My Return

It has been quite a while since I posted on either of my blogs. I thought I should probably give an explanation as I start writing once again. Over the last few months we have had the great pleasure of hosting some family and friends in our home. These times have been filled with joy, laughter, food, swimming, and exploring our city as much as the restrictions of the virus have allowed. For me, it has been a time of great happiness.

The visitors began with a visit from my oldest son, his female friend, and their two dogs. They traveled across the southern states to arrive at our home a bit worn out and definitely ready to get out of the car. I also had the privilege of meeting a new grand-puppy and seeing once again the other grand-puppy which they had on their last visit. We spent a nice amount of time in our pool. One of the dogs enjoyed swimming with us but the other one did not find the water inviting in any way. My son even cooked an outstanding meal for us on the grill one night. Many of the places which I would have taken them were closed due to the virus, but we still explored a lot of the city, and they were able to see some of what makes the metro area so wonderful. They were able to spend ten days with us before heading back home to Florida.

After my oldest son left, I thought we would not be hosting anyone for a little over a month. Much to my surprise, my youngest son and his girlfriend showed up at our door the Friday before Father’s Day. He had worked out the surprise with my husband and I guess had been planning this all for a few weeks. Once again, we had a great time enjoying the pool and seeing sites around the city. At this point, some places we wanted to see had opened up with restrictions, including Six Flags Over Texas. We were able to also go visit the National Soccer Museum which pleased my son who had been active in soccer throughout his childhood and high school career. It was another enjoyable week and like with my other son, I was sad to see them leave.

The day after my youngest left, I picked up a friend at the airport. He is the son of one of my very close high school friends and wanted to get out of Iowa. We had been talking about his visit for a few months, so I was excited to greet him at baggage claim. Throughout his ten days with us, we had wonderful talks while spending time in the pool. He is going to school in hospitality management, so we went to see one of the premier hotel and convention centers in the metro area. I was amazed at how it looked and all the amenities available for someone who was staying there. It even had a huge fountain which I truly enjoyed. His background also included working for an airline for a period, so he loves airplanes. We went to the Pioneers of Flight Museum located at Love Field. The collection is not a huge one but seeing the planes throughout history, even including space flight, was a lot of fun. On his last night with us, we went out to one of our favorite restaurants where they bring endless amounts of food and meat to your table. Again, I was sad when I took him to the airport and sent him back up north.

As you can tell, I have spent a large amount of my summer spending time with some wonderful family and friends. I have enjoyed showing them the city which we now call home. My time in the pool has grown tremendously. The conversations and sharing of ideas has truly enriched me. However, I have not been able to find a lot of time to sit and write. My limited writing time led me to not post over the last couple of months. Now I am back though, so I hope you will continue to read my blogs. You can expect a couple of posts a week. As always, I enjoy your comments and input.

Traveling Happiness

I am a person who enjoys traveling. One reason that I enjoy traveling so much is that I love to experience and discover new places. Whenever I am in a new community, I am looking for the cultural aspects of the community. The museums, the parks, the festivals, and the unique neighborhoods are a draw for me. Sometimes it might be an amusement park, a zoo, or a city square that I will explore. Each community has its own flair and character that sets it apart from any other place to which I have been. The more time I have in a new location to discover these elements, the happier I become. Many of these opportunities are free which is also a great benefit.

Another exciting part of traveling for me is the actual process of getting to wherever I am going. Whether it be by car or plane (I have only traveled by train and bus once each), there is something about that experience that energizes me. If it is by plane, I find energy when I am in the terminal awaiting my departure. Seeing the different individuals throughout the terminal and creating in my mind scenarios about where they are traveling, why they are traveling, and who they may be traveling with provides me a creative way to pass the time. Boarding the plane and awaiting take off gives me a feeling of setting off on a great adventure with unknowns which generate energy within the suspense.

If I am traveling by car, the possibilities of seeing new sights launches me on moments of discovery. Making those stops along the way allow me to interact with the people and differences of each location for even a brief amount of time. On a recent trip, I learned that cotton is grown in Kansas when I thought sunflowers was that state’s unique crop. I also became aware of the magnitude of the oil wells which exist in the state of Oklahoma. New information which would have been unlikely for me to know if I had not traveled through those states in my car.

The ability to travel also gives me a sense of accomplishment. When I have been to a place and am able to check it off of my list of “famous places I would like to visit,” I feel accomplished. I also enjoy when I encounter a statue, monument, building, or street which I have heard about in a movie or on television. Again, I have a positive feeling of completion in my life.

With traveling there are also some negative aspects. Times when delays or unexpected hurdles occur. Long periods of just sitting on a plane or in a car. Missing an exit while you are driving. Having your luggage not arrive at your final destination when you do. All these negative aspects are small to me in comparison to the great feeling of euphoria which I experience when given the opportunity to travel.