Vacation State - Look Up

Look Up - beautiful balloons in my back yard

It's been three months since I wrote about my Vacation State of Mind project - a project in which I decided I would pretend I was on vacation for at least a moment each day and look at the things around me as though I'm a visitor instead of a person anxious to go somewhere else.

I meant to post pictures and updates of my Vacation State project several times but, well, I haven't. But I am posting something now!

Here's something that has put me in a Vacation State of Mind many, many times since I started my project - I can always get a Vacation State moment when I Look Up.
Look Up at the ceiling of the Pantages Theatre in Minnapolis

Let me explain...
I spent a January Term in England back in 1996 and one of the things I remember most about that trip was something a tour guide said. I was on a group tour of Oxford. As we were walking around Oxford our tour guide said that one thing we should remember to do as we walked through Oxford is to look up. When you look up, he said, you see all sorts of great things in the architecture of the buildings. You might notice paintings on a ceiling. Gargoyles looking at you from above. All sorts of cool things that you would not have noticed if you kept looking at the things at eye level.

Look Up really hit home for me while walking through one of the buildings. I looked up and saw a bust of author J.R.R. Tolkien. Our tour guide mentioned Tolkien studied at and later was a professor at Oxford and I realized that I was standing right where Tolkien may have walked. The realization gave me the chills and is one of my favorite memories of my month-long trip to England.

Since then, I've made a point to look up and see what wonderful things I can discover in building architecture. I haven't found any busts of Tolkien but I have discovered amazing details in buildings - dates and names above doors, gothic creatures carved of marble, fancy filigree trim at the top of buildings - wherever I travel now. It's pretty easy for me to imagine I'm on vacation to some exotic location when I look up and see wonderful architectural details on old buildings.

But what about when I'm not in a great town with historical buildings?  When I'm in a town where the architecture is new like my home town of Richfield? I find that if I take a moment to look up I see the sky, the clouds, maybe the sun shining through trees and those views also remind me that wonderful vacation like moments can be had right at home.

Take a moment to enjoy a Vacation State of Mind - Look up!
Sculpture Garden at Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN
Double Rainbow - another Vacation State wonder in my own back yard


Lultzeslie Sch said…
This is an inspiring post. I try to do the same thing but it is easy to forget. I have seen lovely details along Division Street in Northfield.

Thanks for the reminder!

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