I can throw a party

Cumberland Island GA

Cumberland Island GA

Cumberland Island GA

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we had reservations for twelve on the Cumberland Island Ferry, departing from St. Marys, Georgia, at 9:00 AM. 
It was a feat of epic proportion to get all twelve of us out of the house that early in the morning, with lunches and provisions packed, ready to spend the entire day on an uninhabited island. 
But we did it. 
We loaded into two cars and made the hour and a half drive to the Georgia coast, toting our backpacks full of water, food, layers of clothing (the weather was cold), and other miscellaneous supplies like bug spray, cameras, and sunscreen. We were prepared to spend the next eight hours hiking the island with no cell phone reception and nothing but the scenery and each other to look at. (Every last one of us took a book to read! Ha!)
Expectations were low. Just the way I like ’em.
 
Believe it or not, even with three testy teenagers and one pre-teen among us, we had a really good time. Wind burned, exhausted, on our feet all day while hiking a deserted (except for the wild horses and throngs of tourists) island, it was our kind of good time (10 miles over snowfields ring a bell? It should.)
But, a remarkable thing happened: we had no choice but to talk to each other and we actually enjoyed it. 
Enjoyed it so much, in fact, that a return trip has already been suggested and requested for next year.
Mad props for Cumberland Island!
And it just goes to show, give me warm cold cut sandwiches, discontinued Hostess cakes, a frisbee, and extremely low expectations and I can throw a party.

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A Hard Rock Weekend

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa

My Gypsy Soul, Hard Rock Tampa
We got the rare treat of spending a very “grown up” weekend in Tampa for the FSU vs. USF football game. It was fabulous. I wore a dress and it wasn’t even Sunday. I even painted my fingernails red and glam. Since this situation is normally fairly short-lived, I figured I ought to document it for posterity’s sake.

This was my first trip to the Hard Rock Cafe/Hotel/Casino in Tampa. The rock ‘n roll memorabilia was quite impressive. MJ’s hat, Elvis’s rhinestone suit, and Cher’s jewels were some of the highlights. However, I’ll be honest, I think I liked Gene’s shoes the best. We now see who Lady Gaga has been channeling all along.

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Whitefish, Montana

What is it I love about Whitefish, Montana?
The short answer is everything.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana

Every Tuesday evening during the summer, Whitefish hosts a farmer’s market in the downtown square. What seems like the entire community attends to enjoy the live music, the beautiful weather, and shopping the local food and wares.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana

There is such an organic, wholesome vibe to the place. Mamas selling their goods while wearing their babies in slings, kids licking ice cream cones, fresh fruit and flowers everywhere.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
Even the people are prettier. Fresh faced, sun-kissed skin, athletic and outdoorsy. We had all noticed individually, and then finally one of us commented one night over dinner how everybody was just so…pretty.  I think it’s the fresh mountain air and the laid back vibe that pervades the place.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
Here’s Grandma inquiring about a birdhouse…she didn’t get one, although she wrestled with the decision a long, long time. She may just have to pick one up next year….

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
Colorful hand spun wool.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
The northern boundary of downtown is flanked by the train station. Rail is still a prominent part of moving things across the west. The Great Northern Railroad stays busy and keeps the tracks in use.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
But it’s not just cargo that the train carries. Amtrak also travels west across the U.S. and makes stops in areas around Glacier National Park–one of them being Whitefish, Montana. From the moment I found out that I could take a train ride across the park, I knew it was something I’d have to do–somehow, some way. Since we’ve been back from the mountains, my writing buddy called to tell me that he’s taking a sabbatical in the spring of next year and his plan for finishing his novel is to do it while riding a train across the country. He said Amtrak offers a 30 day or 60 day pass for a flat rate. During that time, you can ride the train as far as it goes, getting off to sight see and then hopping back on and continuing your journey. I can think of nothing better. I am so jealous. I have to admit, I even considered trying to crash his trip by asking if I could go with him.

My Gypsy Soul, Whitefish, Montana
But I wouldn’t do that to him. He needs to be alone with his characters and have a chance to be quiet and enjoy the scenery, both outside the train and in his own imagination.

Because every writer knows, you have to write alone.

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