Wednesday, July 13, 2016

West Coast Salsa- A 1st Airbnb Experience. No More Hoteling For Me!

Hours of travelling through some beautiful countryside and I finally arrived!  Oh, I should share that it was a very HOT drive!  5 minutes into the trip and my car was stuck blowing heat for the whole ride.  This was after a complete service was done.  So... I was definitely windblown and slightly overheated when my GPS brought me to the front door of my very first AirBnB experience.

The neighbourhood I was was staying in was absolutely gorgeous, and in a great location.  Only 3 round-about's outside of Old District.  The hub of Bend with 29 Craft Brewery's.  Sadly, I only had time to hang out at one of them:(  Definitely going back!

I walked up to the door and politely knocked on the door.  Only to hear a very energetic hostess call out for me to 'come on in.'  I walked right on in to a very homey, confortable and friendly home and was immediately offered whatever drink I fancied.  I was then quickly assured that in this house, BnB did not mean Bed and Breakfast.  But did mean Bed and Beverages.  LOL!

Forgetting  all my gear still in my car, and a launch party that I needed to be at in a few hours, I simply hung out at the Island and enjoyed conversation as if we had known each other for years.  It was crazy and so welcome since I had already spent 9 hours all on my own during the drive.  

Finally after a few hours of hanging out talking about Bend, hiking, breweries, investments, real estate and all kinds of other things I was reminded that I had some place to be.  I was having such a good time, I almost skipped the event.  Oh, and I even had a lesson in Salsa Dancing because Victoria is not only a realtor and AirBnB hostess but a dance instructor. 

The whole time I spent in Bend was definitely made that much more enjoyable by having a great place to stay.  I would recommend to everyone to give it a try.  Not only is it very affordable, but it makes for a very good experience.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nine Hours Of Solo Windshield Time: Good For The Mind And Soul!

I have been waiting for this road trip for months!  The day finally arrived for my adventure to begin. All alone.  My car was packed.  Hugs and kisses given and off I went with anticipation of much fun, much learning and new relationships with like-minded individuals.

The drive started with the usual border crossing in Sumas.  It was when I was asked about the purpose and destination of my trip that I recalled the last time I told the Border Guards that I was going to Bend, Oregon.  That time it was a lie!

There was a reason for the lie, although, it wasn't really a good one.  I was taking Jeremy on a surprise trip to California.  He only knew that we were going on a trip, not the known destination.   So when asked where we were going, I didn't want to reveal our true destination this early in the trip. So with confidence I told the guard we were going to Bend, Oregon.  He gave me a very strange look and asked what would possibly take me to Bend in November.  My quick response was, 'Because I hear it's nice there in November.'  He then asked where we would be staying.  My response because I was truly drawing a blank was, 'A hotel that starts with a H.'  That did not go over too well, so inside we went for a passport check. I remained confident and Jeremy was horrified and sure we were going to be locked up!

Anyways, this time it was a breeze.  Summer is a great time to visit this beautiful town of Bend, so there were no more questions asked.  I hit the highways with the expectation of arriving in under 7 hours.  With that much time on the road I knew I had hours to catchup on saved podcasts and music for entertainment.

I didn't really relax and enjoy the ride for the first half of the drive.  I just wanted to get there!  When I finally realized that my trip was going to be 9 hours and not the 7 hours I thought it would be, I finally figured out  that I should just settle in and enjoy the scenery and quiet of the ride.

By settling into the drive I really found enjoyment in the experience.  I was reminded of my trucking days, over 16 years ago,  where solo trips into Oregon and Eastern Washington was what I did on a daily basis.  As I looked at my GPS attached to my windshield I had to chuckle because 'Back In The Day' I had to find my destinations with a plain old map-book!  I discovered on this trip that I would never trade a GPS for a map-book for a distance trip ever.

The hours alone allowed me  to just think about the areas of life going really well, those areas that could use more effort, and my purpose and direction.  I always share that I feel I am truly Blessed in life.  I work in a fantastic family business.   Mom to four kids who definitely keep things exciting.  Great friends and team-mates.  And a great church family as well as many other things that are going really well.  I especially have a great husband who took all four kids on out camping while I was away!  I am sure he found these past few days as therapeutic as I did:)

As much as these things are going very good, I had time to process that we are not simply to 'live a good life' but a life that shares the reality of our  Creator and our Purpose is to share the good news and do great things for others through service.

And so my solo windshield time went.  I recommend a road trip for everyone. It is truly a great way to assess and celebrate life.

By the way, I am not a singer. But with this much time on the road I do have to admit, I did sing out loud.  Just a little:)