BACHELORETTE MEETS THE TRAVEL CHANNEL – PART TWO

The journey to find the right combination of romance, friendship and wicked chemistry continues…sigh! Since Part One was written in February of 2014, I have had a knee surgery, endured a cross-country trek and moved to Washington state from California.  I am not a fan of dating in Southern California and the majority of the dates I have had there over the years have provided some of the best and oddest dating tales.  This past eight month’s stay in my native state was no exception.  The men varied widely.  There was the Russian who bragged about how beautiful his former wife and girlfriends were and then proceeded to initiate debates with me.  He yielded one date.  The fireman was a blast and we talked for hours but his Irish stubbornness and my feisty Basque temperament proved to be too tumultuous.    I think we called it quits after four or so dates.  My personal favorite was the dreamy dad of two daughters.  Our chemistry was off the charts but alas, our schedules never overlapped well enough for a second Grudate though we tried for a month.  The two oddest men to cross my path lived in the same rural San Diego county I lived in.  One was a dead ringer for the male lead of the “Despicable  Me” movie.  He invited me to “crash” the company party he was throwing for his employees.  Nothing like meeting all of his employees and mother on the first “date”!  It was a heck of a party and truthfully, he was funny and as real as they come but every time he invited me out after, it involved cocktails late at night and that wasn’t the kind of interaction I was looking for.  The second man who lived near me was like a real-life MacGyver and he loved to fly.  This piqued my interest because I adore planes and love a man who is handy with tools.  On our  first “date” we ran errands together and had coffee/tea.  He asked me to walk his dog with him on the next “date”.  I was afraid to go out again for fear he would ask me to go grocery shopping with him.

20140524_191748_resizedThe man who caught my attention and my heart didn’t reside in California.  We had been on one date together some six months before in the state of Washington.  Various things prevented us from having a second or third date before I left to move to Pennsylvania.  I was surprised to hear from him again but something prompted him to reach out to me.  A text or two turned into hundreds of texts, emails and phone calls.  This went on for months as I endured physical therapy and a knee surgery.  Our growing friendship culminated in an eventual second date in May when I returned to Washington to seek housing.  It had always been my plan to return to Washington to live so having a new boyfriend lined up was a dream come true. I visited for four days and we spent a good deal of that time together visiting and boating.   It gave me hope but alas, things took a strange turn by the time I moved up several weeks later.  He became a mystery and pulled away leaving me to still wondering why the change of heart. The breakup hit me harder than expected since we had spent so little physical time together.

 

I retreated to the Olympic Peninsula where I seem to end up after breakups while in the state of Washington.  I refused to sulk or brood too long (like I usually do) after this heartbreak which led to putting myself back on the dating site roughly a week later.  That yielded a very strange encounter picnicwith a verbally abusive man who I, thankfully, did not have the opportunity to meet.  It also produced a short romance with one of the most romantic yet possessive men I have ever known.  The high moments were thrilling and the lows were extremely hard on both of us.  All of the warning signs were there and I led with caution but I eventually got caught up in the romance forgetting that a very independent, fun-loving Gemini was no match for an intense, serious and jealous Scorpio. Am I bitter now and cured of dating?  Heck no!  You can’t win if you don’t play the game.  I have met some of the most fascinating men because I am willing to lead with an open heart.  I love waking up never knowing what wonderful adventure awaits me or what magical relationship will catch me off guard.  The search continues…

Categories: Califonia, San Diego, Tacoma, Washington | Leave a comment

THE HUMAN TORNADO aka THE BASQUE TRAVELER (Part 1)

The months of May and June were a blur.  I know that I was alive during them because I have photos as evidence but because I operated at full-tilt I recall little. The month of May began with a surprise trip to Pennsylvania where I helped my son pack up at the end of the school year and drive back to 20140508_101610_resized_1California.  It seems the brutal winters, creepy old houses with cellars and not having much family there made him have a change of heart about finishing college back east.

Since I had little notice about this trip I had to throw together an impromptu cross-country adventure that hopefully I could manage with a post-surgery healing knee.  My surgeon approved the trip but advised me to use lots of ice and to get out of the car every 2-3 hours to walk around.  I left feeling somewhat optimistic but frankly I was a tad apprehensive about sitting in a car for +2,700 miles.

20140510_114902_resizedAfter Mom aka The Basque Traveler scrubbed his studio apartment so he could concentrate on finals and his farewell gatherings with friends, we hit the road.  Our first stop was Erie, PA.  Now Erie is about an hour off of our route but there’s a beautiful 83 yr old Russian woman, Nina, who would have been devastated if we hadn’t stopped to see her so we did.  She stuffed us to the gills with her homemade stew, we collapsed for the night in her most comfortable beds before she fed us a big breakfast and sent us on our way.

This road trip with my son was chalk full of compromises.  He is not the avid traveler that I am and simply just wanted to get home.  I refused to make the trip without a minimal amount of sightseeing and visiting.  My first 20140510_210516_resized “win” was stopping to see Nina in Erie which was promptly followed by my “loss” in not getting to stop in Cleveland.  I made a comeback “win” with a fabulous dinner (see the dessert to the right) provided by good friends in Kokomo, Indiana.  All of the fun in Kokomo left us no time to stop in Indianapolis so we both agree that we would drive straight to St. Louis.

So there we were in St. Louis, Missouri on Mother’s Day.  We marveled at the Gateway Arch.  I chased brides and grooms around taking photos of them like I always do.  Then we hunted down a downtown hotel and walked over to a bar and grill for my Mother’s Day dinner.  We spent the following morning sightseeing.  I could have spent a couple extra 20140511_174049_resizeddays in St. Louis but alas, we had family waiting to see us in Kansas.  Hence we were off to see the Wizard but had to first brave spring storms that were so bad you couldn’t see well enough to even pull over to the shoulder.

Now truthfully I have never given Kansas much thought before this road trip.  Now here I was faced with spending two days there catching up with family and looking for interesting things to do.  We began the stay with a delicious BBQ dinner followed by ice cream.  On our first full day there, cousin David gave us a grand tour of historic Fort Riley and topped off the sightseeing with a visit to the Oz Museum and Winery.   All kidding aside, the museum was just precious and we spent the better half of the afternoon there looking at memorabilia and reading fascinating facts about the making of the movie.   They had the best souvenirs!  I was even able to bring home a pair of my own Ruby Red slippers.  20140513_183850_resized

Next came the most tiresome day of driving, the stretch between central Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.   Each tiny town along the side of the road looked just like the one before it.  They consisted of silos, usually one gas station and a tiny main street with a sprinkling of stores.  I could have sworn by son just kept looping back around to the same town when I dozed off.

I would like to report that we have each state’s welcoming sign but alas, the passenger/camera person was always either asleep or too focused on something else to capture the signs.  The initial thrill of a cross-country road trip was wearing off and soon we began to squabble over the silliest of things.  More than once I toyed with dropping my son off at the nearest airport but we always managed to get back into each other’s good graces in order to work together as a team.

20140515_114455_resizedAs happy as we were to finally be in New Mexico, we were startled at how many highway police were out patrolling for speeding offenders.  We slowed down our usual California speeding habits and were thrilled to reach our destination without any tickets.  Fabulous green chili stew was waiting for us at Sam and Judy’s house.  We sat up the better half the night visiting and watching American Idol before collapsing for the evening.  Next stop was Sedona, AZ.  This was a “‘win” for me because there was no way I was planning to drive through hot, dry and brown Arizona without a jaunt to Sedona.  20140516_090841_resized

Well, after the overnight Sedona stay my son began to act like a horse that knew he was relatively close to his stall.  I managed to get to him to agree to have lunch with a family member in Prescott Valley then it was California or bust!

I wish I could say that I returned home to rest for a month or so but this was just the beginning of another month of road trips and general travel…to be continued.

 

 

Categories: Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Sedona, St. Louis, Williamsport | Leave a comment

A Day in the Life Series…Meet Montse Martin-Gray: The Happy Traveler

montse as girlMontse and I met in the early 1990′s at a Mom’s Club ‘mom’s night out” dinner.  As everyone present introduced themselves and shared a little bit about their lives, it was immediately clear that Montse had led a very different life than the rest.  I was instantly entralled with Montse, who sounds and often acts like the very talkative, “Gloria” from the television show, Modern Family.  Hers is a fascinating story of being born in Spain, growing up in Venezuela, falling in love with an American that moved her to the U.S. and who eventually brought her to live (albiet temporarily) in China.

The story begins in La Palma, a picturesque “isla” in the Canary Islands of Spain where Montse’s parents were born and raised.  To financially assist his single mother, Montse’s father was working by the tender age of eight.  He walked some 5-6 miles to work before attending school at night.  At seventeen he left the island in search of work opportunities which led him to Venezuela.  Feeling like he needed more in his life than work, he decided it was time to settle down with a wife.  He returned “home” to La Palma in search of a partner.  There he met a beautiful woman, dated for two months and decided to marry her.  Marriage was followed by pregnancy and the decision was made for Montse’s mother to stay with family in La Palma till her baby was born and health enough to travel to their new home in Venezuela.Montse's apartment

Ambition seems to be a trait passed down from Montse’s mother who became a teacher when that was the highest accepted role for a woman in her country.  While teaching, her mother brought a very young Montse with her to work everyday which meant Montse sat through Kindergarten four times!  Montse showed much promise early on, with very good marks in school.  It was no surprise to anyone that she would be accepted to one of the best universities in Venezuela to study Engineering.  Fast forward to her twenties, Montse found herself armed with a great job as an Engineer at Honeywell, a bachelorette apartment (when women didn’t live on their own) and a full social life!

blushing montseA good looking American international salesman had been frequenting her place of work for two years before any real sparks flew but after a trip to the Venezuelan jungle with this salesman and two other adventurers, no more kindling was needed.  Three months later, after creating a cover story “business visit to Chicago” (remember, Venezuelan culture and norms were more conservative in this regard) in order to have a meetup with her new love, Montse found herself saying “I Do” at an altar instead of “I accept” to a new job in Chile. Funny how powerful love is!  Montse & mom

Montse, like her mother so many years ago, left her native country, family and culture to build a new life in a foreign land.  That was a pretty gutsy move for a woman who spoken little English and had a very promising career as an Engineer. Montse learned English, raised two beautiful and intelligent children and created a busy social life full of friends.  She is the poster child for assimilation.  Don’t misunderstand, she has kept a healthy dose of her native culture in her life as evidenced by her loud shouts that echo throughout the house when calling her quiet family to dinner.  Her children may bear a physical resemblance but interestingly, neither of them inherited her fiery personality and ability to speak faster (even in her second language) than one’s ear can process.

montse & DougA true adventurer at heart, Montse jumped at the chance to move to China when her husband, Doug was asked to go there for several years in order to prepare for the Olympics.  She reports that it was the opportunity of a lifetime and dreams now of future adventures.  She is passing on her love for travel to her children who travel frequently with her to Spain and Venezuela.  One cannot say with any certainty where Montse will show up in 5 -10 years but if someone reported that she was said to have moved to a new colony on the moon, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

Categories: Califonia, Venezuela | Leave a comment

A Day In The Life Series…First story: Jackie Johnson, Mother Of Eight

My background in sales coupled with my travels and volunteering has offered me a fabulous opportunity to meet so many interesting people.  “A Day in the Life” series was birthed out of a need to do something productive with myself while recuperating from a knee surgery.  However, it is something I had been dreaming of doing for a year or so.  A few brave souls have agreed to let me create a window into their lives so that you may witness more closely, many lives much different than your own.

The series begins with a childhood friend, Jackie Wing Johnson.  She is my hero because she not only is a wonderful mother to eight children, she is a fun, funny and incredible human being.  Peek into her world and see if you don’t fall in love with her too.

A Day in the Life of Jackie Johnson

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We all have productive and unproductive days.  In my little world, if I multi-task, which for me is working from my computer while my injured knee rests under ice and gets bent continously with a machine, I think I am really productive.  Then I log on to Facebook to follow the life of my childhood friend, Jackie Wing Johnson.  Jackie puts nearly all of us to shame on a daily basis.  As a subsitute school teacher, loving wife, doting friend and mother of eight, you read that correctly, she knows how to get the most out of 24 hour period!

I attended a bridal shower and wedding reception for Jackie nearly thirty years ago.  Never in a million years did I expect to reconnect with her some two decades later to learn that she would live clear across the nation and be celebrating the college graduation of one child while expecting her eighth child at 43 years old.  Jackie and her husband, Keith didn’t set out to have such a large family initially.  However, after one year of marriage they decided that if children were blessings from God, they wouldn’t interfere with how many He gave them.  They must have had some inkling about what they were in store for because they purchased a 15-passenger van when she was pregnant with baby number three! Jackie & keith2

Interestingly, Jackie doesn’t view her large family as too different than more modest families of two or three kids. Her philosophy is simple:  “Children change our lives.  Period.”  The more I think about it, the more that line of thinking makes sense.  What I find most fascinating about Jackie and Keith are their priorities.  Simply put by Jackie, they are God, their marriage and then their children.  That is easy to say but the proof is in their actions which by the way include church, weekly dates, 3-4 day getaways as a couple and a regular Mom’s night out with the ladies for Jackie.  She has also managed to homeschool her children as well as pursue her master’s degree.  I don’t know about the rest of you but Lord, I swear I will never ever complain again about not having enough time or energy to complete all of my projects and dreams!

 

jackiejohnson2Jackie and Keith, like most others, have had their fair share of challenges.  Jackie recounts that on the day her third child was born, she learned that Keva, her newborn daughter had Down’s Syndrome.  She confesses that she told God, “Look, I trusted You in blessing us with our children.  I told you I would accept as many children as You would give us.  This one, though…wasn’t part of our bargain.”  Jackie has since discovered that Keva is a blessing just for her!  Keva has taught her to appreciate the simple things, to be more patient and less selfish. She has also taught Jackie that she is guaranteed nothing with each child that comes along.  Jackie subsequently had two miscarriages that further drove home that point.Little man

When asked about her greatest joys, Jackie swears that they happen every day in the small things.  She loves driving along and hearing her youngest squeal with delight over trucks.  She is also touched by watching daughter, Kathleen plan a bachelorette party for her sister using her own time and resources just because she wants to.  Arguably, Jackie has much to be proud of.  She had led a life so much fuller than one I will ever know. Lucky for me she is open to sharing it with me and with others.

Johnson rings

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An Invitation To Travel With Me…

FEET

 

Traveling for long periods of time requires courage, flexibility, patience, tenacity,

humility, trust, diplomacy, confidence, imagination,

creativity and last but certainly not least; a sense of humor.

This is what allows you to keep your cool when the going gets tough like it can when out on the road.

 

 

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Everyone has a story.  No story is unimportant.

It is the sharing of these very stories that is essential for

understanding our world and one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Join me as I travel,

humbly entering into many cultures and lands,

acting as your eyepiece into some interesting places and into others’ lives and hearts.

Together we will explore, we will laugh, be inspired and be changed for the better, forever!

Categories: Arizona, Califonia, Holland, San Diego | Tags: | 2 Comments

Haircuts On The Road…

desert haircut 2011One gentleman I dated said that I was the closest thing to an object in perpetual motion that he’d ever met!  If that is true then you can imagine how difficult it is to squeeze in time for a haircut.  I hate haircuts.  That is until I get them.  Like a child who hates baths, I fight getting them but once I do, I can’t imagine why I waited so long to do it.

Living on the road, sometimes staying only one night somewhere presents an interesting challenge when it comes to haircuts.  If you love the cut you get in one foreign town, you have to live with regret that you are unlikely to be returning for another.  However, if you dislike your haircut then happily you can move on to other cities, states or countries to try other stylists.  Funky Dana Pt haircut

Since I am a Gemini and love variety, the notion of changing haircuts and colors as well as stylists feels very exciting to me.  It also lends itself to liking variety elsewhere but we had better leave that for another entirely different venue and conversation.

So, how about you?  Are you up for the challenge of trying out a different barber or stylist each time you get it a cut over the next year?  This is mild compared to storing all of your belongings and traveling without them for a year or more.  Nonetheless it still gets you out of your comfort zone enough to feel like you are testing the waters of living without structure.  Let me know if you get bold enough to attempt it.

 

20140313_153109My personal favorite hairdressers so far are a Master Color stylist in Acton, California and my girlfriend’s stylist in Vicenza,Italy.  Up to now I have had permed hair, straight hair, black hair, brown hair, burgundy and red hair!  Never blonde though.  I don’t think it agrees with my skin color.  Besides we have only one blonde in the family and she’s naturally blonde.  I think she ought to remain the anomaly.  Since the only thing we can be certain of IS change and given the fact that I am not done twirling about the universe, expect more hair “experiments” to pop up from time to time on my website.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

LIFE AFTER KNEE SURGERY – WHAT A JOURNEY!

leg in CPMIt is still hard for me to fathom that the ramifications of my innocent tumble last September in Massachusetts continue to keep me down.  Nearly 6 months after my initial injury I was finally cleared in mid-March to have surgery in hopes of gaining full stability in my right knee.  If you aren’t up to speed, I was on a “Fall Foliage” viewing adventure and managed to walk backwards off of a boardwalk because I was so engrossed in photo taking.  Yeah, I know, pretty lame.

According to my doctor, I heal SO well that my body overproduced scar tissue.  Lucky me!  My knee stiffen to an extreme state quickly and was only able to bend 17% by the time they were able to get me into physical therapy.  Four and a half months of therapy finally loosened it enough to obtain the range of motion necessary for surgery.  I am happy to report that the surgery is over, my ACL was repaired (two other tears repaired themselves as well as a tibia fracture) but a meniscus tear was discovered during surgery so they repaired that too.  The surprise meniscus tear resulted in nearly 3 weeks of non-weight bearing status.  As if I hadn’t been frustrated enough!  me with walker

This disabling journey has been painful at worst and humbling at best.  It forced me to return to my home state of California in order to get the physical assistance I needed.  Thank goodness my mother is well enough to care for me and willing to take me in for the duration of my recovery.  She and my step-father are retired and slowing down so arguably this was the ideal place to recover because life here is already slower than my sometimes warp speed pace.

I hate excessive downtime and this recovery stint was no exception so I quickly added on some activities to make me feel productive.  I took three online classes, began working from my computer part-time, watched Hallmark Xmas movies till I was out of tears, took a Staycation, began writing a book, sold several things from my storage, did some mild hiking, visited with friends, blogged constantly and even managed to date a few men.  Mind you, this is me down and out!

me at therapyNow with my surgery behind me and full recovery just some time and physical therapy appointments away, I am gearing up for more adventures.  I love the Pacific Northwest and will head there in late September for an extended stay.  In the meantime, the wild winds are apt to blow me about.  I hope to enjoy more of  California first, as it is my birth state.  I hear the Sacramento Train Museum and the beautiful and historic Gold Country beckoning me.  This Basque Traveler’s journey continues..

Categories: Califonia, San Diego | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Bachelorette Meets The Travel Channel – Part 1

Battleground Lake 025Being single again after more than twenty years has been an adventure all its own.  Truthfully, I wasn’t good at dating in my teens and twenties let alone two decades later.  Nonetheless here I am again left to figure out how to navigate dating in the twenty-first century.  To make matters more interesting, my newfound freedom coincided with becoming an empty-nester and a career change.  In addition to my business degree, I apparently had enrolled in the school of hard knocks.

I am very outgoing so one would think that meeting men and going out on dates would be a cinch but I entered the new and mysterious world of singlehood with my knees trembling.  The first five months of being single, my son would tell me, “You don’t even notice men who interested in you, Mom”  I intellectually knew he was right, I was closed down.  I simply didn’t feel ready to accept attention from the opposite sex.

Eventually one surprise romantic encounter on an airplane broke the thin veneer of this ice queen, rekindling the desire to be loved and cherished again.  I was incredibly lucky to find a few great people at the onset to spend quality time with.  I didn’t feel like they were suitable life partners for me but they were good souls and nice company.  Columbia River Bar Pilots 078

The following three years were full of entertaining yet mostly bizarre connections with men.  It’s as if I was over thinking the whole process and if I wasn’t doing that, I was seeking out very new and unique (to say the least but more on that later) experiences in an attempt to see if they “felt” right.  The storyteller in me, loves sharing humorous dating tales.  Swapping bad date stories with gal pals seemed like a rite of passage, one  I learned that I really hadn’t done much of in my youth.  I had quite a few relationships early in my life but I rarely shared the highs and lows with anyone.  I have always been a bit of a lone wolf and assumed everyone was like this, that was until I led a Meetup group of single ladies, all forty-five and older.  Each of the 200+ members brought their own distinct marriage and dating tales to the table; I was in awe.

Beginning a new career that required me to push myself out of my comfort zone every day was a perfect accompaniment to the challenges of finding a life partner.  I quickly adopted the mindset that dating wasn’t bad or scary, it was simply prospecting.  In sales we never expect all of the leads to convert to clients so why should dating prospects be any different?  Once that attitude prevailed I was free to experiment – heaven help the world!  That shift in thought essentially set off what would come to be known as “Bachelorette Meets the Travel Channel”   Walking bike in EdgartownMuch like the popular Bachelor and Bachelorette reality programs, I would travel in search of my soulmate, however I wouldn’t date twenty-five men simultaneously and they wouldn’t all flock to one place in hopes of winning my heart.  Nah, I march to the beat of my own drum and that dictated that I would travel alone to many places, enjoying my own company and sometimes the company of friends and family so as to put me in a theoretically relaxed state, naturally drawing in people who resonated with my energy.  Ah, my energy!  That all was predicated on the presumption that my “energy” would always be positive, uplifting and warm, thus magnetizing what I desired.  I was in for a dose of reality!  As my moods shifted with the stress of completing a divorce and passing my son (best friend) off to college some 2500 miles away,  I sometimes found myself in weak or vulnerable states.  Guess what I attracted?  You got it – controlling partners!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Bachelorette Meets The Travel Channel…

Categories: Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Washington | 2 Comments

The Brown Parka Story

Several years ago I had a job where I traveled throughout the week around the U.S.  I was given the location of my first assignment for the week over the weekend since I would leave on Sunday.  Unfortunately I wouldn’t learn of the second location until I was well into the trip thus making the task of packing very challenging depending on the season.  I was traveling in January on this particular trip so I came prepared for the worst winter weather possible.  After all, I had been to freezing Wisconsin the previous week.  My first assignment was in Phoenix, Arizona so even my sweater dress seemed overly warm.   Instead of jet-setting to frigid temperatures on the second half of the week, I was returned to sunny and warm Orange County where I lived at that time.  Shell in Temple

My flight home was scheduled for 7ish and I had a few hours to enjoy before heading to the airport.  Since I have always been an avid traveler, I was happy to have the opportunity to spend the afternoon in Tempe where I had hoped to enjoy Tempe Beach Park and the Mill Avenue District.  I made it as far as the park where I took a long walk with a new friend and shared life experiences.  My long afternoon was nearly over and I now headed to the airport car return.  I followed the simple signs marked, “Car Return” until they suddenly vanished.  I am not one to lose my way but honestly I had lost my proverbial breadcrumbs.  I circled around attempting to get back on track, even stopping once for directions before I was detained at a train crossing.  The train seemed to take an eternity to pass and to make matters worse, it actually stopped on the tracks.  I was now in jeopardy of missing my flight and was furious about this.  Magically, I immediately found the car return after the train finally passed and hopped on the shuttle to the airport.

Upon arriving at the terminal, I bolted through with my both of my carry-ons, attempting to check in before the cut off.  My luck had run out and they were boarding the plane already so I had no choice but to take a later flight.  A large vanilla waffle cone and an hour long phone conversation with my cousin made me feel slightly better.  Seconds later I looked up to see that my plane was boarding and I jumped into the line for fear of missing this flight too.

Now you have to visualize just how much stuff I was lugging around.  I had my carry-on luggage, my rolling case that housed a computer and portable printer plus my purse and a big brown parka.  I stuffed my parka and other belongings in the overhead storage bin and then asked the nice looking gentleman in the aisle seat to move so that I could slip into my window seat.  I wasn’t seated for more than 5 minutes before I realized I had to use the restroom.  That same gentleman was kind enough to let me slip by again.  It wasn’t long before he and I were chatting like old friends which was odd for me as I had no interest in men or dating since I had left my husband some six months earlier.  He bought me a drink from the beverage cart and somehow that led to an exchange of business cards and a trip to the Nixon Library a few days later.  It’s interesting to note that he usually never flies that airline we were on but had no choice that evening.  As for me, I was booked on an earlier flight that I missed thanks to a series of unfortunate events.  Fate forced this “chance” meeting.

As we left the plane I asked him to reach up in the overhead bin and to grab my coat.  He asked what he should be looking for and I described my brown parka.  The face on his priceless.  It wasn’t until later that he explained he had seen a lady with a brown parka get on board and he laughed hard at the thought of someone traveling in warm Phoenix with that jacket.  He was so distracted by the parka that he hadn’t notice who was carrying it.  Turns out it was me!  Shortly after he wrote a song about me and that brown parka.  How’s that for a budding romance?

Categories: Arizona, Phoenix | 2 Comments

At Home In The Pacific Northwest Countryside

Young's Falls 035I fall in love so easily and when I am in the Pacific Northwest, I fall in love daily.  It’s hard not to fall in love with the stunning landscapes especially in the countryside.  As for the rain?  It’s free water!  A Southern California native can really appreciate that.  The weather represents our lives; some cloudy days, stormy ones that test us and those treasured sunny ones that remind us to be appreciative of them. Oregon adventure 007 I breathe and think better in the Pacific Northwest. There is something about the majestic skies, emerald green scenery and the abundance of water everywhere; it’s magical.  Take a peek at a few of my favorite finds so far in Oregon and Washington.

Oregon adventure 010

Categories: Oregon, Pacific Northwest | Leave a comment