Tag Archives: travel

The People in Your Neighborhood

We’ve been driving around Belize City and David has been having trouble with the one way streets. To be fair, some of the markings aren’t so good. As he was getting ready to turn into another wrong way, a man stopped us and motioned that it was the wrong way.

He motioned for us to roll our window down, which I did. He started to tell me who he was. “I’m Prince Charles Perez. Google me!”

When we got back to the wifi, I did and lo and behold, there he was! 
 

He’s an amateur historian and it appears that a lot of people run into him and he will share his knowledge about Belize. I asked a local friend about him and he said, “oh yes, one of the smartest guys out there”. 

Such a colorful, friendly guy. I’m glad we ran into him. 🙂

Social Media in the Real World

urbangrind

I’ve written before about my reason for being on social media. It’s to be able to have coffee with a friend anywhere in the world. I’ve had coffee with one of my snapchat friends, nessamakes, who happens to live just a mile away from me. But we were heading to Jacksonville, FL for the Mrs.International Pageant and I was excited to see that one of my other snap friends, Dapromoqueen, lives there. I made arrangements to get together with her.

dapromoqueen

We met at a cute coffee shop called Urban Grind Coffee Shop. It was an easy walk from the Omni Hotel where we were staying and was on Laura Street. Now, I don’t like when someone calls me Laura (even though it’s my given name) but I had to have a photo with the cool Laura Street sign.

Laura Street

When Dapromoqueen aka Tory, arrived, we had to snap about our meeting, of course. We had a fun time visting. She’s so nice and genuine and I love that we felt like friends right away.

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When we got ready to head back to the hotel we took a photo together. I’m really tall AND I had tall wedge shoes on. Tory was prepared for work and had flats on so I was WAY taller than she was. It was pretty funny!

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THIS, my friends, is what social media is about in the real world. At least for me. I know I have a friend to share coffee with anywhere I go. I’m so glad I got to meet Tory. I hope I’ll get to meet you when I am in your town!

Trip Through the Southwest

David and I drove home to Tulsa from San Jose for Christmas. After I spent two weeks in Las Vegas helping my sponsor, Story Clothing Co., David picked me up and we traveled historic Route 66 to get back to Tulsa. 

We accidentally stumbled upon Winslow, AZ. It was really early in the morning and I was ready for breakfast. I told David to pull off at Winslow which was 8 miles away according to the road sign. It was early, I’d had no coffee and the realization came to me piece by piece. Winslow, Arizona. That’s in a song. Which one? I finally pinpointed Take It Easy by the Eagles and I told David that when we got there, I was going to stand on a random street corner and sing the lyrics to the song. 

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We were looking for a diner and ended up on downtown Winslow. The diner was closed but there we found the Standin’ on the Corner Park. How cool! 

Of course I had to sing and then we ate breakfast. 

Next up was New Mexico. I absolutely love New Mexico. It’s so pretty there. Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular. 

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We stopped at the Route 66 Memorial in Tucumcari. There was snow there!

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Then it was on to Texas where we  stopped at my favorite, The Cadillac Ranch. A couple of years ago we lived in an RV for several months a little bit to the west of the Ranch. I saw it all the time and fell in love with it. 

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It’s always so fun to see what people paint on the cars and I swear, the next time I go there I will NOT forget my spray paint! I’m pretty sure one of those cars needs to sport a pink crown. 😀

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We had lunch at the Big Texan Steak Ranch and I was able to have my photo taken with Big Rex.

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We all know everything is bigger in Texas and when I saw this ginormous rocking chair, I had to sit in it. 

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We had a great time driving through the southwest. The southwestern part of the United States is gorgeous in a whole different way than other parts of the country. Since we first visited New Mexico early in our marriage, I’ve always wanted to live there. I think I could get used to seeing this every day.

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Guest Blogger at Oklahoma Women Bloggers

Oklahoma Women Bloggers

So, I was thrilled to be a guest blogger at Oklahoma Women Bloggers and I’ve been waiting to hear when my post, Bag Lady, would be up. It was six days ago! Yikes!

Anyway, give it a look. I enjoyed writing it and hope you’ll get a laugh out of it. 🙂

 

Review: Loveless Cafe’

Back last summer, David brought me some moonshine from Arkansas. It came out of an actual still and not the shelf at the liquor store. He brought me some corn and some rice moonshine. I have no idea which is which but they do smell different.

They scare me.

So I started an internet search to see what I could do with moonshine. I was clearly not going to drink it in its native state. This is when I stumbled upon the Loveless Cafe’s website. And began my obsession to go there and eat.

Loveless Cafe

We drove down to Florida last Friday. The most direct path to get there is through Birmingham, AL. But…if we took a slightly longer way, via Nashville, we could put the Loveless Cafe’ in our plans and that’s what we did.

Yesterday, we got up early enough to get there when the Cafe’ opened at 7 a.m. I had read reports of having to wait three hours for a table and I knew that David wouldn’t be okay with that. Plus, we are early risers so 7:00 is a little late for us to eat breakfast anyway.

coffee at Loveless

We were the first people there. No waiting! 🙂

We knew we were going to have biscuits because that’s what they are known for. But everything else involved heavy deliberation. After looking forward to this meal for so long, I didn’t want to make a mistake.

We placed our orders and the server brought us biscuits and jam. I ate my first biscuit with the strawberry jam which was amazing. And I ate my second biscuit with the peach. I was so afraid it would be orange even though we were so near peach country but it was yummy peach.

biscuits

Then our food arrived. I had decided on a BBQ Pulled Pork Omelet. This was the BIGGEST omelet I have ever been served and it was delicious! It had SO much meat in it and it was so good. I ate every last bite of it because I could.

bbq pulled pork omelet

Along with my omelet, I had two more biscuits. I put the rest of the peach jam on one half and then took the third jam and put it on the other half. I wasn’t quite sure what kind it was. When I tasted it, I could not believe it but it was the very best of the three! The server told me it was blackberry jam. Let me tell you, if I had eaten that one first? I would have changed my order, ordered the 12 biscuits from the ala carte menu and that alone would have been my breakfast. And I would have eaten all of them with that out-of-this-world blackberry jam. Yum!

I took a photo of David’s breakfast because it was really more photogenic than mine. He got the Southern Sampler Breakfast. It was supposed to come with Redeye gravy but they didn’t have any ready so he got standard gravy for his biscuits which he was quite happy with.

southern sampler

I’m so glad we made the detour to eat breakfast at the Loveless Cafe’. I can’t wait to go back for cocktails! 🙂

My crazy mixed up day

Yesterday morning, when I woke up in Oklahoma it was cold, but a sunny pretty day. I was excited because I was headed to CoffeeCON 2013!

I left the house at 7 a.m. It’s super dark to get from our house to the turnpike so I wanted to avoid that if I could be still get to Chicago in time to have dinner with one of my favorite friends I’ve never met, Ruthann Weisner.

By the time I got to Vinita, the day had turned cloudy and overcast. I wasn’t too unhappy with that since it’s pretty hard to drive East in to the rising sun. When I was almost to Joplin, I started seeing patches of snow on the sides of the road and roofs. Oh, isn’t that cute! It really did snow on May 3rd.

By the time I got to Springfield, it was full on snowing including snow plows, cars in the ditches, a flipped over semi truck and an accident on the other side of the road that had traffic backed up for miles.

 

I was happy not to be on that side of the road and I drove carefully (there are idiots out there!) for a little over four hours until I got to Rolla, MO where I usually fill up the first time when I drive to Chicago.

And this happened:

 

Please tell me, how on earth I managed to have clothes for six days and four seasons, twelve pairs of shoes, my computer, two coats (winter, spring), my coffee bag, and a pillow but NO PURSE!

LOL! I’ve never done that before. I called David, a.k.a. my hero, and told him of my plight. He got my purse and another pair of shoes (because you just can’t have too many shoes) and headed the over four hours to bring me my purse.

It was lunch time by then and I was hungry. I had brought toll money because I knew I had to travel on the tollway part of the way to get to my hotel but I had no idea how much it was so I asked on twitter if anyone knew.

tolls

 

Yes, that’s what I figured. A bajillion dollars. Illinois tolls are EXPENSIVE! So I looked around the car. I always have money in the center console and I wasn’t disappointed. I found a bag of dimes that must have been left in there from when we had to use the laundromat at some point.

dimes

Feeling like a panhandler, but a happy panhandler, I went into McDonald’s and paid 33 dimes for my lunch.

David arrived around 3:45 and I was gassed up and back on the road by 4 p.m.

I had put my winter coat on because it was 31 degrees and after sitting in the car for four hours I was chilled through even though I put the heat on periodically.

I stopped for gas the second time in a blinding thunder storm. When I got out of the car, I realized

warm

 

It was 68 degrees. I was pretty sick of driving by that point and the rain made it hard to see since it was getting dark. I drove about ten more miles and that was it. The roads weren’t even wet. I opened my sunroof. 🙂

I finally arrived just before eleven p.m. I had left 16 hours before that and I was never so happy to see a hotel room or bed in my life.

I didn’t get to have dinner with Ruthanne but I’ll be having breakfast with her and I’m super excited to go to CoffeeCON. I hope your Saturday is fabu and unmixed up! 🙂

Macgyvering the coffee

So I’m a coffee achiever. I’ve gotta have it. And I don’t take any chances when I travel.

If we travel by car, I have a small Mr. Coffee pot that I take, along with coffee and filters.

When we travel overseas, we have a small French press that we take since most hotels have kettles in the room to boil water. We got it in Fiji and it’s called Make Tea Device. 😉

I took the cheesy little cups out and threw them away which gives me room to put coffee in the box. The box fits perfectly inside my make up bag.

So we’re good with coffee. Well, sort of.

A few years ago, hotels started putting pod coffee makers in their rooms. I’m not a cup at a time gal and this did present a challenge to me since when you fly in the US, it’s a little harder to take the 4 cup pot and most rooms don’t have kettles for hot water.

So Macgyvering was born.

And it’s been mostly successful.

Here’s how you do it.

You’ll need to bring your filters and your coffee.

Take the filter and tear it so it will fit into the pod space.

Then fill the pod with your coffee.

Add your water to the machine and press the “go” button.

Hopefully, you’ll get a nice, delicious cup of coffee instead of nasty hotel pod coffee.

Now, I must caution you. The rectangular pod makers are easier for me to use since I like strong coffee. This was my first experience with a round pod and it just didn’t let me use as much coffee as I would have liked. Still it was a better cup of coffee.

If you overfill the coffee in this maker, you could be surprised early morning style by an explosion that will send you pushing your chair backwards but laughing nonetheless.

I used a lot of tissues that day. 😉

So there you have it. How to have great coffee while staying in a hotel. Macgyver it. 😉

 

I’m a Muppet

We’ve been traveling with David. We missed him so much while he was gone that we want to be with him every minute that we can.

We are back in Little Rock and staying at the Studio Plus. David recommended that we bring our own towels because you don’t get the same towel service at Studio Plus that you get at a regular hotel.

I had just bought some beautiful new navy blue towels since most of our towels are still packed up in the PODS container.

I had washed them all once. I have to wash everything before I wear or use it.

Today, I used one of these fabu blue towels to dry off with and instantly became a Muppet.

Blue Muppet? Grover or Cookie Monster? I identify most with Cookie. :-)

Yes, I had navy blue fuzz all over. And it wasn’t easy to get off!

It was really funny, if a little irritating, and I got to laughing pretty hard.

I tweeted about it and posted it to facebook. Where I got the best laughs of all. 🙂

Now, that the laughs are over, I’m left with this Muppetational mess

and no broom to sweep it up with.

When we leave on Saturday, I hope the maid doesn’t think we killed Cookie Monster! 😉

Selling the drama

Missive from FJ811

It takes a long time to get to Fiji which resides on the other side of the equator and the other side of the date line from Oklahoma. Our first leg passed rather uneventfully and quickly.

This ain’t no disco
It ain’t no country club either

This is LA!

LAX didn’t seem quite as scary the second time around but we also had about 5 hours to kill until we boarded the plane for Fiji. Boarding time was 10:30 p.m. PST which is 12:30 a.m. in Oklahoma. I was tired. I could not wait to get on board the plane so I could just go to sleep.

Our seats were towards the back of the plane so we were in the first group of passengers to board. I grabbed my pillow, snuggled down as best I could and went to sleep.

I’m not sure how long it was but I could hear a big ruckus ahead of us. I woke up to see this woman, who would be sitting two rows in front of us, freaking out because she didn’t know where she was going to put her “stuff”. Of course she had more bags than you are really supposed to carry on a plane but she looked at the row between us accusingly like it was their fault she had no place for her “stuff”.

She asked if she could put her “stuff” on top of theirs in the overhead bin. They said that was fine. She was loud. And whiny. She disturbed my peace. I just wanted her to sit down and shut up so I could go back to sleep.

As she scurried around putting one bag in a bin behind us and another in the cabin in front of us, her husband Dough, I mean Doug, just sat there like, well, he sat there like a lump of dough.

She finally sat down. Loudly. And then, somehow (poetic justice?) the overhead bin popped open and her stuff landed on her head. Now she’s crying. Loudly.

This is my third time flying Air Pacific*. If you haven’t had the pleasure, I recommend them. The flight attendants are lovely. Welcoming, friendly, helpful. The women wear flowers in their hair. Soon, Wendy Whiner was surrounded by three of them. One had brought her ice wrapped in a towel to put on her head. Another told her if she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to get off they could do that but it would take some time to sort out which bags were theirs. A third was asking if she felt okay. Oh the drama.

“I don’t feel well”, Wendy whined.

Meanwhile an entire 747 full of people was waiting for her to decide if she would get off the plane or if we could head out. She seemed happy with all the attention and chose to stay on board.

It was then that I realized the impact of where the Whiners were sitting. They were in the exit row. Yes, if there is an emergency with the plane Doh!, I mean Doug, and Wendy Whiner will be in charge of calmly and efficiently opening the exit door and ushering us off the plane. Yikes!

She’s sleeping and it’s quiet, but bumpy. I’m praying we have a safe landing and that we are able to get off the plane before we get behind her trying to figure out where she stashed all her “stuff”. I’ve had enough drama.

Note: Air Pacific reminds me a lot of how the big airlines like United and American were in the 70s. The flight crew really seems to care about your comfort and making sure you have enough water or whatever you need. They also serve full meals. If you have Air Pacific as an option on your trip you should choose them. We have flown all over the world on many different airlines and they are, by far, my favorite.

PS – Wendy got up after they announced that the plane was landing and pointed to her head and the flight attendants made her sit down as the captain had ordered. I guess they weren’t buying the drama anymore either. We did end up passing them on the way out of the plane because she couldn’t remember where she had stashed all of her “stuff”.