Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

A few years ago, my classmates and I including our families had a reunion in Chicago. It was a beautiful experience for all of us. After we graduated in Nursing in 2004 and passed our boards, most of us went our separate ways and haven’t seen each other for more than 10 years.

Up the Sears Tower.

We all looked pretty much the same. A few gained some weight, which to some countries can be a considered a sign of good fortune. Others were late bloomers who looked way better than before.Somehow they discovered the fountain of youth.

It was just great to see all our children playing and interacting with each other. We went around the famous tourist’s destination of the awesome Chicago. We visited the Navy Pier and went on a bay cruise, had dinner to one of the most celebrated pizza place in the city, visited the beautiful Mellinneum Park and went up the third tallest skyscraper in the World, the Sears Tower located on the 103rd floor of the building.

1,353 feet above the ground, the view up there was something to be marveled. It took years to finish it against harsh winds and weather. I read that one person fell and died during the construction of the 67th floor. Our respect and admiration for the people who built it. As me and my wife held hands to step on the glass view deck. I felt butterflies circling in my stomach as a stared at the tiny street under my feet. I quickly diverted my gaze at the breathtaking image of the city. I saw clouds drifting across the glass. We were definitely up, way up there.

The best part of the reunion was the feeling of elation and happiness that cranks up the mood and emotion. The hugs, the kisses, the reminiscing of the past and the plans of the future were priceless memories of our 2009 gathering. When it was time to go home, we all felt sad that it has to end. Looking back, I’m grateful that I had the chance to attend and be a part of it. In reality, not all of us can make it to our next reunion.

As I stared at our reflections, I can't help but wonder if we will all see each other again in our next reunion. I hope and pray that the future will be good for all of us.

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
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74 Responses to Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

  1. Wow! Respect for stepping onto that view deck! I could never!! I bungee jumped here in South Africa a few months ago and it was the most terrifying thing I have ever done~never again!~heights is VERY MUCH not my thing:) #hatsofftoyou

    • I meant for those who lost their lives when they built the tower. On a windy day, the merciless wind can run as fast as 30-40 miles per hour. During the early days of its construction, workers don’t have the same protective devise as we do now. I’m scared of heights but It’s was something I need to overcome and my son was really curious in walking to the deck. I’m glad you were safe after the bungee jumping. I won’t dare to do it plus I have backpain issues in the past. Thanks for sharing.

  2. mazemangriot says:

    Thats nuts! I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I have a thing for heights. Thanks for taking me somewhere I WILL never go!

    • Don’t worry. I lasted only for 1 minute, long enough for the camera to take the picture. I’m scared of heights too. I had this feeling that the deck would fall. One of them had this eerie sound like it’s loose or something. As you can see, those polished toes and nails are my wife’s. I was the camera man. I was fortunate that I did not eat anything before the daring experience. I kinda felt nauseaus and light headed during the event. Thanks for the visit.

  3. Connie T says:

    That is up high. It could also be used for down.

  4. misswhiplash says:

    When we went to Vegas we atayed at the Stratasphere and they had a glass floor right up the top. It was very very scary even though we knew it was safe.
    Yours was a very good UP’

    Bless you my friend and your family

    • Thank you. Vegas sounds like a lot of fun. I also have issues with heights but my classmates brought us there as part of our reunion fieldtrip. My son had a lot of fun at the deck whick kind of freak me out. Oh well, at least I tried it even just once. Have a great day.

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  6. You were very brave to venture onto the glass like floor. You have some great pictures of the experience…and wonderful memories too. Thank you for sharing them with us.

    • Your always welcome. It’s my pleasure to share them . It felt good to browse at the old pictures. They reminded me of how fun the reunion was. I had a picture that I was actually inside the deck. I said to myself, ” what was I thinking?” But It was one experience I won’t forget. Thank you and God bless.

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  8. Thanx for sharing… Those pictures remind me of my experience here in Cebu. The “trauma” took me one week to get over it! LOL!! The experience was breath-taking, same as your pics!!! I created a blog about that experience also… ^_^


    • I just checked the ride you mentioned and the edge coaster is even more scarier. I need lots of “Valium” for that! I salute your bravery. The tower was awesome. Cebu is trully fascinating. Stay cool always.

  9. Man, that is one impressive view from up there. I used to climb all the way up on abandoned industrial buildings to take pictures although I’m really afraid of heights. However, I don’t think I can make it up the TV tower here in Berlin, too far up …

    • That’s even more impressive, climbing buildings and taking pictures at the same time. That would take a lot of guts. I admire your passion for what you love to do. Extreme but totally amazing! Keep inspiring the world with your works.

  10. nuvofelt says:

    It’s good to look back and meet up. I did it last year after 40 years. That’s too long. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wow, 40 years! I bet it was super fun, so much reminiscing, sharing and simple being reunited with friends you had wonderful memories with. I think atleast once or twice we all need to attend our reunions. Life’s too short to miss them. Nice to hear from you again.Best wishes to you and your family.

  11. thirdhandart says:

    Wow! The first photo is just too amazing – and frightening!

    • My wife is tougher than me that’s why it’s her feet that’s on the picture. Taking pictures helped me forget for a moment that I was partly standing on the deck. I’m glad you like the photos.

  12. cocomino says:

    What a high place.I’m afraid of heights but I can’t help riding the high buildings.

    • The best way to overcome our fears is to slowly get exposed to them. Bit by bit, one step at a time. I’m glad that despite of your fears you try to ride the high buildings. Such brave actions makes us stronger. Some of us don’t have a choice but to work in high rise buildings and that takes courage. Stay blessed.

  13. Sony Fugaban says:

    I’ve been doing this foot (or feet) photography thing since 2009 so I kind of enjoy the first picture the most. The reason is obvious …

    Anyway, the story is really inspiring; it made me agog to attend our reunion this December in the province.

    This quote really got me, the island traveler:

    “We all looked pretty much the same. A few gained some weight, which to some countries can be a considered a sign of good fortunate. Others were late bloomers who looked way better than before.Somehow they discovered the fountain of youth.”

    • Was it the red polished nails? the shoes? or both? Feet and hands are interesting subjects for pictures. When I turned 40 this years, I realized that family and friends are trully important. We need to find time to spend quality time with time. No more excuses that “I’m busy.” A classmate died this year, he was in his late 30′s. I wish he and his family were there in the reunion. Sometimes we don’t get second chances. Thanks for the comment. I admire your adventurous disposition. Enjoy life, savor each moment with your family.

  14. aRVee says:

    Great post! I like it that you did this during your reunion. It must be very fun then, the feeling of seeing someone from long ago is just something that brings back good old memories.

    Lucky you, you were on top of this building. I don’t think I can dare stand the way that your group did here as I’m afraid of heights.

  15. suitablefish says:

    great up shots! the first photo is amazing and terrifying, at least for someone who has no pride when it comes to crossing certain mountainous passes on my hands and knees! beautiful skyline as well.

    • Thank you. Looking back the breathtaking view of the city made the daring venture worth it. But I won’t be caught standing on the deck if there were more than 3 people. They say the deck can withstand a certain amount of weight but you’ll never know, right? I’m glad you like the pictures. I actually had a nice walk down memory lane while looking at the photos. Made me appreciate life more and the wonderful experiences it brings.

  16. Britta says:

    Thank you for the interesting story – and the photos! Really nice! kind regards Britta/Sweden

    • Thanks for the appreciative comments. The post made me remember the good Old days. It’s a feeling of mix sadness and happiness at the same time. I could say , I had an amazing College life surrounded by great /supportive family and friends. I wish my son would have the experience someday. Learning + fun times= awesome memories!

  17. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Wow! Even the picture makes me nervous! We went on a speed elevator straight up to the observation deck at the World Trade Center in 1979. I couldn’t go anywhere near the glass and waited for my husband right by the elevator door. It’s the most unnatural sensation to me, being so high up, and everything seemed to be swaying… I’ll never forget it!

    • That’s exactly what I felt then. Even one of the deck was squeeking. Speaking of World Trade Center, in the next few days, we will be remembering again the Terror of 9/11. Our thoughts and prayers for those who perish and the families they left behind. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family.

  18. photo 1 and 2 – how amazing? it looks like our world is all contained in that glass structure.

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  20. jhirzel88 says:

    When I was 5 years old, I was scared just looking at the skyscrapers of Philadelphia from the ground. Once I went into a high-rise hotel for the first time, I was so afraid of being so high up that I sat on the furthest bed from the window. I did that to ease the pain that I had in my stomach. As long as I never had to look out that window, everything would be perfect in my mind.

    Once I moved to Germany for 6 years, I lived on the third floor of a building, which isn’t as high as the high-rise, but at least I got rid of my fear of heights, at some degree.

    I’m not really scared anymore, only because I’m older now.

  21. I’m glad you were able to overcome the fear of heights. That takes courage and perseverance. I enjoyed reading your childhood travels particularly the one in Germany. Sounds like adventure to me although I could be wrong. When you move to another country, you leave behind the home , family and friens that you grew up with and that can make anyone feel homesick from missing those that are dear to us. God bless you and your family.

  22. eof737 says:

    Beautiful share and views from the top… I think reunions are a great way to reconnect with our pats and then move forward with our lives. I enjoyed your views…. Those are such lovely feet you have… :lol:

    • They were not my feet, they were my wives but I think I do have nice looking feet minus the red nailpolish.- ha, ha, ha! I think reunions are important so we can reconnect with the sweet memories of the past, to share stories with friends we have not seen since …forever! We are trying to invite our England classmates to join the U.S. group in the future. That would just be a blast. Take care.

  23. Josette says:

    Fantastic photos accompanied by a beautiful story. Thank you.

  24. Great shots. Thanks for sharing your story-very inspiring. I’ve been to Chicago a couple of times. Lovely city. Ate at a well known pizza place, too. Bet it was the same place. :-)

  25. I absolutely LOVE your photos. I always wanted to visit The Sears Tower and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Beautiful

  26. Cheryl says:

    AHA! So that’s how it should be done! Love your interpretation of the Weekly Photo Challenge – I have new (blogging) heights to aim for. Great photojournalling!

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  28. jeanne says:

    Great Pics! I think my butterfilies would be in full revolt if I were to step onto that observation deck. Thanks for the link!

    • Thanks for the visit/comment. That makes two of us having to feel these butterflies in our stomachs. I’m not great with heights. I try not to look down otherwise I feel like I’m about to fall. I’m already anxious when I ride the Ferris Wheel and the deck was several folds higher that that. But sometimes we do need to face our fears and just take the plunge( figuratively speaking).

  29. Love the photos but UUUGHH. I feel sick just looking at them!! I am NOT good w/ heights. AT ALL!

    Glad to hear you so enjoyed the reunion though! I went to my 20th high school reunion last year and absolutely enjoyed it. Nothing like reconnecting w/ old friends.

    • I’m sorry. I forgot that you have vertigo and this is one of the worst trigger of that. I hope it did not make you feel nauseaus. Sometimes even just watching images can trigger them as well. Reunions are just something we all should not miss. Reconnecting is so important to remind all of us of who we were , of what we are now and what we want to be in the years to come. Sometimes life keeps pushing us away from where we came from and from a distance, it can be difficult to visualize our starting point. It was a fun, happy and well celebrated reunion. Now , I feel homesick! Take care. Best wishes to you and your family.

  30. Patti Kuche says:

    Whoo, butterflies in the tummy at those pretty toes all the way up there with all that down there!

    • So right. I was staring at some of my pictures which I did not post and I said to myself, ” Are you crazy?” I was to busy taking pictures to notice how scary that deck was. Would I do it again? May be not. I’ll leave it to the younger group. Stay blessed!

  31. That is one breathtaking view! Aside from the view, it must have been pretty awesome to see your classmates again. Unfortunately, people often will lose their connections with old classmates/friends due to family, work, distance, etc. It’s nice to see that you haven’t lost that connection. Friends do enrich our lives in so many ways. It sounds like you had a wonderful time at the “reunion.” By the way, if for whatever reason there may not be another reunion, the memories will last forever. :)

    • Thank you. Beautiful comment. I kind of felt sad at the same time when I read your words. I know that the longer the next reunion is scheduled, the more likely some of us will not make it. I lost a classmate this year. he was only in his late 30′s. But I want to think positive. Life , no matter how old we may be should be valued and celebrated everyday. And you’re right, “memories will last forever.”

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  33. 2e0mca says:

    Going Up there to find out that it’s a long way Down is not for the faint-hearted. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it much but I’d put up with the fear for the photographs :-) Great Post!

  34. john tugano says:

    I don’t know if I can stand seeing that sight..I have developed a fear towards high places like that when I fell from our stairs way back when I was a kid.,I still have the mark of remembrance on my forehead.hehehe.Good thing that you and your colleagues gathered together for that special time I know you’ll see each other again,just stay connected to each other..

    you have a very nice entry bro plus a package of a sweet story..=)

    • Thanks my friend. It was more of a tribute to a classmate way back in high school till college. The last time I saw him was after the Nursing boards. He went to Europe with his family and he never made it to our reunion. It made me realize that when our time comes, age is not a factor at all. I’m a bit scared of heights but I try to overcome them for the sake of fun and friendship, not to mention the cool pics. God bless you and your family.

  35. I live by Chicago and I have a fear of heights and wow that is a great photo!

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