Aging with Gusto! My Travel Blog!

Been completely gluten-free for 12 days now. I feel much better in myself, but I’m not sure gluten is main issue. Oh well, you have to try! I’ll keep up the gluten-free diet, just because it makes ME feel better. I wondered if I was allergic to dairy, then I tried making a cappuccino with almond milk……not going to happen again!

Anyway, on to brighter subjects!

Aging  certainly isn’t for wimps so as I struggle uphill with the big 60 just over a year ahead of me, I plan my future with gusto! (and three trips in the pipeline)

Hey everyone needs a week in Mexico in March. Our body craves sunshine, so lets talk Mexico today! My first trip to Mexico was 2009. I’d always avoided it because I’d heard stories! 

My first trip was to the Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta. One trip and I was hooked. I nearly didn’t make it. 2009 was the year the company I used to work for (but no more thank heavens), laid off half of its staff. (I survived that ugly environment for another five years). It was also the year of Swine Flu, which delayed our trip for a couple of months, when I finally made it, this is what greeted me.

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Been back to this resort twice since then. It never disappoints.

I still have an awful lot of exploring to do in Mexico as I’ve only visited Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Thankfully it’s not a very long flight from Colorado. Yes, I’m lucky enough to call Colorado my home.


A period of Calm


Minolta DSCThis photo was taken in July 2009 in Nuevo Vallarta Mexico. 2009 was a tough year. The company I worked for laid off half of its staff. Bad times! I had a trip to Mexico planned for March, but had to postpone it because of the travel complications caused by the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus. I badly needed a vacation, but we got there in the end. The resort was peaceful because July isn’t the busiest time to visit Mexico. Many people were still afraid to travel because of H1N1.

I took this photograph on the first evening of my trip. Isn’t it beautiful? For the first time in about six month I felt calm and relaxed. Although I’m not in Mexico now, I do feel relaxed for the first time in four months. I’ve been job hunting and doubting my abilities after being laid off from that same company I survived in 2009.

I was bitter and hurt when they let me go. Seriously, after sixteen years, who wouldn’t feel that way? It’s behind me now though and pretty soon I’ll be starting in a new and exciting position with a new company. My commute is less and my paycheck better. Some things are just meant to be. Yes, I’m a little nervous starting somewhere new after sixteen years, but I’m excited too.

What’s even more exciting is that in less than four months I’m flying to Italy for a three-week vacation with family and friends. I think I’m going to like 2015 very much. Out with the old and in with the new! Happy New Year at last!

If you are looking at my photograph and want to try this breath-taking ‘all inclusive resort’ yourself. It is the exquisite Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Truly the most relaxing and welcoming place I have ever stayed. Grand Velas – Nuevo Vallarta


Back to Cabo San Lucas

CIMG0478The last four years have literally flown, I can’t believe it’s already October 2013.

Where have I been what have I done? There have been good times and bad times since my last visit to Cabo San Lucas in December 2009, but I choose to just remember the good.

In August of 2010 we went to Rome. I have had a love affair with Italy since I was five and tasted my first Italian Ice Cream.  After many trips to various places in that magical romantic country, I still want more.

So the Spanish Steps get a little crowded sometimes, who cares, the atmosphere is unbeatable.

In 2011 we took a trip back to England, first time in quite a while. We visited old friends and old haunts.  I’d forgotten how green and beautiful it was. The poppies growing in the grounds at Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire were gorgeous.


Where was my next photo opportunity? I believe it was Thanksgiving in Vail in 2011.


Whats this? Why a frozen fountain of course, its Vail, things like that happen.

In May 2012 we made a return trip to the gorgeous Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, where we were treated like royalty.  It is one of my favorite hotels.


2012 was a good year, we also went to Steamboat Springs. Once in August and once in November. What a delightful mountain town.




2013 has been busy, but we enjoyed a couple of days in Keystone.


A long weekend in San Francisco

And now, unexpectedly, I am going to relax for a week in Cabo San Lucas. I hope it’s as beautiful as i remember it.

Minolta DSC


Dead of July (Small)

2012 – A year to remember?

What was memorable about 2012? Lets start at the very beginning.

January – Couldn’t find a memorable in World events! I turned 55 (UGH).


February – Twelve people were killed as Tornadoes ripped through Kansas and Missouri. Early for Tornadoes, awful tragedy.

March – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets US President Barack Obama.

April – A 30-year-old man was today arrested here on the charge of murdering his father for not giving him money to buy liquor, police said. Really? Is liquor more important than life. What a strange world.

May – Ahh vacation for my husband and I. We spent a lovely week in Nuevo Vallarta at the Grand Velas. YES! Look at this sunset.

June – We had to leave this delightful sunset and go back to Colorado where the wildfires looked like they may destroy the state. With record temperatures and no rain, Colorado continued to burn. We thank the fireman for risking their lives to keep us safe.


July  – was the hottest month the continental US has seen since records began, federal scientists have said. Also in July a crazy young man ambushed a movie theater in Aurora, close to where I worked, and gunned down innocent people whilst they watched the new Batman movie. I won’t grace this monster with a name, but praise Christian Bale for his low-key visit to honor the memory of those murdered.

August – Celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary. Went to our first ever Rodeo in the lovely town of Steamboat Springs in Colorado. What a great Cowboy town, otherwise known as Ski Town USA. Planning a second visit. Beautiful friendly town.CIMG1099

September – My lovely daughter Joanna turned 28. Where did the years go? Seems like only yesterday she was a toddler.

October – Seriously tired of the US Election campaign and the nasty vicious Political games.

November – Love him or hate him Barack Obama was elected to his second term as President of the USA. Personally, I love him and his family. I celebrated.

Barack Obama


December – Here we are at the end of another year. Sadly December brought another school shooting. This time in Connecticut where 26 people were gunned down – twenty of them children between the ages of six and seven. You would have to be insane to be murder children? Why are the mentally insane not cared for in a facility where they are not a threat to society?
2012 wasn’t all bad and I have some great memories, but 2013 is going to be AWESOME. My new book ‘Dead of July’ will be published in March (Preview) Dead of July, which is exciting. I think the world should learn from the mistakes of 2012 and make 2013 a much better year. The Mayan calendar ended, but the world did not. We are here to care for each other and care for the earth. Be aware of those around you, if they need help, don’t ignore them.

Grand Velas – Nuevo Vallarta – Perfect Vacation

I had to share just a few more photos with you. This beautiful resort is just too good to keep to myself.

I also want to remember the people who made it so special (bad at names but remembered a few) Karina, Alejandro and Carlos are the names I remember. Oh and Victor, who kept us all fit with water aerobics.

No more words, just photographs.

Evening walk on the beach.

Beautiful grounds.

Banderas Bay after the sun sets.

Beautiful flowers

Lying by the pool, looking up at the palm trees.

The beautiful view greeted me every morning.

No words necessary.

Happy toes.

I have to get back into my busy life now. I work full-time, write books in my spare time and manage my husband’s business, but for one week, while I was in the beautiful Grand Velas, I did nothing. Life was good. Everyone remembered my name and treated me like Royalty.




Puerto Vallarta – Mexico – Memories

A seven-day vacation is just not long enough. The time passed by too quickly. I am already missing the beautiful ‘Grand Velas’ resort on Banderas Bay in Nuevo Vallarta Mexico. It was wonderful. When we arrived we were greeted with a cold drink and cold, lemon scented face cloths to refresh us after our journey. After checking in, we were given a complimentary ‘spa moment’ shoulder massage, awesome. We hadn’t even got to our room yet.

We sat in the lobby on arrival and enjoyed a free shoulder massage.

After unpacking a few things we headed down to ‘Frida’, the Mexican restaurant, and our favorite restaurant in the resort. The mouth-watering dishes and attentive, fun-loving staff made this a great experience. This is no ordinary Mexican restaurant. It is a gourmet eating experience.

Relaxing and enjoying ‘Frida’

After eating we enjoyed a couple of drinks on the terrace.

Enjoying an ‘after dinner’ drink on the terrace.

And to top the evening off, a soak in our own private hot tub.

Our own private hot tub.

Lester played football and volleyball

I enjoyed a glass of champagne in the pool


The sunset was stunning

After the sunset the resort took on a new magic.


I took daily walks on the beach

Beautiful relaxing resort

The local wildlife

Lovely memories of a relaxing tranquil vacation. ‘Frida’ was our favorite restaurant here, but we also ate in ‘Piaf’ (French) and Lucca (Italian), which were just as delicious. The staff in ‘Frida’ are what made the difference.

We drank and had snacks by the pool. Every morning I had breakfast in ‘Azul’ and watched the ocean. The sound of the ocean and the tropical birds lulled us to sleep every night. This was just how a vacation should be. Missing it already!

Life is busy and stressful so at least once a year we should take a week away. It doesn’t have to be anywhere expensive or tropical, just a place to stay away from work, emails, the internet and the daily routine. However, if you do want tropical, I highly recommend the ‘Grand Velas’ in Nuevo Vallarta. We all need to give our body and brain a rest. If you don’t do it already, start now. Happy vacationing!


Denver International Aiport

Here I am again at DIA exactly one year since my trip to England.

My trip to England was a blast. We partied hard with family I had not seen in over fifteen years, many I had never met. It was an exhausting two weeks, but we had fun.

Today we are waiting for a flight to Puerto Vallarta. It may be raining there in the wake of Hurricane Bud, but I am sure the rain will not last for long. The sun will shine and the vacation will begin.

Tropical Storm Bud


My bags are packed and I’ m ready to go……wasn’t that a song?

I am packed ready to go to Puerto Vallarta, and very excited about it, so I am hoping my vacation won’t be spoiled by Tropical Storm Bud. Please Bud, don’t develop into a hurricane. I have been looking forward to my vacation for so long. 

My family seems to attract hurricanes. Katrina struck New Orleans a week after we vacationed there. We have had more than one close call. This time it seems we are due to arrive at our destination at around the same time as Bud, so lets hope he plays nice……..

Tropical Storm Bud moving northwest in the Pacific

Stay away from Puerto Vallarta Bud!

Tropical Storm Bud is moving northwest off Mexico’s Pacific coast with little change in strength.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Wednesday are near 40 mph (65 kph) with some strengthening forecast during the next two days.

Bud is centered about 420 miles (675 kilometers) south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).


I am sure this Tropical Storm won’t strengthen, but I keep checking the internet just in case. Where did Bud suddenly appear from? Hurricanes and Tornadoes fascinate me, but I don’t want to see one close up.

I want the evenings to look like this. Calm, quiet and inviting, so Tropical Storm Bud……please stay away.







Send positive thoughts my way and I will raise my first glass to you.


A lifetime of vacations! Brixham to Mexico!


I have begun packing for my vacation to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It is one of my favorite vacation destinations. Sun, sand, good food, beautiful sunsets and relaxation.
The staff in this luxurious, friendly ‘all inclusive’ resort help to make your vacation perfect.

I would say that the Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta is without doubt one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. It brags of three first class restaurants which are so good it would be hard to pick a favorite. A true Mexican paradise.

Brixham was where I spent my very first vacation, when I was the young age of five.

I don’t remember much about it, but we stayed in a big white hotel on the top of a cliff. All of the waiters were Italian and it was fun. I went to Brixham with my Aunt and Uncle and my mother. Brixham is on the English Riviera. You didn’t know there was an English Riviera did you? Feast  your eyes on these photo’s.

I am sure many postcards have this image on them, and postcards are still popular in England.

Brixham Harbor by night









Lots of fishing boats in Brixham


Brixham is in Devon, which has a very mild climate. While we were there the weather was beautiful. I remember going for long walks by the bay and seeing palm trees from the very first time.

Palm Trees on the English Riviera






I had only seen Palm trees in photographs. Because the waiters in our hotel were Italian, and there were Palm trees outside, I thought we must be in Italy. My aunt and uncle laughed when I asked them if we were. To confuse me even more, they took me out to an Italian Restaurant for dinner.

Maybe this is what started my love affair with Italy.

I didn’t actually make it to Italy until I was 15, and that was with the same Aunt, (crazy Aunty Jeannie) and my mum. We had even more fun on this trip. It was my first trip ‘abroad’ and it was to the busy resort of Rimini on the Adriatic Riviera.

Busy Rimini beaches


Rimini was a popular place for both young and old. The beaches were incredibly busy, but it was fun. After my first trip to Italy I was hooked and my love affair with everything Italian started.

Hotel President – stayed here in 1972, 1973 and 1974. Glad to see it’s still there.











Italy is my favorite place in the world and I never tire of it. I have visited Rimini, Lido de Jesolo, Florence, Rome, Venice, San Marino, Verona, Lake Garda, Pompeii, Frascati, Sorrento and many places in between. Will I go back. Of course, its in my blood.



A very memorable trip!

In 2009 I went to the Grand Velas at Nuevo Vallarta for the first time. I almost didn’t get there because the months leading up to it were chaos! I was working most nights until eight or nine because my company downsized. I had some issues with my lower back. I went on a major diet (which worked yeeeaaahhh).

Two days before we were due to fly out I had to postpone the trip for two at least two months because ‘Swine Flu’ was at its worst.

Yes, when I finally arrived in Nuevo Vallarta, I was more than ready for my vacation.

It was worth the wait! I had a beautiful relaxing vacation. The resort was breathtaking and the staff were incredible.

I am flying out to this beautiful resort again in less than a month and I can’t wait, especially since 2012 is proving almost as stressful as 2009.

Waiting for my vacation is like clawing my way up a steep hill, but I am almost there.









A beautiful small hotel with fabulous sunsets.









Soccer on the beach!









Glorious evenings.









I have vacationed in many places, but the Grand Velas has to be one of the most relaxing.


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