On our journey, whether traveling around the world or around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lady Traveler is flying away!

Savor little glimpses of God's goodness and His majesty,
thankful for the gift of them:
winding pathways through cobbled streets,
a bright green canopy of vineyards,
and dappled sunshine falling all around.

(hot air balloon in Paris 2014)

We had no longer unpacked our motor home, took a few deep breaths,
kicked off our shoes ...
when the phone rang.
"Who was it?" I asked.
"What did our California son have to say?"
Rob smiled. "You're not going to believe this."
"Try me," I said.
"For my 70th birthday he wants to take us to ..."
"Italy, Spain, Germany ..."

From left: my brother John, me, Rob, Xyla (Jason's sweetheart), and son Jason
Zion, Utah 2016

We were caught completely off guard.
Well, it has finally sunk in ...
We're flying to Europe for six weeks!

In a nutshell:
Flying to Rome, Italy.
Hop a train to Florence.
Bicycle through the city.
Spend days in Tuscany.
Wine, food, sunshine, and
quality time with Jason and Xyla.

I haven't been to Italy, but here's a photo of our trip to Istanbul, Turkey 2008

Fly to Valencia, Spain.
Spend days biking around the seaside city.
Wine, food, sunshine, Jason and Xyla.
Take a train to Barcelona.
Spend days biking along the sea; more wine, food, sunshine.

I haven't been to Spain to see the magnificent churches, but here's a photo of a
beautiful church in Istanbul, Turkey

Fly to Stockholm, Sweden.
Stay with our Swedish friends for 10 days.
We hooked up with our Swedish friends in Paris 2014

We fly to Berlin, Germany.
Stay a few days sightseeing with Jason and Xyla,

No matter where we're traveling, 
we look forward to
meeting new friends along the way,
listening to their stories,
and sharing our testimony and God's love.

We are leaving in two weeks.
Jason has reserved lovely, cozy apartments,
made flight arrangements.

Motor home is in storage.
House sitter arranged.
Popcorn will be house-hopping ...

We are feeling very thankful and blessed.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.
I Peter 1:18  The Message

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Safe at home ... for now.

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

Home sweet home

We all like to travel.
Whether through a movie,
a book,
a song,
or through the eyes of another.

Travel takes us away from reality.

But at the end of a movie, a book, and a song,
we have to come to reality.

No matter what your reality is,
know there is Someone who is
watching over you.

He wants the best for you.
Know that it's okay to make mistakes.
He doesn't keep score.
Don't be concerned about meeting others 
He doesn't put those expectations on you.
Others do.
And you.
Stop it.
Get a grip.
Say a prayer.
Take a deep breath.
And begin living the life that God has for you.

I'm back home now.
Slowly putting everything back in its place.
Laundry.  Food.  Clothes.  Stuff.

Back home to write.  And play.

I love to travel,
but it's so nice to be back home
where I can kick off my shoes and be free!

Until next time,
I wish you oceans of summer's end blessings!

Stand at the crossroads and look ...
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your soul.
Jeremiah 6:16

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Old Kentucky Home

Kentucky is noted for horses and bourbon
so after a morning at The Old Friends Horse Farm,
we drove a few miles east to Kentucky's oldest distillery.

Woodford Reserve, the first Kentucky distillery
Cozy lounge with large leather chairs and sofas.
and shelves and shelves of bourbon in all shapes and sizes.
We met our new RV rowdy roadies at the distillery lounge.
And we are sober!  Honest!  
Beautiful rolling hills on the distillery grounds.
We don't drink bourbon, so we didn't take the tour.
Well, I did order a mint julep a few years ago in Savannah, Georgia,
in celebration of the Kentucky Derby.
But after two sips, I couldn't finish it -- way too strong for this lady.
so ...
A long, windy, narrow road led us to my kind of hangout ...

Prodigy Winery and Vineyards
Prodigy Winery and Vineyards is the perfect place to relax, kick off your shoes and
do some wine tasting.
Lots of extravagant lady's Kentucky derby hats,
gifts, and wine!
A complimentary wine glass with wine tasting.
Because I'm such a good girl, Robinski bought me a bottle of dry red wine.
Calm serenity overlooking the vineyards (a pond is to the right)

Travel Tip:  Try not to cram too much into one day.

After such a full day of touring, its always nice to come home
to our home-on-wheels, Moon River and have a glass of vino.
Inside our motor home, Moon River
Photo by Shawn Watson Photography
Rob and I thank the Lord every day for the opportunity to
travel across this beautiful land,
and meet kind and generous people who want the best for our country.
Let us continue to pray for our country,
for our men and women who are serving our country,
and for our President.

Before the mountains were brought forth, 
or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting,
thou art GOD
Psalm 90:2

I wish you oceans of summer travel blessings!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Lady Traveler is getting her kicks on Route 66!

A Route 66 sign outside our restaurant window in
Evansville, IN
Our coach, Moon River, happily camouflaged at
the Waldorf Walmart in Evansville, Indiana 
Route 66 in Indiana

Our journey is taking you through
the bluegrass hills of Kentucky.
I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface of this beautiful state
But remember, a picture can be worth a thousand words.

My old Kentucky Home

Staying at Whispering Hill RV Park in Georgetown, Kentucky was a welcome 6-day stop.

Whispering Hills 
A fishing pond
A swimming hole
An hour swim in an empty pool is a tranquil delight

Our first day: we bought tickets online to the Ark Encounter
Noah's Ark in Williamsburg KY
I had some questions answered about
The Ice Age.  Dinosaurs.  Etc.
Make sure you stop by.  There is a nice restaurant and
seniors can eat a nice buffet for $9.00 while overlooking the hills of Kentucky.

The next day we drove to The Creation Museum,
forty-five minutes northeast of the Ark.
Well worth the drive to walk through this very informative museum.
Do you have questions about creation?
I did.
Come and find your answers at The Creation Museum.
I did.

Main Street in Georgetown is a quaint and inviting.
Lots of antique shops and eateries.
Needing a place to relax? We found this great little place, Fava's Diner of Georgetown.
All the catfish you can eat!  Delicious!

Our third day in Kentucky was a hum-dinger!
After breakfast, we drove a few miles west of Georgetown to
The Old Friends Horse Farm,
one of my favorite places in Kentucky.
My favorite book when growing up: "Old Bones"
True story of Kentucky Derby winner, Exterminator.

After spending time with over a hundred retired, and many famous, thoroughbreds,
I have hope for my retirement years!

I loved feeding them all the carrots they could eat.
After leaving our old friends,
we had a great afternoon, so
stay tuned for a wine tasting tour and a distillery visit -- next time!

Until then ...

Wherever your car takes you, I wish you oceans of Route 66 blessings!

For by Him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers:
all things were created by Him, and for Him.
Colossians 1:16

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Across the USA with Lady Traveler

Moon River at The Route 66 KOA campground in
Springfield, Missouri.
Rob and I have been traveling around the USA for almost two years
in our motor home, Moon River.
The time on the road has been one big, wonderful adventure.
From the Atlantic to the Pacific,
to the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast and Florida Keys,
the countryside has been breathtaking,
The food is absolutely delicious.
I wear the calories to prove it.
On a lighter note, I'm walking 2 miles daily
as a preventive measure. 

Lunch at The Black Oak Grill
at Branson Landing on the River, Missouri
Along our strange and exciting journey,
we have met some strange and exciting people.
People like you and me.
Rich.  Not so rich.  Average.  Uncommon.  
Shy.  Arrogant.  Happy.  Grouchy.
Young.  Old.
Different nationalities.  Various backgrounds.
I think you get the picture.
We spend lots of time around the campfire
talking about our travels,
our families, our faith,
our hobbies, our health.

I'm a writer so I do a lot of listening,
and what I have found most inspiring is
our common love for our country,
and the hope for a better tomorrow.
We want our nation to come together.
And everyone we have met,
not intentionally, but perhaps by design,
wants America to be Great again.
After months of listening to all of the negative news media,
this experience has been very inspiring to me.
I know first-hand that there are thousands of middle America,
hard working, God fearing people out here that
want the best for our country.

We're happy campers at The Route 66 KOA!
The highlight of this trip so far is spending time with our
son and daughter.
I have to brag a little, okay?
Shawn is a photographer for Bass Pro at their headquarters
here in Springfield and on location all over the USA.
Frances is the week-end anchor and journalist for ABC here in Springfield.
They have a good life, and like many of us,
we don't know what tomorrow holds.
But what we do know is ...
we are praying for better tomorrows.

God is good.  He has blessed us with a good life.
As we celebrate the 4th of July,
let us continue to pray for the men and women
fighting to protect us, and our country.
Let us pray for our President.  God knows he needs it.
And pray for a better tomorrow for the
United States of America. 

Here's wishing you oceans of 4th of July blessings!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lady Traveler tips on preparing you for your next journey

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money.
Then take half the clothes and twice the money

Overnight bag purchased in Istanbul  2008 

Robinski and I are on the road in our motor home, Moon River.
We'll be gone for two months.

Popcorn ready to hit the road in Moon River,
our 40-foot American Tradition motor home

Traveling is fun!
Preparing for the journey is not so much fun.
However, preparation is necessary to entail a successful and fun trip.
Whether we travel near or far,
whether for two months, two weeks, or two days,
we need to throw something in a suitcase, a backpack, or a bag.

 Two week trip to Costa Rica  June 2014
Rob's backpack.  My backpack.
And a large purse (already in our rented little SUV)

Most of you know the necessities ... don't you?
Toothbrush, toothpaste, make-up, and oh, yeah,
At one time or another, I've forgotten all of the above.

Actually, wherever we travel, 
we can buy almost anything we need 
at a nearby store.
Except, perhaps, in some third-world countries.
I remember Siberia quite well
where I had to carry my own toilet paper.

Two week trip to Paris  September 2014
My carry-on and a large purse.
Rob: one carry-on and small backpack

I can give more packing details upon request,
(leave a comment and I'll be happy to answer)
but I feel the most important aspect of any trip is to
prepare emotionally and spiritually.
Many surprises can occur along our journey.
If I haven't spent time in prayer and reading my Bible,
I can easily come undone.
Just ask Robinski.  On second thought, please don't.

Now, don't fret ... I'm not talking about spending hours on your knees
(although I'm sure you'd come away lighter and happier),
And I'm not saying you must read your Bible for hours at a time
(although you'd most likely come away stronger and mightier).
Begin right where you are.
Believe me, a little is better than nothing.
I usually read a variety of one-page devotionals in a sitting,
then I say a prayer similar to The Lord's Prayer.*

My bags are packed, now I'm ready to go.  Are you ready to go ...
... to another country ... to a different state ... to the next town?
It's not that difficult at all, so ...

Here's wishing you oceans of travel packing!

Please feel free to add any suggestions that you may have
in the comment box below.

(To remember the words, I'll sing the following scripture as I write 
... so glad I'm alone, except for Popcorn, and she's hiding under the bed)


*Our Father, who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom,
and the Power, and the Glory,

Matthew 6:6-13

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lady Traveler's Lazy Days of Summer

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.
May you live all the days of your life happily.

Days of Summer
in my own backyard

Summer is here.
The days seem to fly by.
That is why we have to purpose to slow them down.
How?  By doing those special things that we love.
Reading.  Walking.  Writing. 
Having coffee with a neighbor.
Sharing a glass of wine with a friend.

Days of Summer
...this time to Paris 2014

Taking that long-awaited holiday, whether near or far.
Watching a favorite summer movie.
Inviting family over for a BBQ
(it's called grillin' here in the south)
Days of Summer
...Surfside SC 2015

Wearing your favorite flip-flops
(mine come from Walmart).
Cotton tops.  White shorts.  Swimsuits
(come on, gals, forget about looking perfect, and
put that swimsuit on and enjoy every warm minute!)

Days of Summer
at our first home in South Carolina
Working in your garden.
Stopping to smell the roses.
Watch out for those bees.
We even have wasps, not to mention the mosquitos!

Days of Summer
...Tuscon, AZ 2016
Swimsuit. Check.
Sunscreen.  Check.
Sunglasses.  Check.
Beach towel.  Check!
Hello Beach!  
Hello swimming pool!
(in-ground or plastic)

Days of Summer
Huntington Beach CA  2016

Summertime, and the livin' is easy...
Don't let it pass you by.

Well, Robinski and I hit the road next week,
so I'll be writing from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Until then ...

I wish you oceans of happy summer blessings!

You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lady Traveler's Appointment.

There will always be the unknown.  There will always be the unprovable.
But faith confronts those frontiers with a thrilling leap.
Then life becomes vibrant with adventure!

Our old hometown, Huntington Beach, CA
There we are, camping near the Surf City pier
There were times when I asked myself,
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
I have a feeling you've asked yourself those questions 
at least once in your life, 
especially on a bad day.

Through my seventy-one years,
I'm slowly learning who I am, why I'm here,
but I still don't know where I'm going.
Well, besides heaven.

I've stopped wearing most my masks.
For example, the one that politely answers,
I'm just fine, thank you.
when someone asks how I am.
When actually I want to say,
I'm crappy, thank you.
I'm going through a divorce,
I can't eat or sleep,
my Mother just died,
and my Daddy has been diagnosed with Parkinson's.
(that was me, back in 1986)

Where's my mask?
Zion National Park, UT  2016
Through the years, through many challenges,
God has shown me how to be more honest.
I don't have to say all the right words,
and do all the right things.
I don't have to be perfect.
So I threw my sweaty, stinky masks in the trash can.
(don't you remember those confining halloween masks 
you wore when you were a kid? Yuk!)

And with that came such freedom!

Moab, UT  2016

I love the story of Esther because 
she didn't know what her outcome would be,
but she resigned herself to obey God anyway.
And her obedience saved millions of Jews from annihilation.
That was her appointment.
Read her story in the Old Testament to inspire and encourage you
because each of us has an 'appointment.'

I say all that to say this, my friend:
You are special.
You have an appointment for such a time as this.
(wife, mother, single career gal, doctor, nutritionist, architect, writer,
artist, housekeeper, whatever your title)
You might not know all the details, but that's okay.
You have a purpose, an assignment.
Whether big or little in our sight, it doesn't matter.
It's BIG in God's eyes,
and that's all that really matters.

So I ask myself daily,
Am I in alignment with my assignment?
(that has a ring to it, doesn't it?)

As you pray, God will guide you daily, step by step.
Simple, isn't it?
That gives us the freedom to enjoy our life,
God's creation, and God's blessings,

I wish you oceans of freedom blessings!

... and who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom 
for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Mother, the Traveler

My Mother, a true southern belle
Mommy's warm brown eyes showed me love every day
My sweet southern belle Mama, Katherine Sue (Sue Dee)
left a legacy of faith, love, and laughter.  
She was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina, 
content to never leave her hometown.  
Her family was poor, and her mom and dad died 
when she was a young girl. 
Her first husband was murdered right before her eyes.  
A few years later, she met my Daddy when he was stationed at 
Shaw Air Force Base. 
They soon married, had a darling baby girl (me!), 
and five months later
they were on a train heading for California.  
Mom's first trip across country.  Mine too.  
Before flying was in, traveling cross country 
via trains, buses and automobiles was the norm.

My Mommy, the beauty queen,
in the backyard of our 2-bedroom house in the 50's
Downey, California
When I was fifteen, Mom got up enough nerve to 
climb aboard a Greyhound bus in Los Angeles, 
along with me and my fourteen-year-old brother, 
and set out east to Surfside, South Carolina for the summer.

To most of you, that's not a big deal.  
But as I look back, I know that those two journeys for Mom 
was a very big deal.  
She was shy, fearful, a worrier, and a home-body.  
She was happy staying home, taking care of John and me, 
cleaning, ironing, cooking, 
taking us to church every Sunday ... 
all the things that were important to her.
But there were moments when she had to 
lose sight of her safe shore and dive into a new ocean. 
Yay, Mom!

When she died at the young age of sixty-six,
(heart issues and Multiple Sclerosis) 
a big piece of my life was taken from me.  
I was going through a divorce,
so I took refuge in God and 
raising my two wonderful children.

Mom isn't far from me; 
she just moved to heaven where I will one day join her.  
I know she is dancing and singing with Jesus, 
talking her head off, as usual, 
and making everyone laugh without even trying.  
That's my sweet southern Mama in a nutshell.
There's much more, but I'll leave the rest in my
Memory Box.

My message today: 

Wherever your mother may be, near or far, 
take some time to reminisce of times gone by.  
If she's still with you, ask her some questions, 
because when she's gone, it will be too late.  
I have so many questions I wish I had asked about her childhood, her younger years, her thoughts on topics-of-the-hour.  
I knew she loved Tom Jones and The Beatles.  
She sang Morning Has Broken and 
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross 
when she ironed and prepared dinner. 
Her first love was Jesus.

To all of you mothers--and YOUR mothers--
I wish you oceans of Mother's Day blessings!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lady Traveler, walking, biking, & swimming in Surfside ~ Part 3

One doesn't realizes how beautiful it is to travel until 
one comes home and
rests one's head on one's old,  familiar pillow.

Happy to be back in Surfside, SC May 2017

What a wonderful, whimsical week I had at
Ocean Lakes in Surfside, South Carolina.

Morning, afternoon, and evening swims.
Likewise, morning, afternoon, and evening walks along the beach.
Ditto bikerides.
Meeting new friends.
And of course, lots of writing.

My beach walks were my favorite times.
Each day as I gazed out at the magnificent Atlantic,
memories returned of the weeks spent crossing the Pond
on the WWII ship, MS Restoration.
Surrounded by miles of water, I was always reminded of how small I was,
and how great our God is.

Enjoying the surf with a dear friend.
Thank you, Betty and Reg, for driving down from Florence,
not once, but twice!
(they will follow us anywhere!)
I'm writing this blog from the comfort--and spaciousness--of my home-on-land.
(I consider Moon River to be our home-on-wheels).
Two homes.  Two worlds.

All the comforts of home.  It's called 'glamping'!
Popcorn loves glamping too!

Upon arriving home after our long drive home from the beach on Sunday,
(the traffic was bad)
my body needed to move around, so Rob and I spent several hours
emptying the RV of food, clothes, dirty laundry, etc.
Finally, after a long-awaited shower, I fell into bed and slept for 10 hours!
I never sleep that long, so I guess my body was telling me something:
Take a break.

Now, enough about me.
Many of you tell me that you are living vicariously through my travels,
thus, the title of my blog, Lady Traveler.
Some of you, due to circumstances beyond your control
--health issues, family responsibilities, work obligations--
cannot take off and travel for long periods of time.
(By the way, we couldn't either until Rob retired in 2015.
Also, we were care givers for Rob's Mother until she went to heaven in 2015).

A few of you just do not have the desire to travel.
You're content with staying at home, which is wonderful.
Travel isn't for everyone.
I just happen to love the combination of staying at home and traveling.

My encouragement to you is small, yet wise:
Wherever you are, at home or on the road,
Make each day count.
Smile, and thank God that He has allowed you to live another day.
Be aware of your surroundings.
There is someone outside your door that needs your smile,
that needs a word of encouragement from YOU.

Lady Traveler's view from Moon River
Surfside, South Carolina 2017
June will find Lady Traveler heading west to Shawnee, Oklahoma to an ACA Rally,
then north to Missouri to visit our son and d-in-love,
Shawn and Frances (yay!)
God only knows where we'll end up in July ...
Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina ... 
Time will tell.

For now, this lady is going to spend the month of May 
enjoying every minute at home,
resting, writing, and 
inviting family and friends over for food,
coffee, sweet tea, a glass of wine,
and good ol' southern hospitality.

A view of Lady Traveler's backyard. Home sweet home.

Lady Traveler wishes you oceans of Mother's Day blessings,
and lots of rest in Him.

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28