Anything Can Happen Friday: Vacation

As you know, I was on vacation last week.

We went to Turks and Caicos, and we stayed on Grace Bay…

But to get there: You don’t have to quarantine in TC when you go, but you must be approved by the government. This starts with a PCR test done within five days of departure- We left on a Tuesday meaning our PCR would need to be processed over a weekend…and most labs don’t process over a weekend. So our vacation experience began with searching for lab that could process the results. Ok- two labs…because in the intervening days, my Husband and Daughter were in Florida visiting my mother in law.

Then you need travel insurance.

Then you need to upload all info onto a sight, fill out application and wait to be approved.

We were lucky- we got our approval on Sunday- two days before take off. We met people who didn’t get approved till 11 hours before their flight…

We also had to have an antigen test before we left the airport in TCI…


the trip was totally worth it all.

Beaches: beautiful. People take care of the beaches. There was no garbage littering them. Just sand and shells and a little bit of seaweed. And the sand was gorgeous…fine grained….

The water was soooo clear! Now, I’d heard from people who visited before that the water used to be even clearer, but after the last hurricane 25 yards of beach was eroded. But the water was still pretty spectacular.

We took a snorkel trip to the reef. Caicos is the third largest reef system (after Australia and Belize). It was lovely! We had the absolute best Captain though. The crew on these types of trips make all the difference. We also got to see a dolphin which was very cool!

Hmmm…what else?

Had an awesome massage.

Had delicious fruity beverages.

Had the best shrimp fried rice and conch fritters ever!!!

Rented a hobie cat which was amazing.

Saw a stupidly expensive bracelet at the airport that I’m trying to find a knock off of.

Read a bunch of beach books.

Iguana Island

Eavesdropped on some interesting conversations.

There’s a dog shelter…Potcake…that allows you to take a puppy out for a walk on the beach. So you know that we did that….Our pup was named Hero and he was just adorable. The shelter has a 100% adoption rate (we saw three dogs that got adopted) so if you are looking to donate to an animal charity, consider this place.



Beach chairs


On the whole, it’s amazing what six days without responsibility can do for a family and individual well being. We all learned to like one another again. It’s been a tough year. It’s OK to take care of yourself…to do something that is totally relaxing. Our mental health is important…

Winter Blues

A few weeks ago I told you how I’d been a little cranky and whiny.  The Winter blues: when the cold and gross weather just starts to inject itself into your brain.  I normally get it to some degree, but this year it seemed to be just a little bit worse, but I didn’t know why.  And then, I figured it out.

I usually begin planning my summer vacation in January.  My family comes up with choices, I do some research and then I come up with the destination.  I spend all winter planning the summer vacation.  It’s a great mood booster.

This year, the normal plan is altered, as I have not really begun planning the summer trip.  This year, our sojourn will be spent visiting colleges.  The problem is, my daughter still doesn’t know what schools she wants to visit.  Can’t plan a trip if you don’t know where you are going.  We also can’t really lock down dates, as she has applied for a bunch of internships and we will not know till March or April if she gets anything.  So we’re in vacation limbo.

I’m a planner.  I hate the unknown.  It’s making me uneasy to say the least.  She’s come up with some cities- Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland and Greenville so far.  I’m drawing out some routes, figuring out the best way to connect the dots and find some culture/attractions along the way, while keeping my nose to the mail to see which colleges she has actually requested more info from.  She hasn’t met with her college counselor yet, she’s waiting to take the SAT and see her score, so more schools could be added after that.  At this point I’m hoping they will be along the route.  Of course, everything east of the Mississippi is potentially part of our route.

There is a bit of upside potential though.  My bucket list is to visit all 50 states.  As luck would have it, I’ve never been to Missouri or Ohio or Georgia (driving through doesn’t count).  This checks 3 states off the list, and if I plan the route right, I can visit Mississippi.  So I am focusing my energy on collecting at least three more shot glasses for the collection.  I am getting excited about checking things off my list.  I finally have something to look forward to.

Slowly, I hope to pull out of the malaise that has hindered the beginning of 2018.  The sun happens to be shining through my window right now, so today is at least off to a good start.  And maybe I’ll see what delights await me on my proposed vacation route.  I’ve always wanted to see The Arch…..and The Varsity….and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…and…


Is That Really The Worst Thing?

Welcome to another episode of “How Pretentious Can One Woman Be”.  In yesterdays episode, we saw our heroine take on Big Tech.  Today, we discover a hidden side of our heroine- we call it the Princess Side.

Episode One

While on vacation, our heroine had the ability to go on two nature oriented boat rides.  The first one was whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts.  The heroine had a banner day- their group saw 6 different whales, and was treated to almost an hour of whale activity.  The whales practically swam along side of the boat.  People were in awe- many of the passengers had been on whale watch expeditions before and had come home disappointed.  Even the weathered crew was astonished at how many whales were seen.

The next water journey took place in Maine.  On this nature trip, the heroine saw seals, porpoises and a bald eagle, as well as many other sea birds.  The guide said he hadn’t seen that much wildlife in the four previous trips COMBINED.  It was a rare treat that people aboard the Sea Princess experienced that day.

But as Maine and Massachusetts were just a blur in the rear view mirror- the Heroine sighed.  She exclaimed- “I know we got to see all sorts of wildlife this trip.  But we never got to see a moose.  That would have made the trip great.  If we had just seen a moose.”

Episode Two

Our heroine wanted to see a movie.  She found the perfect time at a conveniently located theater. This theater had been recently renovated and boasted stadium seating, and big reclining seats. When she went to purchase tickets online, she noticed that the description of the theater did not specify “reclining seats”.  This sent the heroine into a tizzy.  She started frantically looking at what theater number it was – and was searching her memory to figure out if theater 4 did indeed have reclining seats.  She wanted reclining seats.  She needed reclining seats.  And her prayers were answered- theater 4 did indeed have reclining seats.  Whew.  Dodged a bullet there.

The good news:  After each episode, our Heroine realized how she was acting.  She knew how pretentious she sounded.  She was able to laugh at herself, and was actually heard to say- “Wow.  Am I really that precious?  What’s become of me that great things are not good enough?”

The bad news: Well, even though it was only for a second- she actually had these thoughts.

The verdict: Heroine needs a reality check.  Especially as she is having computer problems and her first thought is- Oh no!  I might not be able to pull up a good picture for the blog.  Could anything worse happen?

Let’s Bag It

Sorry- this is a rant and another vacation themed blog.  I can’t believe the mileage I’m getting out of my family trip.

See the bags in the picture- this is one of those blogs where the picture is integral to the story, not just a pic that I took that I thought was pretty.

The bag on the left is what my daughter used while we were sightseeing.  Cute, right?  The bag on the right  is what I used.  Utilitarian, no?  The bag in the middle is what my husband used.  ?  What word can you use to describe the bag between the other two?

As I was discussing with amazing Ann yesterday, we like to be prepared in the event of say, anything happens.  I like to be ready- which means I carry a very large bag when we go on vacations.  ( I believe this is the fault of diaper bags- when you have a young child you routinely walk around with so much stuff you forget there is any other way to travel)

Personally, I take the following with me:

  1. wallet- can’t forget cash and credit
  2. key- hotel room key very important
  3. camera- I take a lot of pictures
  4. phone- I mean really- this is my datebook, alarm and means to the outside world- I don’t go anywhere without my phone.
  5. sunglasses- they add an air of mystery to any outfit
  6. rain poncho (I find the poncho is easier on vacation)

Now- these six things do not take up much room.  Frankly- I could use a smaller bag.  And I realize that I like to be prepared, and I might need the following things for my own use…..but…… I will in get the following questions:

Do you have any sunscreen?

Do you have any insect repellent?

Do you have any water?

Do you have any gum/mints?

Do you have a tissue?

Do you have lip stuff with SPF?

Do you have the map the hotel clerk gave us?

Do you have the brochure I picked up at that kiosk?

Do you have the review of lobster rolls that I ripped out of that magazine?

Do you have an advil?

Do you have any quarters for the meter?

Did you bring the phone charger?

I also get the following requests:

Can you hold my camera?

Can you hold this 500 page guidebook I found which has all the thing they list on the trip advisor sight?

Can you hold this 5 pound piece of fudge that I had to have?

Do you have room for my sunglasses?

We don’t need a bag for the 600 Boston Tea Party tea bags we’re buying, my wife can put them in her purse- you know- my wife is Mary Poppins in her spare time…….her bag can hold everything……

Hold open your bag so I can wash my hands, because you forget the hand sanitizer, but remembered the kitchen sink…….

I think you get the idea……you see how I began to go off the rails?

I know this is all my own fault.  I’ve spent 15 years being super mom/wife.  But frankly, I’m ready to take off the cape.  The only thing I’ve received for my super hero status are shoulders that are never not tense.  Silly me didn’t book a massage when I made the hotel reservations, so all the other Mom superheroes had already taken all the available spots.  Next vacation is being booked around spa treatment appointments.

Drop the cape.

Rationally Fearful- Part 1

So where were we……

Oh yeah….fear……

I am logical.

Fear is illogical.

Therefore, I am not fearful.

Ha- said the theorem guy.

I am afraid of heights.  More specifically, I’m afraid of falling.  As I am not a window washer or a trapeze artist, this does not impact me in my daily life.  I am able to food shop, clean (though my cleaning skills are debatable), walk my dog, etc- with no blips.  The time when this fear rears its angry head most often is when I am on vacation.

And you know I was just on vacation.

Let’s start with the lighthouse.  We went to visit Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth.  It’s a beautiful, old lighthouse (1876), which normally affords a wonderful view of Martha’s Vineyard.  Due to technical difficulties (fog) we were unable to see MV, but it didn’t matter- the whole setting was beautiful.  Nobska is officially 40 feet high( though our guide told us 39- so, if I’m wrong- sorry- but I’m not fact checking any more than this)

Yeah, 40 feet, which is probably as tall as a giant, but not particularly tall.

So we climbed the first set of 15 steps.  15 spiral steps.  Did I tell you I don’t love tight spaces either?

And I made it to the first level.  Whew.

Then I realized there is a ladder to go up to the top- to see the actual light.  A tight, spiral ladder with very steep steps.  Miniscule handrail.  Ummmm- do I really need to see the light?  Could it be any different than the lightbulb in my house?  But- I waited for twenty minutes for the tour of the lighthouse, and the tour is only given once a week……so…….well I went up the ladder.

And I’m at the top- and the guide is telling us the history of the lighthouse- but I’m only half listening, because I am fixated on the tight, spiral ladder that is going to lead me down.  And the big first step.  With the tiniest of handrails.  That I have to descend backwards.  While I’m afraid of heights, tight spaces and falling.


Now I will freely admit, that this was not particularly high, nor tight, nor scary.  The ladder to the top was maybe 8 steps.  Toddlers and people in wheel chairs were able to handle this (no- not really- but you get the idea of how simple and non- terrifying this was)

And I told our guide that I might be joining him for the rest of the day, because I didn’t think I’d make it down.  I don’t think he was amused.

I took off my flip flops, because no one was meant to scale tight spiral ladders in flip flops….said a prayer to every deity I could think of….held onto the little handrail for dear life- and climbed down the arduous 8 steps.

When I made it to the bottom, shoes in hand- I high fived every one.  Not really- they were too busy thinking I was crazy.  Or they’d gotten a peak at my bright pink thing as I was descending the ladder.  Probably a combination of both, because as I was scared of this lighthouse, the sight of my backside in a hot pink thong is even scarier.

And now you’re thinking- how did someone who is afraid of heights go hiking in Acadia…..

Tune in tomorrow for the second part of my fearful life…..


Sunday Wrap Up

As I’ve been away, I’m going to give you a brief glimpse of my vacation:

Falmouth/Plymouth/Cape Cop- Massachusetts

I almost felt like I was stepping back in time when I went to the Western Cape.  We stayed in motor lodges that were owned by locals.  It was nice to walk into reception and be greeted by homemade strawberry muffins and pleasant conversation.  People here care about their community.

Highlight: Whale watching.  We used Captain John out of Plymouth (who were exceptional) but all companies seemed pretty good.  The day we went out the naturalist (a guide experienced in what you could see) was able to recognize 6 different whales, including a calf.  We had an exceptional day for whale watching.

Can’t miss:  Local strawberries.  They were best strawberries I’ve ever tasted.  Try anything that includes strawberries- ice cream, muffins, salad, shortcake….

Low point: Beach shelter……


For Met/Giant fans, we really loved Boston.  This is really a great city.

Suggestion: Stay in downtown Boston.  It’s more expensive, but worth it for the convenience and ambiance.  Also, we found a self-park lot that made parking very affordable.

Highlight: My family loves history.  We liked walking the Freedom Trail- we appreciated the way Boston incorporates history into the city.

Can’t Miss: Pastries in the North End- there are a few bakeries in the North End that serve delicious cream puffs, cannoli, etc.  Worth the very long lines.

Low point: We didn’t have time to see Museum of Fine Arts- I misjudged timing.  Also, we climbed to the top of bunker hill monument- my legs were not happy….

Bar Harbor/Acadia- Maine

LOVE THIS PLACE!  I had never been to Maine before, and I am so glad I finally got here.  The location is spectacular- ocean, mountains, vista……everything!  Worth a visit!

Highlight: Bluenose Inn.  I have never stayed in a place that I loved as much as this.  It’s not on the ocean, but across the street- we still had a great view.  5 minute drive to downtown Bar Harbor and Acadia- so location is perfect.  Rooms are beautiful– we were in main building and our room had a fire place with a settee before it.  I could have sat there for hours…..In the evening they have a wonderful pianist in the Great Room.  After dinner we would sit there and play board games, drink tea and eat whatever snack we had picked up in town.  Perfection.

Can’t miss:  Acadia.  It’s just gorgeous, whether you want a strenuous hike, a meander, or a drive- it’s all worth it.  We did the boat tour with a park ranger (Sea Princess out of Northeast Harbor)- Amazing- we saw porpoises, seals, a bald eagle and other amazing birds- we also got lucky with the amount of sightings we had.

Low point:  Leaving.

Amherst Massachusetts

High point: Emily Dickinson Museum.  They have her shawl, writing desk and bed.  Docents are very knowledgeable.

Low Point: It was very foggy when we were driving there.  Not fun.

We also visited some colleges, but I’ll explore those in a different post!


I read “The Circle” by Dave Eggers.  I am imploring you- if anyone has read this book, please contact me.  Or if anyone reads this book, contact me after.  Need to discuss it!  That’s a recommend from me- most thought provoking book I’ve read in years.