saddling into life

With uncovered hair and bare feet I am at my best. With my family beside me, home on the range at the Bar B Ranch. Being at the ranch feels healing. It takes my life scars and current mode of being and lets them run free through the trees, tail swishing behind me, dusting off a few years of living at a time.

It has been a year since I was able to ride a horse. I spent nine months of that year being pregnant.

My life holding womb that I’d nurtured, talked too, and trusted. My body now knows about work, change, and acceptance through this process. The acceptance only a mother’s womb will change and make room for. This is the shameless beauty of a woman.

Scars of sadness

Scars of wrinkles

Scars of living

Scars of a woman

Reminding me that these separate parts are my best things and have stories that are stories to pass on. I want to put my story next to theirs and yours next to mine. The pieces I am, broken collarbone, scarred knees and hands, are the parts of me to hold. So, love your scars. Put a hand on them and stroke them. You’ve got to love them, this flesh that weeps, laughs, and dances.

I will sing to the woman I know, the pieces that I am. Using the crisp outside air to fuel my voice to be in tune with the makings of a traveler.

 

motherhood scars

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Full of Living

This is my life

The traveler’s life

It is full of adventure

Full of smiles

Full of littles

Full of love

Full of home

I roam with my five year old Porter. Soaked from head to toe with a giant grin on his face, as we race the cobblestones streets, wheels getting caught in the cracks.

I wander with crying babies on the Metro and sleeping toddlers in the streets.

I am here to show the beauty of the world. I’m making my journey from good to better. I hope to continually see artistry, feel the adventure, and love each other through new places in the world. A calm lasting love. One to look back on and nostalgically feel complete contentment.

With this blog I am going to be stopping every few miles to stand still, so I can see how far I have come. Let the undertaking begin.

 

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Cuba – Open for Business

What the surge of American tourists can expect as they are welcomed back to Cuba.
Old cars, cheap lobster, and living history.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

In Five Take Flight, we jump on any opportunity to travel. A few weeks back I overheard that a trip to Cuba was in the works… I invited myself. Next thing I know I am on a G150 flying the first flight direct from Salt Lake City to Havana. On the flight over I did a Cuba history Crash course, watching a few documentaries.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

First impressions, the runway had some bumps, and the General Aviation airport (terminal 5) was a ghost town. Ours was the only plane parked outside, and from the look of things, the airport staff had not seen much action that day. Only 2 of the 5 urinals in the bathroom had pipes…. but any holes in the amenities were filled by the kindness of the people. We felt safe and welcome.

Our hotel, the Melia Cohiba, is acclaimed by many to be the nicest in Havana. If you’re used to traveling to Hawaii or Mexico, you’ll be disappointed by what you find in terms of lodging in Cuba. You have to understand that, as of summer 2016, the tourist economy of Cuba has been limping along since the early 60’s. Room size, amenities, and Wifi suffer. If ours was the nicest, I’m guessing things get pretty raw.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

One welcomed side effect of the time capsule of Cuba are the cars. You see them everywhere… Gems of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Like a perpetual classic car show. As the surge of tourists hit Cuba this is likely to become even more pronounced, given the choice of riding in a classic pink convertible or a regular Taxi, which would you choose? Speeds are slow and traffic non existent. One highlight of the trip was our open air tour of Havana in one of these classics. A must-do.

But there are accidents, in fact I was in one! You can hear the story in the video above. But long story short, my taxi had ample time to stop but ran right into the back of another car. Sending me flying into the driver seat. Not knowing the traffic laws I choose to flee the scene after paying my agreed upon fare plus some extra.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

Food was awesome. Huge lobster for the equivalent of $10-15 USD. It was really hard to find ‘local’ places.. we tied but I don’t think we ever really found where your average Cubans eat.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

One trip unforgettable was the Cabaret show at the Tropicana. This is the Genesis of the spectacle you find in Las Vegas. I was pulled up not once but 3 times to dance with the performers. If you don’t want to dance… don’t sit on the aisle.

Final thoughts, Cuba is full of very interesting modern history. Not a trip to the museum kind of history… walking the streets of Havana you are actually seeing history and watching it unfold. Along with the cars, Cuba is rich in people, culture, and food.

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

You’ll find better beaches in Hawaii, but who wants to hear about your trip to Waikiki? One trip to Cuba and you’ll have stories for the grandkids… hopefully not about your Taxi accident!

– Derek Tillotson

Speical thanks to Sandie Tillotson!

 

Photo by Sean Diediker
Photo by Sean Diediker

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