Friday, August 5, 2016

BIG Enough...for ME!

Though Gene's summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa was over a year ago he still talks almost daily of his adventure. It was such a positive experience with so many lessons learned.

As always his excitement rubs off on me. He has repeatedly told me that I could do it and has asked me to join him next time. Besides my suspicion that he is motivated by me helping him stay warm in the tent at night, I have a big problem...

I Don't Wanna!

It's not that I question whether I can or am willing to put in the time to train, the thought of it just doesn't give me that rush. You know when that thought of something goes off in your head and creates a wave of excited anticipation? Whenever I feel that way I don't let anything stand in my way...


...BUT...

I still want to get a taste of being on that majestic mountain - the tallest free standing mountain in the world. To be in hiker's heaven with just enough challenge...for ME. So I have a plan and one that I hope some of you will join in on.

 a 7 day itinerary with 4 days of hiking -- sounds pretty perfect to me!

Some of you won't get it...I already have had people tell me to just pick another mountain that isn't as high. For me it's not about getting to the top of anything. It's just about doing something that is right for me, right now...

Sometimes you don't have to go to the very top 
to do something really big.

Consider this your invitation:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

This Is Sara

Have you ever met someone that in an instant you immediately clicked with? That is what it was like when I first met Sara in Italy...


The favorite part of my job is meeting people from EVERYWHERE! A friendship is formed --sometimes just for that moment and other times...FOREVER.

Sara is one of those forever friends and also happens to be our intriguing Italian guide for our upcoming trip on the Amalfi Coast.


Yet it is not only I that finds Sara exceptional. In the words of some of our guests...

THIS IS SARA: 
"...charming, smart, knowledgeable, friendly, beautiful eyes, storyteller, informed, thoughtful, beautiful, savvy, competent, fun, good sense of humor, a really fabulous guide with a high level of expertise on all things Italian."

"An absolute delight...keenly attuned to her client's capabilities and a treasure trove of little stories to make the walks we take with her so much more interesting, She's always cheerful and enthusiastic."

"It is difficult to limit it to one word but I would pick SPECIAL. Of course I could also say awesome, fantastic, amazing, friend, and more."


Meet Sara for yourself...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Wishing Tree

In a land far, far away there is a tree...
a very special tree.


Some might pass it by thinking it is another ordinary fig tree, even though it has a commanding presence overlooking the renowned Ngorongoro Crater of Tanzania fame.  But for the Ilkisongo Clan of the Maasai, this special tree has historically held spiritual significance. 

In reverence it is called "Oreteti."  

Oreteti is considered akin to a god and through time has been a place where older women have gone to pray and to make a wish for healing, for ending a drought or other adversity. To cement their wish they would leave a metal or beaded bracelet among the branches. Over the years their bangles have slowly become part of the tree, almost as if Oreteti is absorbing the misfortune to take any pain away.





As tradition continues all those who pass, 
take a small handful of grass and place it at the base 
and sit quietly for a moment as a sign of respect.

We too will honor tradition on our return trip to Tanzania. During our stay at Entamanu -- far away from the flurry of tourists -- we will have the opportunity amidst the stillness of Africa to walk to the shade of Oreteti.

For a moment in time perched high on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim 
we will reflect on our good fortune of being where we are and make a wish...



* Thank you to Nomad Tanzania for providing the information for this story






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CLIMB!!!

I set out to climb "BIG" hill...
In the greater scheme of things "BIG" hill isn't really very big,  
just bigger than little hill.

Lately I had taken "BIG" hill for granted. 
Though I could see it everyday from my office window, 
I turned away and ignored it.



Half way up I was out of breath and feeling...uncomfortable? I didn't like it -- I didn't like it at all. What had happened? "BIG" hill use to be easy and now it felt hard. I continued on, beating myself up with should haves, would haves and could haves. Not enough of this and too much of that. Making matters worse, I was weighing myself down with negativity.

Press Pause

What was I thinking? I had a fleeting recollection of everyone that I had ever encountered that had given up all together because it didn't feel good -- muscles ache, knees hurt, feet swell. Understood BUT it feels even worse when you quit.

I wrapped my head around a new thought, a word, a simple idea - CLIMB. By the end of the year I want "BIG" hill to feel easy - CLIMB. Every time something seems hard, I will think - CLIMB. When I don't feel like going for a walk - CLIMB. No time - CLIMB. Too hot, too tired, too late --- CLIMB, CLIMB, CLIMB.


My Mantra -- CLIMB!!!

Now I'm thinking I am going to CLIMB something even bigger than big...






Thursday, April 14, 2016

Homesick

Over the years Gene and I have explored different areas of Africa in a variety of ways. Through our extensive experience we have a select list of what makes a safari exceptional... 
Our last trip to Tanzania checked everything off that list. 
Especially the service -- so warm and friendly we felt like we were home. 
As time has past we are longing for that place that lulls us to sleep at night


then wakes us gently in the morning...


Home is not a place...it's a feeling.
A place where high emotions and excitement fill the day all wrapped up in a sense of happiness. Then as the sun goes down, reflecting by the warmth of the cozy fire you take comfort in just...being.


With only room for 10 guests


our stay will be at small intimate private camps and lodges
where we will be specially welcomed by our Tanzanian friends 
Paulo, Ian. Good Luck, Anofi and Jairo.


Would you like to be one of 10? 


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

You Say Tomato...

...but in Italy it is the pomodoro

Which makes me think of pizza. Some people eat pizza once a week a month or maybe a day? I LOVE pizza. I also really miss pizza. Sorry Arizona, but since residing here we haven't found one that quite lives up to my New York memories of getting a slice around the corner at Sal's. And yes I have had pizza for breakfast.

On our last trip to Italy, our exuberant guide Sara wisely expressed that to get the very best pizza make sure that it is made by a Neapolitan PIZZAIOLO (the pizza maker).

Which brings me back to the tomato where it all started... 





In the early 1500's, tomatoes were introduced from the New World to Europe. This strange fruit (or vegetable according to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1893) was met with disdain and rumored to be poisonous.


In Naples, the poor only had olive oil, flour cheese, herbs and lard to sustain their hunger. Perhaps out of this hunger they were driven with bravery to take the demonized pomodoro and create the first tomato sauce pizza. It didn't take long for it to become a hit.


                   

So popular that when the King and Queen of Italy were vacationing in Naples they requested a pizzaiola to come at once. Not only was the Margherita pizza born (named after the Queen herself) but perhaps even the first pizza delivery? 


So whether you say "toe-may-toe" or "toe-mah-toe" 
when in Naples...
we'll say pomodoro and taste test ourselves
and by the way-- we invite you to join us! 
September 24 - October 1, 2016

Come Walk With Us!




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Mantra

Is It Over Yet?
It IS February after all... 


For weeks I have felt bombarded with advice on what to do, how to do it, when to start, where to go and why I should. The suggestions came from doctors, lawyers, experts, trainers, designers, counselors, bloggers, professionals and not so professional "whatevers."

These recommendations were going to make me 
thinner, healthier, smarter, richer and of course happier!

It was simple...
all I had to do was make a new year's resolution.
I resisted. 

Actually I've resisted for many years. Resolutions are great...just not great for me. An optimistic gesture for sure, but with an 80% fail rate I AM NOT ALONE.

This year I decided to have a mantra. A word or phrase that would embrace a new mindset. Something that could carry over to a variety of aspects in my life in a positive way. Something to inspire and motivate -- not deflate.

I went for a walk and evaluated my year behind and
contemplated the days ahead...


That's It... 

Climb!

Check back soon and I will tell you why in a future post!