Weekend Roundup: Ithaka, Vandalism, and the Holidays

Things I’m digging lately:

  • The Lies Your Mind Tells You to Prevent Life Changes – A post from Zenhabits that we should all revisit from time to time.
  • Why the Creepytings National Park Vandalism is a Big Deal – If you have not heard about this “artist’s” vandalism, it is worth reading about.  She has vandalized precious, beautiful locations that belong to us all.  Some may say that this is not that big of a deal (I am not one of those), but seeing where she painted turned my stomach.  I only hope that this can be used as a lesson to many about the importance of respecting our wild, beautiful, and public lands.  Unfortunately, we saw our share of vandalism in parks, most notably in Joshua Tree and in Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, but nothing quite so widespread or brazen as this.
  • Holiday Calendar from Center for a New American Dream – Looking for some alternatives to a holiday season filled with shopping and last-minute errands?  The Center for a New American Dream has put together a great holiday calendar with ideas to celebrate the season away from the malls and the online retailers.
  • And finally, I leave you with the last two stanzas of Ithaka by the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy.  Click here to check out the entire poem that speaks so loudly to me right now.  Does this resonate with you?  What is yourIthaka right now?
    .   .   .

    “Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now.

    And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.”

 

Have a beautiful weekend, friends…

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Free Admission to Over 1,000 Museums – This Saturday

Are you looking for something fun to do this Saturday?  If you live near one of over 1,000 museums across the country that is participating in Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live! (and chances are you do), you have the opportunity to check out a great nearby museum for free.  Go online here to check out which museums are participating and to obtain your free tickets.  Keep in mind that you have to obtain your tickets in advance online and that there is a limit of two tickets per person.  This is a great opportunity to visit that museum you’ve always thought of checking out, but that never quite made the cut when you planned your excursions.

We’ll be headed to Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, Vermont this Saturday.  Museum Day Live! happens to coincide with the connected Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park’s Forest Festival, so I’m sure it will be a full day.  We’ve already spent two days exploring the National Historic Park (and Van has a junior ranger badge to prove it), so we’ll spend more time at the farm and museum and are very grateful to have the opportunity to visit this great museum at no cost.

Will you be headed to one of these museums this Saturday?  If so, where will you be exploring?  Let us know in the comments if it’s a museum you’d recommend to others.

Tour de Smithies: Olympia Style

Sarah and Me in Olympia

Sarah and Me in Olympia

The Boys!  Elliot, Emerson, and Van

The Boys! Elliot, Emerson, and Van

Rolling into Olympia, Washington, we continued our pattern of staying with friends from my days at Smith College.  Anyone who knows me even slightly knows how much I absolutely loved Smith and how much I love my friends from Smith.  Apparently, the love doesn’t go one way.  Our incredibly generous friends Sarah and Scott (and their lovely and energetic sons, Emerson and Elliot) invited us to stay for an extended period.  They hosted us for a record eight nights.  Yes, you read that right – EIGHT nights!  They should be sainted.

Love these peeps!

Love these peeps!

It was so incredibly wonderful to have a bed to sleep in, a shower to use, access to laundry facilities, and to not have to worry about the weather.  But more than that, Sarah and Scott are a walking party.  Literally.  We haven’t socialized that much since…I can’t even remember!  We attended a total of four parties that week – and Sarah and Scott attended two additional parties (for a wedding) – so we were seriously not keeping up.  It was such a fantastic change of pace.  But, even better, I got to spend some excellent quality time with a wonderful friend who I haven’t seen in ages and her equally awesome husband.  And Van had the chance to play with the big boys and all of their exciting toys.  I think he was most excited by having a table to sit at that was just his size.  Mental note for when we no longer live out of a tent.

Festivities in Olympia

Festivities in Olympia

Between the parties, we had the chance to check out a bunch of different places in the area.  We hit up the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge and the Farmers’ Market with our friends, and when they were busy at work, we headed to Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Bainbridge Island, the Bainbridge Island Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial, the Foulweather Bluff Preserve at the northern end of the Kitsap Peninsula, and the Olympia Hands-On Children’s Museum.

We also spent a day in Seattle exploring and were lucky enough to meet up with Sarah in the afternoon so she could show us around.  On our very last day in Olympia, Sarah, Scott, and the boys accompanied us Staircase in Olympic National Park.  We took our second hike of the trip with friends (the first with another Smithie and her son, Rebekah and Rhyer), and had our very first campsite visitors.  So fun!  It reminded me just how great it is to camp with friends.  Something I hope to do lots of in the future.  Any takers?!?!

Note the bench we found on our hike – we joked that it was a casualty of the sequester.

Bench in Staircase, Olympic National Park

Bench in Staircase, Olympic National Park

Thank you Scott, Sarah, Emerson, and Elliot for an absolutely wonderful week.  We miss you all already.  Please come visit wherever we wind up settling down!!!

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Van and Elliot

Van and Elliot