Last week I started a series talking about gifting an experience. This week I wanted to expand on that a bit. Every year I, like many, flock around the TV on December 31st to “watch the ball” drop on Times Square in New York.
Some of my friends last year said how cool would it be to go to New York to watch the ball drop? Then as we dared to stay up even later and watch the after show, we saw the porta-potties, the people fighting to get out of the streets and we started realizing that they were probably there for hours in the cold waiting to see it drop. The excitement of being on the streets of New York for that moment started to look a bit different to us.
If watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve is on your bucket list of an experience that you would love to have or perhaps share with your sweetheart but you don’t want to stand in the cold for hours, stand in line for the porta-potty, or fight your way back out of the crowds, I may have an answer for you. How about a couple of nights in New York City for two, with an exclusive party high above the city lights right in the middle of it all? With dancing, buffet, open bar, a view of the fireworks and the most important thing of all the ball dropping right there? Plus you will be warm! What an experience to give!
Or perhaps you want to give more of a romantic low key New Year’s Experience away. Perhaps a room for two for New Years where you can ring in the New Year’s alone with a bottle of champagne and some roses, and perhaps some romantic music.
Now you may have the kids this year for New Years. There are many options for ringing in the New Year and giving them a great experience. Including taking them to a hotel for a kids friendly evening complete with a party to ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop on TV. Or perhaps going to a waterpark. Maybe taking them to Disney World to see the Fantasy in the Sky at Magic Kingdom Park or New Year’s Countdown Fireworks At Epcot.
Whatever New Year’s Experience that you would like to surprise them with this holiday season, I am here to help you plan the perfect surprise. You can give me a call or send me an email and I would love to be of service to you.
And until next time remember Love is the Journey!
Have you ever heard, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” I know that I’ve said that before and I’ve heard that many times before. Your vacation should be fun and not wearing you down.
Sometimes we like to either plan everything for the moment to try to get it in just in case we never make it back there again. Or we have to see just one more thing. I know I’m guilty of that. I call it the over-achiever vacation syndrome. I’ve learned over the years to let it go, or I’ll go insane. I’m learning to make myself a well-balanced vacation.
You can do so much research on the internet on how to make your vacation less stressful and more relaxing that you will be stressed by trying to be less stressed! It’s CRAZY! From someone who has vacationed before the invention of social media, being attached via the internet 24\7, let me give you a few things that I’ve learned, ignored, and re-learned over the years.
DETACH - We all need to detach and live in the moment. When the kids were little I wanted to video and photograph every little moment of their lives when we were on vacation. Mark was the smarter one he always told me - “Let’s live in the moment instead of behind the camera.” It took me a while, however, I did learn to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those pictures and if it were up to Mark and the boys there are too many still. However, I’ve lightened up the load over the years and lived in the moment. They don’t need to have every moment of their lives videotaped to relive. Every moment doesn’t have to be on social media for the world to see - sometimes it’s nicer to have things just between us. When we were kids we didn’t have a device to live on and when we went on vacation we all reconnected. Sometimes I think we all need to do that as well.
RELAXATION - Yes, build in that time. We are in a world today that everything is at warp speed and every moment has to be filled with something to do. When on vacation take some time off of and do something crazy, like read a book, take a nap, go swimming or try something new. Keep activities at a low tension - let’s slow it down….
When we do these things we start to relax and feel more recharged and in control again of life. That’s when the magic of the journey happens. Your favorite destination maybe a beach, or maybe a ski hill, or a European Countryside, it doesn’t matter as long as you detach and relax - the rest will come to you.
And until next time don’t forget that love is the journey!
During the holiday season, we are all thankful for the things that we have. And over the years I’ve learned that when I travel that I need to make sure that I am thankful for the journey that I’ve taken and not to miss out on it while I’m on it.
When we travel it is always easy to think of the destination that we are going to, and if something goes wrong get upset and let it ruin our vacation. Here’s an example, on our honeymoon we went on a cruise. We were supposed to go to the Grand Cayman. Now you need to remember that we’ve been married for a LONG time, you know before a little thing called the internet ruled everything that we do. Yes, there were cell phones, but not smartphones. Anyways, the ship had to turn around and ended up in Key West, Florida. Needless to say being a new bride I was not happy. Fill in any word that you want here. We had no plans on what to do, plus we were stuck on the ship for an extra couple of hours while they unloaded the person who was ill. Well, after realizing that it was because of someone’s health I did calm down, however, I was still bummed that my dream honeymoon was ruined. Yes, everything did not turn out as I had dreamed and planned.
Here’s where I’m thankful. I was able to go to Key West. After I stopped pouting like a two-year-old, I was able to enjoy a day exploring the island with my new husband. We made a ton of memories, and I made it to my first Margaritaville Restaurant. Yes, I’m a Parrot Head. I was able to see things and do things that I NEVER would have been able to do if I had kept my negative attitude and pouted and sat on the ship. We actually ended up having dinner at the most amazing restaurant on the island with a beautiful sunset. Well, part of our sunset was covered by a ship, ours, so as the waiter put it, “We’re dead tonight because that dang ship came in.” Well, it was the most romantic dinner for the two of us in a super romantic spot with an amazing backdrop. Would I have had that in the Grand Cayman? No. Would I of had that if I wouldn’t have just sat back and enjoyed the journey? No. Looking back the unexpected detour was a blessing.
So friends, just like life and love when traveling the journey is what takes you places and it’s what to be thankful for.
With that thought, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving -
And until next time, Love is the Journey!
You want that once in a lifetime vacation, that special honeymoon, or that special anniversary trip. You may want to go to a beach, or on a cruise, but you don’t want it to feel like just any other vacation. How can you put your own personality on it? Let’s take a look at a few options…
Before you leave home, purchase a small gift and pack it away. You can then give it to your sweetheart at a special moment. What a great way to surprise them with a special piece of jewelry or momento that will remind them of this special vacation.
How about a special dinner either on a beach or at a romantic location for just the two of you? Candlelight, or at sunset with torches of lights around you?
How about having rose petals on the bed when you arrive? Or on a certain day? Better yet, what about a bubble bath for two with rose petals?
You can also to the spa and have a massage for two. A lot of resorts have outdoor massages that you can have on the beach, or in a garden.
Perhaps you would like to have a special momento of this once in a lifetime vacation and would like to have a photographer take a session of the two of you. You can have this set up ahead of time.
Something that I like is taking a piece of resort stationery and write a love letter to your sweetheart. Write about how you are feeling right now at this moment. Then after you return home, I always say wait six months or so and give it to them to remind them that this wonderful time.
When I work with a couple I like to make sure that they have any little surprises or special touches. I can help them put together all the extras that take a vacation from ordinary to extraordinary. Helping create a romantic moment that you won’t forget, or surprising your sweetheart with a day trip to that one place that crosses off his or her bucket list is one the best parts of my business.
And until next time….
Love is the journey!
In today’s day and age, everyone has a device and is using it when traveling. Here are 5 tips to help keep you safer when traveling…..
5:) Prepare your device before leaving by installing anti-virus software and having the latest OS version loaded on your phone.
It is crucial to have antivirus software on your phone while traveling. You are exposed to more threats when traveling because you are on more free wi-fi services. And that is the same with having the latest OS loaded on your phone before leaving home. It will save you from any previous OS exploits and you will have the best speeds available when using the mobile and cellular networks. It also wouldn’t hurt to look into having a VPN service on your phone for safety.
4:) Don’t let everyone know on social media of your travel plans.
You wouldn’t want to have the neighbors calling you on vacation telling you that your house has been burglarized. Yes, that does happen. Save all of your cool pictures and share them at the end of your vacation. Burglars are known for scanning social media for travel plans and then making their plans on your homes.
3:) Keep an eye on your devices at all times!
Anymore our entire lives are on our cell phones. Just as much as our wallets. Think about it - we have our pictures, our banking information, our email, our social media, everything on that little device. When you are traveling, don’t just leave it out on the lounge chair or on the table by the lounge chair and walk away. Take care of it like you would your wallet. Put it in your hotel safe if you are not going to be using it. If you are using it, keep it next to you at all times.
2:) Turn off the Bluetooth!
Turn off your Bluetooth when not in use. Not only will this save on your battery life when you are on vacation, but it will be a big safety protector. Hackers may be able to get into your device from the Bluetooth connection. Only use it if you need to.
1:) Change your passwords.
Even though you should change passwords every three months, it is especially crucial after coming home from vacation. You were most likely on free wifi over your vacation and especially if you used a public access PC to print out plane tickets or to access your email, you will want to change those passwords.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful!
And until next time - Love is the Journey!
Let's face it, after you’ve been together for awhile, perhaps you have a couple of kids, the career, and everything else, you want to feel like newlyweds. Especially in the bedroom - that’s the biggest reason why we take the romantic vacation away. Here’s a few tips to set the mood for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company….
Most of us love to go the beach. Find us a beach resort, or a cruise and we are happy. However, that may not the setting for everyone. What setting made the two of you feel sexy. Is it a night out in the city? Is it exploring a new land? What makes you feel sexy?
When picking out your room, splurge a bit on the accommodations so that you WANT to stay in your room. Get the king size bed, or the in room jacuzzi. And when picking a resort, stay away from the family resorts, choose one that has more of an adult feel. You left the kids at home, you don’t want to see everyone else’s kids. It’s harder to “get in the mood” when the kid at the table next to you is throwing his spaghetti on the floor.
When planning activities and excursions or day trips, don’t over book yourself on your romantic vacation. Remember that you will want to rest up and get some downtime to enjoy each other’s company. You need to reconnect on all levels when you are away. You don’t need to go from sun up to sun down on excursions and activities. Pick something to do for the day for a few hours and then relax a bit. If you are a couple who feels sexier in the morning, pick afternoon activities. If you are a couple who feels sexier in the afternoon pick a morning activity. And if you really enjoy this romantic getaway and the location makes you feel sexy most likely you will want to return and you can then go see something else in that location so you don’t have to do it all in one vacation.
Most importantly, disconnect from the outside world. Yes, put down the smartphone, email, and everything else. If you must check email and take calls, talk ahead of time and setup a mutually agreed upon time to do that. And if you are going to check in on the kids, make sure that you have a window of time that you have setup with their caretaker. Check in, let them know that you are good and get back to being newlyweds.
Things might not always go as planned, from getting there to the weather, to activities. Sometimes you need to go with the flow. And that’s okay. Enjoy the moment - who knows how the romance will flow.
And until next time remember, Love is the Journey.
When I was younger I would fly by the seat of my pants. Yes, I didn’t want to make any plans just let life happen by. Now, as I’m a bit more “seasoned” as they say, I’ve learned to have some things set up and ready to go when I leave home and travel.
What are they?
Travel Insurance - I have learned the hard way that it’s always good to protect my travel investment. I remember a time that I didn’t because “Wow that was an extra $200 and really I was going on that vacation!” You see it was a spring break quickie vacation that I was going to take the boys and my mom to Houston Texas, nothing was going to go wrong. We were going to get on that plane no matters what! Well, four days before Easter I was in the doctor’s office getting seen and ended up on antibiotics. I was in a panic that the boys were going to catch it from me and the trip was going to be over. I was going to be out that money! Lesson learned - always get the travel protection.
Plan my “excursions” or shore trips ahead of time.
I use to always say, “I’ll just go with the flow…..” that’s great until you really want to do something and it’s sold out! Lesson learned: I wanted to see the Everglades at the end of my cruise. It was May, beautiful weather in Florida. “Ah, not worried I’m sure we will get to do it!” Nope, I ended up taking a tour of Miami. Now don’t get me wrong, it was super cool and I enjoyed every minute of it, however, I really wanted to see the Everglades. The next time I was on a cruise, it was in January. Being a Wisconsin Gal, you would think that Florida would be warm in January. I was whisking away in the Everglades in 40-degree weather with my winter jacket on! Not what I had envisioned!! Again, lesson learned!
Give myself plenty of time when I leave for the airport.
Not to give away my age, but I remember when you would just whisk into the airport stop at the ticket counter and run to the gate. Those days are no longer! I’m sure that some of my readers can’t even fathom those days! I always give myself at LEAST two hours once I’m at the airport. That will give me time to pack my car, get through security and get to the gate. I would rather be early and overpay for an airport drink than to rush and have my blood pressure go through the roof!
And those my friends are my lessons learned over the years to make a more favorable vacation. Because travel should be the most riching and rewarding thing you can do, not the most stressful.
And until next time remember Love is the Journey!
I have a little secret, I love to read People Magazine. Yes, it has all the juicy gossip plus it has great mysteries stories as well. This week while reading, there was an article about one of my favorite comedic actresses, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and her cancer recovery. She was stating how much she has to be thankful for. Including her friends, boys, and husband, Brad Hall. As I was looking at the pictures of her and her family the one thing that struck me was a caption under a picture of her and her husband that stated that she still refers to her husband of 30 years her boyfriend. How cool is that?
Then I started to think about marriage. I think that sometimes, and I know that I can even be guilty of this, we start to get into that “slump”. We start to go into automatic mode. You know, get up, get going for work, get the kids off to school, wait what’s for dinner? Then when you get home, there’s homework, a load of laundry, dinner, dishes and the list can go on and on. Throw in a work project or two and then the next thing you know your exhausted and falling asleep on the couch.
I know that I’m guilty of this, and I’m lucky enough to have a husband who is not afraid to voice his opinion that he wants his wife back. But after thinking more closely at it, and thinking about our life in general, sometimes I like having him as my boyfriend. I’m lucky enough that my parents gave me a great example of how important it was for them to spend time together in their relationship, and now I do that with my own husband.
When our kids were younger, we would ship them off to grandma’s for date night, or for a weekend away as much as possible. Sometimes a weekend away was a weekend away for the kids and we would stay home. Here’s the most important key to that, turn off the phone. I know it’s evil to say, but do you remember when you were dating and you didn’t pick up the phone on a date? Pretend for a few hours that you are dating. It’s fun!
To this day, there are certain songs that go on and we dance in the living room. When the boys were little they would want to dance with us, now they are still at the point where they are like, really? It’s almost fun to watch them cringe.
And now that they are old enough for us to have a date night and they can stay home alone if we don’t take at least one night out a week, they let us know. They are like, “Mom and Dad, aren’t you going out together this week?” And it’s not an all-nighter either. It’s sometimes just for a quick dinner, or maybe out for a drink. It’s funny how they realize how important that time is for us as well. I think that it’s something that we are teaching them, that our relationship is very important and if we nurture it we are able to be better parents and a better family.
So here’s to my boyfriend! I’m lucky enough to have married him and I’m lucky enough to enjoy this journey with him!
Because love is the journey!
It's that time of year again, that crisp feeling is back in the air, and the kids are back in school. The days are getting shorter and the holidays are getting closer. More of us are getting ready to either take a look at taking a holiday break or visiting family across the country or across the globe. And it’s that time when those little germ bugs are coming into full season again. But as Dr. Travis Stork says, “The key is to be germ aware, not a germaphobe.”
Here are a few tips to be germ aware while at the airport and on your next flight.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot during the flu season and to get it at least two weeks before travel, as the flu shot takes two weeks for vaccine immunity to develop after the shot.
Another suggestion is to get your immune system ready for travel. Get lots of rest and make sure that you are well hydrated. Don’t be afraid to drink lots of water before the flight.
Use nasal saline before and after your flight. This will help keep your nose moist since the airplane air is so dry it will dry out your mucous membranes. And during your flight stay hydrated to keep the
Open the air vent above you on the airplane. It keeps the air circulating around you.
Bring some hand sanitizer for yourself and don’t touch your face. Also, bring some antibacterial wipes and wipe down your tray table, armrests, and even your hands. After touching some of these areas you can be filled with lots of germs.
Just be prepared and get ready to enjoy the journey.