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!

Monday, August 14, 2017

We Must Learn to Live Together as Brothers or Perish Together as Fools

This blog was created to document our family experiences; the kids' development, the vacations, the accolades, and even the minutia of daily life. It is not a political forum so I tend to shy away from expressing my political views on this platform. But every so often something disturbs me to the core, that it deserves documenting. If only to look back on later as a teachable moment. With that in mind, this is my reaction to the events this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA:

What's yours?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mixing Business and Pleasure in Baton Rouge and New Orleans

Since my mom is still visiting and a great babysitter, the DH invited me along to a SQL Saturday event in Baton Rouge last weekend where he was a guest speaker. Since we rarely get to do anything just the two of us, this was a fantastic opportunity for some quality couple time. Well at the last minute I came down with a horrible cold and very nearly didn't go. Considering it will likely be another year before we have another weekend alone, I packed up a box of cold/sinus medicine and hit the road.

We arrived just in time for the Speaker Dinner Friday night at Varsity Theatre. I loved the art deco style. I had hoped to find more info on the history of the building, but so far no luck.

The menu was typical Cajun fare consisting of fried oysters, gumbo and jambalaya. Yes, please!! Anything Cajun is a hit with me, but combined with the fact that it was probably the only food that had any taste in my condition, I fully enjoyed it! (I forgot to take pics of the food. I so need to work on that!!)

On Saturday, the DH prepared for his presentation. I tried to rest as much as possible as we had plans to have dinner and a movie later that night. By late afternoon, laying in bed surrounded by used tissues, I knew those plans would change. Instead we curled up, but not too closely, binge watching Blindspot on Hulu.

Sunday morning I felt marginally better. We did a little shopping and headed to New Orleans for lunch. I've written about New Orleans previously, detailing how much we enjoy the Crescent City. The warmth and diversity of the people remind me of home. And while cooking styles couldn't be more different, I grew up on shellfish and took to Cajun cuisine like a glove.

We walked the main thoroughfare ending up at the French Market where we stopped for lunch. I ordered a shrimp boil that was so spicy, any residual sinus issues were instantly cleared, no kidding! The DH had jambalaya, one of his favorites. While eating, we saw several street performers which is always enjoyable.

Feeling a lot better, and worried about how Grandma was managing with the kids missing Stinky and Blinky, we started the long drive home. It wasn't the weekend we planned but I wouldn't have spent it with anyone else!