Saturday, May 8, 2010


Saturday, May 8, 2010

When I think back over my life, some of my best memories come from vacation trips that I took with my family. Although I've never been out of the U.S., I have been many places in the country and have seen many amazing and inspirational sights. I'd like to share some of them with you.

My family and I used to take regular trips in the Fall to the mountains of western North Carolina to see the leaves changing, and over the years I went gem mining, walked part of the Appalachian Trail, saw the Biltmore mansion and quite a few very old cemeteries. The sheer beauty of mist-shrouded mountain tops and rushing waterfalls set against the backdrop of the reds, oranges and yellows of the leaves is something I think everyone should see. That was also where I saw my first significant snowfall and the experience is one I'll never forget.

Throughout the 80's and 90's my parents and I went to national medical conferences concerning the birth defect I was born with, and every year it was held in a different city. My parents owned a motor home and we drove all over the country in it. I got to see the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, the Alamo, the Great Lakes, Washington D.C. and Peru, Indiana, home of the soon-to-be famous Miller Sisters!

Each and every place I've been to has made an impression on me. The natural beauty I've seen has reminded me of the sheer awesomeness of nature, and the fact that we're all connected as part of the natural world, no matter how much we may have distanced ourselves from it. At the same time, it's also very fragile and easily destroyed, and once it's gone it's gone for good.

The historical places I've visited have had much to teach me as well. Arlington National Cemetery, the war memorials in D.C., the Alamo and Gettysburg were all stark reminders of the horrors of war and the sacrifices that so many have made for this country. Dealey Plaza, where JFK was assassinated, made me realize that the unthinkable could indeed happen. New Orleans has a fascinating history of French and African-American influences, with a heaping helping of jazz thrown in for good measure.

Have you been anywhere that inspired you or moved you in a profound way? If so, where was it and what effect did it have on you?


SIS Brandy said...


I can't really say that I have. Before, traveling for work, there was very few places I had been. Even with all the work travel I still haven't really seen anything very inspiring.

In the last year, I have been to so many states that i probably can't even remember them all. Let's try - IN, KY, TN, AL, LA, MT, TX, WA, CT, MS, NC, PA, IL, OH and I'm sure I've forgotten some. When you travel this much, it's hard to take the time to find something inspiring.

SIS Barb said...


I had no idea you'd been to Peru, IN. There is no way they held a medical conference there. I don't think they could fit that many people into the Moose Lodge. However, it is a pretty cool little town with tons of history, an equal amount of bars and churches, an annual big top circus and wonderful, wonderful people!

I've been fortunate in my life. I've seen many places, done many things and yet, there's so much more. I think the most inspirational vacation I've been on was my trip to Wyoming with SIS Beth. The beauty is breathtaking, the animals are gaspalicious, and the challenges are abundant. I look at the photos often, but it's not the same as experiencing it through my own eyes.

I also love the beauty of Clearwater, FL for similar yet different reasons. The sound of the waves as they rush over the sand, the palms swaying in the gentle breeze, the outdoor activities, the sweat from the humidity...I love it all.

I would love to visit so many other places, such as Ireland, Italy, Alaska, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, Spain, Africa, Mexico...I want to see it all!

P.S. Brandy forgot to mention all her amazingly fun trips to Wisconsin!

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Tori Lennox said...

I've only been out of the country to sleazy border towns in Mexico but we traveled to a lot of the U.S. when I was a kid.

One of the best vacations we ever had was a totally unplanned one. Well, we knew we were going, we just didn't know WHERE we were going. Just got in the car and off we went. Ended up driving down the part of the Natchez Trace that travels down through Mississippi. Saw this amazing old plantation house. Or what was left of it. The Windsor Ruins are mind-blowing. The 29 columns of this huge plantation house are all that's left. It had 25 rooms. The home survived the Civil War but burned to the ground in 1890 because an idiot of a guest left a lighted cigar on the balcony and it apparently fell into a trash pile below. It's an eerie place.

But the most inspiring place I've ever been? The Superstition Mountains in Arizona. Love that place!

Krys said...

Brandy - Sorry to hear that, but you're still young and there's plenty of time for it to happen. I hope it does!

Barb - A trip to Wisconsin is fun? ;-) That's one state I haven't been to but I really think I would like it there.

Tori - Natchez Trace sounds like a great trip, and I can only imagine what the Windsor ruins must have been like. There's something eerie about plantation houses from that era, but especially when there's nothing left but ruins! When you were in the Superstitions did you look for the Lost Dutchman's Mine?

SIS BJ said...


We didn't travel much as children and with my fears of driving and flying I don't get to tavel much now. The one trip that sticks with me is when our dad came home from work in the middle of the night. He woke us all up and told us to pack our bags. He tooks us to the hills of Kentucky where he had grown up. It was fun and a real eye opener into the way other people live.

Beth Ciotta said...


What a great reflection. You've been to some very interestng places! I've been fortunate enough to see manywonderful and amazing places. I used to make my living singing with various bands and we tooled all over the US. The towns we played in were't all that exciting, but getting there... I was lucky enough to drive through the badlands in the Dakotas and to also see Mt. Rushmore. I've seen Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon. All of these places were wondrous. Most of all the Grand Canyon.

I also travel for pleasure with my husband and most recently Barb. :) Our trip to Wyoming was breathtaking and inspiring. Also, writing conventions take me to pretty cool places as well. Three of my favorite US cities are NYC, New Orleans and Washington DC. Each city has it's own vibe and history and tons of cultural arts.

I feel supremely fortunate to have visited a few places overseas. I've been to Florence, Venice, and Rome, Italy and hope to go back. MAGICAL! I've also been to Austria, Switzerland and France. I've been in London, England numerous times, in fact my husband and I hope to live there someday. Each of these places inspired me in their own way. I could go on and on....

Gee. Now I'm hankering for a vacation. :)

SIS Beth

Alyson Reuben said...

I agree with you, Krys, North Carolina is beautiful in the fall. It's gorgeous in the summertime too.

As far as vacations go, my family has been to several states in the US, especially the Eastern and Southern states. My favorite vacation spot (so far) is still the Smoky Mountains. In fact I love the entire state of Tennessee. Blame it on my country roots.

A state I'd like to visit: California.

We're in the process of planning our next vacation for July. The destination is still up for debate.

Tori Lennox said...

Krys, no, you have to hike in really far to where the Lost Dutchman is reported to be and I'm not much of a hiker. I usually just plopped down at a picnic table and stared a lot. :)

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