Category Archives: Love of Travel

05/10/17

Awe

You know those moments in life where you just stand in complete and total amazement?

One of those moments where it is hard to catch your breath, and His presence is felt so keenly? So closely?

Perhaps, it is in those moments of complete solitude and reflection where I feel my most real self. Where I feel completely whole, loved, and held. I have had a few of those moments lately, and I wanted to share them with you…

But, first of all, I have been somewhat absent, and I apologize for that, but life sort of took over and I haven’t had a lot of time to write and post lately, and even less to sit alone, quiet & still and have time to think. But, the good in all of that is the lessons that He teaches you when He can slow you down enough to see your little, seemingly insignificant, life in the prospective of his great, big, perfect plan. I love when He gives me experiences & moments, glimpses if you will, into how I can factor into it all. It’s like a little kiss on the cheek or a winking eye from your Savior that let’s you know to carry on, Mighty Warrior.

For me, It was in the landscape of Yosemite; a place that everywhere you turned was more beautiful than the vista you had just seen and experienced.

Can’t you almost just hear these rushing rapids? Such incredible power.

Above is Bridal Veil Falls, a waterfall dubbed that name because the mist looks like a wedding veil as it hits the rocks below and sprays up all around you. I wish I had gotten a closer picture, as we did hike right up to the base of the waterfall, but the mist was so thick that my glasses fogged over and the camera lens was covered in water drops, so this had to do, and I think it’s so picturesque.

How often do you get to hike with your boss amidst vast, giant sequoias and California Redwoods?

How can anyone not be awed by nature?

How can someone look at a waterfall or a mountain formation or giant sequoias so tall and so rotund than even the tallest  person in the group looks terribly tiny?

How can you not be in awe of the Creator amidst some of His greatest creation?

As I was rummaging through the gift shop, I was flipping through a book (mostly pictures) on the history and different landmarks in Yosemite, I was approached by one of the salespersons, an elderly woman who remarked that she had worked in the Park for over 30 years and knew an awful lot about the Park and did I have any questions about the book. I told her it was my first time here and I was interested in the history of it and the surrounding areas.

She began to tell me that “over 200 million years ago, scientists and geologists believe that Yosemite and all its natural elements were growing underground… and then after Pangaea occurred following the Big Bang, the rocks and the grounds beneath us receded, and Yosemite emerged from the ground.” She ended her science lesson with “And suddenly, there it was!” I smiled and replied, “Yes, I agree with you on one of those statements- it was suddenly there, but it was spoken into being by the Creator of the universe at the time of creation.” Immediately following my response, my heart hurt inside my chest as I watched her lips purse and her eyes blink back at me a few times, and then she very quickly told me that the book was $10.95 and if I wanted to purchase it, she would meet me at the front counter. And with a spin of her hips, she was off and away in the opposite direction. She couldn’t get away from me fast enough!

Having lost interest, I returned the book to its shelf and I prayed a seed as planted as I exited the General Store.

I feel humbled and truly grateful to commune and fellowship with my Savior as I enjoy His creation, and I hope and pray that He be made evident among the rocks, crags, waterfalls, river rapids, and even in the wildlife. Scripture says that even the rocks cry out in worship, and I felt it all so keenly on my day at Yosemite.

Feel blessed and truly grateful for these crazy coworkers of mine, pictured above, and the way they speak truth into me and over me almost daily. May we continue to be salt and light wherever our travels take us!

So, I encourage you… get outside, take a walk, take a hike, get out on a beach, or even in your own backyard and become still. Quiet. Reflective. And ask for Him to teach you a new lesson that day.

He will.

xoxo….

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11/23/16

Asheville Adventuring

There are few places in this wide, wonderful world that hold my heart quite like Asheville, NC.

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In fact, Mom and I have been making annual trips there since I was quite young and I feel like I know parts of the city as well as I know my own hometown and can even navigate them like a local. When someone stops me on the city street and asks for directions or where a certain landmark or restaurant is located, I get a thrill that I am mistaken as a local!

We have been all times of year, but I have to say that late fall and early winter is my favorite! And we just returned from our most recent Asheville adventure this week. And, oh what an adventure it was!

We took a long weekend and drove into town late Thursday evening after work. On Friday, we arose early and hit our favorite local, breakfast hang-out, The Early Girl Eatery downtown on Wall Street.

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It’s this perfectly eclectic breakfast and lunch spot that specializing in farm to table fare, and their breakfast is not to be missed!

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We toured the Biltmore Estate because that too is a tradition we hold near and there are always new rooms that are open in the house and more historical information the guides will share that they have unearthed from the archives.

But, this visit, we walked through the house because it was decorated for Christmas! And a Biltmore Christmas shouldn’t be missed!

Seriously, does anyone do it better than that?

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Wow!

And my personal favorite is the Conservatory, or the Winter Garden… love all the greenery, garland, and poinsettias!

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After a little sightseeing, we got the hankering for a little adventure. So, we did something we have never done before… We segwayed!

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And we absolutely loved it! Off-roading on trails snaking around the Biltmore Estate was the absolute best!

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The scenery was just breathtaking as we raced on trails parallel to the French Broad River.

The following day, we again rose early (how do I always manage to do this on vacations?!?) and went to a new little cafe we had read about on the VisitAsheville Instagram account, Hole Doughnuts Shop. They specialize in delicious hot, made to order, gourmet Mennonite-style, yeast doughnuts and hot coffee.

Now, that is speaking our love language. Hot, fresh doughnuts and hot coffee.

And the doughnuts? They didn’t disappoint.

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We tried one of each that they had! (From Top Left to Bottom Right: Chai Spice, French Vanilla Glazed, Toasted Almond & Sesame, and Cocoa Rubbed)

They are truly unique doughnuts that are rolled and shaped by hand, so no 2 doughnuts are perfectly uniformed. The baker in me absolutely loved that!

Read even more about Hole here.

The remainder of the day, we shopped, explored, relaxed, and wandered. We even ventured to the Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market where we perused local produce (and come home with some insanely delicious Pink Lady mountain apples), handmade products, and fresh greenery just in time for the holiday season!

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I love local Farmer’s Markets and farm stands. It’s agribusiness at its finest. Whenever I see local farm stands, I just have to pull over!

Most of all, I just love adventuring with this one…

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She makes everything fun! So grateful for her.

We hiked, segwayed, shopped, sight-seed, ate, and laughed our way through Asheville! Can’t wait for our next adventure.

So, I hoped you enjoyed living vicariously through our meanderings. Maybe you too will take in Asheville for a long weekend sometime soon?

xoxo….

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