• How To,  Travels

    First Time Going to Maui? Here Are 12 Travel Tips from a (Former) First Timer.

    Are you headed to Maui? Exciting! I’m sitting in the airport like a sad sack, on the way home from our first-but-definitely-not-our-last trip, and I thought I’d write up some suggestions for other first-timers. Hopefully you’ll find this list helpful and, even if Maui isn’t in your future right now, you can use many of these tips when heading to other destinations as well. With that, here we go, in random order: 1. Book your flights early. When we first started checking out our options many months ago, we found some that were only two flights: Knoxville to Dallas or LA, and then right to Maui. Because we waited too…

  • Childhood Memories,  Random Thoughts,  Travels

    They Put the Umbrella in Umbrella Drinks

    Since being on Maui, I’ve had a few umbrella drinks (to say the least). The other night I wondered out loud where those umbrellas came from. They’ve been around forever, I know. I used to use them with my Barbie dolls! i told Jim I was going to research the history of those colorful parasols, but as it turns out someone already did the work for me: I love when that happens! Are you as curious as I am? Check this out. 

  • Food,  Fun in Chicago,  Travels

    This Is (My) Fifty, Part 2

    I have to say, for being as distressed as I was about turning fifty, I sure had a memorable day. We got up at 4:00am, showered, and headed to the Knoxville airport during the worst part of a line of thunderstorms rolling through the area. It was a white-knuckle drive and wet leaves were blowing everywhere (as well as covering the streets), which added insult to injury because I knew that traction wouldn’t be good if I had to brake suddenly. I even drove over a downed power line (oops) before I realized what was happening. It wasn’t live though; I’m pretty sure if it was, I would not be…

  • Travels

    Five Short Term Goals

    Time flies when you’re living out of a suitcase. Suddenly Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and although I’m not hosting the holiday itself, our boys (plus one!) are traveling to Knoxville. Travel life is so lacking in routine I thought I’d better make a short list of some completely doable goals I need to accomplish between when I get home late tonight and Thursday: 1. Unpack and do laundry. (I know, that’s actually two tasks. #HowIRoll) 2. Grocery shop for staples plus some of the boys’ favorite foods. 3. Bake some holiday cookies to send home with the boys. 4. Wrap Hanukkah gifts so the boys can take them home…

  • Travels

    Comfort is Relative.

    I think I have flown from city to city more in the past 18 months than I have in the last decade combined. Other than that one time I got stranded at the Newark airport because of a flight that kept getting pushed back until finally the crew had timed out on their hours (still thankful that Liz and GarthNHRN came all the way back to the airport to pick me up!), I generally don’t have airline issues other than turbulence. Jim and I mainly use two airline companies because we are members of their frequent flyer programs. This week I flew to Arizona with my mom, and the airline…