How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

The Sky’s the Limit

152 Comments


In a million years I would not have imagined what I am about to do. Never say never and I have more or less agreed to never again, but that’s all changed now.

My friend, Sue, grumbled over lunch last fall that her girlfriend wasn’t in good health for travelling anymore. They’d been friends a long time and had been all over Europe together. Sue wanted a new adventure: something to look forward to, new places to see, something exciting in her life.

“Where would you like to go?” I asked.

“I’ve been all over Europe and back. I’d like to go to Australia.”

I heard a little voice say, “I’ll go with you.”

Where had that come from? I hadn’t been thinking about travelling and haven’t been interested for about seventeen years. Not at all. I’m not sure which one of us was more surprised. Sue’s brows rose an inch or two over the top of her glasses. My eyes bugged out; I cleared my throat. It only took a second to clear my head and I said again,  “I’ll go with you.” Still a little shocked, I realized I meant it. I wanted to go on a trip.

Long story shorter, Sue began checking out trips and suggested I pick up some brochures to compare prices. Of course the expected didn’t happen. To travel so far for only eight or ten days seemed ludicrous. In the vicinity of twenty days sounded better. I don’t go big; I go Gi-NORMOUS.

Sue noticed an advertisement for a 17-day China trip for a ridiculous sum—think bargain basement. For a shorter trip to Australia, the cost would total two China trips or more. Who-hoo. We changed our minds. It was meant to be, but wait, there’s more. I’m nothing if not spontaneous. Did I mention I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal? Sue had a travel agent she liked. We talked. And talked. The agent told us of a 24-day trip for a mere $400.00 more. What? I might have had a hot flash had I been younger. That’s a lot of Chinese food and it won’t be take-out, or the same as in North America.

Microsoft Clipart.

Microsoft Clipart.

For five years, I’ve been the built-in babysitter for my grandchildren. Sue worried I’d get her hopes up and not manage to absent myself for almost a month. Did you read that? Almost a month. I felt I was busting out. This wasn’t unlike a jail break. Really? You must nod here so I don’t feel guilty. Ha. I do NOT! This is an o.p.p.o.r.t.u.n.i.t.y. made in heaven.

Shoot the moon. I am. Among one of the reasons I bought my iPad Mini was for this trip. However, I have since realized I won’t be using it for journalling. Have you tried one of those sprite-size keyboards? I will use it for photos and hopefully a video or two. As well, I won’t need to pack a ton of books to read on the plane. Again, never say never. Moi reading electronically? It’s useful.

We will leave Toronto on March 28th at 6:30 p.m. our time, and arrive in Chicago at 12:55 a.m. with a five-hour layover. Beijing will welcome our arrival at 15.40.

Tune in again next Friday.

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

152 thoughts on “The Sky’s the Limit

  1. Wow! That’s exciting and what a deal!

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  2. Wonderful! I went to China ten years ago and it was well worth it! Enjoy! It’s so different. Australia would be tame in comparison.

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    • Really? I love the Australian accent and if I went there first, might fall in love with the first male who spoke to me just because. At least in China, I won’t be tempted because I don’t understand the language. 😀

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  3. OH! WOW! That sounds like such fun! Can’t wait for you to get back and tell us all about it. Be careful with yourself over there.

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  4. Oh, wow, Tess! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

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  5. Sounds like a great trip!

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  6. I’m so excited for you Tess. You must send us blow-by-blow posts from the road. That would be just hysterical, cause you know there will be adventure! I wish I could go!!!!

    On another note, I had no idea you were from Toronto. One of my favorite cities in the world. Have a great time.

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  7. That sounds great. I never got to travel much. Except in books. I did go to the shopping mall, however. Two years ago I think it was.

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  8. Hi – or as we say here in China, Ni Hao!(pronounced knee how) – I am in my mid 60s and have been living in Beijing for the last four years. You are in for a fantastic time, this huge country is absolutely amazing, the food, the culture the people (who are VERY friendly and welcoming). I blog about my life here so feel free to dip in, some of my early posts may be helpful. Any questions, just ask.

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  9. That is a long time to eat Chinese food! What a wonderful trip.

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  10. Oh, how exciting! I’m so happy for you. What a great adventure. 🙂

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  11. I wanna go toooo! At first I thought I was reading another one of your short stories but then I realized It’s for real! Sounds like so much fun! Yet sort of intimidating too. Learning a new language will be interesting. You have to tell us all about your adventures—DAILY!

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  12. I know you have an ipad with a tensy keyboard but can’t you get a portable keyboard? They make them wireless now adays. Some of them fold up and made out of very lightweight, flexible silicon.

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    • Sure, I bought a keyboard to match my IPad mini. It’s child-size but if you want to get more graphic, closer to the real thing, buy a real keyboard. My idea is plunk that laptop down an start clicking.

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  13. TESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How exciting!!!! Oh I hope to travel vicariously!!! You are on to something incredible here. Oh geez. This is exciting!!!

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  14. Good for you. This will be a trip of a life time. Can’t wait to hear all about it! Enjoy!!

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  15. How adventuresome you are! I am not a traveler but do love to hear the tales of those who are. I am looking forward to hearing your tales.

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  16. I am SOOOOO excited for you, Tess! BTW, external keyboards to hook up to that iPad mini shouldn’t be terribly expensive anymore (esp with all the $$ you’re saving on that awesome trip ;)). Looking forward to what you’ll be sharing about it!

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  17. How exciting, Ms. Tess!!! Can’t wait to see/read all about it. I admire your SPUNK!

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  18. I am so excited for you, Tess! I know lots of people who have gone to China and loved it. You’re going to have a blast. A month! I will be going along with you virtually so be sure–BE SURE–to post lots of updates!

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    • Did you friend have access to WiFi in China or did they have to go to internet cafes?
      I’ve heard a few stories (not about China) and poor connection and expensive access to internet.
      By the sound of our itinerary, I don’t know know if I’ll be awake after supper of if I’ll fall asleep at the table. I hope to keep in touch with family but want to unplug for my vacation for a rest. We’ll see. 🙂

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  19. Very excited for you. And jealous too!

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  20. How exciting, Tess. The idea of this trip and the way you write about it is so energising. I can feel the energy through your words. And it takes a real wise person to recognise opportunity which you are! Can’t wait to read about your travels and keeping my fingers crossed that you love it so much you will make that trip to Australia one day. We would welcome you with open arms. I mean China is just close by (sort of).

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    • Thanks so much for your generosity. The excitement around me in the blogosphere has me revved today. When we first talked about Australia, I DID think of YOU. Funny, how we don’t know each other but you crossed my mind like that.

      I must learn to say, ‘never say never’.

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  21. I am so excited for you that I am jumping up and down for happiness!! I can hardly wait to hear all about your adventure. And adventure it will be!!! I’ll be tagging along vicariously. All the very very best – safe travels….

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  22. how exciting! can’t wait to hear all about it!! and….good for you 😉

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  23. Tess I am squealing with delight! Fantastic and I am SO happy for you. Good for you to step out on this big adventure. Can’t wait to hear all about it. You CAN type on those little keyboards ….doing so at this minute. 🙂

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  24. I knew it was a trip you were hinting at and I’m thrilled to bits for you, even if I hoped it was England! Cant wait to see the pics and read all about it Tess, whoop whoop ★♡★

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  25. Ooh, exciting! A real adventure to go somewhere so different like that, and you’ll have great stories to tell your grandchildren when you get back for years to come! I can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

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  26. Good for you, Tess! Nice to see verification that we’re not all ready for the rocking chair…Hope you have a great time.

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  27. You had told me about this trip before but have been vague about when you were leaving. I had assumed it was because the definite plans hadn’t jelled yet.

    I know that you are going to have a fantastic time. Those of us on your email list for post updates are expecting marvelous photos to be shown when you return. 😉

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    • I am so looking forward to it now. I’m burned out getting all the past preparations completed. It’s going to be a culture shock but I knew that from the start. Thanks for reinforcement.
      I hope I can hack the full days we’ve been promised and lots and lots of walking.

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  28. Wow, how exciting! You got me all stirred up and if I didn’t have darn physical limitations… Going to be exciting to hear all about it. Way to go, Tess!!!!!!!

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  29. How cool. Adventures are wonderful – especially when they take off from an original plan. I use a thingy…massive mind fart here – can’t think of it to tap those itty bitty teeny weeny phone keyboards. You’ll know what I’m talking about or ask somebody. I’m tired right now. My husband’s father died last night so II amjust nuts. Anyway, I wanted right away to say how wonderful this trip is and to get a thingy to tap those keys.

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    • Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Do take care of yourself in this time of coming to terms.

      I thank you for taking the time to write at once. I am tickled pink but I can wait. 😉

      No, I’, not sure about the thingy but I did purchase a keyboard for the iPad mini. It’s the same size and has a slot t slide in the iPad so together they look like a mini laptop.

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  30. WooHoo! One promise: manymanymany pictures.

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    • I know, right? I’ve never been much of a photographer but I DO want to remember / preserve as much as possible. Hope I’m up to it. We’ll be walking miles and miles (warned from the first).
      Nice to see you Red. Long time. 😀

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  31. Wow! You really lucked out with that price but I hope you read the small print. You might have to sit on the plane wings. Take your own pillow.

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  32. Yay you!!! We’re still discussing what we are going to do with our holidays this year. I still want to go to the U.S. but for the price, we can spend more time exploring our own country (Australia) or spending time in New Zealand. Not sure what we are going to do yet.

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  33. Good on you. Break out of your self imposed rules and live life to the full. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Have a great trip.Love Jenna

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  34. China! Way to go! Of course I’m sad you’re not coming to Australia after all, but China will be an experience. There should be a tee shirt for people over 50 (there probably is) that says Just.Do.It. NOW!

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  35. Triple “like”!!!! Quadruple!!! Tess darling, this is fantastic! I am so happy for you! what a blast you will have! as so done who lives in beautiful Australia it am glad you are going to China! I think it will be far more exotic, meaning utterly foreign in the best ways! It would be for me! 🙂 As well as Far (East) out! Yayyy!!! My best wishes to you and your pal for the most wonderful trip! xox

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  36. Oh my heart skipped a beat – yes Australia she’s comin’ on down!! Then I read further – but China – how wonderful and that you are doing a jail break and doing something that you want to do is so excellent – now of course I have the song in my head. You will have an amazing trip and think of the stories you will be able to share. Way to go Nanna I mean Tess 🙂 🙂 xx

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  37. WooHoo!! Sounds amazing!

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  38. Oh my, I nearly missed this post. Been busy doing stuff. How exciting but hey I had the kettle on here in Oz. but never mind, next time. I want you to promise you will be daring, naughty, silly, childlike, responsible (kind of) safe and have the bestest, bestest time of your life. Humma Humma, great lady, go girl go….

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  39. How wonderful! Enjoy and safe travels!

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  40. Tess this is so exciting! What a wonderful thing to do for yourself. China! I love Asia, it is fascinating and spectacular. I am so excited for you my legs are bouncing. Get comfortable shoes, you will do a ton of walking! Practice taking pictures! I can’t wait to see your photos when you return.

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    • Thanks, Valentine. Yes, the shoes have been my first priority. We know we’ll do lots and lots of walking. Still can’t believe it.
      I’m terrible for pictures. Must have a timer in my pocket to remind me. 😀

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  41. Fabulous. Have a fantastic trip. Yes, we need loads of pictures.

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  42. Wow Tess, that is fantastic, so happy for you and you so deserve this. Shoot the moon…you go girl! Can’t wait to hear more 🙂

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  43. Tess, I’m so excited for you. I’ve thought for a month or so that you were going to take a trip and it would be a big one. I’m thrilled you’re in good health and distant travel is within your reach. You know we’re all going to want to know lots and lots.

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  44. How exciting!! I’m sure you will be posting–either from China and/or when you return. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Will you be in Beijing for most of the trip, or will you travel around to different areas?

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  45. well done Tess, that’s a huge-e!!! you go girl and take lots of photos!!!

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  46. Wow!
    I hope you have one hell of a trip 🙂

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  47. You had so many responses already and I’m VERY late with mine, but I just had to wish you a happy, happy and a very bon voyage 😉
    Travelling is just the best thing ever, experiences had, memories made – I am slightly envious, but sincerely happy for this amazing opportunity you’ve made Tess 😉

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