More Reminiscing

As I continue to put Positive Psychology into Practice (blog link) , here’s some more reminiscing – experience reminiscing this time.

One of my pandemic projects was dealing with all of our photos. From the pre-digital world, we had boxes and boxes of photos.  I spent hours sorting and discarding, before sending them off to be digitized.  

The second part of my pandemic photo project was to create some coffee-table picture books, something new and creative for me to try.  This creative side of the project has recently been accomplished… and I’m pleased with my first attempt at creating books in this way. 

I used ShutterFly, mostly because I found some good coupons.  It’s relatively easy to do and I am sure much more can be done (embellishments, story telling) than my first attempt.  I choose 2 books to begin – my favorite 2 trips ever: our Africa Safari in 2017 and our Southern Utah National Park trip in 2002.

Coffee Table Photo Books

I reminisced a bit recently with my niece (via text) about National Parks as well; they had just been to Acadia.  And then I took the experience reminiscing even further, since reminiscing is one of the Positive Psychology practices I am consciously working on.  I’d like to share some of that reminiscing (also part of the practice):

I have visited 24 of the 62 National Parks.  Yes, there are also national monuments, preserves, forests, reserves, military parks, historical parks, historical sites, memorials, trails, and more.   But I’ve always had a “thing” for the National Parks and we spent a few years on vacations hiking in many of them. 

Some National Park trivia:  Yellowstone was the first and is on my been-there list.  California has the most versus any other state, and I’ve been to many of them but not all.  Alaska has the largest National Parks (Wrangell–St. Elias National Park being the biggest but I’ve not been there) and Missouri has the smallest (Gateway Arch National Park and I’ve been there!).  

Southern Utah was my favorite National Park trip (hence the picture book) as we explored 5 parks there – Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, Bryce, and Zion. I loved Bryce and Arches while hubby loved Zion and Capitol Reef.   It was a 2-week trip and we did a lot of hiking.  In fact 2 of my favorite ever hikes were on this trip  – Devil’s Garden in Arches and Angel’s Landing in Zion.

Some of my other favorite ever hikes were also in National Parks: Cascade Falls in Grand Teton, Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park, and Siyeh Pass (done backwards) also in Glacier National Park.  

We’ve also visited National Parks in Canada, Kenya, and Tanzania.  Yes, other countries have National Parks, too.   The best animal siting, by far, were the Kenya and Tanzania National Parks, (hence the picture book full of animal pictures), but Yellowstone was also pretty amazing for animal spotting (we went in early summer).

The next National Park I want to visit is the Everglades.  Yes, all the years heading to Florida and I have not been there!

Are you a National Park lover as well?  What’s your favorite?

Photo credit: Tim Doyle, Southern Utah 2002

13 thoughts on “More Reminiscing

  1. Southern Utah is beautiful, isn’t it Pat? You can see why we decided to build a home there. I look forward to spending many seasons exploring the area, including the national parks. Maybe we’ll meet up there one day!

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  2. Pat, I am a big fan of Shutterfly and have been creating books with them since 2007. I have an on-going ‘Annual Book’ that I close out and publish (with a coupon) in early January. Many of our trips have a dedicated book, and I have created a few table-top books with some of my favorite landscape photographs. Now, that you know the basics, try customizing next time. You will love the results.

    I am hopeful that 2021 will be our year to visit National Parks. We’ve always thought to begin with Utah as Bryce, Zion and Arches are all on our priority list.

    Reminiscing about trips past is satisfying, and the added bonus of sorting and organizing photographs has to have resulted in a sense of accomplishment. All good stuff. Continue on!!

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  3. I don’t know much about national parks, but I do know a lot about sorting out photos! I went through all our old albums a while ago (you know – the sticky backed ones where the sticky either died or turned to super glue) and moved all our photos to slide in album sleeves. Looking back over our family life from newborn babies to weddings to now – it was an absolute joy – so definitely a bit of postitivty for me in reminiscing too.

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  4. I’m a big fan of national parks also. I don’t know how many I’ve visited, but I imagine about the same number as you have. On a road trip my husband and I took several years ago, I picked up a National Parks Passport, in which I get stamps and stickers as I visit each park. I wish I had the booklet when I was young, as our family spent most summer vacations camping (way back when most people actually camped in tents).

    I keep thinking that I should put together photo books of our trips but nope, not yet. It does seem like a good pandemic project, though.

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  5. Hey Pat, I’m not really replying about the National Parks, I’m replying about the photo books. During the pandemic I finally made the recipe book of my favorites for each of my children. And I loved it. I, too, used Shutterfly (I think I had coupons for good deals, as well) and I, too, could probably do better if I would become more proficient with their program but I thought they turned out quite nice. I love the idea of doing with my mass amount of pictures! Were you pictures already on your computer? Or did you take photographs and get them all on your computer first? You very well may have inspired me to go through all my pictures this winter and get that done!!!!! Thanks for the thought!

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    1. Candyse, I had all the pictures digitized (used LegacyBox… I get regular promo codes for them now, let me know if you want one) so they are on a thumb drive. That was fist step… sorting and figuring out what to digitize!

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  6. Hi, Pat – I LOVE National Parks. Which one(s) did you visit in Canada? My favourite National Parks in Canada include: Pacific Rim (Vancouver Island, BC), Yoho (Canadian Rockies, BC), Banff (Alberta) and Algonquin (Ont). I wonder if yours is on this list?

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    1. Donna, In Canada, I’ve visited Banff and Jasper (years ago) and more recently Waterton Lakes. That one was the place for one of my “worst ever hikes”… not because it isn’t stunning, but it was the 8th or 9th day of hiking and my knees gave out. I thought at one point Tim might have to carry me, I was in so much pain… for miles. Tears flowing kind of pain. Ah well, we also saw moose there and met a Cincinnati park ranger at the US “hiking border crossing” when we looped back into the US on foot. I’m hoping to visit Vancouver Island some day … so will definitely put that one on our list!

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