Archive for category adventure

A Grand Adventure!

Our family trip to the Grand Canyon was full of so many firsts, so many little boy giggles, alien terrain and moments a camera could never do justice!

This was my first time out west. The towering walls of red sandstone rising up against blue sky were shocking to me. (Considering we live fourteen feet above sea level!) While the boys climbed, explored and brushed off scraped knees, I tried to wrap my mind around the raw talent of mother nature. She is quite the artist:

Time seemed to stretch out like the dusty open landscape. Our body clocks had us rising at 5:30 every morning with the sun. With these longer days, we toured the icy Colorado river on a rafting trip in Page, then made the three-hour drive to the North Rim where we hiked (and I practiced calming breathes and tried not to look over the edge):

At the North Rim, the boys camped in a tent for the first time; made their own marshmallow sticks and  smores; learned about fire, absolute darkness and the importance of checking your shoes for critters before you put them back on.

From there, we drove to Sedona were we toured the massive red rock formations in a jeep and then a rock crawler. Yes, this part of the vacation took a sharp turn into boy territory as we bumped and climbed our way over rocks, choking on dust and searching the area for tarantulas and scorpions. I needed a dose of civilization and culture after this.

So, we drove to a quirky little town called Jerome. One of my favorite parts of our adventure! Jerome used to be a copper mining town, then a ghost town and now a thriving artist community. We ate at The Asylum, which really was a mental hospital-turned hotel/restaurant. Oh yeah, right up my alley! After the mind-bending climb and twisty turns, we arrived:

Then we promptly jumped back in the car as two snarling black dogs ran up the hill straight for us. The staff apologized and had no idea where they came from. The hounds of hell, maybe? The food was worth it:

Along with the creepy decor…

All in all, it was an amazing adventure! Even so, in the end, I was ready to come home. One thing I learned about myself. You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can’t take the Florida out of the girl!

Have you been to the Grand Canyon? What amazing adventure did you have this summer?

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Weekend in Atlanta

Living life outloud. Being fearless. It has to be a decision, right? You can’t just float through life; you have to take the reins, write your own story. I decided my story has to start including more exploring, more adventure and that would have to include flying.  It was time to deal with my fear of flying.  So, this weekend, I held my best friend’s hand, breathed through a lot of anxiety and we met my daughter in Atlanta for the weekend.

Every city has its own flavor and Midtown Atlanta is no exception. I love my little beach town, but I had forgotten how magical diversity is. To experience new sights and sounds, different accents, fashions and  ideas was intoxicating.

We walked to The Flying Bisquet for breakfast the first morning down Peach Street as apple blossom trees, overhanging the sidewalk, showered us with velvety petals like confetti. The hip little eatery was jam-packed with people–some already dressed in funky St. Patty’s day attire–mouth-watering scents and conversations. The food was delicious but the fulfilling part was sitting in that kind of atmosphere, soaking in the creativity of everyone. It truly fed my soul.

That evening, we draped ourselves in plastic green beads, flashy St. Pattty’s day buttons, green glitter and headed to Ri Ra’s Irish Pub for their live music, fish & chips and green beer. We had some great conversations, laughed, people watched…and let me say, people are happy on St. Patty’s day! It is now my new favorite holiday.

It was only a weekend. We only got to walk around the edges of Atlanta, only got to stick a toe in the surface, connect on a level that left me wanting to dig deeper, taste more. There were moments I wanted to savor, moments I wanted to entangled my fingers with, hold on to; then there were places that were dark that I wanted to ignore but couldn’t…a row of homeless tents on the sidewalk, an abandoned building next to an expensive hotel where addictions are fed. But it was a weekend I will never forget, shared with two of the coolest people in my life.

Oh, and just to prove to you how cool my daughter is, she actually ordered oysters for breakfast the next morning. Seriously, for breakfast?! Gotta love her.

I wish I could say I’m over my fear of flying, but it has definitely lost some of its grip on me and I will get back on a plane again. There’s too many cities out there to explore.

Too many adventures await.

So, where will your next adventure be?

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