Balloon Festival Exciting Escape

In Search For An Exciting Escape

We live in world that can become monotonous, robotic,  routinely boring, even constricting and lifeless. We maybe alive physically, but deep inside, we feel dull, lost, tired, depressed, just missing that inner fire and drive that motivates us to pursue challenges and goals. When these moments arise, we need to find ways to bring back the spark that was once burning in our hearts. We need to find our exciting escape.

Balloon Festival in Houston. Sometimes, we don’t have to travel far to find excitement. All it takes is our time and the drive to pursue it. My son celebrated his 6th Birthday with glowing huge balloons that lit up the sky.

Each one of us have our own ways of escaping life’s pressures and troubles. Each one of us have our own unique way of finding and expressing excitement. A trip to the beach, a shopping spree, a road trip with friends and family, a vacation to thrilling places, a fun travel and discovery, an adventure to a nature park where land and sea creates the most dazzling spectacle, an uplifting spiritual journey of the soul, finding love or renewing a love that once inspired us to reach for the moon and the stars. These are but a few of the many exciting escape within our grasp.

So many reasons to find excitement. So many possibilities to bring back that wonderful, euphoric feeling. So many roads that will lead us back to our happy, optimistic and lively self. So many ways to feel truly “alive.” 

Today, I share with you some of the events in my life that brought me and my family excitement. They were our escape from a world that can sometimes inflict pain that only time and forgiveness can heal. It is our way to escape, even for a short time from the sad miseries and suffocating trials of life. An escape that we hope will bring back the smile and joy in a heart that is truly contented and at peace with itself.

Where Our Escape Led Us

The pyramids by the bay. From walking close to the tree tops of the rain forest to watching the amazing penguins swim under water to the adrenaline rush of being close to the sharks, Moody Gardens in Galveston Island is a place where adventure and great memories begins.


The tummy tumbling rides at Kemah BoardwalkThe older I get, the more sensitive I become when it comes to heights. Even the Ferris Wheel becomes a nerve wrecking experience. My son thinks it funny when he keeps moving around, changing seats and moving closer to the door. I could feel my pounding heartbeat in my chest.

The heart attack provoking coaster ride at Six Flags in San Antonio, Texas. Perhaps I was insane, but for the sake of being able to say, “I did it!” I ventured into the scary roller coaster that made me scream as the ride dropped  down to an almost 90 degrees, then it turned upside down.  The rest was a cloudy haze.

Anything can bring joy and excitement. The Merry-go-round never fails to bring out the happy child in all of us.

The ancient cable car of Aquarena SpringsI couldn’t describe it totally but it felt like I had a glimpse of the past as we walked under these huge steel pillars surrounded by giant palm trees. The only thing missing was a dinosaur to create a Texan Jurassic Park. Unfortunately, the cable car no longer works and we can’t use it as our escape vehicle if indeed there was a hungry T-Rex nearby.

Okay, we did see a Dino bone or what looks like it.

The man who first walked the moon at NASA in Houston. We may have sadly lost the man who first stepped on the moon, but his legacy and dreams will live in all of us. Every child I saw that day looked so thrilled discovering the planets, the universe and the amazing world of space travel. Hope is not lost and so is the dream that one day, a man or a woman with a dream will make a new giant leap for all mankind.

Close encounters with the baby alligators at Brazos BendOne of the most exciting experience that me and my son had. I was freaking out quietly as I touched the gator’s leathery skin, then it just looked at me with its glassy eyes. I wasn’t sure if it was scared of us or it was trying to scare us. It kept still as we stroked its back and tail.

Fun times with the Sun, surf and sand of Galveston Island.

Some friends think I’m crazy when me and my family swim at the beach in Galveston. They think it’s dirty. Perhaps they are right but I don’t really care just like the hundreds of people who goes there everyday. The beach is one of my exciting escape. It holds a lot of great memories for me. When I’m near one I am most happy and my 6-year old feels exactly the same. If I’m to live in fear and be bothered by what others say, then I’m not embracing the free spirit of the island traveler. And what is life without freedom to do what makes us complete, right?

The exciting catch and surprises at Pier 61.

One of the most fun and exciting activity that me and my family did was fishing by the pier. It was our first salt water fishing which adds more to the excitement. We were so happy that day. When my days turn grey, I look back and reflect on moments like these and before I know it, I’m happy again.

The fascinating and wonderful world of dolphins. There are no words to describe the feeling of touching and feeding a dolphin. It’s just one pure happy moment. We would laugh and jump when a dolphin comes close to feed. Then when they truly enjoyed the treat, they would jump out of the water. Magical! I just wish they were in the ocean where they can be totally free.


Exciting TropicalIsland Escape

There is no exciting place for me than my home in the islands. I can travel the world, call other foreign places my new home but I will never forget the place where I had the most beautiful childhood. A home surrounded by palm trees, blue waters, sunny laughter and selfless love that never ends. On our way back to the U.S. after an amazing tropical Summer, my son told his cousins, “I want to live here in the Philippines but I don’t know how to speak the language.” When I heard it from my nephew, I can’t help but smile. I was happy to know that he had an amazing time and experienced for himself the priceless gift of having a big family with a big heart.

I don’t have to tell my son how blessed he is with a family that lives close to white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. As soon as he stepped on its sand and swam in its waters, he knew. We are hoping the tides will lead as back to the islands next year. I’m crossing my fingers that it will happen. And tons of prayers of course!

This week’s Image of Life is titled “Exciting Escape.”

What is your idea of an exciting escape?

Thank you once again for sharing your day with me. May this post inspire you to embrace and see the beautiful images around you.

Today, these blogger friends will bring you an enriching surprise. 

Helen of Knittinggalore

Anne and Ron of Freedomborn

Patricia of Life Of A Minister Mom

April of Bob’s Wife

For those who wish to join in this week’s challenge, here’s a link and the widget. Have a great time making wonderful memories. 

All images taken from an iPhone 4 camera using Camera + App.

About Island Traveler

Just A Dad With A Dream. Check out our new family adventures at beachandtrips instagram .
This entry was posted in Travels, Weekly Image Of Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Balloon Festival Exciting Escape

  1. Great shots! These are definitely exciting moments! The photo with the pyramids by the bay is very interesting, i would like to visit this place….


  2. Your opening photograph is a stunner! I’m pondering options for this post and hope to be back soon. A very busy schedule will conflict with creative computer time. Hopefully will be back here soon! Z


    • Thanks Z. I know how being busy feels. I’m just glad you visited and shared a comment. That too is an exciting surprise!


      • My cyberspapce friend!
        I continue to marvel at all of these images. You’ve outdone yourself on this post!

        After a week of work and brainstorming with ESCoffee friends in Guayaquil, I am on my way home to that quiet life on the river (and mangroves!)… i also have a new fast-thinking computer that will allow the mini-burro laptop to retire to the pasture. The thoroughbred is in the starting gate and waiting for a test run around the track! Seeing all of these images on a much-larger screen is going to be an incredible experience!

        By Tuesday I will be home and set up for full throttle mode!
        Buckle up WordPress world – you’ve been warned!


      • Love it Z. You got me all excited. I bet your new posts with be one thrilling , fun roller coaster fun. A new comuputer is such a relief. Fast, lots of memory, clear and huge images that pops on screen. I wish I live in an environment similar to yours. Just a stone throw away to the most amazing Nature wonders. Have a great day!


  3. Marianne says:

    You´ve had some very exciting escapes there, haven´t you? Great challenge!

    I particularly like your photo of the hot air balloons, with their burners glowing in the low light.


  4. bulldogsturf says:

    What a lovely post once again… just brings joy to my heart… thank you…


  5. lifeofaministermom says:

    You have such a big heart. It means the world to me that you would share my thoughts and pictures, and you have know idea how much our connection has blessed me! I know you have so many wonderful things coming your way, including a well-deserved escape. 🙂 These photos are absolutely stunning! What you share is brilliant and I look forward to every post. My contribution for the week will be up in a few days!

    May God Bless You Always!


    • Thanks Patricia. I was almost in tears as I saw you beautiful love story in images from being single to having your adorable daughter. These are the moments that keep us inspired and excited day after day. Truly a blessing we all need to share to others. God bless you and your family.


  6. Gilly Gee says:

    Very uplifting! and you’re very brave, you wouldn’t catch me on those roller coasters!


  7. The Guat says:

    I love, love, LOVE these pictures. What a great theme and way to capture it with these photos. I feel so inspired to do all kinds exciting things now. I have always wanted to do the hot-air balloon festival thing. Very beautiful. I also love the underwater tunnel. An aquarium? And of course the black and white of you and your son overlooking the ocean on the pier — your banner. Great post and great pictures. So jealous that you got to do so much 🙂


    • Thanks my friend. I try my best to bring excitement and joy in my family. I do have my share of heartaches and in a way, it serves as an escape with the hope that everything will be better after the fun event.


  8. misswhiplash says:

    Thank you IT…what a wonderful world of ‘escape’ in pictures. My favourite is the Merry DGo Round. I have always loved these with they gaudy horses, sparkling mirrors and loud music. I find great fun and release from a journey on a Merry Go Round


  9. likeitiz says:

    Great photos! But I was a little saddened to hear your son felt the language barrier would prevent him from living in the Philippines if he wanted to. Perhaps in the future?

    When we were raising our daughter, we spoke Tagalog only yo her for the first 3-4 years. She was very fluent. We even taught her to pray in Tagalog. Proper Tagalog, Not slang or street talk. She was exposed to English at play groups, TV, and school. Over the years, her Tagalog has taken a more American accent. But she has retained it. Then in 2009, she volunteered atGawad Kalinga and spent about 6 weeks in Manila. Her Tagalog came back. Accent and all. Nothing like another language on her belt.


    • Thanks for sharing your daughter’s story. I admire people like her who despite of being born in a foreign country, kept her “Tagalog” language and heritage. I speak “Visayan” and we do speak it at home but my son can’t speak it. He probably understands but unable to verbalize it. One of my regrets is not talking to him in my language when he was learning how to talk. I have hopes that one day he will learn to speak it. I know in his heart he wants to.


  10. restlessjo says:

    Wonderful escapism. The funniest thing is that the place you all long to escape to is your home in the Phillipines. I hope some day you do and that you don’t have too many of those grey days.


  11. semprevento says:

    You have the advantage of me to get excited!
    photos contain magical moments.
    You are all to kiss.
    in the photos prevails love, family, childhood carefree.
    They are very nice, very sweet
    Ciao Sweet woman


  12. you take us on some beautiful and philosophical trips


  13. semprevento says:

    very wise words ….
    Are you a person to follow.
    I really like what you’ve written.
    We need much, but a lot of love and passion.
    and no rush.
    thank you very much!


  14. I love looking at your photo’s the love of your family shines through them. Very exciting escapes you’ve had. Thankyou for another wonderful post and thankyou for mentioning mine 🙂
    Take care


  15. cuhullen says:

    You have great talent and an amazing eye.


  16. lulu says:

    It looks like you made the most of a visit to the Houston/Galveston area. I, too, have enjoyed all those places.


  17. Your photos are my exciting escape. They and your stories truly take me away. For someone who doesn’t travel much, this will be a real challenge, but I’ll be thinking on it :-).
    And I know what you mean about the ferris wheel – DON’T ROCK THE BOAT!!!


  18. Angeline M says:

    Beautiful post IT! I love all the photos, but on looking at the second one, I can almost taste the salt water 🙂
    Frequent escapes for pleasure, even if for just a few days, is so important to refresh our soul! Thanks for reminding us of that.


    • Thanks Angeline. Yes, even for a few days, even hours, we do need to refesh our soul. It keeps us sane and feeling inspired to go through life’s challenges. As for that second picture…one of my happiest moment and my son’s favorite places to be.


  19. I really like the monochromatic and tranquil image of your son and you.


  20. adinparadise says:

    Wonderful escape photos. That baby alligator is so tiny….. I want one. 😀


  21. Sunshine says:

    This is the place I come when I need to escape…I enjoyed your exciting escape…:)


  22. cocomino says:

    It’s really fun. Great pleasure and happy, isn’t it?


  23. Northern Narratives says:

    So many wonderful escapes you have show here. We all need exciting escapes 🙂


  24. 2e0mca says:

    “Perhaps I was insane, but for the sake of being able to say, “I did it!” I ventured into the scary roller coaster” – sooner you than me my friend! I’d rather fly a Cher0kee through a thunderstorm 😉

    Lots of great escapes and you are right to remind us that sometimes they are right on our doorstep. In my case, Hampstead Heath comes to mind 🙂


  25. rommel says:

    COOL! esp. all the displays of adventurous side of you and your son, the beach and the alligator.
    I wanna go to a balloon festival!!!!


  26. What a wonderful display of photos!


  27. Amy says:

    Great escapes! Beautiful photos, and all are telling wonderful stories!


  28. thanks for sharing your adventures! I really love the photo of the balloon festival and the one of you and your son!


  29. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Island Traveler, well a new wonderful surprise happened today, this morning I found out you did a pingback for us but before I could aprove it my Computer was hacked and died, I have been having problems all week but as you can see I was able to access another one for a short time so I could come and thank you for your kindness and once again your beautiful Photography, I love the Dolphins.

    You are indeed a very special man, yes we all make mistakes but Character is shown by correcting them and I believe in your heart you would always seek to do this, so it was indeed a blessed day when we met you. Ron is a man of a few words but he also values you as a Blogger friend of worth, thank you again dear Island Traveler, we would be very proud if you were our son.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne


    • Anne, you always bring a smile to my day with words that comes from a heart full of love and faith. I appreciate each visit and sharing you and Ron share with me everytime. Sorry to hear about your computer. Hacking is a traumatic experience . I hope you will be able to save your computer and more importantly your priceless data and images. God bless you both from me and my family.


  30. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Exciting Escape « City Life Picture

  31. Madhu says:

    Absolutely stunning images! Especially love the sepia toned one of you with your little son on Pier 61 🙂


  32. Hi Island traveler. I love how you breathe such life into your images. Great work.


  33. You are right, one does not need to travel far in order to “unwind” because the people we love are there to provide us with our own escape — despite the ugliness in the world portrayed by the media or even our own stresses of life.


    • Thanks Frances. Yes, the media and all the pessimists can color the world as gray as they want but we know better that there is beauty, light and excitement everywhere just waiting to be enjoyed.


  34. Pingback: WEEKLY IMAGE OF LIFE: EXCITING ESCAPE « Francine In Retirement

  35. fgassette says:

    Finally, here is my entry. I really love your challenges and you always set a wonderful example.



    • Words are not enough to describe this amazing place. Your post about Sedona captivated my heart and imagination. I can already imagine how you felt as you stared at the amazing rock formations, with the amazing skyline, the Sun’s bright rays, the moment of simply admiring God’s creation and Nature’s splendor. A breathtaking escape that renews the soul. Love the video that makes us feel that we were there ourselves. Have a beautiful day my friend. Francine, thanks for the amazing adventure!


  36. eof737 says:

    Great photos… I could use an escape too! 🙂


  37. Wow! What a post. You started with a deep look into the soul, our intentions and possibilities. And you blended that with one of the most inspiring photo journeys I have been on. Lovely,lovely! You indeed have made my day.Thank you.



  38. Sartenada says:

    My head is spinning, when I think of those places that I presented. I love all Your photos; so beautiful and inspiring!


  39. Sabina Brave says:

    Great ilustrations for the topic. 🙂 I need to escape somewhere for a while.


  40. HI how are you? i hope you are doing well 🙂
    i have nominated you for the sunshine award, visit my blog to know more 🙂


  41. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, what great escapes they are! The photos are fabulous!


  42. Indira says:

    Hi friend, wonderful photos you shared with us, thanks. All are lovely and inspiring.


  43. indiGo says:

    This is an exciting post. I love your escapades and i really love the bonding that you have with your kid and your family.
    I still wanna join the challenge although i’m always late in posting. here’s my entry


    • Thanks Indigo. A post that nourishes the body, mind and soul. Love the Forest House from the divine food to the inspiring life quotes. A zen place to be. I do have days when I totally think and feel like this, “I sometimes feel like I want to escape from the busy city – just plunge into nature where I can feel solace, comfort and take some time to think and savor the beauty of life.” And yes, by being thankful each day, we get to live life to the fullest. A happier, more meaningful, contented life. Have a blessed day.


  44. beautiful photos as always! I love this!


  45. dearrosie says:

    What I see when I look at all these photos is what a kind caring thoughtful father you are. Your son is lucky.


  46. deepa says:

    Those are gorgeous photos and a great exciting escape! I am behind in my blogging schedule, but managed to make it this week!


    • Pangong Lake is magical! It’s like being in a beautiful dream where all I could feel is pure peace and happiness. A once in a lifetime adventure and discovery. Snow in Summer, enchanted mountains , waters that change in colors…unforgettable excitement! Thanks for sharing this amazing journey to the Himalayas. Have a great day my friend.


  47. Pingback: Exciting Escape: Camping at a high altitude lake! | perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker

  48. Valentina says:

    Can I become a kid again, please?
    I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. Enjoy it:


  49. Pingback: Weekly Image of Life: Exciting Escape « Life of a Minister Mom

  50. lifeofaministermom says:

    Just the two of us. Man and wife. Our exciting honeymoon escape…


    • I can stare and stare at these photos and still wanting for more. A fun, serene and romantic paradise to celebrate your honeymoon. Bahamas has the most breathtaking beaches, exotic and delicious food, of culture that explodes in colorful events and traditions. You are indeed blessed. Thanks for sharing your love and happiness with us. So right, ” It’s a blessing to be able to relax, unwind, seek new adventures and get more in touch with yourself, your spouse, your family and the Lord.” What can be more amazing than this? God bless you and your family.


  51. Iamrcc says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my Weekly Challenge post “Near and Far”


  52. Connie T says:

    I love the dolphin photo.


  53. Love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Instead of buying a magazine I can dip into another world which you’ve opened and enjoy what you’ve enjoyed. Thanks for looking in.


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