"Winter's Quiet Beauty" LeslieofTodd's Profile

Peace and Joy Be Yours!

Wishing all a happy and healthy New Year in 2015!

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 Dec 23, 2014
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Comments (70)

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    13 hours ago

    Hi Leslie, wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    A Hippeastrum from your garden? Lovely! Have quite a few growing in my garden. Merry Christmas and wishing you a healthier New Year!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo

      Thank you. My beloved took the photo the year we finished building the cabin. We used the photo as a holiday ecard that year because we were so busy settling into the cabin (we had been living in a trailer on the property while we designed and built it) that there was no time for handwritten cards that year. We are surrounded by wildlife big (bears), medium (deer, fox, wild turkey, coyote), and small (grouse, raccoon, possum, skunk, squirrel, chippies, and all manner of birds). It is our nest; our little raft of sanity. Peace and Joy!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo

      It looks lovely and sounds lovely by your description. I prefer living in the country.

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    What a lovely new profile photo! Hope you are well and that you have a great Christmas and wish you all the best for 2015. All the best, Irene

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Thank you, Irene! I debated with myself about putting my face up there. Personally, on VT, I have enjoyed seeing profile photos of the members themselves because it puts a face with the member name and it seems more personal. We are really looking forward to Christmas this year! With our remaining parents getting up in age (I lost my dear mother in 2006), every Christmas and their birthdays become so precious.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    What a lovely photo of you!

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 18, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      Well, thank you, Dee and Albert! The lighting was quite flattering. My hair looks much more gray than the photo reveals. Anniversary flowers in the foreground (11 years as of this past July -- bliss!) The real me photo will just be up for the holidays and then I will likely go back to my beloved nasturtiums (a flower that smells so sweet but tastes quite peppery and has seeds that either are left to grow another year or pickled like capers -- we grow organic herbs and edible flowers for my amusement.)

      I am moving the same trip into the same weeks of late April/May of 2016. I need the time to get in better physical condition in order to have the best possible experience. I don't want a repeat of the fatigue, insomnia and pain that I experienced on the last trip to France. All providers I have paid deposits to for 2015 are willing to just roll it over into the same weeks in 2016. Now I have more time to research and plan (and work on that list of tasty foods I am going to seek out.) ;-)

      Happy, Happy Holidays to you both!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Dec 18, 2014 at 9:31 PM

      Same to you too! Better to go later when your feeling much better.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2014 at 12:55 AM

    Leslie, many thanks for your ratings and nice comments on my new Besançon page.

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      It is always my pleasure. My progress through your pages is somewhat slower than I would like (sort of like life itself, for me :-) ) but once finished with Besançon, I am off to cycle through Avignon with you (with some side trips in other parts of the world with other members I like to travel with.)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Hi Leslie! Lovely to hear from! I noted your going on another trip - Good on you! Thanks for taking the virtual tour, hope you enjoy it and have a great time on your "real" tour! I think May is a great time to go. What parts are you heading to this time?

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Dec 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      Sorry to hear that it has been a rough year for you. Our last holiday wasn't the best for me as I had health issues that reared their ugly head at the wrong time. Hope your on the mend and will be able to do your trip. It sounds a good one! Haven't been to that area, but have read plenty about it and it sounds and looks beautiful!
      All the best for the MUCH better new year

    • LeslieofTodd's Profile Photo
      Dec 14, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Thank you for your good wishes, Lynne and Dee! Life is a cinch, inch by inch...

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2014 at 4:12 AM

    Happy Thanksgiving, Leslie!

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Wonderful that you were able to 'get moving again' and fulfil your dream in France. On your second visit, you should check out Port Grimaud in Provence, I went there as a child and it is like a mini French version of Venice. :)

  • MacedonianUK's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    Thank you for visiting my Ohrid page. Hope I see you there soon.. xx

  • MacedonianUK's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    Thank you for visiting my Ohrid page. Hope I see you there soon.. xx

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

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