Category Archives: Travel

When I Lived in Aleppo

Early in our marriage, my husband and I liquidated or stored most of our meager belongings, hopped a plane, and landed in one of the beigest places we’d ever seen. We set out on our first adventure together — teaching at an international school in Aleppo, Syria (known regionally as Halab).

aleppo citadel before war
The gateway into the Citadel, the city on the hill, snapped during our first month in Aleppo. Click here for more breathtaking views from The Guardian. Today the Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site has been damaged in the war that broke out in 2011.

I want to share with you what that was like. I want to remember what it was like. There is virtually nothing else I can do to help Aleppo today, other than prompt you to think about it, about the very real people who are trying to survive there, who are dying there, who are burying their dead there.

I knew warm and kind people there. I had fun times there. Even the icky things left me with fond memories of there. Continue reading When I Lived in Aleppo

Fly Fishing

The summer of 2016 seems to be the one where I do a bunch of things I never thought I’d do. In June it was whitewater rafting, and in July it was fly fishing (full account over on MileHighMamas.com, with commentary from both of my kids).

silverthorne fly fishing
The rainbow trout I caught (and released). Fly fishing experience courtesy The Colorado Angler.

In August, it is slated to be the mind-blowingest one of all: parenting a high schooler. How is THAT happening??

Anyway, my family was treated to a lovely weekend in Silverthorne, Colorado, just an hour up I-70 from the Denver area. People sometimes think of this town as a place you stop on the way to ski resorts, stopping at the Outlets for some deals, but we ended up loving Silverthorne as its own destination.

My Predictions About Fly Fishing? All Wrong.

I’d predicted I wouldn’t really enjoy fly fishing, but I did. I predicted my daughter would think it boring, but she loved it. I predicted my husband would be the only one to catch a fish, but he wasn’t (though his was the biggest). I predicted my son would love fly fishing, but he merely tolerated it.

fly fishing brown trout
The brown trout I caught (and released).

I didn’t think I’d look good in waders, but damn if I didn’t rock ’em. I didn’t think I’d touch the fish I caught, but I did. I didn’t think I’d ever want to go fly fishing again, but I do.

We later tried stand up paddleboarding, and also I managed to embarrass my teens at an outdoor concert with my middle-aged (how did THAT happen??) singing and dancing. We toured a microbrewery, ate ice cream along the Blue River, grilled our own steaks, and made many memories together.

It was a super fun mini-trip. No wonder we’re hooked on Silverthorne.

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This post is part of #MicroblogMondays? Whazzat? A post that’s not too long. Head to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

Busting a Fear

You may recall that I am one of the most bawk! bawk! chicken-y people around (remember the double-dose of Xanax I needed to get through a simple LASIK procedure?).

I am on a quest to bust through some of my limiting beliefs, like the one that says I don’t get along well with water, especially wild water. So earlier this month when we took a family weekend in Colorado Springs and the others wanted to go whitewater rafting? I resolved to model for my kids how to be brave, how to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Gulp. I don’t much like being cold, being underwater,  or proving the existence of gravity.

Thanks to guidance from VisitCOS, we entrusted Echo Canyon River Expeditions with my family’s desire for an adventure and my desire to not die a watery death.

family goes river rafting

When we checked in, the owner approached my husband and me to ask if we were first-timers (I was) and if we’d agree to provide a testimonial on camera when we returned. I balked. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. Endure was about the best I could hope for. I told the owner I’d let him know after I returned.

If I returned (please God let me return). Continue reading Busting a Fear