product review, travel, vacation, vacation tip

2 travel goodies

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N….in the summer time…..  can’t get that song to stop looping in my noggin.

Vacation is exciting and different and wonderful.  However……  by the sheer fact of the exciting and different part….our  “normal” comfortable routine is mixed up patty whacked.   Today, I wanted to share two things that might make your next trip a bit easier and happier.

I found a lush creature comfort that I knew I wanted to share.  (Side note:  don’t you just slump in your chair and throw your arms up when someone says, “Oh, I’ve been using that for two years now, you didn’t know?”  Urgh.)button scarf

Right, this minute, as I type, my lush, dreamy soft, Scarf/Poncho/Wrap is rolled up and stored in my carry on satchel for use next trip.

The store that I purchased it from is called Lace & Grace.  Quick service and quite a large variety of items.

http://www.graceandlace.com/

These are my own opinions & sadly, no, I was not paid to endorse my new favorite travel items.

First the details.  It is huge and yet manageable. Excellent quality, reversible with substantial buttons and rich saturated colors.   The fabric is soft, you sort of want to pet it, but that would be weird.  By the way, this company has several colors and patterns to choose from.

I have a tendency to get cold on the airplane.  Out came the scarf.  I had it rolled up inside my carry on bag, easy to get to.  button scarf, lace and graceI wore it like a poncho so it covered my shoulders and kept the chill at bay.   It looks great with jeans and a t-shirt, however, I did wear it one evening with bold jewelry and as a scarf, it looked rather fetching, if I do say so myself.

Next option,  I just buttoned only one of the buttons, turned it a couple times and wore it as a scarf through the airport as we caught our next flight.

During the driving….. Mr. Right logged 1,873 miles during this vacation…… I folded the scarf/poncho/shawl over my legs and was nice and cozy without blasting the heater.

I must say this garment construction is beautiful and the reverse color of soft gray and white herringbone complemented several outfits.

Overall, extremely pleased with this piece.

Next:

berkey water bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other best travel piece is my Berkey travel Water Bottle.   http://www.getberkey.com/

It has the filter right inside.  I pack it empty in my carry on and once past airport security, I can fill it up using a water fountain or any tap water.  (Note:  It does not filter out fluoride. I keep a list of bottled waters sans fluoride and when available I purchase those. Then I pour those into my bottle. )  Travel choices are not perfect, we do what we can.

When not traveling, I store this item alongside my travel satchel and suitcases.  A quality product that works very well.  I can’t imagine traveling without one.  I highly recommend.

I hope these gentle suggestions will make your next trip ( you are planning your next adventure, right?) a bit smoother.

In this together, friends.

Just sharing the goodness.

Chat soon.

 

 

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good marriages, good times, goodness, haPPY, marraige, Uncategorized, vacation

v-a-c-a-tion

I tossed the damp towel on the edge of the bathtub.  A couple of hours later, it was still there.

Must only mean one thing………vacation is over.  Here at home, there are no efficient maids that work behind the scenes. (to be clear, this is a picture of the hotel bathroom, not the master bath in our home )venetian-bath

This year to celebrate 35 years of being married, we chose to do something completely different.  Certainly, different for us.  In a surprising twist, two folks who don’t drink, smoke or gamble decided to go to Las Vegas, Nevada!

venetian-resort-armillary_2400x1600To spend time, in a glamorous suite, at the Venetian exploring a whole new world was most certainly different and quite an adventure.

8949It was a week of art, beauty, gardens, waterfalls, food, glorious food, treats and sunshine!  We are so used to pouring rain and gray, it took a day or so for us to dry out and revel in the glorious rays of the sun.

Daily breakfast at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon restaurant had VACATION written all over it. Seriously folks.  I want live in that restaurant.  I want that floor.  The service was 8958extraordinary. The food was exemplary.  If you order the French Toast it is little pillows of heaven served on the most exquisite marmalade you have ever had the pleasure of tasting. The coffee is perfect. Oh, and then as you are just about to leave……….wait for it………they bring you a “to-go” cup of coffee, already with the perfect amount of cream to take with you, to help you ease into the day.  BLESS THEM and what they have created.  Such extravagance.

The gondola ride was anniversary perfect.  The music, the gondolier, the roses, the water, the perfect (faux) sky…… charming, every moment of it was charming and fun (I mean 8945romantic).

venetian11

Having my palm read has been a secret desire.  I don’t know why I have never been brave enough.  Vacation has a way of making you brave enough to try new things.  I did it and it was super fun & silly & wonderful all mixed together.  After she was done, I told her she was spot on and accurate about everything.  (I wanted her to know she did a good job.)  She said,  “I know, it’s my job.”   Really?  How did she know I study one hour each morning?  ummmm….

A daily treat of swimming and lounging by the garden pool, was so nice.  Just hearing the waterfall and lollygagging for hours was dreamy.

We visited some beautiful gardens and wondered around until we found a glorious bakery.  See?  Vacation is DREAMY!!

Vacations allow us glorious time, somehow remind us we have permission to slowly walk through a garden and fill our spirits with saturated color and beauty. We walk slower, we take more time to gather goodness.

This Monday morning, our vacation envelope is empty.

Time to start saving and dreaming about our next adventure. I’ll wait for you to go get an envelope and pen.  Saving and anticipating the next glorious adventure is wonderful. Write on the outside of the envelope where you want to go.  Put a dollar in the envelope. Seriously, one dollar.  Seed money.8956

Vacation fills our pitcher.  We owe it to ourselves to dream and anticipate and plan.  Then once on vacation, the sun feels warmer, the coffee is richer,  the pool more relaxing, the desserts are more decadent (I forgot to tell you all about the glorious, thick, creamy dreamy Tiramisu dessert that we had made right at our table……..ah……)  oh, and did I mention the shared tangy, Lemon Gelato? 8947

Taking the time to plan a 35th  anniversary vacation, reminds us to celebrate what a really good marriage we have. Yes, my friend, celebrating marriage is THAT important.  By making an effort to celebrate anniversary 4 or 17, those celebrations most certainly help you get to number 35.  By celebrating number 35 it helps you get to number 47 and so on……

Here’s to great marriages, amazing experiences and wonderful breakfasts in French restaurants!

vacation quote

healing, mod podge, travel

mod podge, remember me?

Gosh, I just noticed the last date on a blog posting from me, May 19th.  Good Golly, I really want to say I was away on a glorious vacation…….alas, I think life just got in the mix.

Yard work has called my name.  Painting and biking and sewing have called my name.

Then the grand daddy of them all………Mod Podge.  Remember from the 70’s.  The very moment you open that lid, the first scent of Mod Podge, your brain is flooded with all sorts of fun items you made in jr. high school.  News flash:  they still sell the stuff and it is still fun to say.   All the craft and hobby stores carry it .  For under $6.00 and buy a 35 cent foam brush while you are there, you are on your way to a zillion possibilities.

20150528_203845I made some plant markers.  I wrote on some sticks and mod podged (is that a verb?) to my heart’s content.

The main project I was magically drawn to make were Adventure books.  If you go to http://www.polkadotchair.com    you will find the picture to down load.  She has inspiration galore, it sort of falls off the screen right into your lap.

I purchased a couple of those school scribblers.  At 88 cents each, you really can’t make a huge mistake for that price. 20150528_170421

Several crafts ago, I had requested maps from all the different states.  They send them out for FREE.  Which makes me 20150601_084052smile. A snip here, a snip there and I was ready to Mod Podge. the Adventure books.

I also had some scrap, card making paper.  I used that for the backs.  20150529_094937

I wrote a quote inside each book.

“We travel not 

to escape life, 

but for life 

not to escape us.”

I added a fancy deep purple ribbon just for fun.  I just folded over a couple pages.  It can be used as a book mark.

I am mailing them off to some folks who are stepping out of the box this summer and spreading their wings.

Making a hiking, picnic, camping book next.

When we travel, I collect museum passes, or a parking pass, a great new recipe and of course a snap shot here or there.  (say, have you printed any pictures from your phone lately?  Might be time to print some of those. jus sayin’)

These books are not fancy.  They are not intimidating.  Just one of those things you pick up in the middle of winter, thumb through, relive a great summer memory and smile all over again.

Hello June 1.  I can smell summer from here.  Get out there!  Explore, seek, discover.

Paste it in a notebook and then relive it over and over and over again.

Good for the soul in so many ways.

Love to have show n tell.  What are you making with Mod Podge?

Better yet. tell me about your summer adventure plans.

grace, grateful, haPPY, healing

looking for Hope

The thing about finding out you are extremely ill is that “planning” takes on a whole new meaning.    Looking ahead is something you have to really work towards. Giving yourself the gift of actually picturing yourself doing something in the future.

I am not quite brave enough  to plan a big expensive cruise in two years, because “what if, we have to cancel & loose money”?  I don’t really plan next years’ Thanksgiving celebration or 3 years ahead to a special anniversary date….what if….. what if….

Heck, at first, I had a hard time planning for next week or next month.   I am learning.  It seems like baby steps, but each one builds on the next.  I am building up my hope.  I can feel it bit by little bit.

Mr. Right invited me on a date for this December.  I feel like a school girl.  I already have the dress.  Now, I need shoes and some sparkly jewelry.  Yes, a real date.  The tickets are bought.  It is going to happen.  He believes.  He hasn’t stopped believing.  No question about it, it is going to happen.    Husbands are like that.  Unconditional hope.

Looking forward…………

Healthy enough to look forward…………

Last year my brother and sister-in-law, planned to have us visit for a week in December.  I planned and worked towards that one perfect goal.   It was such a wonderful accomplishment.

We have a trip planned to meet a new Grand.  I work towards that one goal every single day.

We have another trip planned early next year to go hug our grandgirlies.  I think about it every single day.  I am going.  I will be strong and healthy.  Healthy enough to carry in lots of wrapped presents for pretty girls.  Healthy enough to read until my voice is raspy.  Healthy enough to go to the park and cheer them on.  Healthy enough to treat them to a frozen yogurt treat.  A ton of planning but oh so worth it.

To be honest, in the beginning and even now, friends stopped invited me to things.  Who knew if I would be able to attend or be well enough for a simple lunch date?  That’s okay.  I get it.  No one wants to cancel and rearrange plans.  The unknown is a bit scary to all of us.

Today, it happened.  Without any fanfare, without any warning.  Just a happy, causal phone call with a girlfriend.  No huge, earth shattering statement, just a casual comment.  “Okay, next year when we meet in the Poconos it will be so much fun.  So happy.  Okay, the leaves will be turning and we can enjoy the scenery.”

SKYTOP-LODGE_depth1The moment I hung up, it hit me.  She actually believes that I will be here next year.  She actually believes that I will be well and healthy and be able to travel across the country.  She actually believes that we will be sitting on the porch drinking cappuccino while the men folk go golfing.

No worry, no second guessing.  Just a fact.  In her mind, a totally done deal.

That’s what girlfriends do.  They give you unconditional HOPE.

Girlfriends do what no medical establishment or person can do.  They look forward and picture you together, sitting, laughing, giggling……….no doubt about it.  In their minds, it positively will happen.  No question about it.  done.  See you there.  I wonder what cute shoes I should wear?

Yeah, I wish every person reading this has the kind of girlfriend that offers hope.

The causal looking forward that only a girlfriend can give you.

See you in the Poconos.

I’ll be the one with cute shoes on.

Wouldn’t miss for the world.

imagesCAVRYUYL

 

gift giving, grace, seek, thankful

the weather is here, wish you were fine

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”   Terry Pratchett said that.

I adore and find a deep connection to how Terry explained travel.  The line, “so that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors” gives me the chills.   I also love what Anita Desai says, “Wherever you go becomes a part of you.”

When we travel, one of the first and foremost things I make sure and remember are postcard stamps.  On the back of the sheet of stamps, I write five or six addresses of folks I want to intentionally share my trip with.  I always slip the stamps into an outside pocket of my carry on or suitcase.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have been waiting for a rental car or a plane .  More than enough time to jot down a few lines to a loved one.  I don’t have to go digging through bags to find the addresses.  I can easily find them each and every time.

We have been fortunate enough to travel and send postcards from Paris and Poland, The Netherlands and Austria.  We have been lucky enough to visit Quebec and explore Washington D.C.   We have also visited the Sea Lion Caves in Oregon and Gator land in Florida. DSCN4074 As a family, we have dipped our toes into glacier feed streams in Alaska and eaten fresh roasted peanuts at a flee market in Texas.  We have climbed over 400+ steps at Mount St. Michelle in Northern France.  A pilgrimage for many, there was a line to buy postcards.  People were bathed in Grace by being there and were bound and determined to share that experience with their loved ones.

When our boys were little, we traveled extensively.  Every single gift shop we went in, they chose a postcard for their scrap books.

We live in the Pacific Northwest.  Yes, it is home, however, sometimes, while visiting a local museum, we send out postcard to family and friends far away.  Just to share, part of our weekend.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. “ Augustine of Hippo

Here is the BEAUTIFUL part of my story.  Because we send out postcards.  We receive them.

DSCN5013This past week alone, we received some great post card souvenirs.  I have never traveled to Lake George.  However, I now can see the river boat in which my brother and sister-in-law relaxed upon.  I have not been to the Museum of Art at the University of Florida.  However, because my friend Miss Florida shared her visit, I too, got to experience one of the displays this season.

This coming week, we are headed to Mt. St. Helen’s (yes, the volcano),  Mt. Rainier (actually another volcano which hasn’t danced yet), our state capital, Olympia and the new major exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s in downtown Seattle.

You can be assured that I will indeed be buying postcards and share my adventures with friends and family.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  J.R.R. Tolkien

The very next time you head out to explore, near your home or far away, I would LOVE a post card. Cross my heart, I promise to share one with you.  Do you send and share postcards?  Do you think it is old fashion?  Would you rather just post a quick picture on face book?

Just for a moment, close your eyes, and remember that little thrill you get, when you go to your mail box and there is a post card from Ireland, or Sri Lanka?  That small cardboard picture has come a very long way, just for you.

This past weekend we traveled 4 hours north of our home, to the Bellingham Ferry Terminal.  20140719_154508The view was stunning.  Through the glorious dome window and between raindrops and clouds, I could see majestic water and mountains  and Mr. Right standing right smack in the middle of all that goodness.  (Geesh, that man still gives me goosebumps.  Jeepers, I love that man with my whole spirit and soul.)

Yes, I purchased a post card in the gift shop.

Our aunt used to travel quite a bit.  She had a wicked sense of humor.  She always signed her cards, the weather is here, wish you were fine, Love Aunt Pat & Uncle Bob.

Please, please, please buy and send a postcard.  You will double the joy to get from visiting a new or old place.  Summer isn’t over yet, get out there and explore and don’t forget to send a postcard or two.  Happy Trails, friend, Happy Trails.