Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Running Lessons: Road trips and fresh perspectives

Husband and I did a road trip earlier this month to attend a friend's marriage celebration in Bracebridge, Ontario. We drove from Ottawa to Bracebridge one day and back the next (5 hours each way) so we didn't have a lot of time there, but neither of us regretted the trip for a minute.

It was great being able to join in the celebration and the weather and scenery were beautiful both days. Our route took us through picturesque villages like Wilno, where we stopped for lunch at the Polish Heritage Park and visited the local farm market.

It also took us through the stunningly beautiful Algonquin Provincial Park. Though we didn't stop for a hike or a paddle as we've done in the past, we thoroughly enjoyed the views through the car window.

Another high point of the trip was staying at the charming Spirit Bear B&;B where we were welcomed by this little guy named Eddie.

Eddie's caregivers, Terry and Eva, were wonderful hosts, their home (a former church) was beautifully decorated, our room (complete with rocking chair) was comfortable and well-appointed, and breakfast was delicious. I'd highly recommend Spirit Bear B&B to anyone planning a stay in Bracebridge.

Other than the party itself, the best part of the trip for me was going for a run on Sunday morning before breakfast. I've always thought running was the ideal way to explore a new place and this run didn't disappoint.  Upon leaving the B&B, I first ran through a lovely neighbourhood characterized by century homes with beautiful gardens, then did a little window shopping along main street and ended up on a trail that followed the river's edge past some of the town's oldest historic buildings and into a lovely park. Along the way, I exchanged cheery hellos with the many other runners and walkers out enjoying the warm, sunny morning. By the time I returned to the B&B, I'd fallen a little in love with Bracebridge and felt completely relaxed - like I didn't have a care in the world.

I suppose that's the real value of road trips for me. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new things opens me up so that I can take a fresh look at my life and relax into the present moment.  I'll have to remember that the next time I'm tempted to suggest we stay home rather than striking out on some new adventure.

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