Black Friday is not my thing. It’s not that I don’t like deals, but rather I find them all the other days of the year. I have friends who get a real kick out of the crowds and shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds! Personally, I am addicted to watching the nightly news after the event to see what kind of crazy stuff goes down at Walmart and then I shake my head about society’s decline. Last year for “Black Friday” we were in Rome and I was shocked that the term had been exported overseas. Our decadent American consumerism went worldwide minus the Thanksgiving ritual the day before. Frankly, Thanksgiving makes me CRAZY and have cabin fever so bad that I don’t need to be convinced to #OptOutside, but I somehow don’t visualize REI’s consumer base as being the ones who make the news on Black Friday. I could be wrong…. Maybe we could start a webside called “People of REI”. The closest thing to “Black Friday” I have ever done is when I got convinced by a sales person at REI to “become a member” so I could shop the great deals at the gear sale. I was intrigued and excited cause the next sale was the next day in downtown Portland. I got up early and left suburbia to find the line going down the street. I never made it to the gear sale after a LONG wait in the cold cause I had also scheduled family photos that day and I didn’t realize I needed to wait in line all day long.

Dating in the good ol’ days

Once upon a time, I came across an ad in the personals in the USA today that had a guy from my small town looking for love. I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever read and I think I probably called my friend immediately to tell her all about it.  Funny because my small town was mentioned in the big newspaper and for a funny reason. Anyway, fast forward there was this invention called the internet and dating sites have evolved A LOT from the “personals”. I’ve never been on a dating site, but it would probably be safer in my opinion to just stick to hiking forums for that and end up with someone worthwhile. Qualifications: You must carry the pack! I like to enjoy my hike after all and not get too sweaty.

Ok so my Utah high school had this event in the fall at Halloween time, it was a long standing tradition and anyone who wanted to participate was welcome to do so. If you decide to throw your name in the hat, a 1980’s vintage computer would then do some fancy algorithms and out would spit your name paired up with someone you had to chase and catch. Girls were always chasers. Couples in love might bow out of the tradition and miss out entirely on this classic event. Once you had your date’s name, then you had to plan on how to catch him. You usually went in packs of girls or met other people along the way doing the same thing and joined in to help them catch their guy and they helped you. If the guy got lucky and he got a nice looking gal, it was still NOT KOSHER to be an easy catch. The chasing occurred on foot or vehicle: through houses, yards, hills, and mountains. As my neighborhood was next to the mountains, the girls had better be equipped with a lot of friends and all terrain vehicles. After much chasing of my guy, I fell down a hill, skinned, bloodied, and bruised my knee. At that point, we threw in the towel and I limped a few miles down the hill to my friend’s house. In spite of my misfortune, it was a hilarious tradition which brought strangers together to help others catch their guy who had better put up a good run, but not too good. (LIKE MINE!!) Then, groups of unknown people would spend a night of fun together. As you can imagine, there are far too many liabilities for an event like that these days.

Anyone who has ever been to Disneyland will recognize this classic!

Anyone who has ever been to Disneyland will instantly recognize this classic!

Back to the FUTURE

Everyone is talking about the iconic film this week. Just like any other eighties American kid, I saw it about a billion times. I need to request it from the library cause my kids are excited about it, but they’ve never seen it. After I texted my friend today, I realized that somewhere out there I have a picture of either me or her at Universal Studios Hollywood with Christoper Lloyd from circa 1992. I then went on a hunt through my pictures looking for it to no avail. I have about 20 photo albums and I don’t have any idea where that photo is. I had been in my photos the other day so I didn’t have much hope that I’d find it and I didn’t. When we got our picture taken with Christopher Lloyd, it was at some Back to the Future area at Universal Studios. We were a couple of small town kids on a high school orchestra trip and Christopher Lloyd came from some back stage location. I was very skeptical that it could actually be him and not some look alike employee, but who knows. At any rate, it would have been a very funny picture to share today. Later that day, the 2 of us were ushered out of the park cause we had stayed until closing time along with other people. (It wasn’t even dark!) Then, when we discovered our fellow music students playing nerf football outside our rental bus and they started hollering at us as to where we had been?????????? We discovered that we didn’t listen to instructions on return time and they had been waiting for us for over an hour.  We became the musicians non grata and got teased the rest of the trip. #FUNNY MEMORIES


A few days ago, I remembered that it was my uncle’s birthday this week. Then I forgot and last night I remembered and wondered if I’d missed it. Since it was today, I sent myself a reminder last night. I visited him in February 2014, but hadn’t talked to him since; unless you count email. My uncle in his 8th decade. Once upon a time, he had a dream of building a ski resort and so he did. Sometimes we are forced out of our dreams and so he was. He would again go on to successfully start, run, and manage another big business venture until in his eighties. He still travels the world to remote off the beaten path destinations. To say the least, he is fit, healthy, and leads an active lifestyle. However, he has gone through some very challenging personal situations as you’d expect from anyone who had made it that far. I am currently reading a book about success and failure. A key element is that we must ADAPT. Last year, I talked to him about some of his life experiences and it was very interesting. He was mostly a businessman so we talked about that. When you are a child, you don’t ask a lot of questions and I was with him a lot as a child. As an adult, I like to be very inquisitive into others’ lives. It is amazing the things you learn. Before the internet and blogosphere, we could only learn from people we knew or people who were interesting enough to be written about in books. Now, I am constantly made aware of others’ challenges and honors like cancer and their kid making prom queen from facebook. The world has evolved a lot and some of it is for the better. Birthdays are a good excuse to reconnect and texting doesn’t count. You never know if you will get another opportunity.

Pedestrian streets…..

A lot of our recent trip to France was unplanned. It was very intentional on our parts. We didn’t want to have to be anywhere at a certain time with anyone depending on us. Last fall, we had a very time sensitive travel plan to meet friends and it could have been a disaster due to a flight disruption. The situation was salvaged somewhat, but it left me pretty rattled. With that said, I managed to see all of the people I intended on visiting, I just didn’t give them much warning that I was coming. If you ever don’t have a day planned on a Europe trip, the pedestrian streets are always a nice place for window shopping and a stroll. This carousel was so pretty that it actually felt very magical and other worldly. I don’t think the iphone shots correctly convey the sentiment though so you’ll have to go yourself.


Carousel in Caen, France


           prettiest carousel