Sunday, April 3, 2016

On The Road Again... In Search of Spring Etc.


This is what 5:30 AM looks like from my sun room window. I took this shot a couple of weeks ago when, uncharacteristically, I was awake that early. I am not an early morning person. Mid morning, I'm great. But now that I'm retired, I don't see 6:00 in the morning much anymore. Unless I can't sleep. Or unless Hubby and I are both up and packing the car for a road trip.

March dawn on the Rideau
Dawn on the Rideau, Mid March

That's what we were doing a couple of days ago. Up with the chickens, or in our case, with the Canada geese, and the very persistent cardinal who lives in our backyard. I didn't get a shot of the sunrise that morning. We were too busy packing the car, making a travel mug of tea, hooking up the GPS and... whoo hooo... heading for the open road.

We're heading south for a couple of weeks. In search of spring, some warmer weather, and some rest and relaxation. It's been a weird winter. I mean... on Christmas Eve we walked in the woods in sunshine and temperatures of +17 Celsius. Really.


On The Road Again
Weirdly warm walk on Christmas Eve

So, you see, winter this year hasn't been all that long. It just feels that way. We were ecstatic when we finally had snow, and good skiing in January. We'd planned to get away for a few days skiing, but that didn't pan out. Thaws, freeze-ups, rain followed by plummeting temperatures and the resulting layers of ice totally wrecks the ski trails.

January morning on the Rideau
Cold morning on the river, January 22

I had a taste of spring in February, when I was home in New Brunswick visiting my mum. Lots of rain and then glorious sunny days like this one, had me roaming the fields on the old farm, wading mud in the fields, and drowning in nostalgia.


New Brunswick in February
February "spring" at home on the farm

It's not been a bad winter. Hubby's physio is progressing, albeit slowly. I've been doing art classes with a few friends; that's been great. Going to physio myself for my back, not great, but not bad. Making important decisions... you know, about big issues... like my hair.

But it seems like a long, long time since we stopped skiing. And since then, too much rain, freezing rain, sloppy snowfalls, and grey weather. Like this shot below. Taken the morning of March 23. When we should have been seeing signs of spring.


Rideau morning in late March
View from my window on March 23

So, we're tired of waiting for spring, and we're off in search of some warmth. Some interesting sights. And some good walking, hopefully. We've booked a few days in Charleston, South Carolina. Looking forward to that. And then, inspired by Bill Bryson's book A Walk in the Woods, we've booked a cabin in the Smoky Mountains for a few more days. We hope to do some hiking and get a look at the Appalachian Trail.

And right now... we're on the road again. And that blog post I've been working on about books, and women who write about women, will have to wait until I get home. I tried to finish it before we left, but I kept disappearing down one too many research rabbit holes, and what with packing, and spring shopping, well... you know.


So... yeah... we're on the road. And blogging will be taking a back seat for the next couple of weeks. I hope you'll bear with me.


Charleston, South Carolina

Ahhhh. Don't those palm trees look marvelous? Especially since it's been -10 at night in Ottawa since we left home. Looks like we started our road trip just in time.


What are you doing to jump-start spring?


30 comments:

  1. We're eager for spring in the UK too. It's been a nondescript winter. I did go sockless yesterday in search of spring but found blisters.

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    1. Oh, the first foray without socks can be painful, can't it?

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  2. I love that moment when the cars packed and we set off, early in the morning! :) looks like you're in for a good couple of weeks ...I'm excited for you!
    I'm interested to see you're staying in Charleston as I've recently added that to my "to visit" list .....which is growing rapidly, the more I read and research. In fact we've been discussing whether the next time we visit Florida we should head north and visit the Charleston and Savannah (Georgia) area or head South to the Florida Keys. Looking forward to hearing about your travels. Hope the weathers good.
    Have fun, keep safe ....
    Rosie

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    1. Savannah is great; we were there for four days in 2014. I'll keep you posted about Charleston, Rosie.

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  3. Charleston is one of our very favorite spots, and we are lucky to live only 3 1/2 hours away. Spring is glorious there, and everything should be in full bloom right now. Enjoy your trip, and the food(oh my goodness, the food....so many places to explore!) Look forward to your reports when you get back.

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    1. Now, I'm really excited about Charleston. Thanks, Judy.

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  4. A road trip south! Such fun, and I wish you a wonderful time and much warmth.

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    1. Thanks, Frances. Looking forward to temperatures above zero:)

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  5. It's definitely been that kind of winter! Here in Alberta, my husband is outside doing yard work that doesn't usually happen for a couple more weeks, but there's mixed precipitation in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow!

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    1. Alberta can be really unpredictable. When I was there for my brother's wedding in 1987 (or so) it snowed in Calgary the first week of May.

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  6. Leslie in OregonApril 4, 2016 at 6:39 PM

    We haven't needed to jump start spring here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon: the last week has been gorgeous, fragrant with aromatic blooms and sunny with temperatures reaching the mid-70's Fahrenheit. We got some rain last night, but it is now another sunny, fresh afternoon. For me, it is perfect outside, and I dash out for a spate of gardening or walking whenever work lets me. Have a great Spring break, Leslie

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  7. Ahhhh a road trip - makes my heart a flutter just to write the words. Enjoy your getaway. Loved the pictures.

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  8. I am so ready to work in my garden, get it planted, and plant up my pots! But I haven't yet. Just too much going on. A road trip sounds good to clear my head!
    :)
    http://gwingal.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hope you get out in your garden soon, Nikki. Happy spring.

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  9. Have a wonderful trip. That's a part of the USA I've wanted to visit for ages, and never have. Not to jump start spring, in California we just wait for the mega-endorphins of a perfect summer;).

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Love all the history in this part of the US.

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  10. Safe travels on your journey! It is a bit cool down south, we are shivering through "dogwood winter". You may get a bit of snow in the mountains during the upcoming weekend but nonetheless, it is a beautiful time to visit the Smoky Mountains. The dogwoods and redbuds are in bloom and the forest floors are filled with the most amazing array of wildflowers. Hope you enjoy your visit. I look forward to your stories and pictures!

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    1. We assumed it would be cool in the mountains. Looking forward to it, and the blooms of spring.

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  11. Have a wonderful trip! Sounds like you are heading towards a beautiful region for the Spring season. Enjoy!
    Charlene H.

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  12. What a wonderful trip you are going to take! The only time we were close to the Smoky Mountains was a March Break in the early 1990's in what was called "the storm of the century". I hope you find spring around every corner and by the time you get back, it will be spring where we live, too! -Jenn

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    1. Oh, dear, Jenn. I remember postponing a March Break vacation in Vermont one year in the early nineties because of that storm. We were driving to Killington and had to leave two days late because of the massive snowfall and the blocked roads enroute. Gotta love spring snow, eh? Not!

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  13. Oh, wow! I've always wanted to go to Charleston. Looking forward to seeing pics from your visit. I really enjoyed your photography. This is my first time to visit your blog, but I'll definitely be back!

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    1. Thanks Cindy. I'm a bit late answering comments... due to our travel schedule. Hope you like the Charleston shots.

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  14. Enjoy your travels. Sounds like a lovely trip and just what you need after winter. Iris

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  15. I love Charleston! So glad you've had a chance to experience its many charms.

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    1. It was really lovely, Maggie. Thanks.

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All comments, ideas, commiserations, questions, complaints... are most welcome.