Don’t Waste Time

I’ve talked…a lot…about packing lists. To me, they’re invaluable.

If you travel a fair amount, also keep your ‘go bag’ of toiletries packed and ready to go. I don’t care whether you jet off to Europe or go to Tahoe for the weekend. Having that already packed and ready saves a bunch of time when packing.

You also have less chance of forgetting to take something important…like an extra set of contact lenses, vitamins, or your favorite travel hair products.

Airport Lounges…Are They For You?

Many airport lounges still sell day passes. This could be a good thing, if you have a long layover. If you know the layover will be long, look at purchasing the pass online before you go. It will save a bunch of money.
Or, buy a Priority Pass. You have access to 700 airport lounges around the world. Great idea if you travel frequently.
Also, check with your credit card company. They may have access to certain lounges.

Where the Heck Are We?

When you’re in a new city and aren’t sure exactly where you’re going or where the museum is from the gelato shop, do you wander outside, get out the map, and look at it? If you do, guess what? Everyone knows you’re a tourist.

Maybe you don’t actually have a map but you’re using your phone or other device. Still, you’re trying to find out where to go. And, you’re letting everyone around you know…you’re a tourist.

So, what do you do? You could do several things…

Before you set out, take some time to look at where you’re going and where you want to go. Get a general idea, maybe even remember some street names.

Look at your map or phone while you’re having lunch or a drink…not the middle of the sidewalk.

Get lost…who knows what you might discover.

Bags…Of All Kinds

These don’t take up much room in your carry on bag or your checked luggage. Yet, they are useful in so many ways.

What are they?

Bags…resealable and reusable. Both kinds come in handy.

Keep the shampoo bottle from leaking, put the wet swimsuit in one, keep everything dry when at the beach, take shopping with you in the US or in Europe, put your dirty shoes in one to keep everything else around them clean, put some snacks in one, use a different one for each child when traveling to keep their things separate from the rest, keep your notes, place any postcard or business card souvenirs, toss the change in one, keep the seashells from getting sand all over everything, toss some tissues or toilet paper in one when going for a hike…the list goes on.

What do you use the bags for when you travel?

Come to the Mausoleum…

We Are Seeking Submissions For
(by lamp oil light inside the park’s 100-year-old mausoleum)
7 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Themes include: Suspense, Who-Dun-It, Supernatural (vampires, goblins, ghosts, etc.)
Sonoma County writers are invited to submit stories for our annual reading. Designed for all ages, this October event is held in our Alaskan Marble Odd Fellows Mausoleum.
This event has grown each year. Last year’s attendance was standing room only and included work submitted my members of the Redwood Writers and Nor Cal Sisters in Crime.
  • Stories should take between 6-10 minutes to read aloud.
  • If an excerpt of larger body of work, it must be able to stand alone.
  • Submit as word document or pdf by September 30, 2015 to .
  • Selected writers will be notified by October 3, 21015.
  • If selected please be prepared to provide a jpeg photo and bio for promotional purposes.
There will be an intermission and authors will have an opportunity to sell their books in the park’s Rose Corridor.
Please note that because the mausoleum has no electricity, it can be chilly. We advise you to dress warmly.
This evening is a collaboration with FolkHeart Press.

Clean Out Your Purse…

Okay, you’ve bought the right travel purse. Now, what do you put in it and what do you leave out?

Think about your wallet. Do you really need absolutely everything in it when you travel? The grocery store card, department store card, or your local museum pass are probably not necessary when going to Paris.

Take the essentials and leave the rest at home. Then, think about a lightweight wallet that will hold what you need, including your passport.

Do you have lotion or hand sanitizer in your purse? Make sure they’re travel size. How about aspirin or sunscreen? Again…travel size.

At the end of the day, take out all the things you won’t need the next day. Maps, brochures, postcards, used tickets, etc. can all be removed and put in your luggage.

Do you toss coins in the bottom of your purse throughout the day? If so, remove them at the end of the day and don’t let them accumulate for several days in a row. You can either put them in a coin purse so you know where they are or in your suitcase if you don’t think you’ll use them.

Happy Traveling…

Lighten Your Load

For those of us that travel with purses, sometimes we feel like we’re carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders…literally.

So, how can you lighten the load and still have room for what you need when traveling?

First, start with the right purse. Think about these before you decide which purse to buy…

Some purses weigh a couple of pounds or more before you put anything in them. Look at lightweight travel purses, made specifically for traveling. Think about a cross-body purse that can also be carried. Maybe you need one with a panel that slips over your suitcase handle or one that folds down flat when you’re not using it. Do you need RFID blocking or a strap with a cable in it so it can’t be cut? What about a passport pocket or warranty?

Do you need one large enough to carry a camera or kid stuff?

Next…how to keep it from getting heavier.

The Pied Piper Like You’ve Never Seen Him

Palace Hotel…San Francisco
Want to see another treasure within the Palace Hotel? Head to the Pied Piper, bar and restaurant, for a drink and look at the masterpiece above the bar. 
This Pied Piper painting was commissioned from Maxfield Parish in 1909 for $6,000. It represents the tale of the Pied Piper…with a twist. Parish painted himself as the Pied Piper and some of the 27 expressive faces include those of his wife, his mistress, his sons, and more. 
What a guy!