Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vacation I've Taken

Today's prompt is to describe a vacation I've taken. When I think of "vacation" I think of "time away from home."

The majority of the "vacations" that I've taken within the last 12 years have a purpose - like homeschooling; two adoptions; and driving my parents, Sophia, and Olivia to a place where my parents wanted to visit, but could no longer drive because my Dad had Alzheimer's Disease and Mom had vision issues.

Some of the trips that Sophia, Olivia, and I went on with my parents were to:

- Pella, Iowa, to see the tulips

Girls by Tulips
Sophia and Olivia by the tulips.
(April 2009 - Sophia was 8 and Olivia was 6)

Mom and Dad Walking
Dad and Mom walking together.
(April 2009)

Sophia Carrying Water Pails
Sophia carrying water pails.
(April 2009)

- The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and southwestern Wisconsin/southeastern Minnesota

At the Chapel
Sophia, Olivia, Dad, Mom, and me outside the chapel at 
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
(July 20, 2010 - Sophia was 9 and Olivia was 7)

Row of Votive Candles
Some of the many candles on the four-sided structure
at The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
It was beautiful with many of the candles lit.
Olivia with Eagle
On our way to The Shrine, we visited the 
National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota.
Olivia is standing very still next to the eagle.
(She was 7 years old in July 2010.)

- Grand Marais, Minnesota

Museum at End of Gunflint Trail
Having a picnic outside the museum 
at the end of the Gunflint Trail.
The table was near the shores of Lake Saganaga,
where my Dad took many camping and canoeing trips 
from the 1960s to 1980s.
He had not been there since the late 1980s,
so I wanted to take him back to the spot he enjoyed so much.

All of Us by Lake Saganaga

Mom, Dad, Sophia, Olivia, and me at Lake Saganaga in Grand Marais.
This was the last trip that we took together with my Dad
before Alzheimer's Disease made 
overnight or multi-day travel too difficult.
(Taken September 8, 2010)

One of the places that I have enjoyed going to for true vacations - time away from home without any learning/caregiving purposes - is Grand Marais.

I look back on the trips I've taken there since the late 1990s (sometimes alone; other times with Sophia and/or Olivia - depending on the year and how old the girls were), and enjoyed remembering some of the places I stopped to enjoy the beauty of the area:

Purple Flower with Spider Web
Purple flower with spider web
in the spring.

A Day at the Beach - Cut Face Creek in Grand Marais
A day at the beach at Cut Face Creek
with Sophia and Olivia.
(June 16, 2006 - Sophia was 5 and Olivia was 3)

Chipmunk on Stairs
"Chippy" - who the girls enjoyed feeding in September 2010.
It was very friendly and came right up to us.

Balancing Rock
Rocks at Artists Point on Lake Superior.
There are many rock sculptures here.

Walking on Water
The girls playing in Lake Superior.
(Taken on September 9, 2010 - 
when they were 9 and 7 years old.)

Picking Spring Flowers
Sophia and Olivia playing in the early-summer flowers.
(Taken on June 16, 2006 - when they were 5 and 3 years old.)

Rocky Shoreline
A view of the Lake Superior shoreline.

I'm hoping to go back to Grand Marais sometime this late-fall. It's been almost two years now since I've been there. It will be emotionally-difficult trip since the last time I went there my Dad was with us...but it is also one I need to make as part of the grieving process and healing journey.

The beauty and tranquility of Grand Marais and the surrounding area is something I also greatly miss; and always feel refreshed and inspired after being there.


Charis's Mum said...

I'd love to go see the Tulips in Pella, IA. Thanks for sharing. :)

Sara said...

Wow, you have taken some wonderful vacations! I love that you make the trips educational for your girls. Lovely experiences!

Rita said...

I love Grand Marais. Only been there 2 or 3 times, but every time I have had to stop at Sven and Ole's Pizza! ;)
So nice that you have pictures of the trips!!

FrugalFoodieMama said...

Beautiful photos and I am so glad you were able to share some of those trips with your dad... <3