Where We Never Forget

USA Weekend recently featured an entertaining look at multigenerational vacations – where retirees and Baby Boomers travel with their adult children and grand children. The article asserted that such adventures, “Create bonds that money can’t buy.”Ride_The_Train-1j (1 of 1)

The well-written piece primarily focused on picking up the whole gang and traveling on a cruise ship, experiencing a theme park, or going wild on a city safari. While those are all awesome recommendations, don’t forget that traveling close to home can produce similar bonds for a fraction of the time and price. Getting us away from our mobile phones, text messages, and computers often produces the kind of lift that children of all ages crave these days.

Mary, Katie and I discovered that conclusion this weekend when we journeyed about four blocks away to take Katie and Andrew’s Emmett and Amanda and Stephen’s Isabella–our grandchildren–for a picnic lunch and train ride at our community park. KtMitGmaIzzy-1

It was a great experience that left me with three major takeaways. 1) You can pack chicken nuggets, but sometimes a good thumb is all that’s needed.


2) Standing in line isn’t fun for long.


3) Human touch with those we love is always a great source of photoremedy – whether we actually snap a photograph or commit it to the part of our brains where we never forget.

Isabella_&_Mary-1j (1 of 1)

Note: The photoremedy mission is to encourage those fighting chronic pain and other afflictions to consider using photography as a powerful tool to move their focus away from the pain. In the process, we strive to enhance readers’ ability to see beauty and experience elevated joy in their lives. There are many gifts that can accompany health challenges; one of the greatest offerings is it frequently forces sufferers to set better priorities for their lives and assists them in seeing the world in new and more meaningful ways. 

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly_Atrium-1_1x2 (1 of 1)

Having our Grandson Emmett all to ourselves for a few hours last week proved to be a great opportunity to check out one of Arizona’s newest attractions – Scottsdale’s Butterfly Wonderland.Butterfly_Atrium-16 (1 of 1)

Butterfly Wonderland features America’s largest butterfly atrium. Butterflies from farmers–as far away as Costa Rica, Malaysia, Ecuador, Thailand and the Philippines–appear to be living the good life inside the 10,000 square foot facility.

Butterfly_Atrium-HRO1 (1 of 1)

The holometabolous insects are quite friendly. In fact some of them appeared to be quite interested in “dating” Mary, or at least her talking her out of her shirt!Butterfly_Atrium-11mary (1 of 1)

Photo by Mary Gilstrap

Photo by Mary Gilstrap

A specially-edited 3D version of “Flight of the Butterflies” is a can’t miss part of the experience. I must admit I had a hard time following the narration because the 3D butterflyeffects were so captivating I had to keep turning to Mary and Emmett to say, “That is so cool!”

After the movie, 17-month old Emmett was enthralled the minute we hit the conservatory. It captured his attention for good reason. The butterflies were everywhere!

Butterfly_Atrium-10 (1 of 1)

It didn’t take long for Emmett to decide he was ready to move on. Fortunately, he found other wonders to capture his attention.Emmett_At_BW-2 (1 of 1)

That gave me just a bit more time to enjoy some fabulous photoremedy.Butterfly_Atrium-15 (1 of 1)

All in all, it was a great outing. We hope to be back soon. Perhaps next time we will be able to bring both of the grand kids. I cannot promise it will be twice as much fun, but at least there will be twice as many tiny toes!Looking_Up-1 (1 of 1)