Library… Ah, the hardcover book.

I haven’t been to the Library in a long time. Before COVID to be exact. It’s so easy now to get books online, that going to the library isn’t necessary. Yet, there’s something about a nice hardcover book in my hands that makes reading that much more enjoyable. Sit by the window, no straining with the eyes.

The other day I walked passed a library. I decided to go in. I forgot how nice it is to look at the section for NEW books that “just arrived.” I was so happy! All sorts of unknown book titles. Before I knew it, I had been in the library almost 2 hours. Amazing, I was a little kid, opening one book after another.

It’s also interesting to see what books people return. Look at this, I found a Jeffrey Archer book. I used to read him all the time. Then moved on, but I really enjoy his writing style.

I can’t give a review of the book yet. I’ll admit that the story line does not seem NEW so far. Seems like a plot that’s been out there already. I’m hoping for some MAJOR twists and turns, so I am not left yawning and skimming versus reading to get to the end.

PLEASE, Mr. Archer, SURPRISE ME!

Off to make a pot of tea!

The Peabody Memphis – Hotel

I was recently in Memphis for a wedding and we stopped off at The Peabody Memphis hotel to see the DUCK MARCH. I found this YouTube video, so you can see what it looks like. The ducks have a special home on the rooftop / penthouse. They come down the center elevator and march down the red carpet to the lobby fountain every day at 11:00 AM. People come from all over the world to see the ducks. THEN at 5:00 pm, the Duckmaster escorts the ducks back to their rooftop penthouse for the evening.

In 1940, Mr Pembroke became the first Duckmaster and taught the ducks the famous Duck March. He served in this position for 50 years. He was a former circus animal trainer. I loved this photo of him.

Of course, while we waited, we had to have the signature Peabody Duck Drink, little floating duck on top.

It’s amazing that something so simple as marching ducks to a hotel fountain can be so entertaining. We enjoyed seeing them. The weekend was especially busy with families coming to watch with their children.

It’s a beautiful historic hotel. I tried to visit St Jude Hospital to see the Danny Thomas Memorial Garden, but the hospital was closed to visitors. Music on Beale street was fun!

Glad we had a wedding to go to in Memphis, fun visiting.

Rhode Island – Providence

On the way to Providence, our flight was in line to take off. I looked out the window and took this photo. So many planes in line and pretty close together. Looked beautiful. Upon landing, I saw this map that shows how close other well known cities are. So, depending on how much time you spend in Rhode Island, you can travel quickly to Boston, New York, etc.

As Rhode Island is on the water, I saw this gold ship on the top of one of the buildings.

We walked over to Brown University and saw their Mascot, the brown bear.

Along the way, saw this house. You can see the style is so different, so took a photo. Not sure of the significance…

Another interesting house. I liked the BLUE doors, but they don’t seem to fit with the style of the house.

I was reading in the Brown University newspaper that these scooters have become a big deal for Athletes. Since they have so many practices and would be walking 1-2 miles between class and practice, they were getting worn out. So, some of them started using these scooters. Then more started using them, while they can be dangerous in traffic, the athletes said it was worth the risk.

Here is an old bank, now that looked like a fortress.

Here you can see the river…

The Rhode Island trip comes to an end. Providence is small. We did walk the street where they have the Italian section. Being Italian, I would like to jump up for joy, but I was not impressed. It felt like a run down area, so that was sad. They did have my favorite cookies from Italy, but expiration date was June 2021. How fresh do cookies stay after expiration date? I passed.

I did meet a woman who had moved with her family from Southern California to Rhode Island. She said she LOVES Rhode Island. Simpler way of life, not so materialistic and she liked the change of seasons.

So, if COVID is holding you back from International travel. Take some small trips close to you, it’s worth it! We had fun!

Travel Virtually– NEW site — Heygo!

I just came across this virtual travel site called, “Heygo.” It looks like a great site, the idea is good. Of course, right now it is FREE; however, you can’t view a tour unless you sign up on the site. They are asking that you tip the tour guides, which is fair.

It appears that “VirtualTrips.io,” was founded in May 2020 by Liam Garrison and John Tertan. This year, April 2021, they changed name to “Heygo,” which is a fun name (HEY – GO!). They say new name better reflects who they are. I was able to view a snippet of a Quebec tour, it was quick before they cut me off. Need to sign up on site to view full tour.

Sharing with you. We can’t travel Internationally yet, virtual it is.

They have 200+ tours around the world. A place for everyone to travel.

Let me know what you think.

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?