This morning, I woke up and was lying in bed thinking wow, it’s already May.
Yes, it’s May 1, 2020. How different our lives have become since the New Year.
For the first two months of 2020 I didn’t worry about going to the store and finding what I needed. I didn’t think anything of meeting someone and shaking their hand. I had just found a contract job driving pick up trucks between BC and over the border into Washington that was gearing up to be really busy in the next few months.
Then in March and April, I had to become more conscientious about staying 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people, trying not to touch surfaces, using the hand sanitizer in my car more often, and seeing empty aisles in the grocery stores. Words like “unprecedented times”, “social distancing”, “the new normal”, and “we’re all in this together” became part of the daily vocabulary on the evening news.
As for work? I’m sure everyone knows the Canada and USA borders are currently closed except for essential travel.
This morning, while I tried to motivate myself to haul it out of bed and walk the dogs and feed them, a thought came to me.
What was I doing exactly ten years ago?
Trip of a lifetime
On May 1, 2010 I was onboard the Island Princess for the Grand Panama Canal cruise. This was a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Vancouver, British Columbia. Then the Island Princes would be doing their Alaska run for the next few months.
Who doesn’t want to see the Panama Canal? It’s one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The Island Princess entered the Gatun locks early in the morning, around 5am. After passing through the locks, the Island Princess sat in Gatun Lake for hours with other ships. It was around noon before we began cruising through the Panama Canal.
The delay was due to the ships from the Pacific side had to reach Gatun Lake before the waiting ships could proceed. There are too many places on the canal where two large ships just can’t safely pass each other.
The engineering feat to get the Panama Canal built and watching how it works, enjoying the scenery on the cruise to the other side, it was all breathtaking.
Other ports of call
Even though the Panama Canal is the main attraction on this cruise, we stopped in Aruba and Cartagena, Columbia first.
After departing the Panama Canal on the Pacific Ocean side, the Island Princess anchored offshore. Far enough out so they could open the casino!
The next day we took a tender into Panama City. Other stops on the cruise included Costa Rica, Huatulco, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, and Los Angeles.
Like I said. Trip of a lifetime.
It hardly seems like it was ten years ago.
Who wants to cruise?
I haven’t been on a cruise since 2012. I like cruising. Someone else is doing the driving, cooking, cleaning, and entertaining. What’s not to like about all that?
Cruising is not a practical way for me to travel. At least not at this stage in my life. Fifteen years from now I could be singing a different tune.
Road trips are more my thing. I like the freedom of deciding where I’m going, where I’m stopping, where I’m eating, and what I’m doing. My dogs go everywhere with me.
Right now I don’t want to cruise. Maybe once a vaccine for coronavirus is available I’ll be more open to cruising. Too many horror stories of Covid-19 onboard cruises. It’s like being on a floating virus incubator.
Most cruise ships have ceased operations. That mainly has to do with most countries not accepting cruise ships right now. Canada has banned cruise ships until July 1, and that date could still be pushed back. If July 1, 2020 is the day cruise ships are allowed back in Canada, half the Alaska cruise season has gone. Many Alaskan towns depend on cruise tourism as their main source of income. Vancouver and Victoria are taking a big hit with no cruise tourists.
Seeing as how I haven’t cruised in eight years, I can survive without cruising for a few more years.
Just as I won’t get on a cruise ship, I also won’t get on a plane, train, or bus. For much the same reason. Virus incubator. I don’t normally travel by plane, train or bus anyway! Ha ha! The last time I was on a plane was on that flight to Fort Lauderdale ten years ago for the Panama Canal cruise.
The public transportation system in Greater Vancouver is pretty bad. I have to drive just to reach a bus stop. The buses only go as far as the Sky Train, where one boards to continue to Vancouver. It’s just a pain in the ass. It’s easier to drive into Vancouver. Fortunately, I rarely need to go into Vancouver, but for sure it’s my car all the way. I’m not paying $10 for a round trip by bus and train where I have to worry about what I’m touching and who touched it before me.
At my age I don’t need to be worrying about the personal hygiene of other people. I’ll play it safe and take the advice of the health professionals and stay home.
Today has been a little trip down memory lane for me.
If I hadn’t been on a trip of a lifetime, I’d have no idea what I was doing on May 1, 2010.
How about you? Any idea what you were doing ten years ago?
Here are some photos from what I was doing ten years ago.