In 1998 I visited the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona with my family. At that time Gaudi’s masterpiece allowed viewing from the outside. As a structure built from the genius artist towered over my impression of the entire city of Barcelona, I knew I would need to return to experience this work in progress as it continued to form over the years. The church tells a story of birth, life, death and eternity. It is evolving still today. As the artist envisioned, the passing of time and historical influence will ultimately shape the final structure. The organic elements are incredible. Just 6 years ago, I had the opportunity to visit this magnificent place again. The light, colors and clean space inside were inspiring. Today, there is even more development and energy at La Sagrada Familia. It should be completed in 13 years. I hope I can continue to see this structure form over the coming decade. Wow!
I love the word Journey. It is not about the beginning or the end. There are so many meanings based on the lens you approach it from. Two years ago my family embarked on a Costa Rican adventure which we will never forget because we were living on the edge of a bigger adventure. In our minds, we felt this was only the beginning to a life more connected to Costa Rica. It felt good to believe in the lofty and exciting adventure of running a business. It felt good to work hard, really hard..every day and every night. However the minute we realized that the journey was not enjoyable … and we could not build a business at the pace that worked for our family … and we would not be making choices based on what worked best for our family, we knew we needed to end it. That did not mean that our dream for the Weimann Family adventures (or a future business) had to end. In fact, it got even better. The journey is more than just a vacation ahead; it is the everyday too. I’m about to leave for Barcelona. Wishing we were all going together…
After our camping adventures in the Adirondacks, we were ready for a Tyrrell Family celebration. We headed to Lake Placid to celebrate my beautiful cousin Kelly and her gorgeous bride Jen. It was heartwarming to witness their love and marriage; I am so proud of Kelly and Jen as they begin their new life together. It was a celebration of love and good ole fashion family fun since most of the cousins shared a house and enjoyed the company of eachother and our children. During this part of the trip, I thought a lot about how proud Mama T. and Papa T. would be to see their 4 boys together with their children and grandchildren. The Tyrrell women are a strong and beautiful group (pictured here are just a few of us if you can believe that).
Camping in the Adirondacks for my birthday! Luke said this night crawler is for the top of my birthday cake, yummy.
My boys at The Falls
Time for Maid on the Mist. The beautiful Niagara Falls are surrounded by wax museums, flashy movie theaters, arcade games, lazer tag. Yep, only need 1 night here.
This will be an interesting drive to the Falls
I looked at this site a lot over the past year wondering what to write. It was a tough year but we are back on track and continuing to travel again. Sometimes I think one learns more from bumps in the road instead of when things go perfectly as planned. After trying to start a business that was not the right fit for me, I learned what to look for in the future. Plus I have been fortunate enough to dabble in another startup journey (although from the sidelines). Mike’s dad passed away this Fall; he believed in living life with no regrets. He had an incredible work ethic and adventurous spirit. We miss him and hope to instill these values in our own family. It is certain that we will carry his energy with us (I see his work ethic in Mike every day). Mike and I returned from an incredible trip with close friends to Tortola and now begin our family trip out East. First stop Niagara Falls, Canada for 2 nights then we continue to the Adirondacks for camping and hiking before arriving in Lake Placid for Kelly and Jen’s wedding. I learned so much this year about making a life which focuses on family and friends instead of trying to build a life around work. Work will always be there but Mike and I are finding ways to build a happier life. We are on this earth for such a brief moment.
Do you have a LIST?
You know, the top places you want to go and things you need to do there in the next 5 years? Mike and I have a dynamic list of national and international spots we hope to journey to in the next 5 years (then 10, 20, 30)…by ourselves..with the family…and there is no better time to conspire than right after each journey. When we traveled to Argentina and Bolivia last year we knew we had to get back to another Spanish speaking location,fast, as well as hit a spot in the USA. Hence the Colorado road trip with some camping last summer and then Costa Rica. Between now and December we need to come up with our next domestic and abroad locations. Biking in the south of France is my choice this summer, with the boys. Mike is off to a Haiti medical mission trip with my Dad in the Spring so this has inspired us to seek out some family voluntourism options. BUT how helpful can two kids under 4 be on a volunteer trip? This summer New York and the Jersey Shore in June is a definite but only for a long weekend. Late July, when work settles down will be the best time for the Paris + South of France biking trip! My mind is flip flopping around and research time is exciting!
Well, as my Costa Rica trip comes to a close and the ACIS travel season starts, I think about the joys and pains of air travel. We all experience amazing trips but sooner or later we encounter weather issues, mechanical problems and obstacles associated with airlines. Crying kids, late night layovers in cities we never meant to stay in are just part of it. There have been many times ACIS group leaders tell me their stories of such annoyances when dealing with the airlines but they also say it is always worth it because they have explored and experienced places beyond home. We all know it is part of travel however it is such a bummer when flight issues happen. We finally made it to Miami, 11:30pm and we are beat. An overnight here after a flight cancellation, a few hours sleep, then hopefully Chicago and the office tomorrow. These kids are troopers! My husband is amazing and Mike’s mom is the best travel companion. We will hit the wide open road to the world again soon. For now just a few hours sleep would be great….then back at ACIS Chicago to help teachers on their next adventures! (I may just be a little groggy if you call the office tomorrow)
After 12 days in Costa Rica, time to go home. Adventures with my family make me so ridiculously HAPPY. After my homestay in 1997, a trip to Nicoya Peninsula in 2007 and this time around I know I need to come back here more often. Definitely come here with kids, try glamping at Rio Tico Safari Lodge, explore Monteverde and wander the empty beaches near Marino Ballena National Park. Pura Vida!
If you are looking for beautiful empty beaches, head to the wildlife refuge of Hacienda Baru North of Dominical, then stop all along the way for more endless sandy beaches and Pacific views until you get to Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. I bet this area will not be empty for too much longer.