Shortly after my mom’s death we took a long-planned road trip to Colorado and Utah.  Intermittently numb with grief and overcome with sadness, I still managed to have a fun and memorable two weeks with the family.  The natural beauty of the surroundings inspired and comforted me, from Beaver Creek to Moab, Zion, Bryce and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Pics from the June 2011 Road Trip

In September 2012, Katie, Kristin and I made a pilgrimage of sorts to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Needless to say, it was an adventure like none other.  Africa held significant meaning for my mom and she hoped/planned to take her grandchildren on a safari.  Bringing her ashes along with us to the summit, and holding a ceremony for her there, at over 19,000 feet on a glorious sunny afternoon, was something I will never forget.  I wrote a short essay on the experience for a local writing contest.  The days we spent on Kilimanjaro were so many things – a walking meditation, a chance to savor time with my dear sister and cousin, an opportunity for reflection, gratitude and healing.  No cell phones, no distractions, no carpools or kids or errands.  Just hiking, sitting, eating and sleeping on that gorgeous mountain.  Looking back on those two weeks, I realize it was a turning point in my grieving process and I am so thankful for the experience.

In April 2013, Steve and I had the opportunity to visit Peru, just the two of us.  It was a great adventure, reminiscent of the trip we’d taken to Chile and Argentina in 2000, pre-kids.  We spent a few days in the Sacred Valley, then Cusco, and then the highlight of the trip – 4 days hiking on the Inca Trail, arriving at Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate in time for the sunrise on the last day of our trek.