Yes, I'm home once more. And will be staying home for a while! What with having been gone so much for Kripalu School of Ayurveda, and then with some flower essence workshops, and most recently visiting my Mom in Missouri, I do believe that I'm done traveling for a while.
However, the recent trip to Missouri was wonderful all the way around! I was in the mood for a Road Trip, so decided to take the Prius and drive to/from Mom's house. These long solo journeys are incredibly fulfilling; I listen to some music but mostly to lectures, and completely let go of everything except being in the moment. Two years ago, I mostly listened to Eckhart Tolle, last year I was absorbing Ian Watson, and this year's passage was enhanced by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Because I hadn't been through these states for a while, I dropped down to go through northern West Virginia and Kentucky -- glorious countryside. Coming home, I took the upper route of Ohio and New York; again, great weather and beautiful scenery. The actual driving time - minimum - is 25 hours so it did take me three full, long days each direction, but the solitude and views were well worth the extra time.
I'd become quite taken with staying in bed-and-breakfasts while traveling, and this trip was the same. Two of these b&b's were particularly memorable! On the trip out, I stayed with Maggie and Larry at the Serene View Farm B&B in Pennsylvania. I could have stayed for days at Serene View; tucked away in the countryside, the peace and quiet was delightful, the grounds fabulous, and the hospitality warm, welcoming and family-like. Coming home, I stayed for a second time with Chris and Leon at the Bellinger Rose B&B in New York. Chris and Leon are awesome hosts, the rooms are breathtakingly beautiful and comfortable, plus, and this is a huge bonus for me and one of the reasons that I chose to stop again this year at the Bellinger Rose, Chris gives amazing massages -- just imagine the bliss of receiving a luxurious evening massage after a day of driving, right before bed so that you literally walk from the massage table upstairs to your room and are sound asleep within minutes! Ahhhh, heavenly. Both provided excellent, full meal breakfasts that tasted totally yummy -- and both even have dogs on the premises! I can highly recommend these two spectacular b&bs!
And the visit with Mom was wonderful, of course. Lots of love, and hugs, and the kind of easy conversation that only comes with family relationships built upon happy childhood memories. One day we spent with my nieces, brother and his wife in St. Louis after having picked up my youngest niece McKayla to visit one of the many caves of Missouri - Onondaga. Spectacular! We also drove further south to spend a night with long-time friends; their kids and us grew up together, even taking several vacations together to Colorado and the East Coast. They're really more like family than friends! On the way back from visiting those friends, I wanted to swing by and see my childhood home -- where I recall my first memories. Oddly, the place was for sale so we were able to walk around the vacated property; extensive renovations were done in 2003, so the place looked great and that was so rewarding to see. I still can't believe how drawn I was to this former home; its energy remained with me during my journey back here. Powerful.
So, a fantastic trip and visit! I'm very grateful for the way everything fell into place so that I could make this happen -- Ron took care of the kitsnk9s in my absence, as he always does when I travel, and did his usual fabulous job. So many blessings in this life.