What I Did Over My Spring Vacation

A reader wrote to me last week, “Gina, where are you??? Are you okay? Or, has something happened to my ADHD Roller Coaster blog subscription?”

Have you been wondering the same? Please accept my apologies.  The fact is, after 8 years of steady blogging here, I needed a break. So, I took one. Quite unexpectedly.

In January, my second book debuted: Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions, with Arthur L. Robin, PhD, and guest contributors. I’ll post about it next week.

Suffice it to say, the careful research and thought that we put into creating the first couple-therapy model for Adult ADHD took the better part of four years. Frankly, I was exhausted.  Now I’m revived, and you can see the photos of the events that helped to renew my energy, below.

Northern Lights—Finally!

In March, I decided to celebrate a “big” birthday by finally seeing the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. A lifelong dream. My husband joined me in what turned out to be a spectacular trip to Fairbanks, Alaska.

Let me tell you. It is nothing short of miraculous that we didn’t just survive this trip; we had a memorable time together. Despite a crazy schedule of being outside from 9 pm to 3 or 4 am. And it being colder than we’re used to in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Here’s a hard bit of truth: I used to say to my husband, “You could ruin a trip to the mailbox!” And it was true. He wigged out when faced with the unstructured time of “vacation” and “having fun.”  So, he’d unconsciously “self-medicate” with irritability, boorishness, and generally obnoxious behavior. (Last  year, I developed a method for getting us over our “PTSD” around joint vacations; I’ll share that in a future post.)

Once back home, I remained in mental Vacation Mode—gleefully cleaning out closets and file cabinets, so refreshing after writing and editing!

Bonus: RAIN in Northern California!

RAIN in Northern California meant I could throw myself into in reviving my drought-stricken garden. RAIN also meant my husband and I have enjoyed wildflower displays on our hikes.

Next week, it’s back to the regular schedule—posting each Wednesday! The queue is already filled with great guest essays and newsy bits.

Until then, I’d love to share with you some of the highlights of my spring. I hope you enjoyed yours, too!

The World Ice Art Championships 2016

Our timing was perfect!  Not only for the Northern Lights (see below) but for the fantastical World Ice Art Championships.  We had no idea how elaborate and mesmerizing this event would be. But we visited every day (and at night) to marvel at the contestants’ wizardry in slowly transforming crystal-clear blocks of ice into the most imaginative figures.



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The Northern Lights, March 2016, Fairbanks

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About -20 (Celsius), just as the clock was turning on my birthday. I am freezing, but the lights are “dancing” and swirling above me in a 180-degree show. Dr. Goat (aka, my husband) is staying warm in the car (foreground) and reading on his iPad, venturing out for the most dramatic activity.








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No Lights visible tonight, so my new friend, photographer Frank Stelges, teaches me some fun tricks with night photography. I reversed the N, as I’m not accustomed to writing backward, In the freezing cold!

Running With Reindeer

We met our first reindeer at Running with Reindeer Ranch.  We learned so much about these unusual creatures. They love lichen, and when the owners aren’t looking, they come into the house! We highly recommend this tour!


Dog Sledding—Mush!

It’s true. Those dogs love to run!  As we configured ourselves into the two-person sled, their barking conveyed the clear message: Let’s Go!!  What a beautiful way to travel.





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Back in the Garden, With Rain—Finally!

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Evening Primrose seedling, carefully nurtured; our goldfinches go berserk feeding on the 4-foot tall stalk of flowers gone to seed


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Gina Pera ADHD Roller Coaster Blog
Hummingbird Sage


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My favorite succulents, in bloom


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Mt. Diablo

A devastating wildfire tore through the massive open space surrounding Mt. Diablo. While the manzanita and other bushes are coming back slowly, the wildflowers were spectacular this year—especially California poppies and purple lupine.






Down this path and around the hill….lined with lupines and California poppies!

So, that’s it. I’ve had a wondrous spring. The best spring vacation ever. Thanks for your patience in my absence!

—Gina Pera



6 thoughts on “What I Did Over My Spring Vacation”

  1. Wonderful pictures! Fantastic ice sculptures. But really, there is an ADHD component to vacations?

    Seems like just about every time we attempt to go somewhere, husband comes down sick….the kind you really can’t verify. LOL He’s such a hermit anyway that prying him out of the house is a chore in itself.

    Usually I just drag him along with me wherever I’m going, but the picture of Dr Goat reading on his ipad while the Northern Lights flickered overhead was perfect!

    That’s just what it’s like. Drag DH somewhere and first thing he’s looking for is WiFi or some way to hook up to the Internet. Sigh.

    1. Hi Penny,

      Glad you enjoyed the photos!

      I guess ADHD is like that Visa commercial ….you never leave home without it. Including on vacations.

      Dr. Goat is SO much more relaxed and “go with the flow” on vacations than he used to be. I remember one trip to the desert, where he “self-medicated” with business ideas all day during our beautiful hike. That was before I knew about ADHD.

      In his defense, he had the iPad because he knew I was committed to being there from 9 pm to 3 or 4 am. He was prepared! He did come out for periods. But it was VERY cold and VERY windy. I was the one taking the photographs.


  2. Wow!! Happy Belated and welcome back, Gina!

    Thanks for sharing your pictures!

    I really need to leave my desk too, I had no idea all of that beauty is out there, lol.

    ~ Jennie

    1. Thanks, Jennie. Get out there! It’s beautiful wherever you are…outside!


  3. Pennalynn Lott

    Love all the photos! Especially Mt. Diablo, since I used to live in Walnut Creek and hiked Diablo (and Mt. Tamalpais) frequently.

    1. Hi Pennalynn,

      Thanks so much. Such a lovely part of the Bay Area over there. It’s a bit of a drive for us, but well worth it!


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