What’s your story?

Closing the books on this year. What’s the story for next year? What shall we create?

Jumping in to new, grand adventures. Living large, out loud, and on the court. I’m ready for some radical changes.

Happy, Healthy, and FUN New Year!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Year-end Haiku

A great travel year,

Reconnecting with my friends,

Learning through travel.

✈️ 🚙 🛳 🛩 🚲 🛶 🚗

Vision Board for 2019 definitely contains some new destinations. How’s yours lookin’?

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Travel is the best educator.

Wrap up then unwrap

Wrap up 2018 by purging closets, cupboards, drawers, and bookshelves. Share, recycle, donate unwanted and gently loved clothes, kitchen gadgets, and books. Clean up your photo collections by scanning them onto a digital format. This helps future generations see family history in a clear way. Share the prints and/or discard them to declutter your home. Top off your bucket list by doing, going, enjoying what you set out in January. Only four days left!

Unwrap your resolutions and affirmations for 2019. Resolve to travel, eat new foods, call a friend monthly, read more, write more, drink something new, _________(fill in the blank.) Keep a journal or logbook to chart your progress. By December you’ll be delighted with the results. Create a manifestation map/vision board to ‘make your dreams come true.’ I’ve done this successfully for several years…it works!

Cheers to health, happiness, prosperity, and love in the new year. Enjoy the last four days of this year….and plan for bigger things in the new year.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Merry, Happy, Lovely World

A boisterous day for some, a quiet day for me.

A joyous celebration with food, gifts, and a tree.

Families all together, pictures shared online. My sweet man is with me, always by my side.

My wishes for the world are peace, also optimism and love.

And clean and happy world from below the sea to the stars above.

Commemorate today: sing loudly, dance wildly, and love deeply.

You’re in my heart and on my mind, Tara and Emily!!!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Some Empty Nester fun this holiday season

Kids grown and flown? Ours are, so we have only each other with whom to share the holiday season. What to do???? Well here is my top 5 things to do:

  1. Go see the movie Mary Poppins Returns and eat popcorn,
  2. Walk along in a mall or city street to see the decorations while drinking a hot bev,
  3. Go on a trip (far or close),
  4. Stay at home listening to classic rock music,
  5. Cull, scan, & purge old photos for future generations (the memories are priceless).

The end of the year is a time for reflection, to plan for the new year, and to show love to your loved ones.

Happy Day! Happy Year! Happy Always!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

This butterfly didn’t fly away

When my ‘boyfriend’ said to me, ” You’re like a butterfly. If you love something, let it go. … If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they‘re yours; if they don’t they never were,” in 1977, I wasn’t exactly sure of the impact that had. Fast forward forty-one years, and we’re still together, building a strong life, sharing adventures and dreams.

Today marks the anniversary of our first real date: The one that sealed the deal. Who knew that would be the start of my future life with my Handsome Hubby? Our lives have evolved through school, work, kids, living abroad, and now Empty Nester-hood. Each milestone teaches and prepares us for the next.

I’m grateful beyond words, written or spoken, that my wishes upon a star, a coin in a fountain, and a chicken wishbone came true.

Cheers to us, to all who love, and to a world full of wishes-realized.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Lesson learned🌸

Last week aboard a ship I took a flower arranging/design class as one of the activities. I listened carefully, pruned the flowers, snipped the leaves, and placed the stems evenly in the soaked oasis to create two lovely arrangements.

I made this rose and thistle arrangement.
This is the tropical flower arrangement I made.

I am pleased to report that the lessons learned produced an arrangement for our kitchen table:

arrangement I made with grocery store flowers

Whenever and wherever we can learn, we must.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

Crossing complete, captivating, convivial

This blogger returns today from a transAtlantic crossing aboard the lovely Queen Mary 2 ocean liner.

There are so many stories included in this seven-day journey, I will share highlights today.

Most of all, this trip allowed me quality time with my mother, who last month celebrated her 83rd birthday. She is a delightful, congenial, adventurous woman who I am proud to call Mom.  As this crossing was the first for us both, we shared this memory-making journey from New York City’s harbor to the port of Southampton, UK.

Denise & Annette going to dinner, show, & daring games of chance.

The view from our stateroom balcony was only the Atlantic Ocean. Inside the ship, we saw Christmas decor, musicians, travelers from all over the world, and the inner-workings of a grand ship.

Me on the balcony of our stateroom, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Annette & Denise in Grand Lobby surrounded by holiday decor

One of many highlights included an invitation to a private party to meet the Captain. He shared a noon daily navigational report, concluding with an anecdotal story, and posed for a photo. When I asked him who was driving the ship while he attended this party, he quickly replied, ” Microsoft.”

We dined and danced with nice people from China, the UK, Canada, and the USA. We shared a proper English tea with a couple from the UK.  We lunched with people from Spain, the UK, and Canada who all shared stories and insights of far-away lives.  And, we toasted each other over creative cocktails from every bar and pub onboard.

I took a lipstick application class, a flower design class, and a yoga class. The NDBs I enjoyed included a trivia quiz in a Pub, a dart competition, a pin-the-nose-on-Rudolph, and a ship’s galley tour.  Mom took a class to learn to play Roulette on day 1, which was a lucrative way for her to spend some evenings. So many activities to choose from made each day full from sunrise to sunset.

I made this lovely tropical flower arrangement, under the guidance of my teacher Mikey, and the watchful eye of my mom.

Overall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that I am most grateful for. This concludes my travels for 2018. Cheers to 2019!

Aloha🌺,

Denise

We travel because we need to; because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.

Shipping out

This blogger is shipping out for a transatlantic crossing aboard the RMS Queen Mary 2.  She is the largest passenger ship built for the Cunard Line since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, the vessel she succeeded as the flagship of the line. As of 2018, Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger ship operating as an ocean liner.

Please re-visit us on December 17, when we’ll share stories, photos, life lessons, and observations.

Enjoy your happy days.

Aloha🌺,

Denise

RMS Queen Mary 2