Disney Plus… NEVER too old! LUCA – yahoo!

My daughter called me the other day.

She said, “Mama, do you watch Disney Plus?”

Me… WHAT?

I laughed and said… NO, I’m a little old for that, right?!

WELL, that’s going to change! You’re going to LOVE this new movie, LUCA, set in Italy.

So… We watched it.

I have to say, it was a cute film. My ONLY critique is that the main characters should have had Italian accents. I mean, if these are Italian characters, they should speak English with Italian accents. Like the bad guy (Ercole Visconti), he was GREAT, he had an Italian accent along with the typical Italian expressions and hand movements. Super funny!

If life has you down and you need a laugh, a cute film to lighten the mood — TAKE A CHANCE ON LUCA!

Like me, you’ll be booking your next trip to Italy!

Italy – eccomi! (Italy – here I come!)

Traveling… Idaho – A Potato Hotel?

I think many of us would agree, we like to EAT potatoes, but would we like to SLEEP in one?

Due to COVID travel restrictions, we’ve been exploring fun trips in our own country.

Somehow, I came across the, “Big Idaho Potato Hotel.” Yes, IN IDAHO. It’s a HUGE 6 ton potato near Boise, looks like these russet potatoes. You’ve got to check it out. YouTube: Tiny House Giant Journey: Want to Sleep in a Potato? The Most Unique Airbnb in Idaho!.

This hotel was designed by Kristie Wolfe. She also designed a Hobbit House in Orondo, Washington about 160 miles from Seattle.

I would LOVE to stay at the Hobbit house, wish it was closer to Chicago for a weekend getaway.

Have you found anything interesting like this during COVID? Amazing what is out there.

World Travel: Walking / Hiking Tours

I don’t know about you, but I‘ve definitely got Spring fever. I’d really like to travel somewhere. While that is not possible with COVID right now, we can research and plan.

Look what came to my inbox, information on walking/hiking tours. This Country Walkers site looks interesting. They have tours all over the world. They’ve been around for 40 years, located out of Vermont. I was happy to see they offer different types of tours, i.e. guided, self-guided and partially guided. Do you opt for flight in package or not, lots of things to consider price-wise.

It’s never too early to start planning. One day soon, we will have the green light to travel Internationally, I’ll be ready!

Dreaming of Paddling — When I am not shoveling snow.

We had a record 18 inches of snow. After shoveling for 2 hours, all I could think about was being out on the water. Spring is coming, isn’t it? I found these two great magazines.

Paddle World had spectacular photography featuring trips around the world for paddle boarding, kayaking and/or fly fishing in a kayak. Personally, I think fly fishing would be more relaxing standing in the water. However, we’ve got to try new things, right.

Paddling Magazine had interesting articles too. Their focus was more on latest equipment, etc. So, you need both magazines. One for dreaming of that International destination and the other for the basics.

I kept seeing the abbreviation of SUP in different articles. I was annoyed, what did it stand for?

GUESS WHAT – so easy, SUP stands for Stand Up Paddling. I could hear my brother saying, “Use your head, you ding-a-ling.” I laugh when he acts superior, secretly knowing that he probably didn’t know what SUP stood for either. Brothers have to irritate their sisters in some way, so they can laugh when they know it worked.

I haven’t tried SUP yet, but I did canoe on a Dragon Boat Racing team in Seattle. That was fun. About 12 people to a canoe. Great exercise. So, why kayaking and paddle boarding now. I like going out on my own timetable.

In case you were curious, here was an article from the Paddle World magazine. This article talked about paddle boarding in Hamburg. They suggested bringing your own blow up SUP. I looked up the cost. Paddle boards are expensive, prices range from $900 to $2,000, so you need to be serious about this sport.

I still have a lot to learn, but I do have my life vest already. That’s a start! LOL – and it’s not the orange ones we had as a kid, so at least I won’t stick out as a real beginner — there is hope for me!

Spring is almost here. What outdoor fitness challenge are YOU thinking about?

Writing prompt… In 2021, What adventure awaits you?

Sometimes we find that perfect photo. I was lucky, no other people in site.

As I looked down the road, all sorts of story ideas came to mind.

It’s the end of Fall, we’re back in semi-lockdown.

In the past, with all the hustle and bustle of life, we longed for a quiet scene like this. Now, we actually want to be around people.

Thanksgiving canceled! Reminds me of the Grinch who tried to cancel Christmas. Remember, he stole all the Christmas trees, but then the people came together in the true spirit of Christmas, singing and holding hands.

How interesting life is.

In 2021, we start a new journey in life.

Where will this road lead you? What adventure awaits you?

Missing Outdoors -> Bring camping to the backyard

What a great idea! Being in quarantine is bringing back memories from my childhood. As kids we would “beg” our parents to let us set up a tent and sleep in the backyard. Of course, they would say, “No!”

Well, they saw a bunch of kids in the backyard making noise, coming in and out of house all night – it got them NUTTY just thinking about it. However, we would beg and beg and FINALLY they would relent.

I’ve gotta tell you, I have NEVER liked camping in a tent, but I don’t mind a cabin. WHY, well, my first camping experience was with Girl Scouts. We camped in someone’s backyard, two girls to a tent. We put up our tent and it kept collapsing, which got me claustrophobic, because the zipper was closed to keep the mosquitos out. Needless to say, I could not wait until morning to go back home!

I like the “idea” of camping and being in the outdoors, I’ve upgraded my sites though. Look at this British camper. NOW, I smiled. I can definitely see myself camped out on one of those beds, cozy with a blanket and a good book. The windows are charming, I would just need someone to bring me some hot tea in a “tea cup.”

Ah… the beauty of dreaming….

Travel Tour websites… Why go it alone?

Egypt Rock TempleA girlfriend of mine is going to Italy in May and was looking up travel tours. I’ve never done a travel tour… OOPs, I take that back. My mother found a 10 day river cruise in Egypt that we went on. It was a FABULOUS trip. A travel package was critical in seeing all of the different sites. We needed a tour guide, he gave us the history behind the Abu Simbel Temples, Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx — there was so much to see. Incredible!

Other than that, I’ve normally gone on a trip and done my own planning. Why? Well, I don’t enjoy being on a constant schedule. If I am on a vacation, I want to relax a bit.

However, trips/tours make life easy, especially when the package is all inclusive (airfare, hotel, transportation), it takes the stress out of planning.

I came across these travel websites that were interesting.

horse riding tour

In The Saddle – This is a tour group that specializes in horseback riding holidays. Wow, right. I know, you’re wondering if I am an accomplished rider. No, but I found their trips interesting and adventurous. Check them out. I might have a sore bottom, but it would be worth it for a different type of adventure.

AdventureWomen – For 35 years, they have been focusing on unique adventure tours for active women. This is great, because in the past there were places that women could not travel alone (i.e. Botswana, Russia, Morocco, India, etc.), or if they did, it was at their own risk. If you are a woman, you’ll enjoy this website.

GROUPON Getaways – A girlfriend speaks highly of their travel packages. She bought a trip to Ireland through them. She said the hotel in different locations was great, they had a rental car, it was a good deal, everything went smoothly, hard to pass up.

Global Drifters – A new site I came across through their Blog. Clicking here and there, I found their travel packages. They are a younger company, visit and see what you think. Their tag line, “Not a Vacation, but an Experience.” They offer small group tours for the independent traveler.

Can you tell I am getting Spring fever?

Anyone open for a horse riding tour? Mongolia, to see the Eagle Festival? Bhutan maybe or back to Italy?

Hoping winter is coming to an end. It’s time for an adventure somewhere in the world!

Visit Atlas Obscura -> An adventure guide to hidden wonders in the world.

Travel the worldLast week I was going through my Junk folder on Outlook. As expected most of it was junk; however, I came across an email from, “Atlas Obscura.” Normally, I would not open an unknown email, but the subject header said, “You can spend the night in this formerly abandoned Scottish village.”  This piqued my interest, I want to visit Scotland one day.

Before opening the email, I decided to research “Atlas Obscura.” Turns out it is an online magazine created in 2009 by Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras. They wanted to create an atlas / guidebook for people to learn about and explore obscure places around the world. They certainly have done that.

If you sign up for their weekly newsletter, you’ll be amazed at the different places you can explore. On their website, you can choose a country (Germany, for example) and you’ll be brought to a map of Germany where they have pointers you can click on with stories for that particular area, i.e. the world’s largest cuckoo clock, the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Worms, the “floating railway” to name a few.

On Eventbrite, I noticed they have Atlas Obscura Society Chicago. For the remainder of February and into March, they have some interesting events going on, i.e. learning about volcanoes and the birth of the most precious stones, interactive history of comics, murder mystery soiree, scavenger hunt, roller skating in the movies, immigrant stories and connections. I wrote to one of the field reps to see what the age range was for people attending. Have not heard back yet.

If you enjoy traveling and you’re getting bored with the normal tourist attractions, I highly recommend visiting “Atlas Obscura’s” website. You’ll definitely find obscure things to explore on your next adventure.

Climbing Mount Si

imageI climbed Mount Si this past weekend. I’m sure you are wondering about it, so I will refer you to Washington Trails Association’s (WTA) website where they have a write up about this climb. WTA is the nation’s largest state-based hiking non-profit organization. They do a great job of promoting all the different hikes in Washington.

Mount Si is a 8 mile hike round trip. I wanted to challenge myself by climbing a mountain, but this was a tough climb. Some of the reviews referred to this hike as a “challenge,” I thought it was more than that, at times, “tortuous.” I guess it depends on what shape you are in, and if your boots are working properly. Some people were whizzing by, obviously having done it before.

The picture I took is of the view from the top. It was spectacular and a perfect day. I even got an interesting bird in the photo.  Anyone know what it is?  There was a cute chipmunk who was running around, not afraid and hoping for food along with some small birds.

chipmunkThe climb took us about 3 hours up the mountain. Going down was tough, because it was steep and my shoes were not cooperating. I didn’t have enough cushion in them and my feet kept moving forward. There were a few times that I hoped a rescue team might come by, my feet were hurting so much, but that miracle did not happen. My friend made a joke that I was not going to be able to manifest it. So, I gave up on the wishing, and focused on getting down.

There were quite a few hikers with dogs and even some who were carrying babies in their packs. I hoped they were in good shape climbing up, because it could get rocky and one stumble and over the cliff you go. One poor dog was so little and panting furiously. I wasn’t sure he/she should have been on the climb. For sure this dog needed some water and “fast.”

Last night, I was sore and stiff and not able to think about my next hike. Now, it is a day later, pain in the legs is subsiding and I am READY for the next challenge. Although, other hikes at 4 miles round trip are going to be easy compared to Mount Si. I hear Rattlesnake Ledge is a good one.

Mount Rainier, the BIG HIKE, that will have to wait!