I tend to staycation in August because I like to travel off season when prices drop and kiddies are in school. (Bucket list trip coming up in September!) However, as I click through Instagram, enjoying the photos of people enjoying their glam vacations, I do feel the occasional stab of envy.

Tropica is like France in August: the locals disappear, mostly to their beach homes. The streets of Meriland are left to tourists, wandering blindly in the inhospitable, suffocating heat.

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In Tropica it’s always guest season. Living in a vacation destination means a lot of houseguests. I enjoy picking people up at the airport and having the stimulation and fun of visitors.

Being a good houseguest is an art, but it can also be a learned skill. If you have friends living in interesting places, and you are lucky enough to be invited to stay, it means you can travel all the more. So it behooves you to treat your hostess like the treasure she is.

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New Year’s eve morning as I write this. I’ve spent the week between Christmas and today pondering the events of 2016. I’m surprised at the number of surprises I had in 2016. It was a year of surprises.  And I’d like another please.  I believe this is because of my new commitment to extemporaneous living, instead of planning everything out.  There’s a flow going on.

Here’s my list. I suspect you had tons of surprises too.  What’s on your list?

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Hi everyone! After a trip I jot down my observations and what I learned about travel, packing, shopping and eating.  Hope there are some tips that will help you plan for your next trip!

Packing. For my three week trip I packed a carry-on wheelie with my usual minimalistic flair. Not much room for error.  Still, when I unpacked back home, I set aside what I did not use even once: two t-shirts, two long sleeve shirts, one pair of pants, two undies, one bra, two pairs of socks, bathing suit. Wow, really?

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Montana is still “the last best place.”

Two days ago I returned from a vacation for a “big” birthday:  a long, dreamy road trip through Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

I write this during a steaming hot Saturday afternoon in Tropica. The skies just opened up and I’m storm watching with my animals. But my mind is still dreaming of places richly named: the Gallatin Gateway. Cowboy Heaven, an upper valley on Ted Turner’s extraordinary Flying D ranch dedicated to land conservancy and free range buffalo roaming.  Skalkaho Pass.  Choteau.  Silver Bow. Medicine Lake. Bear Creek.

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Title: THELMA AND LOUISE ¥ Pers: DAVIS, GEENA / SARANDON, SUSAN ¥ Year: 1991 ¥ Dir: SCOTT, RIDLEY ¥ Ref: THE079BE ¥ Credit: [ MGM/PATHE / THE KOBAL COLLECTION ]

Liza and Jeanette go for a drive

I used to walk to high school with Jeanette every day.  Now, decades later, we’re going for a big walk hike together.

Two high school friends, meeting up for a girly road trip. We’re as opposite as can be: She’s slim, I’m curvy.  She eats slowly, I eat faster. She walks fast, I walk slowly.  Will we still be friends by the end?  I’ll try to post from the road, but I’m also trying to unplug.  [Read more…]

 

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This is luxury:  Swimming in the Gulf and not seeing another person as far as the eye can see.

If April is the cruelest month, then August is the lostest month. And it’s a good time to find yourself.

Staycating is the ultimate vacation destination in August. The world is on vacation: crowds, higher prices, delays.  True, there is a sense of joining in the fun, and many art and music festivals are held during this high season. But…

…the best secret of August is your own house.

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As many of you know, I live in Tropica where it’s slow, hot and green. This past spring, I undertook the task of having my house painted. I had been putting it off for years and it was time to face the music. As is local custom, I hired one painter who methodically worked his way through the house, inside and out. I was prisoner of my house for the six weeks it took, rising early in the morning to let him in, driving to buy more paint and supplies, letting him in and out,  waiting until he finished at six.  It was relentless and mind dulling.

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⟡ Caribbean dystopia ⟡

Remember my last post, with the lovely photo of the blue Caribbean and my plan of a beautiful weekend? Well, this is what I found when I stepped onto the shoreline of Tulum. As well as Akumal, the Riviera Maya and Cancun. [Read more…]