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Part Two: A night out in Hollywood is many people’s dream come true! I recommend dinner at the Bowery, a show at Pantages and a night at the Redbury, “Your Home Away From Home!” (Part One: click here)

VIDEOThe Redbury Hotel Hollywood

 From the Redbury: “Situated at the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, our all-suite, luxury hotel in Los Angeles, CA offers an unpretentious refuge with all the comforts you need to unwind after hitting your favorite Hollywood arts, music, fashion and entertainment hotspots.”

I enjoyed my stay at the Redbury and think you truly will feel at home (or better!).

Looking for “Your Home Away From Home” in #Hollywood? @TheRedbury is the answer!

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Part One: A night out in Hollywood is many people’s dream come true! I recommend dinner at the Bowery, a show at Pantages and a night at the Redbury, “Your Home Away From Home!”

VIDEOA Night out in Los Angeles the Bowery and Pantages Theater 

From the Bowery: “The Bowery brings to Los Angeles its first New York style Bar & Bistro. With a comfortable and cozy environment, a serious liquor bar, an eclectic wine list, craft beers and a comforting bistro menu, the Bowery is the quintessential New York joint.”

I think the food especially the hamburgers are AMAZING! Move this to the top of your list of must trys!

Ready for @BowerySt best burgers in #LosAngeles! Hollywood @discoverla

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Best mac’n cheese! @boweryst with @meanmangoliz YUM! A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

My vote for best burger with caramelized onions @BowerySt! Truly tempting and tasty!

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Amazing! Chocolate pecan pie @boweryst. Delicious and nutritious! A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Enjoying the energy & enthusiasm of #Newsies @Pantages

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Discover @Disney #Newsies #Pantagestheatre great show to see with @MeanMangoLiz A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

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Schauer

Cold summer rain had drenched the city mer hours before I set off into the Englischer Gartens. I walk up river. The water was fast and loud, the sound of bike bells and the occasional chatter of teenagers was nearly washed out by the sound. The ground is soft and wet beneath my feet, a reminder to stay grounded. Right before the park lets out into the city there is a tunnel that feeds the river. Water blasts out of the tunnel, white and sharp, and beside the rampant waves are surfers. I’ve seen the surfing of California; the Ocean Beach ice water surfers, the Half Moon Bay giant wave riders and the L.A. Coast boys and girls who dip their boards in warmer waters. I have never seen anything like this. They fly. They jump into these brash waves and tackle them. The flippant and heavy current is a song they know well and one they play over and over until they know the lyrics by heart. Their bodies and the boards move as one, dipping and swerving with the waves. Every now and then one will hit a bad spot and wipeout. They’ll disappear underneath the white rapids and I hold my breath as they hold theirs. They bob back up all smiles and thumbs up and then the next rider will fling out over the water. One after another, they surf. The Eisbach River carrying the fallen down stream until they swim to the edge, only to run back up to take their place in line.

I think of them as stupid. There are signs all around warning of the dangers of swimming and surfing in this area. A tour guide tells me that people have died doing this, and yet the surfers still return. Why do something that could kill you? I know the dangers of the ocean. It’s vastness, it deepness, and it’s consistencies. I know the salt air that accompanies each crash of a wave into sandy beaches. I know the quickening of breath that is felt when a wetsuit clad Californian surfer free falls back into the icy waters of the San Francisco bay. There is a thrill to it, with the underlying fear of being dragged out to sea. Perhaps that is what these surfers seek as well.

A young man takes up his board and gets a running start into the waters. He hits the wave and splashes water onto the onlookers. The smile on his face tells all. He tracks back and forth, spinning the angle of his board and twisting his body to account for the rivers next move. When he is ready he lets go. He falls backwards, his arms open and that gleaming smile still on his face. He sinks below the rapids, almost as soft as snow, cover him. Moments later he reappears, arms still stretched outward. Another rider drops in and the cycle continues. It’s not that they are brave, I doubt they think of themselves as, it is that they do not fear what might happen. Unlike me. I had come to Europe with the dream to find myself, as so many do. Instead, I watch surfers.

They know they will surf today. They know that the water will be cold and relentless, but they will surf regardless. They know the Prinzregentstrasse bridge will hold tourist that will watch in disbelief. They know that bravery is not jumping onto the wave, bravery is not about taking the plunge.

 

 I stand on the bridge and watch surfer after surfer ride the white water. A new rain has begun but that doesn’t matter. The water from the quick stops and sudden wipeouts has already baptized me. It feels good. I’m not ready to jump from the bridge, but I untie my shoes, tuck my socks inside them, and dip my feet into the waves of Munich. 

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Gratitude Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

With so many choices in Los Angeles, where do you go for a truly special occasion?
Celebrate at Spaghettinis Beverly Hills! You will be delighted with A+ Service, Food & Music! This is where I brought my mom for her birthday. Incredible sounds, tastes and service will make your night one to remember.

VIDEO: Jennifer Keith Sextet

From Spaghettinis: “A Chef and a Saxophonist walk into a bar…and they hit every note! Inventive California cuisine with Italian sensibilities meets world-class entertainment. Welcome to Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge.”

A sensational start to Saturday night @spaghettinibeverlyhills with Marchese Antinori

A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

Amazing music with Jennifer Keith & the phenomenally talented sextet @spaghettinibeverlyhills A photo posted by Lisa Niver (@wesaidgotravel) on

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Hello, I’m Bailey Hudella and the place that inspires me to be brave is Forest Lake, Minnesota. It isn’t much here, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. They’re so many reasons why this place inspires me, but it all begins with the seasons. Unlike many places Minnesota experiences all four seasons and each one gives a new meaning to bravery.
     Winter is the first part of our Minnesotan bravery. Most other states rarely experience snow, but in Minnesota snowfall is the same as Sunshine. My home town gives me the courage to snowmobile, the daringness to snowboard, and the spunk to sled down the steepest hills. Not only does it give bravery to people to be themselves and do what they love. It also gives hope. Hope that school may be cancelled by the next oncoming blizzard. Hope that you may get a Christmas bonus in work. Hope that your family might stay one more day because of a storm. Even though many people say they would rather move somewhere constantly warm. They know in their hearts that they wouldn’t move given any opportunity. Minnesota gives them the bravery to say no on moving. We all know that Minnesota will always be our home and no matter how far we go we will always return. The next piece of our bravery is spring.
     Spring is a new beginning for us. A chance to start over. The guts to change who we were last years and become who we are now. The fearlessness of switching our style no matter what people think and the bravery to be ourselves.
     Summer is the next part of courage we get here. The ability to go and have fun outside with friends without caring about how weird you look. The joy you get with doing the things you love. Cerebrating our nation’s independents in our down spunky way. Even overcoming the sadness you get from leaving your friend over summer break. All these things we do in Minnesota are from courage and bravery. From the youngest of toddlers to the oldest of seniors. They all know Minnesota carries something that no other place has. Indomitability charm. Even in the darkest of days the light of Minnesota is as strong as the sun.
     The very last piece of Minnesota’s bravery is autumn. As the leave change so do we. Our skin becomes lighter and our tan drains away. We are bold as we move up grades. We are strong as the sun tests us on seeing how long we can go without it. We are as vigorous as we rake up the leaves of the thriving maple trees. All that courage pays off with the happiness you get with spending time with your family on Thanksgiving. Sharing and togetherness is worth the hardships of autumn. The thought that you will get to spend chariest time with your family inspires you to deal thought the hardest times in this season. It inspires you to be happy throughout anything. These four seasons create bravery beyond belief. Many people don’t believe this. That’s because they haven’t experience the bravery and magic affect Minnesota has on people. I accept that I am here, and I intend to be here. Minnesota the land of ten thousand lakes or as I like to call, Minnesota the land of Hope, love and Bravery.

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Lisa Niver and Richard Bangs are Orbitz Originals “co-host[s and] award-winning travel experts! Read more from the nasdaq article:

 

Bermuda News Orbitz #Rbquests Jan 14 2015Orbitz Launches “Orbitz Originals: Bermuda – Proper Fun” in Partnership With the Bermuda Tourism Authority

By GlobeNewswire,  January 13, 2015, 11:29:00 AM EDT

Online Video Series Highlights the Island’s Many Attractions for Fun-Seeking Travelers

CHICAGO, Jan. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Leading online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) has partnered with the Bermuda Tourism Authority to launch “Orbitz Originals: Bermuda – Proper Fun,” a seven-part online video series that is co-hosted by award-winning travel experts Richard Bangs and Lisa Ellen Niver and is available for viewing atOrbitz.com/Bermuda. Supported by hotel discounts of up to 20 percent and substantial flight and hotel package savings, this eleventh installment of the “Orbitz Originals” series once again uses the power of online video to inspire travelers and increase bookings to this beautiful Atlantic destination located less than two hours off the East Coast of the U.S.

Research continues to point to the importance of destination video content in consumers’ purchasing behavior. YouTube has seen views of travel content spike by 118 percent year-over-year, according to a recent study and whitepaper released by Google.1 The study also found that two out of three U.S. consumers watch online travel videos when they’re thinking about taking a trip, and that “searches on YouTube generally occur earlier in the travel-planning process…a strong video strategy can help brands reach, inspire and engage today’s digitally savvy traveler in more ways than ever before.” “Orbitz Originals: Bermuda – Proper Fun,” shows off the tropical paradise’s many accommodations and activities, created to entice travelers to take a trip and experience it all for themselves.

Select highlights from the seven-part series:

  • “Proper Fun in Bermuda” gives viewers an overview of all that the island has to offer, from its pink sand beaches and world-class golf courses to its fine dining and many ways to unwind.
  • “Proper Food, Only in Bermuda” explores the tide-to-table and farm-to-fork local dining scene, with its authentic flavors of the sea and luxurious drinks and desserts.
  • “Bermuda Luxury Hotels” contains Richard’s “Gold List” of the top hotels, resorts and spas on the island.
  • “Scooting Around Bermuda” showcases the island’s 21 square miles on scooter and offers breathtaking views and sights.

Orbitz Jan 2015 properfun page“Short of visiting the island, there’s no better way to showcase Bermuda’s brilliance than video storytelling. Orbitz Originals brings the beauty and experience of Bermuda to a new generation of travelers – and the videos are designed to inspire them to make their next trip to the island,” said Victoria Isley, chief sales & marketing officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority. “As a trusted media partner and travel brand, Orbitz can also assist in the booking of those trips. From cliff jumping at Admiralty House Park and shopping the styles of the City of Hamilton to sipping a Rum Swizzle at the Swizzle Inn and enjoying a bite of the famous Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy fish sandwich, the options for having ‘Proper Fun’ in Bermuda are endless.”

To date, “Orbitz Originals” videos highlighting Cancun, the Cayman Islands, Qatar Airways, Vermont, Western Ireland, New York, Northern Ireland, Bradenton, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Jackson Hole have been viewed over 1.2 million times by travelers seeking inspiration for future trips. Bookings to those destinations have experienced double-digit growth over the life of each campaign.

“We want each new edition of the ‘Orbitz Originals’ series to really capture the destination and use video to provide a unique perspective and inspire travelers to visit,” said Josh Winkler, Orbitz Worldwide vice president of partner marketing. “In the case of Bermuda, Richard and Lisa combine their travel expertise to provide a fun look at this popular destination and give travelers a real sense of life on the island.”

1Travel Content Takes Off on YouTube, Google and Ipsos MediaCT (August 2014)

About Orbitz.com

Orbitz.com is a leading travel website that enables consumers to search for and book a broad range of hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, vacation packages and destination activities. Since launching in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the world’s largest online travel sites. Orbitz.com now offers the groundbreaking Orbitz Rewards loyalty program—the only program where customers can earn rewards immediately on flights, hotels and packages, and redeem instantly on tens of thousands of hotels worldwide. Use the Orbitz Rewards Visa® Card to earn even more rewards. Orbitz.com is the #1 way to book travel on mobile devices, be it using our apps (get them at orbitz.com/mobile) or our smartphone-optimized website (m.orbitz.com), both of which are tailored for smartphones and tablets. The Orbitz app won the 2014 Appy Award for best travel app. Orbitz also ranks #1 in Online Travel Website Customer Satisfaction in the 2014 American Customer Satisfaction Index. Follow Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and through the Orbitz Travel Blog. Orbitz.com is operated by Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW).

About Orbitz Worldwide

Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE:OWW) is a leading global online travel company using technology to transform the way consumers around the world plan and purchase travel. Orbitz Worldwide operates the consumer travel planning sites Orbitz (orbitz.com), ebookers (ebookers.com), HotelClub (hotelclub.com) and CheapTickets (cheaptickets.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Partner Network (orbitzpartnernetwork.com) delivers private label travel technology solutions to a broad range of partners including some of the world’s largest airlines, bank loyalty programs and travel agencies, and Orbitz for Business (orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed travel solutions for companies of all sizes. Orbitz Worldwide makesinvestor relations information available at investors.orbitz.com.

 

Just under two hours from East Coast gateway cities, Bermuda stretches for 21 miles along turquoise waters and is surrounded by a 200-square-mile coral reef plateau. The destination’s accommodations range from luxury resorts to intimate guest cottages and family-run inns, all incorporating the sophistication and hospitality unique to the Bermuda experience. The island includes more than 150 restaurants to fit any traveler’s budget, from simple and inexpensive to elegant and special dining. Bermuda’s diverse activities offer an array of vacation options all year round, including more wreck dives and more golf per square mile than anywhere else in the world, renowned deep sea fishing, luxurious spas and smooth pink beaches. For information visit www.gotobermuda.com, www.facebook.com/BermudaTourism or www.twitter.com/GoToBermuda.

CONTACT: Media contacts:
         Orbitz WorldwideTrevor Kight
         +1 312-260-8198
         trevor.kight@orbitz.com

         Bermuda Tourism
         Turner PR
         Lauren Ryback
         212-889-1700
         lauren.ryback@turnerpr.com

Source: Orbitz Worldwide

Read more: http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/orbitz-launches-orbitz-originals-bermuda—proper-fun-in-partnership-with-the-bermuda-tourism-20150113-00686#ixzz3Op4JDpzR

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On Rocks and Being Brave

There isn’t a rock climber on the planet who can deny the deep-seated fear of falling. What scares the hell out of climbers is often more challenging than the physical realities of the climb. But while accounts of unfortunate accidents and climber deaths are sobering reminders of the sport’s inherent dangers, ascending a route is nothing less than exhilarating. If the precipitous granite wall is the knife, then fear is the blade. A climber’s ability to focus beyond its razor’s-edge demands intense mental fortitude and resolve. It’s the number one reason why, in spite of myself, I continue to return to the rock.

My climbing debut ended almost as soon as it began. Thirty years ago, while attempting a route on Idyllwild’s Suicide Rock, my belayer called down: “Don’t move! I need to unclip you for a minute.” There I was: clinging to a two-foot wide ledge, a hundred feet up, on the side of a mountain. One minute I was content to gaze over the sweeping pine-forested valley below, and the next minute those trees swooned and swirled. Panic, as cold and palpable as the morning breeze, paralyzed me. “Hey,” I shouted up to my friend, “I need to get off this ledge!” When he gave me the word I scrambled to the top, hoisted myself over the edge, untied my belay rope, and declared I’d never go climbing again.

Not long afterward, when marriage vows, careers, and child-rearing dominated our lives, my husband, Tom, stopped climbing, too.

But life’s twists and turns sometimes lead us to revisit places we imagine we’ll never see again. Two years ago, Tom and I and our former climbing partner Marcus, a friend we never lost touch with, started working out at a climbing gym. Soon the unmistakable lure of Joshua Tree summoned us back to the rock. Renowned for its jumbled outcroppings and hundreds of climbable crags, Joshua Tree’s routes bear quirky names like Poodles are People Too, Cryptic, and Walk on the Wild Side. Happy to watch the guys reclaim their “glory days,” I went along for the ride, inventing all sorts of excuses as to why I could have cared less about climbing.

I prefer to enjoy the scenery,” I said.

The view’s better from the top,” Marcus replied.

No sooner had I changed the sheets on our bed before Tom would return from a hard day’s climbing with bloody knees or scraped elbows.

I don’t want to get scraped up.”

Those are badges of honor,” Tom said.

I don’t. I can’t. I . . . I

I continued to work out at the gym; the more I practiced, the stronger I became until one spring day, while camping at Joshua Tree, the guys pointed to a climb. “There’s your project,” they insisted, referring to an angled flake topped by a narrowed vertical crack imparting this route with its name: Toe Jam. In order to ascend the sixty foot route, I would have to execute a lay back move on the flake, then jam my toe into the crack and rely upon the strength in my legs to propel myself to the top.

I spent the whole evening and a good portion of the next morning surveying the features of the climb. With my stomach in knots, palms sweaty, I agreed to give it a go. I chalked up my hands—a meditative precursor to the opening move—then toed the first knobby edge. Searching for a handhold I balanced, and progressed a notch on the rock. And then another notch after that. And then another. Until

No one could have been more surprised than me when I levitated to the top.

Toe Jam was just the beginning. Today I’m stronger than ever, more confident and brave, and learning how to cope with my fear. Rather than letting it shut me down, I’ve discovered a place I can shelve it. Over the last year and a half, we’ve made a dozen or more sojourns to the land of the twisted tree, not only in search of the challenge, but to gape at full moons on the rise; to swap stories with like-minded climbers; and to bathe in the fire-orange splendor of sunsets ablaze across the amphitheater of wide desert sky.

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Monument Valley, Utah, the type of place that computer screensavers are made from and a lost soul goes to for closure and peace. A place where the stars light up the night sky and the galaxies dance, where God has created pillars and caves to give this desert an image and an exquisite beauty. Monument Valley, a place that inspires me to be brave, not because of the landscape or the beauty, or the countless John Wayne movies filmed on location, but because of the inhabitants of the barren desert. The Navajo Native American tribe, a tribe that does everything on their own because they do not have the resources to hire people, a tribe that had to bring in Christian Missionaries in order to make sure their homes would be suitable to live in during the harsh winters and intense summers. Monument Valley, Utah challenges me to be brave because even when these people have so little to give, they will do anything they can to ensure anyone helping them are happy and taken care of.
I visited Monument Valley in the summer of 2012 as a part of a church sponsored mission trip. It was evident as soon as we arrived that we were about to take part in something special. I was assigned to put a new roof on the “house” of my residents, Frank and Mini Adakai. House is put into quotations as the family home was a mere trailer with 1 real bedroom. There were 6 people living in this trailer including 2 children, one a new born baby. No matter how poor and un-resourced these lovely people were they would do anything they could to make our day easier. In the summer in Monument Valley it reaches well over 100 degrees, combine this with metal roofs and it makes for a very hot day of work. Every day, Mini would make us some lemonade and some form of native food including fry bread and Navajo Tacos to replenish us. The Navajos are a tribe with a strong tradition of providing for themselves and not accepting outside help. It was very hard for Frank and Mini to accept our help without paying for it, but little did they know that they did pay us, in inspiration and love. They taught me what strength is, they taught me what being a decent human being looks like. Most importantly though, they taught me what love and compassion truly means. When our work was finished and their home was completely redone with a new roof, new paint job, cleaned interior, and numerous holes patched up, Mini grabbed me in her arms and started crying. They couldn’t thank us enough. Repeatedly telling us how thankful they were for their “new life”, and since they couldn’t pay us they offered us ghost beads to ward off evil and protect us from bad spirits. It was more than I could ever ask for. Nothing is as humbling as giving people who have nothing a new life and a new start and them still trying to give back to you.
Monument Valley didn’t inspire me to be brave, no, the people in Monument valley inspired me to be brave, Frank and Mini Adakai inspired me to be brave. They inspired be to brave because they are brave and their life is so much harder than mine has been, is, or ever will be. Frank and Mini will always have a special place in my heart, and will always be the reason that I am brave today.

Thank you for reading and commenting. Please enter the Gratitude Travel Writing competition and tell your story.

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New York

 

Dear Diary,

Eight years has gone from our ten-years-plan. We made this plan with my friends when we were eighteen, and just before we left high school and gone to University.

We said ten things we will do in the next ten years. We said. We promised.

So we have to do them, and who completes them first wins a very expensive dinner which will be paid by the losers.

So I came to New York, because one of the points is here. The statue of liberty.

I need to go there.  I just so do not want to do this.

But I have to. If I want to beat them up and get that expensive dinner. I know they have not done this challenge yet. None of them want to because this is one of the biggest one. You have to travel up here, and get the ticket to the island and then go there and then do what we said we must do in order to complete the challenge.

I am nervous.

 

Dear Diary,    

I HAVE DONE IT!

Sometimes I was wondering why people in Manhattan hate the tourists so much and why no true American goes to the Statue of Liberty just for fun. I shall wonder no more.

So… I went and got the ticket and I went through security. It is like an airport security, they check your bag, check you. You wait, and queue and wait and queue. After a nice hour or two you get on that ferry that takes you to the island

The statue is small from distance, but huge when you are getting closer to it. There is one thing I realized; they show the Statue of Liberty much bigger in the movies. I remember seeing the cover of the movie called Day after tomorrow, and on that cover the Statue is big as the Rockefeller Centre. I guess it is because the Statue is a national symbol, so they try to make it more impressive.

Anyway.  I walked up there. I went close.

The island was full of tourists. Many Japanese, I have only seen that many in movies. It is true what they joke in the movies about Japanese tourists, they cannot stop clicking with their high-tech cameras. They are rather just taking billions of photos than actually stop and look at a place or the Statue of Liberty for the matter of fact.

I touched the bottom of the Statue, then took a deep breath and get into the elevator to go up to the top.

When I have entered the top; packed with more Japanese tourists and some other. I stepped to the edge, and took a moment to enjoy the spectacular view and feeling of freedom that was instantly delivered by this view.

You are up there; look at New York City and all you can say is ‘WOW’. I slowly took my phone out and switched on the video. I recorded some of the view then turned the camera towards myself and waived for my viewers.

I took a deep breathe from that wind of freedom and I shouted what I had to in order to complete the challenge and get closer to that dinner.

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Angel Island

In the Bible, angels often greet people with, “Do not be afraid.” And so it was ironic that in the spring of 2011, the biggest of my many fears was the thought of sending my fourth grade daughter on an overnight field trip to “Angel” Island.

Conventional wisdom says that fear keeps you from trying things, but when it comes to parenting, fear is a great motivator. Did I really want to hike from the dock on the north side of the island to the Civil War barracks on the west side? No. Did I really want to take squirrelly fourth and fifth graders on six one-mile compass hikes? Once again, no. And did I really want to sleep on a wooden bunk, wake up in the middle of the night for a two-hour pretend-soldier guard duty, and take orders from a docent I imagined would be as cruel as the one I’d had when I was a sixth grader on my first overnight field trip? Oh, I can’t tell you how much I did not.

But did I want my daughter to go without me? Did I want her to stay home and miss out?

I bought wool socks. I studied compass navigation. I packed my backpack.

Two other classes from our school took the trip a day before us and got drenched by rain and mud puddles, but when we reached Tiburon and boarded the adorable covered pontoon that floated happily next to the big Angel Island ferry, the pale morning sun seemed to say, “Do not be afraid.” I was excited, in spite of myself.

We crossed the short span to Angel Island and survived the hike to Camp Reynolds on the west side, which is also a short span, unless you’re with thirty kids and their heavy gear. The docent, a kindly gray-haired woman, showed us to our bunks and helped us raise our Union flag. She was nothing like the power-crazed man on my sixth grade trip so many years ago. She might as well have said, “Do not be afraid.”

We slept in the building where the Union soldiers slept. It sits only a few paces from the water. “If there’s a tsunami, we’re toast,” I thought. “Very soggy toast.” Seconds later I was laughing at myself. Below the Golden Gate Bridge, the mouth of the bay whispered, “Do not be afraid.” My absurd fear was sucked out to sea in a tsunami of gratitude. “I live in a place that people spend their life savings to visit.”

The kids rotated from station to station. They learned flag signaling in the great field between the soldiers’ barracks and the officers’ quarters, cooked our dinner and baked in the kitchens, and hiked through the eucalyptus groves with me and my chaperone partner Mark, who, bless him, let me sit out a rotation or two. When my daughter rotated through my hike, she was having a great time despite being the only kid who cut herself in the kitchen and stepped calf deep into a puddle.

After dinner and dishes, it was time to get ready for the optional night hike. I hoped my daughter wouldn’t want to go. Flashlights were not allowed, and I was sure she’d be the one to find a crevasse to the center of the earth. But she wanted to go, so off we went.

We took the paved road to the south side of the island at dusk. As we rounded the bend, I silently begged forgiveness for every gripe, every worry.

A crescent moon, my favorite, danced over San Francisco, a part of the city’s light show. Every office was aglow, as it was March, and nighttime came before the end of the work day. Having lived in the Bay Area for over twenty years, I have seen The City from almost every angle, and this was by far the most magnificent.

“Do not be afraid.” Who said it this time? The moon? The water? A chorus from behind the skyscraper windows? Who?

I didn’t want to leave. We stayed to gawk for a while, but eventually we had to move on.

The other day, my daughter told me that she wants to ride in a plane someday. She wants to see the world. I didn’t tell her that the world is a scary place, I just said, “I hope you get to.” That may not seem brave to some, but I’ve learned to stop comparing my bravery with the bravery of others. Maybe, if she ventures abroad with friends, or (oh help) by herself, I can take my own trip back to Angel Island and wait for it to speak to me again.

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