"Winter's Quiet Beauty" LeslieofTodd's Profile

February: The Longest Short Month

Anyone ready for SPRING yet?

Get Up And Go!

In my 58 years I have lived in five states and traveled to many others in the USA. I've made several trips to the Virgin Islands, Mexico and Canada. I have always enjoyed visiting new places and have a keen interest in the culture, history and food of the places I have been and where I hope to go.

Back in 2006 I tore up my left ankle and had it repaired with a handful of steel screws and plates. That experience slowed me down considerably and forced my semi-retirement from selling recreational real estate around Raystown Lake in Central Pennsylvania. In the spring of 2012 I fell on the steps in my home and ravaged the tibial plateau in my left leg. Again, able hands sculpted a repair of stainless steel and I spent many months regaining my ability to ambulate.

Both accidents damaged my confidence as well as my body--and a poor body it is; MS has taken its toll since the early 90s and my spine is aging even faster than my brain! In 2013 I decided that I needed to do something to regain my psychological strength and test the physical progress that hard work in physical therapy provided.

I had never been to Europe but have held a life-long dream of traveling through France and I planned a journey that tested my ability to travel with mobility issues. I use a cane and have a noticable limp. I can cover some distance but I must watch my step and take my time and manage pain and fatigue. With the trip to France as my prize, I worked hard to gain strength to handle the rigors of travel. Every trip up and down the steps of my home builds a little more muscle and balances my gait. And the time spent on the computer researching and planning my journey was wonderful brain exercise. And I am learning so much I did not know. One of the greatest things I have discovered is the amazing community of travelers who are willing to share their experiences and expertise with others.

I look forward to the interactions with others who have also been bitten by the travel bug--both the able-bodied and the damaged. After all, it is all about the journey...

"Leavin' On A Jet Plane..."

(Written just before the trip to France) This coming Tuesday (23rd April, 2013) I will be flying over the landscape in this photo; an aerial view of where I spend most of my time. I am on the cusp of departure for an eighteen day trip through parts of France by train. The trip is a life-long dream and also a life-affirming action. I stumbled onto Virtual Tourist back in February while I was playing travel agent and planning this trip. Since I signed on to Virtual Tourist, there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not been enriched by the contributions of committed travellers and armchair travellers alike. I have made friends, and I thank each and every one of you for all of the wonderful advice and support that you have given me. And the bonds of friendship that are forming are something I can pack (with no additional weight!) and take with me in my heart as I go out into the world to explore. Very special thanks to those who have helped guide me when I was clueless, bouyed me when I flagged, and kept me on the many branched path of the traveller. I will be back in mid-May and hopefully post something that might help someone else who really needs to get moving again...so, as my good friend Kate says, "Ciao!" (for now)

  • Intro Updated Feb 3, 2015
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Comments (80)

  • kaloz's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    Looking forward to your travel pages on your visit to France.

  • kaloz's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    Last year I traveled with a mobility challenged person, my brother-in-law. Next time we will rent him a Segway.

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Feb 23, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      I have never tried out a Segway but would love the opportunity. I'd like to also try an electric assisted bicyle and the new electric assisted foot push scooters. One of my legs still works modestly well. I'm not sure I'd have the stamina or balance to make it possible to use any of these transportation options but I'd be willing to put on a helmet and perhaps the knee, elbow and wrist guards I still have from my long ago days of inline skating and give the contraptions a try someplace safe (like an empty parking lot - I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt). ;-)

    • kaloz's Profile Photo
      Feb 24, 2015 at 2:29 AM

      Best of luck.

  • HackneyBird's Profile Photo
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    Thanks for accepting Leslie. It's always good to make a new friend ;-)

  • Bennytheball's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Thanks for your appreciation of my attempts to keep the 64 year-old MozartBailey on the straight and narrow in his Moroccan travels, it's been a time-consuming activity, but the younger generation CAN be a trifle wayward and difficult, haha...I'm 65!...........Benny.

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Feb 2, 2015 at 1:14 PM

      Across the board, Benny, I find your contributions to be useful in their detail and honest assessment, well illustrated with both your normal and spy cameras, and imbued with the inevitable humorous twist. My hat off to you!

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Leslie, just so you know, my comment on the thread wasn't in reference to your post but at another comment which evidently was deleted as I was writing the thing. :O)

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jan 7, 2015 at 9:06 AM

      O good, very glad you understood! And I understand your sympathies too. Just don't want to see the thread get ugly and/or feelings hurt: pretty diverse bunch we have here, you know? Generalizations - like one which was deleted - can do that. Too bad the world can't live by VT guidelines of civility and tolerance, eh? It would be a little kinder, gentler place. :O(

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Jan 7, 2015 at 11:30 AM

      I must have missed the forum reply that was deleted.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2015 at 1:21 PM

    Great new Profile picture!
    All the best for 2015 - good health and happy days.

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Jan 3, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      Hello Barbara! Thank you for the nice compliment. I chose that particular photo because it was taken on an especially nice day in Sarzeau where my angel of a driver, Loïc, treated me to lunch at his cousin's delightful restaurant. It was a hard trip (2013) but some days were just golden and this photo was taken on one of them. I was lucky to have found Loïc and he became my driver throughout my time in Vannes (and he provided me services above and beyond what one would expect and even at his own expense). He is a true gentleman and I have enjoyed staying in touch with him.

      I need to write up Sarzeau and the rest of the trip but I find myself wanting to read more on VT than to write. You have a massive amount of writings on France that are bookmarked for reading as the new year progresses. I get itchy for my return to France in 2016 when I browse through your photos!

      I hope your New Year has started out well and that your year will be healthy and full of travel opportunities! Best regards, Leslie

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2015 at 4:10 AM

    Happy New Year Leslie :-)))

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Jan 2, 2015 at 7:17 AM

      Won't be crossing the pond again until Spring 2016. Just some light domestic travel in 2015.

    • Trekki's Profile Photo
      Jan 2, 2015 at 12:33 PM

      Oh good, we will definitely welcome you here in 2016 :-)))

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Happy New Year Leslie , Beautiful Festive Photo on your HP, we have Green Grass and dry leaves in our GArden Now ;-)))

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Not too much snow yet but it has been quite cold. The garden sleeps. No sign of bears for weeks. We will soon be able to safely leave the bird feeders out overnight. Warm wishes to you!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Thanks Leslie and change on your page too! Nice! Happy new year to you!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Thanks, Dee. Mom used to always say that your smile is your best cosmetic. I tend to look kind of grumpy when I am not smiling. Best thing is that I have lots to smile about! ;-)

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Jan 1, 2015 at 12:46 AM

      I would have to agree with your Mom.

  • Bennytheball's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Hello....thanks for your appreciation of my travel writings, it always makes the effort of writing them up worthwhile, and encourages me to do more. The Argan moisturising cream seems to diminish the eye circles but it takes time and perseverance for noticeable results, I found it cheaper to buy it on Amazon.com than in Morocco, the prices charged there by the "Co-operatives" are extortionate, and the haggling routine tedious in the Medina shops. I've also noticed it for sale here in discounts shops blended with coconut oil, but haven't experimented with this new product yet.

    Maybe if your minor disability problems improve, you will be able to make that hop cross "the pond" and discover Morocco for yourself, I recommend it, now that I'm retired I have plenty of spare time to return each year for some of that guaranteed sunshine, something I really crave in Glasgow's cold mid-winter!

    So, wishing you and yours a happy and prosperous New Year for 2015.........from Benny.

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“Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and put one foot in front of the other.”

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