I’m back from two weeks of traveling with my daughter. We flew to Switzerland and then to Los Angeles. What a wonderful, exhausting, and crazy experience it was. I drove a HUGE van in Switzerland! Yes, I’m the roundabout queen now. I can still hear Arielle yelling, “second exit, take the second exit!” I met Harrison Ford, slept in an airport, survived without my luggage for two days, and ate more bread and chocolate in two weeks than all year! Yum!

But the best part of the trip was being with my daughter Arielle, meeting her teammates, talking with her coach and watching their track meets. I had the opportunity to be a part of her world. Since she graduated high school and college we’ve been on different paths. She has her own business and trains with her team in Illinois. I’m here in Florida sitting behind a keyboard. Even though we text a lot it’s not the same as shared experience. Like the moment I saw the van in Switzerland and panicked! Arielle sitting next to me laughing, cheering me on while trying to figure out the navigation system. Then there was the cable car ride in Austria, Arielle’s friend declaring he was happy because he was, “safe as a kitten,” on our way up the mountain. None of us were prepared for the magnificent views at the top. There were memorable moments, some stressful, some glorious, filling me, making each day a new adventure. Sometimes exhilarating moments appeared at the most unexpected times. For instance…

When we were in Los Angeles Arielle’s coach suggested we go to a camping store to buy foam for her racing wheelchair. My friends know I’m anti-camping since a failed attempt many years ago at the Disney Campground. Yep, I can’t even handle Disney camping. So, when I entered the LA  store I was in awe. They had things I’d never seen before like a device for women to pee standing up! There were few customers which made me feel at ease to continue browsing. Arielle started talking to a nice young employee about her upcoming trip to Bonnaroo. They talked about the bands that were performing and when I interrupted and cheered for U2 they gave me a look. It was a “you’re old” look. What? U2! Immediately I turned around searching for someone my age and spotted a gentleman close by with white hair. My first thought was good, I bet he likes U2. Then he turned around, I saw his face and couldn’t believe it! Harrison Ford!

Many years ago when I was a struggling actress in LA I saw Meryl Streep at the Westside Pavilion. I was too shy to say hello. That was over twenty-three years ago and I always regretted not telling her how much I admired her work. I knew if I didn’t act how I’d feel afterward. So, I marched right up to Harrison Ford and introduced myself.  It was as if I had gathered the courage to jump off a cliff and then suddenly found myself falling, screaming what the hell did I just do! The interaction was beyond awkward. He was kind, shook my hand, smiled, but then the introvert in me took over and instead of asking him any of the hundreds of questions I had about his incredible career I turned beet red and bolted. As soon as I introduced myself I could see the world from his point of view. I wondered if he could go anywhere without someone coming up to him. Perhaps that’s why he was shopping for camping supplies. Wild animals are safer than fans. Although I may not have had the conversation I had hoped for with Harrison Ford I’m happy to say I do have tickets to U2 in Tampa next week. Woohoo!

I said goodbye to Arielle in LA and headed home grateful for our time together. Once upon a time, I held her in my arms in Santa Monica, California fearful of the word mom. I was twenty-three the same age she is now. Never would I have imagined then that one day we’d be flying around the world together. That’s the magic of life you never know where the journey will take you. You just have to set a course, believe, adjust, hold on, and trust. And always keep your eyes open for opportunities for adventure!

 


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