Fire 🔥 Word of the Year 

“You’re fired,” is that a period or an exclamation point? In my head, I hear a very loud exclamation point. I never sought out to watch the Apprentice years ago, but back then, you could hardly turn around without seeing clips of the infamous “you’re fired” being spouted by Donald Trump. 


I never imagined that one of the first reality television moguls, now turned President of the United States of America, would be spouting those same words to members of his staff in the Whitehouse. I wonder if our political system has turned into some warped reality television series leaving the viewers sitting on the edge of their seats wondering WTF? The news continues to rehash the American drama on prime time. Why not? I’m sure the ratings are climbing. 

Under fire…” this morning’s breaking news described gunshots being fired at a Virginia baseball field on the Republican congressional baseball team. Seriously!?!  Has the world lost its collective mind? It’s a ballfield. Its summertime. It’s a place of play not a damn warzone! I hear the exclamation clearly this time. 


A London tower emblazed in fire burns so swiftly accounts of children being thrown from the building is utterly heart wrenching. What desperation those poor souls must have felt in a moment of pure terror? I don’t even pretend to understand that crisis moment. My gut twists just thinking about the loss and devastation. 
And its only Wednesday. It’s only June, mid-year. It’s the year of the Fire Rooster. But does that mean that it’s ok to burn the world down around us? 

Fire.

It’s a harsh reality. But like the phoenix rising from ashes, may we too, as a collective, rise from this horrific onslaught to become a better, stronger society, turning away from violence to embrace peace – happiness – tranquility. This is my prayer for all of us.
 

 

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Revelations Aren’t Always Easy

And when it happens, it can be sometimes hard to swallow. Like learning little things about yourself that is a bit uncomfortable. Now it doesn’t have to be the drama-life-altering-kind of revelation. Oh no.  In my opinion, it’s all the teeny, tiny revelations that can pile up into one big aha moment. 


I took myself out to a country bar in Katy, TX , called MO’s Place. It’s a little early, only 9pm. But if I stayed in the hotel room any longer I would have just crawled into bed and called it a night. Which I tend to do – a lot. But sometimes I think it’s important to remember I’m single and it’s Saturday night and I need to get out once in awhile. 
But it’s tougher here since I don’t have any going-out-kinda-friends and I’m not exactly  comfortable walking into a bar in Houston on my own. I know – the revelation has me confused too. 

I’m a seasoned traveler. I’ve stepped into foreign pubs, Vegas night clubs, and hole in the wall gems without much thought. And here I am triple thinking my decision to come out to listen to some live music and watch dancers circle the floor at a popular country bar. 

There’s something different from visiting a place to knowing that I now live here. I’m a little more cautious. It’s as if I’m skirting around the edges of the city, dipping a toe into its waters, uncertain which way the tide is flowing. Is it safe? Am I doing the right thing? It’s a dangerous city (don’t watch the news here!). I’m alone. I’m always alone. 

But the night is young. I step into the cavernous dance hall, pay the cover and find a seat at the end of the bar near the stage. I’m sipping a club soda, watching the place fill up with pretty young things in sparkling jeans and preening young men in cowboy hats.  The mating rituals have begun. It makes me smile. I feel extremely ancient. 

I can do this.  The knot in my stomach won’t relax. 

The band is about to start. An hour. I’ll give myself an hour.  

A man asks me to dance. It’s a simple two step. 

It’s time to adult. 

Let’s do this. 

Cheers

❤️
Daily Prompt Instructions: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Follow the link

 

Home – What Does It Mean To You?

“And then it happens all at once and unexpectedly. That is how things happen, I suppose. You pack your bags and find yourself walking yourself home.”
― Shannon L. Alder


“I just want to go home,” she said longingly. 

HOME. 

Home has as many meanings as there are people. But what is true is for me, is that Home is a place of love and serenity. It is an anchor for my soul as well as for my weary body. Home rejuvenates my mind, body and spirit. Home is my sanctuary. 

What does it mean to you?

#adventuresnluv #homecoming #mindbodyandspirit #namaste #heart #home #sanctuary #story #itsmylife #places #travel #cominghome #travelphotography #photography #blessed #realtor #househunting #moving

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – June 2, 2017

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Instructions: The possibilities for this challenge are endless. If you would like to find out more about what type of photos are allowed in this challenge or view past week’s entries, please click here.
Create a Which Way post on your blog.
Then add a link to your blog in my comment box. To make it easy for others to check out your photos and post, title your blog post “Cee’s Which Way Challenge” or “CWW” tag.

___________

It’s been awhile since I’ve played along. Transitions….change… all the possibilities that the days bring can sometimes, ok, a lot of times, become overwhelming. 
Like the path below, we can’t always see what’s around the corner. Those are the times you have to walk in faith. 

Cheers!

❤️


Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat. 

The violence we do to ourselves is unforgivable. Remember we are made of God Stuff.


There are moments, okay, sometimes days that morph into weeks that turn into years that are so challenging to navigate. They weigh heavy as a long winter night that I don’t know if I can lift my eyes to face another wallop. And then smack down! 

But I’m made of sterner stuff – God stuff. And I breathe in. I breathe out. And I pray. And then I do it all over again. 


Does it get easier? No. Yes. I honestly don’t know. I tell myself that life isn’t that hard. We make it hard. But we don’t have to. This is what I tell myself. This is what I’m telling you. 


But what if everyone would just grow the duck up? Just be responsible? Make their life the best life possible? Look forward. Don’t look back. Make this moment happy. The best moment possible. It’s just a heart beat.  It’s a smile even in the darkest of darkest night. 


Breathe. Breathe again. And again.  

Cheers!

❤️

New Kensington, PA

“As America celebrates Memorial Day, we pay tribute to those who have given their lives in our nation’s wars.” – John M. McHugh


Day One

New Kensington, a small American town nestled between other small towns, is a picture of quaint east coast charm. I love it! 

We began the day at a local family run dinner opened for breakfast and lunch. If you go, go early. The place is busy but worth the wait if your interested in starting the day out with comfort breakfast  food and piping hot coffee poured into thick, old fashioned coffee mugs. After a short wait we were seated at an old school Formica table and we ordered biscuits and gravy, home fries, pancakes, eggs and bacon to be shared around the table. 

Three Rivers Sightseeing-Pirate Adventure

Even though the day was a bit overcast and filled with sprinkles we headed to Pittsburgh to see the city on a river cruise. 


This is a great way to see the city and the beautiful cityscapes that surrounds the Three Rivers. Best of all the hour long cruise is narrated with history and humorous trivia. 


And since the kids were with us, we sailed in the afternoon so they got to interact with swashbuckling pirates in the featured Pirate Show! From balloon sword play, to treasure map hunts to finding hidden gold coins, the kids had a fabulous kid friendly time. The cruise was a hit for all ages! 


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It was a great way to experience the city there is something storybook-like about the city. Maybe it’s a combination of history and modernization or, more than likely, my over active imagination. But I love the rolling green hills with tall trees hiding tiny communities tucked here and there, playing peekaboo from the roadside. 

It was a good day! For a little trivia on the city of Pittsburgh follow the link… fascinating!

Day Two: Falling Water



The rain continued to fall intermittently, but living in Alaska for so long I never let the weather deter me from exploring. Plus we had already purchase tickets! 


Ignoring the bucket of green umbrellas for the arriving guests escaping the light sprinkles, we headed out to the manicured trail snaking its way down to an observation turnout. Miss R had wanted to go on a nature hike but the manicured trail didn’t measure up to this Alaskan kid’s idea of a trail. Go figure! No matter, we had fun exploring the lush surroundings and even splashed in some mud puddles. Before long, the sun poked her head out of the clouds chasing away the drizzle. 

I remembered bits and pieces about Frank Lloyd Wright from college but to see the grounds and the home he had designed was breathtaking. Well worth the trip!

Tip: there’s no photography in the house, and in my opinion, save the cost of a ticket to tour the house if you are with kids. It’s much too restrictive and expensive. Instead spend your time enjoying the trails and your money on a souvenir from the gift shop. Post cards work!





Back to Houston 

The trip quickly ended. With a hug and a kiss I said goodbye. 


Today is Memorial Day and a quiet day at the Pittsburgh airport. With a little time before departure I decided to have lunch at Vino Volo, a little wine bar with a scrumptious menu for hungry travelers. Check it out, if you are in the mood to discover new wines. They offer a variety of wine flights just in case.  As I sit here contemplating Memorial Day and all the fallen heroes I realize how blessed I am. 

Thank you to all who have served or are serving in our finest military. I am extremely grateful to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country!  

Cheers!

❤️

May’s Travel Update: Pennsylvania 

Hello!

I’m not sure which camp you are in; the early birds or the last minute runners but I tend to lean towards the early birds side of things. And, so happy I did this morning! 


Even though I went to the extra effort to obtain TSA Pre-Check (you haven’t?!? If you travel go right this minute and start your application. I can wait…) this morning the lines at Security snaked around forever. To say it was as slow as molasses is an understatement. 

 Just so happened that they were running everyone through standard screening and on top of that two lanes were down due to maintenance. My heart went out to everyone, including the TSA employees and all of us excited travelers. 

*Happy TSA Highlight. 

Now I know TSA gets a bad rap. I’ve been on the receiving end of curt agents and extra screenings – all for my love of travel. But today I want to tell you about a positive occurrence I witnessed. The friendly gentleman checking boarding passes and identity took extra time and care to help a blind man and his companion through the masses of humanity, with warm patience. His kindness didn’t stop there. He greeted every person with a smile and a warm welcome. When it was my turn to stand in front of the wooden podium I was greeted just as warmly and I couldn’t help myself but I had to tell him how much I appreciated his friendliness and kindness. He gave me a big smile “April Love,”  he drawled, “have a good trip”.  

Now isn’t that a great way to start the Memorial weekend? 

I know you are wondering why in the world am I heading to Pennsylvania for the weekend… well, cuz that’s where Miss R and her mamma is. Plus, I’ve never explored PA and it’s time to check this State off my list of places to visit.  

Who here has an airport ritual? Or am I the only one that is a creature of habit and has a certain routine as I leave TSA?  For me I I grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks (stop hating), and then it’s a bottle of water at the nearest convenience shop, maybe a snack for the plane if I didn’t tuck something into my carry on and then I find my gate. Now if I have time I might go explore the airport. 

A few of my favorite  airports to shop in:

  1. Seattle
  2. Minneapolis 
  3. Paris 

Happy Travels!

Cheers!

❤️