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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That little forgotten occupancy tax

I was off to San Diego, Ca. this past week-end for a solo adventure to Sea World while my hubby traveled to Idaho for a competition. I have mentioned before that I occasionally travel alone and that it is the hardest thing for me to do but also one of the best things for me to encourages me to be more independent and self confident. If you have never traveled for pleasure alone you can't imagine how different it is...I mean if you don't have a good time who are you going to blame???

I chose to stay at the Dana on Mission Bay because they offer a shuttle back and forth from Sea World as well as a shuttle pick-up and return to the airport. The facility was very nice and I would recommend it but just remember that the price you are quoted on travel web sites like Expedia and etc. don't include taxes. They quote that and you can easily think oh yeah, kind of like sales tax but these are the taxes I paid.
1st night.....$23.52 occupancy tax
$4.48 marketing tourism fee

2nd night....$19.74 occupancy tax
$3.76 marketing tourism fee
$.12 California tourism fee

That totals up to $51.30 in tax! Now if you also want to park your car that will be another $12.00 and the shuttle is $6.00 each way to and from airport and don't forget how expensive food is in at an amusement part so the bottom sure and OVER budget!!
Occupancy tax is standard in most state and here are a few examples
San Diego 10.50%
Portland 11.50%
Denver 13.45%
Austin 15.00%
San Antonio 16.75% and yes Az. but don't know the rate..............
and don't forget that you will have to pay $15.00 for your luggage if you don't carry it on. Is it any wonder that tourism is suffering these days?????

The next big question....... did I have a good time???? YES............
I got sunburned despite my efforts not to and in the dardest places like the top of my head (I wore a visor instead of a hat). I loved the new Cirque de la Mer show

they were right next to us and included a great deal of comedy as well as talent!!!

I happened to watch the Shamu show from the back of the stage (a walkway to and from the show) instead of the front and it was just the best and could really appreciate the size of the whales and my best experience of all............the Penguin Experience tour.

This is a behind the scenes type tour and along with being very educational you are given the opportunity to pet one of these little guys and go into the penguin facility which is about 30 degree's so you don't stay for very long but they are so cute and many waddled up to see us.
The cooler weather was a treat but oh how hard it is to drop back down into this dry desert at 110 degree's and it is a bumpy ride as well:)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blogville blues

Maybe because it is summertime and people are on vacations or having company or just enjoying the nicer weather but whatever it is, it is mighty quiet in blogville. Many of my favorites haven't blogged in over a month and some I am worried that they have just given it up or that they are ill or worse, after all many of us bloggers aren't spring chickens. One of my favorites simple said they were closing it after two years of daily posting of pictures and I so appreciate the notice rather than just silence. So how about you? Do you notice less postings and etc.?

Monday, June 15, 2009


There are several of my favorite bloggers that quilt and I have to tell you that it totally confounds me as to how they have the patience to sit for hours and hours cutting out the little designs and then more hours and hours sewing them together and then making a batting and then a backing and not to mention having to tie it and put a border around it! Yikes the hours involved are too many to number!

This quilt was made by my Grandmother
and I wished I could tell you that I remember her making it or that I remember some of the fabric she used, but I don't. I came very close to ruining it when I washed it in the wash machine.

I recently bought this book
Where the writer shares peoples stories about their quilts. It has been the story of a quilt that was made during the civil war by an engaged young woman who's betrothed died on the battlefield. She made the quilt from her (calico) wedding dress bathed in tears. Even I, in my limited capacity made a quilt of sorts for my Grandson. I bought the patterned quilt squared fabric and after putting the batting and backing sewed around each animal to make them puff out (have to say it was his favorite blanket and he used it until it was in shreds) but to come up with a design and cut it all out and lay it all out??? No way....................

I think that perhaps people have the same thoughts about those of us who craft for charity. It is true you can buy a pair of socks a lot cheaper and with no time invested compared to knitting a pair but there is something about being able to put your hand to something and hopefully it making a difference in someones life. Chipmunknits recently posted information about this new book
I ordered it right away...maybe it will give me some insight into my madness:):)
One of my friends recently shared with me that she loves to cook but hates to eat! Now if that isn't an odd duck but diversity is what makes the world go around ........................

Wednesday, June 10, 2009



and the living is easy...................................

Fish are jumping ................................


the cotton is high..........................
Come on now

and enjoy the wonders of summer................

No matter what it takes!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Like minded

I have mentioned before that I craft for charity and have done so for a long time but I have mostly just done it on my own. Recently I found a chapter of Newborns in Need about an hour away from me and decided since I had a large amount of things that were ready to be donated (see 25 thing for charity blog) somewhere I would attend one of their monthly meetings. Oh my gosh!! Sitting with a group of women my own age and all with the same passion..............Wonderful. I learned a lot of new things, met some lovely people and came home INSPIRED! Whatever your passion/interest is I encourage you too, to try to find a group of people to bounce idea's off of, encourage you and challenge you. No more Lone Ranger for me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ya'll Come

Savannah, Georgia was famous way before Paula Deen but the line to get into her local restaurant is pretty impressive.

We have been to Georgia many times and I have always delighted in the hospitality found there, this trip was not a disappointment. Our first night however, was a little of a shock because we forgot it was Memorial Day week-end and found that being down on River Street was just like being in New Orleans at the Mardi Gras less the beads and parade. People everywhere and open drinking allowed on the street...entertainment all the way up and down the river walk from stilt walking to dancing to juggling and music and a 2 1/2 hour wait for dinner so we opted to grab a couple of bar stools and had a bite there and found a spot to sit and just watched till it got a little too rowdy for us:)
We decided to take the trolley the first day to get our barrings and it was a good choice as we also got a lot of useful information like that moss that is hanging on the trees

Is an airborne plant that also is home to chiggers. They use to stuff their mattresses with it and so came the saying..."Don't let the bed bugs bite".

Everywhere I looked while I was there was a picture moment so trying to figure out what to post is going to be a hard one. If you look at a map of down town Savannah you will not even begin to get an idea of how it is laid out because it is in two tiers...River street on the bottom, the lining of old buildings and the old train rail and rough rocky road...situated right next to the river.

The building across the River is a Convention Center and that on the left was the side veranda of our hotel where wine and appetizers were served every evening.

Up on the main street is the front of these buildings
This is the entrance to the Hotel we stayed at (was originally a cotton exchange building). Notice that there is a open part to the left??

Down below is factor's way...

A cobblestone driveway where they drove the cotton wagons for the people to buy their cotton.

The buyers would stand up on the balcony's of the buildings to get a good view as they came by and make their bid's.

The whole town was a vision of a man from England and he sat down and drew out the layout of the town which included the 22 squares. If you are like me you can't quite figure out what a square is so let me explain. It is like a miniature park and all the houses surround it. These were huge beautiful houses owned by the cotton merchants but when they were built there was not running water or electricity. There is such History here you could spend days and still not get the full impact of it. Of course slavery was a big issue here and the biggest change of all...this is a picture of a picture that reminds us of how it was
and this is a statue with broken chains laying at their feet on the Riverfront celebrating their freedom

One evening included dinner at the "Chart House"
Now this is an OLD building that normally I would not venture into .....but

it was beautiful and the food, fantastic!

The same beautiful rock work was to be found everywhere
our hotel heading to a downstairs bathroom.

There were quaint little shopping area's away from the waterfront that just had to be investigated and more tempting restaurants than we could find meals for...................

We missed the blooming of the wisteria but the whole area was a garden setting
The river is still an active port bringing many large ships loaded with cargo in and out.
What a wonderful time we had and this tune will never be the same to me again.