Crowdsourcing Travel

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Earlier in the month our family was having some difficulty deciding on a vacation destination. Our original plan was to take nine to ten days, but our son couldn’t get the first day off (or approved yet) and a very close friend is getting married during the second weekend. Consequently, our time away was cut down to five days. That’s still a decent chunk of time, and we are very grateful to be able to take our kids somwhere special.

I made a Facebook post solicitating suggestions from my friends. I gave them three criteria:

1. Nothing south of the Mason-Dixon Line

2. Nothing west of the Mississippi

3. Able to enjoy ourselves for 5 days with no air travel.

I’m sharing what places were suggested along with some links to the area tourism and travel guides.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

     Visit Fort Wayne

Maine

     Visit Maine

Nashville and/or Memphis, Tennessee

     Nashville

     Memphis from Lonely Planet

     Memphis Travel – free map and guide

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
     Visit Pittsburgh

Ontario, Canada – Toronto and Niagara Falls (or Niagara Falls, NY)

     Toronto from Lonely Planet

     See Toronot Now

     Niagara Falls, Ontario

     Niagara Falls, NY

General Travel Info

AAA
Lonely Planet

June: School’s Out: Reflection

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School’s Out, but the Learning Continues

My daughter’s already got a list going for the summer activities she wants to complete. Most of it is based on past years and I’m sure some will coordinate with her Snapchat and soon to be Instagram, but that’s okay. She has a soon to be instagram, but that’s okay. She has a good eye. For now, she wants to be a fashion designer, but photography is good in almost any field; I use it for my writing.

Starting next week, school’s ot, but the learning goes on. Everything is a teachable moment, from organizing the clutter coming home from school lockers and desks to cooking and gardening.

Yesterday, I gave my two younger kids a homework assignment. Before June 21st, give me a list of five things you want to do this summer. Three of them must be free. Then add a sixth item with a suggestion of where you might want to take vacation this summer. No airplanes, car trip only, and this is not a guarantee of having a vacation.

Once I get their list, I’ll have them research their vacation item and create a budget.

In addition to that, we also will continue to have our Movie Day each week, two or three taste testings, art and journaling, bicycle rides, tending the yard, and a local history lesson.

What are some of the ways you’re still learning this summer?

27/52 – August

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August is a many headed beast.

It is still summer, so we’re trying to fit in everything we can possibly fit into a month when we should have really started in June. The  month’s only begun, and I feel as though I’ve lost the fight.

On Monday, my daughter had a doctor’s appointment, and while we were “in the neighborhood” we decided to go to the orchard to find some local jams and such for the hostess gift for my mother in law’s cousins who we’ll be staying with in a couple of weeks. Our summer holiday is coming soon!

Wednesday was a spur of the moment visit to the capital to see the painted dogs. (I’ll share more details next week in a travel post.) We spent the whole day driving around the capital, looking at a map of dogs, and taking pictures and selfies of and with the dogs, replicas of the famous RCA Nipper. This is a good addition to our photo collection of cats, horses, and ballet slippers.

Thursday is therapy and getting my hair taken care of.

Friday, we’ll be driving two hours one way for visiting hours for my cousin’s father who just died.

And then the real busy begins: VBS for the little ones, work for the older one, mass, reconciliation, gishwhes, ministry meeting, interfaith meeting, vacation, geocache meet up, my 23rd anniversary, Marian retreat day, school supply shopping, and a quick family visit.

It’s also hot.

Very hot.

But right now, at the very beginning, it feels endless, and so, so busy, but I know that it will fly by much too fast, especially the vacation and the family visits. We will take a ridiculous amount of pictures, and it will be too many, and still not enough.

I think August is the tangible of time is fleeting.

It’s slow and daunting and never ending until it’s over, and then there’s so many things that didn’t happen or get done, and we wonder where all the time went, but it’s right there on the calendar. I don’t think any other month moves in the waves of heat and smog and thunderstorms that August does, ever cloudy and hard to see through, but then the other side is just there.

August.

It ends before it begins.

I’m thinking of a quote from Carrie Fisher‘s most recent book, The Princess Diarist; the one she published close to when she died. Actually, I’m thinking of two of her quotes among a million equally meaningful and  memorable, insightful. There was so much in that book. The voice of forty years in between was full of humor and sadness, and understanding while that forty years passed by like all the Augusts do. The quotes were about looking ahead, being yourself, and letting others judge you, or rather not letting others judge you. Why do we let others judge us? Why do we care what the world thinks? 

She was Carrie Fisher, and she did. What chance do I have?

“I was always looking ahead to who I wanted to be versus who I didn’t realize I already was…”

“Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are.”