I’m just wrapping up a week-long road trip, my fourth in the past two years. This one involved beach time and mountain time. My normal tendency when blogging about these vacations has been to rank them; but these are all tied for number one. Each has been as unique, memorable and enjoyable as the previous for different reasons. The common thread is the set of family and friends and the variety of experiences.
Here are a few random examples of what I’m talking about:
- I spent two nights with cousins at their beach house near Virginia Beach. My cousin and his wife are educated, fun and great role models for aging.
- Highlights of the beach part of the week: a four-mile beach walk one day, a two-miler the next, a three-hour boat ride on a river and in the Intracoastal Waterway, I drove the boat for awhile, hours of conversation.
- Hours of chatting about family, ancestry, the medical profession, politics, children, cats, cars.
- Food note: no beach food. Had grilled steak and zucchini for one of the dinners, veal parmesan for another. Desert at an awesome local ice cream place.
- The mountain part of the week was near Asheville, NC. One of my best friends lives there and is an awesome tour guide as well as a great friend.
- My arrival night included wine, of course, a great dinner, an hour or more of great live music at a songwriter open mic night and, well, more wine.
- The big next day adventure included several miles of hiking in search of waterfalls at Dupont State Park. We saw four of them. I took more than 100 pictures. My legs are sore. It was worth it!
- I’ll wrap up my week tomorrow by driving the entire 105-mile length of Skyline Drive, the two-lane road built in the 1930s that runs through the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m sure I’ll take many photos.
I’ve never been a fan of action adventure travel with every minute planned. This loosely structured vacation with a unique variety of adventures is the perfect type for me: friendship, family, beach, mountains, music, wine, conversation.
I am a lucky man, but this is not all luck. I’ll give myself credit for putting pieces of my life together to generate my desired outcomes. I’ve watched others do this for a long time and now I have the confidence to make these things happen for myself.
The people I spent time with and the experiences we shared this week added to my life. And feedback from them says they gained a little too. Rather than saying I’m lucky, I should say I’m blessed.