Archive for the ‘trip’ Tag

Top Ten Favorite Things from our trip to California   1 comment

Our family recently took a trip from the upper Midwestern United States all the way to the Pacific Coast in order to move our son and his books and belongings to grad school. We camped along the way and continued to do so after we turned in the Penske moving truck. Nobody in our family had experienced the Golden State recently and our children–not at all. It was quite an experience in the land of extremes.

Here, in no particular order, are my handselected favorite experiences and most wonderful places of this trip.

1. Like most people who visit it, I would have to start with Yosemite Valley.

2. Watching the water at the Vernal Falls footbridge in Yosemite Valley while everyone under 23 years of age climbed all the way to the top of the falls trail

3. Watching the Pacific Ocean under my feet, while sea lions played in the foam, from the Golden Gate Bridge

4. Our campsite at Portola Redwoods State park was surrounded by our own cordon of redwood guardian sentinels. There were five immense, wise trees around the table and campfire circle.

5. The Old Tree and Slate trails at Portola Redwoods leading to the Old Tree herself

6. Highway 20 east of Grass Valley, the prettiest forest drive I’ve ever seen

7. My oldest son experiencing a banana slug oozing across his face

8. The Humboldt River Valley in Nevada (I realize this particular view was not in California, but it’s still one of the best things about the trip.)

9. Having our cousin from Colorado come along with us the share the work (sorry, E!), the adventures, the stress and the joy!

10. Late night singing of Monty Python and Weird Al songs on the way back to the campground from our day in the Bay area

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Posted September 21, 2017 by swanatbagend in camping, travel journal

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Once in a Lifetime   Leave a comment

People use this phrase to explain how peak an experience is.  You’ve most likely heard it in association with some sort of dream vacation.  I know I did.  When my husband of five years used it of our trip to Alaska, a place, let’s confess, I hoped to return to at least a couple more times, I was a bit displeased.

On the other hand, he probably meant it was a fantastic trip, filled with memorable sights, beautiful scenery, and far from home.  That for sure was true.

What I hoped wasn’t was the literal meaning–that it would not ever happen again.

So far, it hasn’t for a lot of reasons that would be understandable to most adults: children, work, money, you know how it goes.  You can’t take a trip like that every other year; it’s just not practical.

But here’s the thing.

When you get together with friends, you enjoy it; it makes a nice break in the usual routine.  You laugh, have fun, eat something, drink something, talk.  When you leave, you say, “We’ll do this again,” or in some cases where it’s the final dinner before a friend moves out of state, you say, “Take care of yourself.  I’ll miss you.  Let me know when you’re back in town.”

You are working on the assumption that–all things being equal–you will see those people again, enjoy a beer again, laugh and carry on again.

But you won’t have that particular gathering again.  No matter how many times you see the same group of friends or family, it won’t be the same gathering.  It’s unique and discrete by virtue of time and loss.

It’s once in a lifetime.

 

Posted July 13, 2016 by swanatbagend in friendship

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