Welcome to Small Reflections

"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
I hope you enjoy your visit. If you're looking for something specific, check out the links to posts by category in my sidebar and down a ways. They'll assist with tracking down different types of posts found on each of my three blogs. You might also enjoy checking out the other sites: Sacred Ruminations, Blog Rolls, Bling & Blurbs, and Happily Retired Gal.

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Fun Monday #8 - Favorite Vacation(s)

(Thanks to Betty for this nifty Fun Monday graphic)

Fun Monday is hosted this week by

We're asked to write about: "Vacations .... this is the time of year when most of us go on vacations. Show us and/or tell us about your favorite vacation - where you went, what you did, etc. Pictures would be great. Let's all take a trip around a the world via our FM friends!!"

I've taken some wonderfully memorable trips in my lifetime ...

--some with my family of origin (the 1st of which was to Sequoia & Yosemite) when I was about 12 or 13

--two extended trips with my sister during summer break from teaching (around the USA in 1966 and through 13 European countries in 1967 - (see 101 Things About Me #65-67)

--many with my 'ex' (our 1st was to Big Sur in our Triumph GT6 where I camped for the 1st time in a brand new 9x9 ft. tent and slept in a sleeping bag ON THE GROUND for 3 nights before going in search of a mat to put between my aching body and the 'pebbles' that felt like 'boulders' by that 3rd day). We 'gradually' upgraded over the years ... moving from tent camping to a VW Bus ... then a Dodge Van (behind which we towed an 18' bass/ski boat and in which we hauled 2 Honda 70 minibikes for trail riding) ... and finally an 18 ft. Excel Travel Trailer in which we spent many pleasurable times in Big Bear and various San Diego County campgrounds.

--several 'water-skiing' trips with my extended family (siblings with spouses & kids on houseboats at Lake Powell and Lake Shasta) between1989 and 1996

--many trips to Hawaii with a friend who went there often on business between 1990 & 2001 (mostly on Oahu & the big island of Hawaii, but once to Maui when I attended a week-long Writers Conference there in the Fall of 2001, shortly after retiring from teaching)

--two cruises (the 1st to Alaska in the late 1990s and the 2nd to the Caribbean a couple of years ago). My sister & I each got 'air brushed' tatoos on the Caribbean tour ... she's wearing black shoes (sorry that her 'heart' tatoo is out of focus) and I'm wearing my favorite Keens sandals below (with a butterfly tatoo):

--and last year I drove to Taos, New Mexico in my Explorer for another week-long Writers Retreat ... (after dropping Molly off at Camp Ilene in Corona where she 'vacationed' and played with fur-friends for a couple of weeks). Notice how the dogs come to see who the latest 'arrival' is ... and, of course, she's made many friends because she's stayed there before.

That week in Taos (and the people I met there) got me started blogging on October 22, 2007. I've written of this experience previously in 101 Things About Me (#84-88) the following posts:
--Remembering Taos (contains journal entries & photos taken on a Morning Meditation Walk onto Pueblo Indian Lands),
-- On Growth & Courage (highlights some transitional steps)
-- Taos: Remembrance & Change (reflects on the entire experience)
-- Giving & Receiving (shares two pivotal experiences with other participants)
-- Reconnections (written one week after my 1st blog post)
-- Reflections (written as I succeeded in loading my very 1st photo from that Taos trip)

But RETIREMENT is the absolute BEST 'vacation' ever!!!

Note: I only have photos of the most recent ones available in my computer because I've only had a digital camera for a few years. One day perhaps I'll scan old snapshots so they'll be available, but not today ... because I've got TENNIS to watch (the French Open started yesterday) and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS to read between now & Thursday (when Book Club meets to discuss it).

Vacation Thoughts for Today
"Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not." William James

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in."
Robert Orben

"Laughter is an instant vacation." Milton Berle


Hootin' Anni said...

I just hafta agree there my friend. Retirement IS THE BEST vacation ever!!

And guess what? I have a butterfly tattoo on my right ankle! But mine was done with a needle. Tell me now, what is meant by an airbrushed tattoo? Is it a forever tattoo without the pain or what? Inquiring minds wanna know!

storyteller said...

Hootin’ Anni – Air brushed is painted … (just like it sounds) … painless and short-lived. It lasted about 9 days and I’d love to do the real thing, but each time I check it out I’m told that I shouldn’t get it THERE because it’s the most painful spot because it’s right on the bone. Since you have one there, what advice would YOU offer? Is yours just above the ankle-bone like my 'airbrushed' one?
Hugs and blessings,

Sayre said...

I adore Taos. I haven't been in so long (actually in another life). I hope to go back again someday!

Anonymous said...

Nice post! Taos looks very interesting. I agree that our everyday vacations afforded us in retirement are wonderful...

Tina Coruth said...


Great post. Your sandals look very comfortable and they are very pretty!

I love the Taos collage. Excellent photos. :-)


Alison said...

we have done many of the same vacations in the same places, camping and houseboating!! Taos looks beautiful, I will have to visit some day, maybe when we retire!!

You will love the book...it was wonderful, better than the Kite Runner, in my opinion!!

Thanks for playing this week..

Betty said...

I enjoyed your pictures and reading about some of the places you have visited. I am going to show pictures of our trip last year to Yellowstone plus some other places we visited while on that same trip. Going to work on it right now.

Hope you are having a good Memorial Day.

Alison said...

I added you to the list also!!!

storyteller said...

Sayre – This was my first visit to Taos, but I plan to return for sure.

Ellen B – I loved staying at the Mable Dodge Luhan House and recommend it as a destination.

Tina – Thanks. Those were my first pair of Keens … and I wore them EVERYWHERE on that cruise!

Alison – The entire area around Taos is lovely too! When you do visit, be sure to drive the ‘Enchanted Circle’ and the ‘High Road’ from Tao to Santa Fe … stopping everywhere. I’m glad to hear that about the book because my neighbor didn’t think it was a good as Kite Runner! Thanks for adding me to the Fun Monday list ;--)

Betty – I’m glad you did … and I’ll look forward to visiting you later once you get yours published.

I appreciate each of you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. My compliments to Alison for this ‘fun’ Monday challenge! Creating my post was a pleasure and visiting others is delightful too, but soon I need to stop and read today.
Hugs and blessings,

Olivia said...

I, too loved what you wrote about retirement being the best vacation ever...great post! blessings, O xxoo

Pamela said...

I'm really jealous.
(I know... you can't help it if you're beautiful!. ha ha ha)

Anonymous said...

The pictures of Taos are beautiful, looks like a place I would like to visit. thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Memories of travel are wonderful to own. It's the memories of the simple things that we do and see everyday that connect us to the universe.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

My husband glanced at the screen over my shoulder as I read this, saw your Keen's and said, "Wow, great shoes!" He's wearing his Keen sandals right now, but likes yours better. :)

ChrisB said...

Lucky you to have done a lot of travelling and I love the collage.
I would love to be able to travel more but now I have the time I don't have the funds so seeing the world this way is the next best thing.

storyteller said...

Olivia – I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy my ‘retirement’ as I do … living simply and doing interesting things with my time.

Pamela – I just tend to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative whenever possible because life ‘works’ better that way.

Grace – I thoroughly enjoyed the week I spent there and highly recommend it as a destination. There’s lots to see and do, but it’s also wonderful to just ‘be’ there … and write. Of course, there’s no place like home.

Olive - Amen to that! I couldn’t agree more.

MPJ – Tell him I think he’s got excellent taste to choose Keens. The style I wear is called Venice (if memory serves). My sister wears the Newport style Keen came out with originally because they fit her narrow foot better.

ChrisB – I have been fortunate indeed. These days I like being home more than traveling … and it’s a good thing because I don’t have the ‘discretionary funds’ to visit places I’d like to see (like Australia and the Mediterranean countries). The photos of Antigua were awfully tempting however weren’t they?

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for spending a bit of it with me. Fortunately it’s raining in Paris … so I’ve made some progress in the book. I just stopped by the computer briefly. I’ll be reading it again soon because I’ve got class on Tuesday & Thursday mornings and Book Club meets Thursday afternoon at 4pm.
Hugs and blessings,

Sai Hijara - Ferraris said...

I echo! Retirement indeed is the best vacation...do they offer it at 30, so I can retire next year?!

And I wish we have airbrushed tat here...maybe I will get a butterfly tat...like Anni... ;)

Have a nice week!

Molly said...

Hmmm, thanks for the retirement comment. I am still working (at 61), but I find myself pondering retirement.

storyteller said...

Mariposa – It’s a funny thing, but until I retired (at the age of 56) … I never gave ‘retirement’ a thought because I loved what I was doing. If you’re thinking about it at 30, perhaps it’s time to consider changes to the ‘work’ in which you’re engaged … so that it’s something you love to do? As for the tattoo … I wish the air-brushed kind lasted more than 7-10days!

Molly – I’ve never been sorry I opted to accept the ‘Golden Handshake’ in 2001, and have been delighted with the opportunities available to me ever since. Just follow your heart and trust your intuition ;--)

Thanks to both of you for visiting. Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Hugs and blessings,

Karen said...

If only our society encouraged everyone to take full vacations...my husband actually carried over 11 vacation days from last year to this...I didn't even realize he had that much left.

Momisodes said...

Ahhh, retirement does seem like the best vacation ever! I would love to visit New Mexico and Hawaii. Those are 2 places on my list of places I want to see :)

storyteller said...

Karen – Amen to that! I suspect we all do better on the job when we’re rested and take occasional breaks. Everyone wins!

Sandy – Both are beautiful for different reasons … well worth visiting. I hope you get to both ;--)

Thanks for your comments … and make it a delightful day!
Hugs and blessings,

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