early 20th century: from German Wanderlust .
Anyone who knows me at all knows that I LIVE to travel. (It drives my husband nuts) I am usually two trips ahead when it comes to planning, and if for some reason I don't have some sort of adventure planned I start getting some serious cabin fever.
Can anyone relate? There is just something about seeing a new place, experiencing a new culture, and meeting new people that thrills me....and I'm (seriously) addicted to it!
To help keep me sane (aka. Occupy a Wanderer) in between our epic adventures Dave and I often explore close to home - and our favorite season is fall! I am in love with the gorgeous colors, and he just enjoys being comfortably cool. A few weeks ago we decided to take (one of our last before the move) a trip exploring Maine and doing some work at the same time.
One of our stops (and all the photos above) was at Tunk Mountain in East Hancock, Maine. If you've been following my blog I've definitely posted photos from Tunk recently, but these are just a little more gorgeous - it is finally fall!
How gorgeous is it!? (and how handsome is my man!? Btw....I've finally complained enough about only having photos of his backside that he's "letting" me take actual photos of him)
We had just enough time to hike about half the trail before the sun went down, so we made the most of it and hiked fast!
The foliage has been a little weird this year, so only about half the trees were actually turning, but the ones that were had the most amazing colors....as you can see. :-)
Our second local adventure (on a different day, these two places are NOT close) was to Aroostook county, to Easton. Dave currently has an inspection up there, and since it's a LONG drive he invited me to keep him company. What a gorgeous ride!
While Dave did his inspection I had time to explore the farm next door and take some fun photos of the old equipment. He only gave me about fifteen minutes, I could totally have used an hour!
Dave bought me an awesome new lens, so of course I made him stop every few miles so I could play with it capture this gorgeous landscape.
In-town Easton there is a cute little pond, and apparently it was the perfect time to see a pretty large flock of geese. Of course I made Dave stop - again.
So, how do you keep a wanderer happy?
Keep her wandering <3
My Facebook newsfeed has been blowing up this past week or so about the Starbucks holiday cups - has anyone else seen this insanity?
I understand that I'm just feeding the fire by throwing another blog out into cyberspace - but this is an issue worth addressing.
First off - brilliant publicity/media stunt, Starbucks. If that was the plan (let's be honest, obviously it was) then great job. Free advertising at it's finest.
Secondly - have we really become so absurdly petty as a culture and country? Don't we have some ACTUAL issues to deal with? (examples: balancing the budget, hunger in our own country, hunger in other countries, the war, unrest in countries we're currently not at war with, orphans, etc)
We've made this supposedly "free country" a place with so many ridiculous inequalities and "offenses" as issues that now I feel like we're just searching for the next thing to be upset about....am I alone in this? We are all human - we're never going to agree on everything. I actually wouldn't wish for a world where everyone agreed. It would absolutely be more peaceful, but let's face it, without differences of opinion we would still be living in the stone age - there would be no creativity, no innovation, no development, nothing. I (personally) like not living with modern conveniences.
Okay - let me set something straight before it becomes an issue:
I absolutely do NOT support doing anything that is hurtful/painful to someone, and I am not trying to make light of any real problems (and I know we have some) and prejudices in our culture. BUT - I think some things have gone way too far.
Okay - now I want to talk directly to Christians for a second. I am a Christian, so I supposedly share the same beliefs as other Christians - BUT.....I am so disappointed. Can you not see how ridiculous this is? Reindeer and snowflakes have absolutely NOTHING to do with our holiday. We are supposed to be celebrating the birth of Christ. Do you think He would have let a company changing their holiday (yes I said holiday and not Christmas, they change it before Thanksgiving, therefore it actually is a "holiday" cup...why do we always skip right from Halloween to Christmas!?) make him so upset? Nope. I can say that with full confidence. They kept it red and green for goodness sake! (Which still has nothing to do with Christmas beyond a cultural tradition)
Sure, Christians are now being "persecuted" (not really...beyond being trash talked....again, do you remember when Jesus and his followers had to go through?) but are we helping the issue? Also, check out what Jesus told us to do:
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you". - Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
Please know I am definitely not saying that a plain red cup is Christianity being "persecuted" - but that is how many of my fellow Christians are acting. What if we spent the same time we do being angry about a cup focusing on changing our world for the better? I'm pretty sure a cup with reindeer on it isn't going to make a bit of difference.
Personally I am going to focus on becoming a better person for the people in my own life, and hopefully as I move through my daily life I can make a difference in the REAL issues in the world.
I'm not boycotting a business based on a plain cup - I can draw my own Christmas tree (ahem...also a pagan symbol....nothing to do with the real basis of the holiday) on my cup.
So - BE OFFENSIVE. Be yourself. Quit letting someone else's difference of lifestyle bother you so much, just because they're doing something doesn't mean you need to. And again, I definitely don't mean be hurtful to each other....but let's allow people to do their lives the way they want! It's not our job to "fix" anyone, so get over the differences.
Hopefully we as a culture/country/people can grow up a little bit and start focusing on the ACTUAL problems in our world before the next "issue" comes along.
After this cruise paradise in our minds is spelled: T - O - R - T - O - L - A
Seriously. Our ship docked around 6, and was only in port until noon. We were pretty bummed that our very last island visit was going to be so short (we were able to get off the ship at 7) so were definitely determined to get the most out of the day.
We were some of the first off the ship and to the taxis waiting to bring us to the beaches, it wasn't even fully light out. There was a cab "Madame" (she was probably just the dispatcher, but she was totally in charge) who said the best beach for us to see was called "Brewer's Bay". Since we were the only ship in port she said it would be pretty quiet.
Quiet - or completely empty! The sun hadn't even come all the way up on this side of the island, so the roosters (FYI - Tortola has about 100 million chickens....prepare yourselves) were crowing like crazy....for like an hour.
We just hung out on the beach and read until the sun came up fully, Talk about relaxation.
We brought our snorkel stuff (sans flippers) with us because the cab Madame said there was actually a pretty reef in Brewer's Bay, so as soon as it was sunny enough we donned our stylish masks and hit the fish finding.
Elysia was stuck on the beach, because for some reason she decided she didn't want to bring her snorkel gear. :-P She will never live this mistake down.
The water was amazing. Perfect temperature, perfect current (aka, none) a gorgeous reef, and TONS of super cool fish.
The water around the reef wasn't very deep, maybe 10 feet at the deepest point (where we were at least) so we had to be really careful not to hit our legs on the rocks, or the coral.
Can you even believe these photos!? Thank God we bought the GoPro (seriously, best purchase of our lives) and thank God we listened to the cab Madame and went to Brewer's Bay! It stayed nearly completely empty the entire time we were there.
I gave my snorkel gear to Elysia for awhile so she could see the amazing-ness of the reef too. I got to spend a little time finishing my book (I was reading Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs) and lay in the sun. No complaints!
I'll go ahead and apologize for the number of photos already - we had SO many amazing shots from Tortola I can't cut them down as much as I maybe should...so I hope you enjoy!
Of course Megan started doing handstands.....I would be worried about her health if she didn't! :) We couldn't hold back the goofy at this point.
We only got to enjoy the beach until about 10:45, because we didn't want to miss the ship's departure! Our biggest concern on every island was missing the ship (we were never even close) so we probably cut our beach time shorter than we needed to, but better safe than sorry.
Our morning cab driver sent his brother back to pick us (and four other people) up again right around 11. The best part of Tortola is definitely the beach - the worst part - the roads. OH MY GOODNESS....talk about horrifying.
Our driver was gracious enough to stop and let us take a picture of the cruise terminal bay before heading down the (insanely steep and horrifying) road, but I'm actually pretty sure he just stopped to let the engine cool down.
We made it safely back to the cruise terminal (thank God) and got to hear an amazing Caribbean band playing in the new area they're building. (FYI - the Tortola cruise terminal is currently [as of October 2015] under construction - but it's shaping up to be an amazing port). I don't even hesitate for a second to say that Tortola was our favorite.
Bye bye, Tortola! We loved visiting!
Island #3 of our cruise was the beautiful St. Maarten. We ate breakfast on the back deck of the ship so we could watch the island pass as we pulled up to the dock.
We made sure that we were ready (as usual) to get off the ship as soon as it docked and was cleared by customs. Our only plan for St. Maarten was to find a beach and relax in the sun!
We found a cab in about five seconds, and they took us to the closest nicest beach in the area (we didn't want to drive for more than 30 minutes). Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the beach - that's what happens when I'm lazy about blogging!
The beach we ended up at was super cute - the water was beautiful and it was nearly private! There was a "resort" (kinda...it was tiny) on the beach, and a couple of restaurants and shops so if we'd wanted lunch or drinks we would have been all set.
The sky in one direction of us was beautiful - but to the other direction (as was usual at EVERY island we visited) there were crazy dark clouds!
We weren't worried about potential rain - every vacation we've taken has had threatening skies - but we always pray for beautiful weather, and that's what we always end up with!
We tried snorkeling around the beach, but the water was a little silty because there were quite a few waves, plus it was all just sand so we didn't really see many fish.
Clearly we are still learning to use our GoPro....
On the way back to the boat we obviously had to be tourists....so we posed in front of the St. Maarten sign!
Sailing out was gorgeous - we saw a rainbow (we actually saw one almost every island!) and the ocean was perfectly calm. Perfection.
Until next time, St. Maarten!
Dreamer, decorator, wife, business owner, personal fitness trainer. 20-something.