I'm somewhere else. I mean, I'm somewhere foreign where things aren't at all familiar. This is one of my favorite places to be. Anyone that has a sense of wanderlust knows exactly what I mean. To be somewhere else means I can't understand a word of the language. I can't read a word on signs, maps or directions. I am a visitor in this place. I'm trying to learn about the history and the culture in the short time I'm here.
Today, I'm in Russia. Yesterday, I was in Finland. Tomorrow, I'll be in Poland. Our Good to Go group is cruising the Viking Homelands with ports of call in eight Baltic countries. With the DNA home testing kits so popular, it's kind of fun to think about where we came from farther back than our great-grandparents and feel a connection with another part of the world.
I have a Hector Heathcote lunchbox. Does anyone remember Hector? If not, don’t feel bad... I didn’t, either. So Wikipedia told me “Hector Heathcote was a Terrytoons cartoon character. Created by Eli Bauer, he first appeared in 1959 in The Minute and a Half Man. Hector was a Colonial era patriot who turned up, often as an unsung hero, during various stages (time traveler) of American History. In some cartoons he was accompanied by his faithful dog Winston who talked with a slight English accent. The Hector Heathcote Show debuted October 5, 1963, on NBC. The series ran for two seasons.” So now you know.
“Better to see something once, than hear about it a thousand times.” Asian Proverb
There are those of us that love to read and we can travel far and experience much through our vivid imagination.
There are those of us that love movies, and we have had all kinds of adventures through the eyes of characters as they take us to exotic locations.
But there are those of us who can’t be satisfied until we put our own eyes on the thing. Until we go through it for ourselves, we can’t be happy just hearing about it, or reading or watching someone else doing it. We are the dreamers. We are the adventurers, we are the travelers.
There’s a meme floating around social media purportedly from a national fast food restaurant that appears to show on their signboard “Our Secret Ingredient is People”. Thoughts of the old movie Soylent Green where the main ingredient is people, it does prompt a chuckle from most.
As you know from my article last week, husband, Doug, and I took a quick road trip up to Ohio to a rally for those of us that own the T@B/T@G teardrop camper trailers. The NüCamp folks did a great job organizing the event, but information for newbie campers was rather scarce on their online site and in printed materials. It was fellow campers (people!) that were the “secret ingredient” to a fun-filled, memorable event.
While northeastern Oklahoma was firing up for the July fourth festivities, the Good to Go gang was headed west. We have been looking forward to cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard the American Empress paddle wheeler for about a year. Our flights set us down in Boise, Idaho before our final destination of Spokane, Washington. We had a lovely overnight stay at The Historic Davenport Hotel. The ballroom was dripping in elegance of mirrors and molded plaster designs. The public areas bubbled with fountains and offered overstuffed furniture for sipping something that called for a tiny glass. Our rooms were furnished with heavy carved oak furniture from times before TV’s were nailed down and cups were in plastic sleeves. A stroll around the city gave us a glimpse into the lives of the residents with hiking trails and public art appearing to be priorities.
We are in Sugarcreek, Ohio, population 2,200. We are pretty much in the middle of a cornfield. Well, there are rows of corn on three sides of the road that winds into the tiny campground where are parked. The closest structure I can see is two towering grain silos on the horizon. Very few power poles dot the landscape as we are in Amish country. Sugarcreek is called the little Switzerland of Ohio, but names on farms and storefronts hint there are quite a few Deutschlanders here, too.
We made the 14-hour drive across three states to attend a rally of teardrop camper trailers. These modern versions of the vintage style are made by Nucamp, a company down the road, past the silos. The campground is fence to fence with these small t@bs and t@gs, all part of the tiny trailer family. Our “Joshua” was constructed here. This camp is for the “newbies” that want to learn how to operate their homes for the open road. There are all ages here and from all walks of life.
Every kid dreams of a Disney Vacation, and I’m no exception. This last weekend, my three best college gal pals… made it happen. Let me give my “Travelocity” worthy review.
The accommodations were a bit smaller and more primitive than I expected. Of course, it’s all about one’s budget, and ours resulted in a two-night stay with fewer frills. The food was wonderful! There was only one meal that was “iffy” and wouldn’t you know that would be the one I was making the decisions. We had great weather with clear skies, and bright sun which made for pleasant outdoor activities. The rides were fun. It took us a bit to figure out how to make things work, and it could have been strenuous but we paced ourselves and took breaks often. The staff was friendly and helpful, and we would consider going back. Especially since it’s so close. Close, as in Disney… Oklahoma.
Do you ever get a random text message that you don’t recognize the number or understand the message? I usually reply, “You may have the wrong number,” and hope they connect with whomever. Yesterday, this message showed up to me. “We are having a service at 2 pm graveside at Woodlawn cemetery, this Friday.” I considered the number and sent my ‘who is this, wrong number response’. The reply came, “Do you know Terry Flick? You were in his contacts.”
When I’m out and about, people often ask me, “What is Good to Go?” The quick reply is “It a travel company specializing in organized group travel.” Then the next question often follows. “What is a group?” A group of bears is called a sleuth. A group of crows is called a murder. A group of birds is called a flock. A group of cows is called a herd. And so on and so on. But, what IS a group of travelers in “Group Travelling”?
Good question. What is a group? I’ve been gallivanting with groups for about 25 years, and groups keep changing. Let me try to take a run at an answer.