Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3 Bucket List Destinations for 2015

I’m a dreamer. I add things & places to my Bucket List probably everyday. Some are feasible, some are a stretch, and others are a little bit ridiculous! Something exciting about this year, is I get to cross off at least one of those from my list. Here are three places I would like to visit in 2015. (I cheated a bit because one of the places I went to about two months ago, another place I will probably visit this year, and the third is probably not going to happen yet).

Victoria Falls
Located on the border of Zimbabwe & Zambia, Victoria falls is the biggest waterfall on the planet. The mist from this ginormous waterfall can be seen for a dozen miles. The Africans used to call the falls “Mosi-oa Tunya” which means “the smoke that thunders.”

While in Zimbabwe, we will most definitely be going to Victoria Falls! There are hiking trails, natural pools to swim in, bungee jumping, helicopter rides, and wild animals. Not sure how adventurous we’ll get (though I’ve always wanted to try bungee jumping)!

Savannah, GA (check!)
Back in late February, Kameron & I took a mini-vacation to Savannah, GA.

Savannah had been on my bucket list since I was a little girl in Girl Scouts. If you did not know, the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Lowe, was born in Savannah. After researching Juliet for a big research project in 5th grade, (where we had to dress up like the subject of our project & answer questions to all of the students’ parents) I had dreams of the lush Savannah trees & pre-Civil War era plantation houses. What a magical place Savannah was in my dreams.

& what a magical place Savannah is in real life! After our trip we posted a few articles: How We Spent Two Rainy Days in Savannah, 5 Things To Do When Visiting Savannah, 5 Things We Wish We Did in Savannah, & Tybee Island Lighthouse.

With a maiden name of Erin Doyle, what other country would be on my bucket list? (“Erin” literally means “Ireland” & “Doyle” is practically the most Irish last name out there!)

What do you picture when you think about Ireland? Nothing but rolling green hills, beautiful rocky cliffs, and quaint little pubs where the community is warm & welcoming. Doesn’t everyone picture that?

My family still has relatives that live on a farmstead in the countryside of Ireland. I would love to surprise them at the gate of their home, listen to old Irish tales & stories of the Doyle clan, while eating a big plate of corned beef and cabbage.

Now it’s your turn! What are three destinations on your bucket list for this year? Leave your answers in the comment sections, or go ahead & write your own blog post about it, and be sure to share the link with us!

This post was written as an entry in a giveaway on the blog Girl Vs. Globe. The prize is a fantastic trip for two to Finland or Sweden to see the northern lights, with full board accommodation, return flights, a husky safari, a visit to a reindeer camp, a snowmobile ride and much more, provided by the host Transun. Although the prompt was provided, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fără Limite Sală de Căţărare [No Limits Climbing Gym] OPENING DAY!

Today is a very special day!

The No Limits Climbing Gym (aka Fără Limite Sală de Căţărare) that our friends in Romania have been dreaming of, fundraising for, & building is OPENING TODAY! This is huge you guys. This is a very special project started by very special people for a very special purpose.
Fără Limite - No Limit Climbing Gym from Keylight Media on Vimeo.

Here's a little back story.

Janelle & Felipe Silva were on a vacation & decided to take a hike. They happened upon a man named Cliff who was rock climbing. (Isn't it awesome that the rock climber's name is Cliff??) Cliff invited them to try rock climbing and the Silvas were hooked! As soon as they got home they bought all the necessary gear, learned about climbing safety, & never looked back.

Then they moved to Romania to work with an organization called New Horizon's which focuses on adventures (like rock climbing, camping, etc) to provide experiential education, teaching kids important life skills & character development among other things. 
They began to notice that the kids in their small Romanian community were bored. When they were not at school they would be watching TV or getting into trouble. The answer to "What did you do this weekend?" would almost always be "Nothing." This was a problem that needed fixing. 
Felipe & Janelle continued to rock climb by themselves, with friends, and eventually with the kids from their youth group. But in the winter months, when it was too cold & snowy to climb outside on the cliffs, they were stuck indoors & faced the same problems as before. "Nothing to do."

Along came the dream for Fără Limite!

Though there have been many struggles financially, legally, socially, physically & emotionally. The day has come to open the doors of the climbing gym to allow rock climbing in this small Romanian community, year round!
Fără Limite holds a special place in our hearts because Kameron & I traveled to Romania last year to visit Janelle & Felipe. They took us on many adventures - including rock climbing! They showed us a potential spot for their climbing gym (not the one they ended up using). We shot A LOT of video of our day climbing & touring the building. Kameron made a promo/support video for the gym. We are so proud of the Silvas for accomplishing this goal & opening the gym this weekend! Praise God for His faithfulness & generosity! There are truly "no limits" on His glory!
The pictures taken inside the climbing gym are from the Fără Limite Facebook Page. The outdoor pictures belong to the Toews. 
If you would like to SUPPORT the climbing gym & help keep it open year round, CLICK HERE.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Black Hills - The Rock Maze

Kameron's parents joined us on this adventure in the Black Hills. We took a drive on Nemo Road and discovered the Rock Maze. This is a beautiful place to walk, hike, and breathe in the fresh air.

The Rock Maze isn't an official maze. It is not man made. It is not a tourist trap.
The Rock Maze is good, old-fashioned, natural, God-made fun. It is a formation of rocks jutting up from the earth in a maze-like fashion. You can explore and get lost in the maze, or wander around on the rocks above the maze. We did a little bit of both.
Be aware! There is a low hanging electrical wire nearby. We had some fun with these pictures, but we do no know how dangerous it is. Be careful, but have fun!

The Rock Maze is a great place to "boulder." Bouldering is very similar to rock climbing, but without the use of ropes. A mattress is usually set-up below the climber to catch her if she falls. We ran inter a woman who was doing some solo bouldering. Made us want to go out and buy some rock climbing shoes!

This was a great day in the Hills with our family. I encourage you to come out to the Rock Maze in the Black Hills. If that isn't an option for you, then simply go outside in your own area & explore!
Have you ever been to the rock maze? How about the Black Hills? You should come out for a visit.

Here are some of our other Black Hills adventures:
My solo hike up to Harney Peak
Our Getaway in a Cabin in the Woods
Glass Blowing in Deadwood

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Trail to Monticello

Look at the backside of a nickel. That building is called Monticello - the home of Thomas Jefferson (the man on the frontside of a nickel). 
While in Charlottesville, VA back in March, Kameron, my brother Chad, and I walked the Saunders-Monticello Trail. The trail leads to the Monticello Visitor Center, and you pay $25 to get a ticket to see Jefferson's home. Being the cheapskates we are, we did not go see Monticello itself, but thoroughly enjoyed a day outside in beautiful Virginia. 
This type trail is not our preferred hiking trail. We like a subtle train through the woods. The Saunders-Monticello trail was paved and built-up with railings and bridges. Nonetheless, it was beautiful, and we recommend it to anyone in the area. 
Have you ever visited Monticello? What is your favorite historical site?
Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Our Getaway in a Cabin in the Woods

Last week the two of us left town & sought for quiet adventure in the woods of the Black Hills. My dad's old roommate has a cabin in Custer State Park. Neither him nor his family live near the cabin, so they offer it up to my family to use.
The weather in the Hills has been beautiful recently. No snow. Rarely cold. Sunny. Warm. BEAUTIFUL. What better time, than to go to the woods.
The cabin is furnished with electricity, but no running water. Ain't no thang.
We grilled hamburgers & steaks & bacon. We drank cheap beers. We washed dishes in a white basin. We played an old-school boardgame. We read in the hammock. We solaced by the river.

As you can see, we had such a wonderful time in this cabin. It was nice to get off the grid (for the most part). It was nice to spend quality time together. To dream. To love. To worship the Lord. To bask in the sun. To sleep in a cozy cabin.

What do you think of our cozy little vacation home? Have you ever stayed in such a primitive cabin? 

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