Travels with Charli (and Stef)



One of my favorite books, and one of the first travel books I ever read, was John Steinbeck’s Travel’s with Charley.  I loved that book. Now we had our own version of that.

When we talked about visiting Stef in B.C. we hoped he could spend a day or two with us. Much to our surprise he was enthusiastic about our visit and suggested that we could go on a short road trip with him and his girl friend Charli. No doubt the possibility of our paying for much of it helped whet his appetite. We ended up going on a 5-day road trip to Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island. And we learned a lot about our son Stef.

It was great to fun travel with Stef and Charli. Stef is a great traveller. He comes from a family of travellers. His grand parents (my parents) were great travellers and I really believe their descendant’s have inherited the travel bug. We all love to travel.

My parents did not even have a car for many years. I remember when they finally bought one and we were able to go on road trips. Our first trip, that I can recall, was one to my aunt and uncle and cousins in St. Catherines Ontario. I was unbelievably excited. I was bit with the travel bug and it has lasted forever. I think all of my children inherited that gene, though one of them, Patrick, who was adopted, earned it by nurture rather than nature. We all love to travel.

But no one in our family loves to travel more than Stef. I know a couple of years ago when as far as I knew he had no money, he somehow managed to make a trip to Belgium to see a big international music festival. I don’t know how he did that, but he did.

As a result of his travels he seems to have friends around the world. Partly that is because he is  a social animal. I don’t know where he inherited that gene. As soon as we got into the car to travel from Whistler, where we picked them up,  to Vancouver Island Stef was bouncing with excitement. His enthusiasm was infectious. Our ears were sore from his enthusiastic tirades. That made it fun for everyone. Poor Charli did her best to hang on. The rest of us tried from time to time, without much success to temper his exuberance. He filled the days with joy.

Stef had researched where we could go and what we should see. Yet , we found out, he was a meanderer like us. We could change course at any time. He just liked to travel. it didn’t matter too much where we went. His grand parents would be proud. His parents were proud. We were amazed at how well he had researched and organized where we could go. Stef and Charli were both very easy to get along with. Both were quite willing to try something new. They were kind and considerate to the old folks, even when they got cranky.

Chris and I were astonished and we loved coming along for the ride. It was great fun. Yet, even though he made many suggestions where we could go, Stef was always happy to take suggestions from others, and change course. A real meanderer. Stef: thanks for the ride! When do we go again?

Leave a Reply