Monthly Archives: November 2012

Big Girl, Big City!


I’m headed to San Francisco this weekend with 3 friends to celebrate a 40th b-day for one of them.

I’m really excited to explore and enjoy the city by the bay as a grown up without purpose, such as a soccer tournament & entertaining 3 children through a weekend!

I used to live up North so going to the city was a regular occasion for me.  Back then though, I was either driven there with my family or it was for school field trips! This picture, for example, was from a school visit to Alcatraz.  Our Psychology teacher lived on the Island as a child since his doctor was one of the primary physicians on the Island.  His real life experiences & memories that he shared with us students gave us a glimpse into Alcatraz that isn’t found on most tours!

I look so carefree in this picture, not a worry in the world! 17, just shy of graduating in a few weeks & heading to Hawaii for a grad trip!  I never got to “experience” the city as a carefree adult though! I moved south at 18 &  all of my subsequent visits to the Bay have been with my family in tow so it  usually involved many soccer fields, visits to Pier 39 & the usual tourist areas. I always enjoyed those fun weekends & we built many fond memories of our road trips.  There is something to be said though for shedding the responsibilities of your normal everyday life to enjoy a fabulous location like this!

I won’t be visiting Alcatraz this time but if you are headed to the city soon, be sure to book your tour early, they fill up fast! Click here for more information. In the meantime, my next few posts will be SF related!

Up close in Big Sur!


I’ve lived in California since I was 10 yrs. old.  I’ve seen ALOT of amazing things and people in this state! However, this one experience really trumps the others!

On our way back to LA from Monterey, we decided to take HWY 1 back. If you’ve ever traveled it, you know it can be exhilerating and nauseating at the same time!  On this day however, it was incredible.  Each corner filled with a new view of the pacific and the coast.

As the road straightened out before us, just north of the Hurst Castle area, we stumbled upon this beach. What an amazing sight, the whole beach was covered with these seals! The best part was that only a slight burm and a rope separated us from this lively creatures! The beach had volunteer docents who shared their knowledge of the migration of the seals and their habits on shore. All of it for FREE!!

Elephant Seals

Elephants in Kenya


A few years ago, a good friend of mine was taken on quite a vacation by her in-laws. They invited their adult children, their spouses & grandchildren on an African Safari over Christmas time. They visited several countries, did a few safari’s, mingled with the Masi, & had the family vacation of a lifetime.  The pictures she shared with me were truly amazing! This is just one of many & was taken in Kenya.

click here to see one of the lodges they stayed at.

There are so many beautiful places to see on this planet & Africa is just one of many on my list! It’s prioritizing the list that brings me anxiety! How to choose what’s next is always  when the boxing gloves come off at my house, the art of compromise comes into full play! Africa will have to wait a little longer since next year’s trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary has been booked! We will be Europe bound, not quite as wild as seeing Elephants at play in their natural habitats but still full of culture & adventures for those seeking it.

Digitally “Artkive” Kids Art


I saw this feautred on our local news this morning and just had to share it with as many people I could!  I wish this had been around when my now 24 yr old, 21 yr. old and 14 yr. old girls were in pre-school or grade school! Digitally “Artkive” Kids Art. This app allows you to share the art instantly, store it with ease, and better yet, order it in an album!  No more boxes in the attic with dusty artwork you can’t part with!

I think I’m going to make it a goal to pull ours out and give this a try!

A good read that takes you to Italy


The Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary SeductionThe Wedding Officer: A Novel of Culinary Seduction by Anthony Capella
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could see this definitely being on the big-screen someday! What an eloquently written book! The language was delicious & it just flowed so nicely. I enjoy WWII stories & this one has been one of my favorites. Amazing how people’s expectations of themselves and others are changed when in survival mode! Naturally, it made me hungry for Italian food! I enjoyed his writing so much, I’m half way thru his Coffee novel!

View all my reviews

Happy Thanksgiving!


I’ll have it easy this year, we are not hosting! Instead, my dear friend has opened her home to my family, her family and a slew of others who can’t quite make it home or have families scattered about. My college aged daughter is even bringing a few of her soccer team mates who can’t make it home. I think there will be about 30 of us in total! Total chaos but total fun & great memories to be made. I’m already looking forward to leftovers and we haven’t even had the main meal yet! God Bless you wherever you spend your Thanksgiving & may it be filled with warmth, family & loved ones.

Picture is worth a 1000 words!


looks like harmless fun!

As soon as I saw this beautiful picture, I was flooded with childhood memories from Germany. I lived there for my first 10 yrs. & one of the events I looked forward to most as a child was the day the traveling carnival came to town!

I thought it was such an exciting life to roam from city to city & set up “home” for two weeks at a time. The carnivals were filled with gypsies & they didn’t seem to mind 8 yr. old girls lingering around and watching the rides go up. My sister & I spent hours petting horses & getting excited about opening day!

The big swing was always my favorite ride hands down. I would ride it each day as if the occasion was the first! Always exhilerating with just the right amount of butterflies in my belly!

Fast forward 11 years. I was on a student EF tour of Europe. I had just celebrated my 19th b-day the night before in Prague.
The next day, I was quite hung over & was laying low. Our tour stopped in Vienna. Much to my delight, we found a carnival that had the large swing ride I had such fond memories of as a child. Naturally, I wanted to ride it & forgot all about my fragile state. My friends & I hopped on! BIG mistake!

The ride was everything I wanted it to be when it was going forward! The ride operator however, decided that he wanted to put the ride in reverse and extend our experience by another 10 minutes! To my complete & utter horror, my childhood memories of my favorite carnival ride were tarnished by the hangover that now raged for release from my body!

How I managed to hold on & not vomit all over the city of Vienna, I will never know! I did make it off the ride looking very very green & with the most quesy stomach ever! I left my friends, managed to make my way back to our hotel & did not resurface from my room for the next 48 hours!

It’s taken years for me to be able to look at a swing without feeling nauseated immediately! I’ve managed to hold on to the childhood memory instead of my more reckless young adult memory!

Which way to Paradise!?


10 days of pure heaven is how best to describe my time on Cayman Island. This shot was taken at Rum Point, which is where we stayed. Grand Cayman is worth more than a one day cruise destination. If you do stop there on a cruise, make every effort to hire a driver or rent a car to drive to the more remote side of the Island where Rum Point is located. It is so worth it!  Seven Mile Beach, near the cruise harbor is beautiful too but will be  crowded with “cruise day trippers”. Only the more adventurous will go further out!

Drowning in Holiday Commercials ALREADY!


Can’t help but channel my inner crazy Target lady this time of year!

Thank goodness for DVR’s! Most of the shows I watch, I record so I’m not watching them “LIVE”. However, there have been a few this last week that I have watched live and my goodness, the number of holiday ads already playing in heavy rotation were alredy nauseating! Sure, there are some that are quite amusing & never seem to get old. Sadly though, the majority of them are just not worthy of my 3 minutes!

I was bummed to see that Target has revamped their holiday shopping campaign & ditched “The crazy Target lady”! Why must all good things come to an end? I think she had another season in her, if not two!

Fall beauty


This is for my friend Natalie, who will be travelling to New York soon with her mom & daughter! Hopefully, she’ll have some great views like this! My version of fall In So Cal looks nothing like this!

Are Your Ready For a Spa Vacation?


I’ll take a spa vacation please!

Colesville Travel's Weblog

A Caribbean spa vacation may be right up your alley if you are looking for some place warm and inviting to take your next vacation.

Spa Day – Facial, Massage and Fragrances

Picture yourself relaxing in a tropical paradise sipping lemongrass tea while the ocean waves lap at the shore! Can you imagine anything more beautiful than sunrises or sunsets over alabaster sand beaches? There are several spas available in the Caribbean for your vacationing pleasure and here are a few of the top choices.

Sandals Resorts and Spa

One of the most well-known spa resorts on the planet is Sandals; they have locations in Jamaica, Bahamas, Antigua and St. Lucia. This chain of spas has often been voted the most luxurious couples oriented retreats, they specialize in wedding and honeymoon accommodations. Their Nassau location boasts beautiful tropical gardens, crystalline beaches and lavish suites, some as large as a…

View original post 432 more words