gratitude: safe travels

Roads, rails, and airways are crowded with people moving from here to there right now.  Holiday travel, they call it, which makes sense.  Sort of.  It is winter break for students and teachers, and folks do like to see their people around the holidays.

Except not everyone is in school, and not everybody celebrates a holiday in December…so why are the roads and airports so freaking crowded?  And, I must say, crowded with people often on the edge of losing their sh*t.  I don’t have firsthand knowledge of the train stations but I’d imagine they’re just as nutty.

Regardless.  I’m grateful for safe travels.  With so many loved ones going place to place, we need our guardian angels in overdrive.

wcw (belated) – the never-ending voyage

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers.  The mind can never break off from the journey.”

–  Pat Conroy

Utuado, Puerto Rico

dropping off the face of the earth (and liking it)

You may have picked up from yesterday’s Share Your World that I spent last week in Puerto Rico and man, do I have some stories to tell you.  Unfortunately, I’ve had a bug for the last 36 hours and can only just now look at my computer screen without wanting to vomit.  (Travel related?  Unrelated?  I don’t know and I don’t care as long as it’s gone.)

So I need some time to gather my thoughts a bit, but until I’ve got my feet under me here’s the bare bones of the matter.

Continue reading

Sunday Snapshot: the Grand Tetons

“Although I deeply love oceans, deserts and other wild landscapes, it is only mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty.  They keep me continuously wanting to know more, feel more, see more.”

–  Victoria Erickson

real world: Bear bangs into big city life

My kids lead a sheltered life.  Shoot, who am I kidding – I’ve led a sheltered life.  There are hardships and then there are hardships, and I’ve got a good handle on where I fall on the spectrum.  BrightSide and I don’t want to raise precious snowflakes.  We want to expose our kids to the world and keep them grounded, but I don’t quite think it’s gone according to plan. 

BrightSide’s company provides incredible travel opportunities.  We’re blessed to go across the country or around the globe, to experience different cultures, to sample new cuisine, and to explore a planet where there are a thousand ways to live a beautiful life.  I’d never give it up, but we know this travel doesn’t immerse T-man and Bear in a daily reality for these cultures.


Which is what made San Francisco so bracing for Bear.

Continue reading

our whirlwind road trip back in time

Our family ran away this week.  In what can only be called a whirlwind road trip we drove to D.C. on Tuesday afternoon, spent the night with BrightSide’s sister, and then we all went to the African American Museum on Wednesday. 

We drove back Wednesday night and got in well after midnight, so my apologies if you dealt with any of our short tempered exhausted selves today.

But the museum…my word, the museum.  Tomorrow’s Forever Family will have our reflections on the experience.  I strongly recommend visiting when you’re able to plan a trip to our nation’s capitol.

Please note:  Entrance is free since the museum is part of the Smithsonian, but due to demand you must obtain a timed entry pass.  There are several options.  Same day timed entry passes are available online beginning at 6:30am ET until supply runs out.  There are a limited number of walkup passes available beginning at 1:00pm daily.  Advance online passes are released monthly and are claimed quickly.  The next release will be for January 2018 passes and is on Wednesday, October 4th at 9:00am ET.  Click here to read more or for links to pass availability.