summer vacations

Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted

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    This year, our annual anniversary get away took us to the high seas for a 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean. Yes we boarded the fun ships of my favorite Carnival Cruise ship and set sail. This year we traveled with some friends who added a whole new level of fun aboard the fun ship. I learned many things this trip and there are many I want to share with you. I will do this in a series of posts so that I don’t overload you with rhetoric and photos.

    The first thing to think about when you are taking a cruise is the planning. There is so much to see and do on a seven day cruise, that if you are not careful you can overextend yourself financially and physically. We started planning a year out. I have a prepaid credit card that our budget was placed upon and when that money ran out, we were done; but we will come back to this.

    Starting the cruise is just as important and the vacation itself. If your cruise ship leaves on Saturday at 4 pm, please plan to arrive at the destination on Friday. Many hotels offer a pickup and shuttle service from the airport and to the port and I went with a little more pricey option, but I wanted us in the spirit of the vacation. I chose the Best Western that had a restaurant and a continental breakfast. Did I also mention it sat on the Bay in Miami? With our room, we had two free drink tickets and a continental breakfast that included sausages, eggs, waffles and so much more. I also can add my stay to my frequent flier program. Most importantly, it put us in the mood and in the frame of mind that we are on vacation. This is a night shot of the marina at the hotel’s restaurant. Yeap, this is a Best Western, see what I mean?

    We are relaxed. We are having drinks. We are enjoying the wind blowing off the Bay and we are on vacation. Neither of us are saying a word about our son, our jobs, or any bills. We are mentally preparing for the shift to just enjoy each other and our time away from our lives.

The next morning we wake, have a leisurely breakfast, and the shuttle takes us to the ship. No worries, we are going on a cruise. Out of curiosity, I called our travel companions who stayed at some $99 a night hotel near the airport. She was not happy. That extra hundred I paid was well worth the peace of mind.
This is hubby.

    First rule of thumb for vacations, please plan on the type of trip you want to have and plan accordingly based on your budget. The right amount of research can save you a fortune and most of all, can reduce your stress.

Up next….planning for fun on your vacation.

Growing into happiness

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I often chuckle when I hear my friends and colleagues boasts about being a grown woman, then I am more amused when I watch them make immature decisions. I watch them make choices that are bad for their personal well-being an the moment, and choices that are bad for their future.  The stresses of life  and emotional loneliness can be contributing factors to bad decision making.

I am often asked, what should I do— and as a grown woman, I have learned to sit and listen, and realize that my friends thought process, do not neccessarily equate to me to interjecting mine.  What works for me, may not work for you, so here is my advice to the many women who often ask me the same question, as well as  my advice to all who read this post.

If you are at a crossroads in your life, sit down in the middle of the street and make a list of where you have been, and where you would like to go.  As simple as it may seem, for some, just sitting still long enough to write a list –is an issue.  However, you can not fully understand where you are trying to go, until you have identified, label, misnomer, or  assigned the wrong psychological principle, to what you will soon learn to call– bull puckey.

That is what it is,bullpuckey— it is all the crap that you have convinced yourself is important, that in actuality has no real relevance in your life. It is the proverbial time on the treadmill where you are running  inside of the the little cage which you have boxed yourself in, that you are NOW calling a fulfilling life.  If you have not poured yourself a cup of tea, sat down with a good book or your favorite magazine without the tv on, to just read for 30 minutes, then how you are getting on in your life, well it is bull puckey!

If you have not or can not remember what you like to do for fun that is not associated with your husband or children, then how you are living needs to be reevaluated.  If you can not remember the last time you and a girl friend sat down and had a two-hour lunch talking about nothing….and realized it was the best conversation you have had in a long time, then stop.

Put down the laptop, get off of Facebook, and sign out of your Twitter account.  Get up off your butt and plug back into life.  Decide in the next week what you would like to do to better yourself that can be done in incremental steps, and make a plan. I will start you off with some suggestions.  You want to know why, because I am happy. Not in the moment, not for a reason, but because it is the way that I am living. I grew into my happiness and I want to help you grow into yours.

Here are my suggestions for the month of April 2010.

First we will start by getting you organized, to get the clutter out of your life.  I know, you have a Blackberry or some other gadget you are paying too much money for and don’t really know how to use.   Let’s first simplify with and get everything in one place.

I also want you to start thinking about your summer vacation for the family and for you and your man (yes your man, and if that is not what you call him or how you think of him, we will address that in June) .  

For the family, you can save some money, give back to America and help the planet all in one.

Then plan a quiet get away for you and your man with

Tody is the day you take the first step to grow into your happiness.  I check back with you in a month and see how you are doing.

All my best,