59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty eight

 

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Fifty sixth thing:  As I near the final few posts in this series, I want to reflect the blessings in my life.

Waking up after a restful night’s sleep, having tea while snuggling with Tipper and Biscotti are little moments of peace and joy each morning.

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Seeing my weight loss on the scale (thank you Weight Watchers) is gratifying and until the last few months, wouldn’t have merited a mention.

Being married to Spence, having shared more than 25 years together is such a gift. I’m grateful for our travels and the home we’ve made, filled with years of happy times.

I’m grateful for my garden and perhaps more so for my ability to handle the amount of physical commitment to stay on top of it.

I’m lucky to have the love of a family that I’m close to and proud of and friends that have enriched my life beyond measure.

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I’m blessed with good health and enjoying every minute of retirement, getting to fully explore many interests and experiences with enthusiasm.

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I feel lucky to acknowledge each day how much good surrounds me and to be aware of the gift that is this moment.

 

 

59 Candles, 59 Things – part thirty four

 

Forty second thing: For my next entry in this series about things that make me happy I want to talk about traveling with my soulmate and husband, Spence.

In my almost sixty years of life, I’ve gained a substantial amount of wisdom.  Many times I’ve shared this vital relationship litmus test with my girlfriends.

“Find out early on if you travel well together.  If not, the relationship is doomed”.

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I have more than a few painful-at-the-time, hilarious-in-the-retelling stories from my pre-Spence dating/travels but this post is about the joy of travel when you find a partner that is simpatico. It truly makes every trip better.

Spence and I will celebrate 25 years as a couple later this week. During that time, we’ve traveled extensively both across the USA and internationally.  Spence’s fearless nature and grasp of languages has afforded me great adventures with lots of off the beaten path experiences.  Ever flexible, we don’t overthink where a trip will take us.  Less interested in tours, we’re inclined towards finding where the locals go and our own spontaneous exploration.  What I love about travelling with Spence is that we feel the same way about places, frequently going back to destinations that hold happy memories.

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Last week, we went back to Laughlin Nevada.  We’d last travelled there for a few days when en route from Las Vegas to a rental in Sedona.  We liked the laid-back vibe in Laughlin and in particular, the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. The hotel had sent us offers since our last visit and a few weeks into 2016, we booked a 6 day/5 night free stay.  Using Delta SkyMiles, we snagged two free tickets flying direct from Detroit to Vegas. We did tons of walking checking out other casinos, solidifying that the Golden Nugget is our favorite. While strolling along the Riverwalk (which is on the Colorado River), Spence struck up a conversation with a guy wearing a U of M t-shirt. Gary, who’d moved there from the Detroit area a few years back, was a wealth of knowledge, sharing local history and enthusiastically suggesting we visit Oatman, Arizona.

Oatman?” we asked.  He told us how to get there and since we had a rental car, we decided to take a road trip the next day.

We started the day with a delicious breakfast, mine – breakfast soft tacos with avocado, eggs, cheese, bacon, sour cream and pico de gallo, Spence – two fluffy scrambled eggs and a dish of fruit. Driving across the Colorado River to Bullhead City Arizona, we continued out of town and into the desert in search of this old mining town. It was a fun day in a unique old west town (I’ll be blogging about Oatman in the next post) and a fine diversion from the casino action.

My favorite thing about trips with Spence is that we make our own fun, enjoying each other in the process. Our expectations are alinged, the delight in places we love is shared and our flexibility to spontaneous side trips and discovery of hidden gems creates new memories.

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What works splendidly in travel for us, may not work for others but isn’t that what makes our world an interesting and diverse place?

I hope that you find that soulmate who can make your journey better just by being part of it.

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For more on my series, 59 Candles, 59 Things, check out “59 Things” under Categories.  What makes you happy?