Tuesday, April 28, 2009

love is actually all around...

Have you ever had one of those weekends that felt like it was ten days long instead of two? That you've lived maybe a little more than your share?

... this weekend we went to a dear friends wedding...

I really believe that any day is a good day for a wedding, no matter the weather, but do you think a day can get any prettier than this? We followed this path, filled with wedding goers, all the way out to the eucalyptus trees in the far distance...

...and stood on this bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, watching two friends take their vows...thinking about our own that we took three years ago...and feeling that familiar lump in my throat...

...and at home another story involving romance and surprise unfolded this weekend. My youngest was the center of a sweet plan, unbeknownst to her . She went out for coffee with a friend that had dropped by, "I'll be back soon" she said. Shortly after, another of her friends was at our door. I said she'd already gone out. They said, Can we come in? We have a plan. The boy that my daughter likes wanted to ask her to the Senior Prom. And he wanted to surprise her. So while the one friend got her out of the house, the other two lined roses up from our driveway, up the porch, through the house and into her room. He'd made a poster with the one word PROM and when they were done spreading the rose petals around, he sat on her floor under the sign, with the rest of the blossoms and waited. The other friend got the signal they were done, and my girl came home.

She walked in with a look of annoyance saying

"who left these flowers all over the place?"

And then, when she stepped in her room she saw him sitting there,directly below the sign, smiling, clutching a fistfull of roses and asked her to go with him.
The above picture is her saying yes.
~ ♥ ~

My Mom and StepDad came up for a visit. And my Sister too. I never get tired of watching my StepDad with my Mom. He never gets tired of looking after her. They are getting more like kids the older they get, giggling, playful, sharing jokes, saying "My Love" to each other. And they never take a drink of anything without clinking glasses. He whispered to me that their anniversary is coming up, 35 years and he wants to surprise her.

A party of some kind.

I promised him my help.

We didn't discuss a plan yet...

but I think it should include some roses.

Love to you,
and you,
and you,
and you~

♥ lori

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dances with dolphins

Some days the oceans call is so strong you just have to throw responsibility to the wind and go pay a visit. Let's go!

Yesterday morning was epic. The temperature was around
80 degrees at 8 am, no wind and bluer than blue skies....
...my husband jumped on his paddleboard, and I am in the kayak...

...heading up the coast, we wave to the house we were married at...

...and then, we see, in the distance, coming our way...


...its hard to describe what it's like being in the ocean with a group of dolphins, swimming all around you. Excited, lucky, blessed? Yes...

...I was carefully trying to get my camera out of my dry bag and at the same time keeping myself out of the water, my husband's kayak is one of those narrower tippy kind. I was also grinning and gasping and Chuck and I are looking to each other with amazement on our faces!

... Every time they would surface we could hear their breath...sort of a soft hffff... there was even a baby in the group ...

...in the distance you can see one of the towers Chuck Lifeguards in during the summer, also, the other buildings are rentals, in case anyone would like to pay Carpinteria a visit! ;)

...Dolphins are not easy to photograph, diving smoothly up and down, you can't guess where they'll surface, but here is one tiny glimpse of a sweet face!...

Please click play if you'd like to join us in this experience! (it's amazing, you'll see how close they were) and don't forget to turn up the volume to hear them too!

I wish that everyone of you will find the magic that is around you.

It's out there.


This post is dedicated to one of my dearest friends in the world, she came all the way from Germany to dance with the dolphins,
remember Anja? I said hi for you ♥

Sunday, April 19, 2009

learning to fledge

My son came home! I saw him last Sunday for the first time in over a month. When he left on his trip I told myself not to cry, or worry. I didn't listen. I did both, I'm still not used to children leaving the nest. It's one of those parts of parenting that you think you'll react one way and you surprise yourself and behave entirely different. At least I am.

I thought I wanted more roomfreedomprivacyspace. I thought. But if that's true then why was it oh so hard to watch him go? And now, he is back. But...my boy is gone. He is a man. My son left a boy and came back a man. I was shocked and honestly didn't know how to deal with my feelings. I couldn't stop looking at him.

My oldest son had picked him up at the airport and brought him to our family Easter gathering. Those two had figured it out amongst themselves. And that's the other thing. They used to need me. I liked that, but at the same time I wanted them to be independent. Now they are. Right before my eyes, self~reliant, sovereign . And I am happy but sad, is there a word for this? I just keep staring at them. At him. My middle son, now a man.

And I think I fell in love with him all over again. Like when I saw him for the first time. Here he was brand new to me. Again. All grown up. I can't stop staring at him. This beautiful new man.

I think I've said this before...I am so not cut out for this. But oh, I am so lucky. My god.

..."and when I grow up, I'll go here and here" ...

xxx lori

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Ever since I was a girl, even before I could read, I'd study maps and magazines, dreaming of far off places. National Geographic was my magic carpet. My sister and I would play this game, we'd spin a globe and wherever our finger touched down was where we'd go. I couldn't wait.

I bought my first plane ticket at around age 12 with my own money made by babysitting. My parents agreed I was old enough to fly on my own since I earned and paid for the ticket myself.

That did it :) :) :)

Big beautiful world, here I come! Taking off right after graduation, when the rest of my friends went away to college, I traveled. Until my money ran out. Reluctantly, back home I went to give school a try. Oh I really didn't give it my best, but I just couldn't sit still. So, thinking up this brilliant plan, I took a job at Los Angeles International Airport. Now I could really fly!

Speeding on down memory lane, marriage and babies put a damper on my Wanderlust. But it didn't stop me from dreaming or reading every travel adventure or travel essay I could find. So many books, and SO many favorites, it started with a first edition Michener that my Dad bought me around age 9 or 10, still one of my favorites, Hawaii. Then there was Theroux and Hemingway, Laurens Van Der Post, recently I'm going through Pico Iyer's elegant prose. And then Alain De Botton's The Art of Travel. It's about travel but then it's not. Fascinating!

Ah, this wasn't my intention to write about my life, I really wanted to share some tips that have helped me in my travels and maybe you might have some that you would like to share...?

So...in a sort of order here they are:

Transportation Security Administration, T.S.A. ~ if you don't pay attention here, you won't be going anywhere. According to them. ( I am not so bossy! :) This is where to start for all the latest rules regarding airline travel (updated frequently). http://www.tsa.gov/

So you'll always know what to pack, a bathing suit or down jacket, or if your going to New Zealand, both! http://www.weather.com/

oh, and so you'll know where you are once you get there:

For the latest conversion rates on just about Every currency on the planet:

And for a really cool little chart that you can print out and put in your wallet, go to http://www.oanda.com/ Look under currency tools, and then look for FX Cheat Sheet, choose your currency and you'll get the Interbank Rate for the days date. Print it out and refer to often, if your like me. A money dodo.

For reviews on just about anything travel related (funny too) go to

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ informative and entertaining.

Now, here is my favorite, Seat Guru. http://www.seatguru.com/ Here you can choose your destiny. You can choose your own seat! Yes! it's a simple thing to do, first you find your jet, go back to your itinerary, or to the airlines website, it'll be there. Then you will be shown a Seat Map Key. Read it and decided what's most important to you. If you are like me and wantneedhavetohave an aisle seat then you will love this site. I love you Seat Guru.

Here are a few fun sites to visit if it's possible you have any money left over after paying for your trip!

Need luggage that'll take your things safely anywhere on the globe?,

http://www.patagonia.com/ they have great travel clothes too...

For just plane fun (get it? plane? hmmm...;) and really great useful stuff check out http://www.flight001.com/ .

And last, there's more, good grief I've gone on, but I'll end here... this one is fantastic and fun too, it's called Don't Forget Your Toothbrush. It's like having a personal assistant. You get to make a list and customize it any way you want, and then DFYT sends you reminders, 2 months before, 2 weeks before, the day before, the morning of (or something like this). So you'd really have to be a dumdum to leave the cat locked out or the coffee pot on or your passport on your desk. Tsk tsk. It's brilliant really. I tried it on my last 2 trips and it worked beautifully! (it's won lots of awards, BBC Radio, Time, CNN International...)

...and now I really am done except for one last tip. It's always a good idea to take a photocopy of your itinerary and passport and leave it home, with a friend or relative, but another thing I like to do is colorcopy my passport and plop it in my journal or use it as a bookmark. It comes in handy when you need your information (to fill out endless forms...) and don't want to be digging your real passport out of its safe place everytime. See? easy!

I hope you've enjoyed reading all about these handy tips. I'd love to hear any or all of yours!....till next time...

Goodbye - English
Salam - Arabic
(aabar dekha hobey) - Bengali
Donadagohvi - Cherokee
Hagoonea' - Navajo
Ja ne - Japanese (Sayonara if you will not see them for a long time)
Auf Wiedersehen - German
Bis dann - German
Tschüss - German
Ade - German
Tschau - German
Bis Spater(Bis Schpaater)-German
Arrivederci - Italian
Addio - Italian
Ciao - Italian
Buona sera - Italian
Au Revoir - French (aw reh-VWAH)
À bientôt - French (see you later)(ah bee-EN-toe)
À demain - French (see you tomorrow)(ah deh-MAN)
Hejdå - Swedish
Le'hitraot - Hebrew
Shalom - Hebrew
Sampai Jumpa - Indonesian
Adios - Spanish
Paalam - Filipino
Zai Jian - Chinese, Mandarin
Zoi Geen (the "g" is pronounced like geek) - Chinese, Cantonese
Farvel - Danish
Namaste (same as hello) - Hindi
Fir Milenge (see you) - Hindi
Alvida (Goodbye, bit formal) - Hindi
Ayo - Papiamentu
Rub Rakha - Punjabi
Feri bhetaula (lit. we'll meet again) - Nepali
Do zobaczenia (see you) - Polish
Żegnaj - Polish
Adeus - Portuguese
Adieus - Portuguese
Tchau - Portuguese
Do svidan’ya/До Свидания (until we meet again, formal)- Russian
Poka/Пока (pronounced pa-ka, informal)- Russian
Do vstrechi/До Встречи (until we meet again)- Russian
Selamat pergi - Malay
Tot ziens - Dutch
Dag - Dutch
Doei - Dutch
再见 - Chinese
Yasou (YAH-soo)- Greek
Hwyl fawr - Welsh
Annyeonghi Kyeseyo(if the person you're talking to isn't leaving)- Korean
Anyeonghi Gasyeo(if the person you're talking to is leaving) -Korean
Näkemiin (See you) -Finnish
Hyvästi (Farewell) -Finnish
Hasta La Vista (see you later) - Spanish
Vale- Latin (to one person)
Valete- Latin (to more than one person)
La revedere - Romanian
Veloma - Malagasy
Sige la - Pangasinan
Khuda Hafiz - Urdu
zai jian - chinese
Ha det bra- Norwegian
Ha det- Norwegian
Sees- Norwegian
Snakkes- Norwegian
Vidaiperukiren - Tamil
Aavajo - Gujarati

xxx love, lori

Monday, April 6, 2009

and then you dance...

I really am going to change the subject! right after this post, there will be no more talk of Africa... until we get back.

I'm 99 % sure.

I just found something I wanted to remember and share. One of the places we'll be staying is Mana Pools National Park. We learned that it's best reachable by canoe or small plane. Which means the roads in the park are not easily accessible. Which means much of the safaris are on foot.
From The Lonely Planet : "perhaps Mana Pools' greatest appeal lies in its concession to those who want to walk in the African bush. Some people won't be able to get enough bushwalking while others, especially after a tense night of unsettling noises, may be put off by the prospect." It goes on to say that the risks are very real, but following time~honored guidelines will practically ensure only pleasant encounters.
(hi! i'm down here)
Some Safety Hints:
* if you meet a wild animal, never approach too close, especially to buffalo, rhino and elephant. Approach from downwind and keep a sharp lookout for the lone animal that may be behind you.
* when walking along river banks, beware of logs that could turn out to be crocodiles and steer away from hippo runs.
* try to stay out of heavy bush or high grass where you can't observe what may be lurking ahead. If you must pass through such areas, climb a tree every so often and have a good look around before proceeding. Watch for ripples in the grass.
*while avoiding the big guys, don't forget to watch where you're putting your feet. Snakes also thrive along the middle Zambezi. A black mamba rears up when frightened. Stand still and it will slither away. Hopefully.
*if faced with a lion, never run, especially in the case of large cats. Keep quiet, and slowly back off. Or your retreat may trigger their reflex to give chase.
*don't even think about swimming in the Zambezi.
*Beware of crocodiles at the water's edge, they sneak up from under the water.
* Under certain circumstances it doesn't hurt to pray. Softly.

And then dance for the sheer joy of it all!

xxx love, lori

Friday, April 3, 2009

tea wisdom

Yesterday when I got home from work, there was a pile of mail waiting for me on my desk, I shuffled through it absentmindedly (I'm not too excited to find another bill), but in the stack today was a large Fed Ex envelope. I pulled this one out and took a closer look.
It's our Itinerary!!
~~~~* ! *~~~~
Only after making a cup of tea and curling up comfortably on the couch, did i allow myself to open the envelope. For me this is travel foreplay, almost as good as being there. Oh my god! here are all the dates and flights and places we'll be, Paris, Johannesburg, Victoria Falls, Kasane, Botswana, Zimbabwe, tented camps on the Zambezi. Fantastic places, descriptions beyond my imagination.
Reading through once quickly and then going back to take more time, I know I'll probably read this a hundred times before we leave. I see on the cover letter that the company we booked with has written how important it is to pack lightly. We are only allowed 33 pounds on the charter aircraft(plus camera gear), we'll being flying into 2 of the camps we'll be staying at.
Oh man.
I sipped my tea and out of habit, read the little tag hanging from the bag. I couldn't believe the words on it this time...
it said:

Travel light,

live light,

spread the light,

be the light.


Incredible. I love this and I think I'll put this little tag in my new journal,

for Africa,

on the first page.

A good reminder heh?

If you like you can go to the Yogi Tea website for more

inspirational articles, helpful tips, recipes and even yoga poses.

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently,

as if this activity is the axis

on which the whole earth revolves.

Live the moment.

Only this actual moment is life"

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

and for outside the U.S. http://www.yogitea.nl/

it's a good place to visit!

xxx and love, lori