Tag Archives: travel

Bucket List Trip



As we await the outcome of my chalk paint project, thought I would catch you guys up on my summer.  I took a bucket list trip.  I had not intended on doing anything like that this year.  My friend and I were just going to take a short, non-extravagant trip to get away.  Well, a couple of bottles of wine later on a cold February evening, we ended up planning a trip to Greece. And not just any trip, we were going to board a tall sailing ship and sail around the Greek Islands.  And that’s just what we did.

A little history.  Several years ago, I began perusing the internet for group travel; specifically, travel designed for solo or single travelers.  Came across one that intrigued me but was more than I was willing to spend at the time.  Ever since, I’ve stalked this site.  Three or four glasses of wine into the conversation, I brought up this site and mentioned this little Greece trip they had listed and things went from there…

So, yes, we went with a group of 32 single travelers to Greece. Our trip began in Athens and we sailed to Rhodes, Bodrum-Turkey, Daylan River-Turkey, Santorini, and Hydra.  Check out some of my pictures under Adventure Pics on the top menu. It was exhilarating, exhausting, exciting and everything in between.  If you every have the opportunity to go on a trip with a group of strangers, Do It!  You meet some wonderfully interesting people.  For me, that’s half the fun.

A few interesting things from my trip (FB friends – old stuff for you!):

  1. Bright orange “singles” sign at the airport is a source of laughter for Greek teenagers.
  2. I got pooped on by a pigeon in Athens.
  3. Greek tour guides like to share copious amounts of details. Info overload ..
  4. The scale of some of these monuments i.e. Parthenon, Temple of Zeus, are unbelievable.
  5. I shed a few tears when the sails went up on our first night .. could have been the champagne…
  6. Of the 70ish crew members there were 10 nationalities represented. Of the 178 passengers, there were 10.
  7. You most definitely feel a tall sailing ship moving and rocking. If you get motion sickness – not for you.
  8. Amazing how you can misplace things in a tiny cabin…
  9. Amazing that it can be ridiculously hard to find your cabin on a small ship.. again, could have been the champagne… and ouzo.
  10. I heard more disco music in 10 days than I’ve heard in 10 years.
  11. “Entrees” on our menu were starters. “Les Plats” were the main course. Yep, a French themed menu on a Greek cruise…
  12. “Sea Episodes” on land are real.
  13. New York cabbies got nothin’ on Turkish cabbies 😳
  14. The Swedish family on board most definitely looked, well… Swedish.
  15. Our nurse on the ship was also a waiter … lots of multitasking.
  16. Apostle Paul visited Rhodes.
  17. Watch the swinging doors on a sailing ship… they can be deadly.
  18. Santorini was inhabited before 2000 BC.
  19. You most definitely do not want to get stuck in a dungeon in a castle.
  20. We had a waiter named Titot.
  21. I rode a camel in Turkey named Arab.
  22. Portholes in swimming pools can entertain adults for at least an hour.
  23. A sulfur warm water bath followed with mud does make your skin feel great, if not stinky.
  24. Grilled octopus is yummy.
  25. Group travel is truly amazing.


Creative Blah



My creative mojo has been lost, or at the very least, in hiding for over a year now.  No writing, as evident from my blog, no drawing, no DIY’ing.  The last is a bit mystifying considering I bought a townhouse a year in a half ago that does need some TLC and some DIY’ing.

When I purchased my first house way back in 1999, I could not wait to get a paint brush in one hand and a hammer in the other.  And it was a brand new house!  I spent hour’s faux painting an entire wall – with vaulted ceilings.  I painted every room in the house, even did some stencil work in the kitchen and put in a glass tile back splash.  I was nonstop.

This go round has been different.  I’ve done good getting the carpeting replaced with new flooring downstairs.  That was brought on by a peeing, not so happy cat.  And then there was the replacement of the HVAC system.  Not fun stuff, not cheap stuff and definitely not creative stuff.  I’m lucky to have a few pictures on the walls.  There have been no urges to do anything else.  It’s just been a place to be.  Such a creative blah rut.

I got a little kick in the pants Labor Day weekend.  I traveled south to a friend of a friend’s condo in Georgetown, SC.  When I walked into the condo, I immediately loved it.  It was not decorated in your typical beachy theme with muted, pastel tones and wicker furniture.  Instead, it was very eclectic with rich, warm colors and tons of art work and pictures hung about.  It felt inviting and reflected the personalities of the owners.  It felt like a home.  In fact, I felt more at home there than in my own little piece of real estate.

When I arrived back at my place of ownership, I sat on my couch and looked around.  Things felt a bit cold with not much on the walls, an old dining table and chest.  There was nothing reflecting my joys in life, like traveling, friends and family.  There are still unpacked boxes in the closet; in fact they have not been unpacked since I sold my house and moved to an apartment.  I sorted through them and found some of my treasures: tons of photographs and picture frames and artwork I had purchased on trips.  That was the beginning.

Now it’s time I truly settle in and make my townhouse my home and not just a place to rest my head. The gears in my head have finally loosened up and now I need to do something.  I’m starting with my dining room table.  I don’t like it anymore.  It’s dark and heavy and looks dated (sort of how I’ve been feeling lately).  It needs freshening up so I rekindled my relationship with Pinterest.  The past week in half, I’ve researched chalk paint, looked at color pallets and combinations and how-to’s. Of course as things go with Pinterest, other things caught my eye: painted dressers, dressers turned into entertainment centers, painted kitchen cabinets etc.  If I’m not careful and the cats sit too long, they may get painted too. It’s time for a face lift for my stuff and a mood lift for myself.

I’m off to the store to trap my mojo and bring it home along with lots of paint. It’s time to get busy!  I feel better just planning to do it. Updates to follow… hopefully it will be a Pinterest Success and not a Pinterest Failure.



holden beach 1

A warm, dense breeze caresses my face;
the taste of salt lingers in the air.

Light jumps and plays across the water;
waves rhythmically roll and crash on the shore.

My toes dig into soft, moist sand;
cool water laps at my feet.

Salty air fills my lungs;
bright, warm sun lulls my eyes closed.

My shoulders slide down from their hitched position;
the furrows in my brow relax.

My mind quiets.











My Chakras are Out-Of-Whack


So I’ve been on this pursuit of finding internal happiness. I’ve tried tackling this restless, unsettled moodiness in several different ways this year. First, I decided to put a halt on dating. My train of thought being if this online dating stuff was stressing me out so much, maybe if I remove the source of stress, I would feel better. That has worked to a point. It is nice not worrying about if you’re going to hear from someone, what their intentions are, do we want the same things, how many other people are they seeing etc. I no longer feel the need to constantly check my messages and the feeling of being disposable is gone. On the other hand, I do miss the companionship, because when you are with the right person, it warms you up inside. Humans are social creatures and we seek companionship. I have wonderful friends, but that’s clearly not the same kind of feeling. I miss the warmth and intimacy shared with a special person.

Another one of my tactics was to travel more. That’s always been my biggest dream – travel, travel, travel. And I did do that this year. In April, I took a wonderfully relaxing trip to the Dominican Republic with a college friend. We used to go places all the time, but lives change and we hadn’t been on a trip together in a very long time. It was fun to reconnect and experience a new place together. Croatia was next in August. Another friend and I had talked about taking a BIG trip since the beginning of the year. We finally settled on one and booked it in June. For the next 2 ½ months, that’s where my mind was. I was so excited. I guess you could say I was just living for the future. It was a fantastic trip. It has left me wanting more travel… So, since our return, I’ve struggled with holding on to that excited, happy feeling. I obviously can’t travel all of the time… unless someone wants to give me job doing so???? Anyone, anyone..Bueller???

Ah, so here I am. Seems I’ve come to a fork in the road. I am looking for more challenges at work, which I think would help me focus there. I do much better when I’m challenged. Too much free time leads to too much thinking and leads to very long days. Dating again?? Still debating on that one… it’s quite obvious I avoid dating to avoid dealing with rejection and hurt, but you can only avoid things for so long… or maybe I could just become the crazy cat lady with 15 cats. But I really don’t want that. But I have the distinct feeling I need something more.

I have now become that person who lurks in the self-help section of the bookstore and Googles articles on finding happiness… hence my last post on hygge. (My brother is now rolling his eyes…) After some reading, I started thinking maybe I’m looking for inner peace? Yoga crossed my mind. I came across a yoga website, which lead me to taking a Chakra Test  http://www.chakrahealing.com . I don’t even know what ”chakra” is, but apparently mine are not in a good state. They are all either closed or weak.


What the hell is chakra? Well, there are seven actually. I can’t interpret any better, so here’s the definition given on http://www.chopra.com:

The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.

Jeez..I need to learn an entire new language. Going on this theory, I feel so blah because my “energy does not flow.” According to the online test, five of my chakra’s are closed and the other two are weak. No wonder I’m a mess! What’s really enlightening are what the signs, or shall I say symptoms, are. Why? Because they so resonate with how I’ve been feeling.

A short summary from my test results on my closed chakra’s:

  •  If your Foot Chakra is CLOSED you feel ungrounded and confused about your life path and the direction you want to move forward on. You feel blocked and question your choices and lack confidence in your decisions.

Exactly… I feel so restless and ungrounded..ugh

  • If your Personal Power Chakra is CLOSED you tend to struggle with self-esteem issues, and feelings of unworthiness. You tend to question yourself when faced with important decisions like whether to move to another city, change your career, get married to your partner or to have children.

I never thought I had self-esteem issues, but maybe I do, especially when it comes to relationships.

  • If your Heart Chakra is CLOSED, you tend to sabotage your relationships with distrust, anger, and a sense that you’ll lose your independence if you rely too much on others. You may struggle with commitment, experience frequent fights or misunderstandings with your loved ones, and always keep yourself “on guard” in case you get hurt by someone.

OH BOY.. I’ve definitely done this is the past, which is the reason I avoid dating all together. And I do strongly relish my independence.

  • If your Intuitive Chakra is CLOSED, you have the tendency to feel helpless or lost when faced with decisions and judgment calls. You are indecisive, uncommitted and unconfident of the decisions you end up making, because you have a history of making the wrong ones.

Not in total agreement with this. Yes, I’ll admit I’ve made some bad choices in the past (haven’t we all?), but I don’t necessarily feel helpless. I like to think I’m proactive – which is the reason I’m reading all this stuff.

  • If your Crown Chakra CLOSED you tend to feel little or no connection to a higher power, and always feel alone. You feel unworthy of spiritual help, and perhaps even angry that your higher power has abandoned you. You often suffer from migraines and tension headaches.

And as I said, I do miss companionship so maybe I do feel somewhat alone. And yes, I have a headache right now.

How do I open my chakras? Well, for the rock-bottom price of $199 for the digital version and $249 for the physical version, I can learn how. LOL There’s always a price to pay. I’m sure this all has some true meaning and can help, but this is a lot to take in. Do I need to spend $200 to find balance? I think I may approach this in a more practical way. Maybe I will look for some yoga classes. I have taken some and I do feel better after them. I once went to a hot yoga candle light deep stretch. That was WONDERFUL. If I can relax, maybe my brain will settle down. If my brain settles down, then maybe I can start making some headway on where I want to be. If anyone has any thoughts on chakras or getting started in yoga and meditation, PLEASE let me know!

Namaste (not really sure what that means either.)

Lost Mojo.. please return


I’m tired…


dreaming of summer

Of blowing my nose, itchy, scratchy eyes, freezing in my office no matter what time of year, being cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon….. I’m just tired and unmotivated. Not sure if it’s the winter blues starting to set in or not. I know it’s not even winter yet, but I hate saying good-bye to summer. I am not a cold weather person at all. I don’t ski, snowboard or ice skate, in fact, I hate being cold and wet, period. Ok, one nice snow is pretty, but after a day or two of it, it’s just messy.

Not really a big holiday person either. Don’t roll your eyes all you holiday revelers out there. I can take Thanksgiving. I enjoy eating , cooking and seeing family. There’s really no pressure involved. But Christmas… the only part of Christmas I truly enjoy is candle light service at church on Christmas Eve. Mom and I are the only ones that attend now. I miss my dad terribly, especially presentover the holidays. I don’t like to shop, although I do enjoy wrapping presents. A glass of wine and a bunch of wrapping paper and ribbon and I’m set for the evening. Creative outlet? Maybe I could work a deal: wrap other peoples’ gifts as my gift to them? I used to enjoy decorating , but now that’s just more to do xmas treein an already busy time, especially when I’m the only one that will see it… and I’m the only one to put it all away when it’s all said and done. Yes, I will still put up a tree. I’m not that much of a Scrooge. The stress of holiday parties and having a date for said parties is tiring too. And New Year’s Eve…. With all the hype and pressure to have plans and a date, it’s so easy to get depressed and be let down. There is a reason the holiday season is one of the highest for suicide…


Halloween is more my speed. I’ve always loved Halloween. It’s challenging and exciting to come up with a creative costume. A few of my favorites below:


Can we say “old bride’s maid dress”…

wk halloween 2008 holloween  hillbilly rasta


4 weeks of work!





Once, I put about 4 weeks into designing a costume. I don’t buy ready-made. That’s no fun. Again, maybe it’s the creative outlet I  enjoy, and just being able to act a like kid. No real high expectations; it’s just about having fun. I’m one of the few at my office to dress up every year. The guys expect me to now. They come down the hall just to find me. This year though, I have no motivation to do it; no Halloween party to attend. I’m truly starting to think something is wrong with me. I just don’t get excited about things any more.

I need to find my mojo. It is definitely lost somewhere. Am I having mid-life crises? How do I get out of this funk? I thought maybe I should try dating again, but I just cringe when I open an online dating site. Just can’t do it yet.

I think I know what I need to do… plan another trip. Traveling seems to be the only thing that truly excites me these days. I need to get something on the calendar… or at the very least, start researching a place to go. Can’t do too much until after the first of the year, which means I have to get through the holidays…ugh.. Please everyone, bear with me these next few months.

Photos in Boxes



Does anyone else have a box like this? I have two. At one time, they were sort of organized, but after moving and being shuffled through numerous times, they are just a mix of my life from college through my early 30s – before everyone had a camera on their phone. I keep saying I need to go through them and throw some away. But that is so hard. I begin the sorting process then start reminiscing and laughing and sending them in text to people. I never get very far.

These days, with digital cameras and cameras on every phone, I rarely print pictures any more. It’s a shame really. When I was growing up, I remember sitting for hours going through old photo albums asking mom about this and that. I’m the youngest with an older sister and brother. I refer to myself as a “gift”, they refer to me as a “mistake”.  If nothing else, I was definitely a surprise to my parents. By the time I came along, they were busy with other things, and didn’t seem to take a lot of pictures. The photo albums where a way for me to connect with the past I didn’t share with them.

I did start printing pictures of my big vacation trips and putting them in photo albums. Now, when I start feeling down or thinking to myself, “I don’t go anywhere”, I pull them out and start flipping through them; reconnecting with the past and thinking, yes, I’ve done a lot of things. I may just now have ventured to Europe, but oh the adventures my friends and I have had, and still have, are priceless. I’ve done most of my traveling with the same group of friends from college. The stories we have are funny and bind us together.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

We hit Vegas for a week (which is too long to be in Vegas I think) and took in the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. When one decided to move to Phoenix for a few years, well, that was just another excuse for a trip. We made our visit into a vacation, driving up to the Grand Canyon, staying in Sedona on the way back. It was beautiful. We hiked, laughed and explored a new place together.   There have been numerous beach trips, road trips to Charleston and even longer road trips to Florida, including Key West, and a most memorable excursion to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I’ve taken a cruise to Hawaii

Dallas TX

Dallas TX



and the Bahamas, trekked up to New York City in a van, sat on a long horn in Texas, ventured across the border into Mexico several times, watched the start of the Iditarod in Alaska, sat and had dinner at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and sipped fruity drinks on a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic.

Mostly though, the pictures jumbled in my boxes are snapshots of brief moments: quick trips, parties, evenings in, birthdays, holidays, nephews etc. Maybe they don’t seem as special as big planned vacations, but they evoke memories just the same. Life happens in between the big trips too; college, first true love (and broken hearts), nephews growing up, first houses, and of course memories of dad.

  college   me brian adam

dad and michael  fishing with dad  dad making gravy

jamie and santaSome photos just make me smile, reminding me of times we laughed so hard, we had tears in our eyes. There were the annual Memorial Day weekend beach trips, with margaritas to be consumed and mischief in the air.  Yes, I remember the firemen from Rockaway Beach, NJ.  Good Times…

jamie going away 2rjamie going away  doris wedding   beach 1  image   halloween

me and chris So many years and so many memories in these two boxes.   It is so hard to decide which ones are disposable. If I throw one away, will the memory be gone forever?  Regardless, they deserve a better home than a box. I suppose I will invest in several photo albums, and on a cold, yucky February weekend, I will begin the tedious process of culling through my past.  We’ve had a good time ladies!  Maybe I haven’t been everywhere I want to go, yet…. but I’ve certainly lived my life.  There’s little I would change… well, I maybe could have done without the short marriage stint, but even then, there were a few good times.  I think my photos are some of my most treasured items.

Roof Over My Head or Travel?


There are only two things I’ve been able to think about since I’ve been back: where can I go next year and how can I buy a home next year AND still take a trip?

I just signed a year lease on my apartment, which I love. Really enjoy the area. I can walk to shops and restaurants however, traffic is getting worse every year and rent is just getting ridiculous. I read an article several weeks ago regarding apartment rent in Charlotte. It stated that Charlotte renters pay nearly 27% or more of their monthly income on housing. That’s hard to sustain, especially with the potential of it going up every lease renewal. And another article said Charlotte rent prices are among the fastest growing in the US. Yeah for me. And let me tell you, they are building apartment complexes left and right around here.

When I sold my house three years ago, I broke even – after 15 years of ownership – and that was doing well after the previous years. I was unhappy where I was and just decided to bite the bullet. My original intent was to buy a condo or townhouse. But, after several deals on my house went south, and ones I liked not appraising, I decided to just rent for a while. I soon discovered though, I would be paying almost twice as much in rent a month as I was paying in mortgage, especially if I stayed right in Charlotte. Reluctantly, once my house sold, I moved up the road about 15 miles to Huntersville . Rent is cheaper (not by much…) and as I said, love the area…… but I HATE the traffic. With no traffic, it would take me about 20 minutes Traffic-jamto get to work, with traffic, 40 minutes and that’s if there are no accidents HAHAHA…. I realize compared to some places this might not be much. The problem is traffic is multiplying quickly and our roads can’t handle it. I read in the Charlotte Business Journal that data suggests Charlotte’s 2010 population of nearly 1.87 million will grow to 2.74 million by 2030. And they think a toll road is the answer…. But that’s a subject for an entirely different post…..

So, if I want to continue traveling, something has to give. Luckily, my car is paid for but it’s a vicious cycle of paying rent while trying to save up for a 20% down payment on a home. Not easy. I jokingly asked my mom if I could move in with her. She looked at me like I had ten heads and said NO! That really wouldn’t work anyway. Love my mother dearly, but we would drive each other crazy. You know what they say about older people having no filter when they talk? Well, that holds true for her… Again… a subject for an entirely different post…

I have until after the first of the year to figure this out… Crazy apartment complex requires a 60 day notice… or was it 90.. Anyway, it’s plenty of time for deals to fall through! Then there’s the “where do I want to move” question? Do I want a townhouse or a one-level? Would I be ok with downsizing again? (I went from a 3 bedroom, 2 baths with garage house to a 2 bedroom, 2 baths apartment – no garage). Would the money saved be worth it or would I go nutz with two cats in a smaller place? Will I be able to do another Europe trip if I buy or will I have to scale it down…maybe a cruise? They’re pretty affordable…or nothing at all – that would be a real bummer. I’ve been poking around on realtor.com. Of course one I love is up for sale…but can’t do anything about it now… Just have to hope there’s something I love when the time comes and that interest rates are still low. Too bad I can’t lock in now. HA

Was it a Dream?


Jet lag is a bummer. I’ve not been able to put two sentences together the past two days. I’m finally feeling like myself again.

I slept for 11 hours Sunday night. When I woke up Monday morning (thank goodness I had taken the day off), I felt like I was waking up from a dream. Had I really been in Croatia? Was my much-anticipated trip already over? Unfortunately, yes.

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes… so our last day in Dubrovnik, we caught a ferry out to Lopud Island, where we were promised some beach time. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes and we came into a quaint little port with shops. There was a beach there, but evidently there was a better beach on the other side… so just a short hike!

We made it. This beach on Lopud is special because it is a sandy beach. Most beaches in Croatia are pebbles and rocks in small coves. They don’t have the huge expanse of sand beaches like we do. It was a relaxing site with boats mooring in the cove; umbrellas and lounge chairs waiting for us. There was a café and bar on the beach too. That was very nice! It felt so good to just relax in the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea. We even got some napping in on the beach. Much needed after nonstop activity through the week. More importantly, I got to rest and soak my feet. When it was time to leave, some of us rebelled and caught one of the trams back to the port. Who wants to mess up a relaxing afternoon with another hike? We had time for gelato!

image image image image image

During our last group dinner, there was a frenzy of Facebook and email exchanges. It was a terrific group to be with in Croatia. Many have done extensive traveling. Several of our traveling companions were teachers and took anywhere from 2-6 weeks at a time to travel!  Obviously they aren’t from the U.S., especially North Carolina. They’d never be able to afford to do that!  They have greatly inspired me to stop talking and start doing. It is true that people are what make a place special. I look forward to seeing pictures from their future travels.  Zivjeli to you all!

image image image

To top of our trip, Linda and I had a night layover in Munich.  Trying to make sure we had the right train, Linda asked a man at the platform.  He spoke little English, asked if we spoke German or French…. Nope.  (It seems everyone in Europe speaks at least two languages, which is awesome.)  Come to find out, he was actually from Morocco. Once on the train, we met a father and son traveling from Texas. The dad was ex military and had been stationed in Germany at one time. Amazing the things you find out if you take time to talk to each other.

We made it to Marienplatz, a central square in the city center which is home to the Neus Rathaus (New City Hall). The atmosphere was so different from Croatia. We exited the train to boisterous crowds in the square. We had just missed the Glockenspiel show (located in the tower of the New City Hall, it chimes at 12:00 and 5:00 when life-size figures re-enact two stores from the 16th century), but still seeing the magnificent architecture in the area was wonderful.

image image image image

It was a must to have a beer at the famous Hofbrauhaus, which was founded in 1589. It is one of Munich’s oldest beer halls. It’s huge! And we only made it to the first floor where the Oompah Band was playing. It was just one big festive atmosphere. There was a constant stream of people in and out. We met a German couple whom we had our first beer with and proceeded to meet more people as the night went on. Our Texas friends from the train wandered in and we all shared some beers as we watched waiters carry 15 HUGE mugs of beer at a time, a table full of young guys swing them down and some German men in traditional attire singing and enjoying. Yes, had to have a picture with them. We just stayed. It was a blast and a perfect ending to our adventuresome vacation!

image image image image image image image

The last picture definitely sums up our night in Munich.  Prost!

I know there is so much I’ve left out. Several people have asked me what my favorite thing was on the trip. I can’t name just one. It was all wonderful. Would I take another “active” itinerary trip again?? Not sure. My hiking shoes would definitely come along!  I enjoyed the biking and kayaking and we would not have seen some of the magnificent scenery had we not done some hiking however, it would be nice to slow down and explore the city a little more and take in the scenery instead of it zipping by or having my eyes focused on my feet so I wouldn’t fall while hiking. The scenery was beautiful. There were olive trees, pomegranate trees, fig trees and of course, grapes every where.  The food was fresh and full of flavor. It is a place steeped in history and beauty.  I would definitely go back to Croatia.imageI will post more pictures in the gallery, but truly, pictures do not do justice to Dubrovnik or Munich for that matter.

So now I need something else to countdown too …

9 Days…Croatia


9 Days…



In 9 days I will be in Croatia. Still can’t quite believe it. The mind is starting to race now and I can’t stop Googling things about Dubrovnik. Needless to say, not getting much else done.

Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. This whole money exchange deal… and how much should we take? And no, Croatia is not on the euro; they are on the Kuna. We’ve had some people tell us to take euros. But then I read we should take the local currency as many mom and pop places and the market, taxis etc. may not take euros or a credit card. Some have said we should exchange before we leave; but I’ve read lots of people just get money at ATM’s when they arrive and that the exchange rate it pretty good…although, we should check with our banks to check on fees… Ok… so we should take dollars and exchange for Kuna when we get there?… but what about when we’re in Munich? Ugh… obviously I’ve never traveled overseas. Everywhere I’ve traveled, they’ve been more than happy to take the dollar. I suppose it’s part of the adventure.

Then there’s packing. I’ve started gathering things together.  I’ve read dozens of articles about packing for a week in a carry-on or a backpack. I don’t see that happening. I don’t really see myself rinsing underwear in the bathroom sink so I can save space… and I don’t think Linda would appreciate that either. So, I went out and bought a new rolling duffel, because, of course, I read somewhere that was a good choice. I need to stop reading travel posts.

What to pack? How many bathing suits should I take? Beach towel? Those take up a lot of room. Power adaptor; must make sure I can charge the Iphone. But the huge question, what shoes?? I don’t want to look like the typical American running around in sneakers, but we’ll be doing some active things so I need to be prepared. I have some cute sandals, but I really like my wedges. Hmmm.. Do they dress up a lot there? I’ve heard in places like Italy everyone always looks great. (Mediterranean women are beautiful anyway). I have to admit, we’ve gotten very lazy in appearance in the US. When did it become acceptable to wear jeans, flip-flops and a tank to a fine dining restaurant or to the theater?

Do men have these issues?

One tip I did read that made huge sense – if you haven’t worn it in 4 months, don’t put it in your bag!

Checklist for duffel:
Power adaptor
Shorts… dresses…. Tops…. Capris… Jacket???
Sandals – tan, grey; wedges… sneakers?
Bathing suit(s)
Yoga mat towel.. instead of beach towel. Not bulky, dries fast. Pat on back for that one…
Dry pouch for Iphone – supposed to be waterproof up to 30 meters… not that I will test it

List still in progress…

How many times will I pack something and take it out, then put it back in?  Who knows.  I found in the past I don’t wear half of what I take.  I need to remember that.

So, if any world travelers have any tips for a wannabe world traveler, please leave a comment!

Tonight, I will pack for a quick jaunt to Charleston tomorrow.  Not much thought process there….sandals, bathing suit, shorts and sunscreen.

You’re Going Where??


That’s a question I’ve heard  a great deal lately…

Yes – My friend Linda and I are going to Croatia…SOON!  Dubrovnik to be precise. For all of you “Game of Thrones” fans, Dubrovnik is the setting for Kings Landing.   It is one of the most intact walled medieval cities in Europe…. yes.. Europe..  This time last year, I never would have guessed I’d be going there.

Yes – It is safe.. we are not going to the Middle East, which is what I had to explain to my mother and some others. (Mom looked for it on some ancient atlas she had… not there.  It used to be a part of Yugoslavia and gained independence in 1991).  It is predominantly a Christian country.  A little geography lesson.  Croatia is across the Adriatic Sea from Italy.  In fact, it kills me knowing how close I’m going to be to Italy and not actually go.

Why Croatia?  Long story short.. Linda has already been to Italy;  I watch the Travel Channel .. a lot…. and I saw a show on Croatia.  It’s absolutely stunning.  I mentioned it to her… of course her reply was “Where?”   I sent pictures and she was in.  Dubrovnik is on the coast with beautiful clear-as-glass water.  They say the seafood is spectacular.  Some travel to see things; I travel to see and EAT!  I think you can learn so much about a place through their local foods.  And I must add, Croatian wine is supposedly very good.  Olive oil is another star of the region.  You can go a head and assume I’ll be shipping both back home.

I won’t post pictures I’ve found now.. I’m going to wait to post my very own.  But here’s a sweet link….  http://www.lonelyplanet.com/croatia/Dubrovnik

If you’ve been and have tips, let me know!

I’m so excited I can’t stand it!  17 Days….