Sunday Stills: Favorite #Vacation Spot

Sunday Still banner vacation

To wrap up the month of May at Sunday Stills, let’s share our favorite vacation spots. As more of the world gets vaccinated against Covid-19, masks are coming off and the world is opening up! Hallelujah!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

John Muir

This week, I am sharing my favorite vacation images from my archives. Now, some of you world travelers, like Sarah, will have to choose your favorites, (aren’t they all though?).

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

While you think of your favorite vacation spots, remember why we take vacations. In my retired world, every day seems like Saturday and I’ve been on a perpetual vacation for a few months. But think of a vacation in broader terms, like leisure and travel, and how they are all connected. My point (finally) is this: How do the concepts of leisure, vacation, and travel make you feel? Would you say that these words invoke healing when you experience their manifestation?

According to Marsha at Always Write, her newest WQWWW (Writer’s Quote Wednesday) is “healing” and I suggest this is what time off does for us in the form of a vacation, leisure time in a hobby or physical activity, or travel! This quote speaks volumes:

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Join me as I share my galleries of trips down memory lane and hum along to the song titles. I apologize in advance for any earworms created. You will notice how many of my favorite vacation spots feature the colors blue and green, which ties in nicely to Tina’s Lens-Artists challenge this week!

I Left My Heart in … a US National Park

“Within National Parks is room–glorious room–room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve.”

Enos Mills

My family spent a LOT of time visiting national parks, notably Yosemite and Sequoia, since they were in California. Last July, I spent a couple of hours in Sequoia with Marsha, when she lived 30 minutes away in Central California.

Down In Mexico

“Never underestimate the healing power of these three things – music, the ocean and the stars.”

Unknown

My windsurfing husband dragged me to Baja, Mexico three times to the La Paz area. In nearby La Ventana is incredible windsurfing and kite boarding. I took my turns windsurfing in the Sea of Cortez as well as some stand-up paddling. A great vacation spot!

California Dreamin’

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

Hippocrates

Because I lived in California most of my life, I spent the first 20 years in San Diego and the rest in Sacramento (Northern California). On two San Diego vacations, I met fellow blogger, Janis, for lunch twice, and one lunch there with Liesbet, who I met in Sacramento! Since 2009, my vacations consisted of summer weekends at the Sacramento River Delta, with occasional visits to Yosemite. It has been my goal to stand-up paddle on every significant body of water on vacations!

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.“

Anthony William

Arizona was and still is a winter vacation choice. Not only did we meet fellow blogger, Ingrid and her husband in North Phoenix two years in a row, my brother and recently my stepdaughter now live in the Phoenix area. Winter roadtrip 2022 is in the works!

Blue Hawaii

“Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.”

Harriet Martineau

I’ve been lucky to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 with the goal to fix up and sell my husband’s house on the Hilo side. The house is dilapidated and needs work that we just cannot do at this time in our lives. This year we will make final arrangements for its sale. During these weeks, we did manage to do a bit of relaxing and exploring after taking care of the home. Hilo is not the tourist mecca like Kona is, but it serves as the county seat where most of the government infrastructure is housed. Hilo is also the wettest city in the US. In 2018 we visited Volcanoes National Park before the last eruption took place. In 2019, I got to visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens with fellow blogger, Graham. We had a blast taking tons of photos!

Viva Las Vegas

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lia Mishell

Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its casinos and nightlife. It’s also a great place for winter RV camping. In 2018, our winter roadtrip to the Southwest was cut short by unseasonable cold and snow, so we high-tailed it to Las Vegas as our last stop and enjoyed a pleasant week. Unable to visit Antelope Canyon that borders southern Utah and northern Arizona, we stumbled on the Valley of Fire State Park just an hour northeast of Las Vegas. I still got my slot canyon fix and plenty of hiking! In 2018, we met up with fellow blogger Maria, formerly of Sagittarius Viking, still on Instagram.

I sum up my vacation experience thus far with this meme I created when I was teaching leisure education and management at Sacramento State University. These surfboards were situated at a windsurf resort. I took the picture and added this thought to help make the point about taking time off of work or other obligations and enjoying leisure time!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

You Are My Home

“Come to the woods for here is rest.“

John Muir

One year ago almost to the day (May 2020), my husband and I stood together on our property for the first time.

Happy on our half acre

We’ve come a long way in one year, figuratively and literally! We are moved in and enjoying everything that goes along with building! All during a pandemic, no less.

New mfg home

Our vacation of choice in 2021 will be a “staycation” since we are new to our home and hoping people visit us as we continually move in. Will the unpacking and getting everything just right never end?

If camping in an RV counts as a vacation, then our 2-month stay in North Spokane RV Park was quite lovely despite winter/early spring-living while we waited for our home to be ready.

Like this Canada Goose family enjoying their home near a local lake, we expect to enjoy all the area has to offer. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Canada Geese Family

We plan to take some local overnight and weekend trips to the German/Bavarian town of Leavenworth; the Columbia River Gorge near Mt Hood, Oregon—motivated by windsports; and Sandpoint, Idaho; and beyond.

I know several bloggers who live near these areas, so lets meet up when the time is right!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

June Themes are on my Sunday Stills Photography Page

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

Good Gray Matter in these Blogger’s Links

I am looking forward to seeing your favorite places where you vacation and relax! Speaking of relaxing, Sunday Stills is taking a break next Sunday as my family celebrates a long Memorial Day weekend. See you in June and have a great week!

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: #Towering Turmoil

Sunset over wind turbines

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I am pleased to be back to the blogosphere after my 6-week blogging break. Thank you to all who continued to share your photography with Cathy at Picture Retirement for the month of August and with Hugh at Hugh’s Views and News in September.

I’m sure you are dying to hear what I accomplished on my break. Aside from new inspiration for blogging and photos of new places, the month of August and the first weeks of September were a towering cluster of life events.

This week’s theme is “towering.” What towers over you, literally, like walls, mountains, or actual towers? Or is it figuratively, like huge goals or tasks set before you, that feel like mountains of stress, for example?

This week, I will share my journey over the last few weeks while on my blogging break. While I managed to sneak a peek at several blogs during this time, I was struck by just how busy I was.

Hang on while I summarize and tame the towering whirlwind.

A Tower of Boxes

Towering Boxes

From March to present, I have been packing…endlessly packing. In June-July-August, I packed at least one box a day. Our 10×10 storage unit is almost full of boxes and half of our furniture. This will be moved in mid-October.

In case you haven’t heard, we bought a property in Washington State north of Spokane, and are working on having a home built. The house should be ready by mid-December.

Towering Tufas and Mammoth Lakes

In late July, I took my second solo road trip to Mammoth Lakes, California, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. I hadn’t seen my family since March, so it was a welcome reunion, meeting up with my daughter and boyfriend, and my brothers. In Mammoth Lakes, one popular attraction is the Devil’s Postpile (from another visit) that towers over us.

Visiting Devil's Postpile Mammoth Lakes

While staying in Mammoth Lakes, we drove an hour north to Mono Lake, which marks the entrance to Hwy 120 leading to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite.

View of Mono Lake

We visited the area of the tufa towers, made of limestone and calcium deposits fed by ancient underwater springs, some towering as high as 30 feet, show the lakebed of Mono Lake.

Standing beside Mono Lake

In this next view, you can see how tall these tufa towers are. Hard to believe we walked on the exposed ancient lakebed.

Mono Lake Tufa Towers Perspective

Before LA’s department of water and power began diverting water from the nearby tributaries from 1941-1990, the saline lake was full. Years of dropping lake levels nearly destroyed the lake and fragile surrounding ecosphere.

image of Mono Lake's Tufa Towers

Though nothing but brine shrimp live in the lake’s waters, it feeds the millions of migratory birds. Due to the tireless efforts of the Mono Lake Committee, Mono Lake and the surrounding area are now protected as a California State natural reserve.

We finished our last day enjoying a few hours at one of the Mammoth Lakes where we took turns on my inflatable SUP…

SUPPING Mammoth Lakes

…then a drive back to the Hwy 120 amidst the towering peaks to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite.

Tioga Pass Entrance Masked

Due to COVID, the NPS restricted automobile entry with permits reserved two months in advance. Though few people spend time in nearby Tuolumne Meadows, most people visit the popular tourist destination in Yosemite Valley. We had originally intended to spread my mom’s ashes in this area with the family under ordinary circumstances. We were able to get out of the car and walk around the meadows for a bit.

Overpowering Obligations

While in Mammoth, hubby calls to tell me he is scheduled for eye-surgery on August 6 to correct a detaching retina. Although it was outpatient laser surgery, I needed to stay home with him and was unable to take my pending week-long trip to San Diego to attend my mother’s delayed memorial service.

Due to fears of COVID, only my daughter, her boyfriend, and my brothers attended the service. Even though they sent me pictures and some video, the overwhelming guilt of this choice was hard to bear, but my family understood. I stayed home and packed.

And cried.

Unparalled Stress

Needless to say, August was the month of stress. My brother and his partner decided in late June they wanted to buy a home in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been living in our family home off and on for several years. Once Mom passed, we considered selling the house, later, not sooner.

While this is going on, my hubby and I restructured our property loan to include the construction and the home itself. Have you ever bought or sold real estate? Have you ever done both in one month? Buying OR selling is stressful enough, let alone doing both. Between signing disclosures online, understanding inspection reports for Mom’s older home and everything in between, I lost sleep!

Let me put it this way…we signed papers with the mobile notary for our Spokane construction loan on August 10th and received the wire transfer for the sale of the family home later that afternoon.

Adding to the mix were hot temps, orange sunlight from wildfires (see next) and unending stress brought out the worst in me. I continually worry about what still must be packed and moved. I have lived here 32 years, so you know I have a LOT of things to pack. Hubby comes home every day after working outside in the heat and smoke only to spend 2-4 more hours working inside and outside our house. He’s painted, fixed floors and ceilings, rebuilt the backyard deck, installed appliances, cleaned up the backyard, etc.

Well, I still had a meltdown. This happened after the week we closed on the properties and the weekend of my Mom’s service. Thinking I was OK with everything, poor hubby comes home from work and I started in about how we need to hire some help to get the house ready for pre-inspection, we are running out of time, yada yada…I ranted and raved while he said nothing. How do men do that?

Turned out that I was NOT OK with missing my mom’s service and saying goodbye to my family home. Once I recognized why I was so angry and stressed, I grieved again and let it go. How will I deal with saying goodbye to my current home of almost 33 years in a few months? Sigh…

Towering Billows of Smoke

Wind turbines and towers

To make matters worse, August was not only the hottest month here in Northern California, but as many as 320+ wildfires broke out statewide. We were quite far away from them, but we were surrounded by smoke and falling ash, leaving us with days of unhealthy and hazardous air (as in “don’t go outside”) and temperatures topping 110 degrees. Another reason to wear a mask!

Pool Closed

On a positive note, we finally made it to the delta to enjoy some fresher air at the end of August and celebrate our 7-year wedding anniversary!

Wedding

A Monumental Academic Task

In August I finalized my online university classes for Fall. The classes began the first week in September. The bridge across the river to campus is all but abandoned as students stay home this Fall.

Guy West Bridge at Sacramento State University

My course is easy to teach online because I have pre-recorded content from previous semesters. But what I love about teaching is engaging in the classroom, face-to-face. I don’t teach this class virtually using Zoom, but I could if needed. I recorded myself using a campus-approved video service…it is so weird to talk to a computer monitor staring at the corresponding slideshow. It’s confusing to know where to look!! I had some other trouble with some of the content and had to Zoom with IT to help me. As much as I enjoy and embrace technology, there are reasons I don’t utilize video.

The semester got off to a good start, however, and students seem enthusiastic so far.

Labor Day Weekend’s Overpowering Heat

Sunset over wind turbines

What was essentially our last weekend at the delta was some of the worst heat we have experienced. Try camping in your trailer with no hookups (read no electrical to power a fan) over night. This was necessary to be able to break down our structure which serves as a “garage” for our windsurf and paddle gear and equipment.

The AQI (air quality index) showed a ridiculous 200+, unhealthy for all. We endured, then gratefully drove home in our air-conditioned vehicles. The next week we pulled the trailer home under better circumstances.

Towering Travails on the Road Trip

I’m finishing this post as we take another road trip to pull the trailer to its new home in Spokane. Driving northbound on highway 5 through the Shasta and Dunsmuir mountain passes is an adventure in good weather. There would be no way to safely move the trailer in the winter.

However, driving the trailer home from our delta campground along the Hwy 5 proved to be a problem. We had noticed metal liner on the front of the trailer had pulled away slightly. Not worried too much we hooked up and headed the 60 miles home.

Hubby looked in the rear view mirror and noticed something odd so we pulled over to find the bottom half of the trailer exposed! That metal piece was hanging by a thread and would have torn off had he not stopped. He managed to manually screw in 5 screws to hold it together as vehicles flew by us at 80 mph shaking the trailer. It was beyond scary!

First thing Sunday morning, as hubby was hoisting the SUP and kayak onto the top of the truck, the darn kayak slipped and slid down the lumber rack and lopped off the side mirror of hubby’s truck! I held a flashlight while he (this time with his electric screw gun) cobbled the mirror housing back to the truck. Luckily the mirrors weren’t broken, and we were able to head out safely. We left the kayak home this time.

Several more deadly wildfires broke out in Oregon as we began our trip. There were no fires along the Hwy 97 through central Oregon, but the unbelievably smokey air from wildfires obscured the sun. The first leg to Bend, Oregon pulling the trailer took only 8 1/2 hours, instead of the usual 8. We camped in our other nephew’s driveway overnight and headed out early the next morning to Spokane to stay with hubby’s brother.

Aside from this, all seemed well until…

Our trailer got a flat tire! Another driver motioned us over frantically pointing to our trailer. We got out to see a shredded tire spinning uselessly next to the other tire. A trailer this size has dual tires, thankfully. Hubby fixed the flat and off we went looking for a tire store in which to buy another tire to use as a spare.

We finally made it to our destination in Spokane after another 8-hour drive. During the week, we dealt with a variety of items related to our home and property, including putting some things in storage and storing the trailer at our nephew’s home on his 10 acres in Spokane until we move there. He told my hubby that it would cost him a tri-tip a week!

Of note, both nephews are firefighters. Yes, they’ve been busy! My heartfelt thanks to those heroes who risk their lives every day under disastrous conditions.

It was fun to see the property although it was covered with towering weeds!

weeds

We met with our contractor and he outlined what he will be doing over the next two months. Despite all the towering troubles and uncertainty, these sure are exciting times!

For Sunday Stills this week, think about “towering” and its vast synonyms. For hints, I used a few in my headings. I am happy to be back to the blog and can’t wait to see what you do with this “towering” theme! Now you understand why I needed this break!

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

False Alarms and the Silence of Leisure Spaces

The silence of nature is very real...

The silence of nature is very real...

In early January, my husband and I spent a glorious week in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Silence of Leisure Spaces

We spent several days exploring the nearby beaches and waterfalls just enjoying the sounds of nature.

Hilo Surfers

We sat and ate our lunch in silence and simply enjoyed the show the surfers and boogie-boarders put on.

To sit in silence at the shore, watch the waves and hear the surf, is to appreciate the very breath and heartbeat of the earth. – Doe Zantamata

A look at a spot near Rainbow Falls. We did a lot of walking to various locations, taking in the “noises” of leisure.

leisure is a form of silence contemplated in the form of a waterfall

“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a divine mystery, or a waterfall.” – Fulton J Sheen

Our first night we were greeted by the sublime and not-so-silent sounds of Coqui tree frogs whistling through the night. Here is a short YouTube clip of their sound. The Coqui frogs are an invasive species on the Big Island and many folks are irritated at their nocturnal noise. Strangely, we could sleep to their sweet serenade.


Though we had a TV in our room, we chose to play Hawaiian music on our Spotify app. Imagine no news, politics or ridiculousness for 6 days!

A Not-So-Silent Alarm

Many readers have asked me if we were in Hawaii when the false missile alarm sounded. Yes, we were. We were heading to breakfast in Hilo before we drove to Kona to catch our flight back to San Diego.

The alarm burst through on millions of mobile phones ending in deadly silence as shocked people read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Umm, we’re on an island, how do we take shelter?

I had left my purse and phone in the car to run back to our room at the B&B and didn’t hear the first alarm. My hubby looked at me oddly and said “Something’s happening. I’m afraid to tell you…it’s on your phone.” I looked at the alert, feeling strangely detached and simply said, “it’s bullsh*t!” I immediately googled “missile threat Hawaii” and nothing came up, convincing me that this was fake.

All I could think about was, we’re flying off this island in 6 hours, and what’s for breakfast? We went to one restaurant which abruptly closed due to the missile. That was aggravating. You might as well go into eternity on a full stomach.

Not to be deterred, we drove further down the street to Ken’s House of Pancakes for their specialty macadamia nut pancakes. My hubby asked the waitress for the “Missile Special” and she howled with laughter! Looking around the place, most of the diners didn’t seem upset or worried that their lives were about to end.

As we waited for our orders, the silence was broken again as the klaxon alarm blared once more on everyone’s phones. This time telling us it was a false alarm. Almost in unison, diners looked at their phones, put them down and continued eating.

Talk about “no worries” mentality!

My bucket list item of visiting the Big Island for the first time with my husband was not going to end with us kicking the actual bucket that day. We enjoyed our breakfast and drove over to the Kona side and went on with the rest of our day.

Do you enjoy the silence that nature or leisure can offer to you?

Silence is the theme for the WordPress Weekly photo challenge.

Mahalo for reading!

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Opening a Thousand Windows

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

Pine Trees make a window onto the world of Yosemite Valley

While the featured image is not your typical glass-pained window, the frame of the pine trees yields a glorious view of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

“Oh these vast, calm measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.” John Muir

For all its natural beauty, sadly, this very mountain endured a recent rock-slide where reports from bystanders described “rocks the size of an apartment building” randomly detached and fell onto the valley floor.

John Muir’s sublime quote can be applied to any leisure experience we choose. Our leisure time spent enjoying wonderful places on our vacations and every day lives also opens countless windows to the wonders of our world.

This can be as adventurous as spending a day exploring an old, abandoned lighthouse in Mexico…

Framed in what's left of the Lighthouse window
Framed in what’s left of an abandoned lighthouse window

…to discovering a partially submerged window in an old abandoned pumphouse on Lake Natoma while stand-up paddling…

Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes
Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes

…Or as simple as enjoying the view of the swimming pool from a condo window…

Condo Window looks out onto leisure.

 

Feel free to share this on Pinterest!

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

 

Posting these Windows  of leisure for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

What windows open for you in your leisure time?

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Cabin Doors of Lake Tahoe

Colorful Cabin Door

Colorful Cabin Door

What is a blogger to do when there is no Weekly Photo Challenge scheduled this week? Why, post for Thursday Doors, of course!

Back in July (seems so long ago now), we stayed with friends in their cabin near the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It was another endlessly hot weekend in the Sacramento Valley, so a 2-hour drive to the Sierra Nevadas seemed like the best place to go.

After playing on the lake with the dogs and enjoying the mountain air, I took a walk with one of my dogs around the neighborhood and discovered LOTS of wonderful cabin doors!

The above photo shows the creativity and color this person added to his cabin door. Even though the sign says “Xx’s Roost” I doubt the roosters hang out there much since there are very active bears that lurk around in the forest day and night. Look closely on the door and you can see the electric gizmo attached to keep the bears away while the residents are gone.

Our friend’s cabin had an electric doorstep as a bear deterrent, and even knowing it was turned off during the day, you can bet I cautiously stepped over it each time!

A frame gives way to reflections

Love the red door of this cute A-Frame and how the trees are reflected in the windows. Must be a stunning view from the inside.

Door to leisure

Some lucky child is going to have some fun as she parks her bike in front of their cabin garage door.

A nice walk is all anyone needs to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in these unique Lake Tahoe neighborhoods.

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” Flora Whittemore

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Note: Addresses and names muted for privacy.

Join me on the weekly photo challenge next week, but in the meantime, stop by Norm’s weekly feature Thursday Doors!

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Seven Summer Fitness Strategies

Family-Fitness

Seniors-enjoying-water-Aerobics
image by Kimberly Glaster; used by permission

It is no secret that being physically fit prevents illness, keeps or gets us lean, and is ideal for overall health. Everyone has their own definition of fitness. Although May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, fitness should be an attainable goal all year long.

The trouble with summer fitness is…it’s hot outside! Heat for many can be a huge deterrent to consistent exercise. Other barriers to working out in the summer-time? Vacations and travel, chasing kids, new injuries as a result of weekend warrior syndrome, and other pesky summer issues.

If you have any doubts about your exercise and fitness regimen, here are some summer fitness strategies and tips to freshen up your summer routine and keep you healthy and motivated.

1. What are your time obligations during the summer?  Does the nature of your job change with the seasons? Perhaps you are a seasonal worker, college student, or school-teacher. A drastic change in work routine can be a barrier to finding the right time to exercise. Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too. Make lunchtime count. While at work, keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk, and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.

If your summer evenings are free and it is cooler to exercise, try these tips: 

  • Start a walking group. Round up friends, neighbors or co-workers for regular group walks. Plan routes through your neighborhood or near your workplace, along local parks and trails, or in a nearby shopping mall. Simply walking or jogging with a friend can be an added incentive to continue your workouts.Boredom is a workout killer and having a friend along can help keep you both accountable.
  • Visit your community recreation center or local swimming pool. Many recreation programs are offered after work hours. Join a club or summer sport team. In a recent post, “Who Says Adults Can’t Have Recess” there are non-competitive alternatives for organized sports

If evenings don’t work, try getting up earlier. The sun is up earlier on summer mornings, so an early morning walk or run can kick-start your day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you’ve adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.

If your days are limited, add more time to your workout. If you are walking for 20 minutes, add five more minutes to your time over the next two weeks. When you feel ready, add another five minutes, and so on. In a previous post, I suggested ways to get three hours a week for fitness.

2. If your exercise has become boring, revamp your routine. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids could become a weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool. Choose acFamily-Fitnesstivities you enjoy and you will be more likely to stay interested.

Try cross training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, zumba or body pump. Adding new exercises and rotating through different type of activities, such as walking, swimming and cycling, works out new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine.

3. No energy to exercise? Without exercise, you’ll have no energy. It’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps you are a stay-at-home-parent and spend your summers chasing your kids. Longer summer evenings mean more time for evening fitness activities with your family. After dinner, get everyone moving during a brisk evening walk.

4. Are you a weekend warrior who is nursing a sports injury? Get professional help from a certified expert, who can monitor your movements and point you in the right direction. If your injury is serious, visit a sports medicine physician, who can evaluate you and recommend specific treatment, such as physical therapy.

If you belong to a gym, hiring a personal trainer can boost your workout as well as introduce you to new exercises. A trainer can motivate you and give you the proper exercises to help heal the injury and get you back on track.

5. If you are planning a long vacation or holiday where traveling will take you away from your routine, try these suggestions:

  • If your vacation takes you into the outdoors on a daily basis, embrace what the area has to offer. Plan ahead and pack the right shoes, clothing and equipment to enjoy the hiking trails, the lakes or other wonderful leisure spaces available to you.
  • Are you staying in a resort or hotel? Check to see what amenities it offers to guests.
  • If you are traveling and visiting friends or family members, ask them what they do for exercise. If you belong to a national chain health club, find a nearby gym and schedule time to go. Or visit their gym as a guest. Just about every neighborhood has a local park with recreation facilities like jogging/walking trail, tennis courts, club house or swimming pool. Again, plan ahead by asking your hosts for the name of the organization and check their online class schedule.

6. Quantify what you have accomplished so far. Keeping a record over a period of time and seeing results can be extremely motivating. Write down how many days you exercise, for how long, record any inches or weight lost (or gained). Do your clothes feel looser? Keeping an exercise journal can be very simple, from jotting on a notepad to keeping track on a mobile app. By writing things down, you can visually see what you have accomplished and see what else you might need to do to adjust.

7. Check out your gear. If you are wearing the same old shoes you’ve had since 2011, look for wear and tear to make sure you aren’t causing harm to your feet, knees and legs. If you swim, take a close look at your goggles or perhaps fins if using them. Many stores have summer clearance sales. Now is the time to buy something new to add to your exercise wardrobe. Nothing like a bright color to put a spring in your step!

Don’t let hot weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with time constraints or other barriers.

We all need to live balanced lives, and committing to leisure in the form of exercise in a consistent manner can lead to better health and happiness!

 

No Room; But There’s a View

Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows
The Mountains are calling and I Must Go–John Muir

I never get tired of visiting Tuolumne Meadows in the high country of Yosemite National Park in California. My parents traditionally took their two-week vacation to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which from San Diego was about an 8 hour drive. By the time I was eight years old and my brother was five, we were old enough to finally go with them!

I have been to Tuolumne Meadows 23 times (twice in 1979). “The mountains are calling and I must go.” ― John Muir. Muir wrote volumes about Yosemite and referred to the Sierras as the “the range of light.

Unicorn Peak overlooks Tuolumne Meadows
Unicorn Peak stands watch over the meadows

Although I am not nearly the writer as John Muir, I am still staggered by the beauty of the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. Nearly impossible to capture in a photo, the sunlight shines off of every pine needle, validating the incredible glow as the stately Lodge pole pines reach toward the cerulean sky.

Adding to the light are the granite peaks reflecting their surreal splashes of what one might believe is water. Tens of thousands of years ago, the entire continent of North America was covered in ice. As the Ice Age ended, massive avalanches carrying untold tons of giant boulders and debris scraped and shaped the domes, creating vast, shining sheets of polished rock.

Glacial Polish on Lembert Dome

At sunset, the remnants of glacial polish reflect the fading sunlight, back-lit with an effect known as alpenglow.

At nearly 9,000 feet in elevation, even the night sky is ablaze with the light of billions of stars. The Milky Way is so bright it looks like clouds have made their way over the meadow.

Alpenglow
Alpenglow lingers on opposite peaks after sun’s descent

A day or two before our family vacation, my mother would schedule a trip to the library where we would check out a stack of books to take along. It was probably then I developed my love for reading. There was the 8-hour drive in which to enjoy a great book, as well as plenty of leisure time in between hiking and fishing trips. Laying on the meadow among the sedges, listening to the Belding ground squirrels’ high pitched warning whistles, with the gentle breeze whispering in the pine trees, created an imaginative setting for whatever I was reading. As I grew older, I was inspired to write in my journal about whatever teenage troubles I experienced.

Tuolumne Meadows

The Range of Light has infused inspiration into my soul since I walked these meadows in 1968 as an eight year-old. While the camera has its limits to what it can capture, my eyes see the miracle of the incredible beauty that John Muir saw. What scenery he described and illustrated in the late 1800s, I can now capture on my phone 125 years later. That in itself is an inspiration and a step back into time.

As a leisure educator, I revel in these special leisure spaces. Without them, humankind would certainly shrivel and die. I never tire of visiting, whether we stay in the campground or motel camp in nearby Lee Vining. Even more fun is when we go with people who have never been there, and experience the awe and joy through their eyes.

Show-Your-World

I have been invited by Tiny Expats to share this post on “Show Your World.” Please enjoy my backyard 🙂

Bleary-Eyed Blur: What Stays in Vegas…

Bleary-eyed Blur

Blur

Bleary-eyed Blur

In Las Vegas, a late night may contribute to a bleary-eyed view of the strip. 

This week, we were challenged to share a blurry photo for the weekly photo challenge. Apparently, I had several from which to choose. Here is the bonus photo.

Forest Blur

On a forest trail in Portland, Oregon, I captured yet another blurry photo. It made it look rather idyllic, don’t you agree?

Join me in the Ultimate Blog Challenge on Facebook for the month of April.

Ultimate Blog Challenge