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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Connecting with Your Soul Mate at Christmas

Do You Connect or Disconnect at Christmas?

Are you someone who experiences Black Friday on and on during the days leading to Christmas or do you still get excited about the energy in the air during this special time of the year? The music, the shows, the lights, Christmas trees, shopping, eating, decorating, and the unusual flood of mail that comes through your mail box. Sometimes we have to create ways to connect. Six or eight years ago we decided to make Christmas card writing something to look forward to. We took our cards, address book and everything we needed to Lake Tahoe. We sat down soon after we had reached our timeshare and worked on Christmas cards. When we finished we had time to enjoy each other and the beauty of the mountains.

The next year we decided that the mountains in December can be a challenge because of the snow. We rented a condo for 3 days at Sea Ranch on the northern California coast. We have returned every December since then. The tiny post office at Sea Ranch is inundated with our 125 Christmas cards every year. We liked it so much we stayed an extra two nights at Sea Cliff in Gualala which is much cheaper and is also on the ocean. A Christmas card writing getaway transforms a formidable task into shared expectations of family, fun, and celebration.  Looking forward to this unique first event of the holiday season is a great way to increase Christmas fun and joy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Places Where Letting Go Is Easy (#2)

Tucson Starr Pass Marriott Hotel

Like an enormous castle nestled protectively at the foot of the Tucson Mountain Park in southern Arizona is the Starr Pass Marriott Hotel. Just far enough away from the bustling city of Tucson to experience the vastness and serenity of the fascinating desert, but near enough when sitting on the terrace at night to be mesmerized by the beauty of thousands of glittering city lights. Music that didn't intrude and small bonfires in pits contributed to a setting of complete relaxation and release from cares of every day life.

As Everett and I sipped a glass of wine with our son who lives in Tucson, conversation flowed effortlessly. It was an evening none of us will ever forget.

I had saved Marriott points for a long time so that we could stay at this beautiful place. The desert   grows towering saguaro, which can live 200 years, grow fifty feet tall and weigh more than ten tons. Wild life, including quail, roadrunners, woodpeckers, owls, hawks, desert tortoise, coyotes, jack rabbits and more live in the desert.

We discovered the desert and the hotel when we stayed at the nearby Starr Pass Timeshare. Bush bunnies, quail, birds of all kinds would eat together on our back step. We have taken long hikes in the desert. Once we saw a coyote trotting along a short distance from us with her two young pups. If you are looking for a getaway where letting go is easy, the Tucson Starr Pass Marriott Hotel may be just the place for you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Places Where Letting Go Is Easy

Little America--Cheyenne, Wyoming

When I was a little girl traveling with my family, I passed Little America for the first time. Cheyenne was a little town then and Little America was one of the first items on my beginning bucket list. More than half a century later it took an unplanned cross country trip with my lover to cross off this one.

Little America has everything a traveler crossing the plains could want. Beauty at an affordable price, cleanliness, friendly people, excellent food, tranquility, and a feeling of luxury in a rural atmosphere. Actually, it is located among trees, green lawns and a golf course at the edge of Cheyenne which is now a bustling city. When I first passed it the city was farther away.

The legend begins in the 1890's when a young man herding sheep got lost in a blizzard and was forced to make a camp and spend the night where Little America is now located. He dreamed of creating a refuge for travelers with a crackling fire, a warm bed, and delicious food. In the 1930's he saw Admiral Byrd's picture of "Little America" in the Antarctica and it reminded him of his own isolation in the Wyoming blizzard. He created this oasis on the plains and it has become a part of the Grand America collection of fine hotels and resorts. Of course, he named his dream place "Little America" after Admiral Byrd's refuge in the Antarctica.

If you travel Highway 80 past Cheyenne's "Little America", take a break even if there is no blizzard. You will be glad you did.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letting Go Can Energize Relationship

Three Week Get-Away

Strange as it may seem, every relationship can benefit from letting go and getting away from everything. Just the two of you leaving business responsibilities, pet care,  house and yard, and obligations to family and friends behind. Take a deep breath, look at each other with lover's eyes, make no reservations and discover new places to relax and play.

In our case, it was an overdue trip to visit members of family we had not seen for years. We decided not to make reservations or tie ourselves to a schedule. Unexpected stops included a long traffic delay for a crash to be cleared; a stop at a garage to determine the damage done after hitting a large tumbleweed, trying to replace a dead battery in an old cell phone (we couldn't!); arriving at Little America in Wyoming too early to stop, but loving it enough to stop anyway. One night we decided to stop at Champaign, Illinois after missing our exit at Bloomington. Homecoming weekend had caused doubled prices for the few rooms still available. So we drove with a full moon another half hour where we found a room for a reasonable price. That 30 minute ride with the full moon lighting our way could not have been planned. Very romantic!

The secret is in letting go. Breathe in calmness and peace and exhale tension and expectations. Three weeks practicing this kind of letting go helped us react to coming home to a pick-up that won't start with nonchalant concern and finding 364 emails with a shrug. We hadn't touched an electronic device and we are reluctantly trying to remember how important they are! The election has come and gone and we don't even know how all of the propositions turned out. How is that for letting go?  I feel like I now have my  lover back, relaxed and taking things in stride. Expect more blog posts on this subject. Feel free to comment on your own letting go experiences.