Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: travel

Have you ever toured the Florida Keys via motorcycle?

A couple of people asked about our motorcycle trip in Florida, so I thought I’d share it with you.

It was spring of 2016 and we decided to tour the Keys via motorcycle. Only we didn’t want to drive a motorcycle all the way from California to Florida, so we looked into renting a bike there.

I didn’t even know that was an option until then.

We found Rent My Motorcycle in West Palm Beach, and John was thrilled to see they had a BMW R1200RT bike in the fleet. The owner, JR is a great guy and has a very interesting story behind how he got into his business. Continue reading

How to plan for an event

Planning an event can be overwhelming for so many people. But with just a little organization, it can be fun and very rewarding too.

I’ve had a few people ask me how I prepare for an event, so I thought I’d share some of my secrets here.

It’s all about the “Book”.

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Back roads and small towns – Day two

Day two of our back roads motorcycle trip

I didn’t sleep great on our hard bed with hard pillows, but I still woke rested. I will admit, I prefer feather pillows, and these little older hotels rarely have them. John and I have often said, “It’s all about the pillows and towels” when it comes to hotel comfort.

We talked about our ride and John suggested instead of going straight home, we ride out to Frazier Park and then over to Ojai, and I immediately agreed.

Before leaving Taft, we stopped at Jo’s Restaurant for breakfast and I’m glad we did. Continue reading

How to climb a craig – one step at a time

The Highlands offer so many options to visit, and Cairngorm National Park was a must see for us.

The drive from Culloden to Coylumbridge was just over an hour away, and filled with beautiful scenery. Arriving at our hotel, we walked around a bit, had a light dinner and a quiet evening in. I got online and found what I thought would be a great hike for us for the next day.

After a restful evening, we found the path to the Craigellachie Nature Reserve. It wasn’t easy to find the place! Following Google’s map, we crossed over the spot several times from the main road, never seeing a sign.

So we parked in Aviemore and looked up the local information center. Armed with a map, we were sure to find the entrance to the park, and be on with our hike. But instead we found ourselves standing on a lane, looking every bit the tourists we were as we studied the map to find our way. Continue reading

Bagpipes, bridges, and battlefields

We drove into Inverness from Loch Ness, right into an area of the city that was at first glance, disappointing. It felt stark and dirty and busy and I was worried this was going to be a place I wouldn’t want to stay.

We parked the car at a mall, and found a little place to have a bowl of soup and decide what to do next. I found a couple of B&B’s close by, so we walked around to take a look. Climbing up a hill, I spotted the river to our right and a big old hotel right across from it.

That’s where I wanted to stay.

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Si Je Puis

The Colquhoun Clan’s motto and crest is one that, at first sight, I thought was kind of … well, weird. Si Je Puis, translates to “If I can”. That sounds pretty vague to me. And at the center of the crest there is a red stag, with its tongue hanging out…also kind of strange.

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The road less taken

Saying goodbye to family, we navigated our way to Donegal Town in County Donegal, Ireland. I’ll admit I did remind John to stay on the left side of the road a few times, even though he was doing a fine job following the rules of the road.

As navigator I was probably more turned around than he was. At one point (okay more like two or three points) I told him to turn left when it was supposed to be right, and we ended up taking a new route.

But I can tell you, that is not a bad thing in Ireland. Honestly, anywhere and everywhere you look you will find some treasure to see. Continue reading

The Road to Birr

Eager to leave our hotel in Dublin, we set out Sunday morning for Birr. John’s family lives in County Offaly and we were excited to be going back for a visit. But in Ireland, it’s easy to get distracted while meandering the countryside.

We had a little time to kill, and John mentioned he’d like to take me to this little town at the end of Lough Derg, on the River Shannon. As he was driving, he told me to put Port Laoise into our GPS. Oh, and it’s pronounced “Leash”. Continue reading

Come fly with me

I have a love hate relationship with flying. I love that I can jet across the world in relatively little time. But I’m not fond of the actual flying experience.

Walking past the business class section on our Aer Lingus flight I got a painful reminder we were in the cheap seats. Our seats wouldn’t be 22” wide and fully recline into a bed.

We had two normal seats with the rest of the passengers who spent a good portion of their savings to fly to Ireland. The layout of the Boeing 757 is good, because we had our two seats together without having a stranger in a third seat next to us. Continue reading

Weekend – Vacation!!

It’s vacation time!

By the time this post is published, we should be landing in Dublin, Ireland for the start of our vacation!

Landing in Dublin, Ireland for the beginning of our vacation!

View from our trip in 2013

I’ve always enjoyed journaling when traveling, so I hope to be able to share my journal here with you during our trip. Of course, I will be enjoying the views, time with John’s family, and exploring lots of castles and pubs.

Have a wonderful weekend, and may you have an amazing view!

How to pack for a trip

I hope you aren’t expecting any advice here, because I hate packing for a trip.

I agonize over what to bring and not bring. I try on all of my clothes to see how I feel in each outfit, and a bunch end up on the floor. I’ve tried to pick outfits that will mix and match with each other, but I’m not very good at it.

Do you go shopping for new clothes before a trip?

Shopping before the trip – exhausting!

It seems that I inevitably bring either way too much or not enough clothes. And don’t even get me started on shoes. How do I decide which ones to bring?

Continue reading

Did you go on vacations growing up?

Growing up in a small town in Michigan, we didn’t go on vacation as a family. I don’t remember one single time we vacationed anywhere. I don’t even recall my parents leaving us kids home so they could go.

Summers were for working, either on our farm or in the cherry orchards.

We all worked together to bring enough income in for the year. And when we weren’t picking cherries, my dad had us working on our farm helping tend to the crops or raise our farm animals. Continue reading

Where do you come from?

If you are like me, that question can be a strange one to answer. Are you asking where I was born? Or maybe where I grew up? Perhaps where I live now?

Or are you asking about my heritage?

Some people are lucky enough to know exactly where they come from; like my husband, for instance. His family is from Ireland, and he is first generation American.

He knows for generations back where grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins and distant cousins are all “from”. And he also sort of takes it for granted. Continue reading

Would you do it?

What if you could spend the rest of your life traveling… go anywhere and everywhere? In exchange, all you have to do is give up everything you own.

Your home, cars, toys, all of your possessions.

You can keep only what will fit into one carry-on suitcase.

What if you could spend the rest of your life traveling…anywhere and everywhere? In exchange, all you have to do is give up everything you own. Your home, cars, toys, all of your possessions.  You can keep only what will fit into a carry-on suitcase.  Would you do it?

Would you do it?

From things to experiences. How to create the life you want.

I’ve had a few people ask how we do it. How do we manage to do so many fun things and take so many trips? I’ve even had a few assume we must have a lot of money, which made me laugh.

One of the great things about getting to 50 and beyond is we’ve had so many different experiences and life changes. For me, I’ve had it all, and lost it all, more than once.

I learned awhile back that possessing things isn’t important to me. Having lost all my “things” during the housing crisis taught me the most important lesson I’ve learned in life.

“You can take away my things, but you can’t take away my experiences.”

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Moody blues

I know I should be writing today’s post, and I even knew what I wanted to write, but I’m distracted. Partly emotionally, and partly because of working on travel arrangements for next month.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, or if you experience the same thing. This time of year can be a little difficult for me. Maybe it’s the shorter days, or the upcoming holidays that affect my mood. But today I’m not my usual chipper self. Continue reading

Look around

From the mountains…

To the desert…

To the sea…

I love my state. So much to see and do.

Look around, we live in an amazing country. What do you love about your home state?

 

 

 

What every you think, You’re right

My husband and I get to travel around a fair amount. He has a job on the road now, so every once in a while I tag along and we end up in interesting places, like Long Beach, California. Right now I’m on The Queen Mary writing this. It no longer sets sail, but resides dockside as a hotel.

Fun place to stay while in Long Beach
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The road to Oregon – Part two

It may not seem like it, but I like to think of myself as lucky. Leaving Michigan didn’t turned out like I thought it was going to, and finding myself on the cold side of a door wasn’t exactly good fortune. But luck was still on my side as I waited for Jonathan to pick me up.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, in that moment the only thing I had to my name was a suitcase full of clothes and a few keepsakes, a couple of dollars and a phone number of a stranger I had met just hours earlier.

That stranger pulled up and opened the car door and said to hop in. It was 1978 in the Mid-West and yeah, I had hitch hiked before, but this was different. Hitch hiking always scared me, but I didn’t feel worried when I got into that car.

Continue reading

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