Archive for Travels

It’s Our Turn to Pay it Forward

While travelling from one city to the next with Travel Man last week we lost his Bluetooth.  It got left in the rental car when we were making a mad dash for the door to the terminal to escape the chilly Chicago “spring” weather.  Unfortunately, we did not realize this had happened until we got into the rental car at our destination airport.  The Bluetooth was brand new, it’s a pretty cool model, and Travel Man was bummed.   After a few attempts to reach the rental car agency Travel Man finally got through to someone who could help him.  The representative patched him through to the Chicago Midway terminal, and they checked to see if the car was still there, but it had already left the building.  Travel Man left his phone numbers and asked the agent to contact him if they found the Bluetooth when the car was returned.

We were not holding out much hope that we would see the Bluetooth again.  And a tiny, little side note; this entire phone calling phase of our day was going on while we were driving to Demopolis, AL from Birmingham.  We were exhausted from the days’ travel, and locating the right phone number (me), and then getting through to the right person (Travel Man) was nearly like a navigational “discussion”.    It was not pretty for a few minutes there, but we got through it.  Let’s see that was on a Friday.

Travel Man had to work Saturday morning, and would you believe he got a phone call from the rental car representative.  They let him know that his Bluetooth had been returned that morning, by the person who rented the car after us.  This special person made a special trip back to the airport to return Travel Man’s Bluetooth. Awesome!  The rental car agency shipped the Bluetooth back to our house, and it arrived a day after we got home from this trip.

If you’re a positive sort of person like Travel Man and I tend to be this is the kind of act that gives you a glimmer of hope.  Yes there are good people out there in the world.  Those people do kind things for one another on a regular basis; it’s a habit for them.  So if the person who returned a Bluetooth to Chicago’s Midway terminal is reading this post, we thank you.

And now it’s our turn – to Pay It Forward.  The kindness of a stranger goes a long way, probably even longer, when you’re travelling and away from home.  We always try to go out of our way to be helpful to others, and when given the opportunity we both lend a helping hand.  We are always happy to Pay It Forward.  That kind of opportunity usually happens when you least expect it.

Have you had a chance to Pay It Forward recently?

Top Ten Reasons It’s Great to Travel with a Road Warrior

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As I told you all last week I had occasion to take a working road trip with my Travel Guy.  It occurred to me on the way home that there are quite a few perks to having an experienced, seasoned traveller by your side.

10) He’s the ultimate suitcase packer.  He knows how to fit EVERYTHING he (or should I say I) want to take into one suitcase.  This is especially important for me because I ALWAYS like to travel with an extra outfit, just in case.  I have gotten so much better at packing a suitcase over the years, but he remains the expert.

9) He always gets to the airport in plenty of time.  He always leaves himself enough time so there’s no frantic rushing through the security check point or through the airport, ever.

8) He travels a lot.  He accumulates tons and tons of reward points and perks for various airlines, hotels, and car rental venues.  We are especially lucky in this regard.  Nothing makes my Road Warrior happier than being able to share the reward points with a family member who needs to take a flight somewhere, or get a hotel room for a weekend trip.

7) All of the points he accumulates on a regular basis allow this gal to travel with him for mere pennies.  I am one lucky, lucky gal.

6) Check-in at the airport is an event, possibly even close to a marathon.  We always have bags to check, no dealing with carry-ons for these travelers.  Since the Road Warrior is a frequent traveler we most often avoid the long line for baggage check-in,  with the A-lister’s line (a Southwest Airlines perk).  People definitely give us dirty looks for going to the head of the line.  I just think to myself (a little selfishly), “That’s right people, I’m with this guy, and yep we got to go the head of the line”.  And then I think to myself, if other people travelled as many air miles as my Road Warrior does they would want to go to the front of the A-list line too!

5) Getting through the security line is our second event of the day. We have by-passed the baggage check-in line, and if it’s available we take the by-pass line for the security line.  Once again, exasperated stares from the “normal” passengers waiting in the “normal” line.  The Road Warrior does a little personal cheer on the inside when he gets to do this.  Oh,  and just a side note from the Road Warrior’s wife.  He carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his pocket.  It’s his way of protecting his rights while travelling through the security check point.

4) He’s so familiar with most of the airports in the U.S., he can recommend places to eat, places to plug-in your electronics, the best bathrooms, and the most comfortable seats to park in while you are waiting.

3) He loves to people watch,  and so do I.  We’ll try to guess people’s back stories, or the reasons they are travelling through the airport.  Sometimes, we just simply make up stories about the people we see.  It’s a good way to pass the time.

2) He travels with all of the necessities;  Kleenex, Tums, Clorox wipes,  for those sometimes yucky airline trays (he stays healthy this way!), aspirin, free drink coupons, a good movie to watch, and magazines.  The backpack he takes on the plane with him holds a ton of stuff (that’s a story for another day).

1)  For me the most important reason that it is so great to travel with my Road Warrior is it means that we are together.  We spend lots of time apart, so our time together is quite precious.  I would not want to travel with anyone else.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.

Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go.

On the Road with Travel Man

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Our first flight at 30,000 ft.- somewhere over the Midwest.

This past week has been quite a week.  I have been on the road with my Travel Guy while he has been working. How did this happen you ask?  Well, the stars were aligned, the timing was just right, the destinations were workable, and there was an opportunity for me to say, yes I would like to go with you. So I did.

This trip has been a whirlwind of travel for me, totally the norm for Travel Man.  We left California last Tuesday morning for our first destination; Quincy, MI.  We flew into Chicago’s Midway Airport, and drove to our Michigan location.  Travel Man worked there for two days, and then on Friday we headed to Demopolis, Alabama via Chicago, again. He worked the weekend on his second assignment  in Alabama, and then we headed for home yesterday morning.  That is a story all on its own.

It has been quite a while since I travelled out on a job assignment with my hubby, and it just reminds me of how unique his work-a-day world is.  He really does not live in the Monday through Friday world at all.  He lives in the job assignment to job assignment world.  Many of his assignments require him to travel over the weekend, so his Monday’s and Friday’s come and go with little or no fanfare.  Not a lot of TGIF’s in his work world.

Now, I realize that the “Road Warrior” schedule is not for everyone, but my Travel Guy, he just puts his nose to the grindstone and gets the job done.  He does not always get to sleep in.  He is not always able to be home for Sunday breakfasts and the like, but this is his job.  It’s what he does, it’s how he rolls, and how we pay the bills.

We had some crazy weather while we were in Michigan.  We saw lots of lightning, heard some awesome thunder, and on our way back to the airport on Friday there were a few snow flurries.  Isn’t this April already?  What happened to Springtime?

We, or I should say I,  had some serious issues on Friday figuring out what time zone we were in.  I was insistent that we would be on East Coast time in Alabama, Travel Man was not convinced.  Thank goodness for the automatic updates on the cell phones. I totally relied on my cell phone for that update, and readily admitted I was wrong.   We were on Central time.

Now that I have experienced this work-a-day travel first hand again, it is much easier for me to relate to the fact that my guy can feel like a total zombie when he gets home.   And it usually takes a few days for him to feel “normal” again.   The time changes can really mess with your brain and your body clock.

All in all this has been somewhat of a relaxing time for both of us.  We have gotten to spend some much-needed time together, gotten caught up on some missed conversations, and gotten to eat more than a few meals together.  Over the next week I will have a few adventures and tales to share with all of you about my week on the road.  Stay tuned for more of my tales,  “On the Road with Travel Man”.

The Party House – Our Year in Review

??????????????????????????????????????Today is New Year’s Eve, and tomorrow will start the beginning of a New Year, 2013.  This is the time of year I love to reflect back on everything that has transpired at the Party House in the course of just one, short year.

We have had numerous birthday parties for the family members who live here locally.

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Had a great family event in April at Angels Stadium.  Almost everyone in the family was able to make it to an Angels game together.  I honestly cannot remember if the Angels won or lost that day, but we  had a great time.

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Hosted a great dinner party when my sister and her husband were here from Montana in May.  Laura showed us how to make her red sauce enchiladas.

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A special birthday was celebrated for our baby boy in July.  He turned 21.

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We actually got to celebrate Travel Man’s birthday on his actual birthday this year.  That was a fun, fun time.

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October brought us the baby shower celebration for my daughter, Naomi.  We had such girly fun that day!!

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November brought the arrival of Miss Madison Kay, our second grandchild.  What a delight she is.  I know I’ve said that before, but I’ll say it again, because I’m her Grandma.

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And of course we celebrated Thanksgiving together, and for the first time in a long time my sister, Laura, was able to join us at the dinner table.

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Christmas Day was celebrated here with the family.  We were delighted to have our nephew, Jim,  here for the days festivities.  It’s always a little more casual on Christmas Day for us.  Dinner was buffet style, with tons and tons of goodies and cookies.  A wonderful party ending to 2012.

My parents with almost all of their grandkids!

My parents with almost all of their grandkids!

We are always grateful to be able to host the family events.  It’s always a wonder that we can get so many of the kids and their significant others together in the same place at the same time for the same event.

Every year I am equally amazed that even though my husband (aka Travel Man) is on the road for a good amount of time during the year, we are still able to sneak in as many short trips as we do.  And before I get to the trips – do you know that my Travel Guy was in the air for well over 160,000 air miles this year?  I could not believe that number, I’m still in shock as I am writing this.  That’s a lot of travel.  I am ever so grateful that he takes such good care of us, and always keep us laughing with his travel stories.

Our trips together this year included-

A trip to the Reagan Library.

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A trip to Reno to visit my parents while my Dad was going through some chemo treatments.

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A trip to Las Vegas in June (this was the second time), so my daughters and I could attend a Celine Dion concert.  Travel man drove us there and home.

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A trip to New York in August to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

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And a trip to Montana to visit my sister and her husband.

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More trips than I could have imagined we would could possibly take this year.  Thank you Travel Man.  You never cease to amaze me.

1-DSC01296And finally, I would like to give a standing ovation to my Dad.  My Dad is battling lung cancer (actually he’s kicking it in the butt!).  He was told in January of this year, that there were no additional,  conventional methods of chemotherapy or radiation available to him that would be helpful in diminishing his tumors.  My Dad, he’s a fighter, and he never, ever gives up.  He got on the computer, researched some alternative therapies, found a doctor first in Reno, and then in Carlsbad, and never gave up on living.  My Mom keeps telling us that since my Dad was an engineer in his working life he just has the mentality that this problem he has needs to be solved, and he’s going to solve it.  And by the way my Mom, she’s a rock star.  She definitely deserves the “Stand By Your Man Award” for 2012.  The love and compassion she shows for my Dad is a priceless gem.

I am completely elated, overjoyed and ecstatic to tell you that because of my Dad’s hard work, perseverance, and his never give up attitude in this year of 2012, his tumors have diminished over 40%!!  It is hard to express in words what a wonderful feeling it is that my Dad has seen such a tremendous improvement.  It’s happiness, relief, joy, and a great big WHEW!  This man, my Dad, has redefined the word perseverance.

It reminds me of my favorite Winston Churchill quote: “Never, never, never, give up.”

From the Party House to yours, wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year, and may all good things come to you and yours in 2013.

10 Things I Loved About Visiting Montana

View of the backyard.

A week or so ago Travel man and I had the opportunity to visit my sister and her husband near Missoula, Montana.  The countryside there was breathtaking.  Mountain ranges all around us, and a beautiful valley of rolling hills and farmlands.  It has been way too long since I have been at my sister’s house, and Travel man’s never been there.  We encountered some rain, some snow, and a few rays of sunshine too.  The property where my sister lives is very wooded, and right at the base of the Bitterroot Mountain range.  Gorgeous, gorgeous views.  Unfortunately it was too cloudy for pictures while we were there.

 

So, in honor of our visit I have put together my top ten list from our  Montana travels.

  1. Sleeping for 8-9 hours at a stretch this is unheard of for me!!  I normally sleep may 6 hours a night?  I was told that this could have been due to the altitude change.  I think it’s because The air was so crisp and cool, and I was so relaxed.
  2. Leaferville – we got to see the changing of the leaves the moment we landed in Spokane.
  3. Crisp, crisp cool weather.  Highs in the 40’s, lows in the 20’s.  It was glorious.
  4. Snow??  Who knew!  We drove through a snow storm on our drive from Spokane to Missoula.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen snowflakes so big.
  5. My sister’s cooking – Wow!!  Laura is a gourmet cook.  We had a Lentil, Beef Stew, homemade coq au vin, and a delicious Butternut Squash Soup.  Wonderful, warm delicious meals.  Absolutely yummy!
  6. Celebrating the “baby steps” of a major home improvement project.  Laura and her husband are having their roof worked on.  It’s been very stressful for them, and we helped them to celebrate the small victories of the project moving forward.
  7. Wearing blue jeans, and socks and shoes.  Changing up the wardrobe.  Instead of the usual crop pants and tank top wardrobe!  Oh and I did get to wear the scarf my mom made me too!
  8. Sipping hot coffee and lattes on a chilly Montana morning next to the wood stove.  Can you say mega comfort zone?
  9. A couple of gaggles of wild turkeys roaming in the front yard.
  10. Some cute little dear nibbling on some brush,  also in the front yard.

These are just a few of my favorite moments from our trip.  Of course I delighted in the non-top chatting with my sister.  She is definitely a mountain girl, and loves living the country lifestyle.  Maybe I’m just a smidge jealous on that front.  We did have a wonderful time together, and lucky me my sister’s coming to my house for a visit this week.  Just makes me want to jump for joy.  Wishing everyone a great week.

What’s your recent, favorite family moment?

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