August 24

My First Day Alone in Mexico-Solo Travel

An ocean of clouds.
An ocean of clouds.

August 24, 2014: Day one in Mexico for my first solo travel.

Leaving my kiddos at the airport yesterday was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I hugged the little ones as they clung to me until Chenoa, my oldest, asked me “Are you going to cry?” and of course I did. She seemed surprised and hugged me, the child comforting the parent. Continue reading

August 20

The First Day of School and the Last of Everything Else

I’m a little down today. Maybe it’s the rain that woke me up at 4am and then soaked my shoes in the parking lot. Maybe it’s that my baby started kindergarten, the last time I’ll pass that milestone with one of my children. Or maybe it’s just the changes I’ve been contemplating in my life. Sure, moving to a warmer climate in a foreign country is an exciting adventure, but it’s a little overwhelming sometimes too. Continue reading

August 13

Happy Baggage for a Travel Geek-My New Camera Bag

You know you’re a travel geek when you get all worked up buying a new bag.

I’m not a purse girl. I carried a wallet in my back pocket well into my 20’s. I didn’t carry any kind of bag until I had children-then I discovered diaper bags. They were an excuse to carry all sorts of just-in-case items: books, snacks, first aid kit, phone, notebook, spare clothes, tablet/Kindle, sometimes even my laptop (it’s small.) Oh, and baby stuff fits in there, too. Continue reading

August 11

Travel Jitters

I leave August 23rd on my next adventure.

Like the proverbial cold feet before a wedding, I seem to get travel jitters in the weeks just before I go somewhere. It’s not the nervous excitement felt while looking forward to a vacation, and it’s not like the necessary preparations for a business trip you have to go on. This is a trip that I chose to go on when an opportunity made my heart speed up, something that I used money out of our family’s budget for, an indulgence that I might be horribly unprepared for that sometimes inspires a feeling of OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING? Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail, Day 4: The Final Day

Are you all caught up? No? Start with Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake.

DAY 4: the final day of the lesson.

It rained off and on and got really stormy during the day. I watched anxiously out the window at work as the wind blew sheets of water sideways and soaked our patients no matter how close they pulled to the door. The skies cleared late in the day and Jason met me at the lake with all three girls at 5:30. I overheard the marina attendant complaining on the phone about the weather, not wanting to be open: “And now there’s some woman here who wants to sail.” Carol showed up just after we did, and the rowing teams were not far behind, so he was stuck. Continue reading

August 1

Learning to Sail: Day 3

DAY 3: No wind at all.
I went to the library in search of books on sailing, hoping to find something basic like Sailing for Dummies.

On to day 4…

July 28

Learning to Sail: Day 2

Wait! First read part one: Sailing Lessons at Gray’s Lake

DAY 2:

Jason and I took the two little girls with us, and at first we thought we might each take out a boat but at the last minute we decided to all stay on one. Another good decision-“all hands on deck” may be our sailing motto as it’s just easier to have more hands to help when we have problems. Continue reading

July 27

The Trip No One Wants to Take: Looking For A Nursing Home For My Mother.

Maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been gone from this page for a while. I’ve been on an unexpected side trip, one that I have very little control over that takes me places I didn’t think I’d have to go for years yet.

On the 4th of July my 61-year old mother went outside trying to see some of the fireworks, missed a step leaving the deck and fell. She laid on the sidewalk for a long time Continue reading

July 2

Sailing Lessons on Gray’s Lake, Iowa

For those unfamiliar with central Iowa, Gray’s Lake is not a large lake. It’s in the middle of Des Moines near downtown, and in previous incarnations it was part of the Raccoon River and a gravel quarry. After the epic floods of 1993 destroyed the fancy Holiday Inn that dominated its south shore it was kind of a nasty run down eyesore for years. In 2001 it was re-born; a 2 mile paved trail runs all the way around it including over a pedestrian bridge, a playground and a small marina were built, and the 167-acre park quickly became a favorite of Des Moines residents. It is haven for outdoor activity with kayaks, canoes and paddleboats as well as the trails and reclaimed prairie. The water is still dirty (it is Iowa after all) but the overall effect is pleasing and people flock to it year round, walking their dogs, riding their bikes and circling the shore rain or shine.

This is where our first sailing experience takes place. Continue reading

June 20

Adventures With Rental Cars In Mexico

I’m going to be back in Mexico this August for a Blogging Boot Camp with Marginal Boundaries in Palenque, then staying on for the TBEX Travel Blogging Conference in Cancun. In between I’m going to be researching in Cozumel in preparation for our move there next year. With all this moving around I considered renting a car, but previous experience makes me more inclined to take my chances on the bus. Continue reading