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2017 Wishes

Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in Life | 7 comments

Sunset in Tucson

Dear Travelcraft Journal community,

What I wish for you – this year and always – is to feel peace in the midst of life’s storms.

I wish for niches in your schedule to be creative, to explore, to experiment, to play.

I wish that whatever life brings you, you’ll be able to find something beautiful there, and that wherever you are, you can take a moment to enjoy the view.

Thanks for being here,

Stephanie

 

 


 

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Florence

Posted by on Oct 15, 2015 in Life, Travel | 0 comments

Not everyone gets to spend an anniversary in Italy. And I feel really lucky to be celebrating 11 years with Phillip.

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We arrived in Florence mid-afternoon. We didn’t have time to visit the monastery, so our first stop was a winery just outside of the city. The entrance gate was open, and we were taking photos of some adorable donkeys munching when a woman rushed out and said they weren’t open that day.

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So we headed back and decided to stop at the visitor center, which shares a building with a museum of the history of Florence. The building itself has been many things over the years, including a hospital. The museum held artifacts from World War II, old medicinal bottles, and stories about Florence’s important families of the past from a time when it was the economic center of the region.

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There is a nice little park across the street. We sat on a bench to rest before walking through the old part of town, past a church surrounded by olive trees to the courthouse, just as the sun was starting to turn the landscape golden.

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The visitor center had recommended a restaurant that makes fresh bread daily. The weather was practically perfect, so we sat in the courtyard, dipping that delicious, house-made bread in olive oil while we waited for our meal.

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At some point in the day, Phillip said something like “hey, we are in Florence!” And we laughed about it.

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Because we were in Florence. But we weren’t in Italy. The trip we had hoped to take across the Atlantic this year didn’t work out. I’m not gonna lie, that’s a bummer. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy the afternoon on Phillip’s day off. He suggested we take a drive and wanted to check out Florence, Arizona (about an hour southeast of us). While it’s not the birthplace of the Rennaissance, we still laughed, ate good food, and explored together.

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Not everyone gets to spend an anniversary in Italy. And I feel really lucky to be celebrating 11 years with Phillip.

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Photos:
1. Statue next to The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church.
2. Donkeys at The Windmill Winery. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Saturday.
3-4. Items from Italian and German WWII prisoners’ camp in Florence – on exhibit at the Florence Visitor Center/McFarland State Historic Park.
5. Brick building on Main Street.
6-8. A&M Pizza. Not fancy, but they did have some seriously good bread, great service, and a nice big outdoor seating area.
9. Main Street.
10-11. A&M.
12. Pinal County Courthouse

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Awash

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Life | 0 comments

I have a packed suitcase, and I won’t be sleeping in my own bed tonight – but I’m not going anywhere.

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My bed, my dresser, and various other furniture items and boxes of things are already in our new place, down the road.

Moving is a little like standing in a doorway. Or like the feeling when the edge of an ocean wave foams up over your ankles and then pulls back, dragging the sand beneath your feet with it, until just when you think you might lose your footing completely, and it withdraws, leaving you alone to steady yourself in the sand. Piece by piece, everything shifts, and then it’s done, and you find your balance again.

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Tonight, we’ll roll out sleeping bags on the floor. In a matter of days, we’ll have these rooms emptied and cleaned out, and we’ll lock the door on the bittersweet memories of our years here and begin to settle in to a new space.

It’s only a few miles away, but it feels like a fresh start.

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Everything Else

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Travel | 5 comments

We finally found a roadside store along the Southern Arizona highway, and it was huge.

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Inside they had all kinds of stuff for sale – postcards, gum, travel toothbrushes, beef jerky, deodorant, wind chimes, ceramic cow skulls, dolls with fairy wings, silver and turquoise Native American jewelry, rolling suitcases, and Michael Jackson frog figurines.

Everything except tampons.

Which is actually all I had needed.

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Life Crush

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Life, Travel | 0 comments

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1. The Mountains

After a very cold winter in the tiny former mining town of Silver Plume, Colorado, the weather finally cleared up enough for Dram Apothecary to open up their patio on a mid-March Saturday.

On Instagram, they post shots of their rustic bakery-turned-cocktail-tasting-room or of things they make – teas, cocktails, syrups – or of founder Shae Whitney foraging for wild herb ingredients. They are near a place called Snowdrift Gulch, which was especially fitting the months that their photos were of white streets, foggy gray skies, and flurries outside the windows.

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Then, one weekend, they posted a photo of their (finally) sunny patio and announced they’d planned a party, complete with a DJ spinning super old school tracks from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s.

A lot of people thought that sounded like fun (it did!), but one comment jumped out at me: “I want this life.”

It made me wonder what the commenter’s life was like.

So I clicked over to her Instagram feed.

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2. The Beach

The want-your-life commenter is somewhere in Southern California. The previous week her car thermometer had said 92 degrees – while snow was still falling on Dram Apothecary.

She posts amusing photos of dogs, she bakes, and she makes really cool-looking cocktails. She posted a photo of a guy on a beach with a surfboard hashtagged something like #myhusbandishotterthanyours.

It doesn’t seem like a bad life.

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In fact, in response to one silly shot, where she is pretending to eat an apple right off the tree, someone commented “life crush.”

In other words, this person has a crush on the life of the woman that wants the life of Shae at Dram Apothecary.

So I clicked over to the life crush-er’s feed.

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3. The Campground

It was a private account. But there was a link to a photo blog.

There are lots of photos of friends goofing off on camping trips. Lots of campfires and lakes, woods and desert. There is one of a guy with a marshmallow-toasting stick between his teeth. Another one is this big white, fluffy dog laying in the grass.

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Her bio lists her location as Los Angeles, but one post is titled “my home is Colorado”.

So these photos have taken us from Colorado to Southern California and back.

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4. Where You Live

Each of the women we’ve visited have scenery around them that is beautiful in its own way, time to have fun, and people to share it all with.

I bet you do too. Try imagining you’re a different person in a different place with a different set of ups and downs in your life.

Then flip through your photos, look at the views, the celebrations, the things that made you laugh, the people you love. And get a little jealous of yourself.

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Note: All the photos in this post are mine. I haven’t included any from the people I mention or linked to the commenters, because my intention is not to single them out or say they should have a different attitude, but to show how we all have those grass-is-greener moments, even if we have it pretty good. 

In case you’re curious, here’s where the photos above were taken – 1: Nederland, CO 2: Ridgway, CO 3: San Diego, CA 4: Tempe, AZ 5+6: Sierra Vista, AZ 7: Four Corners area 8: Scottsdale, AZ

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