Camping is spiritually, socially, emotionally and physically re-awakening for my soul! It just is. Plain and simple. As soon as we hit the road, the longing inside me to be ‘at one with nature’ is immediately soothed. The fresh, clean air, the familiar chirping sounds, the soft rustling of leaves, our roaring campfires–all of it comes back to me like a favourite, childhood blanket that is most certainly welcome after the long winter’s lull.
There is something significant about the first road trip of the season, as pictured above, when we get to officially declare that we are free from the white, snowy, cold thralls of Mother Nature to engage in her softer, greener side. Well, kinda….the truth is that there have been many a May Long Weekend here in Canada when I have camped in the snow and cold, but this past weekend was a glorious one full of warm temperatures and sparkling sunlight. It was truly a beaut! And, the best part of our camping trip was that it was, once again, shared with loved ones and friends at our family lake lot–the proverbial cherry on top, if you will, as I am silently grateful that we are all here and healthy enough to enjoy another summer together camping and fishing. While our first outing is freshly behind us, already a memory to be treasured, I eagerly await the next trip soon to be enjoyed.
“The images in my rearview mirror are sharper than before and my windshield is more open than ever!” ~Me
One of the things that we love about travelling is that you can find inspiration in the simplest of places. During our last stay in Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel, our room had a replica print of Picasso’s ‘Head of a Woman’ and I was in awe at how simplistic, yet expressive the lines are/were. It was then that I decided that I would someday soon try emulating his genius work. Given that my drawing skills lack more than lustre, I knew that I was delving into dangerous territory, but nonetheless here is a comparison of his work and my own.
Not too shabby of an attempt if I do say so myself, but certainly some room for improvement. (Clearly, the mouth gave me the most difficulty.) The good news is that in choosing to draw a Picasso, one cannot go too far wrong given that his portraits, in particular, were well-known for having distorted features leaving amateurs like me to feel somewhat successful, even with some evident faux-pas. While this illustration likely won’t make it on our living room wall, its essence is rooted in, “Never say never!”
If it weren’t for the fact that I was born and raised in the “True North, strong and free”, I might be Surprised by the weather this Easter weekend. Notice that I said ‘might’. While the ‘True North’ and ‘strong’ parts speak true for those of us who live in Canada, it seems that we, in fact, are not exactly ‘free’–from winter, that is! It appears as though Mother Nature has no regard for the calendar, or the Easter bunny, though he/she will clearly have some easy hiding spots out and about. Come to think of it, however, the multitude of treats risk not even being found for days (not a lot of fun!) at the rate we are going since the impending snowfall is predicted to last through most of the weekend, ending in accumulations of up to 30 cm of snow. Now if it were, say….December?!, one could agree that the following sight is rather pretty, BUT it’s April and mid-April at that. Just saying….
My husband and I had the good fortune of coming across this fine fellow in our travels to the Big Island of Hawaii last summer.
While neither of us knew nothing much of turtles beforehand, and still don’t really know a lot (though our encounter did prompt some ‘Google’ research), we were mesmerized with this seemingly free-floating sea creature. To see one up close and personal, separate from being in the water, is really quite something. Their presence is both ancient, yet evolved and they command (not demand) respect just by the very nature of their being.
In our case, we felt an instant connection with our green turtle friend, so much so, that we nicknamed ‘him’, Timmy. Not too long into our stay, Timmy was soon joined by Sammy and Gertie, which negated our theory that sea turtles were/are solitary. Each day, from our lanai, we searched longingly into the deep ocean waters awaiting our new friends’ arrival into our bay and sure enough, they would eventually surface. They would dive, swim, float, beach, feed and sun themselves right before our very eyes! We were sold on their ocean adventures and soon we were writing ourselves into their story, such that they came purposely our way each day just to say ‘hi’ and visit. That we were so lucky to have been their ‘chosen ones’. While it is likely that that was not exactly the case, it sure was fun to wait, watch, wonder and learn a bit about our newfound green sea pals. Perhaps they are now awaiting our return?!
Our view Atop the Wynn Hotel and Casino…
I don’t know what it is about Las Vegas, but I can’t get enough of it, and gambling has nothing to do with it. I’ve been there close to a dozen and a half times, and each and every time that I arrive back home, our next stay is usually ‘in the works’. The past couple of visits, especially, have been exceptional and I would definitely recommend the Wynn, if you haven’t been; though, our absolute favourite was the Aria–one of the newer hotels beside the Bellagio. Both the Wynn and the Aria are a little more quiet and laid-back–a big draw for us.
The Wynn, located at the north end of the strip area is far enough away from high-traffic areas, yet close enough to the indoor Fashion Show Mall (I am a girl after all) and other casinos, such that you don’t feel isolated. Within a ten minute walk, we were mid-strip in amongst all the ‘haps’, as they say. While we usually try to take in a show of some kind, we opted out this time and just enjoyed some fancier meals out; sometimes an experience in and of itself, since we don’t normally treat ourselves. Sure, we gambled a bit here and there, and I even won a bit, but really we just went there ‘to get away from it all’, as cliché as it sounds. Plus, there are so many things that you can do from basic sight-seeing to shows to shopping to all-day tours.
I love the above picture taken from our hotel room because of the dazzling lights and their indescribable allure–the most probable reason that we end up there a few times each year. Maybe we’ll see you around?!
Boredom + Creativity = Bobby Pin Caterpillar (sans legs)
While the above-pictured duo is an unlikely combination, I chose it for today’s Photo Challenge for exactly that reason; the result is/was unique. Here’s the back story, in case you are interested….
Table-side, at home, I always have a bobby pin handy to help tame my seemingly ever-evolving, out of control cowlick. One night, while watching TV with my husband, I inadvertently placed one of my infamous pins on my blanket et voilà…this little guy was ‘born’. Proud of my effortless creation, I couldn’t help but capture its fuzzy essence before my drooping bangs reclaimed the pin. I felt bad about letting my newfound caterpillar ‘die out’, so to speak, but those sporting cowlicks front and centre (with a widow’s peak, to boot) surely have empathy for my sticky situation. He sure was cute, though:-).