Today it’s snowing as I prepare for the early holiday season. And while the snow is beautiful, I’d love to extend autumn just a bit longer. So that’s the reason for this post – sharing our recent fall trip through southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and central Illinois. Want to take this fall road trip with me?
Life is meant to give us joy and to be enjoyed. The God, consciousness, love or life force that created us lives around us but also within us. God experiences life, joy and love through our eyes, ears and all of our life experiences.
Joy, like love and happiness, deepens our sense of ourselves, creates personal growth and connects us more deeply to the world around us.
Joy is what God seeks and wants for us. It is our right. When our joy is diminished God is diminished too. When our experiences of joy increase, God expands.
All the poverty (physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional) we create through inadequate distribution of the means to joy (education, safe housing, food, water, clean environment, etc.) demands that we work for change. Joy requires it. Love insists on it.
How often have we said, “We should take a week and just explore our own town.” Well, this summer we finally had a chance to do exactly that. Our friends from Europe came and stayed with us for a week. We were able to take a week off and explore the Twin Cities with them. We did a number of fun activities every day – but there is so much more that we never had a chance to do. Nevertheless, here’s an itinerary of the things we did do. Many of the activities were outside because we had perfect weather, but we had a list of indoor activities for rainy days too. These included museums, movies, theater or day trips to other nearby towns. Some of these ideas cost no money. Others had a small fee. Some were more expensive. Choose ideas that fit your budget. I hope you find it helpful or that it sparks other ideas of things you could do if you decide to staycation in your town.
Monday we took a bike ride around Lake Nokomis. We picnicked by the lake and then headed over to see Minnehaha Falls.
One of the most well known vacation spots in Mauritius is the beach town of Flic en Flac. The pastel bungalows in the photos are its calling card.
Our hosts (Marcel and Marceline) rented a bungalow for two nights so that we could spend some time at the beach on the Indian Ocean. Chris, Champa and Rita, friends we met in Mauritius, also had a place at Flic en Flac. They provided an impromptu picnic on the beach for us while we were there! It was an afternoon of fun, delicious food and great conversation.
The beach is great, the water is warm enough that you don’t have to get used to it – you can go right in! We really enjoyed our time at Flic en Flac.
Traveling is always an amazing opportunity to learn and grow. I like to travel – but I prefer travel with a purpose. Almost two years ago I visited Slovenia in order to present a paper at a conference – and to learn about Slovenia and Slovenians. This year I had the opportunity to travel in order to teach and to learn as well.
Recently, we visited the nation of Mauritius thanks to a generous invitation from our good friends, Marcel and Marceline, who live there. Where is Mauritius you might ask? Mauritius is east of Madagascar – the large island off the eastern coast of Africa. Go east of Madagascar to Mauritius – a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Traveling to Mauritius requires two very long plane rides. The first half of the trip is an eight-hour plane ride to Paris (or Amsterdam) and the second is a twelve hour flight to Mauritius.
Situated in the tropics, near the equator, Mauritius was just beginning its winter season when we were there – end of March, early April. Nevertheless, it was quite hot and humid by our standards – although this was relative. It was perceived as cooler by those who live there, compared to the even hotter summer temps.
Our hosts live in the area of Rose-Hill outside of Port Louis, the capital city. This is the northwestern area of the island. Breadfruit, sour sop (tastes like a passion fruit, a very large passion fruit!), bananas and more grew in the courtyard area of their house. In addition, Marceline created a beautiful container garden along the stairway up to their front door.