Showing posts from March, 2023

On Solo Travel and French Kissing

Sure, solo travel has its risks. Getting mugged, beat up, getting lost, feeling lonely, doing something stupid you wouldn’t have done if someone was there to talk you out of it are all possibilities.   But think of the benefits. On the benefits list I would include again getting lost and doing something stupid you wouldn’t have done if someone was there to talk you out of it, because define “stupid”. One may define a situation of swerving the car off to the side of the road to jump out to chase a moose into the woods for a photo as stupid. In my defense, I grew up in So Cal where wildlife safety was not a topic beyond rattle snakes. Moose etiquette was not in the curriculum so it was not until showing off pics of a moose blurred between trees that the sharp inhales and wide eyes clued me in that moose trampling is a thing.  How about a photo shoot of a grizzly about twenty feet away napping soundly? Truly, I don’t know what woke him up in the second half of the photos but they look gre

Nature’s Jelly Beans

The grapes in our backyard grew wild, trellised up an old, rusty clothesline. The summertime treat was made to last. My little sister and I would trek out to our big backyard with the old horse berry tree with the rotted out wood seat in the branches, a giant purple-flowering jacaranda tree and a secret mini-grove enclosed by hanging ivy hiding the ruins of a chicken coop out of commission for decades. This escape to explore was fortunate to have. We lived in a neighborhood that was not ok to explore with or without supervision.  Those green sour grapes were nature’s jelly beans and we would pick plastic store bags full of them. We’d eat enough to be sick then freeze the rest. Candy wasn’t a luxury allowed in our house. It was both a naughty sweet and it cost money, so we picked our clothesline candy and stored it ourselves. These are childhood memories worth repeating, so my 5-year-old and I are on a mission. We are going to find some established grape vines to plant and trellis in ou


  There is nothing like a good pedicure. Add to the generally cathartic experience an ocean view from a quaint historic town, cobblestone-fronted nail shop that just happens to share space with a wine shop and you’ll be hesitant to do a google review just so others don’t overrun your new favorite place. Yeah, that’s right, such a place exists. The ambiance of the place can’t be beat. Latin-vibe music and decor, only describable as pleasantly gaudy, greet the unsuspecting guests. From my perch on the mosaic tile-covered platform with the narrow stairs between me and my travel companion, I sink into the soft seat cushion and lay back on a pile of pillows sipping my sangria and enjoying the slather between each individual toe. Ahhhh.  What a chance, an hour-long captive, local interviewee! How could I resist? After the typical pleasantries where I ask far too much, far too eagerly for the less socially confident among us to not visibly cower, I dive into local life. One item of particular