Archive of ‘Travel’ category

Vegas, VI, and Texas 2016

2016: Vegas, Virgin Islands, and Texasvi-5-cane-bay

Vegas – December
NFR is fun, and the scenery is amazing. I am not talking about the scenery at the casinos even though it is very well decorated for the Christmas season. Save your money and hire a driver if you want to see sight see. It is totally worth it. Hoover Dam is something to see.

http://www.nfrexperience.com/

vegas-1

Allegiant Airlines: Cheap, cheap flights, but beware of the following:
All beverages cost money. A diet Coke is $2.00.
They accept nothing but cards.
Weight for check in luggage on other planes is 50 lbs., but for this airline, it is 40 lbs. Yes, I had to weigh my luggage before I left the house.

You can bring on the plane a purse or a very small bag. If you bring carry-on luggage such as a back pack, it will cost you $15.00, if you do it online before you leave. If you wait until you get to the airport, I think it is $35.00.
You are charged if you pick your seat. I do not care where I sit or who I sit with on the plane. It is like an opportunity to meet new people, but if that is important to you then this might not be a good choice for you.
It was still worth it to me because a non-stop Vegas flight for $150.00 including baggage is worth a little inconvenience.

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Virgin Islands – August
St. Thomas and St. Croix
Awesome adventure. I met some really great people.
Every day it is like you are looking at a picture or a postcard. It reminded me of Costa Rica where you want to reach out and touch what you are viewing to make sure that it is real.vi-1

I stayed at Bluebeard’s Castle. The staff was so nice and accommodating. http://www.bluebeards-castle.com/vi3-hotel

Corner by the Pool – Great place for breakfast.
Cabana Bar – Love the ladies who work at the bar!
Warning: Alcohol is very plentiful in the islands. It is cheaper to put alcohol in a drink than the mixers.

Great places to eat:
Johnnie Gabriel’s
Hibiscus Café and Bar
Eat at Cane Bay
Jen’s Deli
Green House
Dog House Pub
The Bombay Club
There were many others, but I cannot remember the names.

Water Island is wonderful. Spend time there. You take a small boat over and stay as long as you want. ($10.00 round trip)
http://www.vinow.com/waterisland/vi-st-johns

I am not a big fan of the small airplanes that hop from one island to another and land on the water, but sometimes, you must just suck it up and go!vi-plane

My one regret is that  I did not make it to St. John’s Island. I am sure Kenny Chesney was waiting on me, but I ran out of time.
http://www.visitusvi.com/stjohn/homepage

Purchase jewelry, perfume, and alcohol and tobacco products if you need them. No tax!
http://www.gotostcroix.com/island-hopping/
http://travel.usnews.com/US_Virgin_Islands/

Texas- May
The best road trip I have ever taken!
On your way stop at the Boudin Shop. The food was really good.
http://www.boudinshop.com/002

They really do pull over and let you go past them if they are driving too slowly. It is so chivalrous!

Shade Tree Saloon and Grill- Spring Branch, Texas
Quaint place that you will love!
https://www.yelp.com/biz/shade-tree-saloon-and-grill-spring-branch

San Antonio Riverwalk- A very neat place with many restaurants and things to do.
https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/015

Alamo- I did part of it. If I can see it online, it is hard for me to stand in line to see it.

Mitierra- Great food and pastries! There is always a line for the bakery.
http://www.mitierracafe.com/

Austin- Always a wonderful place to visit. Food trucks are so good (Taco Flats). Cupcakes not as good as I remembered them to be. You must go two step at the Broken Spoke and look at pictures of George Strait in the ladies restroom.
https://www.yelp.com/biz/broken-spoke-austin?osq=Country+Western+Bar119

Deep Eddy’s Vodka and Tito’s Vodka are products of the Austin region.

Fredericksburg – Great downtown area with many shops to browse.
http://www.fredericksburgtexas-online.com/
http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/

Gruene, Texas – We drove by and viewed the oldest dance hall (1878).
http://gruenehall.com/

The Grapevine in Giddings, Texas – Our favorite shopping experience.
http://www.fineclothingstores.com/store/1416074258669610/The+Grapevine
https://www.pinterest.com/grapevinegiddin/

Luckenbach- I had to visit because of the song.
Waylon Jennings- Luckenbach, Texas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvZeYDBY4fw105

It is a very small town with interesting people and concerts on certain nights.
http://www.luckenbachtexas.com/

New Orleans- April
I have written about this city before. It is a favorite.
Mardi Gras tour was fun. The other tour was also fun:
The Tasting Room
McClure’s Barbecue
NOLA Brewing Tap Roomnola-4-03-16-025nola-4-03-16-021

Mexico- January
I did write about this wonderful trip.

http://southmeetswest.com/mexico-living-life-full-time/

Cuba
I want to go to Cuba and walk the streets as Hemingway did. Any suggestions on where to stay or what to do, let me know.
 http://www.ibtimes.com/best-beaches-cuba-where-find-paradise-caribbean-island-nation-1784678
http://autenticacuba.com/beaches/#axzz4C9U46QVN
http://www.justluxe.com/travel/luxury-vacations/feature-1963761.php

Safe travels!vi-ending-of-blog

Mexico: Living Life Full Time

Mexico 011 I know how to describe my life. Thanks- Brian and Jessica- I am living life full time. The departure date arrived for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, I was ready to go! Adelia arrived, and we headed to the airport for a 7:00 a.m. flight. We know how to do breakfast: Rosie’s cinnamon rolls and my hot sausage balls.Fast pass in Memphis is awesome!
Checking luggage and going through security was easy. When we arrived at the terminal, I met Brian and Jessica at the airport.  We had great flights, and they were all on schedule. When we arrived, a big bus provided by World Ventures took us to the Marival Resort and Suites in Nuevo Vallarta.
http://www.marival.com/

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When we pulled in to the area, you could not really tell how beautiful it was going to be. This was the view from our room. Our rooms were very nice, and we had everything we needed. A welcome tequila with salt and lime was waiting on us.Mexico 007Mexico 001

 

There were several free excursions offered by World Ventures, and many other excursions that you could book yourself if you wanted to pay the hotel:
http://www.marival.com/ToDo/

 

We chose the city tour and the first stop was a small zoo at an intersection in town then to the tequila distillery.

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The guide did an amazing job explaining the process, showing us the process, and pouring shots.

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Agave

Agave

He gave each of us the opportunity to say “mucho” or “pequeno”- I think that is what the words were. These people are marketing geniuses. You get shots and then you must make a decision if you want to purchase any tequilas to bring home. You are allowed to bring home three bottles of liquor.   Mexico 053

After this stop, we then visited a home where wood carving was the occupation of the family. In Mexico if you cut a tree then you must replace with several trees in its place. This is where we had lunch. After tequila the thing to eat is a spicy burrito- not really!  Mexico 062

The tour guide Santa was very knowledgeable, and she shared with us the history of her people (This is how she referred to her ancestors). The tour took us by a school and then we visited a church.

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Air conditioning is still a luxury in Mexico. Most schools have fans now, but some schools do not. The last stop was the beautiful small town of Bucerias.   http://www.bestofbucerias.com/page_about_bucerias_mexico_1

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Mexico 073Mexico 078

I immediately loved the restaurants on the harbor and the small flea market.

At the all-inclusive resort, you were allowed to make reservations in two of the specialty restaurants on the ground. We chose the Italian and the Mexican restaurant. The breakfast was also really good.

Mexico 084Mexico 086

There was a chart with the name of drinks and what ingredient was included in each behind the outside bartenders that would show what was in each drink. This helped to conquer any language barrier.

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Each night we would gather in the open area and have a drink and visit. I met so many nice people.

Jodie and Aaron My first Australian friends.

Jodie and Aaron
My first Australian friends.

One night we went to see the resorts’ version of a tribute to Michael Jackson.  We enjoyed Karaoke another night, and it was interesting to hear one song in Spanish and then the next song in English.  Mexico 113

There were peddlers that visited you on the beach. They were not pushy or rude, but they would ask you if you wanted to look at anything or needed anything. Some were very talented salespeople. Before I left, I had silver earrings, silver ring, a dress, two sarongs, tequila from the tour and pure vanilla extract. I also made purchases at the airport from the Pharmacia.  While on your way to the plane, you can do some shopping!

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The college championship game was being played the night we were flying home. We watched some of the game at Buffalo Wild Wings in Houston airport with Brian and Jessica, but then it was time to board the plane. The airline attendant would share the score when she could find it. Adelia and I are both SEC football girls.

It was a body shock to walk outside when we arrived in Memphis. The weather in Mexico was perfect. Daily average of 75-80 and 60 daily average low. Some of the hotel staff had on coats! This is winter to them. I will return to Puerto Vallarta!Mexico 021

We were late arriving home, but it was a wonderful Dream trip!

http://www.puertovallarta.net/what_to_do/bucerias-nayarit.php

Aruba: Destinations

images (7) Aruba is one happy little island, and one of the many destinations that I want to see again!
I want to eat dinner with my feet in the ocean. I want to swim at Eagle Beach and Palm Beach.  There are many things to do that I did not do on the last visit. I want to visit Renaissance Island. One thing I do not want to do is a submarine tour. NO, NO!images (5)

Flying in to Aruba is very simple and for most it involves only one connecting flight in Atlanta. If you departed on Dec. 10 and returned home on Dec. 14, the flight would cost $677.00. I chose the best times with the least amount of wasted time.  This departure is from Memphis which is the closest major airport to me. auaar_localarea

Departure:

7:15 am – 9:39 am

Memphis (MEM) – Atlanta (ATL)
Delta 2570 · Economy Class · MD-80
1h 24m
Layover in Atlanta ATL
51m

10:30 am – 3:25 pm
Atlanta (ATL) – Aruba (AUA)
Delta 655 · Economy Class · Boeing 737

Return:
4:25 pm – 7:49 pm
Aruba (AUA) – Atlanta (ATL)
Delta 654 · Economy Class · Boeing 737
4h 24m
Layover in Atlanta ATL
51m

8:40 pm – 9:05 pm
Atlanta (ATL) – Memphis (MEM)
Delta 1422 · Economy Class · MD-80

When you arrive in Aruba, you will notice the small airport and if more than one plane arrives, customs gets a little crowded, but they do a good job of getting you thru the lines.

Will you need a car? I would say yes, so that you can tour every inch of the island.

This is with http://www.aruba-car-rental.com/. I am not sure if this is the most economical, but this is the price we have.

160-0-Pricing

Description Rate Total
Intermediate
Dec 10-Dec 14
4 day(s) @ $40.00 p/d. $160.00
Rental Fee: $160.00
Vehicle License Fee 4 day(s) @ $0.75 p/d. $3.00
Surcharge 4 day(s) @ $3.50 p/d. $14.00
Parking Charge $2.00 $2.00
Liability Insurance 4 day(s) @ $3.00 p/d. $12.00
Green Tax 4 day(s) @ $1.00 p/d. $4.00
Charges & Options: $35.00
Taxes & Fees: $23.40
Grand Total: $218.40

Accommodation
If I were going, this is where I would stay. Click on the link to see pictures.
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1361757?s=M0I-QyxP

It is a cute studio. Read description below.

The Space

“Just 50 yards from the Caribbean Sea, with world-famous restaurants literally at walking distance on the same road (Flying Fishbone, Zeerover), this cottage offers stunning sea views from your front porch.

The cottage features a king-size bed, air conditioning, bathroom with toilet, sink and shower, gas oven, microwave, toaster, kitchen block, kitchen utensils, fridge and a roofed front porch.

A great place to stay for two adults! With a public pier just on the other side of the road where you can sit at the Caribbean Sea and watch the sun set, or take a swim, or a sun bath. Nearby, on walking distance, is Santo Largo, a sandy public beach.

The cottage offers everything you need to cook your own food, and nearby supermarkets have everything in stock that you might need.

The cottage is situated in Savaneta, a quiet village on the south coast of Aruba, away from the busy hotel area. Free wireless internet is available at the premises. The cottage is on walking distance from the bus stop on the main road from Oranjestad to San Nicolas. But carrental and taxi’s are also readily available.

The studio is a charming little house, providing everything you need, for a fraction of the lodging prices on this happy Caribbean island!

P.S. for safe acces to the water at various places please bring along water shoes.

P.P.S. the fixed price throughout the year of 60 dollars per night includes all government taxes.” (copied from airbnb.com description)

What more could you want?? The cost would be $280.00 for a week. I would stay longer but for our “pretend” trip, we will only stay four nights. images (6)

There is a grocery store close  and great restaurants, so I think a budget of  $100.00 a day for food and drinks will suffice.

Airfare: $677.00
Airport Parking: $45.00
Accommodations: $280.00
Rental Car: $218.40
Food and Entertainment:  $500.00

Total: $1, 720.04

Before I booked, I would start looking at cheaper days to fly. If you could cut this expense then the trip could be affordable.

One option for a great vacation is definitely Aruba.aruba -1

Travel UnorganiZation

images (1)Travel unorganization makes me crazy in all aspects of my life, but it really stresses me out when it involves travel. It is a part of my control problem- I know that but I want to control the time and make it flow as smooth as possible. Does this suck some of the fun away? Well maybe… and one day I am going to get in the car and just drive with no itinerary, no printed directions, no reservations and no list of coffee shops along the way… one day, but until then this is a list that will help you plan your next trip.

  1. Destination: To make this decision you need to know yourself. Think back to the best vacation that you have ever had. Where did you go? What did you do?

You cannot duplicate an experience which is why I strive to live in the moment, but a destination that you know you will love is not a bad choice. I try to go some places I have been before, but then I try to visit at least one place a year that I have never been before.What is the length of time you can spend on this holiday? This is an important question.

  1. Money: How much money can I spend on this trip? Set an amount and figure out if it is feasible. Miscellaneous costs such as will always be added. Tips, etc.
  1. Transportation- Will I fly? What is the price of the ticket? Will I drive? How many tanks of gas will the trip require?

If I fly, will I need to rent a car? Will a taxi be needed from the airport to hotel and back to airport? Always consider how much driving you will do when you get there. Will I cruise? If so, you can eliminate some cost such as renting a car.images (2)

  1. Accommodations: This requires some major research. Check the prices of all hotels, bed and breakfasts, and look at my favorite place: Airbnb.com. Some have had success at VRBO.

If you book a hotel, the hotel will hold your debit card and it may take a few days for the charges to be correct. I recommend using a credit card for travel. The credit card companies are easier to deal with when you have lost a card and charges are made to your card by the stolen party.

  1. Food: Budget for three meals a day and how much money you plan to spend on each. Alcohol should also be figured in if you drink and also late night snacks. If it is an all-inclusive hotel or a cruise, then figure in the tip for all service providers.
  1. Entertainment: How will you entertain yourself while you are away? One of the reasons the beach is a cheaper favorite destination for me is that I can go to the beach for most of the day and be entertained. It was a life saver when my girls were small, and the budget was very tight. (My sweet girls thought the beach was the only option for vacation for several years.)images (3)

If you book a hotel, the hotel will hold your debit card and it may take a few days for the charges to be correct. I recommend using a credit card for travel. The credit card companies are easier to deal with when you lose a card and charges are made to your card by the stolen party.

This will help you get started with successful planning an organized trip.

What should I pack? What else do I need to know before my departure? Tune in tomorrow…72a26e11ffae2f4732e28d16c484124f

Breast Cancer Awareness, football, beach

fall
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, football, beach,and a month of reflection for me.
As a breast cancer warrior and the reason I use warrior instead of survivor is because the game is never over and if you are not a survivor, what did you do wrong not to survive? You did nothing wrong.   Even after you deal with the chemo, the radiation and hear a few good reports from the doctor, you are still fighting for normalcy. It may be the mental fight or it may be a physical fight.
You are reminded each day when you bathe that your body has fought a battle and so far your armor was enough, but you know there are no guarantees in this life. We cannot predict tomorrow, but I think most people can block that out.
I say all of that to say… Enjoy every day and get your mammogram if you are female. Do a self-exam. Do not take no for an answer! Be that woman who demands a biopsy if you have the slightest premonition that something is not right in your body.  If you are a male, do not dismiss any type of unusual lump or difference in your skin, go to the doctor immediately.  Breast cancer is not gender specific and neither is the love of football.cupcakes for breast cancer awareness month

Kaden's first Ole Miss game.

Kaden’s first Ole Miss game.

Pops makes the tailgate!

Pops makes the tailgate!

I love football! Football home games are fun! Great food, fellowship, laughter, my famous punch, and games to watch on tv as we enjoy the fellowship.  This is a time when the family comes together, and we are not rushed. We have time to eat, laugh, and discuss what is going on in our lives.
My calendar works around the Ole Miss home games, and the away game weekends means an opportunity to get out of town which leads me to the fall Florida getaway.

Perdido Key 004Perdido Key/Pensacola Florida

Perdido Key is a great close vacation get away place. In six hours with bathroom stops, you can be looking at the beach. It is not as commercialized as some of the other areas.  The weather was perfect, and the laid back atmosphere was really nice. September and October are my favorite months to go to Florida. The weather is just right, and there are no crowded beaches or restaurants.
If you decide to visit, check out these places:
Fisherman’s Corner
Big Fish
Florabama
Perdido Sports Bar
Hub Stacy (my local favorite)
CobaltPerdido Key 040

The internet will suck time up like a vacuum!
I spend entirely too much time researching random topics and also topics that interests me. It usually starts with one website then it links to another and here I go. I look up and three hours have passed and then I get the question of what did you do today?  When I cannot spout off the mark off on my too do list, I start to hyperventilate a little bit because we type A’s are always supposed to be accomplishing something or at least that is how our brain is wired!
Sometimes you find a jewel, and I think I found one this morning. I googled “affordable two week vacations” because I have a slight break in action in December.

This led me to Nomadic Matt.
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/8-great-alternative-budget-vacation-ideas/

Then I clicked on Grassroots.
Grassroots Volunteering
http://grassrootsvolunteering.org/

http://grassrootsvolunteering.org/volunteer_opportunities

http://hands.org/projects/south-carolina-flood-response/

I like the history of this organization, and I think it is legit. It is a way to volunteer within your country if that is what you long to do.
Check it out when you have time. I do not give back enough, and I know that as I sit here in my comfortable chair drinking my absolutely amazing CUPS coffee from the Jackson store called Costa Rica Tarrazu’ with fast wifi, power, all the food I want in my warm house with a closet (ok… it is a room made into a closet full of clothes and shoes and purses). I have been blessed beyond measure, but I hoard my gifts of communication and organization that someone could use. I am writing this because when you see the written word on paper, it seems to be more credible. These are words for me to read to remember what an absolutely wonderful life I have had and hope to continue having and that I need to give back more!struggle

This weekend the sights, taste, sounds, cheers of football fans and the smell of pralines are calling my name. I will share with you later.

Happy last days of October!IMG_3420

Boulder, Colorado: Day 4,5,6 and 7

June and July 2015 008This is Boulder, Colorado: Day 4,5,6, and 7.
Day 4- This was the day that the bicycle rental was happening. I found a shop and then I rode down the street to see if this was going to be a good idea. I looked like a drunken sailor, and my booty hurt! I jumped off and said, “No, I will walk.” The words you have heard your entire life:   it is like riding a bike, you never forget….; well, that is not necessarily true.

I walked all the way to the end of Pearl. I loved the name and decor of this chocolate shop.June and July 2015 005June and July 2015 004

I had a great lunch and then I walked back to the loft.June and July 2015 006

A couple told me on Saturday that before I left that I had to eat at Flagstaff House for the food and the view. I started researching this place, and it looked amazing. I called Lyft to take me and then Uber came and picked me up. It was an expensive meal, but it was worth  it.June and July 2015 012 June and July 2015 013

This is what the two appetizers wee served on at Flagstaff. One was on the bottom and one was on the top.

This is what the two appetizers wee served on at Flagstaff. One was on the bottom and one was on the top.

June and July 2015 009June and July 2015 011

Day 5- Movie day! I thought I needed to rest a little today, and when I arose from a wonderful sleep, it was raining. After working on my classes for a little while, I decided to see Magic Mike and Train Wreck.

The theater on the corner of 29th and Canyon have movies all day, and Tuesdays are $5.50.  I saw Magic Mike first. I would give it a 3 of 5. I had a great lunch at Modmarket between movies. Check out the nutrition breakdown of my order. It is really easy to eat well in this town.June and July 2015 015
The next movie was Train Wreck, and it deserves a 5. I love comedy!  It was funny and a little too realistic.
After the movie, I shopped a little and found a great red skirt and a navy dress at H and M. Of course, they were on the clearance rack…  Football season is approaching, and I can wear both of these outside of work with a little modification.

Day 6

This should have said "whine" instead of "wine" because I have been sending pictures of my foot and whining a lot!

This should have said “whine” instead of “wine” because I have been sending pictures of my foot and whining a lot!

The blister on the bottom of my foot on the heel decided today to be a real pain, so today was another rest day, and I do not do well with two rest days in a row!

I walked to the pharmacy for bandages and to the gro. store (which sales Kroger products and takes a Kroger card, but it does not have the name Kroger). Quest bars were cheaper here than at home. I graded after that and watched Little House on the Prairie: Laura had a physical altercation with one of Alfonso’s ex- girlfriends then I watched The Walton’s- Elisabeth broke her legs.
The Basto   http://bastaboulder.com/  and the Naked Lunch /www.nakedlunchcolorado.com/   are on the same grounds as the loft apartment, so dinner was at the Naked Lunch, and it was so good.

Day 7
I wore two pair of socks and a double bandage and I went for the trail. Uber delivered me to the Chautauqua Park. My plan was to hike to the Chautauqua Royal Arch. I made 1.9 miles up, and I was done! The elevation and going uphill and the pretty blister stopped me short of my goal, but at least I showed up.  I may not be able to walk tomorrow, but I will hobble through the airports.

June and July 2015 001

 

 

 

 

June and July 2015 016June and July 2015 007June and July 2015 019

June and July 2015 004June and July 2015 015Someone asked me why I  do this. Well, I thought about it, and this is the best explanation I have. My memory is not the best. My brain jumps from one thing to another like a jumping bean on caffeine, so it helps me to remember if I return to this city, and it also, I hope, helps other people that loves to travel.

Boulder, Colorado- Day #2 and 3

June and July 2015 195Boulder, Colorado- Type A Retreat -Day #2 started out with grading and enjoying my great breakfast of egg whites, fresh bread with organic blackberry jelly, an avocado and straw berries. My head was also hurting! I do not adjust well to altitude changes. This would always happen when I visited the West. The headache left around lunch yesterday, and I will be good for the rest of the trip.  I need to use saline nose drops to ward off nose bleeds from the dry heat, but that is the only concessions needed.

I finally got a shower and realized again that I did not bring a blow dryer. I have been in hotels so much that I forgot I was staying in someone’s home. I thought about buying one, but I have three at home, so no, it is what it is.

My destination was Pearl Street for the art festival. I finally made it there after a long walk. I stopped along the way and ate lunch. There are many places here like Neon Pig and KOK in Tupelo, MS,

Pearl Street Mall is unique. There were arts and craft booths everywhere.June and July 2015 199 It started to rain and there was a stairwell that was the perfect place for shelter, so many of us gathered at the stairwell. There was one young man from KY and his dog that was waiting on his friends to exit the marijuana shop. He explained the process to me. FYI- People from the South no matter where they are will talk to you!  He said you go in and show your ID then you wait. There are only so many allowed in at a time. When it is your turn, you will go in and be assisted by the clerks who are very knowledgeable. Your purchase is put in a bag with the receipt attached. The receipt should not be taken off for any reason until you get home. It reminded me of the open container laws in MS. Take it home is basically what the rule implies. As we were talking an older gentlemen walked out with this purchase, he did not obey the law and opened his chocolate chip cookies up and started munching. He said one is good… two you better be home.  The KY guy and I were speechless. The rain slowed down and I exited the stairwell. I made it about a fourth of a block, and the rain set in again. I found shelter under an awning with two girls from Austin, TX. They were also talkers and were glad to be here from the heat of TX.June and July 2015 202

I picked up a map at the visitors center
on Pearl Street, and you would think that would help but not me……. I left Pearl Street and went the wrong way, so I got my phone out and put it 1307 Arapahoe Street. I walked and walked and walked then when I got by Boulder High School it dawned on me that I live for the week at 3107 Arapahoe Street…. Really! I walked for five hours total from when I left the condo! I came back to my home and regrouped and then I realized I was really hungry. I walked downstairs to the Bistro, and I had the most amazing pizza. Fire brick oven and thin crust… Wonderful! The manager was from AL, and he talked also! He has been here for five years and has no plans to ever return to the heat of the South.June and July 2015 211

When I got up this morning, I felt it.  My foot was hurting a little bit at times. I thought my feet would be sore, but I did not expect a big blister on the bottom of my right foot. My friend, Teresa, recommended Calendula ointment; I also purchased Jasmine oil which smells so good.  I went to find that later in the day and stopped by Flat Iron Coffee, and I met a former elementary teacher who is tutoring twenty-five students and plans to open a charter school. He was young and enthusiastic and so nice. He was from NY, but he was friendly also!June and July 2015 205

Today was a day of grading and very little movement except to go to Sprouts which I love  to get foot meds and get some rest. I also finished a no brain waves flowing book that was enjoyable.June and July 2015 194

I also passed a shop that specializes in kids hair cuts. Kaden would love this place. June and July 2015 214Tomorrow bicycle rental on Pearl Street which I think will be easier on my foot and fun in the sun!June and July 2015 183

The sunsets here are beautiful. It is so good for the soul to be in a different environment and totally alone. The street flowers are beautiful.These are the shoes that hurt the feet. They were good for the first four hours! June and July 2015 208June and July 2015 193

Boulder, Colorado: Type A Retreat #1

The Boulder, Colorado- Type A Retreat began this morning.  I am sitting on a bench waiting on Green Pass to arrive eating cheese, bread, walnuts, and grapes.  I did not agree to the no carb week with my fitness girls, but because of my fit camp, I am breezing through the long airport walks with my excessive luggage.  It is hot in Denver!

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My last real solo get away ended in August when I returned from Costa Rica. I realized the days were passing, the stress was mounting, and the hamster wheel was moving faster with no slow down button visible.  If you wait on someone to go with you then you may never go! Do not wait: Go by yourself.

I did not retire to work so much, but that is where I am comfortable because of the “type A high energy control” factor that I struggle with every day. I also love Kate Spade purses.

I did what I always do before a trip. I push my body way past the healthy limit with very little sleep and marking off the freaking to do list.  I was trying to get caught up with classes and make sure the binders are ready for Indiana.   It also just happened to be my color the gray week and the Botox week. I left for the airport at 5:30 a.m.

How did I decide on Boulder?  Not sure- but I wanted to go somewhere west that was affordable with no driving that I had never been before and the Denver airport and I are very well acquainted. If driving was accessible then I would try to tour the west in five days and return home physically and emotionally shot.

I found a great loft apartment in downtown Boulder using Airbnb.com.  This is my second great experience with Airbnb. I did look at apartments in Italy, but the plane fare was $2,000.00, so I decided to put that on hold for a little while.June and July 2015 181

June and July 2015 179Green Pass Shuttle was an awesome way to travel from the airport to Boulder. They pick you up at the airport and drop you off at the address on your reservation.

When I arrived this very sweet couple, Jason and Bella, greeted me and showed me the loft, and they were very kind and hospitable. He was from Texas, so the conversation went to his love of fried catfish.  Jason and Bella are members of the Planet Mish Mash Band. Check out their videos: “Green Light” is my favorite. http://www.planetmishmash.com/videos/

The loft is so perfect. It is homey and small and so not cluttered up with unnecessary stuff. I have been inspired again to declutter, and I have a clearer vision of what to do as far as furniture and things for my house.  I loved the foyer and sitting area of this building.June and July 2015 186

June and July 2015 184After unpacking, I made the long walk to Whole Foods and to the wine store. Using the app on my phone to the closest grocery store did not cross my mind. The contents of the fridge clearly shows the man who lives here when he is in this country has a very healthy diet. I think most people that live in Boulder do.June and July 2015 174

June and July 2015 175I stayed in tonight to rest up for Saturday with awesome food and wine and this view. The temperature is in the low 60’s. It is wonderful. I am glad I brought a sweatshirt.  June and July 2015 183

Thank you Lori for your encouragement and the positive light that you shed on my life! You are always encouraging me to go, to do, and to be thankful for my blessed life.

12 Things to Share

  - March 18, 2014 at 08:00AMCompfight 语录 图说  

12 Things to Share is  my first post in a long while, and my writing soul is not happy because I love to share, but I have been too busy working and play and planning  (so that I can travel later) to write very much. I need to re-prioritize my life again which I think happens to us all on a regular basis or it should. I am happy that I recognize that, so we will see what life unfolds.
What I have written is in notebooks and scraps of paper on planes or late at night and needs serious revision. (Yes, I need to re-think this and write more because it soothes my soul and allows my small spark of creativity to flow.)

  1. If you are packing for two trips simultaneously, make sure you put the right things in the right suitcase.

The contact cases that I have mentioned before are the most wonderful liquid traveling accessories for flying. I use the cases for liquid make up, moisturizer, retina A, toothpaste, etc… I can do the quart flying limit with a little space left over by using the hotels shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

  1. Michigan and Indiana people are very nice, kind and hospitable. (Their ancestral lines must be Southern or either our folks came from the North.)
    Great places I have eaten in these cities:

South Bend, Indiana: Rocco’s Pizza
Battle Creek, MI: Clara’s on the River, Malia’s, Addington Hills Café
St. Joseph, MI: The Boulevard Inn &Bistro

The Michigan shoreline is beautiful, and I have only seen one area. I hope to see more soon.  

  1. Ole Miss is everywhere– planes, meetings, airports!
    Tailgating family is family even though you may only spend seven Saturdays a year together. We will miss Ms. Peg’s laughter, hugs, chess squares and smiles so much this year.

    We will miss you, Ms. Peg.

    We will miss you, Ms. Peg.

  2. The history of Notre Dame is impressive, and the dome is unbelievable. Touchdown Jesus was pretty awesome also. The three Notre Dame Football players that I met were nice, polite and respectful guys.
    sun sets on a win Glenn Simmons via Compfight
  1. I am thankful for the disappointments and failures and the successes that led me to where I am today!
  1. Gigi Land is a happy land. When my grandson reaches for me or when he sees me and his eyes twinkle, it makes the heart happy. How do little ones know where “their bread is buttered”? Unconditional love is such a rare and precious thing.IMG_2899
  1. I love being the passenger on a motorcycle. I will not or should not ever be the driver, and my friends are saying, “No, you should not.”More Bikes Lester Public Library via Compfight
  1. To be physically fit, I must have a trainer/coach. I am unable to push myself beyond my comfort zone. It may go back to the eight years of basketball or track when someone told me to run this amount, and I knew I could not stop, but I need someone to tell me what I am going to do. The warm-up in Fit Camp would be my entire work out if I was in charge. I have never felt better! It makes me feel strong and confident and not just physically- it makes me feel mentally stronger.  The participants also make it great. There is no judgement, and there is no negativity: it is a positive part of everyone’s day. If one participant can do 50 burpees and I can do 15, it is ok.

Food Prep is the key as Casey our wonder woman trainer tells us!  Having almonds, beef jerky and cauliflower with me on a driving trips helps.  Convenience stores and fast food restaurants are bad places to fuel your body.IMG_2979

Stop at a grocery store and buy fruit when you are traveling. Do not forget the fork like I did one time. Watermelon is messy in the car.

Stop at a grocery store and buy fruit when you are traveling. Do not forget the fork like I did one time. Watermelon is messy in the car.

  1. Doing a good deed makes you feel good! Remember to Pay It Forward!
  1. I do not like yard work anymore and that is ok. I had rather work more and pay someone to do it. I want my flowers to look beautiful, but I do not want to pull the grass out between the flowers.
  1. House renovation project #47 was a success. It is amazing what new doors, light switches, and a new coat of paint and new cabinet doors will do for your home.I mixed three old paints and came up with the color in my living area and kitchen. It was perfect: I think it was divine intervention.IMG_2713IMG_2934IMG_2737
    The decorating is another story; I was not given that gene. It is very much like fashion to me. You were blessed with it or you were not.
    What do I keep? What do I give away? What do I buy? How do I utilize what I have?  I have been looking at the collection of “do not wants and do not know what to do with” for a month… Maybe this week.

Caution: I wanted new paint, new doors and light switches and electrical outlets then I looked at my horrible white enamel cabinets with a red thing down the front. They had to go!  There is a domino effect… I want to do this, so now I want to do this… Add money to the projected cost when you are financing a renovation, but oh, it is so worth it.

Now for #48- the big den—the football watching party room! This will be next.

  1. Read Four Friends by Robyn Carr. It sheds a new light on friendships and menopause!

Have a great week!

When In NOLA

NOLA 2-26-15 008When in NOLA, the Big Easy, the great city of New Orleans, there are so many things to do. I visit every time I can, and there are so many things I have not seen. It is a city that becomes a part of you one trip at a time.  It reminds me of Charleston and New York… I know that is a strange combination. This great city and time with your oldest daughter and friends- what could be better?

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The weather was a deciding factor in my departure time. Winter decided to laugh in the face of my cute little buttercups in the yard, and winter is still laughing.

We arrived in New Orleans after dark, and our hotel was off the main track, but we found it quickly. It was adorable. We stayed at the Chateau Hotel on Chartres Street. It is at the corner of Chartres and St. Phillip. It is in an amazing location two blocks from Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and the Old French Market.  You enter in the lobby and then you go outside to get to your room. The key is an old big key not a little swipe card. The rooms are small, but the rooms have so much character. A continental breakfast is delivered to your room. It is like being on a cruise. You choose what you want, and it is delivered. It is a part of your hotel room fee.   Everyone was friendly and very helpful. Check out is 1:00 which really helps when you have a late conference date. NOLA 2-26-15 010NOLA 2-26-15 005

NOLA 2-26-15 003                           http://www.chateauneworleans.com/

We ventured out and ate at one of my favorite brunch places- the Ruby Slipper on Magazine. It was wonderful as usual. http://www.therubyslippercafe.net/

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The wind tunnel on Canal Street is for real. When you walked down a side street, it was so much warmer.

I have been able to curb my clothes purchases that I do not need since retirement and honestly, my primary wardrobe is sweat pants and a sweat shirt, but I still battle my shoe obsessions. As we walked around, we found an unusual show store. I did not buy anything, but these shoes were the real deal!  SHOE.BE.DO! – An Addiction           http://www.shoebedousa.com/

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Great boots on sale on the website. Click on SALE.

 

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We finished the day with beignets and great coffee at Café Du Monde. It is still amazing to me that your coffee is served two ways: Coffee Black or Au Lait and that you can order beignets or beignets. They come in orders of three with an abundant amount of powdered sugar.  http://www.cafedumonde.com/

Dinner at Café Pontalba was very good. The hotel manager told us that this was where the locals ate. The gumbo and sea food platter were very good. http://www.neworleansrestaurants.com/cafe_pontalba/

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Later we went to Bourbon to hear the great bands, to view the unique sites and visit with other people presenting at the many medical conferences this weekend.

We had a lazy day as Kelley prepared for the conference. We drove out to Audubon Park and looked at the park and the beautiful campus of Loyola.  The one ways streets tormented me, but we finally made it to the InterContinental hotel on St. Charles Avenue, and we found wonderful parking right beside the hotel with a very kind attendant.

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Kelley looked beautiful and confident as she prepared for the presentation.  NOLA 2-26-15 041

Mardi Gras King Cake flavored ice cream or vodka

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Girls + travel = Lots of stuff

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Thank you, New Orleans Firefighters!

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A trip to New Orleans is always a good idea!

Next up: Florence, Jackson, and the Cereal Capital of the World

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