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.


Mexico diet!

My diet blog fizzled out. Not making excuses, but the year started with a bang. I have only lost five pounds, but  five pounds is two regular bags of sugar, and when you are carrying tha in a shopping bag, its heavy.

So this week I started my diet again. Mexico is only seven weeks away. I don’t want to be ashamed of my body by the pool.








Being from Europe, a one piece swimming costume does not work. I am bikini born and bred, so the body needs a quick make over ready for the sun.

Okay, so maybe I’m asking a little too much. I would love to look like this, but I would have to shed a few years too.

Five pounds down and ten more to loose. I knoew I can do it in six weeks.

I already eat a healthy diet, fresh fruit and veg. Nothing tinned, frozen or processed crosses my lips. Now I have to learn to cut my portions in half, and the rest is a doddle.

Looking forward to buying that new bikini.



Mexico – Part of my Diet Plan

Grand Velas

Yes I took this photograph myself. Looks too good to be true, but it is a real place.

Isn’t it beautiful? Haven’t been there since 2009 and I don’t know why I left it so long to go back.

We also went to Cabo San Lucas at the end of 2009. Lovely way to escape the cold.

We visited Rome in 2010










Richmond Castle










We returned to our home country of England in 2011 where we hung out with family and visited Castles.


I haven’t had the time or the money to go back to ‘The Grand Velas’ in Nuevo Vallarta until this year. The trip is long over due, as is the diet. When we stayed here in 2009, I had just lost forty pounds and was very skinny. I don’t want to be that skinny again (it made me feel old), but I do want to lose fifteen pounds or so.

How is my diet going?  Pretty well actually, probably helped by the fact I have been sick this past couple of days, and had no appetite. I will take what ever help I can get. I have lost five pounds since I started my diet last week. Not bad right?

I have been dieting ‘my way’ and just eating smaller portions of the foods I enjoy. It seems to be working. Five gone and fifteen more to go.

I want to be a comfortable 8 by the end of May. Can I do it, check back to see.










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The Joy of Flying!

Why is it over twice as much to fly to Cabo San Lucas right now, than it is to fly to Puerto Vallarta?

Look at the map! It doesn’t look like there is much difference between the two, yet a flight to Puerto Vallarta is under four hundred dollars. A flight to Cabo is over seven hundred!

Also, while we are on the subject, why does one airline charge $700 for the flight, and another over a thousand. What a crazy world we live in! I always travel United or Frontier. I have flown Virgin and Continental on occasions too. None of them stand out as being better than the other. (unless you are lucky enough to get a free upgrade that is).

Lovely Cabo San Lucas







It’s not fair that we should have to shop around so much just to get a reasonable flight. We memorize little systems (convincing ourselves they work). If you want to fly to Europe, book your flight on this day of the week. Mexico is more reasonable on another day of the week, etc. etc.

Nuevo Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta)

I love to travel, and do it as often as possible, but sometimes, the flight spoils the whole vacation because of delays, seating issues and the whole boarding process. Not many of us can afford to fly first class. Economy plus is the best I can afford. Its a little more comfortable, but only because of the leg room.

What happened? Flights used to be more fun.

Most stewards and stewardesses are pleasant and helpful, but always look jaded.

I love to travel, but I HATE TO FLY!


If you want to read a short amusing story  on your next flight, just take your mind off the uncomfortable hours in the air, check out my novella’s, maybe they will help make your journey more enjoyable. E-books are less than a dollar and paperbacks slightly more:

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