"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Monday, March 26, 2012


It's been a long time since I have experienced Spring the way I am experiencing it now. For the last 27 years it was difficult to see a clear distinction between the seasons in a climate that was always warm, always like Spring or like Summer. These days, I hunt and hover over the new growth in the yard and in the surrounding areas like a child waiting for an egg to hatch. The new growth on the trees here are brighter and greener than I had ever noticed in FL, probably because it's easier to see a horizon change from brown to green than it is from green to green.  Pink hyacinths, lamb's ears, daffodils everywhere, and then this red flower, I don't know what it is, do you?

This weekend, the four of us went to hike a portion of a trail called Mt. Sanitas. It is one of the most popular loop trails here. It is 3.1 miles long, moderate to strenuous with an elevation gain of 1,357 feet, if you take the whole loop. We had only planned to take a half mile knowing the whole loop would probably be too difficult for the kids, not to mention it was already 4:30pm and the sun had begun it's descent. When we arrived, we could choose to take the left side ascent, known to be steep and strenuous, or the right side, known to be an easier, more gradual ascent. Again, thinking we would only do a short part of the hike, we took the left, more strenuous route.

After about a half hour of this, M. had had enough. This FL born girl, though she loved climbing rocks, was getting tired of the consistent and unrelenting ascent. Her tired little muscles didn't want to go any further. E., my active, parkour loving 9 year old, wasn't ready to be finished. I saw the excitement in his eye and the smell of a good challenge filling his senses. He looked at me with pleading eyes. How could I say "no"? After all, I love a good hiking challenge myself and climbing uphill like this released endorphins that screamed in my ear "keep going, keep going!" So, without knowledge of this trail, or how far we had left to go, and without memory of the last time I hiked this hard, I said "let's go! We planned on meeting Hubs and M. at the beginning of the trail, oh maybe an hour or so later. I had my water, my son, a fantastic hike in front of me, energy, I was ready. The only thing I didn't have with me, I figured out later, was my phone.

With views like these, and nearly 2 1/2 hrs. later, this challenging hike was well worth the unknowing, the forgetfulness of my phone, the scolding from my husband for his worry and forgetting my phone, and the following day's soreness. It was an amazing hike, but even better was the beautiful one-on-one time I was able to spend with my boy. His perseverance, his energy, his determination, and his positive attitude, even when the ascent just never seemed to end, made me so proud of him. Being at home with both my kids all the time leaves little chance for one-on-one time with either of them, so moments like these are absolutely priceless.

As we finally approached the last few minutes of our loop, we were greeted by a beautiful cat on a leash named Neve...

then deer...

and then my sweet  daughter M. running towards us with open arms, and a relieved look on my husband's face in the background.  E. and I  decided that this trail is one that we will hike together often, but next time with my phone :).

I have one more beautiful thing to share about this weekend. As a lady passed by us on the street mall yesterday, I noticed the strutting, spunky, fluffy sheepdog mix she had on her leash. As soon as I saw the dog, it reminded me of Walter, who we just saw in the pound 2 days before. I said smiling, "There's a dog just like that in the pound." And she said, "This is the dog from the pound, I just adopted him yesterday!" I so love happy endings :).

Good Monday to you


Linking with Amanda...


  1. MJ, what a beauiful spot to hike. I must be perfectly honest and say I am a wee bit envious [ :) ] of that view!

  2. The red flower is a tulip, in full bloom. :)

    Really amazing views!!! Definitely worth all it took to get there! Such a happy ending for Walter! Wish they all had that happy ending. Those eyes on the cat - WOW!!! I had a Siamese, but his eyes were nothing like that.


  3. what an awesome story about that sweet little doggie being adopted!!! yay :)

    and i love that you had such a great hike with e, a little mama and son time. we try to do that periodically with each of ours - not always easy and it usually means i'm giving up MY time but it's always worth it!

  4. How lovely.
    What an amazingly beautiful place.x

  5. I love that you got a serendipitous time with your boy. I love the dog story happy ending too!


  6. I love spring, but I hope this is going to be my last one for a while and that I will soon be living in a warmer climate with 12 months of summer. I wonder if I'm going to miss the change of seasons eventually, tho...

  7. aw, the dog story made me so happy.

    what a hike! yes, phone please next time. lol
    but you had your water at least. i would have loved it. i'm SO not a sporty person yet can hike for the olympics! :)

    and i can understand the gold of 1-on-1 time with a child.

    i wait for the change of seasons, the moment of change. over here it's so drastic. spring and autumn (fall are gone not long after arriving.

  8. Awesome hike! Wow, that sounded like a lot; I'm proud of you guys. And I luuuuurve that happy ending to Walter's story.

  9. Also, I know just how you feel about Spring. After living in Hawaii, I get so very excited about seeing buds on trees and tufts of green grass poking through here in Annapolis. It's the change that really makes me pay attention; as opposed to Hawaii where things are constantly lush and so I overlook the flora and the fauna.

  10. I bet you are still a little sore after the climb! I smiled when I read you forgot your phone. That is something my husband and son do and it drives me nuts. Glad you saw a happy ending from the rescue center!!

  11. What a wonderful hike-such beautiful views. Yes I understand the feelings about seasons. I have to have my changes. Love that puppy happy ending and my daughter and I are in love with Neve. What a beauty.
    PS I would have scolded you about the phone just like I scold my husband. :)

  12. What a wonderful weekend! I so miss hiking!

  13. Beautiful country you live in there missie.
    Great story too about the bond with your boy. You are such a good mama! And my hubbie would also be very PO'd if I forgot my phone (and I have.) Those hubbies and daddies do worry you know....
    and I LOVE the dog story. What a coincidence!

  14. The full Sanitas loop is a tail kicker, for sure. High-five to you two for summiting!
    Oh, and the red flower is a tulip, that has fully opened.

  15. Wow -- what a wonderful hike! I too enjoy so deeply one on one time with each of my kiddos, it gives such a loving one one one connection and memory.

    I believe the red flower is a type of tulip that is quite wide open. We have them in our flower beds, but they pre-date our owning this house. But when they first come up they are closed like a tulip.

    So glad you are settling in well and embracing all that is spring!

  16. What a happy little ending! So happy to hear about a dog finding a good home--and how ironic that you saw him again! And, love the kitty on the leash.... oh my, she's pretty!

  17. what a pretty day y'all had. that cat is beautiful, I mean those eyes are just amazing.

  18. The time spent with your son, with your family is time good spent. He sounds very similar to my 7 year old.... and that flower ...I have no idea what is called but it is gorgeous : )

    Who doesn't love happy endings? ; )

  19. Wonderful! Congrats on a great hike... I don't remember the last time I was fit enough to do a walk like that. I am proud of you! The flowers are beautiful too! Is the red one a type of tulip perhaps?

  20. Did anyone answer? I'm pretty sure that's a tulip. It sounds like you had a terrific hike, and I just love that story at the end. :)

  21. Oooh, what a lovely hike. My daughter lives in Denver, and my brother in Durango, and seeing that landscape makes me want to book a trip! Looks like you and your family are embracing your new environment very well!

    Such wonderful news about the dog! :) And isn't that cat gorgeous? Wow.

  22. How special! I bet it will be one of E's favorite memories, one he may even tell his kids about. Those are the moments I live for. And while I know the importance of having your phone, I can't help but think it wouldn't have been as special if a phone were involved and that's why you didn't have it. (Maybe just the serendipitous lover in me)
    Yay for the doggie!

  23. yay for Walter! And that hike, I love the same kind of challenge. You have me wishing I could go right now! My energetic guy usually ends up running ahead like a puppy and coming back to meet us!

  24. hooray for everything...that's the very definition of hiking in colorado...thinking you're very seriously going to die and then aaaaahhhhhh!

    that's a tulip...just all opened up.

    have a lovely!


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw