Today, I’m bringing another slice from my home and this picture was taken in Würzburg, Germany. Just a short drive from my home along the hillsides of wine country and the banks of the Main River filled with it’s barges, it has always been a neat place to visit for me. I love the combination of strolling through the old medieval town center with it’s ancient architecture, the heart of the city that is infused with modern shopping and a thriving metropolis. The big “Marktplatz” (town center) is filled with vendors during the summer months, offering unique trinkets, crafts and too many fresh goods to mention. You might even find yourself buying a bottle of wine from the local surroundings or honey. But whatever it might be, once again it boils down to the whole experience and the ambience of being surrended by culture and “Gemütlichkeit” which stands for a relaxed get together.
On this day we also found a few young artists sharing their bubble – magic with their bypasser’s and blowing huge bubbles into the air. Their playful attitudes were captivating to me while I stood and watched in wonder. Some others stopped and entertained the play for awhile, while yet others rushed by without giving it a further look. I noticed a similarity in those who stopped and everybody seemed to smile while being whisked away into the bubbly magic. Time stood still and there was a certain carefree nature to those special moments. A feeling surely anyone would have enjoyed, would they have been able to brake away from the claws of hectic to enjoy the magic that is always all around us.
While exploring a few pictures from my vacation in Maui, this one stood out and I remember it as if I was just there. We traveled another narrow road, this time going into the opposite direction from Hana, as it was winding it’s way along the coastline. Passing rocky volcanic outcrops and dream island beaches, every turn brought new beauty to our eyes. Visiting a blowhole was on our agenda for the day as we took our time taking in beautiful, never before seen sights.
Coming around another lucious forested bend, a tiny chapel caught our attention. Nestled into a setting beautiful and serene, it laid amidst the green grass framed by flowers and a vibrant hillside. Overlooking the ocean and sitting above a black sand beach, we watched the waves crash ashore in a never ending repeat. It was a sunny day with the bluest of skies and a few clouds for added drama. Life in paradise was perfect.
I wondered how many visitors the quaint little chapel saw each week and what services were performed here. For sure it would be limited and only house a few people in a very private setting. It really didn’t matter as I allowed my thoughts to paint their own vision. The picture my eyes saw, the location of the chapel, the unique and small size was perfect in every way, leaving me wishing to attend a gathering while giving thanks to a new day, the friendly people encountered and the beautiful landscape waiting to be explored and gazed upon once more.
Maui was beautiful during my visit in February of 2015. I had just left the “Ugly Beauty Store” behind me and I was on the road of finding my own truths while healing and putting some bad experiences far behind me. Maui was a dream and just what the doctor ordered. My mind was distracted by so much to see, even if it was only temporary, I had piece of mind and it was all that mattered.
The ocean was beautiful, from the colors of the water to it’s sea turtles emerging and resting at the beach, to the countless seashells that washed ashore and the whales in the distance swimming by, emerging every once in a while to take a deep breath and blowing water way up into the sky from their blowholes.
The vegetation was a luscious jungle, green and full of life that we often enjoyed observing from our enclosed and furnished porch. It felt as if we were in the Amazon, backed up to the jungle with all of it’s mysterious creatures, tropical blooms and stunning beauty.
The roads were narrow and we drove the famous highway to Hana that is only 52 miles long but roughly takes about 2.5 hours to drive. The highway passes over 59 bridges, 46 of them being one laned. The stretch includes 620 curves and you can imagine the adventure one finds themselves on when attempting to drive this narrow highway, locals zip through as if it was no big deal. I imagine them dealing with their own frustration when it comes to driving this heavily traveled tourist marvel.
Maui stays on my mind from the constant sound of a rooster crowing outside my bedroom window each morning. I was surprised to hear it the first time and it came unexpected. I live in an area that is not zoned for farm animals and immediately it made me think of Hawaii. Roosters roam freely there, walk the streets and wake you up in the middle of the night or before the sun begins to rise. It was funny at first and it was definitely a “What the heck” kind of moment as we heard it the first time, but laughter turned into annoyance after a few days, ha. I’m not sure I would want to deal with it all the time, but in a way I already do with my local rooster. At least this one sleeps at night and doesn’t start to crow until 8AM. A blessing in disguise and the silver lining after all.
But today I’m leaving the rooster and the traffic behind and remember this beautiful day at the beach while dreaming of relaxing in the warm Maui sun.
San Francisco – Cultural melting pod
This picture was taken on one of those rare occasions when the Golden Gate wasn’t shrouded into a foggy cloud cover. I got lucky and snapped away. Even the seagulls came out but the waters remained choppy.
Sometimes we get a mixture of things and can’t have it all, but that is only if we can’t appreciate the gifts we already have. It doesn’t always have to be perfect and that itself is perfectly perfect.
This picture was taken during my birthday trip to the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon a few years back. We took a three hour mule ride down into the canyon and it was an experience I’m not soon to forget. My mule’s name was “Red” and he proved to me that it is true what they say about mules. Stubborn, he had a mind of it’s own, often getting way too close to the edge of the steep trail, having me envision tumbling down over the cliff. Other times he started into a gallop to close the gap to the mule in front, of course ignoring my commands and subtle kicks to prevent the gap the begin with. The scenery was breathtaking, the experience one that will always stick with me and I wouldn’t change a thing. Utah is beautiful, colorful and rich in culture. Experiencing it in person is a must as pictures struggle to do it justice and even in person it often looks unreal as you are overwhelmed with the beauty and awesomeness at the same time.
And yes I was sore afterwards and I’m sure I walked bow-legged in true fashion of just getting of a horse….ehemmmm mule.
This picture was taking on the island of Maui. The waves were crashing ashore as the sky filled with drama to create this unforgettable moment. Seeing this picture, my vivid imagination always interprets the rocks as the teeth of a sleeping dragon. Perhaps alien alike or the mouth of an alligator. Can you see it?
Germany and Europe are the countries of castles, fortresses and long abandoned ruins. Sitting high above on hills and mountains, they oversee the countryside in all directions. Back in the days, their high perch served as a lookout to see approaching enemies and buy time to prepare for battle. Castles are as common in Germany as strip malls are to be found here. I do miss my castles and I always loved exploring these places of history and magic while chasing the fairytale of long past times. This is “Burg Colmberg” a fortress near my house in Germany. It now is privately owned and was converted into a hotel / restaurant years ago. Enter through the big wooden gate, ornate with wrought iron decor that used to keep enemies at bay, and step into the thick walled courtyard paved of cobblestones. In the summer outside eating opportunities are presented with tables nestled into the romantic fairytale atmosphere. It is one of my Mom’s favorites places to go when I’m home and we always have to pay a visit. The surrounding land is home to numerous bucks and deers that belong to the fortress owners, and of course Mom and I always bring carrots for feeding time. We spent the night in one of the rustic rooms during my last visit and it’s not every day you get to sleep in a fortress. The rooms vary in accommodations as well as price. I originally wanted a studio room with exposed beams under the roof that had amazing views of the lit up city at night, but it was a room with the original beds and we discovered that people were a lot shorter back then. Simply said, the bed was too short and I compromised on another room (equally amazing) in order of being able to stretch out. Nevertheless the room and the experience was one I will not soon forget and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
This picture resembles a piece of my home in Bavaria Germany and showcases the world famous building called the “Plönlein”. It is located in the medieval town of Rothenburg o.d.T. which is only twenty minutes from my hometown. It remains as one of my favorite hangouts when I’m back in Europe and there is something special about this place. Walking through the old cobblestone roads that evening, the bats where flying through the warm summer air. It was late at night and the “Nachtwächter” (Night watchman) was leisurely strolling through the many romantic side roads that intertwine the center of town to keep the city safe. The special ambience of this place that takes you back to long passed times, will always capture my heart by day and night and hold a special spot within.
As we are moving on to “Something happened in Mount Shasta”, I couldn’t pass up sharing this beautiful shot with you. We stayed at Burney Falls for a few hours, admiring the Falls, hiking a leisurely footpath that was leading downstream and which later crossed to the other side with a beautiful arched wooden bridge. The rocks on the side of the trail were a luscious shade of green from the covered moss that was thriving in the damp conditions near the Falls. I’m sure the wind would carry plenty of overspray to create ideal conditions for growth.
We hiked the other side of the stream that was gently climbing to the top of the Falls. Another bridge, simple and not as ornate crossed over the rushing waters once more and eventually brought us back to where we had started our loop. We took a few more picture and exclaimed that it was well worth the time to stop and explore this place once more.
Next stop: Mount Shasta
I feel myself drawn. Drawn to a trip that happened nearly a year ago as we spent a few days in the area of Mount Shasta. My memory has returned many of times since this trip, and I will always remember it as the journey of “Something happened in Shasta”. I felt it, but it was the mentioning and hearing it spoken, that brought even more light to the subject. I think I just never realized how bad things had gotten until then. I was tired and ready for a break. I felt physically and mentally exhausted and my spirit had grown dull. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I don’t recognize you at all” crossed my mind all too often when I saw my reflection, getting ready for work. I saw a shell, almost lifeless that mimicked the outer resemblance of myself. Life and my carefree nature, as well as the spunk, the sparkle in my eyes and the “Life is good” feel was missing. What was reflecting was pain on various levels, both again physically and mentally. My features began to change, harsh, serious, hollow like. Where did I go….I had to be in there somewhere, right??? But I was lost and caught up peddling so hard to stay afloat that the toll it took on me was no longer to be ignored. I felt trapped within my own skin, wishing something would miraculously just happen that would remove me from these circumstances. Of course life doesn’t work that way and we all know it. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Needless to say I was drained and I knew that the introvert in me and the INFJ personality type needed some time away from civilization. But more so, I needed a break from the service industry, the rules and the ugliness of being a servant and the lack of disrespect which I will never understand. But that’s a subject for a different post some day. What I will say now though, is that life was tough in many ways and I was no longer able to dedicate my time to helping others. My well was tapped dry and I had to become my priority in order to be any good to others. I know that some might not understand this process or would consider it as a time I stepped away, perhaps seeing it as a time that I was not caring anymore. It couldn’t be further from the truth, but I think it can only be understood by those who love to help and give, by the empath that picks up on the energies of others. By those who know that eventually it will deplete your own resources and that there will come a time you need to think about yourself and recharge your own batteries.
Mount Shasta was this kind of trip for me and I realized this during but mostly afterwards how truly needed this getaway was for me.
What happened in Shasta is nothing logical that can be easily explained, although you will find documentation of others who have picked up on the phenomena or the energy that surrounds this magical place. It was indeed something big for me, a life changing event that brought more new stepping stones and new insights to my life. It triggered new research and the desire to understand the depths of my spiritual awakening.
Beautiful Burney Falls was our first stop of this amazing trip that will always hold a special memory for me.
Stay tuned….as this is not all and the story continues…..