Tag Archives: vacation

Oh, Oprah.


Last week I was doing what I love most in the world,  kicking back with an ice cold margarita while being hand fed tasty morsels by Bradley Cooper,  waiting in an urgent care clinic for my SIL who I agreed to drive there.

** Warning for male readers – this post is going to go south about halfway through. Literally and figuratively. **

Medical facility waiting rooms are my least favorite place in the world. Crowded, obnoxiously loud, human petri dishes. Breeding grounds for the passage of whatever plague is currently circulating. Worried about mad cow disease or the bird flu? Forget the barnyard…. you’ll catch it here. Had I owned a bio hazard suit, I would have worn it proudly. With triple duct tape at the joints.




As I was sitting in an unobtrusive corner trying not to breath, I realized my phone had died and I was at the mercy of the magazine rack. (Not reading is out of the question. Someone might want to start up a conversation and that’s entirely too much close contact when you’re trapped in a disease ridden incubator from Hell.)

As you know, medical waiting room magazine racks are filled with riveting copies of  Breast Feeding Monthly, How to Avoid Herpes newsletters and Let’s Identify that Secretion Digest.

I figured Oprah’s magazine would be the least revolting choice and grabbed her new issue.




Oh, Oprah…

( Now would be a good time to point out that I detest women’s magazines in general. I have never needed to know how to bake a better bundt, why the soles of my feet are making me unhappy or what to do if my husband is cheating on me with my mother. )

And Hell, I didn’t even get past Oprah’s cover before I was rolling my eyes.




While I have a girlfriend whose husband thinks hers has been on vacation since 2006…

I was guessing this article wasn’t about sex and shuddered to think about the tips hidden inside.




I’d rather you didn’t, but thanks all the same.

The teaser didn’t bode well.




And it made me wonder how mine has survived all these summers without the benefit of expert advice.





Now that’s advice you can use.

I refuse to go into detail about the article, but will post a picture of it for anyone who’s interested.




In a nutshell? Treat Her Right.


You heard it here first.





I like…


I like

The sign a friend of mine saw while on vacation in Barbados last week.




I don’t like –

That she was in Barbados and I was not.



I like

Jo Malone’s line of products.

Check them out.




I don’t like –

Her price tags  ($35 for a bar of soap? For that price, I want someone to wash me with it. Preferably Bradley Cooper or Johnny Depp)  which is why I buy the itty bitty sampler bottles.




$155 on the site, slightly less on Amazon… if you can find them.

No one around here sells Jo Malone and I’m not buying a full bottle until I test it.

But they rock!

Trust me on this…




(See how I snuck a Game of Thrones reference in there?)

I like

The sound of this drink for summer.





I don’t like –

The idea of walking around with a blue tongue all night.

(Or day, who are we kidding?)




I like

The tee shirt I found the other day.




I don’t like –

The fact that there are only 4 more episodes of Thrones left.





What a deal!


As many of you know, we have a timeshare.

And no, I don’t want to sell it it you.




But timeshares aren’t what they used to be, and we aren’t stuck with just one week in Boca for the rest of our lives.




We travel when we want, where we want, for as long as we want and we’re loving it. When we no longer love it, we’ll give it to someone else so they can love it too.




Last year when we were vacationing in the Berkshires, we ran into a veteran and his wife at our resort in the mountains. Naturally, the men spotted each other’s Marine Corps hats and began an hour long conversation detailing where they were stationed and when. Fascinating as that was, I struck up a conversation with the wife and asked how she liked the condo. She said she loved it and you couldn’t beat the deals they get with AFVC.  ( Armed Forces Vacation Club )  7 nights in a 1 bedroom unit for $349.  (Turns out I could beat it with our timeshare last call program, 7 nights in a bigger 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit for $299… but I kept that to myself.)

But the idea intrigued me, so when we got home I joined. For free.

It’s open to:

Not usually…
But this time, yes.
AFVC constantly sends me emails with promotions and so called deals.
Like this recent one:
Am I reading this correctly?
I’ll pay $349 for the normal 7 night stay….
But only stay 2 or 3 nights?
In what universe is that considered a deal?
Get half as much, but pay the same price.
I may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but even I’ll pass on that one.

Because nothing ever goes smoothly.

As we were driving down to Phoenix, I checked my Delta mobile app and saw that not only had our flight been cancelled due to bad weather, but that we’d been scheduled for one the following day… which was forecast to be an even worse storm.

Thinking oh Hell no, I called the airline and argued, cursed, berated,  begged, pleaded, flirted, and okay…. promised a future child to secure us a flight for that day.


It worked, but we couldn’t fly into Maine as planned and could only get as far as Boston. This forced the husband to frantically scour his phone contacts to see which friend he could talk into driving south 3 hours in a raging blizzard to pick us up.

You find out who your true friends are in situations like that.



Because I can’t honestly say I would have done it.

And now….


The required  she has to have the window seat so she can take pictures even though she has no idea where or what they are  aerial photos.


No matter how many times I fly…


I’m always that geeky kid who gets a huge kick out of looking down on our world.


The ever changing landscapes never cease to thrill me.


The grandeur of the mountains…


The ridiculous giant tiddly winks….


It’s all good.


What do you do with a 4 hour layover in Minneapolis?


You drink….


You eat a surprisingly decent shrimp alfredo….


And watch this cowpoke couple play video games without speaking to each other for over an hour and a half.

Not one word.

Ah, modern living. Where the art of conversation is well and truly dead.

Long story short…

( Who am I kidding, I’ve never told a short story in my life. This vacation was 2 weeks long and it’s taken me 48 days to blog about it. But in my defense? There were a lot of rocks.)

We arrived home exhausted at 4:30 am… after a nail biting  (just an expression, I pay way too much for these babies to nibble)  5 hour  (should have taken 2.5)  snow blinded  (there must have been a road, but we didn’t see it)  ice covered  (slipperier than a Trump family lawyer)  drive.

The end.


No, truly.

No more rocks, no more vacation pics.

I don’t even have the next trip planned yet.


And now..

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Goodbye rocks…


The day I’d been dreading had arrived.

Our Arizona departure.




(Hang on, not quite yet.)

We packed, and while cleaning out the condo I found this.




Oh, sure. Hide the wild animal warning sheet where the unsuspecting tourists won’t find it until it’s too late. Heck, I would have enjoyed spotting the occasional wild pig or bloodthirsty squirrel strolling the grounds during our stay… but no. And now we’re leaving. What a rip off.

Check out time was 10:00 am, but our flight didn’t leave till 2:30 pm so we took our time and said goodbye to the rocks.




The beautiful red rocks…




We said goodbye to the pink sidewalks and buildings…




I even said goodbye to this guy…




Who was still trying to escape the rocks.




We had our last chuckle at the weirdest mailbox we’d ever seen.




And bid the rocks farewell…



You’re beautiful….




And we will miss you..

(Okay, I’ll miss you. The husband said once you’ve seen one rock, you’ve seen them all. He’s a heathen. A heathen I tell you!)

And just like that, we were gone…

Heading down to Phoenix to catch our flight.








Where there are no rocks…




Just cactus.




Lots and lots of cactus.




Veritable forests of cactus.




Some of them … weird.





Not that weird, but still.

It’s all about the rocks… and some food.

Our last meal in Sedona was a late lunch and of course, it turned out to be the best restaurant we found during our two week trip.

Yes Martin, this is a food filled post.

You’re welcome.


Perched on top of a hill, the Mariposa Grille had some great views.  (Of rocks.)

Mariposa means butterfly in Spanish, and they featured prominently in the decor at this Latin themed beauty.


Views  (And rocks! Did you see the rocks?)  aside..


It was a large…


And rather impressive place.


I mean hey, check out that door.

It’s made of rocks!


There was live music with a Spanish guitar, and more beautiful views.

(Of rocks!)


I ordered a few Caipirinhas… the national drink of Brazil.

Just to get in the proper mood and spirit of the place.


And then on the advice of the waiter, we tried the Yuca fries.


Not to be confused with Yucca… which apparently tastes like soap… the Yuca were too die for!


To be honest, I had no idea what they were at that point.


But had I Googled this Yuca meme beforehand?

I most assuredly would have passed.


Lunch for me was the Funghi Sublime. And sublime it was.

 Scottsdale Burger Battle Judges’s Choice Winner 2018 ~ Smothered in sauteed Mushrooms, finished with imported Truffle Cheese and Truffle Dijonnaise

That burger positively melted in my mouth and was expertly cooked.

My husband ordered the Senor Fish, and was not disappointed either.


Pan-Fried and Seasoned with their House Rub, Lemon-Caper Aioli, and Shredded Romaine, on a Whole Grain Bun accompanied by 3 Seed Coleslaw.

This was an upscale South American restaurant with Latin inspired cuisine, and everything was served on the most wonderful plates. (Rocks! They were made from rocks!)   I wish we’d found it sooner and been able to go back for a full dinner. I’m sure it would have been marvelous.

How upscale you ask?

There was some interesting artwork hanging on the walls…


Made with some rather expensive rocks.


And they were all for sale.





Ya gotta love ’em.


But maybe not that much.

Splatter dabs, rat urine and my worst nightmare.


I learned a lot on our final walk around the Sedona Heritage Museum.




(I’d ask you to name this rusty piece of crap, but they beat me to it.)

I learned about tent houses.




All the comforts of home.





And if I needed any more proof that I wouldn’t have made a good settler’s wife?

That’s it right there.




I also learned about big pancakes.




Really big pancakes.




Which got me thinking…




Makes perfect sense to me.

Entering the fruit packing shed that was used when the property was a working orchard..




The husband fell in love with this old machine.




Which I admit was kind of cool.




But I also liked the funky steam punk apple peeler.




Although that first bite has got to be hard on the teeth.




The shed had a lovely old carriage.

And a short film on the history of Sedona.



There was also some fascinating info on rat urine.

Yes, rat urine.

A woefully under explored topic in most museums…




I often call my husband a pack rat, because he comes home with all sorts of trash treasure as well.




But damn.  20,000 years?

That’s some powerful pee.




And now, our final discovery.

My worst nightmare.




There was a small section on prohibition…

And yes, I may have wept.





The horror!