We have been cleaning out rooms the past few weeks. It takes a considerable chunk of our time, but I want my husband to finish the basement. Specifically, I want him to make an office in the basement. I have come across all my photo albums while cleaning out, donating, and rearranging. We will scan them all, but I have 20 years of pictures in albums. I haven't gone through most of them yet. I wish I remembered more about my first trip overseas or on an airplane. I remember the excitement, the exhaustion as the first trip was Pittsburgh to Boston; Boston to London; LONG layover, and then London to Paris. I remember specific stops and interactions, but I wish we could hold on to all memories. Thank goodness for cameras.
We went whale watching for Orcas in August of 2005. I was so excited as Orcas have been my favorite animal since I was eight. There was a long period of my childhood when I was convinced I would be an Oceanographer. So I was thrilled when they spotted the first Orca break the surface. There was an Orca and her baby next to our boat at one point. I literally could have reached over the side and touched her, but I was frozen in place. I was so close to this massively beautiful creature, and I couldn’t even move. They were watching us as closely as we were looking at them. I remember thinking, I’ve been waiting all my life for this, and I am terrified. They could have smacked our little inflatable boats around like a toy. But, of course, they didn’t and swam on. That moment is one that I won’t forget.
Looking at pictures also makes me wish travel was as easy as in the past. There is so much preparation now. Not to mention more concerns about getting stuck, travel requirements, etc. Don’t get me wrong; we have been blessed in other ways. More local trips and more family time have been nice. But there is something about getting out of your comfort zone and traveling far away.
We traveled to Tokyo in early 2019. I was so full of emotions, and it ended up being one of our all-time favorite trips. Our 14-year-old talks about going back to Japan again someday. It was so safe compared to the cities in the US. People were dozing off on the trains with the phone sitting on their lap. No one seemed to bother anyone else. Although to be fair, the Japanese mostly kept to themselves. They are a more reserved society.
It was a whirlwind trip and planned on relatively short notice. We were based mainly in Tokyo and went to Disney Sea, Mt. Fuji, saw the snow monkeys, another day in Tokyo, and flew back home. I have so many thoughts and pictures that it is at least an article in and of itself.
We have a blended family, and there were 6 of us in the house at one point. We found that cruises were sometimes more affordable than going to a destination. We drove to the port, went on vacation, got to see numerous countries and islands, had a floating hotel/casino/restaurant/shows. The kids love cruises even to this day. I prefer the destinations, but this is a happy medium. I don’t see us taking a cruise very soon either.
The US has so much to offer as well. We could travel for extended periods to see the sights here. I hope to return to the Badlands and Yellowstone again before our son graduates high school. He was three years old when we were there. I would want to drive again and see the sights along the way. That would be a two-week trip.
As I continue to work through the pictures to scan, I hope to stumble across more memories and relive some of the excitement of visiting new places. Thanks for joining me down memory lane.