Tag Archives: travel

5 Truths and 1 Lie: TheTravel Edition

truth or lieOne of the fun things about NaBloPoMo is the camaraderie that builds as the month progresses. Last year, I was (gratefully) welcomed into the fold of some amazing bloggers who had stepped up to the NaBloPoMo challenge. Together, we created our own cheer squad, celebrating our victories (like the post that went up at 11:59 PM) and commiserating over the 17, 15, 10 days that remain stretched before us. (Y’all are with me on that, right?)

This year, Elin, of one of my favorite blogs, Beyond the Backyard Blues, suggested a repeat of a blog-hop she and Lois, over at Midlife at the Oasis (if you don’t know Lois yet, you should!) and others participated in last year. Today, I’m joining in and playing the 5 Truths and 1 Lie Game. Since I feel like I’m already an open book, I’m narrowing the lens of my game and subtitling it, “The Travel Edition.”

But before I open my book further, I want to share the links of some others that are playing along today. Seriously, you’ll want to visit these links. These bloggers are adventurous and colorful, and you’ll be amazed by their abilities to  lie  live out loud.

1. Doreen McGettigan looks demure, but don’t let that sweet smile and soft red hair fool you, she’s hiding something.

2. Cathy Chester, a truly Empowered Spirit, shines her light far and wide, casting rays of hope and love across friends and strangers alike. Who knew she could be so clandestine?

3. Lois…Ah, my dear Lois, who has lived a life more colorful than most, any and all of these could be true, yet one is a lie. Hmmmm….

4. Ruth, who always challenges my brain with her terrific Cranium Crunches mind-benders and jumped into my heart with her fabulous big smile, yet somehow I believe every word she wrote in this post, but one is a lie?

5. Elin, lovable Elin, with the strong and playful spirit…if it involves anything other than sugar and spice and everything nice, it must be a lie, right?

6. There are others that will be posting and I will link to them tomorrow, (I’m not lying) because it really is fun to peek in the window of others and discover everyone has lived a life with color. 🙂

Now, on to my lies 5 Truths and 1 Lie, The Travel Edition:

1. I have a scar on my knee from a cut I got while getting off a bus in Haiti. I looked at the driver, and he looked back at me. We both saw the damage as he shooed me off the step. The metal was rusty, but I was deathly afraid of a tetanus shot. I said nothing to my parents. I prayed for a week I wouldn’t die, and then I got over it and figured the scar would tell a good tale some day.

2. I savored the calamari an old weathered fisherman shared with me. We sat at a small café directly on the beach in Greece. He woke the owner (perhaps his wife or a cousin), who slept on the bench of the small booth when he brought in his catch. Since neither spoke English, I pointed to what I wanted in the kitchen. Best beer, calamari, cheese, and olives of my life!

3. My husband and I sat across from a man on the train to Florence who told me all about his son he was travelling to visit. His son was in the service and the man had always wanted to visit the States. He arranged for a cab when we got to Florence, to ensure the cabbie didn’t cheat. He told me he hoped his son would find a daughter like me someday. Most of our dialog was in French as he spoke no English and I no Italian. His kissed me on the cheek before he shut the door to the cab.

4. The weather was warm, the night clear, and the drinks strong. My skin was sticky. I hadn’t changed after zip lining across the jungle that day. We went straight to dinner, and the balmy night sky had the mosquitos out in force, as they always are in Costa Rica. As I lifted my drink to my lips, I watched a mosquito land on my arm. It was the size of a 747 and before I could swat it, it dropped dead, right off my arm, a drop of my blood still on its needle-like proboscis. I joke that he dined on bad blood that last meal.

5. Before ascending to the top of Mt. Roberts in Alaska, I forgot to pack any water. The day was misty. Wrapped up in cold weather wear and wearing my Tilley hat, I hiked the mountain with my daughters and husband. I collected the drops of moisture on the rim of my hat to offer sips of water to my girls, still young at the time. Undaunted by the lack of water, we discovered a new survival skill.

6. While swimming off the coast of the Bahamas (or was it Jamaica?) with my younger sister, she brushed her hand across a sea urchin. The sting was excruciating, but we had no meat tenderizer (a known treatment) to help alleviate the pain. Being resourceful (see # 5)I peed in a glass and dunked her fingers straight in. She was horrified, but the pain was relieved. To this day, she hasn’t thanked my for my selflessness.

Let the guessing begin.

Seriously? Kansas City?

It's hard to think "warm thoughts" when this is the view from the back porch.

Maybe it’s because there is a blanket of snow waiting to be shoveled or because we already hit the day’s high temperature. At midnight! Maybe it’s because the weather gal promised tomorrow will be warmer with a high of 34 before we “cool off again” for the weekend. Or, maybe it’s the drivers that feel a little too confident with their traction control (I’m talking to you, Mr. Audi!) and scare the bejeebees out of my bumpers. I’m not sure. But, what I do know is that this only our second or third “real” snowfall of the year, and though I like the snow, I’m not feeling the love today.

Whatever the trigger–snow, cold, stupid drivers–I had to get outta here for just a bit this morning. But, in lieu of making my way to the airport, which presumably has more cancellations than departures today, I traveled to the MSNBC travel page in search of a warm destination. Ah, perfect. Right there, on the front page of the travel section was a listing of the “Top budget travel destinations for 2012.”  I was greeted by a lovely, very warm-looking picture of the Azores; their number 1 pick. I settled into my seat, adjusted my laptop screen, and let myself travel far, far away from the cold.

I love to travel and have for as long as I can remember. I often joke that I was raised by nomads; my parents traveled the world extensively. They made it a priority to introduce their children to the world through family trips. With all 9 kids in tow, there were trips to tour the Hawaiian Islands and to visit Mexico. When I was only 6 or 7, we traveled throughout Europe. I still marvel at my mother’s packing skills and my father’s logistical planning. I can remember feeding the pigeons in St. Marks Square, the fog in London, and seeing The Jungle Book in Madrid. (It wasn’t until I watched it with my first-born did I see it in English.) In high school, my dad had promised to take those of us still at home  to the snow for winter break, something we had never done before. As winter approached, he bribed us with a cruise for Christmas to get out of it. (There was a reason we lived not far from the beach in a cozy valley–my dad HATED the snow. Looking out my window, I can guarantee you, he would be looking for a way outta here today, too.)

After I left my parents house, I carried and nurtured that love for travel with me . With 8 years together before our first was born, my husband and I explored (almost) every nook and cranny of Maui, cruised the Mexican Riviera, traveled the Mediterranean, and spent a lot of time scooting up and down the coast of California in our little blue Sunbeam Alpine. I feel very blessed by that time together; we shared adventures, created memories that will last a lifetime, and collected some really neat souvenirs. We’re both partial to the one we picked up in Venice, with the help of some fertility drugs and a nice Chianti. 😉

We knew from the beginning we would want to give our children the chance to travel. And, we have been lucky enough to do so, offering them a mix of domestic and international trips. As a family, we have been to parts of the Caribbean and Mexico. We traveled to Alaska and explored Vancouver. (LOVE Vancouver!) And, we have explored our “own backyard” with trips to California, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Kansas, and throughout Colorado. Like their dad and I, we have watched them grow in understanding of themselves and the world around them. And, we have watched their self-confidence grow as a passion for travel takes root in both girls.  Each trip has offered special gifts. In my book, travel isn’t about the miles crossed as much as it is about the people met and the connections made, which can include those made in the town next door or at the local farmer’s market–which won’t return until the warm weather does. Just sayin’, in case you forgot, it’s cold here. Back to the Azores…

Looking at the list of “bargain destinations,” I began thinking about the goal setting I’ve been working on for 2012. With homeschooling, we’ve always enjoyed the flexibility to travel on our own schedule. With C starting college next year, that luxury will be coming to an end soon; one of the transitions I’m not looking forward to. I scanned the list for possible vacation sites for the family. Of course the Azores would be nice, and I loved Athens. Haven’t been to Poland, and though I know my mom loved Egypt, I’m not sure I want to visit there right now. Budget is always a concern, but San Diego will likely make the list since I have some fabulous sisters out there. One by one, I read through them all. But, it was the unlikeliest of destinations that caught my eye; Kansas City. I read the description and couldn’t believe it had made the same list as San Diego and the Azores. No offense, Kansas City, but you aren’t the city I think of when I think “vacation time.” Then, I remembered a small life detail; Kansas City isn’t far from the college C is strongly considering. And, we need to make a trip out to visit the campus before final decisions can be made. Just like that, Kansas City made the short-list for 2012. Seriously? Kansas City?

This morning, I mentally traveled to the Azores in a desperate attempt to escape the cold, but I ended up in Kansas City. Certainly not where I thought I would land. But, no regrets. These are the transition years, and you just got to roll with them. Funny how even travel plans change with kids. At least Kansas City should be a bargain.

Did your day end up the way you thought it would today? And if not, did you roll with it?

©2011 Mary Lanzavecchia/Transitioning Mom