I can hardly believe that 2013 is behind us. It is time for a bit of reflection. What a great year this has been and I am thankful for the opportunities I have been able to grasp. Traveling is always an adventure and an opportunity to explore, experience and expand my horizons. During each trip I attempt to capture moments in my memory and photography.
The sisters traversing the Panama Canal – January 2013
January - A flight out of the cold, snowy Northeast down to beautiful warm Fort Lauderdale. It was a joy to strip off the heavy jackets and soak up the sunshine. We marveled at the colorful flowers. Leaving Florida behind we cruised to several Caribbean islands for fun in the sun. Then on to the highlight of our trip – the Panama Canal. What a marvelous undertaking and I am so glad we took the time to do our research. It made the whole adventure so meaningful. 2014 marks the 100 Anniversary of building the canal.
Everglades National Park
Upon returning to Florida, we spent a few days in the Everglades National Park learning about the ecosystem of this massive tropical wetlands –1.5 million acres. This is home to alligators, crocodiles, manatees, a variety of birds, including eagles, osprey, egrets, roseate spoonbill, cormorants, and so many more. It was really difficult to leave this warm climate to head back to snowy, cold Northeast.
March – Spent a few days at a lovely, well-equipped rental home on Norman Lake in North Carolina with dear friends. Weather was nice — a bit cool but mostly sunny. We did a bit of hiking, lots of chatting, plenty of snacking, and explored the gorgeous grounds of the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. We sat on the dock every evening feeding the ducks day-old bread. They didn’t really enjoy the popcorn, but we did! These few days were so much fun and relaxing we plan to do it again in 2014.
Walking along the California Coast – windy and foggy!
August - Another quick trip. This time to California to visit my “Alaskan Adventure” roommate in Palo Alto. What a great time sipping wine, tasting chocolate, reminiscing, chatting into the evening, hiking, zip-lining, walking the California coast, eating plenty, and relaxing.
Wonder where the two of us will venture off to this coming year?
Lots of fun, lots of laughter, lots of sunshine in the beautiful blue sky
September - For several years now, Labor Day weekend has been set aside for the family reunion in Madison, New York. Weather was fantastic and we all had a marvelous time sharing and caring for each other. The kids spent most of the weekend either fishing or swimming under supervision, of course. Meals were plentiful and the camp fire with s’mores a delight. The highlight of the weekend was the hayride.
Thanks, Patty and John for being terrific hosts! See you all in 2014.
Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
November - And the final trip which had been on Patty’s bucket list for 10 years and finally booked 13 months ago was the mule ride to the bottom of Grand Canyon with an overnight at Phantom Ranch. It was a bit scary in September when the government closed down the National Parks. Would we be able to go????
Yes, the day arrived and off we went to Arizona to do a bit of hiking near Flagstaff and Sedona before heading to the Grand Canyon. It is hard to anticipate what the inner canyon is like when you only stand at the top looking across this massive area — 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Every year, about 5 million people stand at the South Rim lookouts to marvel at the massive canyon below. It is breathtaking and as the sun sets in the evening and rises in the morning the color transformation is exquisite. I am thankful for the opportunity to stand at the top looking down and travel to the bottom and look up. I am thankful for the opportunity to experience the magnitude of the inner canyon, see the beautiful green Colorado River and enjoy the peaceful evening at Phantom Ranch.
I have been blessed this year to have had so many experiences, so many adventures. It has been a pleasure to pull together pictures, journals and videos to share with my readers. Have a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014, and, look for your own adventures, wherever you may be.