• Destinations

    Planning the next adventure

    Six weeks from today, I leave for my next adventure in Europe. I have some things finalized: a full-day riding a Clydesdale in Cornwall, a theater performance looking out over the sea, a cooking class in Rome. Pretty good stuff. Some minor details…I haven’t booked my flight. Why? Because I am a brat and am pouting over the airfare prices! I always do a pretty comprehensive budget before I travel. I budget $1,000 for airfare. But I am always able to get a flight at around $850 if I watch and wait. Well, I’ve been watching and waiting and it’s not happening. Once I watched and waited too long and…

  • Destinations

    Anna Maria Island, FL

    Thursday, October 6, 2011 The University has a fall break on the semester calendar and classes are canceled Monday and Tuesday. I had originally planned to go see my daughter Jessie in south Louisiana, and had given my Friday trauma class an Internet assignment. We ended up rescheduling so Jessie can come home over the holidays instead. So I found myself with an unexpected free long weekend. My college roommate, Debbie, has a condo on Anna Maria Island and invited me to use it. I took her up on the offer and decided to capitalize on this weekend and call it a “writing retreat”. The condo is directly on the…

  • Destinations

    Why do I love doing this?

    I just returned from a rather impromptu camping trip that could have been scripted for an “I Love Lucy” episode. And yes, I was Lucy. I have camped my entire life. Until I was in college, I didn’t even know there were campgrounds, much less ones with bathrooms.  My parents’ idea of camping was to go for weeks on one of the barrier islands where we collected our drinking water into large Army canteens from dew or rain. Our bathroom was a shovel and a roll of toilet paper kept in a coffee can to keep it dry. Then I was a Girl Scout leader for 12 years and we…

  • Destinations

    Day 20: Transitions

    I have a wonderful life. My work is wonderful, my family is wonderful, and I live the way I want to live. This strikes me often – but especially today when I have to transition from a true “holiday” back to the world that supports me. I was a bit tearful walking from La Gaffe to the Tube station this morning. I had a nice visit with Lorenzo over breakfast – how I will miss his lattes’ – then it was time to leave. It’s never as much fun ending a vacation as it is to begin one. The logistics of leaving London were easy: Walk from La Gaffe to…

  • Destinations

    Day 19: Last Full Day in London

    I am not going to lie – I am going to miss London. This is odd – because usually, I HATE large cities. And if I had to do the Tube every day at rush hour, perhaps I’d hate that. But a city with over two thousand years of recorded history – everything you could possibly want to do – architecture that rivals any place in the world – a population as diverse as the planet – and because of that diversity, really good food – it is no wonder that whenever I am away too long I yearn to come back. I leave tomorrow, so I had some specific…