"called to build the kingdom first through the romance and adventure of our home..."


The Embodied Vacation | Childhood Memories Edition



It is no secret that we love to travel, and we've been dreaming of a multi-month trip (or more!) in other countries our entire relationship ... as we're building Caleb's career base here in Florida we can't take off for 3-6 months yet, but we're anticipating and working toward that "someday!"

We positively thrilled big 2018 adventure: a month in Europe, chasing down the story locations and inspirations that make up some of our sweetest childhood memories.  Last year, for our Italy trip, we booked it last minute (about eight weeks in advance) so, while it was pretty-dang-close-to-perfect, our kindling wood was stoked for an even longer, "more special" trip. 

And it's pretty sweet how often something regular turns into something special by just the slightest adjustment of perspective, or simplest moment of pause to build excitement, be in awe, or remember.

So, with lots of time to prepare and increase wonder, revisit old books and movies, have them on repeat for our children, and learn some extra details ourselves, we're heading on The Morris Grand Memories Tour in Fall 2018!

Here's a little peak into our journey, and we'd love any feedback, "must-sees," and tips from you! I'll also be sharing "how I find those travel deals" as I do (our flights, for all four of us, round trip were $1100 including taxes and fees. We fly into London on $99 one-way flights! INSANE. and are where we found these deals! We booked a few weeks before Christmas when their October calendar opened up... so if you're wanting to get the same deal, maybe check that time of year next year!)

  • PRIDE & PREJUDICE \ In 2005, when the new Pride & Prejudice came out, my dad amazed us all by being absolutely smitten with the film. He would have streaks where he'd watch it three times a week, sometimes twice a day. Now he probably keeps a steady pace of once or twice a month. The soundtrack filling our home, with dad in his chair muttering the lines to himself in an A+-for-effort British accent , and turning around at his favorite ones to see if anyone else had the joy of hearing it too. "Oh, that's such a good line." A few of us kids have mentioned that we'll have to play "Dawn" or "Your Hands Are Cold" at his funeral. When dad saw me hours after getting engaged he said "I cannot believe that anyone can deserve you. But it seems I am overruled." (We'll visit some of the locations the movie was actually filmed at!)
  • MARY POPPINS \ Not only do I have countless memories of watching this as a child, with mom in the background singing along, but the month mom died was the month "Saving Mr. Banks" came out (the movie about author P.L. Tavers, her life, and Walt Disney's relationship with her that led to the movie being made.) We had plans to see the movie with mom, but she never got there. My best friend found a pirated version she sent to us, so in mom's last night we had "Saving Mr. Banks" playing on the laptop next to her so we could watch it together, like she wanted. "To My Mother," from the soundtrack, will always be sacred to me... I play it to go back to her that night. (Planning on reading this to Rowdy in the coming year).
  • CS LEWIS \ and Chronicles of Narnia. Need I say more? Why not. When I was pregnant I read this portion of the beloved-book: "At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in it's inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the start of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.” It was what secured the name "Summer" for our girl to my heart. Plus, on my second trip out to Oklahoma the family went to see Prince Caspian on theaters and I was with them. Good timing ;) 
  • PETER PAN \ If you made Caleb sit down and tell you his absolute favorite part of being ages 5-15, he would say "Going to Pap's lake house." It's the fulfillment of every good thing. His grandpa lives right on a lake, and they would go boating, inner-tubing, swimming, drink lots of pop, and watch cartoons on TV in what was perfect, time-standing-still summer days. And the only Disney movie he grew up watching was the one he'd watch at Pap's during this magical days: Peter Pan.  In his own Neverland. (We'll visit a few places like these, and really hype up that "Captain Hook's ship landed in the park!" for the kids...)

  • SABRINA \ While my mom introduced me to the magic of Disney, my dad introduced me to the dearness of romance. We were chick-flick buddies growing up. The two I remember watching with him were "Somewhere In Time" and "Sabrina." The themes from both were the music for our wedding processional. The height of romance to me. (Sabrina Theme / the 2:00 minute mark and on... gets me EVERY time.) Sabrina was a young, sheltered girl who went off on a photography internship to Paris, doing rainy shoots in front of the Eiffel Tower and becoming a woman not a girl. When I graduated highschool and left for my photography internship in Chicago dad hugged me goodbye and said "Have fun in Paris."
  • MADELINE \ My mom was VERY proud of this story: when I was 18 months old I could recite/"read" (not read, but I knew when to flip the pages) the whole book. She says she is not exaggerating to guess she read Madeline to me a thousand times. "Three or four times a day for years..." Rowdy can recite almost the whole book now, too... and he has asked on his own to see "the place where Madeline lives." It's one of his favorites. 

  • MOZART / One of the most moving works of music Caleb listened to in his childhood was Mozart's collection. "Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major", "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," and so mnay others played an enormous role in his passion for the feeling and power of music. Salzburg is Mozart's home town, so we plan to absorb him and his world!
  • SOUND OF MUSIC / Another favorite of my dad's... you haven't lived until you've see him sing "Do-Re-Mi" in a soft, lady voice. "These are a few of my favorite things..."

  • THE PILGRIMS / Reading books like "Stories of The Pilgrims" during elementary school years gave Caleb a fascination with Holland. He loved the descriptions of windmills, wooden shoes, tulips, and cobble streets. Whenever he's thought about "traveling the world," the image that comes to mind is seeing little villages like the ones the Pilgrims settled in before heading to America.
  • VAN GOGH / We did an art history series when I was in second grade. My teacher was so enjoying teaching us the material, it was evident and made me love what I was learning far more. My favorite artists from those lessons were Georgia O'Keefe and Van Gogh. The week mom died my aunts and uncle went to the National Gallery of Art in DC and I looked at "Wheatfield with Cypresses" and heaven felt near.

  • Though none of the stories have real countries cited as their setting, Disney was openly very taken with parts of Germany, Switzerland, and France. The movies I grew up on feel so "fairytale Europe" and were indeed inspired from places there. We hope to see lots of timber frame, French chateau, and thatched roof!