getting away

Camas WA, Camas Washington, family, funeral, get away, getting away, grief, letting go, life, vacation


The feeling of being scattered and unorganized is overwhelming. Currently there is stuff EVERYWHERE. There are many things that need to be done, I have a list of 10 things that need to be done. Ideally they will get done today. That is the goal anyway.

This feeling of being overwhelmed has been prominent for the last three weeks or so. I keep trying to get a handle on it but then something else happens and it all blows up again. So, more than getting everything in order, I need a break.  A refresher to let go of everything, unplug for a while, and let go of everything. Just for 24 hours. 

A week ago today my grandmother passed away.  This prompted a last minute trip to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It was so nice to connect with cousins I had not seen in 10 years (with the exception of Facebook of course). Hugs all around!

But the feeling of needing to be away was still there. My mom and aunt were traveling about an hour to Camas Wash. to take care of last minute funeral arrangements and invited me to join.  I went along with the promise of a “cute downtown street” to explore. 

I found myself in the beautiful Northwest enjoying a cool breeze, moderate temperatures that I wouldn't see in Salt Lake City for at least another month and massive amounts of shade. I wandered down 4th Ave. and I noticed how much I was enjoying the solitude. I was not feeling any sadness and that surpised me. While we had been preparing for grandma's passing for a while, I had expected her to last through the summer. 

I found a cute coffee shop to order tea and found a shady bench along the road to savor and enjoy the moment. The wind rustled the large maple treees that provided shade over the whole avenue.  People walked along the sidewalk discussing business, after-work plans and weekend adventures.

I was transported to another frame of mind. Solutide. Calm. Peace. Everthing I would have looked for in an overnight trip into the mountains. While I'm here to celebrate the beautiful life of my grandma and reconnect with family, I also took the time to feel present.  Grounded. To re-center myself just a little bit.

I think next time I need a vacation, just to get away for a day, I'll take the 30 minute drive to Park City instead of the 11 hour drive to the Northwest.

PS – I still want to go camping. 🙂

traveling along

flying, Happy Travels, life, on a plane, travel, traveling alone, vacation

I write this while sitting on a plane, midway through my four-hour flight. I'm watching “The Artist” and finding it annoying because it's a silent film so I actually have to watch it instead of just listen. Also, I'm loving that they gave me the whole can of ginger ale instead of serving a meager portion of mostly ice.

I'm feeling relieved it's spring break this week. School, work and articles for the paper keep me so busy I hardly have time to eat a proper meal. It's been nice these past few days to sleep in and enjoy the sunny spring-like weather.

I'm now on my way to Washington D.C. Of course, by the time you read this I'll already be there. Preparing for this trip has reminded me how lucky I've been on my vacations these past few years. First New York City and then Boston and now D.C. I'm excited for the adventures that await me there this week.

Every time I think about going on vacation, I always wish for somewhere warm. Someplace with palm trees, sand, and waves. I want warmth and water. But the last handful of times I've opted for the city instead. Which I've loved and wouldn't do it differently if given the choice.

I've thought recently about my experiences traveling alone. I typically travel alone, but meet up with people at the destination. The first time I traveled alone I was terrified. A layover in Atlanta and a 4 hour drive in Florida navigated alone left me exhausted physically and mentally. It feels I've come a long way since then. The same long weekend trip to Key West would not be nearly the ordeal it was three years ago.

Which makes me wonder what it would be like to vacation completely by myself now. I've wondered for a while if I would ever feel brave enough to visit a place by myself. Only this year has that prospect even seemed like a possibility.

So maybe my next vacation I will go alone. Maybe to a beach somewhere. Or to a new city to explore all by myself. Or maybe I'll start with a day trip to somewhere near by. And maybe a road trip over a long weekend.

Or maybe vacations are better spent with people you care about.

Either way, I look forward to the next adventure.

a notebook, a magic 8 ball, and the pacific ocean

decision making, Happy Travels, inspirations, life, peace, relax, vacation


I've always found the beach to be a peaceful place.  It's never mattered if there is a frisbee flying, a football being thrown, noisy kids nearby, or even if it's chilly and overcast.  It has always been a place that I can completely clear my mind and put everything aside.  No worries, no over-thinking, no processing.  Only relaxing and free thought.  

The last trip to the beach was particularly peaceful.  It was busy for a chilly Friday.  Though the clouds cleared beautifully and I'm certain that whoever wasn't at the beach wished they were.

I had all the essentials with me.  Water, towel, snack, book, sunglasses, sunscreen, phone, my trusty notebook, and magic 8 ball.  

Yes, I have a magic 8 ball.  And yes, I use it.  I don't always do what it tells me to do, but it certainly helps me figure out what it is I really want.

If you think about it, it's not so nutty.  I frequently have choices to make and, since I over think just about everything, I have a hard time deciding what it is that I really want.  So I use the 8 ball to give me an answer.  I think about it for a minute or two to decide how I feel about it, and go from there. I mean, isn't that what we use our friends and family for?  As a sounding board for those things that are bothering us and using up too much energy?  They provide feedback, we accept their opinions and points of view, and we make the decision.  I just used an 8 ball instead of talking the ears off  of someone else.

The notebook is almost always with me.  Unless I forget it on my desk.  While I have a phone with capabilities of keeping lists and paragraphs and thoughts, I love the feeling of a pen in my hand and scratching it across paper.  I like flipping through and looking at past entries.  It's where I write down the random things that come to me.  It's where I weight the pros and cons.  It's where I keep information and record decisions.

So while I was at the beach relaxing and not really feeling stress about anything, I thought I would give decision making a shot.  And you know what?  It worked beautifully.  With decisions made and recorded, I only second guessed my decisions when I returned home and settled back into reality.

Because reality bites.

But trusting the decisions I made while I was there, I did the research necessary and came to the same conclusion as before: my gut feelings have been right all along.  

I want what I want.  And it's not likely to change anytime soon.  And now if I can quit over-thinking it all I can make it happen.


the sun gods

chores, I went outside, life, school, sleep, sun, sunshine, to-do, vacation, work

The sun gods are blessing us with loads of sunshine this weekend.  It is my goal to get out and enjoy it.  


Along with getting chores done.  It's about time I did the laundry.

School starts next week.  Already.

Working on Sunday.

It's halfway though May already, there are plenty of things on the to-do list to keep me hopping through the rest of it.  And if I'd stop daydreaming I could actually get it done.

My nephew graduates high school next week.  I cannot express to you how old this makes me feel.

Looking forward to my long weekend vacation in June.  6 weeks and counting.

AND I'm very much looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.

Have a cheery Friday.