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October 8, 2016

Three Important Travel Lessons
It’s been at least a decade since I took a three-week vacation on public transportation, and this summer’s vacation taught me a thing or two about aging!

I promise this isn’t a travelogue, but let me set the stage by outlining how my eyes were bigger than my stomach!

This dream vacation included all the things I love: train travel, sightseeing, water excursions, museums, public gardens, good food, different cultures, history, and quality time together.
Greg and I scheduled a lot into this 18-day trip in order to get the most for our time and our money. 

Vancouver, B.C., Canada

A long train trip was part of our dream, so we drove to Kansas City (4 hours) to board Amtrak.

From K.C., it was Amtrak all the way. First to Los Angeles (35 hours), then to Seattle (24 hours).

We stayed in Seattle for five days to pack in a tour of the city, a day at the Chihuly Glass Exhibition and the EMP museum, Pike Place Market, Space Tower, and a couple of ferry rides to an island dinner—all the things tourists do in Seattle.

Next, Amtrak to Vancouver (4 hours) where we spent five days seeing all we could in Vancouver which included a day in Stanley Park viewing the famous totem poles, a ferry trip to Victoria to see Butchart Gardens, etc.

Then, back on the train to go home--Amtrak from Vancouver to Sacramento (25 hours), Sacramento to Denver (32 hours), Denver to Galesburg, IL (16 hours), then on the K.C.(5 hours) and the car trip home.

In the six-hour layover in Sacramento, we toured the major sightseeing spots of that city. In Denver, we spent a day in with my sister in Longmont, CO, driving through the Rocky Mountain National Forest.

It was a fabulous vacation, but
it was an endurance test for this older body.

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What I'm About as an

I write about triumphing over the challenges we face in everyday life and about facing aging head-on and with exuberance.

I'm currently wrapping up a memoir about achieving my dreams while fighting my limitations as a polio survivor.

In my monthly newsletter, I plan to share my thoughts and ideas in the form of essays, poems, and excerpts from my book

Writing keeps me going, and I hope I have something to say that will add to your life as well.

I just discovered a place to get free and cheap ebooks formatted for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and others. If you're interested, check out

Lots and lots of daily choices. 



Check out my book on what 100 women have to say about the realities and adjustments to aging.

Think About It


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

--Mark Twain,
The Innocents Abroad
Here’s What I Learned

Be realistic about my physical endurance. My optimism and enthusiasm got the best of me when I planned this trip. Health and endurance don't improve just because we're on vacation.

Plan more rest time. We built in three days of the eighteen to do nothing but lounge in our hotel room. We took bus tours in order to save some energy. In addition, I used a wheelchair in most of the public places. But, still!  Riding on trains and busses—which sounds relaxing—keeps the muscles active as the car rocks and rolls and stops and surges. All the little things add up quickly.

Pack lessI  know, who doesn’t say that? I tried my best. After packing, I spent three days taking things out of the luggage. My excuse: ten years ago, I didn’t need all the medical equipment and supplies that must accompany me now. I’ll just keep trying to pare down. Less stuff, more fun.
I keep trying.
I Welcome Your Comments
Copyright © 2016.   All rights reserved.

Alice French

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Alice French · 1301 Timber Top Circle · Rogers, AR 72756 · USA

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