Tag Archives: travel

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.

Fall Colors and Dreams Today

30 Oct

Fall is my favorite time of the year; it may have something to do with the beauty of the colors that surround us, the serenity before the cold, long winter nights, or just the prospect of change.  I have allowed Fall to usher in a break for all the stresses of the year, once winter sets in I like to shut off, and then I wait until the arrival of Spring, which reawakens ambitions and brings forth new opportunities, new agendas and the idea of something bigger and better on the horizon.  This year, however, I have taken a step backward and reassessed the nature of looking toward the future, towards Spring as the jumping board to a new prospective.

The future is ahead of us, and unless we take charge at the very moment we conceptualize an idea, a plan or a dream; the reality will never manifest itself. The future is actually in the present, this is something new I am trying to install in my thinking pattern.  Unless we start the process of pursuing whatever it is we want for ourselves at this very moment, it may never come to pass.

There is no time like the present, today, to readjust the path of our lives, rethink decisions, reawaken hopes and dreams from years past, or the ones buried deep in our hearts and bring them into the shadows of our present existence if they are ever to make their way into the light of tomorrow.

How many times have you looked to the past and realized that you had plotted your future in a different manner, and yet, here we stand in that future, now the present and nothing has become of our plans, our dreams, or they are in the process of manifestation and yet are not quite there yet.  We must have the strength and the reassurance that with hard work we can one day take a minute, look back, and realize that we have everything we wanted.

Of course, life brings with it trials and tribulations, unforeseen occurrences that throw us as far off our paths as we could ever imagine.  The  journey is part of our existence; we must learn to make it part of who we are, not run away from mistakes, grievances, or situations out of our control, but make them our own, make them part of who we will one day become.

I will take control of my life today, not wait for the coming spring, the start of something new; my new will start today.  One little step at a time may one day bring me the future, and in reality, it will be my present, but it will be the present I hoped for.

How many times have you wanted to do something different with your life, even if that means bringing a hobby into the realms of the universe that are visited by others.  How many times have you looked to the dreams of your past, the ones you made while in university or as a child and hoped to have the strength to make them your dreams once again.

If we as human beings stop dreaming, stop propelling our tasks into tomorrow, into something bigger and better for those around us, then we stop to exist.  We must try to stop being afraid of what will happen, what people will think if we try something new or admit to something old, and yet not forgotten.

Whether it is the urge to give back to the world and you do it only in the comfort of your own neighborhood (remember no one expects you to take a flight to a 3rd world country and make a difference, it starts closer to home).  Whether you have always wanted to get into immaculate shape, take those dance lessons, dreamt of doing a marathon; start small, you may not become an Olympian, be on the cover of shape magazine or be cast in the Nutcracker, but you will become healthier and happier.

Whether it is the hope of love that keeps you moving forward, remember you are not alone; there are plenty of us on the same trajectory, reaching for what may never come to pass, yet with every breath urging its reality.  Whether you have a hobby of writing, painting, photography or anything of this sort, always remember in the future, the present of tomorrow, the hobby may become more than that if only today you put the power from within to work and start one day at a time.

To make change for tomorrow, we cannot think about the future, only concentrate on today and in the present decide to alter what we must to become the person that we want.

And let us not forget that we can still enjoy Fall and all its wonders, especially all the baked goodies that this time of the year allows us to feast upon.

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: Wroclaw, Little Venice, is the Place to Be!

4 May

Still trying to decide what cities to discover while enjoying the exciting vibe of Euro 2012; take a quick glance at Wroclaw, a city that will grab your attention and the people that will keep you coming back year after year.

Wroclaw is known as little Venice of Central Europe.  The city is made up of 12 islands and over 100 bridges; many of the bridges go back to medieval and Pre-Christian times when Wroclaw was a Slavic tribe settlement on the Odra River.

It is the city of my birth, so I have a special place in my heart for this town.

 Wroclaw is a wonderful city with an eclectic community of citizens.  Many of the Polish people in this town can trace their ancestry to Austria, Germany, and Ukraine.  A town whose population and borders were constantly changing, the people of Wroclaw are as unique as their backgrounds.

 A lot of us can trace our toots to a grand time in Polish history; a time when Poland held a powerful place in the continent of Europe, and it’s royalty flourished among the noblest of its time.

Prince Mieszko I, of the Piast dynasty, founded the Polish state and extended its borders, including Wroclaw as a prominent city in history.  King Boleslaw the Brave established one of three bishoprics in Wroclaw, establishing the town as the religious center of Silesia.  During the 12th and 13th centuries, Wroclaw became a center of international trade, merchants from all over Europe flocked to the town so that they could trade and sell their goods.

Wroclaw is known for its dynamic atmosphere and its sprinkle of college students, adding a wonderful youth to the ancient town.  In recent years Wroclaw has gained popularity for its night life as well, although not to the extents as Poland’s capital Warsaw, it has become a trail blazer for party night life.

Stroll among the ancient bridges, enjoy the canals, and relax in a particularly pleasant ambiance.

Another shout-out to my favorite Euro 2012 teams.

Poland Euro 2012Spain Euro 2012England Euro 2012France Euro 2012

Who Can Resist Tristan MacManus, a Few Tattoos, Dancing or Ireland?

26 Apr

As you may have noticed, I am a little addicted to Dancing with the Stars.  I have my favorites, every season there is someone new and exciting that sets the dancing bar a little higher, and every season has a few folks that are just not so good, but boy do they try hard to entertain.  The personalities of the celebrities are what stands out for me, I like someone who is kind, funny, engaging and most importantly is having a good time.

Some of my favorites this season were Gavin DeGraw and Gladys Knight.  They were both such lovely individuals, with great personalities.  Gavin is rumored to be the most favorite contestant of all times, according to the dance pros.

My new favorite dancing pro crush is Tristan MacManus.  He has that affectionate smile, quiet brooding temperament, great lips, a hot accent, oh, and let’s not forget the way those hips move on the dance floor.

I was really disappointed to see Tristan and Gladys leave the ballroom on Tuesday night.  I am completely against the judges having the final say.  The whole point of the competition is for us the viewing public to get our vote heard.  In the past, there were occasions where good dancers were not pulled through because of voting, but in my opinion, that was fair.  Now we see the judges pulling favorites, they always have, but now they get to save their favorites.  The judges also have their least favorite dancing pros; I will not get into my opinions of why they like certain pros over others; however, I do not believe that the judges are going to be able to pick a winning team without bias.

Okay well that is my little rant, anyhow; I will miss Tristan’s exuberant smile on Dancing with the Stars.  Tristan MacManus was part of the dance troupe before he got asked to be a dance pro last season; this being only his second season, I think he held together pretty well.

Tristan seems to be a sweetheart, he has said in the past that he is frustratingly single and that “I look at every girl and think ‘you’re going to change my life.’

 Ah, hello!! How sweet is that?

Although new reports say Tristan MacManus has a girlfriend, check it out: http://www.wetpaint.com/dancing-with-the-stars/articles/report-tristan-macmanus-has-a-hot-australian-girlfriend-and-its-not-kym-johnson

 I also just found out Tristan made an appearance in Ella Enchanted; I will have to get my hands on that movie, cannot really remember him in that; however, in all honesty the movie was a dud.  I was forced to watch it 3 times in a row, thanks to a very insistent little niece who loves magic.

 For my MI-5, Lucas North fans, here is some interesting tattoo info from Tristan MacManus:

“I’ve got five at the moment, but the collection is not finished yet. I have three on right arm from Celtic mythology, it’s broken up into four pieces so I have one more to get. On my ribs, I have my surname, in Ogham writing, which according to the the Natural History Museum of Ireland is the Celtic alphabet. My cousin at home has a tattoo parlor so I get them all done there. On my left forearm, it says ‘My family, my friends, my heart,’ in Gaelic. That’s what I’m about; it’s what is important to me so that was the first one I got four years ago.”

 Of course, one of my other favorite dance pros, Val Chmerkovskiy has ‘family over everything’ tattooed on his left arm.

 There must be something about a kind, sweet man with a dangerous edge.

On Tuesday night, when Tristan was booted off the show, we got an even better glimpse of the passionate man, he told the audience that he would miss Gladys as much as he misses Ireland when he is away, and that he told us is very, very much.

A little tribute to Tristan MacManus, because I love the Irish land and people as well.

Check out these two films: P.S. I Love You and Leap Year.

They have some great scenes of the countryside, the lovely people that make the land what it is, and a plethora of good-looking men.

Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler

Amy Adams and Matthew Goode

Euro 2012: Poland’s People Welcome You

19 Apr

The Euro 2012 host countries, Poland and Ukraine, are still hard at work perfecting structures, transportation and strategic planning.  However, the people of Poland are waiting with open arms; their hearts open to welcome fans and tourists from all around the globe.

If you are venturing into Poland, you will be enchanted by delightful people, a beautiful land rich in history and tradition, mouth watering, eclectic, and savory food and, most importantly, an ever-present smile.

Poland’s history is steeped in struggle; resilience of its people is visible throughout the country and felt within the atmosphere.  Don’t forget to stop, take a moment to breathe and enjoy all that the country and its people have to offer.

Wawel Castle in Kraków, Poland (Zamek Krolewski na Wawelu)

 The Masurian Lake District or Masurian Lakeland  is a lake district in northeastern Poland containing more than 2,000 lakes.

Resilience

The European bison (the wisent, and zubr (zshoobr)

The bison are a national symbol of Poland; they roam Europe’s last primeval forest, the 8,000-year-old Bialowieza.

Polish Seaside Resorts

Resilience

Zakopane

Tatra Mountains

 The Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz)

 Can’t forget our football (soccer) team

Euro 2012: Have a Drink or Two

29 Mar

Would a soccer match be as good without a celebratory drink?  Although many will join the argument in regard to the best beer or vodka in Europe, I have my own favorites.

If you are in Poland for any of the soccer matches, don’t forget to try some of the local favorites.

Some of the more popular Polish beers are Zywiec, Tyskie, Zubr, Lech, Okocim, Warka, Debowe Mocne, Tatra.

Zywiec is a great pick; the porter is my favorite, with a slight chocolaty flavor (??) and a pleasant crispness that does wonders to my pallet.

Top Vodka brands are Sobieski, Pan Tadeusz, Belvedere, Żołądkowa Gorzka, Dębowa, Krupnik, Chopin, Żubrówka, Luksusowa, and Wyborowa.

My favorite is Żubrówka.  Żubrówka also known in English as Bison Grass Vodka, is a brand of dry, herb-flavored vodka that is distilled from rye and bottled at 40% alcohol by volume. Its flavor is unique and is described as having vanilla, coconut, and almond notes. The name comes from grass eaten by polish bisons, (żubr – bison) and in each bottle you will find a blade of bison grass.

In Poland, vodka is usually served chilled, not on the rocks , not mixed and without a chaser; I cannot really imagine a Polish native ordering a vodka and coke or vodka and orange juice.  What you  may become familiar with, I have to say it is my favorite, is Żubrówka with apple juice or cider. The combination is delightfully sweet with a great kick, unfortunately substituting with apple juice bought in the states just doesn’t give it the same flavor, so if you can get your hands on Polish apple juice, I advise it whole heartedly.

If you find yourself lucky enough to be invited to an authentic Polish dinner, make sure you bring your appetite; the food and drinks never stop coming.  The secret is to take a drink with every bite 😉   If you have the elusive invitation to try some bimber, do so with enthusiastic vigor.  Bimber is Polish moonshine (never say never).

I am definitely having a beer tonight; a lovely, crisp cold Polish beer.

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