Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hasta la vista

Getting ready...................
It's always a challenge to travel light and to try and get it all in one small rolling bag but we're getting better. Black is the color of the travel wardrobe. Temps will range from 40-60's so a light coat will cover any questionable choices.
Currently in a head cold management mode......the timing is lousy but hoping the COLD-EZE will ward it off.....don't feel any worse today so will continue to down the gallons of water and make offerings to the goddesses of healthy traveling.
Studying various guides, practicing with the BIG camera (which fits nicely in the new bag and reinforces my wise decision to get it) .
We are going with UNTOURS and despite our last minute reservation, they have been very accommodating and helpful.

We'll head north on Thursday to spend a night with Andy and Mason and then leave from Newark on Friday evening. An 8 hour flight and a 6 hour time difference might necessitate a quick nap before seeking out the local scenes and sampling

local brews and tapas.

We will have wifi at the apartment and hope to keep the blog semi-updated......more for our benefit than yours. We will want to remember the details of the trip and since our brains are totally full of 68 years of stuff, we need to keep the new memories in off -site files for retrieval. As we all know too well, we can remember what we did 48 years ago today ........

but not what we had for breakfast yesterday.......................... Adios

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cat Nap

Required activity after a whirlwind cross-country trip. ........Home again Saturday
afternoon. When flying west, there is that 3 hour time advance.....arriving in Sacramento on Wed. before noon was nice but considering that we had to get up so early, by the time we finally hit the pillows, we'd been awake over 20 hours....then a busy holiday and too much carbohydrates and a red eye flight home and yesterday was a haze of napping and time confusion.

We're trying to store up some sleep credits before we head to the airport again.....Barcelona is not a given yet as we are waiting to see what the passenger load looks like before we commit. We've been reading the guide books, looking for language apps to supplement my rudimentary college Spanish (I do know how to get a Spanish speaking woman thru labor and delivery but not sure that empujar and dolor will get me very far).

I have a minor obsession with handbags. I've been searching for the perfect one for years. I have pared down my collection to just a few favorites and practical bags. BUT, I still did not have what I considered to be the best travel bag. Until this week. I ordered the Baggallini Brussels bag. It is a regular bag, a cross-body and a backpack. On this trip, it carried the iPad, the Kindle , my large wallet, a water bottle and assorted other necessities. It was not heavy, nor bulky. It is close to PERFECT. It is a durable nylon-type fabric with heavy duty zippers and straps. It comes in many colors but black is the favorite go-to for me. Amazon has it for about the best price. Baggallini bags are the creation of 2 flight attendants and they have something in every size and for every purpose.
Now that we are awake, we are headed out for a short 9 holes of golf and then will park ourselves in front of the TV to watch St. Tebow save the day once more.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Despite my anxieties, we made it to the West Coast just fine........

Wishing you all a wonderful day with those you love.! And an especially happy day in Denver as Mike and Jenna return from a far away trip to Singapore and Tokyo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trains , planes and going nowhere fast.........

It was a rousing game of Mexican Train the other night. Fueled by some wine, some popcorn and M&M's...(.yea, I agree, candy and wine aren't my first choice but there's no accounting for friends bad taste.) Or, on the other hand, if the hostess had offered a more gourmet selection, the M&M's would have gone untouched. But, I do think we need to consider playing for some silver.....or at least a penny a point...It might make us more attentive and more cut throat and less likely to 'be kind to our neighbors'.....

Currently we are pondering a trip West for some family fellowship and good food. But, because of the frugal way of travel that we have become accustomed to, we are trying to utilize the parent passes on Continental. We initially didn't think it possible to do this on a holiday and maybe we should have gone with our first instincts But because one of us is the eternal optimist (and guess who is not?) ,we decided to go for it. Numbers looked great until this morning........
If you look at the above very poor picture of a web page for employees, it shows a 6:25 am flt to Houston and a connecting flight to Sacramento. The MCO flt originally had some 30 seats and few pass now has 23 seats and 20 pass riders and the Miller family is near the bottom of that 20 (its based on seniority and pass classification.... even though one of us endured hours of excruciating labor, we raised him to adulthood through illness and orthodontia and college),... we are just parents and of a lower status that the employee himself.!! During the day and evening , the commuters who travel between bases will start listing and the Millers will then be relegated to the wing. It's always an adventure and has paid off nicely as long as we can accept that there is no seat for us (we are even happy with a MIDDLE seat).

So , to all of our thousands of fans out there in blogland.....Please have a wonderful holiday, eat much, enjoy family and friends and be thankful that you are not at the airport with us watching the planes taking off..............

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flight of Ideas

It's a psychological term and I am often afflicted with it. My mind speeds along with all sorts of thoughts, often overlapping and getting in traffic jams.....fortunately, those thoughts don't usually pour out my mouth in a jumbled form....they just spin around messing up the old brain cells.....but sometimes a few drip out into my blog. Bear with can only get worse as I sneak up on elderlyness, my ability to think first will deteriorate and I will be left as an old woman babbling on and on and on..............

And so....for those of you wondering if I kept THE SHOES... I actually gave in and took them for a test walk and I literally glided along effortlessly. They are very light and flexible compared to my other ones. However, the color was poorly represented in the photo on Zappos.
This is their picture....

and this is the actual......very much darker and less pastel. I was a tad disappointed but they still make me smile and there has been no real break-in period. I did get a
blister on my toes after 5.5 miles the other day but my 3.5 miles today left no such pain. I am walking more and farther and faster. Sometimes chatting with a friend, sometimes, talking to myself or humming to the music.

One of the perks, or banes, of retirement is more free time. We talk of travel but sometimes the reality of planning gets set aside for more mundane daily tasks. We are finally getting serious and thinking of heading in this direction near the end of the month.

Yes, it is Barcelona. It seems like a cooler time of year to visit, fewer crowds and best of all, the flights have plenty of empty seats so we can take advantage of Jon's pass privileges again. We will use the UNTOUR company to arrange for accommodations and guide books and transfers to and from the airport. They also provide a local cell phone, local transportation passes, museum and art admissions and an actual person that we can call with questions or for help. We will have a small apartment and an orientation chat with Rachel to get acclimated to our geography. We understand that we could easily do much of this on our own, but the price for this is reasonable during the off season and we liked the idea of some guidance without doing an actual tour.
We are also seriously considering a longer more exotic trip in the spring. I think you should join us......we'd love the company.

And so....what about those Broncos?? They are near the top in their division and, using rather unorthodox methods to take advantage of Tebow's skills, or lack there of...they are managing to win for a change. I suspect that Thursday night against the Jets might have a more painful outcome.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Neon is the new white.........

The sound of silence is very loud. Power finally came on in the important part of Connecticut and they hurried home to replenish the freezer and go back to their routines on Monday.
We were delighted to see their Veteran's Day Projects. I think it is important that they recognized the role of their grandfather in the military. Someday, I'd like to personalize WWII for them with pictures of their great -grandfather as a Marine.

Click to better view that good looking Naval Officer.........

I signed up for Yoga classes today and look forward to starting tomorrow. Instead of joining in the large busy groups here in TV, I've decided to try a local yoga studio and hope for more of a personal touch.
I found these shoes on Zappos.... if you'll remember, I'm a VIP there !!
I guess I've slipped a bit as I had to settle for 2nd Day Air instead of Overnight this time. Anyway, I haven't decided if I'm going to keep them. They are bright and colorful and very light and would certainly brighten up my morning walk. But they are pricey and I already have a pair of decent walking shoes but part of me thinks that these would just make me want to walk farther and faster. Tell me that you agree with that logic........
Weather is perfect these days. I miss the evenings and even tho it is warm out, it is still dark much too early. But, on the other hand, I can get out for my morning walks that much my new shoes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Still in the dark..............

Over a week ago, they were enjoying an "after shoveling brew" after a devastating storm blew thru their community......Today, 8 days later, they too have flown south to the Mother Ship for warmth and light.
Estimates and hopes are for electricity to happen sometime today but the roads are still littered with powerlines and trees and it is doubtful that schools will open tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Airlifted out........... order to wake up to electricity and sunshine and TV cartoons.
There are NO predictions for when power will be restored in their is hopeful for Monday but even that isn't a definite. The area is a mess
and utility crews are limited and hampered by the total devastation. It is much worse than the hurricane exactly 2 months ago.
They are fortunate that Jon has the airline privileges to fly them down. He will return to work in a day or so and I will get them back when life returns to some semblance of normal. In the meantime, they will swim and go for golf cart rides and maybe.....just maybe......we might go
HERE........Their favorite things ever are Legos and Starwars.......

Meanwhile, Denver is getting more snow....maybe we'll see more evacuees !!!