Thilde and I were ready for vacation in early October until her car got hit in Syracuse. After months of hell fighting with the insurance company, we finally got a settlement and got her RAV4 fixed and hit the road. By the time we were able to leave it was December so we decided to drive down to Florida since Thilde had never been there and we knew it would be warm. We ended up having one of my best trips yet and found lots of great spots to SUP, hike, bike and kite at. It was a trip to remember and gave me a new appreciation for our southern flat land state.
Love has taken me a lot of places in this world. You could add Denmark as another country that I’ve visited for love, and then afterwards fell in love with. So often in the US I feel that my life is so good and that I am so blessed that I find it hard to imagine that things could be even better. The two weeks I spent in Denmark with Thilde made me feel even better than that, which I didn’t really think was actually possible.
A year ago Thilde and I committed to each other in a beautiful ceremony in the middle of Cayuga Lake with 150 other kayakers and standup paddle boarders in attendance. It was an amazing ceremony which was attended by no less than 6 Danes who crossed the pond simply to support Thilde. They were great company and seemed to laugh and smile a lot more than your standard American. I was more than a little curious to find out if Denmark really was as great as people kept making it out to be. Free universal healthcare for all, 50% of the urban population bike commutes, you get paid $1000/mth to go to college and new mothers can get 3 years of paid vacation time to take care of their babies. It sounded like a fantastic fantasyland that was too good to be true. Although I was skeptical, after spending 2 weeks there I can confirm that it is a real place and the Danes really do live that way. No wonder they are consistently polled as the happiest people on the planet although they were recently surpassed by Costa Rica probably because they have unmolested rain-forests and Denmark doesn’t. Not liking to be 2nd in anything I’m sure the Danes will buckle down and redouble their happiness efforts to beat the Costa Ricans again.
Whenever I go on long trips I have so much time to THINK while driving. It’s amazing how words wind themselves around my mind and I think and think and think about what to write, how to make my adventures interesting, worth reading, engaging for others. I love that feeling of thinking about what I want to say before I say it, and the act of creation, when I write or draw it is the closest thing to sheer bliss I think I will find on this crazy planet.
The overwhelming feeling I had on this latest 2 week-long road trip adventure with Orion was one of Joy. I spent a lot of time remembering when I was young, going to school, keeping my head down, burying myself into books. Most of the time I spent intimidated, afraid, mostly of my peers, my teachers, my principle or my parents. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine that I would grow up and would be able to find and hold onto happiness. Through a brutal exercise regime and by avoiding sugars, meat, drugs and alcohol I have been able to find a lot of joy in this life. When I am on these trips with Orion we both spend most of the trip totally giddy. Orion is the best travel partner I have ever found. Although at night in bed he is all-elbows and knees every other aspect of my traveling experiences with him is just amazing.
Reading through my travel journal and downloading photos from my camera gives me such a rush. Did I really go all that way? Did I really see and experience all these amazing places. The memories flood my brain and I remember the epic trip that was our latest adventure.
There was a close call or two with a charging Buffalo, insane hikes up snow-covered mountain passes in Crocs, enormous avalanches, as well as the typical Eye Dissections and Owl pellet dissections. The trip was made up of countless hikes and bike rides and night after night of camping out in new and amazing locations. Once we met up with my sister in Yellowstone the weather took a turn for the worse. We spent a week in hail/rain/snow storms which I was really unprepared for, yet somehow managed to enjoy myself in. After 3 weeks on the road we had run out of food, money and clean underwear so we made a beeline back home.
Continue reading “Forced 8 Year Old To Hike 10 Miles In A Foot Of Snow In Crocs, With Plastic Bags On His Feet. Then Witnessed An Avalanche.”
Coming home from a great trip always makes me feel more than just a little bipolar. While traveling I am so incredibly happy and centered and when I return back home to my comfortable house with the nice heat and fuzzy bed I am so completely and utterly miserable. Looking over the photos from this 2 week trip in the winter of 2008 with Orion filled me with memories of excitement and wonder, he travels so much better than any child I have ever met. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to spend this time with him as he grows up.
The first day we went to Smithsonian Museum of American History in DC. There was a hands-on exhibit with Elie Whitney’s cotton gin, and another really great exhibit on inventions that I really enjoyed. The next day we drove to Charleston, SC which had an excellent aquarium there. We went on a behind the scenes to see the Sea Turtle hospital. Had a couple of giant
300lb Loggerheads and some smaller green turtles. We also took a trip to historic Fort Sumter which was a National Monument. It was insanely windy, on the boat on the 2nd story it was hard to stand up. Orion got a Jr. Ranger program completed, I made him do all of it for his homeschooling. It was pretty cool being at the place where the civil war started.
In 2004 I traveled in 12 days from Amsterdam, Holland to Berlin, Germany to Munich, Germany to Budapest, Hungary to Vienna, Austria to Frankfort, Germany to Ottenberg, Germany to Freidburg, Germany then back to Amsterdam, Holland.
The red light district of Amsterdam reminded me of animals in a zoo. Some of the most beautiful and attractive specimens of humankind trapped behind glass dressed in almost nothing going about living their lives, reading magazines talking on cell phones or in some cases dancing. I felt strangely uncomfortable as I often do in the zoo. I had a freedom inside my heart that most of these women would never know. They have found an easier way, where money was never short and they could use their body to get money to buy themselves things so that they would feel better about their lonesomeness At least for a little while. In Amsterdam sex is a commodity to be bought and sold, not a special thing to be shared between 2 people who feel strongly about each other. It seemed cheap and commercial, it reminded me of fast food franchises like McDonald’s and Burger King. You pay the very little money and in return you get enough to barely sustain your hunger or sexual appetite. Sometimes it feels like everyone is waiting behind a pane of glass waiting to be discovered and loved.