Yeah, that’s right.
I’m guessing there won’t be a Disney vacation this year. I was just there in December and already I’m
having “withdrawals”, but I’m thinking it’s time to take a break from the
Happiest Place on Earth. There will be
some construction happening at the Magic Kingdom, and rather than go and find
that something is closed or being refurbished, I’m thinking this year will be a
time for a little bit of a change.
I still have my driving tour of the Southwest I’d like to take.
The plan is to fly out to Arizona, get a rental car, and take four to five days
to drive from AZ to CO and then to fly home.
It’s basically an “Adventure By Disney” vacation only instead of staying
in one and two star hotels and being guided by Disney travel specialists/cast
members, I’ll be hitting the Motel Sixes and Holiday Inn’s along the way,
finding local attractions by myself, and just enjoying the freedom of the open
If I decide to do it, I can add AZ, NM, UT, and CO to the
states in which I’ve already travelled:
WV, VA, PA, NY, NJ, DE, CT, MA, NH, VT, ME when
I was in college (1976-1980)
NC, SC, GA, AL, KY, TN, MS, AR, TX, MI, IL, MO,
OK when I was in seminary (1985-1989)
OH, FL, NV, CA after seminary (1990-2008)
With those four this summer, I’d be well on my way to
visiting ALL of the United States.
The American Southwest is one of those areas that I’ve
longed to see but have just never taken the time to go and enjoy. I’ve flown OVER the Grand Canyon on two trips
to California, but have never stood on the edge of the Canyon to witness its
awe and grandeur first hand. I’ve never
seen the desert in spring. I’ve never seen the expanse that was the Wild West
at one point. I once had a small taste
of spring in the West. When I was at Dallas Seminary, on my first spring there
I friends drove me out to some of the surrounding areas of the Dallas/Ft. Worth
areas. I remember cresting a hill on one of the Texas interstate highways and
having to catch my breath. In front of
me for as far as the eye could see, there were vast areas of bluebells which
made it appear as though there was a sky blue sea in the distance. I was so impressed with the colors and the
extraordinary beauty of those wide open spaces that I have never been able to
forget that image. So I’m thinking I’ll take the spring to zig-zag my way from
AZ to CO.
In the fall, my sister and I have thought about driving to
Niagara Falls to take in both the fall foliage as well as to see the Falls. The
last time I saw the Falls were a few months after my dad died. Trying to recover from losing him, and
dealing with the rejection I had encountered from my home church, I took the
time to drive up to Niagara and find my way around – just to try and put some
of the pieces of life back together. Driving
there with my sis and seeing the beauty of a fall in the North would be a nice
change of pace.
So, yes --- I do go to places other than to Walt Disney
World. I’m fully aware that there are
destinations other than Main Street, USA or EPCOT. I realize there are places other to fly to
than Orlando, FL. I am aware of places
without castles, and characters, and manicured topiaries. This spring, I hope to see wide open spaces
of such splendid beauty that my eyes will ache from the glorious goodness of
purple mountain majesties and the promise of fruited plain abundance. I hope to look up into night skies painted
with the twinkling diamond dust of millions of stars. I will look into the depths of water-hewn
canyons and marvel at the colors of sand and rock revealed only by thousands of
years of sculpting by water and wind.