Palm Trees and Sunshine: A Pre-Pandemic Adventure

Remember travelling? It feels like it’s been ages since we could hop on a bus or a plane for a change of scenery. I was lucky enough to get to go on a pretty sweet vacation only a few months before the world shut down. In December 2019, my family decided to take a break from the Canadian winter with a trip to California.

The first thing I noticed when I got there was the palm trees. They look so different from anything we have at home, so they really made me feel like I was somewhere new.

 I sent this picture to my friends to say “look where I am!”

We spent most of our trip in a little town outside of San Diego. The beach was just a short walk from our hotel, and on our first night there, we got to see one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen. The light was so bright, it felt like the whole world was glowing. I tried to capture it on camera, but sunset photos never look as good as the real thing.

One of my favourite days was the one we spent exploring the botanical gardens at Balboa Park. I couldn’t resist taking pictures of all the colourful roses and funky-looking plants we saw. I love cacti and succulents so it was cool to see them in their natural habitat. They look just like the tiny potted ones I have at home!

I also loved the art market we went to, where we got to wander around looking at displays from local artists. The rainbow-painted floor tiles made it feel like the space itself was a piece of art, like we’d walked into a mosaic. I bought myself a little painting as a souvenir – a cactus painted in bright greens and oranges to remind me how vibrant everything was.

We did a lot of different things on this trip – museums, shopping, restaurants – but I think my favourite part was just spending time outside. Everything was so beautiful and so different from home – I loved getting the chance to explore a place I’d never seen before. Oh, and getting a break from the freezing weather in Ottawa was nice, too.

One last sunset before heading home

Looking back on my photos from this trip is making me want to go travelling again! I can’t decide whether I’d rather revisit a place I’ve been before or go somewhere completely new. Where’s the first place you’ll go when we’re allowed to travel again?

Social media post:

Where’s the last place you travelled to before the pandemic? For me, it was California

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Travelling to California? Find some ideas for your trip and share your own pre-pandemic travel stories

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