Archive | Travel RSS feed for this section

Major League Soccer, Time to Shine

12 Jun
La Liga Fans

La Liga Fans

The time has come for soccer to take its rightful place in the United States and its long- awaited return to triumph and popularity.  I wonder why it is that people continue to question the place of major league soccer, MLS.  The media may play a part in this influence, as financially speaking the big money rests in baseball, football (American) and basketball.  The sporadic location of soccer teams may be another, if a city has no team, then its citizens are not as apt to promote a sport.

The decline of soccer popularity in the United States has contributed to soccer fans turning their attention to the Premier league, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga.  Now is the time to bring the joy back to US soil, now is the time to let soccer shine in this neck of the woods.

New York has already announced a second MLS team, giving the Red Bulls a competitor, and now it seems, maybe Miami will soon join in the excitement.

David Beckham is said to be considering club ownership in Miami.  The international friendly fixtures seem to draw a crowd and create frenzy among the local fans and then there is the upcoming International Champions Cup.  The idea of major league soccer in a town heavily populated with South Americans may prove interesting, at the very least lucrative, that is, if the introduction of a new team is managed properly.  The high profile name of Beckham may be the seal on the deal.

We will soon find out if another MLS team is born, in the meantime we can enjoy the game in limited release as well as in World Cup Qualifying matches, for it seems like the US Men’s Soccer Team has no intention of giving up its bid for World Cup 2014.

Now for those of you who still question the brilliance of soccer. Let me just recap my views on this fantastic sport, just in case you missed it before.

The game of soccer is magnificent to watch.  It is a game of skill and art.  The combination of immaculate fit, masculine, close to perfection bodies, as well as the skill to maneuver a leather, 28 inch, 16 oz ball across a grass field while 9 other set of legs quickly and assertively manipulate that same ball to their advantage is a sight to see.

That last minute crossing pass that seems to slow down time as it soars from the sidelines, down the middle to the perfect chip shot that floats over the goalkeeper’s head and just makes it swiftly under the crossbar to score the winning goal.

Since many of us, soccer fans, will say anything so that this sport is given a higher profile in the US, may I add for some of you ladies that are still on the brink of hesitation on whether to watch this wonderful game…

The game of soccer is an artistic endeavor and a sexy game as well.  When that tone, fit to perfection player immaculately and skillfully maneuvers a chest trap, you have to sigh at the tone chest rippling underneath the snug jersey, while the hamstring and quadriceps muscles peak from underneath those fantastic billowing shorts.

Of course, there are those of us who enjoy the game for its athletic and skillful intensity, but a little bonus fun never hurts.  Besides I believe that promoting a sport should be done in any way possible, just ask the folks in Europe; they know how to use this marketing strategy and do it very well.

The Path Towards Tomorrow

10 Jun

Michigan

Sometimes it takes just a flicker of something that catches the corner of your eye to allow the imagination to take root and the fruition of something exciting to emerge.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island

Enjoy the day, enjoy the moments, for in the shortest of seconds you may be inspired by the color of a flower, the laughter of a child, or even the scamper of a squirrel.

mackinac island, black squirrel

Close your eyes let the wind caress your senses and let the possibility of creation work its magic on your yet undiscovered words.  Like the kite that strives against the wind, let its strength empower you to keep moving forward and pushing into the unknown.

Michigan mackinac island

For there is sometimes fear for the path ahead, but without the choice of pursuit, there will be no answer, there will be no success.

Michigan

A Future Full of Oranges

3 Jun

 Seville, Spain winter

Sometimes it takes just the smallest push to get you flowing in the right direction.  It may be just that one moment when you wake, the one moment that makes you attempt a bit of what you have set out to accomplish, the one small turn of a head that pushes you in another direction.

It may be a grasp of something unexpected, sometimes that bite is sweet, and sometimes its bitter, but it leads us toward an unpredictable bend in our lives.

The thing you never expected to give you hope, the little nudge that helps lay out the path of things to come.  We may question our dreams, but when we abandon them to the wind, they roar through our lives until we imagine how our touch can quiet the noise and settle the fear.

The smallest gesture of the pursuit of something untried may lead us to great endeavors or small accomplishments that bring us back into the grasps of a future worthy of failure, a future worthy of success, a future that cannot be, unless we take that one small step and grasp for what we do not know.

Sometimes it is hard to imagine what we cannot see, hard to picture what we want without thinking about the work to be done.  Work that may not lead to success, but if we stop trying, if we succumb to living without the possibility of dreams accomplished or tried, we cease to live the life we were meant to enjoy, the life we were meant to explore, the life that awaits in the future…

Lake Michigan

Reach for it with the strength that one small step can change the course of all to come.

To Leave, or Not to Leave, that is the Question

25 Oct

I went out of town a few weeks ago and left the pups with my parents.  I had to struggle to get out of the door; the pups have a little habit of grabbing the bottom of my pants as I exit; their specialty is putting up a great show in regard to their sadness over my departure.

I feel very lucky that my parents like my dogs and are always up for watching them when I am out of town, fortunately I have never had to board the little guys, either they stay with my parents, or they go with me (on vacations only, no business trips allowed).

For those of you who are not that lucky (one of my best friends had to recently board her brand-new puppy, I applaud her for being so calm about the process; I would probably have burst into tears), boarding your pets comes with its own set of problems, especially if you have pets like mine, and they have any kind of irritable bowl syndrome or are just plain finicky little beasts.

Remember the key to your successful trip and your pets successful ‘waiting it out game’ is always a solid plan, one that will make your pet feel secure and healthy while you are away.

If possible, leave your pet with a family member or a close friend, or possibly, if the pet is used to being alone for longer periods of time is to leave them at home and have a  trusty individual feed your pet and visit them a few times a day.

Another option is a pet sitter; this may be the least stressful for your pet, there are services that match you and your pet to a reliable house and pet sitter.

For those of you that have no other option other than boarding, there a few things to remember; always bring your pups own food, never pay extra just to have the boarding facility throw in their choice of food (even if it is more convenient), your little one will thank you.  Try to bring your pets bed, favorite toys, even feeding dishes, as the familiar smells will comfort them, especially in the evenings.  Another small, but rather important thing to remember is to give your pet something with your smell on it, an article of clothing you may not miss too much or maybe even a slipper.

The boarding facility should always be able to explain to you in detail what your pet will be doing all day and allow you to tour the facility at a moment’s notice.  The best way to choose a boarding facility is by word of mouth.

The most important thing to remember is to make sure you are not an emotional wreck when dropping off your pet; they will feel your tension and suspect something is wrong.

(Of course, that is easier said than done, I am a bigger mess when leaving my pets, than they are.) 🙂

The Pups and the Beach = Love

1 Aug

The pups have been anxious since they got home from vacation, they would rather tag along then be left behind, alas sometimes they are not always so lucky.  Travel leaves them a little moody when they get home, or I get home (after leaving them behind, I am reminded).

The little rascals seem to always know when I am having fun without them, and funny enough, when I have to go on a trip, and it is not by a huge body of water, they seem to care a little less (kid you not).  I am in the process of making their greatest dream come true, once again, living by the ocean; fingers crossed it will not take longer than planned.  In the meantime, they will have to make do with the memories.

Lola’s favorite resting spot.

There are some great ways to make your dog settle down after a long trip.  When traveling, I always give my pups purified water, this keeps them from exhibiting any bathroom issues due to changes in the tap water.  It is also a great way to get them back to normal when they get home.  The first week home, I slowly, over the first 3 days, incorporate the tap water to the purified water, thus allowing them to acclimate back to their regular drinking beverage of choice.

It is also always a wise idea to never change their food when traveling, if you are not sure whether your vacation spot will carry the food your pup eats, always, always bring it with you.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to never change their diet when traveling.  Yes, even if you make their food, my pups are on a homemade diet (more to come on that soon), and I make sure to bring the necessary supplies or check ahead to make sure there is a store close by that will have the ingredients I need.

My sister and I enjoying the view with the Pups.

The first few days at home are about trying to get the pups back to regular walking, sleeping and eating schedules.  Whilst on vacation they always seem to receive a little more goodies that seem to slip under the table, but at home I try to make sure they understand that there are no extra little treats or I would never be able to go to work or get anything done.  I try not to invite anyone to the house for the first week or so, that way their excitement is kept at bay.  As long as you get them back to the regularly scheduled program as soon as possible, your pup should be back to normal (or as close as he or she was before the trip) within a week.

Misiu refusing to let me pack the bags so we can get back home.

Misiu refused to budge.

I only get kisses like this when I take them to the beach.

Rejuvenation

30 Jul

Life leads us on many different paths, sometimes it takes only one moment to make us rethink our choices and regroup the sanity of fears, hopes, wants and needs rumbling in our heads, begging to be fulfilled or, at least, organized.

Sometimes a vacation can stimulate your senses, prompting a complete retreat from any media stimulation, which, in turn can cause the imagination to spiral out of control and lo and behold work is done; books are half way written, and our minds and bodies are once again open to the outside world.

The need to shut out the over-sensationalized hype of all media content gives a wonderful reconnection to the real; to the real that is in our minds waiting to make its own mark on society.

Take a break, step away from technology while you vacation and beyond if you can.

You will reawaken your senses and once again be aware of the world around you; nature at its best.  The result will leave you rejuvenated, refreshed, ready to take on the world, or at least a few more chapters of the novel that is waiting to finally be written.

Oh how I love vacations, traveling, discovering, immersing into different cultures, if only all of life was a continuous vacation.

Ah, alas, that is why I discovered the wonders of writing, for sometimes it can be.

Euro 2012: Fans Enjoy the Best of Poland, Good Beer and Great Food!

15 Jun

I love really good food and a good glass of wine or a great cold mug of beer; add to the mix a great football (soccer) match and life is good.

The fans who flocked to Poland and the Ukraine for UEFA Euro 2012 have not been disappointed when it comes to entertainment; there hasn’t been a dull moment since the opening celebrations.  What has kept them happy and coming back for more, the hospitality, the food and beer of course.

Some fun food Friday for those that have not yet had the privilege of sampling the best of Poland; No I don’t mean the good-looking guys and gals!

The fans are definitely enjoying the beer in Poland, as I mentioned in Euro 2012: Have a Drink or Two, I believe Poland has some of the best beer and vodka.  I think the fans may agree.

Na Zdrowie!!

Love this Picture, this is so Europe!

What’s his favorite brand?

Is Polish beer better than German, I might argue, yes?

Drinking may inspire your team to win; it surely helps the Polish economy!

 Yup, it’s better to drink when your team still has a chance, makes for happier fans.

Now for some food.

Gołąbki (cabbage rolls)

Pierogi (dumplings with different yummies on the inside)

Barszcz

Barszcz

Salatka kiszona z marchewką

Kielbasa

Kotlety schabowe

The perfect Polish meal.

Check out Euro 2012: Gdansk, A City of Freedom, to take a look at grand Polish breakfasts.

An Ocean of Opportunity: Motivation to Write

11 Jun

The world holds many wonders, motivational inspirations, as well as obstacles.  I have felt the pull before, the urging in my head to live by the sea.  I answered that call once and took full advantage of all the vastness and beauty of the ocean.  I return to the ocean, alas only on vacations, year after year, the yearning to make it my permanent home never ceases.

I love the ocean in the middle of the summer, when the sand is warm beneath my feet, when I can make my way to the water’s edge and slowly wade into the sea, as if an unknown force pulls me further towards the welcoming salty, warmth of waters that foster and protect our planet.  Water swirls around me, fish nibble at my toes, seaweed ripples past my body; the waves make way for my form to take its place in the wonder that never ceases to create, to emulate the inner energy of our planet’s core, the ocean at its best.

I love the ocean during the winter; the cold air that travels from miles away, streaming its invisible fingers past my cheek, through my hair, sending the most wonderful shivers of anticipation to the deepest cells of the human form standing on the edge of the sea.   The water rekindles life with the storms of a rejuvenating cycle, which never cease to amaze the eyes of a creature that makes its home on a land that begs for the endless caress of wave after wave.

The ocean motivates the writer within, allowing for the vast possibilities of an ever-changing planet to welcome us to its existence.  The writing that is yet to make its mark can only prove to be a part of this world if it rides on the waves of a continual life cycle.  I see the ocean before me, and my energy is reawakened, my inspiration alive and ready to take its place in the waves, which ripple through countless human forms who stand on the edge waiting to take the leap.

 Let the Ocean motivate you to reach for your own dreams, or at least settle your soul and let inspiration reawaken in your being.

Euro 2012: Lewandowski Polish Hero: He Could Have Been!

8 Jun

A perfect header into the net, Robert Lewandowski gave Poland a 1-0 lead in the first half of the game against Greece.  The Polish team came out strong, looked unstoppable and left the crowd in awe of a football (soccer) game written like a perfect play by play.

Lewandowski was ready by the net, with a wonderful smile on his face throughout most of the first half.

Poland dominated possession of the ball and looked to be not only in prime offensive domination, but was eagerly awaiting to jump on their defensive skills as well.  Alas, the Greeks looked sluggish and unresponsive in the first half, failing to keep the ball away from their neck of the woods, playing a defense game, a non impressive one to add.

Then we go to break, a half time motivational speeches from the coaches; speeches that could have kept the Polish team on top, and the Greeks spirits revitalized.

The second half of the match is still a wonder to me.  What happened behind the scenes, the Polish team comes back out onto the field, and looks deflated, energy sapping and offense almost completely invisible.  The only highlight of the second half is goalie substitute Przemyslaw Tyton saving a penalty kick.

A question arises, did Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, lose the match?  Do you rush the ball, if you are not confident enough to dominate the hold?

All in all, it was a good game, and it had me glued to the television set, although I could have been a little less tense had the Polish team kept up their fever.

Okay back to the job at hand, Czech Republic vs Russia.

Euro 2012: TV Schedule for Those West of the Atlantic

7 Jun

Excitement is in the air, and patriotism is ready to take its mark.  Football (soccer) is an important part of the culture in European countries; the spirit of the game is always in the air, and tomorrow it will be flourishing in full force.

Poland has put their best foot forward and is ready to impress millions of Football fans with their heartfelt hospitality, genuine smiles and authentic joy in promoting not only Euro 2012, but a country ready to welcome the possibilities of a bright future.    

Group A will be the first to show their prowess on the field. 

I will be glued to the television, as my favorite team will be up first: Poland of course!

EURO 2012 TV Schedules for USA (EST)

ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes

 

June 8, 2012

Poland vs Greece                      Group A     12:00pm

Russia vs Czech Republic      Group A     2:45pm

Poland

VS

Greece

Russia

VS

Czech  Republic

 

June 9, 2012

Netherlands vs Denmark        Group B    12:00pm

Germany vs Portugal                Group B     2:45pm

June 10, 2012

Spain vs Italy                                 Group C    12:00pm

Ireland Republic vs Croatia     Group C     2:45pm    

June 11, 2012

France vs England                     Group D    12:00pm

Ukraine vs Sweden                    Group D     2:45pm    

June 12, 2012

Czech Republic vs Greece       Group A     12:00pm

Russia vs Poland                        Group A     2:45pm

June 13, 2012

Portugal vs Denmark                Group B    12:00pm

Germany vs Netherlands         Group B     2:45pm

June 14, 2012

Croatia vs Italy                            Group C    12:00pm

Ireland Republic vs Spain       Group C     2:45pm    

June 15, 2012

France vs Ukraine                    Group D    12:00pm

England vs Sweden                  Group D     2:45pm    

June 16, 2012

Poland vs Czech Republic         Group A     2:45pm

Russia vs Greece                           Group A     2:45pm

June 17, 2012

Germany vs Denmark                  Group B    2:45pm

Netherlands vs Portugal             Group B     2:45pm

June 18, 2012

Spain vs Croatia                               Group C    2:45pm

Ireland Republic vs Italy               Group C     2:45pm  

June 19, 2012 

England vs Ukraine                    Group D    2:45pm

France vs Sweden                        Group D     2:45pm    

June 21, 2012

Winner Group A vs  Runner Up Group B       2:45pm   (Quarterfinals)

June 22, 2012

Winner Group B vs Runner Up Group A        2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 23, 2012

Winner Group C vs Runner Up Group D         2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 24, 2012

Winner Group D vs Runner Up C                  2:45pm    (Quarterfinals)

June 27, 2012

W25 vs W27  (Semi-Finals)     2:45pm   

June 28, 2010

W26 vs W28   (Semi-Finals)    2:45pm   

July 1, 2012

Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2    (Final)     2:45pm   

%d bloggers like this: