Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Five places to visit

We are having beautiful weather... which is typical for Southern California this time of year.  (really any time of year!?!)  So I can't blame it on the weather... not sure what to blame it on... but I have a real itch to travel.

Perhaps it's just  being a mom.  Before kids, we spent extra money and time on travelling.  Near and far... we just liked to see new things.  That's one thing I truly miss as a mom... the ability to get up and go.. and the extra money to do so.

So for today's Fab Five, I am five of my favorite

1.  The Grand Canyon.  It's vastness is awe-inspiring.  There's nothing quite like it. I have been fortunate to visit the Grand Canyon several times and it never gets old to me.  It brings perspective to me and inspires me.  It is peaceful yet challenging.  My dad hiked to the bottom a few years ago.  J and I plan to do so at some point... Alas I need a knee replacement first.

2.  Washington DC.   I had a educational opportunity to spend a week in DC each quarter for a few years in the early 2000s. I'd been to DC before but this gave me an opportunity to really get to know the area.  There's so much I love about DC... everything from natural beauty and monuments to the hustle and bustle of life to taking a trip to the Basilica.  J had never been so the year before children I took him and we had a fantastic trip.  Among my favorite things to do in DC are visit the Newseum ( I could spend hours looking at old newspapers), visiting the Blessed John Paul the Second Shrine, and visiting the Supreme Court (so cool!)
I also love the Eleanor Roosevelt tribute at the FDR memorial.  So much to see and do in DC.  Oh, and John loves the Folger Shakespeare Library.... so much to see and do there too!

3.  Back to nature... Last year we spent a week in Southern Utah.  I fell in love with the area.  So beautiful.  Great hiking.  Not many crowds.  Lovely lovely lovely!!  Go if you have a chance.  Bryce and Zion are amazing.  Different but amazing.  

4.  Ireland.  Oh Ireland.    I do think Ireland will be the first place my little ones get a passport stamp.  It's such a beautiful country and "easy" vacation.  Short drives.  Quaint shopping.  Lovely hikes.  Easy village dinners and brews.  Lambs and more lambs!!  We've talked about going back... probably in three or four years with the children.  I can see them running through pastures with lambs :) 

The picture is of a cross in a cemetery in Mount Mellick where John has great aunts and uncles buried.  His great grandparents immigrated. The parish in Mt Mellick was so welcoming... it was Good Friday and they opened their doors and shared baptismal and death records.  It was amazing to see so many generations of his maternal family tied to this one church.

5.  And finally, Kenya!!  I wish everyone could visit Africa.  We visited Kenya and Tanzania.  Kenya felt safer IMO so Kenya is our favorite destination of all time.  We plan on returning for our ten year anniversary in a few years.  We won't take children on this trip but hope to take them in their teen age years.  (Clearly Africa is always dependent on politics and safety as we plan trips.)

What I love about Africa is that is that perspective I love... similar to the Grand Canyon... it gives you a sense of your smallness yet also your greatness. It was a very spiritual place for me to visit.  Seeing God's world untouched is breathtaking.  Removing all the hassles of life and watching the rhythm of nature is something that stays with you always.  If you consider one of our guides had no idea where Los Angeles is, who Mickey Mouse is, or what a bear is... says it all.  If ever you have the chance... go!!

Happy travels!!

PS-  I just realized why my travel bug is rearing it's head--- four out of five of these trips were taken over Easter Break.  We celebrated Easter and attended Mass in DC, Ireland, AZ, and UT...  this year we'll be in Prescott.


  1. Yes! Great list!
    I've been to the Grand Canyon and Washington and the other three are definitely on my 'visit someday list'.

  2. Fabulous list! I too loved Grand Canyon. It was majestic, to say the least. Africa is a dream vacay for me... probably when I retire. :)

  3. I love this list! My husband and I definitely have the travel bug too, so to hear about your favorite places just makes me want to book tickets and see them! We really loved Aruba and Antigua, Guatemala. :)