1) While growing up my family did all our travel by car: each spring we ventured from Connecticut to South Carolina to the family tree farm, often detouring to historic sites along the way; in the summer we vacationed with a cousin who had a house on Cape Cod; in the winter we skied with another family with whom we spent lots of time and shared activity.
On one of our trips to the Cape I asked my dad how the Vietnam War started. For what seemed like an hour he laid it all out for me, a captive audience. Thinking about that now I am enormously impressed that he had a grasp of the facts and was able to explain it with a certain amount of detachment, and his explanation didn't leave me in the dust. That was typical of my dad, who enjoyed telling a story, but could do so without making it overly complicated. Do I remember any of it? Ha!
(That's dad maintaining a seaweed-free path into the water at the Cape. I've never known anyone else to do that, anywhere! but he loved taking on that responsibility each summer)
2) A childhood-->adulthood friend and I spent our teen years writing stories about the heroes of a short-lived television series from our tween years, The Young Rebels. We were both enthralled with the era of the revolutionary war and indulged our passion and fantasies with all sorts of adventures and romances for our intrepid revolutionaries. One fall when it was time for me to return to college in Indiana, she joined me on that trip and we drove to and through parts of Pennsylvania to research the history of the area about which we were writing, seeking authenticity. I still have copies of documents that we uncovered, pictures torn from magazines that inspired the look of some of our own characters, historic buildings that starred in our scenarios, and the fictionalized genealogies we created. It was the kind of journey I look forward to taking again to explore my own family's history and the places that shaped them, and occasionally those that they helped shape.
3) I was fortunate to spend a week sailing off the coast of Maine one summer with five others. Extraordinary memories, gastronomic delights from the galley as well as some of the small, seaside towns, and nights on deck admiring the star-studded sky stand out in my mind. The sailing was pretty good, too, but recedes compared to everything else. It was a unique adventure, cherished in my heart.
4) Another extraordinary piece of travel took place too many years ago. A trip to dance in Scottish castles is probably the highlight of my travel life. For two weeks twelve of us traveled with our own musicians (fiddler and pianist), donned ball gowns and full kilt regalia, and danced in the likes of the ballroom of Blair Castle and the kitchen of the ruined Castle Campbell. We dined on sumptuous foods, sipped single-malt scotch, and laughed regularly until our sides hurt. Twenty-five years later friendships are still maintained and enjoyed, and the memories run as deep as the music in my soul.
5) On the first anniversary of the call to my first solo pastorate, the beau of a parishioner offered to take me flying in his two-seater plane. I accepted! I have always enjoyed flying, and it was a treat to view the area from above, including seeing (and attempting to photograph) my house, the church, and other local areas of interest. I always feel honored when people share such passions, offering a glimpse into worlds I would not likely see otherwise, and this was such a time.