Vacation Inspiration

My beautiful view of Palo Alto

My beautiful view of Palo Alto

I find myself this week in beautiful Palo Alto, California, visiting my sister, her husband, and her son. I’ll also have the opportunity to catch up with friends, interview the next artist for my podcast, eat some delicious food, and visit a major Magic tournament. Needless to say, I’m already having a blast.

Yesterday I accompanied my sister to work in the morning. While she was at a meeting, I took a walk through Sutro Baths and Golden Gate Park. The Baths were right on the coast, and I was taken by the gnarled trees and water eroded rocks. There were small paths that lead to caves where water swirled and whooshed with the tide. Small remnants of human-made structures could be found from time to time, mostly worn away. Golden Gate Park was not quite as impressive, but it was still peaceful and a beautiful walk.

I recalled the first time I came to visit my sister in June 2011. I spent my time biking, exploring, hiking, and taking in the culture of San Francisco. When I got back home, I went through a short period of let-down as I settled back into my home routines. The problem is that when I’m on vacation, I come up with a ton of interesting ideas and ways to live my life. When I return, I often forget to implement the changes I have discovered while away.

So this time I have decided to be more conscious of the feelings and ideas I have while out of my routine. While I was walking around yesterday, I started writing down the ideas so I couldn’t just let them fade away later. Kind of like how you have to write your dreams down right away to have any chance of remembering them later. Here’s what I came up with yesterday:


For those of you who cannot read my crazy chicken scratch, here’s the translation:

Visit beautiful places – Banff, Arches

I love Philadelphia dearly, but traveling yesterday reminded me that there are so many places that radiate beauty that I want to explore. One of those I have already visited on a previous cross-country trip when I passed through Arches National Park. The red rocks in such delicate formations are breathtaking. Somewhere, I have a picture of my practicing tuba in front of one of them. I’ll have to try to break it out.

The other, Banff, I’ve never been to, but I have always wanted to. A few years ago I met someone who used to work in a cabin lodge in the mountains near Banff. She told me that it required a 12 mile hike to get into and was an amazing place. Ever since then, the idea of visiting has been dancing in my head, but I always find a reason not to go ( price of airplane tickets, fear of the unknown, etc.). I’m hoping my memory of the beauty of Sutro Baths serves as an inspiration to seek out the beauty in nature.


I exercise to keep in good shape, but I do often find myself in sedentary situations. It felt great to get out and move while exploring. I’d love to find a way to incorporate walking into my life more. It’s hard, since the easy walking I could do (around my neighborhood) is not exactly exploration. It means I have to make an effort. Wow, what a surprise, the things in life worth doing require effort.

As for running, I haven’t done it since college, and even then it was sporadic. I’m concerned about back issues, but I think that as long as I’m careful, I can be ok. More than anything, I just want to explore it to see if it’s something I would enjoy. Shake things up a bit.

Appreciate Milo (children)

I have decided that I do not want to have children. Actually, I decided that a long time ago (sorry Mom!). Having time with my nephew Milo is really great, though. Did you know that one-year-old kids are cute? Later tonight I get to visit with my friend Emily’s infant daughter.

This reminder was really just to remember to take in as much as I can from my experiences with young children. A much as I feel it’s not for me, there are lessons to be learned and there is fun to be had.

Population growth song

On the flip side of the spectrum, I started getting ideas for a song about population growth. I “joke” that the reason I don’t want children is because of overpopulation, so I’m making up for everyone who has many children. I thought it might be a good idea for a song. I also included the very dark line, “I’ll take some of you with me,” referring to the idea that if I’m trying to balance the population growth, I’m hopelessly outnumbered. Sure, my not having children makes up for someone who does, but what about the people who have 4+. So the line is a sinister (and fictional!) plot to balance things more equitably.

Watch the babysitting offers pour in now.

Sutro baths

Sutro Baths

It has been great to shake things up and find new ways to spend my day. I truly don’t know how many of these changes/ ideas will be implemented, but it feels good to get them out. Vacation seems to be increasingly less about unwinding and increasingly more about finding new ideas. I’m hoping that means I’m on the verge of a creative renaissance. However, I’ll also accept it as just another opportunity to play with stuffed animals.


9 thoughts on “Vacation Inspiration

  1. hooters says:

    I hear AZ is nice, or southern Utah…

  2. awittchen says:

    I would not post your proposed lyric, “I’ll take some of you with me,” on your Facebook or website unless you want the Office of Homeland Security or other similar law enforcement to come knocking!

    You’re right. Arches is beautiful and I can vouch for Banff also. If you ever do go, be sure to continue north to the Columbian Icefields and Athabaska Glacier (if it hasn’t melted).

  3. Gertie says:

    I’m writing a song about over population too!

  4. Okay, so I’m a little late to this post, but YOU BETTER NOT GO TO BANFF WITHOUT ME!!!

  5. […] few weeks ago, whilst in beautiful San Francisco (ok, it was raining), I wrote a post about the flood of ideas that I get while on vacation and how I want to capitalize upon them.  The […]

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