Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Quote of the Week

Blinky, in trouble and armed with a new spelling word..."I'm in turmoil!"

Yeah, that makes two of us sweetie.

Monday, September 11, 2017

{Lost Files} New York City August 2010

As I watched the 9/11 coverage on the news yesterday, it reminded me of a weekend trip the DH and I took to New York City in 2010; our first couple's trip since the kids were born.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon. After checking in to our hotel, we walked around for a bit and had a lovely dinner.

On Saturday we took a city tour and saw everything on our list including:
  • Wall Street and the NYSE
  • Times Square
  • John Lenon's NYC Apartment and Strawberry Fields in Central Park
  • The Apple Store
  • Trinity Church
  • Rockerfeller Plaza
  • The Flat Iron Building
  • The Empire State Building
  • Broadway



Our tour also included a cruise which took us around:

  • The BMW Bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg)
  • New Skyline
  • Ellis Island
  • Liberty Island


Once we were back on land, the tour concluded with a visit to the One Trade Center site, which was still under construction. We went to an upper level of a nearby building to get the best view. It was quite an emotional moment. Not sure why I don't have any pictures of this. Now that the site is complete the DH and I would like to visit again, this time with the kids in tow.

Saturday night we hit the town in our Sunday best for a lovely dinner followed by a Broadway show. The DH thinks we saw Beauty and the Beast, I think we saw Phantom of the Opera. One day I will search our souvenir box for the playbill and settle this argument once and for all. LOL!

On Sunday morning, we strolled over to visit the New York Public Library. It was a thrill to finally meet Patience and Fortitude at the front steps. And yes, I am wearing the same clothes although I forget the reason why.

I see why Carrie Bradshaw wanted to hold her wedding here. The architecture is absolutely stunning!!!

We were beginning to run out of time. We raced over to Grand Central Station, taking in the majesty of the Chrysler Building along the way.



Our final stop before a mad dash to the airport was to have our picture taken in front of Robert Indiana's LOVE icon. Sadly, the person who was nice enough to take our photo, completely cut off the top portion of the sculpture. Ugh! Yet another reason to go back!

I've been to New York city several times and always enjoy the spirit and diversity there. If there's any one city that is truly representative of the world at large, I think it would be New York City. While watching the somber news reports yesterday, it was uplifting seeing how resilient New Yorkers are and how they come together in times of need. May we all be more like them.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Season

The Atlantic has been quite active already. Currently, there are three storms simultaneously: Irma, Jose and Katia. I'm old enough (but just barely of course) to remember Hurricane Andrew's devastating effects in 1992. So the second graphic below showing Irma dwarfing Andrew is downright terrifying!

My family still lives in The Bahamas and were in the outer bands of the path of Irma. We talked about my parents and my brother flying up to stay with us but my Mom replied, "We can't just fly somewhere every time there's a storm." We went back and forth a few times and finally got them to evacuate to a hotel inland as their neighborhood was expected to flood and be impacted by storm surges.

Thankfully Nassau, where they live, was spared as the monster storm shifted west. However the southern Bahamian islands were not as fortunate. Ackins and Crooked Island were hit the hardest. Just breaks my heart.

Bahamians are resilient people and they will rebuild. But it will take time and lots of resources.Please keep my Bahamaland in your prayers.

Now my worry shifts to Alabama. It seems Irma is not done with my family yet. We are projected to have tropical storm conditions Monday and Tuesday. School has already been cancelled and we begin the waiting game. Your prayers for us too would be appreciated.

For those of you unfamiliar with hurricanes, Ginger Zee does an excellent job explaining The Science of Hurricanes.

Be safe my friends!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Trolls Birthday Party

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Blinky's 8th birthday. Try as I might to dissuade her, this kid is intent on swim parties, in August, in Alabama. Thankfully the weather cooperated and we had a splashing good time!

Maybe next year I'll finally be able to convince her to do something else. Or better yet, opt for a birthday trip over a birthday party. I know just the travel agent who would love to put a special little girl's birthday party together. ;)

In other news, I've discovered the blur effect in Whoop!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Quote of the Week

After watching her first movie with an intermission:

Blinky: "Man that was a long interception!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Family Travel Adventures LLC

I've been holding back on this announcement until everything was properly set up and fully operational...In early June, I met with the owner of Classic Travel Connection in Birmingham and signed on as an independent travel consultant. YAY! My company's name is Family Travel Adventures LLC. I'm absolutely thrilled to be doing something I love!!

You've followed our family's travels for years throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Western Europe. Now, I would love to help you book your next vacation!

When you book with me, you receive a personalized consultation that matches your expectations and budget…FOR FREE!!! that you return to me again and again for future travel planning. I offer a level of service you won’t receive online or over the phone. My ultimate goal is for you to be completely happy with the money you’ve spent making lifetime memories.

So visit my Facebook page, follow along on Instagram and re-read details of my own adventures for inspiration. Just click the travel label on the right.

I cannot wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Life Lately and The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017

I can hardly believe how long its been since my last post. Time has just been flying by and any system of organization I had has been completely obliterated. So what's been going on?
The kids went back to school in early August. How is it possible that I have a third and fourth grader already? I keep coming back to the adage, The Days Are Long But the Years Are Short. Well we have some really, REALLY long days (especially with homework) but the DH and I are doing our best to create happy, lasting memories with them.

My Mom's six-week visit finally came to an end. After dropping her off at the Atlanta Airport, we headed to Lavonia, Georgia for a few days. This was a combination trip to celebrate the DH's birthday as well as to watch the Great American Solar Eclipse 2017 from the Path of Totality.

The DH and I had gone back and forth about whether or not we wanted to pull the kids out of school and ultimately decided this was a rare opportunity that could not be missed. We wanted to avoid I-85 as much as possible with the prediction of grid-locked traffic, so we headed northwest to the little town of Lavonia, which we could get to using mostly back roads.

Lavonia has a population of approximately 2,200. One of the local police officers estimated that thousands of visitors descended upon the town yesterday to watch. To the town's credit, they had a neat setup on the Square with a band, vendors and a free rock-painting booth for the kids. Check out Stinky and Blinky's eclipse creations:

For a while we were worried that the clouds would spoil the event but they cleared just minutes before. In the seconds leading up to totality, the atmosphere was electric! Kids were jumping up and down and most adults were visibly emotional. The crowd exploded into a round of applause and cheers at the moment of totality. The DH took these photos with our camera, using one of the solar eclipse glasses as a filter. Check out that corona!


Looking back, this trip was worth the long drive, the car fights, the fast food diet, the extreme August heat and stalking Walmart for solar eclipse glasses. For just under two minutes, none of that mattered and we were all blown away by the sheer majesty of this beautiful event. It is truly something we will remember forever. As we were walking back to the car Stinky said, "That was totality worth it!" I couldn't agree more.

But now we're back to our daily routine and I really must figure out a new system that will enable me to balance working from home, taking care of the home, the dreaded homework hours, and the kids' extra-curricular activities. I would love tips and tricks from those of you who have figured it out!