inspire

Views

When I travel I take a lot of pictures. Mostly to capture memories. However, sometimes I stumble upon great shots when the photo reel is reviewed later. For this post I decided to post a few of my favorite or special views from near and far over the past several months along with a few quirky shots I’m tossing in for either humor or flair.

This gem came from a recent RV trip in the Tennessee mountains. The glows at different times of day were nothing short of amazing. The rays between the clouds reflected so nicely off the water. The mountains in layers was a great accent to create the overall beautiful view. From high spots to low spots each area we visited highlighted the water, the mountains and the trees just a little differently but so beautiful.

Coffee art. Oh how I am a fan. I have no clue how to make such art but I really can’t refuse some warm cups full of fancy coffee drinks with artistic flair. This gem was compliments of a local coffee shop owned by a friend.

Two pals just horsing around. No pun intended, right? This photo comes straight from 3Splitz Farm in Blairsville, Georgia. I may be a fan of the owners but there is nothing more beautiful than seeing horses enjoy a play day in the pasture. Whether up close like this or viewing from the deck above, the unique views are always a pleasure.

It’s not your basic to do list. As it it’s not on paper or a whiteboard. It’s permanently tattooed on a person’s inner thigh documenting cool milestones they are celebrating. A reminder of strength, courage and resilience. Red indicating complete. Blank showing what’s on the horizon. In this instance the person took out a thin sharpie to note completion of the 50k race since it’s not time to re-ink the tattoo yet. This is a fun one to think about.

My dinner plate. Grilled salmon, broccoli, zucchini and the little lemon for flavor. Folded up in aluminum foil, this is a quick and easy healthy dish to add into your week. So tasty. So filling. Just so happens to be healthy.

This photo is one for the record book. A tourist visit to Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon to see what all the hype was about. Wasn’t I surprised when I was video chatting with my mom on donut selections only to see a donut called Cock N’ Balls! Design no less than a dick or a penis. And yes I did buy one and traveled home by plane with it to show my friends. Yes, that I did.

I’m a sucker for a sunset. I’m a sucker for reflection photos in water. Every second seems so different. The colors change so quick. This was a favorite from a summer trip out west. A beautiful day with friends and family exploring new destinations.

A view from the summer. The reflection of the clouds. The stillness of the morning while the water was idle. The old boardwalk posts sitting there serving no purpose added to the ambience. The still and calm of this photo keeps it as one of my favorites.

On the streets of New Orleans this spring . My Golden friend was earning money flipping people off. This is real life. This photo brings up so many questions for who thinks of this idea? Who puts money on the bucket? Does this person make a living this way? For now I will just think since the person doesn’t flinch. Rather he just flips off the passers by.  Would you drop a dollar or two in the bucket?

I’m ending this photo reel on a unicorn note. A colorful collection of sticky notes. An accent pen. All together with a miniature unicorn piñata. A cool gift set I received that brings nothing but giggles when I look at it. I don’t so much use the items for their functionality, rather I use it to decorate a fun office space I have. Just because.

I hope these 10 shots brought you some enjoyment. Maybe they made you curious. Possibly they could cause you to take a trip. Whatever you fancy, I’m happy to have shared these few moments I captured and noted as views. My views. 

adventure

Foggy Friday

It was Friday night close to midnight. I was catching a late night flight. The fog set in just as we were taking off. The flickering light on the wing had a halo-like glow in the misty air. The southwest colors shined a little brighter on the wing. The simple picture was worth a snap or two. For I just wanted to remember the moment. I would normally share the photos but I unfortunately deleted them in error.

A tropical storm was coming up from the south. Torrential rain was at my destination to the north. The fog of Friday seemed ever so light despite the murky air and wet forecast for my weekend away. This cloudy, misty, miserable state somehow seemed relaxing after the long week leading up to this weekend getaway. So much to think about in the stillness of the foggy air.

I’m not tired yet, but I should be catching a nap. Instead I wrote. I drifted off into the creative space that I find joy in. I had just reviewed an article on oppression. It gave me a moment to pause and think about today’s society in comparison to the slave era. What has changed? What suffering still lurks? Just some banter for myself on this late flight.

Of course I had my adventures in people watching at the airport prior to boarding. This time I played a little game and aimed for people listening in addition to watching. I heard the singers in the air. I heard the couple complaining. I heard young people conversing about school work. I even heard some offensive comments. Maybe not directly spoken at me, but at a class of people I mirror in a way. I thought I’d hear more about the latest elections but not so much. The World Series didn’t seem like a current topic anymore. Just funny to hear what’s around you in the airport.

The mix of people. The mix of where people are from. The mix of where people are going. The tired people. The hyper people. The angry people. The weird people. Not really much to report in this post. Rather it’s just a summary of observations. A look through my lens. The way I see what’s around me. 

Travel is always about adventure. The unknown. The known. The plan. The unplanned. For I just experienced my first unplanned, unwanted, and unlikely scenario on trip. The spill. The spray. The laptop. Oh my. The girl next to me unknowingly opened a Sprite bottle while watching a movie. Her momentary lapse in judgment caused a decent mess. Followed by an “oh shit” moment.

The laptop had a puddle on it. The movie was still going. The bottle was still spraying. She was trapped in the window seat: The awkwardness and chaos hit at the same time. The blank stare. Really. I hit the call button. My call button. Don’t I look stupid now that the bottle had been moved to my tray table to help ease the stress and I asked for the boat load of napkins. I was a bit humiliated in the moment. I ended up looking like the hot mess while I really was just the innocent seat mate in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A little sticky. A little damp. For now I just have to cut this post short to be sure I’m not transferring the sticky goop onto my keyboard. For that would just make me a little aggravated. Off I go to really try to rest this time. And of course avoid any future encounters with exploding Sprite bottles. 

From observations to oppression to perception. This post really went from a-z in no time. That in itself sums up my day to day life in a nutshell.

challenges

Construction Time

This fall I have some action Items on the to do list that seem to fall under the construction umbrella. Small upgrades to some spaces I need to repurpose. I figured I’d document the process to show others how upfitting a property or space can be done by the inexperienced but willing person(s).

First up is this 120 foot gem of space. Today it’s hollow and empty. The only purpose would be storage in today’s state. Soon to be A little office or other type space. Power is run already making this job seem pretty easy on the surface. 

Opting for carpet squares to keep costs down and really it’s all that’s needed for this space. I thought I had my square footage accounted for but the framing took up some space making me have to cut the edges of the carpet squares. I was focused on perfection. But didn’t need to be as the trim work would cover any near perfect edge.  It was a pain, but I did it and only ended up with one blister from repetitive stress on my pointy finger cutting that damn carpet. I was happy with the patchwork outcome. I really think it made the space unique.

Next step was the trim work. I opted for some barn Like wood I snagged at Home Depot. The cost was within my budget but kept with the look and feel I was going for in the end. Day one had me using a nail gun, staple gun, box cutter, hand saw, heavy duty clipping sheers and elbow grease. Carpet was down. Trim work was complete and the insulation process started. I had to cut my day short after the itchy feeling from the insulation got to me and my blister was a small hinderence.

now I am going to wrap up this post as day one comes to an end. I feel a lot was accomplished but so much more is still to come. The next step is going to test me with cutting of metal but I am very excited to be repurposing some barn metal into this project that I was holding on to at another property. More to come but I will give you a sneak peak for now.

Only time will tell what it looks like in the end and how I tie in reclaimed items with new. Stay tuned for my next do-it- yourself (dyi) update. Taking 120square of nothing and making it into a usable space with a little personality in a short period of time and little to no experience.

Once I practice on 120 square feet, I definitely have some bigger spaces to tackle. I guess part of me staying true to myself is to keep growing as a person and testing out what I can and can’t accomplish. Sometimes I may need a little help or guidance but in the end I can say I made this, my way. It’s also good to know I may inspire another to try their own dyi project.

adventure

Here We Go Again

On the road again. And again. And for a third time because it’s a charm, right?

Northern tip of Florida is stop one from northern tip of Georgia. Just a couple of days for business trip #1. Off to coastal Georgia for a conference. A picturesque landscape but one you won’t enjoy as your schedule consists of inside time spread across a hotel campus for days. Stuffy dress up clothes. Limited outside time. Lack of normal routine. No time to get cozy. Time to head northwest to the land of orange, also known as Tennessee. Stop #3 for next set of business tasks not too far past the Honky Tonk of Nashville. But again not a fun trip just boring business to do’s. 

Three states. Three different business obligations. Seven days on the road, again. I had settled back into my routine after my summer road show of travel.  Now it’s time to hit some other spots even if all business and no pleasure. I suppose money makes the world go round; this girl is off to work to support herself.

First segment on the road was eventful. Major rain storms popped up at random limiting visibility. Minor to major accidents galore. So many cars turned the wrong way after crashes. Ambulances. Fire trucks. Police. I was complaining about delays at first then I realized the delays prevented me from being caught up in the multiple wrecks. How I came to realize I dodged some major bullets on that segment.

The drive was enough for my nerves until I was notified of a boil water advisory upon check in at the hotel. Bottled water only. I had never had this experience at a hotel. Many adjustments only to find all nearby establishments were closed for this reason. No coffee in the morning after a rough evening of travel was not on my agenda for the day. Gas station grapes and crackers for the win on this fine morning. The day didn’t get much better. Restaurants served soda from cans. No water for consumption. The frills we take for granted.

I should have made the water advisory it’s own post as there were so many situations that popped up that made for good stories. On this bright sunny morning, I am enjoying my coffee. Boiled water over 180 degrees according to the server. At this point I don’t care. I’m just happy to have my rocket fuel to start my day. The coast is calling my name at this point in time. Hoping the water is usable on stop two. Fingers crossed. 

Highlight of trip two was a good meal On the coast. Snow country boil was the name. A combination of shrimp, sausage, corn, and snow crabs. A little twist on a favorite meal thanks to the add of the snow crabs. I was extra full that night but it was all delicious.

The highlight for trip three was really a lowlight. A rude awakening of sorts. A meltdown of my mind and spirit. Too much. Too fast. Too tired. All leads to emotional weakness. I caved at the end of the day on my drive. My broken spirit was obvious. That led to overall sadness. I attribute the negative emotions to the last meeting. A shit show in my mind. A train wreck from the get go.

As I rejuvenate my spirit and my mind, I am opting for some physical fitness to get my mind going. Tennis was the sport of choice. Then after a match some crumbl cookies were in order to signify my crumbling the day before. Symbolic in one way and a splurge in another. For today I have some peace as I move forward in a slightly different direction.

Thankfully a long weekend is backing up to this 3 state road trip. Eeek. There are events on the calendar. I guess it was a good thing I flipped my calendar to see what was ahead. Preparations are a must. Hoping to catch my breath on this long weekend before the fall chaos of more travel hits. A spa day would be the perfect match for that extra day off but at the same time doing nothing but watching Netflix in my pjs will probably win.

As I think about the hectic travel schedule I take a deep breath and remind my of my fortune of being able to travel. To see new places. To meet new people. These benefits far outweigh the stress involved in traveling and twisting to get everything done. Palm trees always seem to make you feel like you are on vacation and I saw lots of palm trees in stage one of this trip and two. Maybe that’s why stage three was a dud. No palm trees. Celebrate the small wins in life. Sunshine is never really far off and eat crumbl cookies when your life feels like it’s crumbling. 

These days all seem busy but somehow we manage. Or maybe we aren’t managing at all. Maybe we are just surviving while others are thriving. As I wrote today, I’m sitting outside enjoying the cool breeze before a small storm sets in. The calm before the storm. As I’m reflecting I giggle a little knowing how many blogs I wrote this year about traveling adventures. Funny how life just fuels content most days.

Until next time, enjoy your day and thanks for keeping up with our blog.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

The Pinellas Trail

It was a sizzling hot summer day in late July. 2 Chicks hit the road on the Pinellas trail in Dunedin, Florida. We hit the pavement by bike. A mode of transportation we enjoy. Today was a good fit and fun adventure.

18 miles were ridden. We might have walked a little funny when done but it was worth it. Recently I wrote about the backside of life on a train ride. Today I again saw the backside of life, but this time a little differently. What I mean is the back of buildings are visible from the trail since its original use was for rail hence the reason it’s called a rail trail. Fast forward to today and the backsides of the buildings are purposeful and used vs left to decay and look like an eye sore.

Keeping with this topic many sections of the towns have eateries or stores that back up to the rail trail. However this view is more aesthetically appealing or inviting. Stores had welcoming signage. Restaurants had patios on the backside. Ice cream shops had spots for pets. Many establishments had bike pumps for courtesy use. Some had sitting areas for those who needed a break. Many offered free water which was so nice on the super sunshiny day we rode.

The backside of life can look different depending how you view it. My perspective here was welcoming and one I will remember. My previous train ride was a little different view of neglect of those backsides many overlook. I often see opportunity in weird places. Some could post fun messages or kind words or advertise on the backside of old buildings for passers by instead of just leaving them to sit idle. Maybe it’s my always on business brain. Maybe it’s my desire for others to see what’s in plain sight or what could be endless possibilities. Clearly I can’t change the world but I can dream of how it could look better or be more useful.

Circling back to now, one of my favorite spots on the trails were the roadway crossings. Some busier than others. Some had stop signs for bikers while others had stop signs for cars. However on the main drags we had red lights and the little bike lights made me smile. I wish every city had a safe pathway like this to enjoy. Many would probably choose to bike to work some days.

Another tiring but beautiful experience was the opportunity to make the climb up a bridge, enjoy a photo at the top and the amazing views and then having the satisfaction of feeling the wind in your face on the way down the decline of the bridge. So many other fascinating tidbits I could share, but I would rather suggest you take a trip to experience this ride for yourself.

Opt outside. Be adventurous. This day was $30 to rent the bike all day. I was able to close my exercise ring for the day. I saw some beautiful street art, great trees, a few parks, and the water was a great backdrop along the way. $30 for a day of memories.