Off to Colorado I go

Off to Colorado I go

Work travel with a side trip to visit with one of my besties! 

Got to Denver for a meeting and had some time to burn before checking into the hotel so I took off for my favorite restaurant The Berkshire. If you love bacon this is the place for you. When I landed it was spitting snow and raining so I had the grilled cheese with BACON and tomato-parmesan-basil soup. Absolute deliciousness!!!

If you ever have time to tour Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado I highly recommend it. I had the opportunity to be a taste tester for green teas they are trialing, and I was compensated with a box of Peppermint tea. A great trade off for sure!


Once my meeting was over I hit the road to meet up with my friend Cindy and I was finally able to meet her fiance. He’s a sweetie and he’s lucky to get her…just sayin’. (Obviously, I’m writing this after the wedding, so if you are just now reading and missed the trip to Colorado for that event you can catch up here. Rollin’ down the highway Part 1 and Part 2 of the Colorado Trip)

We had a blast with her being my tour guide. I actually started my day birding along the Arkansas River. Cindy knew I would love it and sent me on my merry way with a set of binoculars. I added to my life list, was able to contribute some finds, and in southern tradition I met people that know people from my home town. So much so that our families are buried in the same cemetery. Really folks I just have a knack for finding these encounters. Give me a plane full of people and I bet there’s an Aggie on it. Instant rapport and recognition of shared experiences. That actually happened on my trip to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The guy sat next to me on the first leg. I never talk but I chatted with him. Alright back to CO.

I’d always wanted to visit the Royal Gorge, which is just outside Canon City. We road the gondola. Cindy rode it but didn’t want to look down. I would’ve hung over the side I was so excited to be hanging in air.

A true test of friendship!

It’s funny how I live in Arkansas and the Arkansas River flows through our great state, but it doesn’t look near this pretty. It’s muddy and nasty by the time it gets to Little Rock. The first time I ever waterskied was on the Arkansas River in southern Arkansas. I was staying with my aunt and unlce during the summer. I remember it being dirty and that I about drowned learning to ski. Experiences that last a lifetime. I’ve spent other days hanging out on the river with my cousin and friends of hers. Despite the brown color of the water we had a good time. Just had to keep sunscreen on her ghostly figure. Think vampire and you’ve got the right color. ❤ her!

The Arkansas River…I want to raft that one day!

Look ma no hands!
Aster’s peaking out
Looking upriver – I want to ride the train too!
Quartz is used everywhere – beautiful
A lovely pine

It was a hot was day in comparison to the spitting snow and rain I had when I landed in Denver a couple of days before. I was melting and grateful for any respite that included shade.

Royal Gorge Bridge

The bridge has lots of movement because of the type of construction and there is a boat load of wind whipping through there. Cindy walked down the center and provided interesting tidbits about the bridge and surrounding area.  In the most recent past there was a fire that burned up the gorge area. Devastating to look at the land and see the carnage fire can bring to nature.

Love this photo because it makes me think of art for some reason! 

This is only a portion of my trip. I’m going to have to break this one down. Next part will be about the mountains and a castle. Really you don’t want to miss it. Oh and a cat named Bandit! A real charmer.



Vegas baby!

Vegas baby!

I’m fortunate enough to go once a year for work and sometimes I actually do fun things! 

This year my annual trip started off with a chase across the Nellis dunes at night in a dune buggy. In my mind I was picturing sand dunes everywhere, and there were some…somewhere. There was also hard pack and a lot of rocks in all shapes and sizes. It was the best night and I had an absolute blast! Four hours of thrills and maybe chills if you fly over a dune and drop off unexpectedly. 

We came over one dune and I had the gas pedal on the floor. As I flew over I could see the campfire in the valley I was heading straight for. My buggy liked to shimmy to the left and of course the campfire was on the left. I fought the wheel till it shimmied right and then my lights landed on a big freaking rock. Shimmy back left miss the rock and make the turn to go up the next dune. I don’t think I ever let off the gas. 

Towards the end of the chase some of my peeps were really jockeying for their spot in the finish. You would’ve thought it was a NASCAR finish the way we rolled in. Well someone in out group rolled in with a flat tire and I’m pretty sure that’s the same one that knocked a huge ass rock out in front of me. It was a little tricky there for a second. I highly recommend Sunbuggy for an off-road adventure! 

Sorry no pics because I didn’t want to lose my phone in the desert and it would’ve happened considering how rough it was and how fast I was driving. I will say the view of the city was spectacular and I wished for my phone many times to take a pic. I did get a great exfoliation of my face. I had lovely, rosy cheeks for the next few days, so wear something that you don’t mind getting dirty or dusty.

If you don’t feel like an off-road adventure but still want a view of the city check out the Voodoo Lounge on top of the Rio. Beautiful views all around. Be prepared for a cover charge. We had dinner at the seafood buffet in the same hotel. A bit overwhelming there’s so much to choose from but it was delicious. 

The making of Witches Brew

We ventured out to a couple of my foodie faves. Hash House a Go Go….be amazed at the portion size and the food is delicious. Everything I’ve tried so far is great. I’ve hit up 3 locations. Two in Vegas and one in Orlando…all good. Cabo Wabo for scrumptious Mexican food. I could eat there everyday and if I had that same waiter that would be even better! I was waiting on my gal pals happily!😉 

Chicken and waffles (bacon in the waffles) – my fave
Meatloaf and the pic doesn’t do justice to the size of it!!
Fried green tomatoes & chicken salad…yum!
A huge bloody mary!

One of the nights we drove the strip. This is my 4th or 5th trip and the first time I’ve done that and it was so much fun. There is so much to see and people to watch!

If you have a car and get time, go out to Red Rock Canyon. I try to carve out time to go each time I’m in Vegas. It’s beautiful and the colors of the rock are so striking as you drive towards them. This year I actually had a co-worker go with me so that was a nice change. She had never been, so I got to show her all the cool stuff I’d seen so far. One day I hope to have time to actually hike but that will have to be on a personal trip. Not enough time for that when I’m out there to work. On the way back we ran through a smoothie drive thru. Nothing like that back home so it was a fun treat.

Crazy hair day lol

Can you see the hands?

Another night we wanted to hit up the Blue Martini bar but discovered there’s a dress code. Flip flops and shorts aren’t part of it. Dress up if you go!

For anyone preparing for a zombie apocalypse or prepping for doomsday I’ve found the place for you to shop. It’s on the strip right under the big Swarovski crystal sphere. 

Always a great trip to support a group of folks that have a lot of talent within our company. It’s also fun to see a different part of the country and to have time to get out and really see the sights. Vegas definitely has it going on! 

If you were expecting ‘Hangover’ type confessions you are out of luck!😂✌


Welcome to Raleigh, NC

I was heading to Raleigh for work, which is a typical theme for my travel. I was pretty excited since this was my first trip ever to the state of North Carolina – let’s just say I checked another state off my bucketlist!

It’s very green and reminds me of the Ozarks except there are a lot more pine trees than can I find in the Ozarks. We have mostly hard woods. Traffic is atrocious depending on the time of day so just be prepared but in comparison to LA it’s nothin’. Why is it bad? Raleigh is part of the triangle which is made of of Durham and Chappel Hill as well. Lots of people moving between three of them heading to and from work. We of course land right at the best time to catch rush hour! Google maps and I chatted many times about her total lack of knowledge of traffic flow. Pretty sure the bitch lied a couple of times. That’s what me and my other road dog thought anyway and we’re sticking to it.

Since I was there for a competition and work took up lots of my time I’m going to sum it up rather than go day by day. You really don’t need to see the inside of the convention center for the days I was there – this is a travel blog not a convention center blog. I do have some fantastic foodie delights to share and I’m pretty exicted about those so lets get this party started.

We had a team building activity the required everyone to load up on a bus with a Tobacco Trail Tour Guide. The day I was with him he was amusing but I heard reports back that he turned into an ass on another. Maybe that’s part of his comedy routine – going to suggest he change that part quickly. Bless his pea pickin’ heart. 

We arrived at Deep River Sporting Clay’s to do some skeet shooting. We were in hog heaven. I did terrible because I don’t normally  shoot moving objects. Snakes tend to be coiled up waiting which is perfect. Sorry for the snake lovers but I’m shooting it.

I had some foodie finds that I recommend highly:

The Cowfish – it’s a fusion of Japanese and American. So good! We took time out to go celebrate my birthday at this place! I would definitely come back. Loved the sushi!!! The atmosphere is festive and unique so it’s a fun place day or night!

The Second Empire – it’s amazing. In an old home near the convention center. It is beautiful inside and out. The food is exceptional. My first course was pork belly and scallops – AMAZING! Entre was lamb chops with a casserole. My first time ever to eat lamb chops and they didn’t disappoint. Medium rare is the way to go. I also taste tested my neighbors duck confiet…it was my favorite. It melted in your mouth. It would’ve been rude to take his dish and eat my own…really. I had the Empire Chocolate Souffle for dessert and it was another first for me. It was so pretty I didn’t want to eat it but I did!

The Angus Barn – delicious steak! There are a few unique things about this place. You must check out the bathroom it’s amazing. It’s the best looking barn I’ve ever seen in a bathroom setting. They also have a beautiful wine cellar that you can get a tour of as well. Remember no touching – only look!

Fun times with some great folks!

Circa 1888 – A great little bar that used to be a depot for the railroad. Beautifully refurbished with a patio area outside and a billard tables that will keep you hanging out for hours inside.

Mostly food because I was so busy working, but food and drink should be considered nectar of the gods!


Cruising Taneycomo

My job provides some fun experiences and this was one of those opportunities. After a long day of meetings we all loaded up on the Princess to cruise up and then back down Lake Taneycomo. It’s a small lake that sits between Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals. Because it’s so small and the water coming off of Table Rock it stays cold all year long. I’ve actually taken a boat ride up the Bull Shoals Lake to where the water spills over from Taneycomo. Brrrrrr comes to mind but we all jumped in and took a quick dip. I will not call it a swim because it didn’t last that long. Obviously not this trip but when the water is high on Bull Shoals it makes for an interesting day out on the lake.

It was a beautiful evening and as we went down to board the fountains were shooting up sprays of water. Just had to capture the moment.


This was a dinner cruise that was being catered so no great foodie find. The meal was good but it was the views that really captured your attention. The water was pristine, big fluffy white clouds in the sky, plus the reflection on the water equals amazing!

I just couldn’t resist snapping a few pics as we moved up the lake. The scenery is so classic of the Ozarks.


We finally got to a turning around point and as we were coming back you could see an open field behind a stand of trees. It’s right at dusk so there were several deer in the glen. It was so peaceful looking just made for a relaxing end to the day.


As we were coming into the dock I stepped out the back door and took this pic. Just thought the water churning and the low light made a beautiful shot. If you are in Branson and want something fun and relaxing definitely take a ride on the Princess. You can find her on the Branson Landing.

Here I am with one of my besties! We had fun cruising up and down the lake. Great end to a long day!


Oklahoma City…

I spent the last week in Oklahoma City working mostly, but I got to see some of the sights. The team I was with took an evening to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Hard to believe so many years have passed since that tragedy occurred, so if you ever happen to be in OKC I highly recommend a stop to see it.

The photos represent 3 minutes of time….as I was standing there it was a little hard to take in. The chairs in the middle photo are all the lost lives. The small chairs represent the children which was sad to see. I saw this in the early evening, but I would imagine all lit up at night it is a solemn and beautiful sight.

For those that like to leave a mark – put your hand in the the reflecting pool and then touch the wall it leaves a permanent mark. Don’t worry it’s not illegal! I had a staff member directing me.

I came and I saw – I empathize with your loss.

I stayed on the west side of town, so my hotel was right on the walking path that leads down to the stockyards. Beautiful spot to sit and enjoy a nice evening….not too hot actually for August! Lots of bicycles on the path so look both ways.

Continue reading “Oklahoma City…”

My journey to the center of the universe!

It’s a radical statement and I’m being serious….it happened in Tulsa….Oklahoma.

 I had been told about this unique spot from a crazy marathoner. It’s included as part of the Route 66 Marathon…to add a little extra right near the end. Something sick about that.

Fascinating thing about the center of the universe if you stand in the center of the circle you can hear every noise amplified in you head. Supposedly if you drop a pin you can hear it like a gong….I didn’t have one so I talked to myself….that’s normal by the way. I hummed which felt like a vibration in my head times ten.

At the top of the rise is the Artifical Cloud by Bob Haozous…unique art for sure. If you look at the sides of the sculpture you can see figures cut into the side.

The building in the background was designed by the same architect as the original twin towers in NYC. You just got science, art and history all in one blog and one stop if you ever visit the center of the universe!
Parking was easy during the day, and I didn’t have to pay. If you’re in a hurry max of 10-15 minutes. No foodie stops since it was well after lunch. I did see several places at the bottom of the hill off Boston street that I will have to check out in the future!


Adventure in California 

Adventure in California 

I’m starting a grand adventure – this blog of my travels. I might be the only one that ever sees it but I’m cool with that! My job allows me to travel and I try to make the most of each trip. Recently I was in California traveling from Sacramento driving down to LA. I was able to see places that I’ve heard about for years from my grandparents and their life in CA.

Ok so the point is what did I see – well this wasn’t my first or even my second trip to the west coast so I had to be different. I decided to drive Hwy 2 the Angeles Crest Highway. If you’ve never done that, then you should. It’s beautiful and I would imagine in the spring even more so! I stopped along the way taking a ton of pictures. Don’t worry I will share. The best part of that trip for me was seeing the sign for the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s on my bucket list! I was wearing the wrong shoes but I took off up the trail with the intent of walking for a bit….well that ended at about 100 yards when the slope went straight up. My slick bottomed sandals couldn’t compete with that slope. Instead I took the appropriate pictures and made my way back to the rental car!

I had found a list on Pinterest of things to do in LA…not the normal list either. I headed for downtown to The Last Bookstore – what an amazing place! If you are a bibliophile it’s a MUST!!! I came out of there with two books and read one on the flight home. I’m lucky it was only two – the baggage weight was the only thing holding me back. I was already at 45lbs. I still had 3 more days to go of a 10 day trip.

Next on my list was Griffith Observatory, which was only 10 miles away. Really that’s how far I drive from work to home…no sweat. My drive is 10 minutes this one took an hour. I did get to see the Hollywood sign and the views of LA from the top of the Observatory were fantastic. If I’d worn the appropriate shoes I could’ve gone for a hike but once again I left them back at the hotel.

So this blog wouldn’t be complete without me talking about food because I’m a foodie. Places to try:
Sacramento – Broderick Restaurant – brew their own beer and cider; must try the bacon mac n’ cheese; fish tacos on handmade tortillas delicious!
Rancho Cucamonga – JP Latin Deli (Peruvian) holy cow I could eat the lomo saltada every day it was so good and the owners are sweet as can be.
Rancho Cucamonga – Flamingo Palms Cuban Café – Polla Asado and the original mojito were excellent.

If you should happen on this blog please share your thoughts! – G.