Sunday, March 26, 2017

EAT CAKE FOR BREAKFAST...(And Other Lessons I Learned From My Mom)

Another year passes without my Mom...
but the lessons she taught me still live on.

How to take my first steps...(and then another and another and then I never stopped...)

Always say please and thank you...(Politeness will get you everywhere.)

Take your shoes off...and walk barefoot in the grass...(Enjoy the simple pleasures in life.)

Whether you are taking a hike "on top of the hill" or "down to the crick" just be home in time for supper...(Be on time, no excuses.)

Clean your plate. There are starving children in China...(Don't put too much on your plate to begin with and share what you have!)

Don't hate ANYONE. It is OK not to like someone, but do not hate...("As I walked out the door to my freedom I realized that if I did not leave all of my anger, hatred and bitterness behind I would still be in prison."  ~ Nelson Mandela)

You are never too old to hike Rim to Rim at the Grand Canyon or do a marathon...(Mom did a marathon at 72. I'm always in training for something new.)

You can be anything you want to be...(Think BIG.)

Don't be afraid of the water, jump right in...(Be fearless.)

Be different...(You won't always fit in and that's OK.)

Wherever you are and whom ever you're with be nice - be kind - be generous...(Be NICE. Be KIND. Be GENEROUS.)

Be proud of who you are...(Walk into the room with your head held high)



Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finding My Voice

November 9th, 2016

I want to scrrreeeeeammmm
I want to shout 
I want to yell

there is too much noise

I can NOT find my voice

So much I want to say  
who will listen to my blues, my story, my essence, my drive
searching for my voice

Seemingly a lifetime
where is my voice

To make a point
to carry on
to LIVE my life

Perhaps, for now,
I will use the words of others
to try and
Find My Voice...

"Our days begin to end 
the day we become silent about the things that matter." 
~ Martin Luther King

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...


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...

"...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


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


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'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?