LEAPS OF FAITH

ZIP 2018

 

All of my life I have been frightened by things many aren’t afraid of. At the age of 9 I was hit by a car and that trauma has stayed with me for most of my life. In the same year I was molested by a close family friend. It continued until I was around twelve and moved away.  That led to depression and suicidal ideations during my early teens. I was often scared of older men, paranoid of being hurt or killed and I was always looking out for my safety and the safety of those around me. With all of those traumas I never was the one to take risks or live on the wild side. I had to be peer pressured into riding roller coasters; and I quickly regretted it as the feeling of that days sweets swelled up in the pit of my stomach.

In 2015 on a trip to Cabo, Mexico I zip lined for the first time. Again I was peer pressured. As I walked the 5 mile hike I hoped something would go wrong and the excursion would be cancelled. Bad weather. A fallen wire. Jesus’ return. My sister- in- law went first, my husband second and there I was. “UP NEXT”. I listened to the instructions of the staff member, closed my eyes and soared through the sky.

Once I felt the breeze along my arms and legs, I opened my eyes and saw the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. The fluffy clouds, the sun and that glistening blue water caused me to shed a tear. I began to thank God. This had to be HIS artwork. There were 12 zips and we completed 8. I completed 8. I never got stuck on a line. I was able to stop myself and land smoothly. So it would have been easy for me to say, ” I zipped 3 years ago. I am gonna sit out this time.”

But I didn’t, there I was along with my best friend, hiking up a steep canyon. Not as steep as the mountain in Mexico, but more jagged. This excursion was in  Roatan, Belize in a jungle setting. This time I led the group. I wasn’t afraid at all, but excited to tell the ones who hadn’t zipped what fun it would be.  I listened to the staff member who chatted and teased us. “Ready, set go.” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I sang the Destiny’s Child song Survivor. There were 8 zips and we completed them all. Again I finished 8 zips. On the 7th one I yelled like Tarzan as I swept through the deep jungle.  I was so proud and it showed as I posed for pictures. I Rhasha Hoosier have zip lined twice; once over the Pacific Ocean and once in a beautiful lush jungle with insects and reptiles. I am just starting my LEAPS OF FAITH. What are your plans to challenge yourself and confront your fears?

ZIP AMANDA

 

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Western Caribbean Paradise:Girl’s Trip 2018

 

 

Last week I had the pleasure of cruising to Conzumel, Belize, and Honduras. I’m still an infant in traveling.  I’ve been to the Bahamas, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and France. I didn’t begin traveling out of the country until around 2015. It started as a result of my daughter wanting to travel instead of having a grad party.

After just one cruise I had the bug. After seeing the movie Girls Trip my best friend planned our own PG version. On March 4th we sailed out of Galveston which was great for me since I’m up north in DFW. All of our saving and planning was coming together.  As soon as we stepped upon the Carnival Breeze we went into party mode, smiles and laughter followed us onboard.

We checked out the room and hit the BBQ spot. The pulled pork and Mac n cheese wasn’t bad.  We sat and talked under the sun for a while and then we started our own tour of the boat. It was set up like past cruise ships; lido deck with food and a pool, casino, dance clubs, a comedy club,the Ovation Theatre and a huge water slide that  opened into another pool. We treked to the very top deck and felt the powerful breeze. A feeling of warmth came over me. I knew we were gonna have a wonderful time.

If I told you everything we did, this blog would turn into a thesis. Let’s just say this. We danced, sang karaoke, ate all day long, visited private beaches, zip lined, we took a cave  tube tour, we slept in( well I did), attended a foodie tour, shopped and make great memories while feasting our eyes on overwhelming beauty.

I am gonna attach some pictures that will tell most of the story. Not only did we experience everything Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras had to offer, we bonded as six powerful, intelligent, talented, beautiful women. Four of us stayed in a room and the other two shared a cabin. We had no drama, no arguing, we respected each other’s space and personal items. We looked out for each other.

No matter what activities we did alone or in cliques of two, we came together every night for a fine dining meal. We had a ball with the restaurant staff, and each other. We learned our food likes and dislikes. Some of us tried foods we never had before and will never try again( lol).

We prayed together, laughed together, danced and sang together. I truly love these ladies and my best friend for planning the trip. We came up with a name for our crew. Two of us are 40, and two of us are 41. So we are #4041. We are already encouraging each other as we return to work and school. And pretty soon we will plan another great adventure.

I have so much gratitude to be able to travel, to have the freedom to go where I choose. And thankful to have sisters who will listen to me, tell me when I am right, or totally wrong. So now we shall prepare for Girls Trip 2019.

* And hell no, I was not paying $246 for the carnival Picts. Those watermarks are just fine.*

 

France through my son’s eyes.

The week of my birthday we had the pleasure of visiting our son in Lyon, France. We were so excited to see the sights in the third largest city after Paris and Marseille. We planned a bullet train ride to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, and the Locks of course. As we arrived at the gate, who was holding the sign that said Welcome Mike Hoosier, my Tre’. I guess I was chopped liver although I paid for half of the vacation. I didn’t care I hugged my son and our adventure begun.

He had a cab driver waiting for us who drove us to our hotel. Instead of sleeping we got right to enjoying our new surroundings. Our hotel was a in a great location across from a huge park which also was a zoo. In English the park is called Lions Head. Tre’ had his own plan of how we would check out the city and we just went along with it. We ate that evening and went back to the room for some alone time.

The night next Tre’ showed us the mall which also holds the subway station. He taught us the subway and made sure we knew which stop to take back to the hotel and to the different locations around Lyon. We toured his school and met his professors who all told great stories about him. We both beamed so proud of our boy. We met a few of his friends and he translated for us with no hesitation. He seemed worried when he left for class and we headed back to the subway station alone.

Our Paris trip was the next day. We took the bullet train. He showed us where to buy our tickets and we found the track that the train departed from. Although you have assigned seats, people sit anywhere. I was a little upset because we were separated. My son quickly found seats together and make sure we were comfortable for the 2 hour ride. He led the way as he took us on an eight hour, 13 mile, twenty- five thousand steps per my iPhone trek through the Paris. We started at the Arch, then The Lourve, where he gave us all of the history. We took many breaks on benches and water rests. He kept telling us how close the tower was. When we got to the beautiful sight he took lots of pictures and we went to the very top.

At the lock bridge he purchased our locks and keys. We wrote our names on one side and all of the kiddos names on the other side. Even in this romantic moment Tre’ took pictures and seemed so happy. The last two days we went to the famous Basilica, the beautiful Roman  Catholic church is the highest point in Lyon. The view was breathtaking. The walk up the steep cobblestone was grueling but we were up for the challenge and completed it. We also went to the town square and shopped. He showed us where the best gift shops were. We ate at the best restaurants and had everything from fresh breads, to pastries,  sausages and fish dinners. We visited a wine cellar and brought four bottles back to Dallas.

I could go on and go about the trip but this blog would be more like a book. To us Tre’ is out knucklehead son. He is forgetful and always has a story about , “what had happened was.” But on this trip he was our tour guide. He served us a traditional Arab dinner at his roommates home.He made sure we got back to our hotel every night. He waited on us hand and foot. We were blessed to see hm operate in his gift of communication; of language. Everyone we met had a funny story or a story of what a good kid Tre’ is.

As he put us in our cab for our ride to the airport, the cab driver told us how much he likes Tre’ as a person. We told him in our best French how much he has always loved language, culture, and people. We were thankful that the man and his family have looked after Tre’,he said Tre’ does what we call, aimer et prendre soin de vos parents. Love cherish and care for your parents.  This trip taught us a lot about France but it also showed us another side of our son, a mature, educated, responsible, side which I can’t wait to see more of…next trip Morocco 2017.