Secret Getaways

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Take me away to a snow filled place

Just you and I

Where the cold welcomes me

My breath freezes on the wind

It is my dream to sleep beneath

the stars with snow all around

A magical place of snow and ice

You are my warmth, my shelter

I want to wake to the sunrise

surrounded by a sea of white

Just you and I

Your arms encircle me

We are alone in the snowy land

I find peace in the icy quiet

Noises muted on the snow covered world

Crystals shimmer like the dust from a fairy

No tropical masses

No sun drenched beach

Just you and I beneath the stars

Snuggled in out of the cold

with soft blankets and each other

Just you and I

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Anticipation

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We live in a world of instant gratification.  Our documents can be received in the blink of an eye.  We are able to call anyone, anywhere, anytime, we choose.  News travels at the speed of light.  What happens when we stop to truly wait for something?

Wait for it….

Are you still with me?….

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Finally the moment arrives!  The anticipation of an event bursts into reality.  Like bubbles floating on the wind, bursting at the slightest touch of a blade of grass.  The wait is over!

The past few months have been an epic marathon of anticipation for me.  I had to wait for my favorite holiday.  Then I had to wait again for another.  Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough.  The celebrations of birthdays stood patiently in line waiting to be noticed. Snowfall in my region was waited on by me (alone, I think).  2015 couldn’t get here soon enough.  I happily ushered out 2014 and embraced the start of a new year!  With all the activity around me I have not been on a roadtrip in a while.

My anticipation is nearing it’s end!  I leave in just a few short hours on my first family roadtrip of 2015!  I love traveling in the winter.  The cool crisp air is refreshing when you step out of your vehicle, for a much needed stretch.  Traffic is lessened by the absent vacationers.  The scenery is clear, vistas are not hampered by foliage.  I feel free!

As I gather all the added essentials for our winter excursion, I feel warm.  The cozy moments gathered with loved ones feel….warmer.  The warm splash of an indoor swimming pool, while you look out the huge picture windows at snow drifts, feels warmly refreshing. The smiles of the kiddos warm your heart and soul.  The wind will howl.  The snow may fall. The winter weather will continue to slow travel plans.  Yet it is the anticipation of this winter roadtrip that makes all the extras worth it.

Travel well my friends!

‘Cuz I’m Weird Like That

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No! I am standing in rebellion! My fists are balled at my sides and I might even stomp my feet! I love change but this is too soon!  I don’t want winter to be over.

I know, I know, everyone is sick and tired of the cold, the snow and the basically depressing weather outside their doors. But hear me out…When those first light flakes fall to the earth in an icy dance, I feel peace.  An all-encompassing quiet in my heart that makes me smile.

Think of your favorite childhood toy.   Think of how it felt in your hands, not your hands of adulthood but your tiny, uncoordinated child sized fingers.  Is it soft?  Does it make noise?  Maybe it was an item that fit perfectly in your little palm.  Think of the way you felt when you had your favorite toy…

That joyous, peaceful, “I’m in my own world” feeling is exactly how I feel when it snows.

Goodbye winter, I will miss you.
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Traveling The Unknown

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The road twisted through the hills.  Winding up a narrow stretch to fall gracefully into the valleys below.  The view from the window suggested I was in a strange, brown world of Dr. Seuss.  Large, furry caterpillars reclined on the hillsides.  Golden spikes burst from the chocolate earth.  Tangled branches reached for the heavens, begging for the sun to warm them.  Everything in various shades of brown and grey.

Little homes dotted the landscape.  They look abandoned and desolate, no movement can be seen.  Occasionally another traveler passes by, on their way to their destination.  I move forward, curious to find the next hidden getaway.  A sign beckons me to turn my car around.  Up a narrow dirt road, off the beaten path, I climb.  The sign announcing the entrance is weather-beaten.  The drive meanders into a forest.  Following the little driveway, I find patches of snow still clinging to each other trying to outlast the warmth of the day.  They squish under my tires making my tiny car slide.  I accelerate and move beyond their reach.  The lane curves into an open meadow.  The grasses cut short by last autumns mowing.  Green sprouts of new life are just showing in the tan expanse, giving the field an unnatural hue, like the earth is glowing green from within.  I drive slowly on looking for signs of modernization. 

There is no feeling like the feeling of adrenaline.  I feel a rush every time I explore an unknown part of this world.  I return to the areas I enjoy.  I want to show everyone that will journey with me the little gems I have found.  Whether it is a pristine vista, a historic monument or a private retreat, I want to share my excitement with the community of travelers. 

My hope and prayer for all of you is that you find an adventure in your life that gives you a personal feeling of peace.

Travel well my friends. 

Winter Is Dying

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The days have grown longer, sunshine brightens my mornings.  It has been a long cold winter on The Great Plains.  Weather personalities speak of a Polar Vortex, sweeping down to consume us all in the arctic air of the north.  I feel like the great Alaskan Malamute that lives down the street from me.  As the snow piles higher, that beautiful, cold loving, hound, prances on his daily walks with his master.  One very bitter morning, as I was shoveling my front walk, I thought I saw him smile.  I feel the same way about this quiet, chilly time of the year.  The snuggles are freely given, movie marathons with “blanket beds” retain almost no guilt for tasks left undone, and hot tea warms your body and soul.  I love winter.

In the last few days my fantasies have turned to blissful green meadows, flowers blooming, neighbors chatting, walking a little slower from building to building, just because of the warmth in the air.  Soon inhabitants of the quiet houses all throughout the city will wake from our sloth laden slumbers.  As the sun warms this area of the world, we too shall wake.  I dream of the sunshine warming my hair.  The smell of fresh turned dirt sparks in my memories.  I hear the laughter of children playing in their yards.

It is still just a dream.  Winter has not released her grasp on us, yet.  The air is cold.  Jack Frost will visit again tonight.  I will continue to dream of spring.  While I am awake I will relish every cold moment.  For everything changes and soon winter will pass along to spring.

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A Day For Lovers

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Snow blankets the earth, you are by my side.

We sit, snuggled under a blanket,

watching our fingers intertwine.

Your voice whispers to me, “stay here.”

I feel your heartbeat next to mine.

Gentle, falling, lacy crystals

entice us to remain.

The day will pass, outside my door.

We will embrace forevermore.

 

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Frivolous Friday

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I sat ensconced in warmth, munching salted chips, thinking the world looks cold.  People pass by, bundled, trying to keep the icy air at bay.  The police officer writing tickets for the parking meters looks like Ralphie’s brother from A Christmas Story.  Her arms are stiff from all the fluffy padding of her winter attire.  The homeless man with all his earthly possessions, wheeling behind him, is moving tirelessly.  He pauses for only a few moments to rest before moving off, around the corner out of my sight.  I hope he finds somewhere warm and safe to pass the rest of the day, out of the biting cold.  College kids hurry past, heads down racing to the next building on campus before they freeze.

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The music is too loud here, so my mind blocks out all the noise and I focus outside where the sound is released to collide with other sounds.  The conversations echo off one another.  I am trying to focus on the conversation with my friend but between bites of food and my brain shutting out all the noise, it is difficult.

The gentle sloping roof of the building next door makes me wonder why all buildings are not built with curves.  The roof line looks elegant.  Plus with the recent snowstorm the weight of the snow slid gracefully off the roof to pile on the grass below.  The huge art in the grassy area near the curved roof structure is still covered with snow.  The snow adds to the towering monolith, making it seem more robust.

“What do you want to do today?”

I think he asked it twice.  My mind slowly starts firing on ideas.  I smile at him, “Let’s get out of here.”  I say.  “Road trip?”  He smiles back.  One of our favorite pastimes.  He is always up for one of my ‘I-have-no-idea’ kind of ideas.  We bundle up to leave the noise and the picture window behind.

The muffled sounds of the city are a welcome relief for me.  Gone is the blaring music, the cacophony of voices and the racket of a kitchen.  We parked close, to avoid the prolonged cold.  He drives.  I drive like a bat out of hell, so his slower more relaxed style is better for us on these drives.  We head west out-of-town to no where in particular.  I snap pictures as we drive.  I have a general destination in mind but no exact direction is necessary.  I love to just be away, even if it is for just a few hours.  I work on a project, we talk, we absorb the world around us as it flies past us outside the windows.
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The rolling hills go on and on.  We pass a cemetery that has a historic marker posted by it’s entrance.  We pass through small towns that have fur trader businesses, where stacks of furs are covered in snow waiting to be cured and made into…something.  Every town we visit has at least one church and one bar.  What an interesting combination.

Returning home I feel refreshed and relaxed.  My boys are home from school.  It is rejuvenating to travel, even for just a few hours, but it is the coming home I love the most.
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No Snocalypse Here

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The memories I have of traveling as a young child / young adult shaped the traveler I am today.  The scenes of the world flashing by the window of the car as we drove to the next destination inspired my imagination.  Walking in territory undiscovered by me kept my interest flowing.  The discovery of a new part of the world excited my determination.

When weather predictions declare snowfall during a road trip weekend I must take precautions.  In light of the polar vortex weather this year I felt the predictions warranted my caution.  I am an adventure seeker and most weather conditions will not deter my travels.  This trip was not planned or necessary.  One of those just-for-fun kind of weekends.  I love traveling, just for the sake of being away.  Yet for some reason I decided to cancel my travels and snuggle into my home to wait out the storm.

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The blessings of staying local when you want to be away can be enormous.  I am able to enjoy unexpected visitors, warm morning breakfast in bed, great conversations with friends and of course the gently falling snow outside the window…or not.  As I tried to keep my heavy eyelids from shutting for the night, my vision beheld not one little white, lacy, flake floating down to rest on the earth.  Not one.  I gave up the hard fight and went to slumber in my bed hoping to awake to a winter wonderland of snow, at least 2 inches.  Bounding out of bed to greet the “snocalypse” of February 1st 2014, I was ecstatic.  Alas, it was not to be with this storm.  I awoke to a light dusting of the fine, powdery crystals.  My heart sank.

Yet, the trade-off of travel for the company of people who restore my soul is much more valuable than a new vista.  I awoke to not mountains of snow but mountains of familiarity and love.  My car was graced with a snow note, the breakfast was lovingly prepared, and the community of my heart rejuvenated.

Travel well my friends.

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