Where Have You Travelled? – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 93

Where Have You Travelled?

I have had the pleasure of visiting quite a few places that have been very special to me.  I have travelled to a number of the States in the US – my first experience being California when my Mom and I came from Jamaica.  I lived there for 4 years and while I was fairly young when I was there, I have lots of fond memories of my time in California.  I have visited all the states on the Eastern Seaboard, while living in New York for 18 years.  New York is where I consider my stomping ground.  I grew up in Brooklyn; met and made some amazing friends while living in New York and am a New Yawka for life.  

A photo I took in Summer 2001
on my way back to Alaska from NY,

By far, my favorite place in the US is Alaska.  I lived there for 3 years, fell in love as we were landing and discovered that I can live on my own and come out fine on the other side.

Across the pond, my Mom, brother and I visited Birmingham, England to visit my grandmother and grandfather for 6 weeks during the summer of 1992.  I had a blast and what an education I got on grocery shopping.  This was my first experience of BYOB, and you also had to bag your own groceries.  I’ve been living in Canada for 11 years, and once again, I’m on a new adventure that’s sure to be memorable.

My travel experiences have been light, and that is something that will change in the near future.  What I will say is that each place I HAVE visited have been an experience I will always treasure.

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Celebration and Reflection – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 73

Celebration and Reflection

Today is a special day.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been 11 years.  On this day 11 years ago, we arrived on Prince Edward Island in Canada.  The journey actually started the day before on the 10th; actually it really culminated at the beginning of the year and finally came to fruition on the 10th and 11th.  Wow, moving from the biggest state in the United States to the smallest province in Canada.  What the heck was I thinking?!?!?

I remember the whole trip like it was yesterday.  Leaving Anchorage on a wet, rainiy day from our crappy apartment on Lake Otis Parkway.  There was construction going on and traffic was a mess. We called 2 cabs trying to figure out which one would get us to the airport in time for our 6:30pm flight.  One said it would take 45 minutes, the other said 40 minutes.  Well, in themidst of all the craziness, I forgot to cancel one of them.  I can’t remember which cab showed, but when we got to the airport, I got a call on my cell from the other cab.  Oops – my bad.

We get to the airport with minutes to spare, need to check our bags and we’re told we have to pay for extra bags.  I thought we were going to miss our flight, but thankfully, they accepted checks and we made it just in time.  There’s something about traveling and cutting it close that seems to follow me wherever I go.  Our first leg went from Anchorage to Atlanta, and when we landed that morning, I understood why the city is dubbed “Hotlanta.”  Goodness gracious, as soon as we stepped off the plane, my hair went “POOF,” instant afro.  From there, we headed to Boston and from Boston to Halifax.  

We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, just after 4pm and had to go through customs.  That was the longest, most grueling event that whole trip.  Add to the fact, our bags were “randomly picked” for search and they cut the locks on the suitcases.  I was NOT a happy camper.  I think there were still some high alert post 9/11 and I think there was a level Orange during that time, too.  Anyhow, we went through customs, finally got the green light and were the LAST ones to be released from the flight.

I met Jean for the first time, and she looked just like she sounded.  She was all smiles, inviting and exactly how I pictured her.  I think I told her she looked younger than her age (she still does.)  The 4 hour drive to PEI was scenic and it was slowly sinking in that I’ve made another transistion in my life.  I really wasn’t sure what was in store, but I was looking forward to it.

Fast forward 11 years later, and my goodness, what a life we’ve created since being here.  We went from a 1.5 room cottage to a trailer to a 2-bedroom home.  We got engaged, found out we were pregnant, got the process going to get me a Health Card, got married, had a few pregnancy scares, almost lost our first born, had to leave the country (that’s a whole other story); moved into our new home, had 2 more babies, adjusted to life as a part-time Mom while hubby works out West (dubbed Alberta widow); endured a few hardships, experienced some deaths; have been tested time and time again and wondered if we wpuld come out fine on the other side.

I went and looked at my 3 boys while they’re sleeping (which I do every night), and I cannot believe how blessed I am and what we’ve accomplished.  I’ve learned a lot about myself as well.  I realize that I CAN handle more than I give myself credit.  I’m a pretty strong gal packed in a bite-sized chunk.  I’m very determined and when I set my mind on something, you better believe I’m going to accomplish it.  I’ve still got a lot of growing to do and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.  I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, entrepreneur, sister, friend and much more in between.  

July 2011

We’ve still got a lot of unfished business, but we’re just getting started.  Everything that we’ve seen, heard and lived through is preparing us for greatness ahead.

I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

What’s At the Top of Your Bucket List? – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 52

Top of My Bucket List

At first, I thought this was going to be easy.  It’s my bucket list – the things I’d like to do before I die.  But in reality, this was a tough one for me to come up with an answer.  I actually discussed this with my hubby to find out what is on the top of HIS bucket list.  What he said really got me thinking, because what he desires is not anything fancy, over the top, travel the world type of thing.  That really got me to think about what do I find very important and value the most that I would like to do before I die.

I’m still not sure what is at the top of my list, I’ll be honest with you.  I figured as I was typing, it would come to me.  There are lots of places I want to see and do (kind of coincides with my lottery post,) but to be at the top of my list, this thing has to be special.  Something that snowballs into the other to create that awesome list that I can look back on and say, “Yep, I did it all, and I’m happy.”

Disney World

The more I think about it, in order for me to really do the things that I want to do on my own time requires time and money.  So, in order for anything that I want to do to happen requires taking care of our finances.  Let’s be honest, what I want to do requires money, enough money that will keep us secure and without any worry.  Once we’ve taken care of our finances and are stable, I can focus on doing some traveling and photography.

I know this will happen, but what I want to really do is take my boys on a plane to Disney. It could be either Disneyland or Disney World; heck, it could be both, but my boys deserve this trip.  With the exception of my oldest (and he was 5-6 months at the time), my kids haven’t been on an airplane.  When I got back from my trip, the first thing they kept saying was how much they want to go on a plane.  For me, that would be a great thing to happen for them because I know how happy they would be.  In turn, that makes me happy.

But, this would be a different type of trip to Disney.  A few months ago, I heard how a section of Disney was blocked off exclusively for some of our business partners during their trip.  They received the red carpet treatment, no lines, no waiting, it was all fun.  That’s the type of experience I want for my family, a few close friends and their families.  There’s no way I’d do this all alone.  There’s got to be about 3-4 other families to take part in this as well. And one day, they will get it.

Disneyland

It WILL happen in the very near future!!!