1969 The Band played at The Grotto in Mt. Adams Saturday evening and I loved them! I ran into my beautiful hairdresser…Jocelyn and her stylish boyfriend Todd…
2012 was a year of discovery and fun!
I participated in lots of activities…
Pinterest inspired me to make over 125 new recipes! My husband gained a few pounds.
And…I made homemade Febreeze, carpet stain remover, deodorant, In a Pickle Bag, scarves made from t-shirts, and these beautiful Easter centerpieces…
I attended lots of fun festivals, farmers’ markets, parties, and concerts!
I was a tourist in my own hometown of Cincinnati and the surrounding areas…
And–had so much fun seeing familiar places with new eyes through the lens of my camera!
In May/June, I camped for 26 nights of the 40 nights I spent touring seven AMAZING countries in Africa. You can read the first post here!
Met unforgettable people and had once-in-a-lifetime experiences!
Strangers opened their homes to me in South Africa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida–through an organization called Couchsurfing!
It is an amazing way to meet new people, make travel affordable, and get tips from locals on what to see and do!
My six week-4,200 mile-USA road-trip through North & South Carolina, Georgia and Florida was an adventure! I left in late October and returned home in December.
I so enjoyed walking through all of the cities I visited!
There is so much beauty in the USA!
Florida was too pretty for words!!
I took a wine painting class with girlfriends, went to Columbus, Ohio for a girls’ weekend, and had girlfriends visit me in Florida!
Last…but most importantly…had quality time with family! I thank my husband for being a good sport concerning my passion for travel!
My cousins and I had fun taking photos with Santa!!
I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve such a rich life…but I’m truly grateful and if 2013 is as good or better than 2012…then all I have to say is…”LIFE IS
GOODGREAT IN YOUR 50′s”!
This weekend has been wonderful! Saturday we started the day with our usual three-mile trail jog at the nature center. There were beautiful wildflowers
weeds everywhere, so I picked some to bring home. Breakfast was a yummy smoothie with strawberries, banana, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, oatmeal flakes, honey, 1 cup of ice, and some Chia Seeds. I discovered the Chia Seeds at Trader Joe’s and was impressed by the amount of fiber, Omega 3, and Protein in 1 tablespoon!
That afternoon we rode the Harley to the Milford Street Festival. We stopped along the way because Randy wanted a photo with this tank…
We stayed at the festival for about an hour and stopped by the booth of one of Randy’s friends…Steve Black…who makes cool jewelry out of spoons and forks. A lot of the pieces are Harley and breast cancer (ribbon) related.
There were a variety of booths including face painting…
This parrot was cool…
We stopped in a gun shop and I thought this would make an artsy photo…
And this wall looked cool. The three different colors and textures really popped!
We rushed home, changed clothes and left for our next adventure…Bob’s Pig Roast. It was in honor of his deceased wife who had died from cancer. Everyone donated $10 to the American Cancer Society…so $2700 was collected!
This is Bob…
I took about 150 photos, but picked out just a few to post. This is my friend Shari. I took 7 photos of her with my flash on and she blinked every single time. So I turned the flash off and…voila…
This was the beginning of the party…before most of the group arrived. The port-o-lets were for the guys and the inside restrooms were for the ladies.
Randy, Frank and I were toasting with three different beverages in a wine glass. Wine for me, beer for Randy and water for Frank!
1. Hiking through the woods followed by a break
2. A beautiful sunset
3. Talking to a friend
4. Pretty colors…the blue sky…green trees…colorful flowers
5. Watching the snow fall while sitting in front of a fire
6. The sound of church bells
7. Having a great dream
9. Planning a trip…almost as good as taking the trip
10. Crying when you feel like it
11. The sound of crickets and tree frogs on a summer night
12. Having a clean house
13. Hot shower with yummy smelling soap
14. The feel of the wind and sun on you while riding in a boat
15. Finishing a project
16. Getting the job you wanted
17. A body massage
18. Lotions and Potions
19. The lazy warm feeling in the morning before getting out of bed
20. Lying on the beach soaking up the sunny sun
21. Reading a great book
22. Wearing a soft sweater
24. Petting a dog or cat and watching their eyes droop
25. Listening to a great song while driving a convertible
26. Taking a nap
27. Feeling sexy
28. Laying down at night when you’re really tired
29. Sitting in a hot tub staring at the stars
30. Drinking a glass of good wine
31. Surprising someone with a gift or good deed
32. Visiting a beautiful European city or anywhere in the world…
33. Laughing really hard and long
34. Wildly dancing for an hour or two
35. Feeling tipsy
36. Kissing passionately…
37. Watching a good movie
38. Cooking and savoring a delicious meal
39. People watching
41. The sound of the waves at the beach and…the smell
42. Taking a long sweaty jog
43. Playing with a child
44. Taking cool photographs
46. The smell of freshly baked bread
48. Looking younger than you are
49. Being able to scratch where you itch
50. Believing in miracles and magic
As I was making the list…I realized everything on my list is simple, basic and doesn’t cost much money. Except for the traveling part! It made me feel good just thinking of these things!
Yesterday, my friend Dee and I went exploring in Clifton, an area of Cincinnati next to the University of Cincinnati. I haven’t been there in five years and enjoyed walking around, taking photos, and having a bite to eat!
Here’s some of the architecture…
We stopped in a wonderful wine shop called “Ludlow Wines” and here’s a photo of Mike — the extremely hospitable owner! He loves his business and is expanding into a larger building down the street. We had a tasting of four wines for $5.00.
Next, we went through some of the shops that lined Ludlow Avenue. I have so much fun just looking at things with an eye for photography. It keeps me busy and an added plus…I don’t spend money!
This is an African shop owner and some of his wares…I remember going in here and buying a ring back in 2006.
We went for a short walk through Burnett Woods. Dee was going to go for a hike with the Tri-State Hiking Club through Meetup.com, but she knew I needed some company, so she came with me. I’m thankful I have good friends like Dee!
We filled our tummies at Sitwells. I had a Gouda and Guacamole Sandwich. Our waitress was cool…she had red-eye shadow on and a few piercings. I love when people feel free to express themselves through fashion/makeup/body art. She was very pleasant and sweet also!
This picture was in Sitwells…when you look at the lady from one angle, she looks like this…
and from another angle like this….
No matter where we live, there is beauty and interesting people…so let’s get out and explore our own backyards!
Today is my first day back in Cincinnati from the two-week ITMI class I took in San Francisco, to become a Tour Director. I go into more detail about what a Tour Director does in my other post entitled “What Makes Me Come Alive“. I met a lot of very nice and very interesting people. There were 27 of us taking the course ranging in age from 23 to 60 something. We had class every day (no time off) and had quite a bit of homework.
For me the hardest part was the public speaking. You’ve probably heard that there are more people afraid of public speaking than of dying. We spoke a total of about 5-6 times ranging from a couple of minutes to 5-6 minutes each time. We weren’t allowed to use notes, so it was difficult. One of my topics was Black Americans in California. We were on a motor coach (not a bus) a couple of times and in the classroom the remainder.
The last time I spoke in front of more than 5-10 people was in college in my 20′s and I remember being so nervous and shaken, that I’ve avoided it since. I’m proud of myself for jumping so far out of my comfort zone!
I learned that it’s O.K. to not be perfect and to try to be myself! My next step is to join Toastmasters and become really comfortable and well-spoken! Anyway, here are some of the new friends and people I met…
We went on an overnight trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nat’l Parks and here is a photo of the class, along with the instructors! I’ll have a separate post about these beautiful Parks.
This was in Sonoma…that’s Thyra (pronounced TEAR-RA) and me. She’s from LA and a very cool and very smart person!!
This is Elise on the left and Daywee on the right. I didn’t get to know Elise as well, but I really respect Daywee. She’s got her stuff together and has a very bright future! She’s from Indonesia and took some of us to an Indonesian Restaurant while we were in San Francisco and it was the best meal of my trip.
This is Lena…she was my roommate. We were on opposite schedules…I would wake up between 4:30 and 6:00am and would turn just the bathroom light on to get ready in the morning. Then go down to the lobby to do homework, or jog first. We were able to make it work and she’s a sweetie and one of the smartest people I’ve met!!
This was taken at Fisherman’s Wharf. From left to right…Thyra, Claxton (from Texas, former schoolteacher with a dry humor and good guy), Mary (she and I got to know each other on the overnight field trip because we were roommates)…really sweet and smart lady, and Bernard (French…that says it all…very charming and sweet)!!
I’ve mentioned everyone that’s in this photo, but Ken (the big dude in the middle). One of his topics was Sequoia trees and he touched my heart (just like many of the people did on the trip) when he gave his talk! I’d like to mention everyone, but I only have so much time and space.
I’m looking forward to staying in touch with my classmates!!