On the road once more,
I just can’t wait to get back on the road.
The classic Willie Nelson song must play again and again in the mind of Richard Craftchick and in the minds of the legions of senior travelers at the Sunshine Travel Club.
The last full season of excursions for the popular club dates back to 2019.
“In 2020 we had a successful February trip to Varadero Cuba,” said Craftchick, chairman of the club’s board.
In March 2020, Sunshine devotees gathered at Grand Gardens to socialize and plan excursions for the upcoming season.
Then COVID changed everything.
The wheels of the bus came to an abrupt stop. With the exception of two glorious days of fall foliage tours in October—when things on the COVID front were starting to look promising—there were no tours.
“I’m sure everyone feels like the last twenty months have gone on forever. Of course, and I can’t help but think of all the wonderful tours that could have taken place during that time,” said writes Craftchick in the Sunshine Club newsletter, which has 3,500 subscribers.
“It’s been a real struggle for all of us who love to travel and have the opportunity to visit new places and meet new friends along the way,” he said.
In October, 68 customers signed up for the one-day fall foliage tour.
“Not wanting to disappoint anyone, we decided to relaunch the tour on October 6, to ensure that everyone who showed an interest in this tour would be accommodated. The tour was amazing, with beautiful weather, spectacular colors and the wonderful sounds of chatter and laughter in the coach,” Craftchick wrote.
It was an indication of how many excursions had been missed and how eager people were to hit the road.
“We could have taken a bus to Blind River for a cup of coffee and we would have filled a bus,” Craftchick said.
Like the rest of the world, Craftchick wishes he had a crystal ball that could tell him when things would return to some sort of normality.
The constant closings, openings and closings make planning trips nearly impossible. This puts people in the travel industry such as restaurants and hotels on their heels.
Anyway, the Sunshine Club is planning for 2022. It looks like the excursion ideas will be limited to Canada for now.
He adds that, as with the successful foliage tour in October, all safety precautions are followed on the trips. Wearing a mask and vaccinations are compulsory.
Sunshine travelers use the services of AJ Busline and Craftchick raves about the company’s new bus which features state-of-the-art air exchange and filtration you can smell right away .
Craftchick says travelers are more than willing to follow the rules because it makes them feel safer and more comfortable.
“At the moment, we have no idea what the situation will be in March 2022. The long-term plan contains quite aggressive statements regarding the removal of certain health restrictions, but it is entirely dependent on the health situation at that time. time,” he said.
Next year will mark 60 years of the Sunshine Club.
Group participants are a unique breed where friendships are built and strengthened through travel.
While the years 2020 and 2021 will be marked with asterisks, one thing is certain.
The bus will roll again and the laughter, friendship and memories will follow.