The last time I travelled BC19 was February 2020 for a mid-winter escape to Curaçao. Nothing else until 2 weeks ago when I had to take a trip in order to check in on my 84 yo mother. Covid numbers are ‘manageable’ but the Country and Province in which I live is not fully open by any stretch of the imagination. Out of country travel/vacations are not on my itinerary atm!

I thought I would write about my experience, though, because it was a different than normal.

The travel distance was 340 km, and can take from 3-4 hours depending on traffic. I gassed up before departure at my regular place, and drove the entire distance without a break. (Normally I break at the midpoint for lunch or a snack in a cute tourist town with nifty cafes.) I checked into my hotel (masks mandatory and plexiglass across the check-in counter) and was advised that there would be no housekeeping for the duration of my stay (3 nights) but if I needed new sheets or towels, all I had to do was ask. My room was super clean, but stripped back. No pen or pad of paper for making notes, no brochures or info mags, no glasses or toiletries in the bathroom except what was affixed to the wall of the bath/shower. Two paper cups in cellophane by the coffee maker, though. Lots of towels and wash clothes - more than are usually set out and certainly enough for me. There was a small on-site restaurant that I did not use. Room service suspended.

Few masks on the city streets during quiet times, but when activity picked up, and at the daily farmer’s market near my Mom’s building, vendors and customers alike wore masks. Masks required to enter any building. Some restaurants were still take-away only, but most had spaced out indoor dining and quite a few had patio set-ups or a table or two outside. Servers wore masks. Menus were printed on paper that could be disposed of. One place encouraged using a phone to access the restaurant website for the menu.

I carried a copy of my vaccination confirmation. The only place I needed it was when we visited my mother’s husband (96 yo - not my dad) in long term care. Temperatures were taken, we signed in and out, name, address, telephone #, and a screening questionnaire, masks. The staff and visitors all wore masks, but not the residents.

We did not go shopping, but did visit a bank. Hand sanitizer, masks, plexiglass. We considered a museum, but time slots needed to be reserved, and were booked up for the duration of my stay, so n/a.

On the way home I did stop to gas up and have lunch at my favourite cafe in the cute town. It was take-away only, but it was a nice day and there were new pic-nic tables in a nearby green space.

In a couple of weeks I have another trip. I will be staying overnight in the ‘Big City’ with DS#2 for a couple of nights (time to replace his occular prosthetic). We have been advised by the places we contacted in advance for booking appointments and accommodations that masks are required. DS#2 is to attend his appointment alone (waiting room is n/a until further notice). We will be dining out, and I hope we can do a little (targeted) shopping.

For those who have been doing any travelling recently, how has the experience been compared to BC19?