Thursday, July 13, 2017

Where Have I Been?

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I wish I could say that I've been busy writing, but that is not necessarily true. I took some time to go on a little vacation with my family.  All work and no play makes me unbalanced, and balance is vital in life. Since I've been away, I thought I'd share a little bit of my vacation with you.  If you already follow me on Instagram, you've seen these pictures (and so many more). For those of you who are not IG fans, here is a snippet of my travels.

I absolutely love nature! I think that you all have already figured that out since my Diasodz are connected to the elements.  We visited many national parks, including Yosemite. The ONLY thing thing that I did not enjoy were the mountainside curves.  I'm a flatlands girl; I live in Florida, after all! ;-) My anxiety does not do well with driving precariously close to the edge of a drop thousands of feet above sea level.  Still, being surrounded by nature in all of its glory was so peaceful. I kept thinking of my characters and their affinities to earth, air, water, and fire while on this trip.  Earth is complete because of all of the elements, and I found so much peace with each exploration.

In San Francisco, we rode bikes up to and on top of the Golden Gates Bridge.  The ride kicked my butt, but I refused to give up.  I had to walk up most of the hills, but I managed to make it up one hill, and that was success enough for me. Lol! Atop of the bridge, I took a moment to admire the strength and durability of steel and to realize the amount of trust that we give to it.  In Santa Rosa, I took a hot air balloon ride with my son.  Ar'ch was definitely on my mind with this adventure. ;-)  So was Sofia! The fire used to keep the balloon in the air was fierce!

Oh, Rafe! Sigh... At Crescent Beach, we visited a lighthouse, and scattered around the beach were pieces of driftwood that had washed ashore. The trees were no longer alive, but they were still beautiful! The Redwood National Forest was majestic! There were so many trees that had been struck by lightning, and still they stood.  Their insides had been burned out, but their shells stood strong and tall and continued to provide shelter to animals and life to its surrounding environment.

Crater Lake brought us an unexpected surprise...snow in June! My son had never seen snow before (except on TV), so we spent time throwing snowballs at each other.  It was warm enough for short sleeves (and that says a lot for a Miami girl), yet the snow was still there in all its glory.  Craker Lake was beautiful and peaceful.  You wouldn't think you were standing on top of a volcano, but that it exactly what we were doing!

The Columbia River Gorge has many waterfalls, but this one, Multnomah Falls, was the most impressive.  What was so exhilarating for me was the fact that my father, son, and I hiked to the very top of the waterfall! It was not an easy feat, but we refused to give up, and at the very top, I found this gorgeous little river.  Where the water meets the earth... Sigh...

In Vancouver, we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. While standing on that suspension bridge and looking over at the long-way-down, I remembered a certain promise that Angel made to Rafe. ;-) At Grouse Mountain, my father and I went to the top of a windmill and learned about the incredible power that they harness. :-)

Yellowstone National Forest gave us great views of the animals on the west coast. If you look closely, you will see a large elk in the bottom picture. :-)  The top picture holds a funny memory for me.  My son saw dandelions atop of yet another hill that we hiked and wanted to pick it to blow off the seeds.  I explained to him that the best way to love nature is to keep it alive, so he and I bent down to blow a few of the seeds into the air. As we were rising, my dad was laughing.  When I asked him why, he pointed out the bison chip (manure) that was right next to us. I guess the wind was in our favor (thank you, Ar'ch) because we did not smell it while we were down there. Lol!

I am not the athletic type.  I consider myself a professional spectator. ;-) But when your son asks you to go zip lining and tubing down ski slopes and then challenges you on an obstacle course, you do it. Period. And as you can see, I survived and made my little man a very happy athlete. :-) (For those of you who are curious, this is at Utah Olympic Park.)

Our adventures ended with a peaceful cruise across South Lake Tahoe. It was so serene that my little man fell asleep in my arms, and I enjoyed every moment of it.  The sun on my face, the wind in my hair, the water beneath me, and the earth surrounding me... It was the perfect place to rejuvenate me.

And now, I'm home, and I am ready to finish the final chapters of the Diasodz's concluding novel.  For those of you who are patiently awaiting book five, thank you! I promise that it will be worth the wait. :-)