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Saturday, June 28, 2008


Friday's are our movie day if we are in town but yesterday there was absolutely nothing playing that I wanted to see and to top it off my hubby is on a get-a-way so I was really wanting to go to get out of the house and eat popcorn. I came up with an idea......................................
I will go to the library and rent some movies, enough to keep me busy all week-end and pop my own popcorn. Well, I guess a lot of people had the same idea because just getting up to the movie section was a wait in line type deal so just quickly grabbed a few that looked like they might be of interest. Now most of the movies that you can get from the library are old but then sometimes the oldies are the best.
After a quick bite out, I came home to and sat down to wine and a movie:
Half way through I was crying and accidental bumped the remote control and it stopped the movie mailto:#$@#%$%^%
Well, it was late so I just went to bed. Got up this morning and decided that I really wanted to see the ending and thought I would fast forward the part I already saw...........nope, watched it all over again and still cried so it was the movie, not the wine.
Really a good movie and touches so many issues in life. If you haven't seen it....get your Kleenex and get it:)

Monday, June 23, 2008


It is a long ways from Arizona to Providence, RI

I went on a tour with

People ask me why would I go on trips without my hubby.....well, this is the deal. I have been married for over 41 years now and have not done much on my own sooooooooooo I just thought it was time I got stretched a bit and have put myself in these situations. I would like to tell you how wonderful and fun it always is but it is also very hard and sometimes uncomfortable but what I can tell you.........I ALWAYS learn.

I have started a little travel journal and in the back I put things I have learned and most of the time it has something to do with assuming. For example it said "Breakfast at a nearby restaurant". I assumed it might be next door? Well, it was 3/4 mile uphill and had to cross a four lane road on your own.

Free time really are on you own to find your own way around and try to figure out what you are seeing. Shoppers love this category and feel very safe in stores....sightseers on the other hand simple feel lost or at least I do.

People over-all are good people.....maybe they are different from yourself but they mostly are good people and some are exceptional. One lady from Utah had a huge impact on me....she was at least 10 years older than I, never married, no children and she simply bubbled with joy no matter the situation. This was her 48th elderhostel trip not including many other places she had traveled! and she sent back 60 post cards to her many friends. Her traveling companion was a person who had learned to continue on after losing her husband that was the light of her life for 59 years. These are people I can look up to and hope to attain to.

One of my favorite things on this tour was the trip to the Whalers Museum In New Bedford. The displays were awesome!
This is a scrimshaw done on a whales tooth.

This is a replica of a sail ship used for whaling.

A sampler of crochet

Another favorite was the SE Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard.
Not only was this a beautiful lighthouse but we watched a movie prior on the bus that showed how they had saved it from falling into the ocean because of the coastline erosion. They moved it 300 feet in one piece and it was connected to the house you see. It cost 2.5 million to do so and was an amazing feat. To top it all we were able to go up in the light house and what a sight that was!!

It is rare to be allowed next to the prisms that reflect the light
and the only thing you can say about the view........beautiful:)

The touring of Newport mansions was also part of this tour and the best one for me was the behind the scenes of the Elms mansion. Twenty workers lived on the top three floors and functioned in a way so that they were never seen by the visitors. It appeared that this huge mansion ran itself. The gardens and grounds were breathtaking as exampled from this roof view:
It is hard to imagine the lifestyle these people had. Millions and millions of dollars were spent on these mansions with full time staff and they only were here 8 weeks out of a year. The most over the top one was the 70 room Breakers mansion (Vanderbelts). It was almost nauseating for all the gold and glitz but mansions became a competition. You should see how many are for sale now and many have been torn down because no one can even afford the taxes much less the upkeep.

I have found when I travel alone that one of the things I enjoy the most is simply having my own room:) If you are married, you know that there is always a give and take as it should be but on your is all take. Warning though, if you are bored or dissatisfied you have no one to blame but yourself :)

Will I continue my travels alone? Absolutely! I come home a better more grateful person and it is wonderful to see just how big the world is and varied apart from my own little cocoon:)
Maybe you aren't in a position to travel or don't want to but I do encourage you to find something that stretches things grow.

Happy Trails!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Off again

Yep, that's me headed to a tour "Explorations of the Southern England Islands". It will be a bit of a culture shock since it is 102 here and the temp's there are in the low 70's with rain.
You know they say pack light...........since United is now charging $15..00 per bag you check that isn't a problem. Here is a tip for anyone that travels a lot....keep an extra makeup bag and nightly cleanser bag always packed, then all you need to do is re-fill and add clothes.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why I don't go to the beach

Now I would be doing good if I could suck it in this much and it might be worth the pain:)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

From Mexico to Vertigo cont.

Sunday's schedule was the 7 hour Sierra Madre Expedition tour. First a taxi to the Marina and check in...then we climbed into the Mercedes Benz/

See those hand holds hanging down from the top? We put them to good use......over hills, over water, over tree roots and etc. Talk about power....these trucks were amazing...our job was just to hang on.

Now you need to know that for some odd reason my hubby was the only man on the tour and all but two of the women were 40 yrs. and lady was in her 70's if she was a day. So here you have my hubby, a Mexican driver that didn't seem to speak a lot of English and our very young tour guide

and we are heading into the jungle.

A large part of the tour was him explaining how the Mexican people lived and I was amazed how resourceful they are!

One example was a tree that had a vine like thing on it that was like could cut a small piece of it off and chew it and it would relieve pain, like a headache. He told us scientist found that it had the same ingredients as Ibuprofen.
Our guide (Fabio) was the best......he was very knowledgeable and funny and took good care us. The end of the tour was lunch on a private beach and I am not talking cold was a feast with a view........................................................................

Monday was the plane ride home and out to dinner with our kids............................Tues. morning I awoke with my head spinning and wanting to throw up.............all I could think of is that I had contracted some strange monkey disease!! After several days of it I went to the Doctor and found out I had vertigo. Now some people think this is a joke but if you ever really have won't be laughing. It has been a week and a half and I still fell off balance at times. It really didn't have anything to do with being in Mexico but thought it was kind of cleaver.....Mexico to Vertigo:)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From Mexico to Vertigo cont.

Sat. was a lay back on the balcony, a walk on the beach, a nice quiet breakfast next to the beach and some book reading and napping.
Our plans for the evening were to go to the El Faro lighthouse

for a drink and the view. It really is awesome, I had never been up in a lighthouse before and was totally thrilled when I saw there was an elevator!!!!!! Talk about some stairs:) We opted to have dinner there in the Marina and I order rock lobster.......................It was delicious!!!! I understand that in some parts of the country this is a crawfish? That doesn't sound too good....think it will just be a rock lobster to me.
Then back to the hotel for the evening breeze and a metropolitan (their idea of a chocolate martini)..................hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
(more to come)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From Mexico to Vertigo cont.

No, I had never been on a canopy tour and a zip line but it sounded fun and I have come to the conclusion if you think you might like to do this age you best go ahead and do it!

Yes, we were the oldest people in the group but the advantage...they were very nice to this chunky old lady:) First you go into this little staging area and in a flash you have on the harness, gloves and helmet (which makes everyone look stupid by the way). Next comes some quick instruction and a few safety tips and you are one your way..............................

Now, what I hadn't thought of that in order to get to those wonderful HIGH zip lines, you have to climb, climb, climb and climb. That indeed was the hardest part and especially since the weather was near 80 with 70% humidity, but let me tell was worth it!! The staff was so very nice to me...the pulley weighed around 25 lbs and you were to carry your own but they always carried mine for me (I am sure that my beat red face helped them feel sorry for me), but honestly the staff was really great. There was a total of 14 zip lines with each getting higher and faster. I would do it again in a minute if they install elevators haha.

After you are done you are back at the staging area and everything is removed and nice clean hand wipes helps you feel refreshed. You then go into the Cantina to have a shot of Tequila (if you are brave enough) and then free to go into the Jungle Restaurant for lunch or swim in the river with water slide and all. The bus and tour runs every hour so we had decided to have a nice leisure lunch at the restaurant Down below is where you could go swimming and a couple of the girls on our tour did. There was another area up to the left of the restaurant where they had some monkeys in cages and a python that you could put around your neck if you wanted (I passed) but you could also go into one of the monkey cages and feed these two little squirrel like monkeys.....I opted to do that. The girl that went in with me was not that impressed so wanted out but I was just fascinated with them...they would jump on your shoulder and eat and etc. I asked the man if I could stay in and feed them some more and he said no problem....he forgot to give me more food but low and behold the one little monkey decided he liked me and came and sat on my shoulder without the he was on my head giving me a good grooming, he checked in my pants pocket to be sure there was nothing there, he gave me a hug and.....................................................................................................................
cuddled under my chin, laid on his back in my hand and folks.......I fell in love. He was the sweetest thing ever and if I could have I would have brought him home.
Now I have debated whether to share the next part of this tour because the last thing I want is to leave a negative view of Puerta Vallarta or this tour but I have decided to tell the rest of the story but please read all of it...........................................................
As I was getting ready to leave the little monkey cage we heard a loud blast and then suddenly two more small ones. The next thing we knew people were running out of the restaurant in a panic and the guy was hollering at us to get out of the cage. We were all herded up a dirt road away from the buildings. No one seemed to know what had happened but it obviously was not something good. A lot of people were saying all kinds of things and some people were responding in such a stupid manner, like saying, well we are all fine so we can just relax etc.
To make a very long story short the Bandito's got information that it was Friday (payday) and there would be a lot of cash on hand so they came down from the jungle and robbed the Cantina, one of the drivers tried to stop them and he was shot and killed. From sharing this with you these are the things I want you to take with you...............................
Bad things happen everywhere
Mexico is a anti-gun country......which really means that only the bad guys have guns, not the good guys and there aren't enough cops to be everywhere.
They got the buses ready as quick as they could and drove us back to the city, as we departed from the bus one of the guys ahead of me told the driver he was sorry....the driver was near tears and said "He was my best friend". So the last thing I leave with you is that even in the mist of such tragedy they did everything to keep us (tourist) safe. This isn't something you just shake off and my heart goes out to them even now.
Now you may call us crazy but we had another tour scheduled on Sunday that was going to take us into the jungle and .....................................................................yes, we went.
(more to come)

Monday, June 9, 2008

From Mexico to Vertigo

For 41 years we have shared joined hands and to celebrate we decided to go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We had gone here over eight years ago and it was our first trip to Mexico....we were scared out of our wits and did nothing but stay at the hotel, thus deciding we didn't like it here. Well, we have since become a little more seasoned and decided to give it another try.

Our idea of a great time is to take some tours and try some different restaurants and mingle with the locals, as well as taking naps and eating chips and salsa and drinking margarita's:)

My first tidbit of info will be that when you arrive at the airport keep walking to the exit no matter what anyone says to you!!!!!!!!! The timeshare sharks are horrible there...When you get to the exit you will see the wanted sign......Taxi.

Amazingly I choose the very same hotel to stay in that I had chosen all those years earlier and didn't realize it until I was showing my hubby some pictures of it and he remember it:) We still like the sounds of it so opted to stay there again. I am so glad we did........The Fiesta Americana was wonderful. There was always a wonderful breeze in the lobby and upper bar and in the afternoon heat and humidity of the area it is most welcomed. We were amazed at the comfort of the beds and pillows...if you have traveled in Mexico you will know it is renowned for hard beds and flat pillows:) and three of our meals were eaten here and were some of the best.
Our balcony view. To the right was the ocean and across the way the city and below the pool.

As I said before we like to go on tours and eat at different restaurants and of course I try to do a little research before we go.

One restaurant that caught my attention was Cafe des Artiestes so on our first night this was where we headed. It was downtown so of course the taxi ride was exciting to say the least. We sat in the bar for a while and chatted with the little bartender girl who was amazed we had been married so long (she was all of 21 years old) and she surprised us with this little treat.......

Isn't it amazing how people will go out of their way to make you feel special????? The thing that attracted me to this restaurant was that it was to be like having dinner in the jungle....true enough it was all of that and more, I forgot that the jungle included the hot humid temp as well but even so it was a great time.
Our next day was our first tour.........Los Veranos canopy tours (check out the video on this site).

yep, flying through the jungle on zip lines!
(more to come)


I have recieved my very first award and I have to say.....................................

I am thrilled!

Thank you Kittyjustice