Vacation of the mind

16 05 2012

This post should have been coming to you from Naples, Italy. Or perhaps London, England.

Since Princess of Pavement and I got together, we’ve slavishly pursued our mutual love for travel, including three trips to Europe.

Our first trip to Paris together, 2007.

Eighteen months later, we started our next Euro adventure in Florence.

In 2010, we made a chilly, but heartwarming journey to Belgium and Berlin.

We’d started doing research for our fourth, checking airfares and researching vacation apartments, when circumstances intervened. We pulled back our desires, perhaps another visit to San Francisco to catch the first two stages of the Tour of California. But in the end, we made the responsible decision to paint our condo instead.

Of course, in anticipation of our journeys, we’d already booked the time off from our employers.

So here we are, vacationing at home.

But when life hands you lemons, you’ve got to get busy making lemonade. We’ve been doing some hikes, visiting parks and trails where we’d never been before.

Hiking the Lynn Creek headwaters trail.

And I’ve been trying some new cycling routes.

One of them is even a designated cycling route, which I usually avoid because more often than not they’re a ghetto for inexperienced and unpredictable cyclists. But this one, through Strathcona, East Vancouver and north Burnaby, is well-established and a popular conduit for roadies looking to avoid heavy traffic en route to their country rides.

A spring interlude in Strathcona.

Another is Zero Avenue, skirting the US border.

Of course, when riding so close to the US border, you have to take precautions that nobody has planted explosives in the soles of your cycling shoes.

This rolling country road has become a popular cycling route since speed bumps were constructed at every intersection to discourage speeding cars. Now there’s barely any traffic, and the rolling hills all the way into the Fraser Valley are a good workout. Especially when there’s a cold beverage awaiting on a seaside patio at the end of the day.

The reward for a rolling day on the bike.