May 18, 2011

Bit By The Travel Bug!

I was born and raised in Arizona. I have lived here all my life. It sounds pretty boring. Right? I know. However, it has been a wonderful place to grow up and then raise my own family. No regrets there. From the earliest time I can remember, though, I have loved to travel. As a little girl I loved road trips. Still do today. Most people moan and complain when they have to drive long distances. But I enjoy this strange past time. As a little girl I loved packing my bags: what clothes to bring, what shoes, what toys can I pack? And what food and candy and snacks are we bringing? It was all very exciting for a little girl. My siblings and I would cram in the back seat. For the most part we would get along fine. But there was definitely a few “You’re taking up too much space!” or “It’s my turn to sit by the window.” or “Ohhh… You’re stinky!” Dad would give us fair warning before his great, big arm would fly over the seat and whack a few naughty kids. Don’t get wrong. Dad was very patient. We got more warnings than we probably deserved, and although his arm was big and long – he was 6’5”, he was a gentle man. But it was effective. For most of the drive we would play games and sing songs.

The big travel bug bit me in High School. As a family we spent 2 weeks in Alaska one summer and twice we went to Hawaii. Alaska was incredible. We enjoyed staying w/cousins, camped at Mt. McKinley, watched Salmon swim upstream, we’re awed and amazed at the beauty of it all, and we saw big, brown grizzly bears- up close! My brother and I had nice, new cameras and we wanted photos of the bears. We crossed the street and started crossing the meadow to get closer. Dad, a daredevil himself, was with us. Mom was screaming from the car “Jim, get back here. You’re too close. Get those kids back here!” We did get some great pictures and no one was eaten alive! Hawaii is, of course, Hawaii. Breathtaking and simply heavenly. It was on those trips that I realized I really loved to travel.

Well, many years later, married with children and raising a family one gets busy. And actually, busy is an understatement. But I love my family and we had lots of great family trips. The traditional trips were to Utah to see relatives, to Lake Tahoe to ski each winter, and every summer to California to enjoy the beach. But we have also had the opportunity to go to some really remarkable places.
These are a Few of My Favorite Places... (see additional posts)

May 17, 2011

A Few Favorite Places in Central & S. America

Argentina! 2 1/2 incredible weeks traveling and meeting the people. Oh, we miss Argentina. We miss the Asado's, dulce de leche, Florida street, the Tango, empenadas and more! We don't miss matte. Well, some do but not me. They could always get the grass clippings from the lawn mower and mix that up.

Go Boca!!
Iguazu Falls: on the Argentine/Brazilian border makes Niagra look like small potatoes! Took an INSANE boat ride to the foot of the falls, "You want go in more?" the little Argentine boat driver would ask in his broken english. We were sopping wet, but we all laughed and screamed "Uno mas! Uno mas!" Hiking through the jungles and seeing the falls from every angle, it was like being in an Indiana Jones movie.

Peru! Darling, kind, generous and TINY people and Llamas everywhere. We kept quoting: "Llama face." and "Oh, good, I'm a Llama again." :)

Then on to the lost city of the Incas: Machu Pichu. Words cannot describe. Awesome, magnificent, majestic, ancient .This time we went back in time 1000’s of years.

Palanque, Mexico. We loved this spot! Ancient Mayan ruins hidden deep in the jungles of southern Mexico.
Agua Azul - Mexico. A hidden paradise! We had never seen such beautiful, crystal clear blue water.
Teotihaucan. The golden city of the Aztecs. We climbed to the top of the Temple of the Moon. Then a few thousand more steps up to the top of the Temple of the Sun!

May 16, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Places in Europe

Rothenburg, Germany! Like stepping through a time machine and going back in time! Where history still breathes from every corner. Cobblestone streets, quant old shops filled with dolls, linens, flowers, cheese, wine, all kinds of knick-knacks and, of course, Nutcrackers!

Paris, France. Big, busy & beautiful! “The City of Lights” they say. True. It’s magical.

Rue de l'Alma where Princess Diana was killed. We were there just months after the accident. The streets and bridge above were still covered with flowers & photos & messages of love. We could see the skid marks and broken concrete where the cars made impact with the walls of the tunnel. It was sad. But we loved the Eiffel Tower – to the very top. We loved the crepes – a family favorite. We loved Notre Dame, the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Versailles and more.

Salzburg, Austria. So beautiful and quant. My son’s wouldn’t be caught dead in the Lederhosen but Ashley thought the Dirndls(dresses) were cute. I loved it all. Old buildings and castles, fortresses, gardens, alps and convents. “The hills are alive with the sound of music”!

Hampton Court Palace. This was my favorite stop on a trip to London, England. England’s finest Royal Palace – 500 years of Royal history by the Thames. And, oh, how I am fascinated by the Tudor’s & King Henry VIII, his many wives and their intriguing, exciting, yet tragic lives. Divorced-beheaded-died-divorced-beheaded-survived. Not a great pattern!

May 15, 2011

A Few of My favorite Places in the U.S.

Mammoth, California. We thought we were back on the Alps!

Washington DC. Been here several times and never tire of it!

New York City: One of my favorite shots on the ferry ride back from the Statue of Liberty. Obviously before 9/11. Here's another picture: very same shot... several years later. Different kids and painfully different skyline with missing Twin Towers!