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2020 Empty Nest over 50: Living the Nomadic Lifestyles

 

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As an empty nester, I love the nomadic lifestyle.  However, I took a break so I could slow down and take stock of my life.  Again.

Living  nomadic lifestyle can be a rewarding way to live.  Last year, I traveled across the US from New York to Seattle.  I traveled via Amtrak and enjoyed the journey immensely.  The 8 hour delay in Denver could have been problematic but I wasn't in a hurry to get where I was going. Plus I got to explore beautiful Denver in the middle of August. Pretty awasome.

I stopped in Seattle briefly and then hopped by ferry to Friday Harbor.  This wasn't my first time on a ferry but I really enjoyed the journey this time.  The coastline of the Pacifica is beautiful and hard to ignore.

[photos/video of ferry]

I love Friday Harbor and plan to go back again.  It's a place I always wanted to visit ever since I read about it in a series of books by {author) starting with Home...[link to amazon] I immersed myself in life there by shopping for groceries, walking every day, and going to church with my hosts.  I stayed at the Trumpeter Inn.  I would stay again just because breakfast is just the best.  But also the owners are friendly and keep their guests comfortable.  Plus you can't miss these adorable alpacas.

[insert Alpaca's)

After Friday Harbor I went back to Seattle and took a flight to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Even though it was at the height of lockdown, I was able to get in because I'm a Canadian citizen.  From Vancouver, i took BC Ferry to Victoria, Vancouver Islands where I had an Airbnb waiting.  It was a joy just getting up each day pondering what I would do next.  

My Airbnb overlooked Victoria harbor.  I enjoyed breakfast on the private patio while watching sea planes land and take off.  I also had a friend who kept visiting and left me plenty of messages.  I made friends with a seagull that visited everyday.  He also never left without leaving me something to remember him by.  

[photo of seagul]

Staying in Victoria was obviously the highlight of my trip.  I took daily walks around the seawall.  Visited Beacon Hill Park, and walked down Dallas road as I gawked at the view of the Pacific Ocean and Mount Baker.

After Victoria I went back to Vancouver then to Seattle then back home to New York.  It took Amtrak back because I wasn't finished with my Amtrak journey.  Still not finished as I have a couple more routes I would like to experience like the Texas Star and the Cascadian.

After moving out of my apartment and officially becoming an empty nester, I got back on Amtrak. This time I went to Atlanta.  I spent one month in Atlanta and Athens visiting with my sons and granddaughter.  

During my stay in Atlanta I stayed at Extended Stay Hotels.  They have created inclusive studio apartments that cater to short term accommodation as well as visitors who want to prepare their own meals.  Accommodations work just like an Airbnb.  Towels and fresh linens are supplied upon request.  

Next I traveled to Athens, GA a cute little town where the University of Georgia is located.  

I left Athens Georgia via Amtrak Crescent.  I avoided a 6 hour layover in Charlottesville due to a long delay in the trains departure from Peachtree Station.  Next I stopped in Chicago for a 5 hour layover.  I pondered stopping in Chicago for a couple of days but this time I was on a schedule.  

I had set in motion activities and events that would have me arriving across the Canadian border by foot on May 11.  I could move that back the logistics of keeping train schedules along with the accommodations I had already booked would have made my trip a little too stressful. I wanted to avoid any added stress.

Next I arrived in Seattle then took a bus to Bellingham.  I booked the bus via the Amtrak website.  Riding the bus gave me the opporutnity to see the Seattle area.  My ride ended at the ? Marina.  

I ordered a Lyft to my hotel, Coachman Inn.  I hesitated to book this place because basically it's a motel.  But the reviews were overwhelmingly good.  I'm glad a chose the Coachman Inn.  It wasn't fancy but it was clean.  Cleaner than some fancy hotels I've stayed in.  The towels were soft and lily white.  There was no smoke smell as often the case in these smaller properties.  Even if they say the room is non-smoking.

Breakfast was served each morning.  Even though it was a cold breakfast except for oatmeal and coffee, it was satisfying.  There were ample choices. They even thought to add plant based milk which I appreciated. 

The staff at the Coachman were pleasant and friendly.  I watched the owner go over and above for his guests.  I would definitely stay there again.

Oh yes! I loved Bellingham.  I visited downtown and felt like it was a place I could live.  I especially love Fairhaven.

My next stop was Point Roberts.  I took the free ferry which was a two hour ride.  I had wanted to go to Point Roberts for a long time.  If you've never heard of it you will want to check it out (see map below).  The story of how this small town came to be lopped off from Canada is quite fascinating.  Much like the story of the San Juan Islands above.

I stayed in an Airbnb that was a couple of miles from the center of town.  I didn't have a car but didn't mind.  I got the opportunity to walked around this beautiful town.  Several people stopped and offered me a ride. But I was fines.

I'm a bit of an odd ball as I love to walk.  I'll leave my car and walk just for the fun of it.  Point Roberts is beautiful.  And even though it's practically a ghost town because it's practically cut off from everywhere, I still got the feeling of community.

To go to Canada from the United States you need a negative COVID test.  Each Sunday, the town's fire department administered tests and vaccinations.  My test was given by a very friendly woman.  

My Airbnb hosts gave me a ride to the border as there were no taxis or Uber available.  This is not a normal thing.  COVID just crapped on everything.

She stopped alongside the US Border Patrol and helped me with my baggage towards the Canadian Border Patrol. That whole set up is quite interesting.  

At the CBP I was asked some questions.  I had to sign into my ArriveCan account register my arrival and indicate my quarantine plans.  We care required to quarantine for 14 days when we arrive in Canada. 

Incidentally, if I had gone by plane I might have been required to stay in a hotel for 3 nights at a cost to me to me of $2000.  By walking across the border, I avoided that nightmare.  

After receiving my two COVID test kits and my passport back, I called a Lyft to take me to my apartment where I would begin quarantine.  Unfortunatlely as with everything else during the pandemic, I had to wait a while before I realize Lyft was not coming.  Fortunately though Uber found a driver to pick me up.

To get to my apartment, we drove through Delta, BC.  Oh man that's a beautiful place.  I was reminded of driving through areas of Miami.