Tagged with "Florida"
4 Jan
2018
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

The Greatest Showman and Big Dreams

Christopher Reeve dream quote

We were 30 seconds into the motion picture, The Greatest Showman, when I knew this movie was not like all the other movie dates I’ve been on with my children. I stole a look at my children during the opening song. They were leaning forward in their seats completely engrossed with whatever was about to happen on that screen and their faces reflected the magic of what would become one of our favorite films. It was exactly what the movies should be and feel like they fall short of more often than not: original. It was pageantry, fantastic cinematography, choreography, music and magic.

The movie is about a period in the life of P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus fame. I’m not interested in him necessarily (although I do plan on reading more about his life) as much as the message that came through with the movie.

Theater, whether live or film, has always held a special place in my heart. I’m a dreamer with my head a little in the clouds — ideas and adventures constantly tugging at my sensible side. Sometimes I follow through, but mostly they stay in dream form with the risks outweighing the need to jump into an idea. Books and theater have always fed that dreamer in me and nothing grabs my imagination quite like a musical. How I wish life included breakout scenes of choreography and singing instead of talking.

We attempt to show our children that this world is so much bigger than our little nook in it. All the books piled around the house and our traveling are geared toward that lesson. There is so much you can do and be that you can’t see from where we live. The faces that stared at that movie screen were the same ones several years ago who stood awestruck watching street performers in Key West, Florida. They were doing seemingly unreal things, just like P.T. Barnum. I’m not looking to raise anyone with a tilt toward scoundrel, but I do want big dreamers. I remember our oldest telling us he was going to be one of those street performers and “thinking over my dead body.” But that’s not what I told him. This is your one life. Choose well for you, but be prepared for the road to be full of obstacles whether you’re literally jumping through hoops during sunset celebrations for tourists or working a corporate desk job. Nothing changes if no one is willing to look outside the box and take a chance. Be the chance-taker.

I worry about these children like it’s my career. I don’t want them to be hurt, be sad, be in trouble, or make bad choices which has happened and will again and again. I don’t want them to face criticism or money problems. I also don’t want them to regret not doing something simply because there were risks. I’m not saying take unreasonable risk to endanger their lives, but don’t be afraid to love big, dream big and possibly fail big.

I left that theater with chatty children who got the message so beautifully conveyed. It doesn’t matter how or where you start from. You can have a dream and bring it to fruition, even if the world tells you you’re crazy. Dream. Imagine. Change the way people see the world. You won’t get anywhere just sitting there. Believe in yourself. There is nothing like a musical when all the parts and pieces click together. We’ve been listening to the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman for days now on repeat. It’s stuck with us, proving the film cast made something special.

I didn’t even really want to see the movie, even with my love of musicals. I hadn’t heard much about it, but my musically athletic dancer children saw parts of themselves in the trailer they watched. Their imagination was already captured after less than two minutes of a teaser. I asked one of my boys what they enjoyed about The Greatest Showman, and he said, “That they were all so different, and it didn’t matter to the ones that truly loved them.” Find your people because you won’t be for everyone, but there are people waiting for you who will love you for who you are, quirks and all. Just be uniquely you and believe in the possibility of those dreams.

It’s odd how this specific movie affected me. We watch a lot of movies, but this was refreshingly different. The lyrics for the songs speak to me at my mothering roots. I think of those actors, the director, producers and everyone that worked to put that film together. Could they even imagine that in a small theater in the middle of the least populated state in the United States a mother watched her children watch that big screen and saw their imaginations on fire? Did they know how grateful that mother would be for all the time and energy that went into making her hopes for them into an anthem on a big screen? Probably not.


 
Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
By     |    Feb 26, 2016
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Take a Trip: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This year is the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. There are over 400 entities run by the NPS. I’ll share tips from different National Park Service sites we’ve visited throughout 2016. Across the United States there are over 400 National Park Service entities. That’s a lot of places deemed worthy to be protected for historical reasons or the natural beauty of an area. I let go of any dream of visiting all of the entities a few years... [Read More]

Read more
Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center
By     |    Nov 19, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center

Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center

I recently finished reading “The Martian” by Andy Weir. I was skeptical I would enjoy a book heavy on science, space science at that, but I devoured it. The main character is compelling and funny, even in dire circumstances. There were science and math sections that didn’t hold my attention, but nothing that kept me from needing to continue with the story. I had to finish it. I was invested in Mark Watney. Those last 50 pages had me simultaneously... [Read More]

Read more
5 Reasons to Visit Key West
By     |    Oct 13, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    1 Comment

5 Reasons to Visit Key West

When we started planning our epic road trip to Florida, I knew we had to visit Key West. I’m drawn to superlative places…the biggest, tallest, longest, farthest. Key West is the southernmost point in the United States. For that reason alone, I had to visit the quirky destination. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would enjoy the atmosphere in the Keys. Southernmost Point — I knew I would regret not trekking through the entire state of Florida to stand... [Read More]

Read more
One Thing that Changed Our Travels
By     |    Aug 25, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on One Thing that Changed Our Travels

One Thing that Changed Our Travels

I remember five years ago standing in a visitor center making the decision to purchase a book titled, Passport To Your National Parks. I thought the book would be a nice way to remember places we visited but had no idea how much it would change the way our family travels. It was meant to be a souvenir but changed the way we travel. The passport is a blue, small, spiral book where tourists can collect stamps from visits to... [Read More]

Read more
Visiting the Magic Kingdom
By     |    Jul 10, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Visiting the Magic Kingdom

Visiting the Magic Kingdom

The magic at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom begins before you enter the park. The promise of Disney magic can drag even the most reluctant child from bed. There are many benefits to arriving before the gates open at the parks in Disney World. We were greeted by the mayor and several characters made an appearance by train at the Main Street, U.S.A depot 20 minutes before the official gate opening of Magic Kingdom. There were thousands of people, even... [Read More]

Read more
Planning for Walt Disney World
By     |    Jul 8, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Planning for Walt Disney World

Planning for Walt Disney World

I have two words for potential visitors to Walt Disney World: be prepared. Seriously, don’t arrive in Orlando thinking everything will be magical without planning beforehand. There is a lot happening at Walt Disney World. It’s important to know your options and fit those with your family. Everyone’s trip to Disney World looks a little different, much like a fingerprint. Our visit was fast and furious. We’ve visited Disneyland in California twice and felt our experiences there would be helpful.... [Read More]

Read more
Florida: Universal’s Islands of Adventure
By     |    Jun 30, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Florida: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Florida: Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The main draw for us to visit Universal Orlando was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter books captured my imagination in college and now I have my own muggles who wield wands and casts spells like their favorite Hogwarts characters. Universal Orlando consists of two parks: Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. In order to tour both parks, visitors need to purchase park-to-park tickets granting access to both parks. I’m going to discuss the parks separately,... [Read More]

Read more
Beaches vs. Mountains
By     |    Jun 29, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Beaches vs. Mountains

Beaches vs. Mountains

I’ve always lived within an hour drive of mountains with their curvy roads and sweeping vista overlooks. Our outdoor adventures tend to include elevation climbs, trails through woods, rock outcroppings  and running water flowing over rounded stones. When we have the opportunity to travel to a beach I look forward to spending an evening in the sand believing we’ll be satisfied with a quick dip in the ocean. I become salt-water drunk after those first few minutes on the shore.... [Read More]

Read more
Great American Road Trip
By     |    Jun 25, 2015
Posted in: travel     |    1 Comment

Great American Road Trip

6,025 miles + three weeks + 18 states = epic road trip More than a few people questioned our sanity leading up to our trip from Wyoming to Key West, Florida and back covering thousands of miles of territory. I had moments where I questioned it myself, but that trip is one of the best decisions we’ve made for our family. In the chaos of raising four children while juggling full-time work, part-time work, multiple volunteer roles and everything that... [Read More]

Read more
Planning an Epic Road Trip
By     |    Jan 29, 2015
Posted in: projects, travel     |    3 Comments

Planning an Epic Road Trip

Traveling is my favorite thing to do, followed closely by planning for trips, and I’m in full travel-planning mode these days. Summer 2015 has been talked about for years in our family. It’s finally the summer of our epic 5,400-mile round-trip adventure, which will land us as far away as Key West, Florida. We’re taking 20 days for the Great American Road Trip, our longest family vacation, both in days gone and miles covered. We’ll cross up to 18 states,... [Read More]

Read more