Stories from a special Segway spin

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“An adventure doesn’t have to be dangerous…just try something new” – Michael Watson

I can’t stand the term ‘bucket list’! I understand lists, I’m the personality type who loves them. I comprehend A lists, B lists, C lists and so on and even the when I’m over 65 list, but ‘bucket list’ makes me crazy! No matter. I am a girl who makes lists and regardless of title, significance, importance or number, I think riding a Segway was on one of mine. And, if you’re anything like me, the satisfaction that comes from ticking something off the list is almost as exhilarating as the list item itself. Segway ridden…check!

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“And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” – Shanti

Back in February, I attended the San Diego Travel and Adventure Show and the San Diego Segway Tours people were there. In the hour before the event opened to the public, the area was quiet, there were no large crowds and aside from the cool mechanics, knowing me, I was enticed by the flourescent glint of the shiny orange cones and the bright yellow helmets. I gave it a shot-and I lived. Attending as press got me early entrance, access to chat with people, a yellow folder, and in the folder – two VIP vouchers for a Segway ride in San Diego anytime throughout the rest of 2015. Having seen hundreds of them whiz by in city after city, this was too much to pass up. And off we went!

Segway riding at the park

“A year ago I would’ve never pictured my life the way it is now” -anonymous

We opted for the 3 hour adventure through Balboa Park at 9am on a Sunday morning. Why Sunday? Well, for only the second or third time in the past six months, it was supposed to rain all day on Saturday and only in the afternoon on Sunday-so we took a shot. It was as if something intervened and it had to be on Sunday – and I thought I knew why. Sunday, the 19th of July is my grandmother’s yartzeit (anniversary of her death). Now, my siblings and cousins will tell you that there’s no way they could see Grandma on a Segway. She didn’t drive on parkways, but, she sure did love an adventure.

“Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day…unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear” – unknown

In her mid-to-late 60s, she took up traveling. She and her friend Sylvia (the grandmother of some of my cousins) would hop on a Tauck Tour to traverse the US and they loved every bit of it. She’d share stories of her escapades and those of other relatives in her youth who also loved to travel. Maybe that bit of explorer blood came from her gene pool and landed somewhere in my DNA strand, who knows. She helped me take that first overseas trip to Israel and I now know we share that love of travel. I thought it quite fitting that we (and Grandma) went on an adventure together on that Sunday. Once again, it felt like she was with us on this crazy, two wheeled motorized ride.

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“As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination.” – unknown

According to Rachael, our guide, the tour traversed over ten miles/sixteen kilometers through the city and Balboa Park. I’ve driven to the park, walked to the park, taken a bus to the park, but this was something new. Leaning forward with pressure on our toes to get up the hills and then with that same force on our heels to slow, we meandered our way through streets and park trails. Weaving around pedestrians, runners and even the errant tree limb, the wind hit our faces as the sun streamed through the bright blue sky. As we passed the international houses, museums, Cabrillo bridge and the fountain at the Prado, views of the city peaked through pockets in the park. I’m not sure we got as much historical detail as a hop on hop off bus tour, but for us, today, this was not the purpose. Our intent was to try something new, remember Grandma, have an adventure and see ‘America’s finest city’ on two wheels-and that we did.

Segway at Spreckles

“Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.” – unknown

Funny how the sky smiled throughout our entire ride and then shortly after we finished opened up for that expected rain. The world works in mysterious ways. I’m not sure that I’d plunk down heaps of cash for another trip, but that Segway experience was definitely fun. As for the worries that came with it-all limbs, fingers, toes and teeth were in tact when we finished our journey. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity for the experience and even happier to know that on this day, we could once again share something with Grandma that was bound to make her smile.

Happy travels!

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