Saturday, June 10, 2017

Living and Loving

At night when I go to bed I come up with my unfinished blog posts. I last left off in Iceland. The country I've visited three times now and have truly fallen in love with, but this post requires some links and details I want to share, so later.

I found when life was more difficult I blogged more, it was therapy. Plus I met an amazing community of bloggers, that inspired me. However, I want to continue to blog the good, I also want to continue to share photos. The problem is life is really good. Things are in such a good place, I have an amazing supportive husband that agrees to (although has advice) for all my crazy adventures. I have a house that I am in love with, and really want to spend all my free time hanging on the deck. My daughter is 15, she is involved in lots of school and extra curricular activities. You'd think this would keep me busy, but it's the opposite some nights she's at dance for hours leaving me with lots of free time. Free time I use to be outside on the trails, volunteering at the humane society, going to yoga, or binge reading. Life is really good.

Relationships in my life feel really good and balanced right now as well. My family, my friends and even Ex husband they are all where they feel they should be. Maybe it's aging, I don't know, but if if this is what the 40's will bring I'm kind of excited!

In a nutshell Rick and I escaped for a long lovely weekend to SF at the beginning of May. I lived in the Bay Area for over a year (many years ago) and fell in love, so to share my love of this city with him was magical.

 

 

 

Lo had her first year of doing a recital with Emmie. That was awesome!

 

My time at the shelter has increased significantly. I've kind of taken on a different role working with the pits. I have to say they've won me over the affectionate big heads.

 

 

 

 

Outdoors. Lots and lots of time in the foothills and nearby mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Last Minute Show Tickets

We've arrived in Iceland and so happy to be back here!
However as we were flying I remembered I wanted to share my ticket deals. I'm a bargain traveler. My round trip tickets with a 4 day stopover in Iceland was $620. If we could've left the day before it would've been $450. My son and I narrowed it down to London or Ireland in October. I checked airfare regularly then in January Iceland Air did a three day flash sale I jumped  (bonus Icelandair offers up to a week stopover in Iceland without being charged an extra leg). Next, find a hotel that included breakfast. Our dollar is probably the best it's been to the pound but things are still expensive in London. Iceland this is crucial, everything is expensive.
Ok shows! When I go to NYC I always buy day of tickets at TKTS. I like the whole process of getting there, lining up, waiting for the screen to light up what's going to be on sale and then picking from that. Plus they are anywhere from 30-60 percent off. For those Broadway's junkies like me, that means more shows! I've seen many shows I otherwise wouldn't have by doing TKTS. Imagine my surprise when my first day in London I discovered a TKTS booth right across from our hotel. I scored School of Rock and Les Miserables for 35-45 pounds each, a 30% discount. Both were in small theatres, we were row 7 and 9 stalls (that's what we call main floor in the U.S.). It was fabulous, and a great way to end a couple of evenings!
Ok onto bed for a full day of enjoying one of our favorite places tomorrow!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

London

It's hard to believe we've been in London a week. My plan was to blog regularly so I wouldn't forget details, however by the end of the day we've been exhausted.

So for now a quick little glimpse of what we've been up to.

First on the advice of a friend that lives here, we took the tube to get to the hotel. I'm not a huge fan of underground transportation but see the value in busy cities for the speed and efficiency in which they run. There was a direct line from Heathrow to Piccadilly station making it super easy. Only 6 pounds, versus a cab ride of 70. Anyone hesitant that they can't figure this out, do not worry. There were so many kind people that work for the tube willing to help. In fact that's a common theme here in London, kindness.

Our location in London has been ideal. We are in Soho right between the Piccadilly and Leicester Squares. I like to walk (a lot) when on vacation! This location has been ideal, we seem to be no more than 2 miles away from anything we've wanted to do, but most is within a mile.

My only plan for this week was the first full day to figure the layout of this city. From other major cities I've found the best way (as touristy as it may be, but that's what we are) is jump on the double decker bus tour. They really are amazing, you have a 24 hour pass of hop on hop off so if you're really organized you can maximize this. I typically prefer to stay on and ride the entire tour first, especially if you have a good guide. The history and side notes on these tours is something you wouldn't get just walking on your own.

 

We ran into a little hiccup, but it all worked out ok, fortunately we got up and got an early start. There was a demonstration (anti Brexit) gathering at the time we got on the bus, there were going to be modified routes later in the day, as 25,000 people were marching (peacefully I might add) . After the first part of the tour we came to the tower of London (this was top of my list as I love history) and because of the bus delays already happening and the tower being the furthest sight from our hotel we figured it was a good to jump off and spend some time.

 

The tower was impressive. Well worth seeing, actually I'd put it as a not to miss!

After a few hours we hopped back on completed the tour and walked over to the National Gallery (museums in London are free).

We spent the next few days visiting Westminster. The flowers are laid in remembrance to those that died or were injured last week in the attack.

 

Walked down a closed street right onto the set of the Crown. They were very gracious about our ignorance and lack of realizing the entire street was closed, and people had film crew vests on ALL over.

The street was apparently closed because the changing of the guards was about to happened (again unbeknownst to us), and they took the opportunity to film during this time.

So when these guys walked by, we followed

 

To here, and watched the changing of the guards ceremony

We went to the British Museum another day, it's huge. I'm not even sure we saw it all. Of course we've had to take in a couple shows. School of Rock (Luke's pick and it was excellent) and my all time favorite Les Miserables.

Lots of shopping has been happening for my son. Thank goodness he works!

Yesterday we went to the Warner Bros Studio and took the making of Harry Potter tour. Truly amazing but I'll do a separate post on that.

I would definitely say London has far exceeded my expectations. It's beautifully old, very clean, and the people are so polite. I am impressed.

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yogi Speak

You know you're a yogi when.....I'm pretty sure when you start using words like mindful, energy, intention all while binge yoga(ing)!

I realized I may be a yogi a week ago, when I sped down to yoga to get there my standard 15 minutes early. I like the warm studio, laying on my mat, mediating and stretching before class. However this time I was chatting it up with a new instructor, I would describe as having amazing "energy". We talked about our day, it wasn't a particularly nice day, yet I was describing it as a relaxing, non pressing, overall awesome day. That's when the instructor confirmed my yogi suspicion and made the comment that anyone listening would know we are a bunch of yogis. I almost wanted to high five her! Before I started practice regularly I had my doubts. The owners they speak it, but did they really live it? Absolutely! For me this evolution has taken over a year and a half, but I love everything about it.

I am the least likely regular, and make progress at the speed of a snail, but it doesn't stop the warm reception I get from both instructors and others practicing!

There are downsides though. Before heading to Europe for two weeks I wanted to get in as much yoga as possible. I essentially avoided packing until late the night before because I had been packing, in my mind for days during savasana when in reality I should've been packing days before. Next time!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

She Rocks

My girl, she's amazing. Granted I know, or at least hope most people feel that way about their kids, but my daughter really makes my world an awesome place.
She's currently doing five elite team dance classes. Since January putting in 10-15 hours a week at the studio. She's taken three in the years past. We talked about the financial commitment of adding two more dances and decided she would pay the difference each month for the two extra classes, plus all of the competition fees. How does a 14-15 year old earn that much, she works. She takes all the babysitting jobs she can, and works three mornings a week at 6am before going to school. Tuesday's she leaves the house at 6am and gets home at 8:30pm. But that's not all, she's maintaining a 3.8 GPA, and put in the 145 volunteer hours to letter in it. Her work ethic and positive attitude, makes this mom so proud.
Weekend 1 in CDA was my weekend. Weekend 2 was her Dad's weekend (he's a pretty good sport about it), however last minute I rearranged work, picked my sister and nephew up and drove down as well. I've never really considered myself a dance mom, but man I love watching her perform. Plus she loved having everyone there supporting her!