Go ahead, call me a gypsy.

Cinque Terre, Italy. I wouldn't believe if I didn't see it myself.
Cinque Terre, Italy.
I wouldn’t believe if I didn’t see it myself.
Let me just tell you, I have had what just may have been the Best. Summer. Ever. Seriously, the best summer of my life – and I’ve had some good ones. What, you may ask, made it so? I attribute it to three things. ONE: I vowed to not use a hair dryer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Yes, I do live wide open. TWO: It was spent with lots of amazing people who inspire me – my family, friends and church members (yes, I get paid to take amazing trips). And THREE: you know me, I would rather have a passport and a plane ticket in my pocket than have, well, almost anything you can buy. I’m a wanderer. I have travel-lust. Go ahead, call me a gypsy. I don’t mind.

The summer started off in one of my favorite cities in the world: San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio, Texas. The home of Whataburger. It's not just about margaritas.
San Antonio, Texas.
The home of Whataburger.
It’s not just about margaritas.
The food, the atmosphere, the margaritas, the Spurs, the food. It is the place where my husband proposed to me and a place where I’m completely comfortable.

From there I headed to Guatemala, another place that I love. Everything in Guatemala is in Technicolor. The trees are greener, the flowers are more vibrant, the sky is bluer, the eyes of the people are richer.

Guatemala. Planting roots with AIRES.
Guatemala.
Planting roots with AIRES.
Gorgeous. The fact that I came home and tossed my cookies for 2 1/2 days following that trip does not damper my enthusiasm for Guatemala in the least.

After that, I was off to Honduras. Which, in addition to Walt Disney World, is my favorite destination and one of which I never tire. And the bonus of this trip was spending it with my younger daughter who has known Honduras her whole life without ever being there. Priceless. Plus, I have friends there who knew me before any of us were parents. A lot of water has passed under our bridges.

Los Patios, Olancho, Honduras. I can't even.
Los Patios, Olancho, Honduras.
I can’t even.
And then, it was off to a place I have never been – unchartered territory – Italy. It was in a word: SPECTACULAR. My college-age daughter and I met in Milan and took Italy by storm.

The Vatican by moonlight. Stunning.
The Vatican by moonlight. Stunning.
Five cities in nine days. I wrote a travel journal of the sights, sounds and smells. I’ll post it soon now that I’m over my travel withdrawal and can think about it without getting weepy. No, really.

Made it home from Italian paradise in time to run a 10k, walk in a parade, and pack my bags for Valladolid, Mexico, all in the span of 48 hours.

Valladolid, Mexico. Another continent, another catherdral.
Valladolid, Mexico.
Another continent, another cathedral.
A week in the Yucatan Penninsula was muy bueno. While I had been to Valladolid before, it was never my home for a week. New friends, new favorite places to go. And it is a fun name to say.  I love it.

And then, it was home for a few days before heading to Clinton, South Carolina. It is a hot spot. No, it isn’t. But it is homey and quaint and there are good people there. Oh, and a fabulous cow with a goat side-kick.

The Best. Summer. Ever. wrapped up with a trip to Disneyland to celebrate and to run and to raise money for the Tourette Syndrome Association.

Right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A., Disneyland
Right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A., Disneyland.
Everything about it was magical. 19.3 miles is so much fun when you are doing it in a pixie dusted place for a good cause with friends who make you laugh.

Though my hair dryer is still idle, the signs of Fall are upon me. The air is  crisp in the mornings. The sun is setting brilliantly in the sky. The moon will soon be big and bold at night as I drive home. And I’ll pop back here once in a while and remember with gladness the Best. Summer. Ever.

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