Thank you all so very much for the kind words about my last post. I had a lovely 50th anniversary ‘zipper girl’ day. A dear friend brought me a beautiful posy of lovely flowers and another equally dear friend took me out to lunch. I perused the excellent menu at the place we went to and finally settled on the coconut and banana pancakes with salted caramel. Next time I will be ferociously healthy, but on that day I was just ferociously happy.
So, life continues to flow. I see things and hear things and think, “Mum would love that” and know that I am not alone in that response. My car is a write-off so instead of getting it fixed at great expense, I am sending it to the wreckers yard. When I come back from my next great adventure I will buy another car. Half my brain says, “sensible Ford Focus” and the other half says, “cool little sportscar.” I’ll let you know which half wins the Civil War.
So, maybe it is time to tell you about my great big adventure. I am still waiting for all the pieces to finally fall into place, but the signs look very good and I have faith that it will come together. My master plan is to leave New Zealand around April 12th and fly to Honolulu. After four days of maitai and fresh pineapple and sightseeing (including swimming with sharks) I shall fly to mainland USA. For the next three months I travel from West Coast to East Coast and back again. There is a detour into Mexico and quite an extended detour north into Canada. There are only two familiar cities on the rough itinerary are Washington DC (one of my favourites in all the world) and New York. The rest are all new, Las Vegas, Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, Boston, Chicago and many others. I plan to challenge myself, do things that test my fears, heights, sharks, snakes, trying on clothes in shops, spicy food. I will try everything from Fried Coke in Atlanta to Shoofly Pie in Philadelphia. I will immerse myself in interactive museums and wonderful art galleries and tour an alligator swamp, become a spy for a day, have some astronaut training.
And most importantly of all, I shall write. I’ll blog every day and upload a photo. I’ll tell you about how I’m feeling and the people I’ve met and conversations I’ve had, the thrills, the spills, the tears and the laughter. When I drag my weary body home I will write a book, mostly from all the other stuff I couldn’t fit into the blog.
My Mum’s packing advice was invariably “They have toothbrushes in America” when she saw the spread of clothes on my bed. If I could fit the kitchen sink into my trusty suitcase, it would go. This time I am using a small, lightweight suitcase on wheels, easy to carry and easy on my back. If I buy, I post home.
What I would like from you is feedback. Where should I go and what should I see? What lifetime memories can you suggest to me? Remember I am a woman travelling alone and I value my safety. Also, would you read my book? Would you watch and read the blog? Would you care how my mid-life crisis unfolds in North America?
It is a journey I could never have made if Mum was still with me and in some respects that is the point of it. She and I lived together for 21 years and we travelled frequently and shared everything. Now it is time for me to branch out and experience the world without someone waiting at home. However much I don’t take, my grief will be my constant companion but it will not sadden me, it will sweeten everything I see, for I take her with me in my heart and she sees what I see through my eyes. I only hope she was right and they do, indeed, have toothbrushes, and kitchen sinks, in America. Here I come!