Slow start, strong finish

So my 50 for 50 adventure is off to a ... very slow start. I've got two years to visit 50 new places in celebration of my 50th year. I have all this year and all next year after I turn 50 on Feb. 8, 2019. I'm still excited for my travels, but a bum knee has put a bit of damper on the execution. I'm seeing a PT and am committed to healing it, and then look it!

In the meantime though, I've knocked three off the list: UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, San Luis Obispo wine country, and Pinnacles National Park. I also have tickets bought and plans solidified with friends for Morocco (and bonus of Spain!) in September and Iceland in February (!!!). Just typing this makes me giggle out loud with excitement. Each of those will knock off four additional places, so three months in I have 11 covered. Not so bad!

The botanical gardens visit was a bit of a bust -- not that exciting -- but it got me out of the house and added an hour walk to my day, which is part of the reason for this endeavor: more activity and less couch time. I know many people imagine my life as always being a whirlwind of activity and travel, and it often is. But when it isn't, I can be very sedentary, and that needs to change as I hit the midway point of life.

San Luis Obispo wine country became one of my three mystery locations, and it was great. I joined three friends, two local, who took us to enchanting tasting rooms in Paso Robles and Edna Valley. The wine-tasting was superb, and the camaraderie even better. Thanks Rick, George, and Sowmya!

And then on the way home, because of this list, when I saw a sign for Pinnacles National Park that I could hit on my way home, I made a slight detour and stopped in for a three-hour visit. I did a 90-minute hike through an incredible cave, emerged to see two condors flying above, turned to my right and saw a fox, and then saw another fox, a hare, and four deer on my drive out. Just magical. My heart soared seeing those condors and two more later in the hike, putting me on a high for the next three days.

Here's to happy travels for you and pain-free ones for me as my knee heals!