Marks of Time and Travel

We sure are happy May has arrived! Speaking of May, do you have any traditions for the spring festival, May Day? When I was growing up my mom would help us gather flowers from around the house. We’d bundle the flowers, place them on a neighbor’s doorstep, ring the doorbell and run. It was a mother-approved game of ding-dong ditch!may day

Fast-forward 30-some odd years and my children and I have put our own little twist on the tradition. Each year, we pick-up a bouquet of flowers, or a nice outdoor flower arrangement, and we leave it on my mom’s doorstep. The kids take this very seriously – there are many heated discussions about the best place to hide, who will ring the doorbell, who will carry the flowers, and ultimately how they will run back to the car (which I’ve parked down the street well out of sight). 30 years later

Some years my mom is surprised, other times she does a good job of appearing surprised. Sometimes we drive away with the kids in fits of giggles and so proud of their stealth-like maneuvers, and other times they hide at the side of the house and pop out just as my mom wonders aloud where the flowers possibly could have come from! This year was a hide at the side of the house year; however, still complete with lots of giggles.girl scout

Giggles. This house is full of giggles. Especially with Miss A around. She’s either making herself giggle, or making the rest of us giggle. She is definitely a character, and definitely keeps us on our toes! She’s been spending a lot of time practicing dribbling a basketball. However, don’t ask her if she’s going to play basketball, which is what Papa recently asked her. She quickly replied as though it was the most ridiculous of suggestions, “Papa, have you not looked at me lately,” referencing her small height while looking way up at the basketball hoop. Then she continued dribbling before running off into cartwheels. Constant motion this one!

Photo Credit: Adapt Theatre

Photo Credit: Adapt Theater

Speaking of Papa and Nana, they have joined us for the past few weeks. They are up from Florida to help us through Mr. N’s busy play season and also to give Mike and I a little respite! We’ve all been so grateful for their visit. I don’t know what we would have done without them these past few weeks!

Photo credit: Adapt Theatre

Photo credit: Adapt Theatre

Mr. N’s show opened a few weeks ago. It has since received a Jeff Recommendation, a big deal here in Chicago theater. He’s having the time of his life and again, we couldn’t be more grateful or proud. I’ve often said there are few things I enjoy more than watching him perform. It’s such a mix of so many emotions – pride, love, amazement, excitement, happiness, surprise, and peace. Then of course there’s the emotions he elicits through his character, and this play takes you on quite the roller coaster. I have yet to leave with a dry eye and I’ve seen it three times already!

Photo Credit: Adapt Theatre

Photo Credit: Adapt Theatre

We still have a few more weeks of performances to go, but I can feel the wind down coming. There’s a calm on the horizon. Hopefully it’s not one of those calms followed by a storm!

Photo Credit: Adapt Theatre

Photo Credit: Adapt Theatre

I’m dying to get back in the kitchen, especially with summer on the way. I’ve been drooling over many of the recipes on my favorite blogs. It’s been near torture seeing these beautiful recipes and photos and knowing I just don’t have the time to put much thought into cooking right now. Soon though. Definitely soon. In fact, I’m going to have the kids do a little cooking around the world with us on our first free moment to commemorate our latest travels.

Finger Lakes Region, NY 2011

Finger Lakes Region, NY 2011

Thanks to Nana and Papa, Mike and I got away for a week this month for our 15th anniversary (which is actually coming in June). We toyed with several different places to go, but one place kept coming back to us. It’s a beautiful slice of the world we stumbled on randomly on a road trip back in 2011.

Watkins Glen State Park, NY 2011

Watkins Glen State Park, NY 2011

And it’s a place we returned to on purpose in 2013.

Grape juice tasting  - FLX, NY 2013

Grape juice tasting – FLX, NY 2013

The Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York drew us in, spoiled us with all of its charm and beauty and kept a piece of our souls. It has a way of welcoming us into its fold and keeping us coming back.

Anniversary in FLX, NY 2015

Anniversary in FLX, NY 2015

How could we not spend a special anniversary in such a place?! And I have to say this adventure did not disappoint – in the least. So in the next week or so, to keep the memory of this trip and the fire it ignited within us alive, we’re going to break our hiatus and cook up one or two dishes inspired by our latest (but certainly not last) visit.

Until then, I came across this quote yesterday and it summed up exactly how the Finger Lakes have repeatedly made me feel. We love to travel, we’re lucky to have seen many amazing places on this earth, but we’re especially grateful to have experienced places that call to our souls.

β€œTravel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Anthony Bourdain

P.S. I had no idea this was going to be such a lengthy post! I guess I’ve missed both writing and cooking!

33 thoughts on “Marks of Time and Travel

  1. Bam's Kitchen says:

    I missed you too Kristy! Loved this post and so many great things going on in your lives! Happy anniversary! A big congratulations to that boy of yours- how exciting is that!!!! Miss A is just full of smiles and fun and I bet she always finds the best places to hide grandmas surprises. Have a super week!

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Bam! I know you can completely relate to all the busyness in life. I hope your spring is going well and that you’re finding more comforting recipes for the rainy season. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to reading them!

      Like

  2. Three Well Beings says:

    Well, Kristy, I almost missed this post, didn’t I? I’m glad to find you here now and to see that you’re well and happy, but simply as busy as can be with your sweet family. It’s just wonderful to see the children, too. I’m amazed that Mr. N has kept his acting alive and it’s easy to predict he’s into this for life! And Miss A is simply adorable. What a little charmer. I’m so pleased that you and Mike had such a wonderful anniversary week and I’m sure that Nana and Papa enjoyed every minute. So glad to get caught up with your sweet family! πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      I know you can relate to our busyness – and with how much Nana and Papa enjoyed their visit. πŸ™‚ We are so grateful to have them! I hope you and your family are all doing well (and of course Darwin too!). πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Happy 15th anniversary Kristy! Wishing you a lifetime of magic and bless together.
    I know I say it every time but I really love reading your posts! Your writing is always so warm and vivid, it clearly flows from the heart πŸ™‚
    You made me smile at the fact that you still cry every time you watch Mr N perform. Whenever the kids are on stage for a school event, I can’t hold back the tears! It is indeed a mixture of intense emotions that are too powerful to put into words.
    Loved the quote at the end, I have traveled to quite a few destinations, but our latest move to the UAE definitely left its marks on my heart and soul.. but when I try to convey this to people, not all of them get it.Thank you for the quote that perfectly described the experience

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Sawsan! I feel the same every time I read your posts. You always speak from the heart and with so much love. I can’t tell you the number of times I have found comfort in your words or memories that you share. I’m glad the quote spoke to you. I felt the same way – it put into words what I couldn’t describe myself. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sallybr says:

    Fantastic post!!!! Perfect, from pictures to stories, and of course I would need two boxes of Kleenex watching the play… don’t know how parents survive the intense emotions of parenthood….

    Enjoy your Summer!

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  5. Eva Taylor says:

    I absolutely love that flower tradition! Happy 15th anniversary Kristy, what an amazing benchmark. Tomorrow will be our 29th! I know you must be wondering how that is possible (me being only 35 and all 😜!). It’s so nice that Mike’s parents are still able to come back from Florida to help you out, these dates/couples experiences are so important for a good relationship. I’ve always wanted to see the finger lakes, I’ll have to figure out a way to get there. Let me know about your hotel/guest house accommodations.
    I’m am blown away with Mr. N’s acting, he will go far that one! These are the times I wish I could jet-set down to see him perform! Miss A is adorable! Our Miss A is still doing opera and if I had to guess, she too is destined for the world of drama!

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    • Kristy says:

      I can definitely give you some good recommendations on where to stay! We’ll be posting pics of our accommodations in one of the up-coming posts. It was a trip of a lifetime! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thecompletebook says:

    I can only imagine how proud you are of Mr N and Miss A. Such treasures the both of them and I absolutely love your May Day tradition. We don’t celebrate that here and nothing nicer than your folks coming to visit to lend a hand.
    Have a beautiful day Kristy.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xo

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  7. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    I always love reading you Kristy. Even though your priorities require you to take breaks from blogging, your recountings are always so full of life and love – I get a vivid sense of being a part of all the wonderful activities you have been up to. Miss A is hilarious (as always — even cracking herself up πŸ˜‰ ), and what an incredible achievement for your young man… I feel like he’s developing into his own magnificent star. Happy Anniversary to you & Mike — 15 years! wow, that is something to celebrate isn’t it. At some point I am going to have to compare notes on travel with you because you visit so many peaceful and beautiful natural settings that I know we would also love. Looking forward to seeing you back in the kitchen sharing recipes, whenever that makes sense for you and your family (I totally get it). By the way, love that precious first photo and the brilliant twists on the ding-dong ditch :D. What a great tradition.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Kelly! We should definitely compare notes. We love to travel to places with natural beauty – something about nature brings a real sense of peace. I can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and back to blogging. I do miss it! I think soon though. πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Norma Chang says:

    Happy Anniversary! Yes, the Finger Lakes Region is just gorgeous. Made a short visit many years ago would love to return and spend more time, on my to-do list. Congratulations to Mr. N, you have two very talented kids, congrats to you and Mike.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you Norma! I hope you make it back there. It’s just such a beautiful place and so many of the restaurants and such feature locally grown produce. You would enjoy it for sure!

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  9. hotlyspiced says:

    How fantastic for Mr N. He is clearly very talented and loving what he’s doing but it does sound like Miss A should be on stage as well! Wonderful to have your parents down to give you a hand during the play’s season. I love your May traditions – we don’t have them here but perhaps that’s because it’s Autumn, not Spring xx

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    • Kristy says:

      Miss A definitely has a dramatic flare! She’s going to try her hand at it this summer. My guess is she’ll prefer the dancing and singing side. I hope your fall is off to a beautiful start!

      Like

  10. Dawn says:

    Thanks for your post, it was fun reading and catching up with you! We are gearing up for our summer of travel, so I loved the quote. I hope you are doing well, and what an awesome experience that Mr. N is having!

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  11. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    So nice to have an update on the entire family. Happy Anniversary and congrats to Mr. N on his performance! I love the way travel brings you together as a family and the shared memories surface in unexpected ways for years to come. Megan recently wrote a fairytale for school where the lead character traveled to Pompeii and Rome. Isn’t it wonderful how our kids are influenced by these experiences. Keep em coming!

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  12. Act Like it's normal says:

    Awesome post! I love the changes tradition from doorbell ditch to leaving flowers for your mother. That is so thoughtful and something your kids will remember forever! How cool!

    Love Anthony Bourdain and that quote is 100% true.

    Cheers!
    Sidney

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