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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monday's Musing - What is Success?

Sunday's Inspiration

Hello dear friends:

I am afraid that I have been MIA for the last several days due to a very unexpected business trip.

While I am still traveling I wanted to leave you with a short daily inspiration...

I will be back to regular posts in the near future!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday is Here!

I am having a somewhat unusual weekend.  I have to WORK!!!  Thank goodness this doesn't happen on a regular basis but this is one of those weekends where I will have to work both Saturday and Sunday on a special project.

So - the blog may reflect some "weekend attitude" this weekend but everything should be back to normal after catching up on some sleep after this crazy weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday's Wisdom

It is important to remember that by taking no action is the same thing as making a decision to remain in the same place you were yesterday and today.  Today make a step and try something different.  You may just surprise yourself!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Travel Thursday - Sausalito, CA

I am a firm believer that when traveling - the traveling should be a life changing experience.  I love to find those special places that speak to me...that inspire me..that make leave me a better place than I was before I arrived.

One such place is just north across the Golden Gate Bridge - in a special artist community called Sausalito.  I had heard about this special place for years before I actually decided to check it out myself.  It is a charming, energetic community where you can easily get lost in the many art galleries, incredible restaurants, people watching or just sitting on a bench and listening to the lullaby of the water crashing against the rocks.  

Sausalito is such an eclectic town where there is something for anyone and everyone but I want to share with you today a very special hotel that has become one of my favorite places.

On one of my early trips to Sausalito I was walking around the town and turned down a small side street off the main road and much to my surprise I found a true treasure - The Inn Above Tide - a small luxury boutique hotel. I felt myself walking inside the lobby and was totally emerged in the quiet and elegant ambiance of this small boutique hotel.  I told myself when I first set eyes on it that I would be back some day to stay in this quaint and welcoming hotel.

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My next trip to Northern California included that dream come true.  I was lucky enough to secure a room for a very reasonable rate (well reasonable for Northern California that is!).  My room had a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay and included balcony with an outdoor area where I could actually sit outside and just let the stress and troubles of the day escape...the gentle sounds of the water rushing against the building was just so  relaxing and the feeling of peacefulness overtook me.  My room also had a that night I left the door to my balcony opened so I could hear the sounds of the Bay against the rocks and the fireplace providing a calming warmth that cuddled me to sleep. 

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Want to know another wonderful feature about the Inn Above the Tides?   They have an awesome Happy Hour!  I mean - you are not far from Wine Country and the Happy Hour has some wonderful local selections.

Do you love a beautiful sunset?  Well - the sunsets that you can feast your eyes upon from your room are just breathtaking!

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The sunrise is not too shabby either!

Take a look and see if you can picture yourself there too!

The Daytime view from the room 
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The view from the room at night - (source unknown)  *sigh*  Isn't this just beautiful?

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Morning Glory! This is the walkway that runs in front of the entrance of the Inn 

The Inn from the Bay
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If you are ever find yourself in Northern California - take a day or two to explore Sausalito and book a room at the Inn Above Tide - the hidden treasure of Sausalito!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday's Musings - St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!  May you find your pot of gold!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

This week is Spring Break and I am soooooo jealous of anyone who has packed their bags and headed to the beach this week!

Remember the good ole days when Spring Break meant headed to a place where it was warm enough that you could walk on the sand...feel the tropical breeze upon your face and just do nothing but relax?

Oh how I wish I could be there right now!  How about you?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday's Musings

What's holding you back from this being your best Monday ever?  Whatever it is...just choose to ignore it and make it a GREAT Monday!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday's Inspiration

Do not be afraid to walk away from the crowd.  Do not be afraid to take your own journey!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Flashback Friday - Do you remember?

American Graffiti?
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Drive-in restaurants?

Food at the local drive-in restaurant?

*ha*  I have actually eaten at Frankies in Waterbury, CT...GREAT hot dogs!
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OOOH...and the Varsity in Atlanta...have you ever been there?  If you are within 200 miles of really need to experience all that is the Varsity!  And yes - I had a hot dog at the Varsity too...~hmmm~  beginning to see a pattern here?

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Have you ever visited one of these?  Until just a few years ago - there was an old fashion soda fountain here where you could take a journey back to the days where you could find these everywhere!

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And...last but not least!  When I turned 16 - my mother bought me a very used car.  She did this so I could help her drive my brother back and forth to school which would be a tremendous help to her!

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A 1965 red Mustang!  If only I still had that car today!

What does your Flashback Friday look like?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Huntsville, Alabama - My Hometown

I am proud to tell the world that I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama which has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the United States!  Let me take you on a short tour of my hometown!  Some of the most breathtaking architecture can be found here in Huntsville with a city just oozing with history!  It is a very old and proud southern city.  She holds her head high knowing that her history makes her one of the most  distinguished southern cities in the South.

Huntsville has some incredible antebellum homes.  Each time I would drive by one of the many...many old homes I would let my imagination run wild - imagining what it would be like to live in a home so glorious!  I loved thinking about how much fun a child would have running throughout these grand homes...playing hide and seek...running up and down the stairs...

You can also find some historical churches in my home town:

 Church of the Nativity Episcopal Church which dates back before the Civil War - this church is reputed to be haunted!  I can not speak on whether this church is or isn't haunted but I have been scared there a time or two!

1st Presbyterian in downtown Huntsville.  Funny story - my girl scout troop was having a special meeting in the basement one evening...and a bat came out of nowhere...I can only imagine how funny it must have looked for a troop of girl scouts scooting around looking for a hiding place from the bat..while screaming our heads off.  The bat was probably more frightened of us than we were of them!

I can remember going to junior high football games in Goldsmith Schiffman Field.  It was a fine old stadium.  The bleachers were not the most comfortable in the world either!

Did you ever jump in the car with a group of friends and head to the drive-in theater?  

Okay - fess up....did you ever hide some people in the car so not to have to pay for everyone in the car?

There are so many wonderful memories of favorite places to eat...
 Each week after our weekly Tri-Hi-Y meeting at the downtown YMCA - all of the girls would head here to the Krystal for a quick snack!

My high school!  The Huntsville High Panthers!

SHONEYS!!!  What can I say?  Best fudge cake ever!

One of my favorite places to go on a date...nothing like a delicious orange slush and a juicy hot dog!

This throwback trip down memory lane must end with my very favorite place...Monte Sano Mountain was always my sanctuary.  It was my safe haven...if I needed a place to think...a place to rejuvenate - this mountain always called to me and I listened.  It was my place where I could find myself always!

I love my hometown...and my memories always take me home time and time again!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Alaska or Bust!

I may have mentioned a time or two how I long to see Alaska.  There are two reasons why I feel so strongly about traveling to this massive land of many a mile that has yet to be touched by a human being.  First – I want to visit all 50 states in the U.S. and this is by far the one that intrigues me the most!  Secondly – I thirst to see the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis.    This incredible and seemingly magical display of breathtaking beauty if most prevalent in the far North of the U.S.  normally 70 – 80 degrees north but sometimes you can observe the Northern Lights as far south as 50 degrees.  So Alaska is on my travel list for this year!
Now let me preface this blog by saying…everything that I have written here is strictly from research that I have done on my future Alaskan trip.  As with any travel – I like to do my homework!

What exactly are the Northern Lights?
Per Travel + Leisure – some native Alaskans often view the Aurora as a torch lit bridge over which the spirits of the dead pass on their way to Heaven.

Another more scientific definition follows

  "a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions.
The origin of the aurora begins on the surface of the sun when solar activity ejects a cloud of gas. Scientists call this a coronal mass ejection (CME). If one of these reaches earth, taking about 2 to 3 days, it collides with the Earth’s magnetic field. This field is invisible, and if you could see its shape, it would make Earth look like a comet with a long magnetic ‘tail’ stretching a million miles behind Earth in the opposite direction of the sun.

Got all that?  All I know is that it is a beautiful site to behold and one that I can not wait to see with my own eyes!

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When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
I have done quite a bit of research on when to schedule travel. There are many places that one can view the Northern Lights but I will be traveling to Alaska so everything is based upon my destination.   The best viewing time appears to be during Equinoxes (September-October and February – March).  Your best chances of seeing the “lights” would be in a location where there is no light pollution.  The less light – the better the chances!  Also it is important to make sure that you do not schedule your trip during the full moon.  A clear sky is also essential to your success.  It is a good idea to plan for a minimum of a 3 night stay.  This will greatly enhance your chances of seeing the Northern Lights

How to get to Alaska
Well there are several ways from the U.S.
You can always take a cruise and I know that the scenery on any cruise line has to be spectacular. While I have thought about doing an Alaskan cruise I think that I would prefer to travel deeper into Alaska than just the ports.  You always have the choice to take excursions while docked at each port but those can get very expensive! 

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For this reason I  think that I will  a fly/drive trip.  While there are flights directly into Fairbanks via Frontier Airlines via Denver (I do have a free ticket with them!) you can also fly into Anchorage.  American Airlines offers flights into Anchorage via a layover in Seattle.   Anchorage is about 350 miles from Fairbanks and I can only imagine the beauty of such a drive. As you can see - there are several opportunities for your travel destination.

Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights?
One of the best locations in Alaska to see the lights would be around the Fairbanks area.

Where to stay in Fairbanks
Again – I have done tons of research on the best accommodations in and around Fairbanks.  The one place that keeps popping up is the Aurora Borealis Lodge.  It is a mere 20 miles north of Fairbanks and it offers some very unique features.  First of all…lights must be out by 10:30 p.m.!    They have tons of windows in the lodge so you will always have a great view of the sky no matter which room you are in.  They offer a full kitchen in their rooms plus the one thing that I love – they will contact you in your room if the Northern Lights make  their dance across the Alaskan sky!
I am really getting excited now and can not wait to begin planning what I know will be an inspiration trip!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday's Musings

There are things in my life that I can not change even though I may have attempted to change things a time or two (or possibly even more than that).

When I realized that I  I could not change something and learned to accept life as is - I found an incredible freedom to let go and find laughter and joy in each and every day!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday's Inspiration

Over the years I have come across people who say that they can't do something because they tried it...oh say...10 - 20 years ago and it just didn't work.

My question to them is "have you tried it again?"  It is amazing how many people believe that because something didn't work at one time - that it will surely not work today!

My advice - take a step back, evaluate what can be done differently in order to succeed!  I decided many years ago to not allow my past to hold me back from achieving my goals.

Do not let one little issue from your past keep you from redefining your future!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Welcome home March!

I love the first day of March!  It is like a breath of fresh air to welcome March each year!

To me it speaks of the beginning of is when the hope of warmer weather and glorious longer days arrive!  There is the promise of the end of the long cold winter and the hint of the beauty that Spring brings each year!

I love March because you begin to see Spring flowers...

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The dogwoods begin blooming...well maybe not here in Texas but back home in Alabama!

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There are several Bradford Pear trees in my neighborhood that are beginning to bloom this March 1st.  Yet another gentle reminder that Spring is right around the corner!

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Here in Texas we begin the see the very first taste of our State flower...the Bluebonnet!

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There is nothing more beautiful than to feast your eyes upon thhe wonders of Mother Nature as field upon field of wild bluebonnets can be found throughout the State!

Before you know it will be picnic time here...who knows...maybe next weekend we can do this?

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Maybe the beginning of March teases you with the hopes of watching some great basketball?

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Whatever your March 1st will hold...may your day be full of March Blessings!

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Welcome home March - we are so happy that you have finally arrived!