The only way for me to see faraway places with a group is to travel by bus with a bunch of wonderful people. There are a few couples but predominantly women of all ages over 60. We have two pickup points if we have more than 25 people so we can fill two buses one large and one small. We do museums and boat rides with included lunches and sometimes we are on our own if we go to a shopping mall. I like this trip because of the great shops and I can walk at my pace (slow and slower) in the air-conditioned stores. Usually I shop alone and meet someone later on for lunch as everyone has their own favorite stores to browse.
Sometimes we have a mystery trip that includes lunch but we have no idea if it will be indoors or outdoors as far as the mystery destination goes……. Yesterday was one of these trips and the forecast was for hot sunny and humid with thunderstorms predicted in the afternoon hours. I prayed it would be all indoors as I drove to the pickup point. Myself and a bunch of the women wore straw hats to keep our heads protected from the sun as we waited for the bus and tried guessing where we might be going. Off we went heading North and it came to mind that we would be going to Dade City and visiting an old Pioneer museum and its grounds. This meant we would be walking outside ( I cringed) as I knew my shortness of breath would play a huge part. Sure enough, we were split into three groups with volunteers to take us to the different rooms and sites and meeting up around an hour and a half later……..Well I made it to the first two buildings and then headed for the nearest chair to catch my breath and a drink of water. Some of the older women came to my side asking why I was so breathless. ” You look too young to be so tired,” they said. and I replied with a sheepish grin “it is not my age but my many years of smoking that have caused my C.O.P.D. and although I haven’t smoked in 13 years, the damage had taken its toll .”
I was so embarrassed especially of the fact that many of the people in the group were 10-15 years older than I were able to continue with the tour and me Ms Millie had to sit on a bench under a tree and wait for the bus to return from the parking area. (I felt like a child being punished but I had no one blame but myself.) Once the bus arrived I was able to get on it with the motor running and the fan on low, and just wait for the tour to be over. Gosh, do I wish that I had never smoked a day in my life? Absolutely! I realize now that outdoor walking trips are out of the question and only indoor seated trips will work.
The restaurant was an awesome choice and it brightened my mood with its ambiance. We had delicious Cuban sandwiches and delicious potato salad as a side plus the soft drinks, coffee or tea were complementary. The three women and myself at the table had a fun time comparing our life stories in brief as we enjoyed our food. Once we finished our meal, we walked to the corner and awaited our buses for the return trip. And as we boarded the buses a few of the women inquired about my well-being. It was heart-warming to say the least as I thanked them for their kindness and caring and how very nice it was to see them all again.
It was a nice day, after all!
Current Mood: Happy & Surprised