Wanderlust Wednesday & Friends.

Beach + Mojito + Friends = Perfection!

I’d love a day at the beach with my besties. You know who you are!

But, wait I forgot one thing… 
NO cell phones allowed. 

So, yes that means that I can’t have my Droid with me…YIKES!

And no Facebook. 

I’m not sure I could handle it.  I’m sure I could.

Could you?

This post is a special shout out to my besties, the special few.

Stay exactly as “you” are. 

Thank you for all of your love and support.

You rock!

Travel Tip Tuesday {of sorts}.

 Have you ever wished you could just drop everything, pick-up and go?  Seriously, just go.  Seriously.  And hmmm, maybe, travel around the world…well, maybe that’s a little extreme but, I’d definitely like to be able to pick up and go.  Let’s just say that I’d love to be able to both!  However, that’s not ideal at this point in time in my life and definitely doesn’t fit into the budget.

But, let me tell you that I would be in heaven if it did…yes, I really, really would.  Alright, let’s just say that the sky was the limit where’o where would I start…  Hmmm…  I’d have to say snow.  I’d head to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City to pick-up a few friends of course and probably not in that order.  I might be convinced to head the beach first too.  And let’s be honest all my friends would probably pick the beach as the first stop to.  Anyhow, even dreaming for now.  But, wouldn’t this “ability” be positively, absolutely, wonderful?!  My mind is screaming Y-E-S!

Anyhow, today’s tidbits…

In 2012, I officially, have earned 3-weeks of paid vacation and I’m uber excited!  I’ve been brainstorming the last 2-months where my travels will take me next year…  And let’s just say the possibilities are absolutely endless.  Also, I’ve already arranged a few travel companions.  I have a few tentative trips planned however, they are contingent upon budget and availability.  Yes, I’m sure you’d love to know what’s on the agenda, right?  I thought so…

January:  This is a “MAYBE”…a trip to London with Brenna.  A quick 2-days in London.  1 day to fly there, 2 days for sightseeing, and 1 day to fly back.  It’s a very quick trip but, if the airfare is right and the apartment rental (roomorama) is there…BOOK IT!!! 

March:  Maui, Hawaii with 2 girlfriends, Kori and Staci.  And for those of you that follow my blog “yes” it’s Kori from Blonde Episodes.  This “here” blogging world is pretty cool because you make virtual friends and then sometimes you meet them in real life and become good friends.  Pretty exciting, right?  Right.  We want to hit the beach, drink frosty beverages, and have girlie conversations.  Oh, and I can’t forget climb a waterfall…or fly over it in a helicopter.  Very cool, don’t you think.  This trip will be a quick 5-days at the beach.  And most likely a hotel on the beach.

June/July:  Rome, Italy with my sister to celebrate her big 3-0!!!  However, this trip has a bit of a “clincher”.  A very tight “budget”.  The trip budget is $1,500 per person.  Yes, that includes airfare, apartment rental (roomorama), food/drinks, and museum tickets.   This budget does NOT include any “shopping” money and will not.  I told my sister that was “separate”. 

Fall/Winter:  Paris.  Not sure who will be going with me but, I’ve had 2 girlfriends “show” some interest.  So, we will see when it get’s closer.

Fall/Winter:  Europe.  My girlfriend, Marian, would love to head to Europe with me and open to anywhere…so, I might do the cruise I did last year again.  I would have done that again this year but, “single occupancy” was a problem.  Sorry, a little side note there.

And I’m sure your noticing a pattern of sorts here, there’s no guy included in my travel plans (at this point).  I’ll officially admit it:  I’m single again.  After 6-1/2 years of being in a committed relationship I am single.  Whew!  I’m glad I finally got it out there – on the blog.  A change like this kind of “shakes” things up a bit.  Actually, a lot.  So, as a result I’m looking forward to a new and exciting year and I’m hoping travel is a big huge part of it!  So, yay to 2012!  I’ve already had a few months to adjust and I think I’m doing pretty good.

Anyhow, I am looking forward to 2012 and my exciting travel plans.

So, my tip {of sorts} for today…  Plan ahead.  Yes, plan ahead.  Talk about it.  Put a budget together.  Write it down and put in paper.  Request the time off from your boss.  You can always “cancel” the vacation if the plans don’t come together or don’t “fit” into the budget.  That’s what I do and it will all come together.  For example…my “potential” January trip to London.  Oh, and I can’t forget about pre-planning flights.  If you have a “plan” of future trips periodically check for flight deals and book the airline tickets when you find a killer deal.  More on this next week’s post.  My frequent trips to Chicago…plan ahead…there will be deals!  And there are.  Hence, my trip back for New Year’s weekend.  I’m hoping Chicago is a winter wonderland for me!  Yes, I really am.  I am looking forward to building a snowman with Lily, snowball fights, snow angels, and ice skating.  And good times with friends.

Have a wonderful Tuesday and don’t forget to plan ahead, budget, and request the time off.

Travel Tip Tuesday {of sorts}.

I thought we’d escape today.  Are you in?  I thought so.  Here goes…

Last week I did my “weekly” search of various places I’d like to go and Europe was on the list.  Well, Europe and Hawaii.  You see I have two upcoming tentative trips planned.  Tentative, you wonder?  The airlines have decided to raise ticket prices to ridiculous prices. 

I know, I know, you want the details, don’t you?  I thought you did.  The trips are Maui in March and Rome in June/July.  Maui with two girlfriends, Staci and Kori.  And that would be theeee Kori from Blonde Episodes.  If you haven’t checked out her blog you need to.  The other trip is to Rome with my sister, Mel, to celebrate her 30th birthday!  Can you say YES…I can!  Mel thought it would be fun for a girl’s “sister” trip and she picked Rome.  So very awesome.

Let’s put Maui aside for now…  Currently, the tickets to Rome are absolutely ridiculously priced.  Seriously, they really are ridiculous.  Very, very, very ridiculously expensive.  I’m sure you are wondering the price, correct?  The price is $1,983.00 round trip and coach.  I did find tickets slightly less than that at various times however, we’d have to go Phoenix to Canada to Rome.  I was hoping to find tickets around $800 or less.  Yes, I really was.  I’ve seen them before but, obviously that’s not the case right now.

You see the price for the trip per person is $1,500.  And this trip would be a budget trip.  Yes, it would be with Mel.  Her shopping budget (if she chooses to) is NOT included in the trip budget.  We are going to stay at bed and breakfast I stayed at before or an apartment rental at roomorama.com.  Do you remember when I headed to the UK for Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding?  Well, I “stayed” at an apartment rental from roomorama then too.  You can view that post here and here.  I am determined to celebrate in style and in Rome for Mel’s 30th…  *fingers crossed*  So, the plan is this:  to “save” roughly $800 in my savings for any given time to purchase the ticket if the price is right.  Mel and I discussed this “plan” over the weekend and we are in agreement.  Also, if we can get the trip price to $1,000 my bro-in-law might come with us too!  So, we will see.

Anyhow, this long story/update brings me to today…where are we escaping too?  Well, my search last week led me to check several other cities as well at various dates to see “what” was the deal with the pricing…  So, I checked Rome, Paris, London.  And let me tell you I was shocked with my results.  First, let me point out that I didn’t realize that I didn’t change the dates to next June.  And by the way, I was thinking maybe the airline tickets were high to Europe because of the Olympics in London.  So, yes, I was checking this out.  Well, let’s just say that I would be heading to London soon in my wallet allowed.  Yes,  know…you want details…

Drum roll, please.  I was absolutely shocked to see a round trip to ticket to London for $638 round trip with taxes included to London.  I literally was like “wow” out loud.  I re-checked all the information to make sure I “typed” in the information correctly and realized that the dates were wrong and not for not June.  I did them for next weekend well, this weekend.  This was about 2 weeks ago.  So, let’s just say I could have flown to London this weekend leaving Phoenix on Friday afternoon at 1pm and heading back on Monday evening.  A short and sweet trip yes but, it would have been so much fun!  And what a deal price wise.  Right?  Right.  The fun part is that I have a fellow classmate from ASU studying at Hult and she would have loved to get together and it would have been a blast as well.  Oh, and I have another classmate their right now as well from high school.  So, it would  have made for a fun, fun weekend with old friends!  The best kind.  Anyhow, I’m sad to say that no I didn’t buy the ticket but, I did consider it.  Let’s just say that if I would have had an extra $1,500 lying around I would have been going on a little holiday abroad.

I was pretty stoked to see this deal and it gave me hope for future fun trips and lower airfare for Mel’s birthday trip.  And let me just say that my girlfriend, Brenna, is down for a fun girl’s weekend trip in January to London if the price is right and we will stay at an apartment rental at roomorama as well.  Yes, I know London in January is going to be a tad bit cold but, so is Chicago sooo it really doesn’t matter know does it?  It’s all about girlfriends and having fun on a budget! 

So, there it is my trip updates.  I have big, BIG plans for 2012.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Weekend Recap for 11/9-11/13, Part 3 {Chicago}

What I did in the ‘burbs…

Ms. Lily’s smiley face french fries.

I woke early Saturday morning to Ms. Lily getting ready for her day and playing.  We all ate breakfast together while watching cartoons and playing with Playdoh.  I think the adults were a “tad” bit more interested in the Playdoh than Lily however, she did like telling each of us what she wanted us to make for her.  It was a lot of fun as usual!  We decided to head to historic Long Grove for some shopping and of course go to the Apple Haus…pumpkin and apple donuts, apple cider for Bill.  The pumpkin donuts were delicious and I would know because I ate 2!  Yes, I really did.  We stopped for  lunch for Brenna, Bill and Lily however I just had a snack because I was meeting yet another friend.  And let’s just say that kids get to eat the cutest foot.  I left Long Grove to meet another high school pal and very good friend, Dana for lunch.  I can’t forget to share with you the funny book that I found about texting acronyms.  No, I didn’t buy it but I did page through it.  Sometimes we all just need to pick up the phone and dial rather than texting away.  Yes, we really do.  At times I feel like texting takes longer than the actual phone call itself.  Hmmm…  I’m right you know. 

We met at one my favorite places….Portillo’s.  Who doesn’t go to there favorite eatery when they come home for a visit?  We all do it.  I had a fun visit with Dana and got caught up.  However, I do see what’s going on in her life on Facebook and have the occasional “chit-chat” via the internet.  But, there is nothing like the up close and personal girlfriend chat’s that you can have in-person, right?  Right.  Anyhow, I gave her the skinny on what’s new and exciting in my life and gave her all of the details.  It’s too bad Dana and Brenna (friend who I am staying with) live so far away! 
After lunch I headed to Starbucks for a treat for Brenna and I.  This was Round #2 of Starbucks for the day – her hubby and my good friend, Bill, brought us Starbucks in the morning.  We hung out and visited until it was time to eat dinner and get ready for the concert.  We were heading to Vyper Alley in Lincolnshire to see Rusted Root.  It was a first time for me…to the venue and to hear the band.  It was a great evening!  My lasagna from Vince’s tasted absolutely fabulous however, it aggervated the stomach problem from Friday (slightly) and I should have known better with the acidity in the sauce.  Oh well, you live and learn.  The concert of course started late but it a lot of fun!
There were so many people on the floor in front of the stage that it was actually bowing from the bouncing/dancing of all the people.  This was not a place where I was standing however, I noticed at the end of the night for the last song — there most popular from the Ice Age cartoon/movie.  In my opinion Rusted Root has an edgy vibe with a lot of rythum and I loved it.  Thanks to Brenna and Bill for introducing me to more music!  Oh, and I musn’t forget the Brenna spilled a full glass of red wine on my brown leather boot…no biggie because it blended in quite nicely with the boot…I was a tad bit tempted to allow her to do the other one as well.  We had a bit of humor in our evening as well.  And you can actually bowl at Vyper Alley – pretty cool, huh?  Normally you just can’t randomly go bowling at a bar.  But, here you can.  This give us an idea for tomorrow morning…

We obviously stayed out late for that and slept in “slightly” the next morning.  When there is a 2-year old in the house you need to up and ready when they are ready.  And of course Ms. Lily is all smiles and giggles and that makes it fun!  It really seriously does.  Oh, and let’s not forget more Playdoh!  Breakfast and Playdoh play time is absolutely perfect.  The adults had a discussion about a Playdoh play center for Christmas…hmmm, for us or Lily?  Too funny,  right?  For Lily of course but, we would have to show her “how” to use it, right…?!  Exactly.  It’s a “win-win” for all parties involved!  Yay!  I’ll be looking forward to my next trip “after” Christmas.  I bet your laughing right now reading this…as adults we all need to have a bit of fun too!  Since we were up early everyone got up and got ready and we went bowling!  This was Lily’s very first experience bowling.  And it was quite fun for all of us.  And guess who won?  Yep, Ms. Lily.  She kicked of all our butts.  Well, I actually would have won if Lily wouldn’t have stepped on the foul line when she was helping me during my turn…yes, I was quite bummed!  But, it’s all in good fun and she didn’t really know.  But the adults and the child had fun!  Oh, and they had super cute little shoes just for Lily too.  I couldn’t resist the picture of all of our feet in bowling shoes!  A fun experience as always.  There is nothing like seeing life through the eyes of a 2 year old.

After bowling Brenna and I spent a few hours of girlie time before she took me to the airport.  W ran a few errands.  We went to an uber fabulous yarn store.  I was in heaven!  Bought two beautiful types of yarn…and I need to knit my two items and then go buy more on my next return to the Windy City (do you notice a trend here…?)  I do.  Coming back home is sooo much fun!  Anyhow, we made a stop at Joanne’s for mustard colored yarn and a big huge basket…no luck on either.  For whatever reason the mustard yarn is really hard to come by…well, I am looking for a specific shade and thickness/texture.  I’ll find it one day.  I hope.
My time in the Windy City was sadly coming to an end and Brenna drove me to the airport.  I always have so much fun with my friends and the family that I see.  But, it’s a real treat coming back and spending time with all the wonderful people that are in my life.  All of you are wonderful and truly amazing people!  And of course I’ll be back soon…  I waited in a huge security line at the airport…45 minutes to be exact, thank goodness I was in the Preferred line!  Fun times at ORD.  See you soon Chicago!  Oh, and I did manage to see the last few remaining color changes…so beautiful!  Soon all the leaves will be dead and on the ground – and you know what’s coming next…SNOW!!!!  Oh yes!  So much fun!  Snow angels.  Snowmen.  Sledding.  Snow ball fights.  Fort building.  Can you tell I miss the snow?  Oh boy, I seriously do.

If you need to catch up click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2

Weekend Recap for 11/9-11/13, Part 2 {Chicago}

After a fun-filled early morning in Michigan I boarded my flight to Chicago Midway Airport.  Needless to say after all the activity I had this morning I still managed to shower, dress, and look presentable for a 10:50 a.m. flight!  Yes, I did.  My makeup was done in the car during the 1-hour drive to the airport and I looked and felt half-way decent.  I was a bit concerned about stomach but, all was well.  You can catch-up and read Part 1 here first.  Oh, and I tried to forget about how tired I was.

Alright, so I headed to Chicago with virtually no sleep from the upset stomach the night before and slept dozed the entire 45 minute flight to Chicago.  I flew into Midway Airport on Southwest Airlines.  Yes, I deviated from my usual US Airways path due to price – you can’t bit a one-way ticket of $60.  I landed and figured out how to catch the train into the city.  And let’s just say you can’t beat that price of $2.25 either.  So, I’m definitely finding out how to “get-around” on a budget.  I headed to downtown Chicago for my fun-filled afternoon and early evening.  And “yes” with absolutely no sleep – my little catnap on the flight doesn’t count.  And I was thinking about food…I was getting hungary. 

I arrived in the city and got off the closest stop to Water Tower Place as directed by my Gail, my step-mom for lunch date and I decided to “hop” in a cab for the remainder of my ride to my location.  I met up with Brad a former highschool classmate that lives and works in the downtown.  We had lunch on the 6th floor of the Bloomingdale’s building at a nice restaurant with a gret view.  It was fun to catch-up with Brad and find out what fun things are going on in his life.  And he is newly engaged and planning his wedding so that was really fun to hear all about.  Plus, I am super excited for him and Amy.  I wish great things for those two.  Plus, hearing about a friend’s excitement and the love in his life is very cool too!  After my long lunch with Brad I headed to my next stop.  And I forgot to mention that Brad insisted I have soup after my fun experience early this morning.  So we both had soup and split a sandwich.  It was really great to see him and catchup.

My next stop with the Art Institute of Chicago.  I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and had (to my knowledge) never been to the Art Institute so, that’s where I decided to go.  Oh, and on the recommendation of my sister.  I had a few hours to kill and I decided that was the best bet.  I do not remember ever visiting their before but, I’m sure I probably did at least once.  Anyhow, it was pretty impressive.  Oh,and I checked my coat and 2 pieces of luggage for $2.00, pretty impressive right?  I thought so.  However, my admission price was $18 but, that’s ok.  There were a few rooms that didn’t interest me that I didn’t go in but, overall it was pretty impressive.  I’m obsessed with  Camille Pissarro’s works.  I am not quite sure what exactly I love about his paintings but, I do feel as if I am “inside” of them when I look at them.  They are so detailed and the brush strokes…I love looking at them.  I had a pretty good look at them last year (just about this time) while in Rome at a few museums and let’s just say I fell in love. 

Just about the time I was done at the Art Institute my other friend, Eric (another former highschool classmate) sent me a text that he was home from work.  So, I got back in the coat check line and waited for my coat and luggage.  Needless to say that the line was not a 30 minute wait like it was earlier in the day and thank goodness for that.  The museum was sooo crowded – probably because it was Veteran’s Day and everyone had the day off (and the same idea as me).  Anyhow, grabbed my stuff and headed outside and hailed a cab and headed to Eric’s place.  So, I got to Eric’s dropped off my bags and we headed to a close local bar that was absolutely packed!  The Blackhawks game was due to start shortly and everyone was ready.  After Eric heard about my morning he insisted I have some soup again as Brad did.  Kind of funny and ironic don’t you think?  I chuckled and obliged and head the soup.  Plus, to be frank I was a bit nervous about eating any seafood or anything spicy at all.  I really didn’t know (and still don’t) whether it’s an ulcer and acid reflux (which it probably is) or just a plain ordinary upset stomach.  However, that didn’t stop me from having a glass of wine…and no problems from that.  Oh, and I did have a potato skin as well.  So, yes, I decided to push the envelope with my stomach and test the waters…and I survived and did ok.  Anyhow, Eric and I got caught up.  It’s a bit different when you see ocassional status updates on Facebook and see people in-person.  So, Eric had a lot to fill me in on and I listened and interjected (with my two-sense of course).  And I filled him in on my life too.  It’s definitely fun to see people that you go waaaay back with and see how we’ve all “evolved”.  We are the same people as we were then we just are all grown up now.  And it’s funny too because Brad and Eric were friends way back to!  Next time I’m in town we are all going to meet up — a reunion happy hour of sorts in the city…sounds like fun, right?  I have such great ideas!  Yay me! 

Anyhow, I learned a valuable lesson on traveling in the city you need to know how to read the train schedule and pay attention to the time.  Yep, you seriously do.  Let’s just say I’m a newbie in training when it comes to this.  There was absolutely no way I was going to miss the “initial” train I planned to take so, I took the next one and it actually gave me a bit of time to catch the train.  I basically ran to the train station and hopped on the train!  I had a bit more time than that but, it seemed like we ran and let’s just say it was convenient that Eric lives right by the train station.  So, it was all good and I made the train and had a fun-filled day and evening in the city and friends too!  And I headed to my next destination…

I headed to the ‘burbs…to see this wonderful little girl, Ms. Lily and her parents.  You see Lily’s parents are two very dear old (not literally) friends of mine that I have known for what seems like forever.  And we’ve had many trials and tribulations and it’s fabulous to know you have some wonderful people in your corner cheering for you and that are their for “extra” love and support that you may need at any given time.  And I even receive all of this over the miles.  I love you both very much and am thankful for your friendship (well, “familyship”)!  I consider these and their beautiful daughter family!  And I am Aunite Heather Feather.  Yep, this trip Lily decided it was funnier to call me that.  Too funny and cute, right?  Right.

Alright, check back later this evening for Part 3 of my trip for the wrap-up of the weekend.

Have a wonderful day! 

PS – the reason for lack up posts and the monster-huge delay is due to the internet outage at home.  My internet/cable line will be replaced when I return (you see I headed back to Chicago again a week later for Thanksgiving – check back soon for more posts and details).

Weekend Recap for 11/9-11/13, Part 1 {Michigan}

I had a fabulous time last week on vacation. It was great to getaway and have some fun. My trip was in two parts: Michigan and Illinois. To be more specific I spent a couple days with my Dad in Brighton (and a few hours with my Step-mom – she returned from a business trip the night before I left) and Chicago and suburbs with friends. Mind you I have a good number of family in Chicagoland and I went in “stealth”. Well, not really but, I didn’t see any family. Plus, I couldn’t fit everyone in.

First, let me just say that I haven’t seen my Dad in awhile (couple of years) and it was great to see him and spend some quality time with him. Thanks Dad for a fun visit! I arrived Wednesday evening (last week) and we headed to a great Italian restaurant for dinner and some vino. We talked and got caught up. And of course the talk continued when got home. The house is on top of a big hill and most notable was the red front door! Obviously, you can tell that it was my first visit to his new house in Michigan. Dad and I had fun catching up and talking about everything and anything.

Oh, I can’t forget that I was upgraded to First Class! Can I get a “woo-hoo”! It made for a great flight. Great! There was no Internet service and that meant no writing and no blogging. However, I watched The Expendables (yes, again) and read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and let me just say this is a fabulous book! It’s a definite must read and it is a bit intense. Loved it.

On Thursday Dad and I headed to the Walter P. Chrysler Museum. I did a lot of pictures, check out the highlights here.  Then we headed back to the airport to pick-up Gail, my step-mom, from her very long business trip.  We had a great (or at least I thought) dinner at a fun restaurant they frequent when she returns from a trip.  It was really neat to see my Dad and Gail interact and go through their routine.  It’s not every day that I get to see both of them in their “element” if you will.  You see I live in Phoenix and they live in Michigan.  So, it’s pretty cool.  Anyhow, I stayed up way to late.  Selected my clothes for Friday travel to Chicago and my fun day downtown.  However, my 1 a.m. bedtime was never came.  You see someone (me) got a terrible upset stomach and I didn’t sleep.  Needless to say I never got to sleep and I had to wake my Dad up for him to take me to the hospital.  Not fun at all.  NO it really wasn’t.  It’s not real fun to have to wake up your Dad at 6 a.m. to tell him that he needs to take you to the hospital.  Well, we were within 10 minutes, Gail too.  And wouldn’t you know on the way to the hospital my pain started to subside…how embarrassing.  We still went and I got all checked out and I was good to go about an hour later.  I was a bit de-hydrated and I got some wonderful anti-nausea medicine and a discussion with the doctor about going to a G.I. specialist when I go home.  Hmmm…  And to think I still made my flight in time for Chicago. 

First, let me say that I’ve been being with some stress and that with the combination of “possible” bad sea scallops might have been the problem.  You see I knew there was a problem when my symptoms were very similar to those that experienced many years ago when I had a case of food poisoning.  Let’s just say I had to give my Dad and Step-Mom an event-filled few days so that my “visit” was quite memorable!  I’m trying to be a funny, just a bit.  I am still so embarrassed that I had to wake my Dad up at 6 a.m. for this but, oh well, I did!  Moving on.  Overall, it was a fun visit with my Dad minus the hospital visit of course.

Check back for Part 2.

It’s snowing!

It’s been a long, long time since I have had the pleasure of experiencing/seeing snow.  And guess what?  It snowed today.  I’m visiting my Dad in Michigan and we were leaving McDonald’s and all of a sudden it began to snow.  We were literally walking to the car and big, huge flakes began to fall.  Oh was so excited!  It’s a bit nippy here, looked like snow, and smelled like snow.  The snow was “wet” and didn’t stick but, I got to see and feel it.  There wasn’t enough to try and catch snowflakes in my mouth…maybe I’ll get to do that with Ms. Lily over the weekend.  I know I’m being silly but, it’s really a lot of fun!  If you live in the snow and used to make snow forts, snowmen, and snow angels, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  I tried to memorialize the snow in pictures but, it didn’t work to well however, if you look close you might be able to see snow.  It seriously made my day to see the snow.

Dad posed so I could “capture” the snow behind him…can you see it?

A trip to the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.

Dad and headed to Auburn Hills, Michigan this morning.  The destination was the Walter P. Chrysler Museum.  Along the 50 mile drive we stopped at Biggby Coffee Shop for refreshments…of course a cup of joe for Dad and I had a non-fat hazelnut latte and warm cinnamon scone.  Can you some YUM?  It was.  Anyhow, we had a fun time learning about Chrysler, past and present.  And for any car enthusiasts ready, I apologize in advance, I’m not “listing” all the information/details on each car.  A few highlights from our day… 

Can you believe those prices?!  I wanted to get a close-up of the prices in 1948…

This car is gorgeous!

This car, the New Yorker, caught my attention because of the plaid interior…pretty nice, huh?  However, Dad and I aren’t real sold on the exterior color though, what about you?

The first Chrysler:  1902 Rambler Runabout.  This is the only car in the museum that does not still run.  All of the other cars are regularly started, driven, and maintained.  Also, a very cool tidbit is the cars are rotated so, you’ll probably see different cars each and every time you go to the museum.  Pretty cool, huh?  Dad and I thought so.


Dad was nice enough to model for me, he-he!  He was pretty excited to see this car because my Grandpa used to have one (his Dad).  The is a Plymouth Fury and he grew up in this car.  Dad thought it was great because it was like a convertible while sitting in the back seat because of the wide open windows.  Also, something unique about this car is push button start on the dashboard (see pictures below).  Oh, and the “wings” were a big hit!

Dad had a Hornet too!  I like the color, the chrome, and the curves.  Cars “today” don’t quite have the curves they used too…  I’d love to have a car with curves!  It’s a funny statement but, some of these cars are fabulous looking.  And “where” have all the cool colors gone?  And the chrome?  Really, let’s bring it back…

I’ll take one of these please, thank you very much. 
It’s a “Chrysler Special”. 

This is a Jeep “concept car” and a pretty neat one at that.  Yes, I’d drive it.  It’s a three person ride and a comfortable one at that.  This is battery operated car.  I’ll be honest all of the concept cars were pretty cool looking.

I couldn’t resist photographing this one.  It’s a cute compact little number and no I don’t remember the name. 

Yes, please!  Dad wants one and I’ll take one.  It just screams “bad-ass” and speed racer!  Oh, and I learned what “Mopar” means today…more power.  I will be honest and admit I never, ever knew what that meant.  You learn something new every day.  Thanks Dad for explaining it to me.

The only car we were “allowed” to touch.  But, you will notice Dad touched a few other cars while posing for photos.  Actually, the Prowler (this car) we could of sat in but, we opted not too.

It was pretty fun to see the history behind Chrysler and how Walter P. get started in the auto industry.  And let me say that there are some pretty fabulous vehicles there.  And a few that Dad and I weren’t real keen on…the visual “look” just didn’t appeal to us.  But, that is why we get to “choose” what car we drive.  If you are ever in Auburn Hills, Michigan and have a couple hours to spend you need to check out the Walter P. Chrylser Museum.

And a special shout out to my Dad for a fun trip to the museum.

{FWTT} Flirting with Temptation Thursday.

Brrr…it’s cold out there.  Well, the mornings are a bit “nippy” in Arizona.  Today I’m in Brighton, Michigan hanging with my Dad.  I came prepared with three of my fabulous scarves to wear.  All week long I’ve been thinking about having a very yummy Gingerbread Latte…from Starbucks of course and a cinnamon scone.  Arizona doesn’t believe in cinnamon scones and “if” they do I haven’t found any yet…  So, you know what I’m tempted with today…yep, you guessed it…a Gingerbread Latte.  Today, as we headed to the Chrysler Museum we didn’t make it to Starbucks but, Brenna and I will head there sometime this weekend with Lily in tow.  However, I will say we did stop at a Biggby Coffee Shop and I had a Hazelnut Latte and a yummy cinnamon scone.   

So, what’s better than a chilly day with a snow-filled sky and a few snowflakes here an there…a quick stop at Starbucks for your holiday drink of choice.  Mine of course a Gingerbread Latte, what’s yours?  And don’t forget your dessert of choice too…hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Have a fabulous Thursday and I’ll see you tomorrow for Fashion Friday and Friday’s Fancies.  Did I mention that it snowed today to?  Sweaters, scarves, snow…a perfect tri-fecta!  Oh, and don’t forget today’s a linky party with the fabulous Kori from Blonde Episodes.  So, head over, link-up and see what everyone else has been tempted with this week…

Travel in…

…style and comfort.  When I travel it’s crucial that I’m comfortable and warm.  I tend to get cold on airplanes.  Plus, it’s easier to layer up and remove a layer or two if I get warm but, it’s worse to be cold…right?  Right.  Warmth is better.  Layers are the most important thing.  I’m traveling to Michigan today so, I thought it only right to post a travel outfit of sorts…this may not be exactly what I’m wearing but, it’s close.  I’m actually torn between flats and my Uggs.  I’m thinking warmth!  I’ll be posting about what I packed sometime this week so, you’ll find out it if I bring the Uggs, boots (flat), and/or flats.  And I’ll be wearing one of my scarfs…and so should you.

Have a great day!  And remember travel in…

morning errands

Travel Tip Tuesday {of sorts}.

I found this sign on pinterest.  It’s divine don’t you think?  It was very “fitting” the other day when I found it.  It “fit” my mood. 

Alright, I’m going to be candid.  What’s a girl do when she has unused vacation time?  And quite a bit I must add.  Oh, and she’s on a “tight” budget.  Yep, that’s me.  Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and you have to deviate or I like to think take the “alternate” route.  Unfortunately, I won’t be going to Europe this year, but it will happen next year, period.

I’m taking some vacation time and going to visit family and friends.  I used a combination of miles (US Airways) and a cheap one-way ticket on Southwest.  A pretty ingenious way to do it if you ask me.

In a few weeks I’m heading to Detroit to see my Dad and Step-Mom, and Chicago to see fabulous friends and family (yes, more family).  I’m a tad bit bummed that my step-sisters, Georgia and Katherine won’t be there, but that’s even better because I can have 2 more weekend adventures to visit them.  They both read my blog too so, they’ll like that.  At least I hope they will!  I’m excited to see Brenna, Bill and Lily too.  I’m going to plan on seeing my cousin’s new baby and all of my aunts and uncles.  I’ll be a busy little bee, but it will be a ton of fun! 

So, the airline ticket(s) were under $100.  I’ll be staying with family and friends, for free.  While with my Dad I won’t need a car.  And while visiting Chicago I’ll have a car to use if needed, but I most likely won’t need it.  The free car use in Chicago is super great and not something I was expecting, but a super cool bonus!  This trip I hope to spend part of Friday downtown.  I’m going to try my best to hit at least one museum and walk along the lake front, Buckingham Fountain, see the skyline, etc.  Typically touristy things.  I definitely miss back home.  Yep, I’m originally from Chicago.  But, I’m not ready to give up life here in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, Arizona).  Nope.  Not ready.

A few travel tips for today:

  • Check the weather for my upcoming trip for packing purposes; utilize one bag and only 2 pairs of shoes.  Boots, a must.  And a sassy pair of flats.  Clothing…another blog post will cover this.
  • Check to see what transportation is available from Midway Airport downtown.  Let me clarify:  find the cheapest.
  • Check the museums for coat checks to see if I can “check” my suitcase.  I seriously don’t want to “pull” it through the entire museum – unless, of course, I have to.
  • Check train schedule from Downtown to my final destination.
  • Almost forgot, this is V.I.P.!  Announce on FB pinterest.comof my upcoming trip to see who I can meet up with while downtown and in the burbs.  Drinks with friends in the city is always good and since I won’t be driving (train) a nice glass of vino will be fabulous! 

These are my “quick” tips for today.  And ones that come to mind because of the trip I just booked last Friday evening.  More details to come.  Check back soon.  Have a wonderful Tuesday.

PS – This was suppose to post at 12:01 a.m. but Blogger decided otherwise and so, I am posting it now.  Enjoy!

{FWTT} Flirting with Temptation Thursday.

I’d love, love, love to go on vacation right now.  I’m very tempted to drop everything and head to the Caribbean.  If there was any way possible I could financially swing it right now I’d be gone.  GONE!  I’d hop on a jet plane and be on my way.  I’m in need of a little R-n-R…what about you?  Yep, I thought you might be.  All you need is a small bag, a tote, and the essentials…  I’d like to hit the beach.  Snag a book or two and relax.  Oh, and we can’t forget the frosty beverages…a mojito or a pina colada.  A few magazines at the airport as I head out of town.  I’ll bring my suit, cover up, and a few fun, light, airy outfits for dinner.  Sunscreen and chapstick.  I’m set.  All set.  Anyhow, I hope you like my temptation right now…

{all images via pinterest}

Wanderlust Wednesday.

Hello.  Hello.  Hello.  Yes, I know it’s been a while…  I’ve, ummm, been a tad bit busy.  Life has been getting in the way of my blogging.  Seriously, it’s the truth and yes, its funny I know but, it’s the truth.  I purposely intended for you to chuckle.  Anyhow, life has been busy.  And let’s just leave it at that.   

I’d absolutely love to be getting on a jet plane and flying off to some far and exotic place.  Ahhh, yes…the traveler in me is so very much wanting to do this!  My inner voice is saying “yes, pick me, yes I am here, pick me, I can be ready in 20 minutes, passport too”…  But, you see I’m not going anywhere.  Candidly, it’s just not in the cards.  I wish things were different and they will be.  But, for now I’m going to switch things up!

Every Wednesday, starting next week, I’m going to write about a place and make it an escape.  An escape that each and every one of us can enjoy and of course some Wednesday’s might be better than others (destination dependent). 

The whole premise behind this series was to create a magically escape in your day and make you go “wow…I want to be there” or “I remember that…”, I’m sure you get my point.  I want to spark recognition of a place, a destination, a moment.  Something special for the day – to take you back a moment in time.  Here’s the first one…

I chose this picture because it definitely takes me back.  I remember the crisp air.  The excitement of being in a new city.  A foreign country.  And in Italy no less.  Rome.  It was a fabulous 5-days.  And the cobblestones take me back.  If I remember correctly I paused outside of the Colosseum to remember were we walked.  We were mesmerized.  Almost a year later, I still am.

The cobblestones.  Oh Rome, how I miss thee…

Bern and I “inside” the Colosseum.  It was a very cool experience and a bit nippy (do you notice the scarves?).

I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of “me” (I’m in the center there with the brown hat)
tossing my coin in the Trevi Fountain…it’s for luck that I’ll be coming to Rome one day.  And I will be!

Do you have a picture that “takes you back”?  Do share.  Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you soon.

Do you

The beach…

…is calling my name.  I’d love, love, love, to be there right now.  The sand.  The surf.  The smell.  It would definitely beat the 112 degrees we had today.  The temp went down to 110 degrees as I drove home.  But, anyone whose been to the beach knows exactly what I’m talking about.  The tranquility.  The relaxation.  The ambiance.  The experience.  And add a few frosty beverages and you are good to go!

I was surfing around pinterest this evening and found some delightful beach photos that I would love to be in!  Let me know which one you’d like to be in.  Plus, I’m including pictures of my own for must-haves for my beach vacation.  Alright, follow along…

I’ll need one of my monogrammed bags…

My tote for the plane.

And every beach getaway needs a beach tent!
Oh, beach how I miss you.  I’ll see you one day soon.

…this & that… {Wednesday}

Ahhh, yes…a new series!  I’ll use this post mid-week periodically “when” I have more to say.  Let’s just say that I have more to say…today…

Bern and I have still not figured out “where” we are going on vacation in November.  We are on a mission to find a deal and keep our vacay on a strict “budget” and utilize the kickin’ deals that are out there right now, and let me tell you that there are a bunch of deals out there right now. 

About a month and a half ago we hit a snafu: US Airways does not fly into Italy, November through January.  So, that means we can’t use miles to fly into Venice (Italy) and hop on the Eastern Mediterranean cruise we were going to go on.  A little disappointing considering we were really looking forward to Venice, Greece, and Croatia.  I’m still bummed and so is Bern.  After we found this out we switched gears a bit, well, Bern really did.  And I must say he had a pretty good idea.  We thought about heading to London and Scotland.  Bern wants to visit the World War II Memorial in London and find his Uncle’s name (and his namesake) on the memorial wall.  And checking out the rest of the “tourist” sites wouldn’t be bad either and maybe sleep in a castle in Scotland.  Sounds good to me, don’t you think? 

Let me point out as well that the cruise much cheaper than the trip to London by almost half.  Let me just spell it out for you:  the cruise is $350-$479 per person for 7-days, dependent on the departure date.  This includes all of our food, soda, water, coffee.  Obviously alcohol and cappuccino’s are extra, and must-haves for Bern and I.  Our last cruise Bern got on the cappuccino “band-wagon” and it was awesome to share that with me – one of my favorite things.  And throughout Europe no less, it’s simply awesome and then some.  Oh yes, it really was!  And will be again.  The trip to London will be roughly $1,000 due to the Euro and not having food all-inclusive with our hotel stays.  However, if we go to the UK we will be staying in apartments rather than hotels, Roomorama.

Just had a rather lengthily pause in my writing, Bern called.  And we were having a vacation planning conference call.  We do this a lot when planning trips.  Anyhow, a little update…  So, it appears as though we might to Cancun for Labor Day weekend.  Yes, that’s in about 1-1/2 weeks.  We both love the beach and are calculated the pricing to be almost equivalent to what our road trip to Laguna, California is and that’s staying at La Quinta Hotel away from the beach and driving there every morning.  And packing a cooler with food and drinks.  I must add that I do pack some pretty spectacular snacks:  almonds, dried cranberries, varying flavors of Greek yogurt, cheese sticks (string cheese and monterrey jack), and Famous Amos snack size chocolate chip cookies.

We all discussed our November trip…  I think we are still going to go on cruise but, we will be going in October to utilize “free” miles and fly our airline, US Airways.  Pricing still remains around $450-$479 for 7-days, includes all food and non-alcoholic beverages.  In my opinion, it’s a no brainer.  We’d both really love to go to the UK however, financially the cruise is more economical and simple stated it’s a much better deal.  We can always go next year sometime after the Olympics.  However, that does kind of screw up my plan to see George Michael in concert while there…this is a secret Bern didn’t know about this as of yet…but, I guess he will now.

So, no decisions have been made yet.  Bern needs to call US Airways and work out some of the specifics to see if it’s a go for launch.  Too funny, I know.  And I must say I’m a bit bummed about not getting to utilize the Thanksgiving holiday for my vacation but, that’s ok.  If I don’t use my vacation time I lose it.  Oh, and I also sprung on Bernie that I think we should head to the beach for New Year’s too.  There are some pretty fantastic deals for New Year’s right now too!  So, if your thinking of heading out of town, do some research.  There are fabulous deals.

Oh, I wanted to share what new books I’m reading.  Yes, I know I need to update what I’m reading on the blog side bar…will do after I “post” this post.  I’m reading the second book, Brava, Valentine, in the Very Valentine series by Adriana Trigiani.  Love it!  And I guess Very Valentine was made into a Lifetime movie as well, haven’t seen it yet.  I’ve put the Four Blondes by Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City) book to the side but, not done with it yet.  And for our beach trip 2 weeks ago I bought the new James Patterson paperback while standing in line at the checkout, Private.  Yes, I really did buy a book while standing in the checkout line, it actually looked really good.  It’s actually a quick and fun read.  You see James has the chapters set up short and sweet, about 2-5 pages each.  Love it!  I need a little suspense in my life.  Sometimes a girl just has to switch it up a bit…I guess I need a little break from all of my romance/suspense novel combos.  However, I am looking forward to anything new from Nora Roberts.

Has anyone else seen that “SJP”, Sarah Jessica Parker, has hinted about a Sex and the City 3 and/or the show coming back to tv?  I’d love to know if anyone else has read or heard about this.  But, I’m excited either way.  A movie or a show, right?  I can’t wait to see if its true…?  Apparently, Darren Star needs to be on board or the show to come back on television.  Well, come on Darren…Sex and the City is calling your name.  And so am I.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.  Ok, cross your fingers now and hold as long as possible.  Thanks.

What does everyone think about the new SJP movie coming out?  And for the life of me I can’t remember the name nor did I read the book but, it looks super funny!  And every time I google SJP movie – Sex and the City comes up.  Anyway…

Have a fabulous rest of the evening and I’ll catch you tomorrow.

Wanderlust Wednesday – A little something beachy…

I’m absolutely, positively jonesing to go back to Europe right now.  However…  Yes, however I’m dying for a week of sun, sand, cocktails, and bikini’s.  Yes, I seriously am.  I’d like to get out of the heat.  Today the Valley of the Sun was a whopping 108 degrees.  I’m thinking the 7-mile beach in Jamaica would hit the spot, don’t you?  Do I have any takers?  Hmmm, I think a few of you are nodding and shaking your head’s, correct?  I know I’m right.  Don’t forget to post a comment and let me know your right there with me. 

Alright, I’m ready for a week of bliss on the beach.  If someone told me I could get on a plane today I’d agree to bring no electronics.  Seriously, I would.  No Blackberry and no computer.  Ahhh, I can feel the sand now squishing between my toes.  And the thought of having a frosty beverage served to me beach side is like absolute heaven!  Ahhh…

It’s time to escape.  Let’s back our teeny, tiny bag and head to the airport.  Don’t forget your sunscreen.  I’m ready.  Ready?  Let’s go.  And let’s escape.

Enjoy!  This escape is definitely what the doctor ordered.  Have a wonderful day.
{all images via pinterest}

Wanderlust Wednesday.

I’ve been a little busy lately and neglecting today’s post however, today I think we need an escape.  A very nice escape, don’t you agree?  Alright, let’s go…
Let’s walk off this boardwalk.  Step into the sand…  And ahhh!  I can feel the relaxation setting in.  Literally, I step into the sand I can feel all my stress just drip away. 
Oh, and let’s not forget the frosty beverages.  Alright let’s enjoy the escape…

{via pinterest}
This looks absolutely, positively, divine!

{via pinterest}

{my personal photo}
I’m headed here Friday after work…
 Enjoy!  Have an absolutely fabulous day!  See you next time.

Tuesday Tidbits.

I’ll admit it:  I’ve been a tad bit absent from my blog.  I’ve been traveling.  I’ve been busy at work.  And I’ve had a bit of writer’s block.  There I said it and I admit it.  What a relief!  Now, we can move on with a little Tuesday Tidbits.

Candidly, it’s not that I don’t have anything to write about – it’s that I have too much to write it.  I just need to be “better” organized with my writing and go back to using my journal.  In all honesty, I’d really like to be 2 to 3 weeks ahead in my posts.  Yes, I really said this.  I have a lot of content to share on my blog and seriously have enough to do this however, I need to find the time.  And when I find the time I need to outline my posts.  Ahhh, what an invention…using an outline!  Really, I can’t believe I just thought of that.  Anyhow, I need to get better organized.  Seriously, I do.  Do you have any suggestions to share?  If you do, I’d love to hear them.

Anyhow, my last 3 trips have been so much fun.  Fourth of July weekend was Chicago and I stayed with 2 friends that I go way back with and their 21-month old daughter, Lily.  Two weekends ago I went to Melbourne, Florida to visit my childhood friend, Jason, his wife, Brenda, and adorable 5-month old daughter, Elizabeth.  And this past weekend Bern and I headed to the beach in Laguna, California.  My first two trips were solo, without Bern, so he decided we needed a fun beach weekend together.  However, Bern was a bit under the weather but, he made the best of it.  And we plan on going back in September and October.  On a side note, we’d both love to have beachfront property but, then again, wouldn’t we all…?!  One day, it’s on my definite must-have list.  {the posts with pictures are in the works}.

I have a very exciting announcement to make on the blog this week regarding travel!  Bern and I decided on the destination for our “annual” November trip.  Most of you who follow my blog are probably thinking “it’s Venice”…however, we decided to change things up a bit.  And I’ll explain all of it in several future blog posts…  See, look at all of this fun reading you will have!

I have been extremely determined lately to “streamline” what I bring with my on vacation and/or weekend getaways.  Sometimes it is quite challenging due to the different climates I go to…and with that said I am still bringing an extra outfit at least with me…  Kind of a bummer right!  I want to bring exactly what I need and nothing more, nothing less.  It’s nice to carry-on everything and not have to check your bag.  And that’s the plan for the November trip as well.  Unfortunately, it won’t be for 12-days like last year.  But, there is a reason for that…we might do 2-trips in lieu of one due to how much vacation time and personal time I have available.  I know your dying to know where we are going but, you’ll have to wait.  I’ll tell you soon enough.

If you can limit what you bring it makes traveling more frequently a whole lot easier.  I seriously  mean this.  If you can bring exactly what you need, layer, and re-use items your good to go.  Trust me, less is more!  I know from personal experience that 62 pounds for one bag is way to much regardless if it is a 12-day vacation that includes different climates and formal nights.  It is doable with way less.  So, over the next few months I am going to share with all of you how to do it.  Oh, yes I am!  I am determined to be a master packer and I will share the ease of doing this with all of you.  As a matter-of-fact this weekend I am going to do a “practice run-through” of sorts for our upcoming November trip just to prove a point to Bernie.  He says I can’t do it with one carry-on bag and 1 personal bag — he says I’ll believe when I see it.  And trust ME he will!  I want to do this so that he can see it and see the ease of us traveling light together as a couple.  I think it’s going to be very hard for him…size 14 shoes.  But, I’ll help him too.

Oh, and before I forget, I celebrate a milestone of sorts this weekend…?  It’s my birthday.  I plan on spending the actual day at a movie theatre marathon of sorts.  Dont’ worry I’ll give you the low-down on Saturday of my itinerary.  It will be a blast.  A spa day doesn’t quite fit in the budget so the next best thing…a movie marathon!  Oh yeah!

I hope each of you have an absolutely fabulous day!

Wanderlust Wednesday – Venice?

I’m seriously feeling Venice.  Really, I am.  I thought I’d share a few picks that I found on pinterest.com (by the way I love this site).  Take a look at a few of these picks and tell me if your interested in going to?  I haven’t been but, I’m dying to go especially, since The Tourist is currently one of my favorite movies.

Rome was such a magical place for us last November…  I’m hoping Venice will be this November.  Enjoy Venice!  By the way, keep checking back for more posts on Venice.

My gondola awaits…
I’m lusting after Venice…  

Wanderlust Wednesday.

This Friday after work I’ll be hitting the road.  Bern and I will be that is.  We are headed to SoCal for a little fun in the sun.  We’ll be staying in Laguna steps away from the beach.  I’m so looking forward to it.  I hope the water is as warm as it was in Florida *fingers crossed*.
Road trips for me are fun.  How about you?  My longest road trip was to/from Buffalo Grove, Illinois to North Pole, Alaska and vice versa.  And I must say it was an absolute blast, for different reasons.  My road trip from Lake Zurich, Illinois to Mesa, Arizona with my little sis was fun but, we had our moments.  I think I need to do a blog post or two about my road trips.  Chicago, Illinois to New Orleans, Louisiana — rocked!  Let me just say it was day-drinking at its absolute best.  My last road trip with Bern, from Phoenix, Arizona to San Diego, California.  It was so much fun!  And let me tell you being the designated road trip DJ was my job and we had rockin’ tunes.  Seriously, we did!  Air guitar and all!  Funny, I know.  It was a fabulous trip and I’m very much looking forward to Friday.
Anyhow, I’d love to know about your favorite road trip or what your ideal road trip would be?
Have a wonderful day!  See you soon.
{image here}