Archive for category creative travel tips

On Fire

Build a man a fire and he’ll be warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. ~ Terry Prachett

I spent last week warming up in Austin TX. My husband took part in an ‘Editors Retreat’ learning all of the latest & greatest for TV, film & web video production. The retreat included meals & activities from breakfast till after midnight most days. When I join him on business trips, he will try to take an afternoon off and we usually eat dinner together, this trip was so wonderfully different. He was like a kid in a candy store with 60 other ‘kids’ so excited to be together sharing their obsessions & expertise. I hardly saw him, but when I did he was so happy.

When he creates TV shows he often directs, produces, shoots and edits, if I had to choose, I feel like editing is his expertise. I think he is one of best in the business. He got back late the first night and talked about how exciting it was to be around so many editors who knew so much more than him! He loved the class on 3D editing.

On the second night they had a poker tournament, when he rushed out to join the group he said “I’m going to win this thing” I said “How? you don’t play poker” He looked at me with a big smile and said “I read people”. I think I rolled my eyes a bit and said “Have fun”. He got back to the hotel room about 1:00 am carrying the $2000.00 grand prize…. some fancy brand new video storage device that he and all the other editors treated like royalty.

The retreat set him on fire!

I did not mind having lots of time to myself. I found the greenbelt and went on wonderful hikes. Beside all the birds that let me get so close, I found two turtles sunning! I was tempted to crawl on the warm rocks and relax in the sun with them.

Look how close this guy let me get! That pattern on his neck is beautiful.

This guy was a little more reserved.

I jumped across a few rocks and found these bubbles on top of some green gooey stuff in the water… hmmmm??

I ran into so many friendly locals, two asked me to join them on their hikes, later in the day, a group of dog owners let me play with their dogs in the water. The vibe in Austin is so relaxed & friendly, I could live there. I was warned about how terribly hot and long the summers are but when I have a choice, I prefer sweating over shivering. What do you prefer?

I was so happy to be out of the cold wandering and finding all kinds of new things to photograph. I love the shape of these seedpods, they look like skirts dangling with mini bowling balls ready to drop.

The sun sparkeled after a brief rainstorm, I think getting caught in a warm rain is one of my favorite things.

It was such a good trip. We both came home fully refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Have you been on any retreats with peers that inspired you?


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Travel Tips

To travel is to live. ~ Hans Christian Andersen

My husband is a road warrior. Travel is second nature to him. He’s an expert at all of the nuances that make his adventures run a little smoother. He has very specific routines like packing the same bag the same way each time. This helps him find what he needs so quickly, he even zips each bag the same way so if he needs to get at something in the middle of night, he can do it all by feel.

I’m so impressed when I ask him for something and he has it in 2 seconds flat. I’m too random to adopt this routine but I have adopted a few of his travel tips. I roll my clothes to fit more in my carry-on. You can squish undies and socks into so many spots, even inside your shoes! Sometimes when I’m too stressed about fitting everything I want to take, I hand the task over to him. It’s like packing the car, he prefers to do all of it… his way. When I let go of my control issues and let him have at it, we both win 🙂

A few more tips that have made my trips more enjoyable…

  • One of my favorite app’s for travel is Gate Guru. When you’re on long layovers you can enjoy decent food at most airports using this food finder, it’s like a mini yelp for airports.
  • The Art of Non-Conformity is my favorite blog to read about travel. Today’s post inspired me to write about my travel tips, he has some great recommendations about which cards to use to get more frequent flyer miles & hotel perks.
  • When I travel with my husband, I get to use his noise reduction headphones and relax in the sky club enjoying free food & drinks in a comfortable setting. I even took a shower on a long layover which was so refreshing after an all night flight. It’s just amazing how these two things make traveling calmer and quieter. They are expensive for those of us who travel here and there but if I traveled more, I would spend the money on both.

I’m soaking up the warmth in Austin, TX for a few days, it’s so nice to be hiking in a t-shirt this time of year. Here’s a few shots from the flight…

this is a view inside and out from the delta sky lounge at our layover in atlanta

wet & warm

i could not resist taking a shot of the reflection in the laptop screen of this beautiful girl relaxed & reading as her neighbors are busy chatting and getting thing done on the computer

once we got above the rain storm it was beautiful

castles in the sky

beautiful layers of blues & whites

even some god’s light as the sun began to set, it was an easy travel day

Do you have any tips that have made your travel more enjoyable?

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The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, – so anterior, so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. ~Henry David Thoreau















These words pretty much describe last Sunday, but I’ll share a bit more… my husband and I went  to Sleep Bear Dunes last weekend and it was spectacular. Standing on the sand dunes looking out at the views of Lake Michigan is astounding. I was so impressed with the size of both the lake and the dunes, some of the dunes are 450 ft high! it’s just amazing. I’ve made a few trips to the shores of Lake Michigan the last two summers a little further South, but this vantage point is the best. It’s a bit after the busy summer season and the quiet combined with the sanctuary of the national park was sublime. “The park’s creation was highly controversial because it involved the transfer of private property to public. The Federal government’s stance at the time was that the Great Lakes were the “third coast”  ( the quote is from Wikipedia, click on the links to find out more ).

My favorite find on the trip was the swirls. These pattern in the sand were made by the ends of grass. It was a windy weekend and I was tickled by the perfect circle patterns that were etched in the sand by the wind blowing them round and round .

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They’re Back! (part 1)

Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people in the whole world—I mean everybody—No matter how boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe. ~ Neil Gaiman

My obsession with mushrooms began last summer and it continues! We seem to be in high season, for the past week I’ve been going on longer hikes than usual ~ I just can’t get enough of them. Each day I wonder if I’ll find a new kind or color. It just amazes me how many shapes and sizes they come in.



White Ruffels

Orange Crush


Sea Scape

Sea Urchins

Micky Mushroom

Average Joe

Even finding an average joe excites me. When I search for mushrooms I feel like I’m stumbling into secret worlds. There are too many to capture all by myself. I invite you all to come visit to go treasure hunting with me. Michigan is filled with magical mushrooms!

~ christine

P.S. I linked my old blog post about my obession with mushrooms as a pdf. My old blog crashed and burned but I was able to recover posts as pdf’s. The format is a bit sloppy, but I’m happy to have a record.

To see more mushroom check out part 2

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Red White & Bluish

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. ~Claudia Grandi

red flower

Sea of Red

Soft Red

2 Hearts

white rose


Blue Eyed Beauty

Wisp of Color

Field of Indigo

Purple Chalice

Rising Above

Better late than never. Happy B-lated Independence Day!



Fire & Flowers

The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse. ~ Edward Koch

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m back from a 3 week whirlwind trip. I started my trip in California to see my oldest nephew’s high school graduation (I have to brag for a minute, he’s off to Harvard! Not that I had anything to do with it, I’m just so excited for him.) Near the end of my trip I had fun watching the fireworks with my youngest nieces and nephew in Massachusetts. I also went to Maine, Rhode Island, and ended the trip at Niagara Falls. It’s good to be home.

I’m way behind on sorting and cropping photos. And, as usual, it took me forever to figure out how to use the slideshow option. Which of course is so easy, but until you know how, it’s a pain in the ass! So sorry if my cursing offends, but if I don’t swear, I’ll probably break something ~ I get so frustrated with the techie side of posting… and, so far, I’ve only figured out how to add the slideshow by itself. As you can see my post is titled Fire & Flowers ~ I have a bunch of red, white & bluish flowers I wanted to add after the slideshow, but  I can’t figure out how ~ dammit!

I don’t want to change my title so here are a few f-ing flowers ✻ ✿ ❀

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