Friends as Family

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Friends who are kindred spirits are such fun “family” and I’ve got the best!

The road west

As Mother Earth came to her mid-point of fullness, Art and I took a road trip out west to enjoy the cooler temps and snow. Summer Solstice, being on our 10th wedding anniversary we retraced our honeymoon trip, but added a few different stops, enjoying the back roads of eleven states on this trip. It is with an attitude of gratitude that I thank my lucky stars for this super fun profession that brings such special people into my life. Folks who have returned so regularly over my 44 years that they have turned into the best kind of ‘family’ and very fun to visit. We were on a mission for friends, who are now snowbirds with a new home in Silver City, New Mexico, and we delivered their household goods, played for awhile and then took off for the snowy peaks of Colorado.

One of our camp site views…before the rain in New Mexico

Between visits with friends along the way to and from, our plan was to camp. Mother Nature’s sense of humor actually had us laughing. Her first go at it started with a lightning storm as we were putting up our tents in Juniper Springs, FL. I wanted to make this trip a healing one and visited the first of many healing springs, but this one was cold.

Soaking my feet and ankle in Juniper Springs, FL

She then followed up with an all-night deluge in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico that made a river under our tent and had us swimming inside the tent due to the floor leaking and it was only a whopping 40-degrees outside! Needless to say, Mother Nature convinced us to switch to staying in hotels the rest of the trip and reminded us that a little of that sense of humor goes a long way.

A Texas cattle drive through Fort Worth on the old Chisholm Trail / photo: Anthony George via Flickr

Big, big fun was had in “cow town” when we were taken to the stockyard at the end of the Chisholm Trail in downtown Fort Worth, Texas for a long horn cattle drive in the streets by real drovers. I was honored to be asked to do a “Baby Blessing” for my dolfriend Julie’s first grandchild as well!  We then high-tailed it to Ridgway, Colorado and enjoyed throwing snowballs, in the summer! It’s hard to believe, but it snowed over 20 inches in Colorado on the first day of summer!

Art playing in the snow

Our good friends, my roommate from 30 years ago and his wife, took us to an outdoor music concert in the park in Ouray surrounded by snow topped peaks. We soaked in the mineral hot springs twice. I had sprained my left ankle and right knee back in March and the plan included healing waters and potions, both of which Colorado has an abundance of.

The Iron Horse

I couldn’t ride a horse this time, so Art took me on an iron horse from Durango to Silverton on a mining train into the past and yes, the snow. A chuck wagon dinner with western, not country, music was just the best.

Debra and her casita…our home away from home.

Returning to Pagosa Springs, CO was special with time at Tara Mandala, a Buddhist Temple dedicated to the Divine Feminine. What really enticed us was two long time Key West couples who have made second homes there. Debra Kupchok, co creator of Crystals and Dolphin Retreats, of which we have now done 5 in Key West, gifted us with staying in their “Casita” travel trailer. I told her of a vision I had had for a long time of me with my feet propped up on a tree, my back on the earth and reading a book on vacation. Debra declared she knew the perfect tree and sent us to one of her special places, Lake William. Wow was she ever right! Then we soaked in the Pagosa Hot Springs beside the San Juan River, which was over the banks and rushing through town. The hot springs were truly healing and so relaxing.

Victoria and Barbara and the new pink sunhat!

Next stop was Nashville with the folks that took the video of our wedding and are truly family now after 20 years of charters. Peace and quiet were healing gifts here. An art festival in downtown Nashville in the park was the cultural event I needed and now I have a new sunhat in pink. The drive homeward over the Tail of the Dragon in the Smoky Mountains was a real trippy trip with 318 curves in 11 miles.

The beautiful Withlacoochee River, FL

Our very last stop was to see my college day chum of 44 years. She and her husband live on their very own wildlife retreat on the Withlachoochee River and we danced the night away. What a great ending to our trip for Art and I. The next day in the boat all day after 22 days of vacation and healing and my ankle was swollen again, but that dance was so worth it!

Dancing has been my life and there is a big reason my charters are called Dancing Dolphin Spirits….I am one and I just couldn’t help myself. Meanwhile back in the dolphin playground, the dolphin celebrated my return by some major petting and puppy piles with many leaps included. I think they were glad to have their Dolphin DJ back with her tummy rubbing tunes.

Dolphin dancing

Traveling with Art is a joy and celebrating our 10 years together and with friends is something we will both cherish. We had an incredible time on our trip and here is to 10 more years of fun, friends as family and Artventures.

Victoria and Art celebrating 10 years together


8 thoughts on “Friends as Family”

  1. Jane Kandy Lippincott says:

    I loved reading about your traveling adventures!! I hope to share with you soon some of my own recent dophin trip travels. You would have loved it, Victoria. I need a nice long talk with you.
    Love, Kandy

    1. Capt. Victoria says:

      Call me anytime. Big love to you too.

  2. Melissa says:

    Glad to see you with that boot on! So enjoyed being with you both.

    1. Capt. Victoria says:

      Big love to you…

  3. Lovely pictures Victoria and it looks like you had a great trip. Congrats on your 10 year anniversary with Art too.

    1. Capt. Victoria says:

      Thank you! It was an amazing Artventure. The whole 10 years have been too!

  4. Charlotte S Regennas says:

    Congratulations to you and Art on a wonderful celebration! Blessed be!
    PS: Alana Senchek, a friend and former co-worker at the Guidance Care Center, tragically lost her young son on the last day of school in a freak accident. If I can get her down here (from Pennsylvania) later this year, I want to have a healing charter with her and her young daughter,Bella, and a few female coworkers. I’ll give you plenty of notice. I know it would be so uplifting with you at the helm.

    1. Capt. Victoria says:

      I would be honored to. Contact me and we will make a plan.

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