My New Book Living More Than OK

My New Book Living More Than OK
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Appreciate Natural Wonders

My wife, daughter and I just finished up a vacation traveling from Akron, Ohio with the final days enjoying Niagara Falls, New York. In having a more than ok life it is important to give yourself a break from the daily grind of work. Even if you have a job you love you need the rejuvenation of breaking away for a short time.

We took a week to first go visit family and friends in my hometown area in Ohio. We then drove on and stayed in Erie, Pennsylvania and finished up the final couple of days in Niagara Falls. In Erie we were told to visit Presque Ilse State Park. It is a wonderful nature park and I highly recommend it but it was the splendor of Niagara Falls State Park that made us think this was one the best trips we have taken.

When we first arrived in Niagara Falls we took a tour that combined the Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist Boat ride and several other scenic stops. I was skeptical as I felt it was pricey but afterwards we realized it gave us a chance to see numerous facets of the Niagara falls area since we only had a couple of days there. The tour also gave us a wealth of historical information from our tour guide. His name was Prady and called all of us in his van the “Prady Bunch”. I could tell he had a passion for what he was doing. He relished in sharing facts about Niagara Falls and added humor at the right time. If you have just a short time in Niagara I highly recommend to take a guided tour.

The next day we went back to Niagara Falls State Park. Walking through the park we were able to enjoy the beauty of the Falls at various angles. The majestic flow of the water and creative beauty of the rainbows at the base of the Falls on a sunny day, made me wonder how people cannot believe there is a Creator God. That is for me to keep wondering about and will share more on this in a future post on spirituality. I went back and forth from appreciation of the creation of nature around me to viewing the people of diverse nations who were visiting Niagara Falls. From young children to aging seniors, each face I saw had the same look of appreciating the rapturous views of the water falls.

Even though it was a diverse crowd the beauty of enjoying and appreciating nature created a oneness beyond racial barriers. People at parks are more open to be friendly. Offer to help someone out by taking a picture of their family on an inner city street and you get a glare. Here at Niagara and I have seen this at other parks; even though some people could not communicate because of language barriers a gesture to take a picture of a couple or family so someone did not have to be left out brought out brighter smiles. So consider on a future vacation to take in a national or state park. Soak in the visual splendors of creation in the trees, water, flowers, animal life. Enjoy meeting new people from diverse cultures who come to visit the parks.

We also took time to visit Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, New York. We were hungry by the time we made it there and enjoyed a lunch at the Village Diner. A clean, quaint restaurant with a view of the Niagara River as it enters Lake Ontario. Our daughter enjoyed their cheeseburger while my wife and I went with the healthier fresh wraps.

Fort Niagara was much better than we expected as they have University students dressed in early English and French costumes in the buildings. Their roles are to give historical information about the French and Indian War, the War of 1812 and general historical information of those time periods. The buildings and displays brought history alive.

In your work life do your best in your work but remember to take vacation breaks. Try out new places and take time to appreciate the scenic wonders wherever you travel whether in the USA or around the world.

Next time you are on vacation and are out in a nature setting take it slow. Don’t rush through it. Be mindfully present and enjoy the sights, the sounds, and smells of fresh air and flowers. Back at your hotel or back at home write down some of your favorite memories of the vacation. Share these savored memories with family and friends.

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