Tag Archives: nature

Words on Wednesday …

26 Aug

Needing to escape the funk and keeping my vision board promise to myself I filled up the gas tank, packed the car, and went off on a RainMan road trip adventure with the kids.

Never been there before, but it was on the list, see this majestic being. And I stood there and soaked it in. From all angles I took my time to just sit there and appreciate it.

The Great Outdoors

The air. We just took a little extra that day and it filled me with peace.

But I guess a lot of people were looking for the same kind of wonder because for a middle-of-the-week escape there were quite a few people. Everyone was tying to get a nature makeover and Sequoia National Park was the place to make that happen.

We still enjoyed ourselves, masks and all. It was good to escape the city and make it all the way to the sequoias. Something about being in that giant tree forest helped me forget about all the excess, even if it was for a brief moment.

I was in it, I was present and I felt that reset button hitting itself. I was even more grateful that it happened for the kids too.

I was grateful I could give them the escape and views that helped rejuvenate their spirits. Being restricted by Covid has minimized our summer adventures but I was so appreciative for this one. Glad we got to see General Sherman and all of his awesome giantness. It was definitely worth the drive.

My jar of awesome got another note and our family spirit got that boost we needed before school started. Hoping you find yours …

Buen Camino!

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Weekend Moments on Wednesday

22 Jul

When I saw the crowds I thought this was a terrible mistake. We should have woken up earlier, we should have gone to some remote beach at daybreak.

But we wanted something different, something a little special. Nowadays little special somethings go a long way. The Great Outdoors has always afforded me an opportunity to do that, but because of the current pandemic situation, life has been limited.

Crowds are something that isn’t, unfortunately.

When you’re at a concert or game they’re great! You feel the vibe and energy. But when I was trying to find peace. Not so much. Even before the pandemic. Crowds burned me out. The beach. The Park. Morning runs. Lakes. I avoided them. Or at least tried.

So I was grateful for the long hike up the mountain, even though I wasn’t a fan of hiking, it proved to be a good step back, for a positive forward move. You see, not many people managed that. Most of the crowd walked a couple yards and stayed close to the road or parking. Half a football field, I guess. Their lack of exercise was my gain. As most people didn’t want to hike up the mountain and venture further up. The fact that they weren’t socially distancing or wearing masks was concerning. I thought this outing was going to be a disaster. But turns out the more we hiked the less people we found. The hidden nature escape appeared.

The Outdoors became the Kodak moment that made the day better. A recharging station for when your depleted spirit needed it most.

Something about nature turned it around. Especially when we discovered a surprise…

Waterfalls bring smiles. Especially on a 12th birthday.

The entire adventure helped bring about some wonderful firsts, like first time fishing in a river, first time losing the fishing pole and swimming against the current in the cold deep to retrieve it, first time hiking to a waterfall, and first time cooling off underneath it.

First time bucket list adventures with the kids stayed with me and granted us moments of gratitude that still linger.

Buen Camino, friends!

Nature Was My Co-Pilot

29 Jun

I’m glad I finally mastered tuning into my crappiness-mood meter and became aware of when everyday madness escalates to the point where I need to extract myself from the universe in an epic-booster-ejector-seat fashion.

When that bad mood strikes, I usually need to act fast otherwise it can just suck up my entire day and snowball into a disaster. It ends up just ugly and feeling like a Gremlin who got fed after midnight. Then I’m just upset that I’m upset, and that it sucked up my time. The cycle sucks. So when it happened this week … I was on a mission to stop it.

Nature was my co-pilot.

I usually turn to the beach as it is my staycation destination every weekend during the summer. However, with the gloominess that’s taken over I made other plans and the sun managed to join me. I hadn’t been to this place before, so I was pleasantly surprised by the huge expanse. I love it when you can find a mini forest in the middle of a big city. And I loved it even more that this trip to the gardens was free.

You see the fact that I found my escape for free was bonus! There are not a lot of freebies that are really “free”. There’s this thing called restrictions apply, limited access, between the hours of 1-2 only, buy one to get one free, or free to enter but pay for parking.

This was absolutely free … free and beautiful.

Even though every house plant given to me dies, and I can’t keep basil alive, I truly appreciate the beauty of the gardens and flowers that others grow. This garden in particular provided a multitude quiet-thinking spots in kaleidoscope surroundings that plenty of people enjoyed. It provided me with a sense of mindfulness and time slowing down. As I sat on the beach chairs overlooking the pond, I enjoyed checking out the scene, overhearing conversations, and listening to the birds.

I usually take to the water, the track, or the punching bag, and that helps release the frustration that comes with bad mood syndrome. The garden was a less-active and slower approach, but it still managed to help turn things around. By the time I got home there were no traces of foul moods and the peacefulness of the garden came home with me.

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

Nature’s Perspective

9 Jan

It just felt like the right place to start something, to catapult the new year. Not a huge dynamic turn of events, but a small shift that helped steer things in a new direction for positive change.

The Great Outdoors brings on a surge of rejuvenation and hope and so I thought climbing the tippiest of the top would be an inspiring goal for our little family. We are usually beach people and head to the warm sand and big waves with our boogie boards. We love how the ocean makes us new again.

But we tried something a little different this time.

We explored a different part of nature. It’s nothing we haven’t done before, we’ve been hiking. It’s just a new mountain and a new path.

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I thought it would be best to tackle something with a beautiful view and we could still see the ocean if the air was clear enough. It wasn’t the most excruciating uphill battle but it wasn’t easy either. Still a challenge for my little ones, but they were up for it. I was proud that they made it to the top. Not many kids enjoy climbing long windy roads, but they felt like reaching their goal was an important way to start 2019. They pushed themselves and raced the last 20 yards.

The view put things in perspective … there’s always something out there bigger than yourself, and it’s calming when you’re that far away. You see the beautiful that you can’t focus on when you’re up close.

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I’m not an avid hiker, but I enjoyed this adventure. Being out there and knowing we were starting the new year together felt good. Something to think about and smile when they got older … remember the time we hiked to the sign with mom? I’d like to think they’d call each other when they’re older and talk about it. It was easy hanging out with them. No pressure. No rushing. No arguing. Just hanging out, admiring the view, and appreciating the company.  The calm in-between conversations was a reassuring silence.

Everyone was out there that day, from big group of tourists, to a few friends, to couples, and dog lovers. We all had the same idea for this new 2019 beginning. Perspective from the tippy top to help our own state of mind. Nature is powerful in that way.

Nature’s Hideouts

13 Oct
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During a hike I had to take a minute and appreciate nature’s hideouts.

The rejuvenating powers of nature work its magic when you’re hiking, biking, or running the trails. Probably why I’m a big fan of Bear Grylls and his adventures. They inspire the exploration of the Great Outdoors.

Granted you don’t have to jump out of helicopters or rappel down cliffs as Grylls does to appreciate the beauty and magnitudal effect nature can have on you.

Living in the city, I’m still able to find nature’s hideouts and be wowed by its effect.

Sometimes the experience is so great that I end up in the moment and forget to snap the shot. Other times I catch up and I’m lucky enough to remember.

Photographer Louie Schwartzberg’s short Tedx Talk Gratitude speaks about his project Gratitude Revealed. He captures these breathtaking shots of nature as well as the connection and gratitude he feels being surrounded by it. These time lapse captures took time and patience. When he put them together in the film with the older gentleman’s narrative  the reaction, including my own, was a collective appreciation of the day and its possibilities.

It connected you with parts of the world that made you mindful that you’re part of something much bigger. Reminding you of the blessings that come with the day was the backdrop of the landscape.

Living in a big city, it’s important to find nature’s hideouts and escape in the early morning before I tackle the day. Watching Schwartzberg’s talk reminds me of the importance of mindfulness and the place that helps me get to that frame of mind faster is within nature and any of its hideouts within the city.

 

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

6 May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

17 Jul
Exploring during The Golden Hour

Exploring during The Golden Hour

 

 

While having our Go-Diego-Go Explorer expedition I caught a shot of a golden moment during the golden hour.

My son thoroughly engaged in the life of ants, grass, and leaves … so engaged that he didn’t fit into the entire picture.

My daughter not so much interested in ants, but much more into the stomping of leaves and the search for butterflies.

The golden hour rocks as it’s close to bath time, bedtime, and mommy quiet time.

Yes!

I love the golden hour around here.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

26 Jun

 

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Through My Eyes

 

 

Always riding through the rough waters …

Always in need of a lifesaver …

Always managing to stay afloat …

Always looking out at the horizon …

Always with my “toes in the water, ass in the sand, cold drink in my hand” …

Always enjoying the sunny moments when I can actually ride the wave … always dreaming.

 

 

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge: Nature’s Bliss

23 May
Enjoying nature's bliss under water.

Enjoying nature’s bliss under water.

 

Sometimes I am so jealous of Aquaman … he can enjoy this all the time without fearing a shark attack or running out of air.

Nature rocks. It makes you forget about your city problems.

 

 

Weekly Image of Life Challenge Courtesy of This Man’s Journey