After staying put for over 2 ½ years, I decided it was time to try a little travelling. Now I must admit, it was MY idea to venture out. Unfortunately, Chuck has happily joined the “Old Men’s Club.” Members of this group just want to stay home, stick to their daily routines, see no one and enjoy peace and quiet. This is extremely hard on women who become even more sociable as they age. They have less responsibilities tying them down and now they just want to kick up their heels and have some fun. This explains why you see so many senior women on trips and so few men. The men have not died. They have just encouraged their wives to do the travelling for them while they remain behind enjoying the comforts of home. Boring!
With all his objections in mind, I tried to make this trip as appealing as possible for Chuck. It was for only 6 days so the grass would not be ten feet high when he got back, a very real concern he voiced. It was a short, direct flight to Quebec City, a place we both loved visiting in the past plus we were only taking carry-on luggage. Long gone are the days when I did the “Just in Case” packing. You know what I mean. You would take an extra sweater just in case it got cold, you packed a raincoat just in case it rained, you included another top just in case you spilled something on one, etc. etc. etc. With age came wisdom. If I needed something, I would just buy it and chances were, I could manage quite nicely without the item anyway.
Although I had planned as well as I possibly could to alleviate any aggravation or frustration that might occur on Chuck’s part, I was still nervous about the airport scene. Horror stories about delayed flights, long lineups and irritable travellers went through my mind and let’s face it, my travelling companion was not known for his patience. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. Now mind you, I WAS organized. Only carry-on luggage, boarding passes on iPhone, seats booked ahead, I could do no more. We arrived quite early at the airport but that only meant absolutely no lineups which boded well with Chuck. When going through security, Chuck drifted through like a warm summer breeze but when I attempted to cross over to the other side, so to speak, all hell broke loose. I redid this – feet apart, hands arched over my head exercise three times, but nothing changed. It was starting to look like this old girl might be considered a security risk. I was informed that I would need to be “patted down,” a new experience for me but what the heck, I’m always game for new things. After two or three ‘good feels’, I was allowed to move on. Note to self: Don’t try to look ‘perky’ when going to the airport. Leave that underwire push-up bra at home and just let “the girls” hang!
We arrived at our destination with no other issues. I love this old city with all its history, great food and amazing, friendly people. Quebec City is a walking city with no level ground. You either walk up hills or down hills, there is no in between terrain. During past visits, I hadn’t really taken much notice of this type of landscape but on this trip, as we were a little older, all this walking seemed like a pretty intense workout. However, each day we gave it our best shot, enjoyed all the sights and went everywhere we had planned. Unfortunately, by supper time we were both totally worn out so no partaking of Quebec night life for us.
On the last night of our stay, we returned to our room to find that a card, a gift and a bottle of wine had been left in our room for a Mr. David G—–. I phoned the lobby and informed them of this. They said they would be right up to retrieve everything. I jokingly replied, “Well since I won’t be sharing my bed tonight with David, I thought I could at least keep the wine.” “Of course, Mrs. Pilon,” came the reply. “That is the least we can do for the inconvenience we have caused you.” I don’t know who this David is, but I got one amazing, expensive bottle of wine because of him AND with no strings attached!!
On this holiday, airport scrutiny has not been my friend. Again, on the return journey, Chuck sailed through security in the blink of an eye. When it was my turn to walk through the body scanner, not so lucky. The machine beeped and I was asked to walk through this devise a few more times but the source of the problem could not be found. The ‘wand’ was then whipped out and I was told to stand with legs spread apart and my arms held out at 180 degrees. A young lady then proceeded to move the wand in all directions over my body. No success. I was then instructed to sit in a chair while this wand action was again performed. Finally, the exasperated security officer asked, “Have you had any past operations?” My response, “a titanium hip replacement” set her mind at ease. I could go. I can honestly say that on this trip I was searched from top to bottom and everywhere in between. (I have been through many airports since having this surgery and I have never had an issue with a scanner before.)
Well, we are back home and I have learned a lot. It is time for me to become creative, to rethink our travel activities so that they more closely fit our mobility issues and our energy and endurance levels. As much as I don’t like to admit it, we are no longer capable of walking five plus miles a day which is what we did on this trip. It is time for Chuck and I to find slower pace holidays or at least different means of getting around to see the sights. I will not give up travelling. I will simply give up the old ways of doing things and move on to new ideas which will allow us to enjoy a holiday to the fullest. Afterall, where there’s a will, there’s a way.