I spent my weekend kayaking on calm waters, swimming on the shoreline, getting lost in good books, & enjoying the lovely lakeside… After such a long and intense week of training, camping was exactly what I needed to refresh my mind & body before another busy week starts. The summer clock is ticking away fast, and I only have a few more weeks before “busy” takes on a whole other meaning.
*I am trying to enjoy it while I can, because it is not going to last much longer! I hope all of my readers are having a great summer! Thanks for reading. 🙂
This big summer trip has officially ended, and it is very bittersweet to be back home. I missed my room. I missed my bed. I missed my birds. I missed dance! However, my family and I have made so many great memories together for the past month. We saw parts of the country that we may never get to see again. I saw landmarks that I never imagined I would ever see. This was a trip of a lifetime, and I am so blessed to have experienced such beautiful places. I recall:
being on the edge of my seat at that rodeo in Cody
taking a ride through Bear Country and seeing those wild animals stand inches away from our car in Rapid City
eating the best steak I have ever had at the Big Texan in Amarillo
a giant crow smacking into our car on the interstate in New Mexico
traveling through all of the Fly Over States (love this song!)
almost getting lost as we tried to find our way to Devils Kitchen in Wyoming
driving through Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs as pea sized snow hits our car in June
We are now back to reality. We are home! Thank you all for joining me on this fun adventure, and I really hope you enjoyed this series of posts. Which place are YOU most interested in traveling to after reading?
New Mexico is unlike any other state I have ever visited. The unique architecture and culture made me feel as though I was in another country! I loved how the modern towns expanded upon the pueblos of the Native Americans and preserved the building style that initially shaped the state.
Downtown Santa Fe is very historic, and it is the home of the “oldest church structure in the U.S.A. The original adobe walls and altar were built by the Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico under the direction of Franciscan Padres ca.1610”. I am so fortunate to have been able to see The San Miguel Church still standing tall after all of these years.
I also really enjoyed walking around Old Town Albuquerque and looking at all of the beautifully hand crafted jewelry in the little shops. We spent most of the day visiting the Albuquerque Biological Park and exploring the botanical gardens and aquarium. This fun adventure ended with a peaceful sunset over the Rocky Mountains…
Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my entire life… Neither pictures nor words can describe how spectacular it is, and it is something that you must witness yourself to truly grasp the wonders of Wyoming. I was able to gain a better understanding of how powerful the forces of nature are and how insignificant I am when compared to the ‘big picture’. GOD has created such diverse, beautiful world, and I am so thankful to have gotten a better glimpse of it. I will never forget that special place where stars lit up the sky… snow capped mountains smiled in the distance… crystal clear lakes shimmered… wild buffalo grazed in the distance… and moose, elk, deer, bear, and mountain goats all welcomed us with warm hearts. I was very sad to depart, and I am already missing the magical state of Wyoming.
*An ocean of lush, green grassland extended farther than eyes could possibly see. The hills were rolling waves, and the grasses rippled as they swayed in the wind.
*Rock mountains towered above us as we gazed up in awe. I couldn’t help but wonder if my imagination was getting the best of me.
*Fertile farmlands blossomed with corn and wheat for miles as the endless land surrounded us from left to right…
Scenery ranged significantly in the breathtaking state of South Dakota. Experiencing Mount Rushmore outside of a history textbook is something that I will never forget. It is a massive monument that is absolutely flawless! The balance of each detail is unbelievable, and I am still astounded that the creation of the masterpiece was even possible! On that note, we also visited the Crazy Horse monument. While we were there, we went into a Native American museum and viewed the historic jewelry, dolls, chief headdresses, clothing, and pottery of the Indians that use to call the area their homeland. Not too long after, we visited a retired gold mine and learned about how the miners use to search for the precious material! It was very interesting, and I learned lots of neat facts. Our busy day ended with a walk through Rapid City and the mouth watering taste of homemade truffles from a chocolate shop. What an amazing journey through South Dakota!
Despite the wet, windy weather that took over Nashville, we still had a great day exploring Music City. We visited the Ryman Auditorium (“the mother church of country music” since 1892), line danced, and experienced lots of live music. I am so lucky to have seen Preston James perform that night… He made Blake Shelton’s team on Season 11 of my favorite singing competition, The Voice! He is so amazing, and I am so fortunate to have seen this 17 year old star perform right in front of me.
In exactly one week, my family will begin the journey through 13 states in 20 days. We are going to explore some of the major national parks and landmarks across the USA including: Mount Rushmore, Cadillac Ranch, Garden of the Gods, Yellowstone, Royal Gorge, and the Badlands. It is going to be such an incredible experience that I am so thankful to have… I am so blessed to be able to spend this summer with my family and make memories that will last a lifetime. I will be sure to keep you all “posted” while I am on this adventure, and I will take lots of photos to share. I hope that you join me!
*Photo Credits: Richard Jean-Louis