Look what happened now...
Hello Fellow Travelers!
I hope your having a fun week. I’m planning a series of trips and working up a travel budget this month. If your like me, you know its important to budget carefully for your travel, I need to make every dollar count. I would rather spend money staying in Paris, than spending money on hidden hotel fees or disguised rental car charges! So I thought I would write a series of posts on the lessons I have learned about obscure charges and hidden fees.
Booking your flight online can be costly if you make a mistake. As soon as you get the conformation email, check to see that your name is spelled right and your travel dates are correct. If they are not, call the airline immediately. Most of the time when I have had an issue of this sort, they have cheerfully changed the tickets with no extra fees or issues. BUT I also called within 5 minutes. The longer you wait, the more likely you are going to be charged a fee.
If you have to change your flight date the airlines will often charge fees so high they are not much different from the airfare itself. I had this happen last month, I bought a ticket for a work trip and then it was pushed back. We bought the insurance, but there was a “change fee” even with the insurance that made the flight almost the same price. To avoid this look for a website or airline that offers a flexible booking period. They do exist, but you may pay more…but if your unsure of the dates of your trip it might be worth it.
As I said I didn't save anything with the trip insurance on that flight. But I have seen people (my mother for one) buy and use insurance for cruises that have refunded their entire trip when they ended up canceling because they were to ill to board. It might seem like another added expense that you would wish to avoid, but it can save a lot of money in the long run.
Next we will discuss Frequent Flyer Programs.
Catch you later~
How are things? I'm in the middle of planning a trip today and was thinking about some of the more interesting questions folks ask me when I'm traveling.
Now don't get me wrong, for me travel is a way of life and meeting interesting people and having adventures is part of the fun. But I must be very approachable, because people do not hesitate to ask me off hand questions at every turn.
Is it just me or does this happen to everyone?
"You don't look like your passport!" Said by every customs agent everywhere. I usually reply, "Thank God! Because I was ill then," or something like that. They have never given me any real grief over it, so I must not look THAT DIFFERENT, lol
(The picture is rubbish and I will not post it, lol but take my word for it!)
But I honestly don't tend to look the same in any pictures and since I color my hair as a hobby, I do tend to look different everyday. (As you may have noticed on here.)
Next common question: "Where's your husband?"
I don't get offended anymore when people (men) ask. I guess for some people (men) it's tough to imagine a woman traveling that much?
Another really common question I hear is: "What are you doing here?" or "How did you get here?" People seemed surprised that anyone would visit their region or even their countries. Usually I answer pretty straightforward, by telling them a plane or a train or a bus or whatever. I always run into people who have never left their own countries and cannot image anyone coming all the way from America to see their area. Travel really is a mindset as much as anything else.
Leaving Rotterdam, Norway a youngish train attendant was talking to me about which route was best to take to get to the port and seemed to be caught off guard by me returning to America via a ship. "How long does it take? It takes 6 months, right?!"
Funny but a lot of people still seem to think it takes months to cross the sea.
The number one question French women ask me, when they find out I grew up in south Texas:
"Are cowboys real?"
Another common question I hear is: "Is Trump for real?"
It is usually asked by everyone who sees my American passport.
Another common question or actual statement I hear often in England is:
"There is nothing older than 200 years in America! Nothing there to see so you come to Europe!"
Ugh! I usually just smile at this and walk away, because its not my job to educate people.
This is Chaco Canyon in New Mexico it was occupied from around 800A.D., to the 1,200s. There are plenty of Native American sites across America that are even older.
What are you often asked when you travel? I'd love to hear so leave me a comment below.
See you at the airport!
This is my 8th blog post of 2018. Last year I blogged 127 times, that makes 10.58 blog posts per month, almost 2 blog posts per week. HEY THAT’S NOT BAD. Considering that it is a luxury to actually have time to sleep.
I even made the effort to update the look of the website and added video headers, plus some new pages. I have also opted to add a few affiliate links. I’m actually not sure if I want to continue them, we shall see. I also tried to refrain from bitching about work and being constantly exhausted all the time.
My 2018 new year resolution is blog at least 3 posts per week. I have never really cared if anybody reads this silly little blog, it has been more about documenting some of the places I’ve been and the insights I’ve had. So I am always surprised that people do follow. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU! 🙂 for your continued support.
Okay back to reviewing 2017...
This is somewhat surprising.
We are still here, on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. I post mostly landscapes and of course food picture from here or random selfies, lol.
Honestly I am so in love with the mountains and the blue sky here and of course the house. We have a nice garden and mostly this feels like heaven. So I try to keep the house tidy and minimal even though it's big 2 story with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and a huge bonus room I use for an office, but I don't actually talk much about the house. The kitchen is nice, much better than what we had in the UK, but not as well thought out as the kitchen in France. But it works for us, as you may have noticed I am sharing more food picts and recipes.
More Vegan Food
I have posted more and more vegan recipes and cooking stuff in general this past year. Mostly because I have been home more and have the ability to cook more. I still want to remind you I am NOT a food blogger.
I think I have taken more selfies in 2017 than all the past years combined. Remember when you wondered what I looked like? Yeah, those days are long gone.
But back to my hair, it is still blonde - And yes, I’m bored with it. I considered cutting it off this year, but I think I will wait another year. It grows pretty fast though and if I do not flat iron it you
can see it is really thick. Using the flat iron may make the style look better - but I hate how thin and flat it looks. :(
Travel in 2017
Travel this past year was sparse. Well, compared to other years when I'm running back and forth to NOLA, Florida or France. But I did mange a few adventures...
Janurary here in central New Mexico started out snowing...
I am still impressed with snow.
It was fun for a few days and then it was over. #Goodtimes
Jan - left the odd snow storm and headed to New York City. It was dark, cold and snowing there too. But New York is always amazing no matter what the weather is like.
This trip was part busines/part fun.
In February we left the dark and flew to Iceland.
This was a destination that's been on my son's bucket list for years, but I was not that excited. But guess what? I LOVED IT!
And totally not what I expected. It did snow while we were there, but we still managed a night trip to see the Northern Lights. We stayed 7 days and it was not long enough. I'm sure we will return soon.
March was a short Vegas get away and April was me at home planting a garden and experimenting in the kitchen.
May I had company and showed them around the area here. You can read about it here. I also started a mini food diary to share what I eat (people still ask) and what I typically purchase at the market.
August I began "What Are You Reading?" A quick review of my recent reads and such. Work was still very busy, but I made my mind up I was going to make time to read and relax more.
September another review and of course the hurricane hitting my home in Texas. I actually didn't talk much about it. Maybe this year I will be able to share more, it's just completely overwhelming. STILL.
October was Halloween and I was supposed to go to NOLA for a right old party, but I came down with a bug and spent it in bed. #FML (But look out this year!)
November I blogged about American Myths and more book reviews. We debated on going somewhere exotic for Christmas, but decided against it. After spending the holidays in Europe and other amazing places it was nice to just stay in and chill for a change. We did explore around the area, here some. Check out this short video if you want to see an ancient Native American site we hiked.
I also posted more about my not so secret love of flowers and house plants this past year.
So I posted more about gardens and houseplants than ever before. It's not quite an obsession, but almost.
So all in all it was a great year. We didn't travel as much as usual, but that's okay too. I'm so thankful we are able to live in a nice place, with lots of natural beauty and good people.
I'm also thankful for you, taking the time to read my silly little blog. I appreciate it and the encouraging emails I get from ya'll. Thank you for your friendship and support!
Do you have big plans for this year? I can't wait to see what adventures 2018 will bring!
See you at the airport-
It's hard to believe it's almost Christmas!
I've got most of my shopping done and wrapped. (So I will not be tempted to give it away early, lol) and just need a few little things for stocking stuffers. My list isn't that long so it will be a breeze, fingers crossed.
I also spoke to my family in Texas today and told them I was not coming for the holidays. So Monday I will start mailing gifts to them. Well, I will mail some, Amazon will take care of the rest, thankfully.
My brother called to discuss Christmas and tell me about the freak snowstorm they had this week. It usually snows in south/central Texas once every 10-15 years and turns into ice, a big mess and lots of traffic accidents! And people freak out. (See the news story here) But, fortunately this time it was just pleasant snow for about 24 hours and then was warm again. It does make it seem more like Christmas.
It has been snowing here in New Mexico off and on all around us. But mostly it has just been cold, but it is winter after all. We have a short day trip to Santa Fe planed for next month, so we should have really nice snow pictures then!
The bananas went into these vegan flourless cookies. I think I have finally found the holy grail of oatmeal cookies. These cookies were amazing! Let me bake one more batch and then I will post pictures and the full recipe.
I am glad to say I will not be having any guest or be running around the country like a crazy person this year. A staycation seemed like the thing to do originally because I had so much work to do, but I actually am caught up now, thanks to an amazing new admin and extra help! #WIN!
So we could go to Texas..but the more I thought about it, the more I knew sticking with the original plan was the right thing to do. I'm so excited about taking time off from work and just staying home and not having any commitments. It may sound lame, but after the busy ass year I've had it sounds like heaven to me.
Okay, I'm off for my morning walk and then to work.
See you at the airport!
Yes, Pumpkin shopping is a real thing!
Okay, it may just be an excuse to get out before true winter begins...
But when isn't shopping always a good idea?
All the autumn decorations (and food) are worth experiencing.
I admit that's a BIG box. But you don't want to run out of coffee! #54Cups!
And yes, I might be missing Texas just a bit.
You can try the coffee for yourself here:
I don’t actually regret reading these books, but I am not adding either to my library, either. I shall pass them on to some other reader whom I'm sure will appreciate them.
This was my fault, I really enjoy Ms Harris's southern writing style. Her horror genre is funny, creepy and cool all rolled into one book. But obstinate me, why read reviews? Just buy the damn book, it has to be cool! Well, I should have read the reviews. See this series, so far I’ve counted 8 books, is just a good old fashion murder mystery series. No vampires, witches or were-anythings. (Insert sad face here.)
I felt the characters, while likable, were not as folksy (another thing I like about her Sookie and Midnight, Texas series) or as detailed. It was an easy, quick read with a few surprise twists along the way.
I'm now at 19 of my 25 books for 2017 Goodreads reading challenge. Did you take the challenge too? According to the site I am “on track” to reaching my goal.
Bravely on to the next book...
Heart In The Night
by Karen Bishop
This book.....sadly I could not handle.
It could have been me, but I wasn’t able to even finish it. I just skimmed it and was so done. (And it was recommended to me!)
It was just of no interest to me. And that says a lot because I read just about anything from Young Adult to Science Journals. In defense of Young Adult, if a book is well written it will just draw you in. So that being said, maybe it was just me? I honestly don't know. The book has good, sold star ratings (I just checked) but suspiciously no actual written reviews. It was published in 2011 and is 172 pages long.
Have you read either book? What did you think? Was it just me or do you agree?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these books.
I'm currently reading the Elegant Universe. At the rate I'm blogging expect a review sometime last 2020!
Catch you later!
Better Late Than Never...
*Warning! Random Picture Post*
I started this in June (2017) I have no idea why I didn't finish...
So let's start from the beginning...
This was the Vegancuts monthly snack box. It was GREAT, per usual.
Check out all these healthy treats!
So I searched my phone for other random June pictures...
So that was my June, more or less.
Now on to the next 300 post in the queue!
Catch you later-
I don't think in the five (5) years of this blog I have ever been this far behind!
Between work and road trips I have nooooo time for anything! (Sobs softly on Mac keyboard, because I am too tired to move.)
I have been debating if I should spam all the old posts or just move forward from some magical, future date. Still considering, but at this point that date is late Feb. 2020, lol! #TrueStory
But let me say thank you for continuing to visit here. I see you dear readers and I appreciate you checking back time and time again for a new post and finding none, reading old random crap. You guys make me want to continue the blog, so let's see what happens, shall we?
In the meantime, see you at the airport?
Seems like May was over in a flash! Was it like that for you too?
I didn't really blog that much in May.
Work + Life = Me mostly not having it to give. #TrueStory
But I did make an attempt, at least and you came back and read it again and again. I know because my numbers went up! Lol
Below are the top, most clicked on posts for the month - if you missed any of them.
*Warning* food heavy posts ahead, lol
1. What Are you Reading? (March Edition) -
Hmm, Well I'm not sure I blogged any of what I was reading in April or May. But seeing this post was so well read, (pun intended) I will endeavor to catch you up with my reading list, lol So be on the look out...
2. Mini Vegan Food Diary (April/May)
This was posted on May 24th and is mostly pictures - 30 in total, including 2 of me. It was mostly random food I made during April and May + me looking like death from working too much. #GoodTimes
3. Another Sunny Sunday
This was posted on May 14, 2017 and features a hot air balloon almost crashing in my back garden!
(One of my favorite posts for May) #MoreGoodTimes
4. May Vegan Snacks
May 19th post. Yet, another food post.
Are you people obsessed with food or what?
No wait, I seem to be blogging about food a lot don't I? This was the monthly Vegancuts snack box review. There was lots of sweet, vegan goodness inside.
5. Rendezvous With Rumi
This popular post is from April - It features some of my favorite Rumi quotes. If you want more Rumi click here #LoveHim
6. Speaking of the Weekend
May 15, 2017, - This post features cactus and me whining about wanting to stay home and read. I also went and had tea with a friend and whined to her! Another mate made me go for a hike and I ended up cooking brunch for a group people. Warning -More random food pictures!
7. More Flowers
This post is from April 26, 2017, and it features wildflowers, roses and more cactus.
8. Top 25 Travel Quotes
This is from the Blog home page....Some of my favorite quotes about travel.
9. Vegan Beauty Box
May 2nd post and also from the home page. This was a Vegancuts Beauty Box I ordered. 9 pictures and extra points because I set the box (and some of the products) on a few of the books I'm currently reading! But sadly no food in this one, I'm sure had it featured food it would have scored higher, lol.
Thank you for reading my silly little blog and all the random randomness that is my life!
See you at the airport!
This is another really random post of collected food from the last month or so. No real recipes, and no "plated" fancy food photos - just honest food my family mowed through, lol.
Now that the Farmer's Markets are going strong and fresh produce is arriving daily, I'm cooking more. Fresh is always best and fortunately we have a good selection of veggies here in New Mexico.
Are you ready to see what vegans actually eat?
Last month was crazy at work! I have been so tired after all the meetings, that I just wanted to go home and go to bed. But, as I said I did make a resolution to cook more and eat less junk.
Luckily I have a pantry full of fresh fruits and veggies and that makes it much easier.
Also I have been shopping for healthy staples at Thrive and Whole Foods.
Have you tried Ancient Grains? I seem to be eating a lot of Quinoa and ancient grains lately. They are much easier to digest and so much better for your overall health.
I'm excited to try new veggie combos and different fruit mixtures. I have collected a few new recipes I want to try out. The more "fake baking" I do the more I love it! So expect more food picts on my feed..
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives and laugh a bit too!
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