Tag Archives: travel

going home to texas

3 Aug

my whole life, i’ve connected moving from city to city and moving forward in life.  that’s how i was raised.  because we moved around so much, my mom helped us think of it as an adventure.  new house, new friends, new schools – everything new!  moving was never a sad thing.  sure, maybe there were some tears saying goodbye to friends + family but then the open road is ahead of you.


the other thing my parents did growing up, was teach us that our new city became “the city” to be in.  whether it really was (Chicago) or not (Flint), my parents always took pride in where they were.  after all, it’s where we were – so it had to be great, right?  when guests came to visit us, my parents knew the best route to our house (not past any bad areas, just the nice parts), the best restaurants, the neatest shops and we were always happy to be there.  i’m glad that is how i was raised rather than a bah-humbug sort of mover.  and it’s how i looked at where we live now, in Birmingham, michigan.

as much as i’ve “moved forward” from Cincinnati to Dayton to Cleveland to Boston to Grand Blanc to Brookfield to Naperville to Chicago to Dallas then to Birmingham... i’ve never moved back.  i’ve always moved on.

until now.


and it’s such an awesome feeling.

as i grow older, thoughts start to creep in that maybe we weren’t moving forward but just moving around.  nah, i push that thought out of my head.  after all, i wouldn’t have this outgoing personality if i wasn’t forced to put myself out there growing up – going to three high schools in three cities- in the land of judgement (you know, junior high angst and high school peer pressure) and that’s the truth.  but when you’re over that middle age hump (read: 40) you start to think – wait…i want people that know me around me and i want to have a history with them.

so back to texas we go.  obviously for more reasons than these but we’re so thrilled.  we missed you texas, with your crazy storms, wide open spaces, friendly people and most of all we miss all the people that missed us and stayed in such good touch over the past two years. we’re hoping to pick up right where we left off.

oh, and i get to decorate another house.  yay!

until tomorrow…

paris: the new workout

29 May

we’re planning on going to paris in december.

 i’ve been wanting to go to paris for over 25 years.  i just really wanted to go with someone i loved.  like romantically (sorry mom.)

Amy Robert

so now, ROF is using his one week of vacation to take me there!  december may seem like an odd time to go, don’t you think?  not the spring when the buds on the trees are budding and the lovers are strolling down the Seine.  sidetracked <i hate that word ‘lovers’ by the way.  love-er.  almost hate that as much as the M word.>  

but there is a reason i picked december.  

it is the last month in the year and i’d like to lose 40 lbs before going to paris.  i better start.  that’s a lot of weight in not a lot of time.  the problem is, i don’t really want to change anything.  it’s no secret that ROF and i like the good life.  and that is what it is.  indulgence.  we like good friends, good wine, good food, good everything!  and i love living that kind of life with ROF.  but i’m going to have to tap the brakes, as they say, before paris.

Screen shot 2013-05-29 at 8.58.59 PM

because this is my DREAM TRIP and i can’t settle for anything less than feeling great while i’m there.

so if you have some diet pointers (other than stop opening your mouth and eating good things) – send them my way.  use the code word “PARIS”.  I’ll know what you’re talking about.

appreciating: a break

22 Aug

appreciating: the free ride

10 Jul

i travel a lot for business.  like, a lot.  and i have to share with you one of my favorite things.


it’s the people that drive the rental car buses and the hotel shuttles.

it’s a wide range of people that do this but i typically run into older, retired folks and for the past 20 years, i’ve always thought the same thing – someday i will be them.  maybe not driving the bus, per se.  but older.  and hopefully content.  suddenly, you realize that you’re working so hard to… drive a shuttle bus someday!  if that isn’t enough reason to slow down and smell the roses, i don’t know what is.  this puts things in perspective for me.  here i am all stressed and stuff, yapping on the phone, texting, emailing, face booking, tweeting, on conference calls, juggling a suitcase and a briefcase, sweating, swearing and worried that things that i can’t control will come to fruition.
i used to fly from love field into houston intercontinental airport.  you can’t do that anymore, by the way. but i did it every month for about 5 years going to visit the houston area chevy dealers. there was the nicest man who used to pick me up in the hotel shuttle and drop me off.  and it was such a kind interaction.  we’d chat about where in africa he was from and how it differed from houston.  we’d talk about what was going on in and around houston and texas.  it made me remember to slow down and enjoy the process and not always be seeking the finish line.  talk to people, learn about someone else.

yep, i appreciate you mr or mrs shuttle bus driver

ne’er had i found on earth

15 Apr

Ne’er had I found on earth a spot that had such power to please,

Such shadows from the summer sun, such odors on the breeze;
I threw my mantle on the ground, that I might rest at ease,
And stretched upon the greensward lay in the shadow of the trees.
There soft reclining in the shade, all cares beside me flung,
I heard the soft and mellow notes that through the woodland rung;
Ear never listened to a strain, for instrument or tongue,
So mellow and harmonious as the songs above me sung.
from the praise of spring by gonzalo de berceo 1180-1246
–Translated by H. W. Longfellow

there is something magical about new mexico.

the smell of pinon wood burning, the cool breeze, the sense that the grounds have been appreciated by many many people and animals. ROF and i took a great walk this morning – a 2.6 mile trail down to the Rio Grande river and around and back. it was windy and chilly but beautiful. there were signs that said to beware of wildlife like wild cats. i do not appreciate that because i’m instantly scared but ROF’s ever-loving laughter at my fraidy cat tendancies calm me somehow and i march on with confidence.
we were treated to a dance by the indigenous people outside our balcony. we sipped on green tea while ROF joined in the fun:
and then we had an excellent dinner on site at the corn maiden restaurant. it looked so quiet and peaceful outside, inside it was alive and had a great bar and a bunch of different rooms with a view of that beautiful mountain behind us.

hope you have a great sunday! XXOO

day 3ish travels

14 Apr

no cell service on this indian reservation-turned resort.

was in cleveland, ohio yesterday, denver the day before and today finds me in between albuquerque and santa fe, new mexico. ROF picked me up at the airport at 8pm and we drove west to amarillo and arrived at 2am.

the next day, we went to a really cool art display of caddies driven into the ground called ‘cadillac ranch’. but my favorite part was taking old route 66 and seeing the unbelievable deserted hotels. it was all i could do not to tear down one of these motel signs. as you can see i had fun putting these together in my photo apps. ROF’s favorite part was the transition of scenery from west texas into mountainous new mexico

this is the view out our window this morning:

this was our view at 6pm last night, a shared tequilla patron sampler

have a great weekend!

day 2. the suspense continues. where am i??

12 Apr

ok, so i know i’m keeping you hanging on about where am i now?  it’s been all the rage… “where’s the appreciator??”  not.  anyway…go through these pics slowly and try and guess where i am now.  yesterday, i was in denver and today i am….

4 states in 3 days

10 Apr

can ya guess where i am tonight?

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