Thursday, February 4, 2016

Can you believe it? It snowed in Colorado!

We had quite the storm hit Denver this week, with predictions of over a foot of snow. I am starting to learn it is never as bad as they say it is going to be, but this storm did pack a little punch. Right before I went to bed on Monday, I looked out my window to see a car just hanging out on the sidewalk. Apparently it crashed (quietly) but the person just figured they would leave it there, emergency lights flashing, until the sun came up and the storm slowed down.

As the cloudy morning emerged, so did our newly-white city. I took some pictures on my way to work of the Capital. It was rather beautiful blanketed in white. Although I was stuck at work, I really wish I could have had a snow day like most of Denver! The beauty (or pitfalls...) of being able to walk to work. I have no excuse to miss it!

Monday, February 1, 2016

One of My Greatest Travel Experiences

The moments in our lives that have the greatest impact often begin as the most unimportant. A quick morning coffee, and busy dinner with family. It is these moments
that need to be shared, and written down for those to read centuries from now, because
these are the moments that shape our lives. 
This beautiful family changed my life. 
This is how one of my most memorable travel experiences began, as part of my “normal” routine while living with a family in Quito, Ecuador. I was staying with them while teaching for two months in rural Quito, a place not known for its love and passion for life. But this family, wow, did they know how to live and love. With a large family, they spent so much time together, talking, sharing, conversing, and even working. With rapid Spanish flying throughout the conversations, I often just sat in awe of how excited they were to see each other.

One morning in particular will always stand out to me, as I ate my breakfast of bread and cheese while family members came and went in the tiny kitchen. The matriarch of the family entered slowly, immediately sat down with me, and started to cry. Unsure why she was sharing such emotion with me, I looked around for other family members. But no, it was me she wanted to speak with.
Slowly, in our usual broken Spanglish, she began telling me she had just been re- diagnosed with breast cancer. After being free and clear for 2 years, she was just informed she was in danger again. With limited doctors (and limited funds) she asked if I knew anyone in the United States who would be willing to talk to her about her options.

I sat there, mouth agape, thinking and wondering how such a warm, wonderful, perfect woman could have something so awful happen to her. Again. But now she was coming to me, someone she had only known for a short period of time, to help save her life.
I won’t go into detail about what I was able to do for her, which wasn’t much compared to how much she changed my life those few months. But I remember leaving that morning knowing we had shared something special with no language and no family history. Pure emotion took over; pure heartbreak and outrage over how unjust this life can be. But also pure love, and the need to take care of each other no matter where they are from. She did that for me, and I will continue to help her as much as I can now that I am back in the United States.

This moment, although it started as insignificant, became a moment that bonded us forever. Although we are from different cultures, we are all people sharing our lives. Living, loving and surviving, with the help of others. This is what cultures are meant to share. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

From the Archives: A Trip to Arlington National Cemetery

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently found pictures from my trip to Washington D.C. in 2014.

I took the expensive and awesome Washington Metro Area Transit from my hotel near Dupont Circle, to the Arlington National Cemetery, somewhere I had never been in D.C. before.
The day was clear, and the grounds were beautiful. I recommend at least 2 hours to meander around, see the various and anonymous graves scattered around. It is well worth the afternoon. I then walked all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, which was easy but somewhat far. Bring your walking shoes! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

From the Archives: A Trip to Washington D.C.

I have been to Washington D.C. before and shared it with you, but recently I found a few pictures from a trip I took in 2014... or the year I like to call the "My life sucks, so no blogging year." So you have never seen these glorious images, and I felt the need to share them with you. 

Sadly, I don't remember much about the trip that I can share with you, other than I walked everywhere. I think I tracked it, and I walked over 8 miles with my little Toms on. This city is so much fun, I highly recommend a long weekend here for anyone who is looking for a little history in our very young country. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Highlands in the Fall

As the (somewhat) harsh Colorado winter seems to permeate my every bone right now, I found these glorious pictures taken in November of 2015 of the colorful fall leaves.

It is what I love most about Colorado: the change in seasons, the feel of the crisp air as you leave your house in the morning, the leaves that fall and crunch under your feet during your evening run. It was glorious weather from September to November in Denver, and I am dreaming of it right now. 

PLUS, I recently moved closer to downtown Denver, and it is nice to see my old neighborhood, The Highlands, looking mighty fine in the fall.