Today's my mom's birthday, which got me to thinking about our (now long-distant) relationship, and time spent together. More specifically, I began thinking about our trips. As a single-parent she wasn't able to take us to Europe, but we did have some pretty memorable journeys together. Each of these undoubtedly contributed to my unquenchable wanderlust as an adult.
Most of our time was spent in Florida, though we did live in California for just under a year when I was about Lukas' age. From mini-trips to incredible Central Florida landmarks such as Rock Springs (aka Kelly Park) and Lake Eola, to weekends spent at simple, but clean, motels in Indiatlantic Beach, we traveled within our means. Then, around the age of 13, my mom took me out to the Grand Canyon to meet my paternal grandparents, cousins, and biological father for the first time.
In addition to meeting people who I would grow to love fiercely, it was the first trip where it was just me and mom (my two sisters stayed with mom's parents), and we saw some absolutely incredible places! Of course, everyone who visits the Grand Canyon is awe-stricken, but to then see my father - and bits and pieces of myself in his features and demeanor - set against the backdrop of one of the world's most spectacular places, made it nothing short of unforgettable.
Now that I'm "all grown up", mom and I see each other in various places across the globe. From hikes in Queensland, Australia and a girls' caravan trip (this time, with my sisters and a very-young-Lukas) on South Africa's Garden Route, to Germany's Christmas markets, the Brussels' Atomium ("I know you just got off of a transatlantic flight mom, but lets just stop here quickly!"), and a slightly unfortunate visit to the city of Antwerp involving an emergency shopping trip to replace the wet pants of a toddler, we now have so many (mostly) fun memories to share.
And then there was a very fun Girls' weekend in sweet Savannah, Georgia, and, more recently, a visit to a "Swamp Cabbage Festival" somewhere in deeply-rural Florida. I could go on and on, but because I have an important phone call to make, I won't. :)
Yes, my mom, she loves to travel. And, on this, her 54th birthday, I salute her unquenchable wanderlust, and thank her for sharing it, and a great many journeys, with me.
I love you, Mom!
P.S. Big birthday hugs from Lukas, Alexander, and Tobi!!!