sailing down the Nile. This will be followed by a week in Jordan.
I keep flip flopping on what else I’d like to do, but am eyeing a trip to Cyprus. This would be another centre based hiking trip.
Thank you Tulips and Chech and keep traveling! I will never complete my “bucket list”, but I’m happy to read about yours! I keep encouraging and helping my grandchildren to plan, have their own list, hopefully they will get to know most of the world sooner or later. Happy travels!
My last post was December last year saying I was traveling through USA and about to take a cruise out of Miami.
After the cruise I spent some time in Disney World where I ran my first marathon (photo of it below). That was the end of 4 days of running, day 1- 5km, day 2- 10km, day 3- half marathon (21.1km).
The joy of finishing a marathon quickly faded later that day when my father took himself to hospital. A week later he was released, in time to catch a flight to Seattle, in more pain than when he entered, an incomplete diagnosis and a hefty US$170,000 bill. We struggled through the rest of the trip (Seattle and San Francisco) before gladly getting home.
A trip to the hospital when we got back found that they had missed the important problem, a form of pancreatic cancer (thankfully a very treatable type when found early) and that the pain was from an error during a medical procedure in the US. Of course the the travel insurance fought hard not to pay up, claiming it was a pre-existing illness, but after several long months they came through.
In April during my regular skin checks, a skin cancer was found on the side of my right foot. I had to have it removed and undergo treatment on it. I also had to have my regular checkups for the cancer I had 3 years ago and everything has come back fine.
Apart from my international trip the only other traveling I've done this year is to spend a weekend in Melbourne to watch The Cursed Child. However next year I've got a week in Sydney (to see Elton John in concert), another weekend in Melbourne (this time to see Billy Elliott) and a 2 week trip to New Zealand. Looking forward to the new year.
No more travelling for me for a while, at least. Less than a year after my uterine cancer and an all clear after CT scan in January last year, I started getting eating problems in August. This has gotten progressively worse and after a 3rd change of Doctor I was finally taken seriously and had an endoscope exam mid Jan. This showed up an ulcer which has now indicated cancer. I have to have a PET-CT scan on Tuesday and then a decision made on treatment? When I think of the lovely meals we had on our river cruise, as well as hotels in Vienna it makes me glad I did all that then as I am now reduced to very small bland meals and even then they cause pain. I only trust that things can and will improve.
Solaria: Like you a medical problem has ended my travels. I had a bad fall last Mar. and still having difficulties walking but at age 85 I really can't complain. I'm sorry to hear that there is a chance that cancer has once again raised it's head. I do hope that your pet scan shows that it has not and that your problem can be easily taken care of without surgery. The one thing we have in common is that when we were able we made the most of travel and the memories of those trips will always be with us . Hopefully when your present problem is corrected you will once again be able to return to traveling. Best of luck. Purvis
Results of scans do show cancer.suggested treatment is chemo to shrink it then pozsible surgery. TraVel is out for some time I guess. I will plan on being able to go somewbere special in 2021 for my 70th and our 50th anniversary. Something to look forward to.
Solairia: Sorry to hear that cancer has once again shown it's ugly head. You beat it once so why not twice. As for a trip when you turn 70 ; I didn't start my travels until I was 71 so you have plenty of time to see everything you want before you get sidelined by age as it seems I have. I'm just getting over my third cancer facial surgery . No major scar this time but wasn't planning on entering a beauty contest anyways. Take care and take every day as it comes. Best of luck. Purvis
solaria, so sorry to read that cancer has again returned. I'm a 10 year survivor of bowel cancer. My husband and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary in 2021 and will be doing a tour of NZ, as that is where we spent our honeymoon, all this years ago. I'll be 72 by then. All the best re the treatments. Pauline
I had bad reactions to chemo and ended up in hospital for 6 days. Because of covid 19 no visitors allowed so it was a bad and lonely experience. I came home today feeling OK but weak. Dr has decided no more chemo and has put me on the surgery list which should take place in about 6 weeks. Trust I can have visitors by then.
That's no good Solaria. That's why I had to stop chemo a couple of years ago, due to it putting me in hospital and causing more harm than good. I hope all goes well with the surgery in about 6 weeks time.
My surgery has been scheduled for June 3. Have to be at hospital at 7am!
The good news is I can have a relatively normal birthday celebration. The family are coming here tomorrow for a birthday lunch. Our eldest daughter is arranging the food. It will be great to finally see and hug them after so long in lockdowns. My actual birthday is Monday and Eddie and I are going to venture out into the 'wide world' and have a lunch or dinner at a diner as I won't be able to do that for a long time after my op.
Many thanks for your good wishes and the flower picture is lovely. Operation and recovery went extra well and I came home this afternoon to recuperate. Only can eat pureed foods at the moment but they tasted nice at hospital so hopefully what we do here will be as good?! Cannot eat any bread or bread products for at least 3 weeks! So no toast and coffee mornings. But I am relieved that all the dire possibilities that the surgeon told me pre-op never happened. Even he is impressed I am healing so well. Cannot praise the nursing staff enough. They were always kind and caring. Nothing seemed to phase them and always apologetic when they had to wake me to take bloods, BP and or temperature even though its their job to do it at regular periods.
Thanks for your good wishes. Good news is operation was a success - no more tumour. However some cancer cells found in lymph nodes means stage 3 cancer and I will need the next round of chemo starting at the end of the month. Less aggressive form than last time but more rounds over 3 months. I lost a lit of weight following surgery so they are hoping I will be fit enough to start the chemo. Have to eat small meals every 2-3 hours and I am feeling better than a couple of weeks ago. One day at a time.
Was supposed to have my 3rd chemo of 6 on the 27 August but blood test showed low white cell count so was deferred a week until 2nd Sept. Prior blood test showed count still too low so I have now been booked in for 9th with bloods taken by District Health Nurse the day before. They come to our home which is good as we don't have to travel somewhere, Hopefully test will be Positive result so I can get this chemo regime over with. Fingers crossed. Feeling OK the first 2 chemos this time were a lot milder than previous rounds and my hair is growing back! Haven't lost it this time and I hope that continues. Would be nice to have a good head of hair by Xmas.