Category Archives: travel

Coffee Holic

When I drove by Coffee Holic yesterday, I knew I was going to have to come back and visit. I’m in from out of town, working, and wasn’t familiar.
coffee_holic_lewisville

This morning I had the perfect opportunity. As I entered I saw that they have wifi which is always a plus. The first thing you see is a nice goodie case and I honed in on the Chocolate Almond Croissant. Almond Croissants are my favorite and after verifying they didn’t have plain ones, I ordered the chocolate version which she heated up for me. It was delicious!

coffee_holic_croissant

I ordered brewed coffee and it was okay. Nothing spectacular, but drinkable. The total cost was under $5 which was pleasantly surprising.

coffee_holic_goodies

Their menu is small but diverse with many options including smoothies, waffles, and sandwiches. Several choices of energy type bars are available for a portable option.

coffee_holic_menu

I’m glad I stopped in and if I return to Lewisville I’ll drop in again!

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. 🙂

Miss Belize Universe Pageant

We found out we were going to Belize and they told us that the day after we arrived was a national holiday. I took to Google to find out what the holiday was and found that after almost ten years, they were once again holding a Miss Belize Universe Pageant!

IMG_0112

Of course, I wanted to go. David talked to the people there and they secured tickets for us. I think this was a good idea because at the pageant they mentioned they had sold out quickly.

It was fun to attend a pageant in another country. The entertainment was awesome. There were no artists I’d ever seen but everyone else in the building seemed to be very familiar with them and their works. 

IMG_0148

It was the standard Miss Universe preliminary pageant including an opening number, 

IMG_0134 - Copy (2)

Swimsuit competition.

IMG_6900

Evening gown competition. 

EG

And onstage questions.

In addition, each girl had to create a national costume based on the theme Made in Belize. This was my favorite part of the pageant as the costumes were amazing! I thought it was cool that, not only did the contestant win the prize, the prize was also awarded to the costume designer. 

costume

It was really, really hot in the PAC  (they are going to be getting an air conditioner upgrade soon, I understand) but other than that, I really enjoyed seeing Rebecca Rath of Dandriga crowned Miss Belize Universe 2016.

miss_belize_universe_2016

I picked her as the winner  from the opening number. She just lit up the stage. I look forward to watching her at Miss Universe!

 

We Were Enchanted

I can’t believe we’ve been married for thirty seven years. Yes, 37 years! It seems like so long and, well, wow. 

rottmayer_anniversary

I wanted to do something really different. I love mountains and David suggested we go to a guest ranch in either Montana or Wyoming. After a short search and trying to figure out how in the heck you get to one of those states (the usual airlines we fly don’t fly there), I said, why not a guest ranch in New Mexico? 

Because I love New Mexico like no other state. It has the most different kind of beauty. David said that would be fine with him and I started searching for a guest ranch to visit. I discovered Concho Hills Guest Ranch, made the reservations and grew excited for our trip.

IMG_7394

When we arrived, we were given the Bar B room, or Barbie! I was pretty excited about this. Marilyn and Tim (the owners) knew that I am the reigning Mrs. Southwest International and they thought I would like that. I did!

IMG_7409

The first day we got familiar with the horses and went on a ride. 

IMG_7414

I rode John Wayne.

lauri_johnwayne

David rode Captain Jack.

leo_captainjack

He looks so awesome on a horse. 🙂

We climbed the rocks to see if we could find arrowheads or pottery.

IMG_7431

us

We ate lots of great food and enjoyed magical scenery.

IMG_7423

We enjoyed the company of our hosts, Marilyn and Tim Norris.

usmt

All in all, it was a great trip and a fun way to spend our anniversary!

 

Texas International Pageants

It was so fun to attend another of the International state pageants. Lyndzee and I drove to Texas on Sunday.

IMG_7150

We met up with our friend, Denise, and her four year old, Caitlin. Caitlin has been obsessed with pageants for at least two years now. She knows exactly how she will wear her hair and what her dress and earrings will look like when she’s finally able to compete. 

IMG_7156

I don’t think I know another four year old that could do so well sitting in a pageant audience but I was confident in Caitlin. She was enthralled. 

IMG_7152

She wanted to meet and take photos with all the queens she saw. 

IMG_7202

She chose her dress that she wore and the outfit her mom wore. 

IMG_7201

The pageant was great. It was nice to see two of the three International title holders and watch the new queens be crowned. Although I didn’t get a chance to stick around (we had to get back to Oklahoma!) to meet the new Mrs. Texas International, I look forward to meeting her at Nationals in July. 

Congratulations to the new Texas International queens! 😀

Save Your Brain

I was honored to be included on a trip to Washington DC last week with the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation for Brain Injury Awareness Day. 

IMG_6616

I chose to work with this group because Patrick’s story is so similar to my son’s story and I felt drawn to them. It was wonderful to meet Karen Zegel and her husband, Doug. They are passionate about the issue of stopping CTE and concussion safety for youth athletes. 

12495999_936602866454874_2735595639210305418_o

We all got together at the hotel the night before and I heard the stories of the collected women. Some had lost sons to CTE and some had lost husbands. It was all very sad and it made me even more sure that I was on the right path in my quest to inform anyone and everyone I come into contact with that it’s not “just” a concussion and that helmets do not protect the brain against concussion. 

FullSizeRender

Debbie Ploetz’s story was one that made me realize that even if everything seems okay for now, somewhere along the line, the result of all the concussive and/or subconcussive hits, may take its toll. Greg Ploetz died from CTE. Here’s the video:

 


  

The next morning, we all met at the Cannon House Office Building for breakfast and to get to know each other. 

IMG_6630

Then it was on to the Brain Injury Awareness Fair. I walked around the room to see what people were there to showcase. I shared with each person my own personal quest and got some very good ideas of ways in which I can proceed and reach more people.

1614146_936602939788200_1265948461371810901_o

I was so happy to meet and speak with Mike Haynes. Mike is a pro football Hall of Fame corner back. The exciting thing is that he never played football until he was a sophomore in high school. Not only is he is in the Hall of Fame, his brain is okay!

IMG_6641

I had a meeting with my Congressman’s legislative aide. In the end, we weren’t able to meet with the person we were supposed to meet with but we were able to share our concerns with another of his staffers. I’ll be following up with the Congressman, though, because this is too important to just leave to chance that he will hear about if from someone who isn’t me. 

IMG_6674

Some members of our group had really great and positive sounding meetings with their representatives. It became apparent that it will take us some time and that we must bring even more interested people with us as we continue to strive for a legalized standard of care for concussion in youth sports. While it may take some time, I know that we will achieve our goal blow by blow, one step at a time.

syb

If you know of any parent groups that are interested in safety in youth sports, particularly with regard to concussion and brain safety, please have them join with us on the Save Your Brain facebook page

 

 

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. 

sw4

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. 

sw5

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

sw6

 

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. 

sw3

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. 😀

sw7

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

sw1

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

sw2

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.

IMG_5613

Y is for Yelp

I love Yelp I’ve been yelping since September of 2011. My first review was for Sara, the gal in Bartlesville who did my facials and pedicures. After that, was John the Locksmith who saved my life by getting me in when I got locked out and getting me out when I got locked in. LOL!

save

And I was off and running. If you know me, you’ll know I’m pretty positive and I love, love, love to give five star reviews. I think a lot of people will only comment when they are upset about something so I like to point out the good. 

Not that I won’t give a bad review. I will. I noticed as I was going through my reviews before writing this blog that two of the really awful hotels we’ve stayed at are now closed.

hotel

Also, the 18 Wheeler Diner is closed. ::sobs::

But over the years, I’ve come to find Yelp to be an invaluable tool. Traveling as much as we do, I use it to find restaurants and attractions. I even used it in Warsaw, Poland recently and left reviews. 🙂 Since we recently moved, I use it all the time to find just about anything I want or need.

Do you know you can type “Baba Ghanouj” or “pageant earrings” into Yelp and it will bring you to the nearest place to find them? Awesome. 

Every once in a while I hear back from a business owner and I love that. I’ve noticed that more businesses have Yelp signs in their windows so clearly they are seeing that Yelp is something that a lot of people are using. 

comment

If you’re not using Yelp, yet, give it a shot. It’s really helpful! 😀

Wheels on His Feet

Another new year and in a month or two, we’ll be in another new location. “But didn’t you just move to Tulsa?” My friends ask. “Yes, but David has wheels on his feet,” I reply. 

And it’s true. We move more than anyone I know. Mostly I’m okay with it. Each new spot is someplace to explore. New restaurants, new things to do. Sometimes I’m lucky enough and there’s a Kroger to shop in. 

sanjose

This time we’re moving to San Jose, CA. California is a state I’ve visited but never in a million years thought I’d live in. 

We went to San Francisco for our 20th wedding anniversary to watch Metallica in concert with the San Francisco Symphony. We took the boys out of school and it was an awesome trip. I’ve always wanted to go back to San Francisco with David alone and stay at the Fairmont Hotel and do adult things. Like shop and eat at good restaurants. 

Shortly after that trip, I took Geoff out to Malibu to attend a baseball camp at Pepperdine University. We stayed in a surfer motel and I really loved it there. I noticed that the Pacific Ocean looks very different from the Atlantic Ocean and we ate breakfast every morning outside on a deck over the water. I could have been happy living there.

As it turns out, David’s new project is in the San Jose area and I’m pretty sure I will like it there, too. When he told me we were going to be going there, I started looking at the different areas to see where I thought I’d feel more comfortable living. I told him I’d move if he let me live in a high rise and got me a bike. He was okay with that.

So after looking  around on Google, I decided that the downtown area of San Jose is where I want to be. They have, what looks like, a thriving downtown organization. There are places to eat, shop and be entertained. On Google Earth I have walked to the library from each of the places we’re considering living. The library is super important to me and it looks like they have a nice one.

My friends who are aware of my raw veganism have suggested that it will probably be easier to live as a raw vegan in California than in Oklahoma. I think I’d agree with that even though I have no direct knowledge yet. I’m really looking forward to checking out my new home and seeing what all it has to offer. The fact that it’s neither as cold or hot as Oklahoma is appealing, too. 

When David took this job, he was to be based out of our home here in Tulsa. And I haven’t seen him since. He’s always gone so the main attraction of the move is to finally be able to live, like really live, with my husband. I miss him terribly.

The hard part will be having to give up my frequent visits with the Glambaby. I’ve been hanging out with her for twice a week for a while now. I know it helps Nikki out but my time with her is the high point of my weeks. She’s so much fun, so inquisitive, so smart. I love having a running conversation with her. And run it does. She doesn’t slow down too much. I love hearing her pick up new vocabulary and ideas. I love sharing songs and toys with her that I loved when I was a kid. Facetime just isn’t going to come close to what we have now. But, at least we’ll have facetime. I keep thinking how awesome it would have been for my mom to have facetime, or even email, when the boys were small and we were living all over the world. 

glambaby

Since we don’t plan to sell our house straight away, I figured i’ll be back frequently to have my hair done and get my glambaby fix. I also hope they’ll come visit us so we can show her California. 

I think living in the Pacific time zone is going to be difficult. I’ve never done that before and I watch David when he’s there and it seems like he puts in more hours at work just so he can be awake when the East and Central time zone people are awake. We are early to bed kind of folks. I wonder if we’ll want to go to sleep at 7 p.m. every night since it will be 9 p.m. central time?

Thanks to twitter and facebook I have friends that live in the Bay Area so I will already know people when I get there. Also, my aunt Nani lives north of Sacramento. I’m looking forward to hanging out with her at least once a month. We haven’t seen her since we went to the Metallica concert. Her daughter, my cousin, Maile, lives in NV but not too far away so I’m looking forward to seeing her again, too.

It will be different and I’m not looking forward to all aspects of the move but over the years, because he has wheels on his feet, I’ve definitely learned to bloom where I’m planted. I think my blog will become more exciting as I explore and learn about my new location, too, so you have that to look forward to. 🙂 

We’re Not Moving!

 

So after nine months, and suggestions around the world, we have learned that we are not moving!

As you may know, we moved into our house in Tulsa in October. And we have still unpacked very few boxes in all that time. Why? Because shortly after that, David entered discussions about a new position. Of course, I didn’t know this and decided that now that we had moved, I really needed to figure out what to do with my life.

boxes

After having moved and enjoyed the moving process, I thought being a Realtor would be fun but my Realtor (who is one of the very best in the state, probably in world!) is a hard working woman. I think that to be an awesome Realtor, you need to be completely dedicated and I just wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t want to travel with David if a Fiji, Malaysia, etc. opportunity came up. So, I thought that maybe staging houses would be fun.

My friend, Lisa, is a home stager in Oklahoma City and she told me about a workshop she puts on that is three hours long. She said it would give me an inexpensive idea of what staging is and if it’s what I really want to do so I signed up for the workshop.

The class began at 9 a.m. By 10:30, a.m. I knew this is what I wanted to do. I could “see” the things she was talking about and thought it would be a lot of fun for me.

At 1:09 p.m. David called.

“We’re moving,” he said. 

“Where?” I asked.

“Overseas”. 

“Oh”. 

Wow. I knew I wanted to flip a house some day but I didn’t think it was going to be THIS house. 

They told him we’d be going to one of four regions: Northeast Asia, Middle East Asia, Sub Sahara Africa or the Mediterranean.

Given his experience, we were sure we were going to the Middle East or Africa. Until a few weeks later when they told us we were going to Madrid. Spain? Really? Okay, cool. We visited Balboa, Spain back in 2011 and it was an awesome trip in a fabu country and I could see living there. It’s not a far trip, only around 7 hours from Chicago, and certainly more appealing to anyone who would want to visit us than Riyadh.

madrid

So we wrapped our heads around the fact we were going to Madrid.

The first thing I thought of is, who do I follow on twitter from Madrid? No one. Amazing. My main goal on twitter is to have friends all around the world so I can have someone to share coffee with no matter where we travel.

At the time, my friend Gini was preparing to release her book Spin Sucks and I’d been selected as an ambassador to help her promote it.

There is a group of 100 of us and we hang out in facebook. It was here that I realized that Corina was in Madrid! I private messaged her and told her we were moving to Madrid and she said that it would be nice to meet over coffee. Yay! All of a sudden I was happier about going to Madrid. 

Then we learned that another division was interested in having David work with them. They wanted to make a North American position for him but if that didn’t work, we’d be going to Riyadh. 

Ha! It’s all back to Saudi. 

I didn’t want to get overly excited about the possibility of staying here. I mean, with a new house and fabu glambaby close by, I just didn’t want to jinx it. I figured if I got too excited about staying, I’d end up in the middle of a Saudi desert in my custom abaya and 140 degree temperatures. 

abaya5

So we waited. And the boxes remained packed. And the popcorn remained on the ceilings. We waited.

I didn’t really tell too many people because we had planned to move to Saudi in 2011 and some really fabu friends gave me an awesome going away party. And then we didn’t go. They were all so great and understanding when we learned we weren’t moving after all but I felt stupid. So I mostly kept this one to myself. 

goingaway

I’m glad I did!

We finally learned that we get to stay in Tulsa! David will be working from here! We were sitting in a restaurant when we learned the news and I’m sure the people there thought I was crazy as I happy danced in my chair.

tulsa

I’m sort of sad we won’t be going to Madrid because it truly does look like an awesome place. But I do know that I’ll visit there one day. And we’ll have coffee then, Corina, okay? 🙂

But I’m so happy to be staying here. Close to Geoff, Nikki and the glambaby. In this house that we have so many plans for turning into a home. 

Now to unpack those boxes…