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What opportunities are you enjoying now?

Today I was supposed to be in Venice and getting ready to join my Rick Steves Best of the Adriatic Tour.

Instead, I woke up and headed for the hills. A popular section of nearby Olympic National Park opened today and I was at the trail head of a very popular hike (Hurricane Hill) by 8:20 am. Only one other car was in the parking lot. I hiked for almost an hour before encountering another hiker. The wild flowers are blooming and the wildlife is quite active since they have had this area to themselves for many months. I was able to watch a brown bear foraging in a meadow across the other side of a valley. A deer walked right past me on the trail and impressed me with its correct social distancing approach. I had a great hike and couldn't have enjoyed it more.

I suppose my point is that although my original plans fell through, I am finding interesting things to do. What are some of the interesting things you are doing instead of your original trip?

Posted by
285 posts

I am home reading "Sicilian Carousel" by Lawrence Durrell and trying not to cry bitter tears. Also looking at pictures of Italy on Twitter. The Italians have the run of the place and I'm happy for them.

Posted by
7270 posts

Working full time from home while having job security paying credit card balances off since there is no where to go

Posted by
1733 posts

Making lots of pottery on my porch, while watching birds, fireflies, and the occasional person go by.

Posted by
1969 posts

All of our classes must have an online component equitable to what we're teaching in the classroom. It's a massive workload that suggests a mix of in-class and online learning for 2020-2021. So in addition to the usual classroom preparation, we need to also prepare content for online that allows us to switch back-and-forth as necessary, or perhaps go to straight online if COVID resurges around November. In other words be fully prepared for everything. No way we're having 20-plus kids in a classroom. Parents will not be happy.

Otherwise cycling, hiking, and walking that is an addiction that is better than something else I might be doing, like food, drugs, or excessive alcohol. Exercise and moving is my drug. I'm screwed if an illness or injury forces me into a sedentary lifestyle.

Posted by
31524 posts

I've avoided getting another dog for the same reason that Lane mentioned, but if this situation is going to continue into the foreseeable future, I'll think about a new dog.

I don't usually start planning fall European trips until about March / April (when the virus started), so I didn't yet have any trips on the drawing board. It looks like I probably won't be visiting Europe this year, so some of the things I'm doing in place of that are......

  • taking drum lessons (I've been doing that for awhile and at my age it's a slow process, but I am making some progress).
  • hopefully taking a few short driving trips around B.C. when the provincial health authorities give their approval (which is expected to happen next week when we move into Phase 3 of the reopening).
  • keeping up my regular schedule at the gym.
  • visiting my son's family and grandchildren.
  • hopefully lining up another home renovation project this year.
  • getting lunch at the local Italian Deli every Saturday to remind me of Italy (it's the next best thing to actually being in Italy).

I doubt that a trip to Europe will be happening for me until conditions stabilize to some degree, in terms of flight availability and cost, some degree of "normalcy" in Europe and above all the ability to get good travel medical insurance at a reasonable cost. Having to wear a mask on a 12-16 hour flight to Europe and getting a stale sandwich for my inflight meal doesn't exactly thrill me but I would tolerate that if necessary. If I have to quarantine for 14 days either when I arrive in Europe or when I arrive home, I won't travel.

Posted by
7706 posts

Pam and Insbig, both of your doings sound delightful. As well as yours Carol.

It was funny the first weekend we had the ability to go more than 100 km from our residences, I had requested leave from work and planned on doing a long weekend in the Loire. But then as I tried to get train tickets, I found that the SNCF was running still at such reduced operations that it was going to take me 6 or 7 hours to get somewhere that should only take a couple!! So I gave up. ☹️

Things are getting more back to normal now so maybe I will try again for a weekend inJuly.

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7706 posts

P.s. congratulations Lane! Taco looks very sweet!

Posted by
57 posts

Reading... just completed The Handmaid’s Tale and the follow up book, The Testaments.

Going through stuff to donate, throw out, or keep.
The YMCA’s by me has closed permanently so my bike riding and walking has increased.
Planning Rick Steve trips for next spring but have doubts they will occur as the virus will probably still be around.

Posted by
691 posts

Thanks for starting this thread Carol.

I had small local trips planned for Spring and then was planning to go back to Italy this fall, all of which are on pause due to COVID-19. In the meantime, I am enjoying my garden at home, reconnecting with friends and family on Zoom, and taking virtual tours from Walks of Italy, LondonWalks, and Go with Flo (tours of Tuscany).

I am looking forward to a time when we can travel again.

Posted by
9 posts

Moving! This crazy time gave my son (13 yrs) and I the opportunity to start over in a new home and city. Long overdue as we have been living with my mother for 3 years. We went from a city of 5+ million to a city of 170k, 2.5 hrs away. As a single mother, it just made economical sense. I also have great comfort in the fact that my teen is in a smaller, safer community. We have been in our home for one week and I do not have to start work until July 2. So...I have been:
- unpacking, unpacking, unpacking
- planning decor and making small purchases (this is SO much fun!)
- watching loads of RS videos on YouTube in my downtime
- planning a trip to Scotland for summer 2021
Thanks Carol for starting this thread. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!

Posted by
7706 posts

Best of luck to you Janet as you and your son embark on this new stage of life!

Posted by
672 posts

What a great thread! Wife and I were going to retire after one final semester of teaching this fall, but the virus induced us to retire early. So now we're in Maine in our formerly-seasonal home, looking at not having to leave in the fall, which is wonderful. Still getting things up and running, but hiking/bicycling/kayaking are around the corner.

Posted by
2218 posts

After growing up in Washington state, we come back to visit and do things I never did while living here. I am in Lake Chelan now and tomorrow we leave for Olympic NP to hike and explore.

Lane, cute dog!

Posted by
3259 posts

The indoor classes and machines at the gym are too risky for my taste. So I just started going to a Water Aerobics class that limits the number of participants in an outdoor pool, and it's so nice in this weather that I'm wondering why I never did it before Covid.

Posted by
3493 posts

I have rediscovered my love of camping and everything outdoors.

I am lucky enough to have a friend who has property in the wilderness close by. There is a cabin there, but I have been spending time in a tent doing all the camping things you do: enjoying the fire in the evening, listening to the wildlife, hiking around looking at the various plants, eating lots of freeze dried backpacking food. Even did some fishing, and the fish are much preferred to the freeze dried foods. Been visited by various curious wildlife. No bears so far. Heading back out for a full week this time starting tomorrow. I do have to rent a 4 wheel drive to get there because even with the nice cabin that has electricity, running water, and WiFi, the spot is no where near a paved or even maintained road.

Posted by
2444 posts

Socializing a Collie puppy for a breeder friend. That is more fun than I ever imagined.

I am so grateful to the person who posted the link to a French History class available online through Yale. I am loving the Roman Architecture lectures. When I'm done with that, I want to watch the Ancient Greek History lectures.

Posted by
682 posts

Mostly gardening, but also I am starting a new business making backpacking pillows. We have some favorite pillows from 20+ years ago and they are not made anymore. We have tried so many and always go back to these. So I decided I would make some new ones, and well, it took off.

We love to hike and are in WA so lots of opportunities. The hard part right now is avoiding trails that are mobbed. We have quite a few road/backpacking trips planned for this summer around the state, so that is something to look forward to especially since we were supposed to be in Iceland in August.

Carol--I love that hike and how nice to have it to yourself. We were just talking this weekend about heading over that direction. My husband wants to stop at his folks over there so we can do that on our way there or way back. I would like to get some hikes in before it is total chaos.

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682 posts

Mark--That sounds like heaven! That is my type of camping, away from others and keeping it simple. Catching fish and cooking those up instead of Mountain House etc is good. Although I remember one tough climbing trip and I thought that Mountain House meal was REALLY good. I realized later it wasn't, but it sure was that particular night;) When we go up to our family's in the Alaskan bush, they are totally off the grid. The only way there is either a float plane and then hike for 5 hours for one cabin, and for the other the family gets us in their bush plane. We were there last fall for the moose hunt. With all the travel restrictions we couldn't join them for the June trip, but September is still up in the air again for the hunt.

Posted by
451 posts

With time on our hands, we've been taking advantage of the miles of trails within 30-60 minutes of our house. We are fortunate to live close to the Pacific Crest Trail and so try to work in at least one hike per week. We are rewarded by wildflowers, vistas, and woods, all without meeting a lot of people.
The walks are we are using our travel money to reroof our house and also paint the exterior. Were happy to know we won't have to deal with again for awhile, so we are thankful we didn't have to choose between travel and house repair.
And we are starting another puzzle, Manarola, Cinque Terra. I have a picture I took of the same scene, but the colors on my photo are not that vivid. Brings back fond memories of our RS Italy Tour. Also, our daughter-in-law gave me part of her 10-year old sourdough starter, and so we have enjoyed sourdough waffles and pancakes, and bread. Looking forward to making pizza soon. Just bought basil today. Yum!

Posted by
2218 posts

I have re-discovered how beautiful my home state is! We are in Washington exploring areas of the state I didn’t get to before moving away. It isn’t France ( where we were supposed to go this year), but we are happily enjoying it nonetheless. Impressed with how respectful everyone is wearing a mask and social distancing.

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682 posts

Tammy--You obviously were not the trails where we were yesterday:( It was incredibly disheartening. The trail we were on is one we have hiked every year for over 25 years and I have NEVER seen it like this. No masks, no distancing, just incredibly rude/selfish behavior. We had our masks attached to our packs so that we could put them on in an instant, and we only saw 6 other people with masks out of over 100 people. Also, we have never seen anymore than about 15 people on that trail before, so this was absolutely shocking to me. The parking lot was overflowing, people parked in, etc. When we got home the first thing I did was write to the rangers office. We stopped for a shake to go on the way home, and even there, everyone outside waiting for their orders, the ones with masks were by far in the minority. The ones with masks tended to stay on the same side, but still distancing. Every time someone would come around the corner where everyone was waiting, the ones with masks would scour the area to determine where to wait. We did see two separate families that even the kids has masks on (age 5 and over masks are required not just for adults) so that was encouraging. But the rest of it, no excuse at all and very disappointing.

Posted by
2930 posts

I am a recovering type A personality. I've been enjoying not being productive. For the first time in my life I can lie on the couch all afternoon and read a book with no guilt. My husband has been retired since he was 54 (now 79) and he says this is the first time he really feels retired. So we are both enjoying this lack of forced activity. That being said, we both have many interests that we are enjoying with no guilt.

That being said, I've found myself studying all the purse and luggage sales online the past 2 days...I'm wondering what that means...

Posted by
2540 posts

here in Scotland we are still limited to travel of around 5 miles so that is pretty limiting, hopefully next week it will be extended
personally I am working more than I would normally do as I am a senior support technician in a University medical school /medical research facility and we have several Covid 19 labs running as well as our normal government and health service support labs working and specialised clinics within our buildings. I have had 1 day of since the crap all started but hopefully will get a few days off in the next week or so.
I have had my Trip to Prague in May cancelled and was hoping to get away in August but that looks unlikely .I am due to take early retirement at the end of September and that is going ahead unless the university I work for offers me silly money to stay on for a bit(Unlikely)
so the only opportunities I have had is to change the route I walk to work (only takes 30 minutes) so have found a couple of new interesting routes that take a few minute longer but lets me see the parklands i pass through to to get to work.
if I so choose I can walk by this place either to or from work.