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Pompeii: Off the Bucket List!

Why was Pompeii on my Bucket List? Probably because I went to a few exhibits at art museums and was intrigued by the story. But no art museum can show you things like this:

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This face is like an eerie refection of the tragedy that overtook the residents of Pompeii in 79 A.D., when Mount Vesuvius erupted.

How much of Pompeii is still standing was a surprise. The ruins were extensive, and could keep a visitor busy for days on end. The bakery, a house of ill repute, and a bath house are among the must-see sights for a day-tripper.

How about that amazing sky?

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The November weather in Italy was actually quite delightful, and only got cold and windy as evening started to fall at Pompeii.

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I had to leave Italy the next day, but what a weekend! Thinking about taking the same trip in April but doing different things!

Stay tuned for Portugal at the end of December.

…Do as the Romans Do!

Romans seem to do a lot of walking. For my second day in the city I planned to do as the Romans do, and ended up leaving ten miles of sneaker rubber on the sidewalks of Rome. Make no mistake: at least a third of that was walking in circles! Rome isn’t an easy city to figure out by any means. But the rewards are worth it! This place was just a random sculpture shop, in case you wanted to bring one home in your suitcase?

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And speaking of random, ruins were everywhere. Cats were welcome in this particular one. If you look closely you’ll spot a kitty or two:

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I’m quite sure I wasted about two miles of walking in search of the Pantheon, but I couldn’t leave Rome without seeing it! The Pantheon is said to be the finest preserved Roman structure in the city.

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Stay tuned for Pompeii!

When in Rome…

Thanksgiving Weekend is the official kickoff to vacation season for a teacher that loves to travel. A few years ago I started taking major trips, and this year I scored a cheap journey to Italy from Gate 1 Travel, a company that I’ve traveled with several times now. The fun started in Rome at the Vatican. St. Peter’s church is as jaw-dropping from the outside as it is from the inside:

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I didn’t think I was going to be as blown away by Vatican City as I was. And as you can see from the picture, it was a stunning blue sky day. The temperature was in the high 50s and low 60s and sunny, though it got colder later that weekend.

We’ve all heard about crumbling historic monuments around the world, and I’d read a lot about the Colosseum. Personally, I thought it was totally worth a visit. The Colosseum is still a wonderful treasure.

Colosseum I rode the Rome Metro from one end of town to the other, with seven miles of walking  within the Vatican and Colosseum area. Those old walkways are definitely killers on the lower body! The Metro is a pretty reasonable way to get around. A one day card is seven Euros.

Teaser Tuesday: Gunning for Groupie Gold

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Sammy leans forward in his throne and fixates on Mama.  I see Em’rald weasel her way through the throng of yelling men, looking back only once as she steps into the house.  She doesn’t wear an expression of anything more than slight worry that someone might know what she’s up to.  I know exactly where she’s going.  But it’s hard for me to pay attention when my mother has the top of the cake in her hand now and is bearing it on a silver platter over to Sweet Sammy.  Mama spins around with it before bending over at the waist right in front of him.  She takes a scoop of frosting and does unmentionable deeds with it.  The guys are going crazy, but they haven’t seen the best of it yet.  Pretty soon she’s got the icing all over her fingers and is licking them suggestively.  Someone carries over a chair.  She sits down in it and provides the full view of everything she’s been using to amuse rock stars for decades.  Even the Porn Sluts are intimidated.  That’s saying something.

Read more by visiting my BOOKS page!

Oh, Southern Utah!

I blog (and blab!) a lot about traveling and hiking National Parks. But one place captures my imagination like no other, and that place is Southern Utah.

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What an extravaganza of nature’s beauty! And I was lucky enough to spend many days there this past summer.

It’s hard to pick a favorite National Park, but if I had to it would likely be Canyonlands in, you guessed it, Southern Utah! The Needles District is pretty remote, about 80 miles out of Moab. Not too many people make the trip, which makes it even better. This time around I did the Druid Arch hike, an 11 miler with scenes like this along the way:

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I rarely get lost on a trail, but I spent a good deal of time walking in circles on this one, and almost gave up on finding my destination. But I don’t quit easy, and I knew the arch had to be something pretty special. Was I wrong?

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Here I sit in cold, damp New England, waiting for my next summer adventure in Southern Utah. Sigh.

Women Like Us: Transformations

In addition to my Girls of Glam Rock Series I’ve also started a series called Women Like Us. These stories of various lengths were inspired by the many tales I’ve written and sold to the “true” magazines, True Confessions and True Story. A couple of my writing friends kept after me to make the stories longer and turn them into books. Here’s the cover of the first one:

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Transformations contains three short stories about, well, Women Like Us! Daring Tales of Determined Women, like my motto says. It’s available on my BOOKS page, and at all major retailers.

New Zealand Dream

If there was one country I dreamed about visiting it was New Zealand. I’ll never forget hitting the “purchase” button when I booked the trip to be there for the 2015 Christmas season. One of the activities I had to partake in while in Auckland was jumping off the tallest building in the city, Sky Tower:

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Yeah, I stared up at it for a couple of days before I did it! Then again, most people would be thinking about it before hurling themselves off a sixty-five story building?

No, I didn’t chicken out. Here’s me suiting up!

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Auckland is such a fun city, and it’s surrounded by amazing islands, too. This is Tiri Tiri Matangi, which is advertised as a bird watching haven, but actually has a trail that circles the entire island. I practically had it to myself, and what a memorable hike!

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My dreams of New Zealand are hardly satisfied. I’m looking for my next trip, and plan to make my first visit to Australia while I’m “in the area”!