During late August-early September, I’ve traveled close to 9,000 miles! With the first year of retirement under my belt, I’d conquered the first phase of retirement (learned how to stay up late, sleep late, as well as, how to occupy my free time). So it was no wonder that the next phase turned to travel.
My first trip was for a beautiful, all-inclusive, destination wedding to Montego Bay Jamaica. Arriving a few days before the actual wedding, I was able to embrace the beautiful blue sky, light-colored sand, and glistening turquoise water. With the Rum Runners flowing, it was total relaxation in paradise; as I awoke daily, to the ocean lapping at my bedroom balcony. The beach wedding was absolutely beautiful and the wedding party dinner, while interrupted briefly as the ocean water came ashore, was magical. With another two days spent in celebration with the wedding party, it was time to bid farewell to paradise and to return home for a few days.
I literally had a day or two to switch out my suitcase from bathing suits to formal and tourist attire for my trip “across the pond.” London had never been on my “bucket list,” but here I was about to fly across a massive body of water for six hours! The five-day European trip, billed as “The U.S. Meets the U.K.” was arranged for approximately two-hundred Chicago Stepping dance enthusiasts from across the U.S. The excitement mounted as we ascended on New York’s La Guardia Airport to commence our adventure. I’d feared that the flight would be unbearable, surprisingly it wasn’t bad. The sightseeing began as soon as the group landed and boarded our chartered bus to the Holland Park area of Kensington, London.
After a night of “meet and greet,” a group of us were on our way aboard the Eurostar high-speed passenger train for a day trip to Paris, via the Channel Tunnel at up to 300km/h or 186 mph. It was exhilarating, to say the least! We viewed many sites from our chartered bus, and actually visited the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe – Champs-Élysées, Galeries Lafayette.
Bright and early the next morning, we were off sightseeing Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye, with the highlights for me, being walking tours of Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square. The perfect end to a beautiful trip was a Formal Black Tie Dinner Dance, and dancing the night away in all white, on a private cruise on the River Thames.
The culmination of my travel was a trip to San Antonio for a family visit, along with visits to The Alamo, and the miles-long River Walk promenade.
With Fall in the air and as things return to normal, I will reminisce on my fantastic adventures and know that travel is definitely on my itinerary going forward.