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Six years of adventure with pics to prove it.

Whew! the end of the Asia posts

Filed under: Thailand — she_travels at 3:33 pm on Monday, February 23, 2009

From a post dated the last day I was in Thailand.

Quick thoughts before going to find some food… I don’t think anyone should come to this part of the world and not see Angkor Wat in Cambodia. History lessons from friends you meet along the way are grand. Vietnam is not all jungle and I may go back one day. The beaches I saw in Thailand do not compare to Roatan. The Mekong river is HUGE! It truly is hot and humid!

I landed in Denver July 1st 2008. Here it is Feb something and I just now have all the pics up. I am sorry..  the excuse is a good one but another story. As I sit here listening to the pouring rain, posting pics, the memories come back. I truly did enjoy the trip, am pleased as punch I did. Yes,  there were times during the eight  weeks I wanted to toss the whole thing and hop a plane to Australia but in the end I am very glad I stuck it out. I saw  many things, learned stacks of stuff about the culture, made some  new friends.

Travel, every one should do it. Just get out of your box from time to time to see what is happening in the rest of the world. Get out of your comfy zone just to see if ya can.

Man!! It really is raining, I had to shut all the window for the drops leaping into the house. Rain down here is a whole different animal than it is at home. Tis the land of the Caribbean and tropical weather.

Cities, real Cities

Filed under: Ireland — she_travels at 10:55 am on Monday, June 18, 2007

I have been in and out of Dublin over the past few days. Several things have occurred to me to be a bit ..strange..then I realized I don’t spend any time in the cities of the states so how do I know from strange. Then I think I don’t believe this place is like the bits of Denver I have been in or the bites of Sacramento or…hmm think of another city I have been in. Perhaps I was never in what is called here “the city center”.

Anywho, masses and masses of people, I have pics I am not kidding, like the pics of Central Square ya see in the movies..Masses of people. I climbed on a er…monument of some sort this afternoon just to get a pic of all the people.

I walked out of a shop at 7:34 this morning and had to shop before stepping sidewalk cause I had to merge into the incoming mass of people.

People, cars, buses, trains and more people.

Whew!! I am so not a city gal.

Time and then some

Filed under: Ponderings,Roatan — she_travels at 9:34 am on Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dang! I think I am getting a bit freaked out about leaving this place. I have not been able to pin point why. Jake (one of the guys at the restaurant) suggested it is because I have been here so long. Some version of that may be a factor. I don’t think my boggle is I don’t want to leave. Though, in the past, that has been a problem.

I think it is less about not wanting to leave and more about not knowing exactly what is next. OK, I know LA for four days is next but what that will look like is a bit murky. Not ever having been to Ireland makes the next eight weeks all kinds of unclear.

Add the above to the fact that I may not want to leave here. Dang! I think I am freaking out just a bit.

Let us change the subject

I have moved enough times while being here that I have packed and repacked my bag. There are some things I have not used but the weather is going to be different in Ireland so its not time to ditch them yet. There may be a few items I ship back to Colo. For the most part I am happy with what I packed. I have become very adept at hand washing being I only have four shirts with me.

They make a solid soap down here one can use for any number of things, dishes, floors, cloths. I plan to take some away with me. Airlines are limiting the liquids you can take and this being a solid, the hitch is I keep wondering of the security system is going to read my cylinder solid soap as some sort of explosive.

There are still some small concern about the stamp in my passport. I have considered zipping by the airport to see just how bad the situation is then I think I will just tell the truth. The pink bit of paper with a notation of ninety days on it was lost. There was no mention at the time I arrive that one had to check in with immigration every 30 days. Let us hope the truth will work and that misplacing the pink bit of paper is not cause to be nasty to me.

I walked to West End this morning, had a chat with the chick that lived next to me the first two months I was here. Things are rolling along with their construction project. Got a wave from Gerrilee who was having breakfast at Rudy’s with friends. Had a chat with the Dutch lady in a gift shop about an Irish author by the name of Maeve Binchy. Talked with Theresa (the owner of the Palmetto house) She wants to meet for lunch tomorrow. I also had surprising chat with the lady who is opening a pet store here. She asked when I would be back. I told her perhaps Jan/Feb of 2008. She then said she needed to go back to Canada to sort some stuff out would I be willing to care for her five cats and the pet store. I told her we could sure talk about the possibilities.

The other truly strange bit of info I found while in town,”because of global warming the sun’s rays are going to be very dangerous for the next three days” I heard this tid bit from three different sources. Now, one must understand the island is very small, much like a small town in the states this place has a whopper of a rumor mill.

When I arrived back in West Bay the people here were talking about it too. They have a more scientific reasoning. “Because of the tilt of the planet and the way it is lining up with the sun Honduras is the closest place on the globe to the sun, therefore the most dangerous of the sun’s rays will be strongest here.

Either way it sounds like it’s a grand thing I am not a sun worshipper. I know, I know, I have been on an island in the Caribbean for three months, how could I not be a sun worshipper.

Three months…man where did all those weeks go? Time, I am telling ya, Time is one wacky arse thing.

Options, ya gotta love em

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 10:31 am on Saturday, April 14, 2007

I started perusing the work exchange program sites I found many months ago.  Ireland has two sites which post individual farm needs. The idea in the beginning was to pay for a years worth and use it, now since I will only be in Ireland for eight weeks I decided to go with the less published site that costs less money.

I found many possibilities including “a working sheep farm in west cork, Ireland in the beautiful Borlin valley”, “spring calving herd of pedigree Friesian cows”, “We will give experience on cheese making and looking after animals. We have all types of fowl hens geese ducks and sheep pigs and cattle”, and “Small private riding school located 45 minutes (by bus) from Dublin in the scenic Boyne river valley famous for Newgrange, Slane Castle, Bru na Boinne etc”.

Ya gotta figure these and others will keep me busy for some weeks. Or perhaps I will plant myself in a hostel along the “Ring of Kerry” and hike for a couple weeks.

Choices, choices.  *giggles*

Vanishing Time

Filed under: Ponderings,Roatan — she_travels at 1:33 pm on Thursday, March 22, 2007

Holy Hannah, have I only been at this office thing for five days. It seems much longer, could be cause I am here about 830a and not going home til about  930p. Helping out the morning Foster asked turned into a being here all day kind of thing.

I really enjoy the social aspect of this gig. I am slowly, very slowly learning the booking process. There is another person who does most of the bookings through the internet. It’s the “walk in” people I have to accommodate. The taxi drivers are given a commission if they bring people down who stay,  so the walk in thing happens at least once a day.

The difficult part is there are so many different rooms with various prices and I am still learning the magic code that is the booking system. When I asked Miranda, Foster’s fifteen year old daughter, about the booking system code she said,  “It’s the booking agents and no one understands it”.

We had a situation the other day where Eric, one of Foster’s sons, had to take the entry door to a room off its hinges to get in. Today a guest lost the only key to a cabana while out snorkeling. I went in through a window to open the door then Eric switched the door knob. Its wacky things like this which make things so very interesting.

The weather has been perfect the last few days. We had a bit if a storm the 1st part of last week. Crazy big wind and rain. I loved it but felt sorry for people who had come down for a week and the 1st few days were icky.

I had a delightful conversation with a lady from Germany while walking down the beach this morning. She is learning about rocks at home and was pointing out all the cool rocks and petrified wood bits. Very nice little old lady.

3.19.07

I can’t remember what date I started this note. I am sure it is days later. The internet has been down five days. I think I have been helping out in the office  two weeks, perhaps more.

I am so very surprised I like what I am doing. I would have thought guests hassling me about every little thing would bug the tar out of me but by golly instead, I am enjoying the challenge of sorting out all the little things so the big things go well. I enjoy chatting with the guests and answering all their questions. By the by ~ its pretty much the same questions with different people every week.

There is so much gray about this place. Changes are made pretty fast, the communication is not as quick as it could be and there is often some muddy water. An example or two: Three nights ago with the power out, a couple came looking for a room for two nights. I told them I had two availabilities one being a very simple hotel room and the other being second level with deck and a small kitchen. I asked if they wanted to see both rooms. When they said yes we were off for a peek. After the quick tour they were discussing what they wanted to do with the taxi driver. I was under the impression they were no longer interested. I then saw another guest that had been angry about some thing the day before. Wanting to see how they were feeling and if they had moved out of the room they didn’t like to the new one we offered, I followed them across the bridge. We chatted for several minutes, they were still pretty upset. One of those couples no matter what ya did they wanted to be mad.

When I came back to the office the 1st couple was gone, another couple was waiting for me to chat about availability. Mind you~ I am showing rooms in the pitch dark with a flash light. It could not have been 20 minutes after I showed the hotel room the 1st time to when I went back to show it to the 2nd couple. When I open the door there was a man laying on the bed. I apologized 1st then asked was he staying there this night. His English was not any better than my Spanish but the couple I was showing the room to and the taxi guy both understood  Foster had told the guy he could stay in the room. I backed out and offered the couple a different room. I had no idea there was someone in the room, I was under the impression it was empty. In the 20 minutes it took me to get one couple sorted out and get the other couple over there, Foster (who I didn’t know was around) gave the room to someone.

We nicknamed Foster “The Ghost” cause one minute he will be there and the next gone. Nice, quiet, easy going island sorta pace on him but the guy moves like lightening. Poof gone!

Another example: I was not working yesterday so today I showed up early (630a) to make sure I had a handle on what had happened the day before. There were several notes from the chick that did work yesterday.

A taxi guy showed up with five adults, they were looking for three separate hotel-ish rooms. The book says there is only one hotel room but there is a place with a kitchen, sitting area, a king bed down stairs and two double beds upstairs. I suggested this to them and they agreed to look. Now after the other day I decided I better go take a peek before showing the place to them. I got half way up the stairs to see someone in the hammock. Ok, fine that place is not empty but why is there not notation in the book and no check~in card.

Gray Space. Lots of gray space in this place.

I can tell you honestly I am not in the least bit bothered by the wackiness of the gray. It is what it is, ya either enjoy the bits you enjoy and allow the universe to take care of the rest or ya make yourself crazy trying to make it some thing it is not nor will ever be. Personally, I am happy as a lark allowing things to go as they do and dealing with the things on a moment to moment basis instead if trying to control every little thing. So, someone was in the room, no one made mention in the book, no one checked them in, perhaps the room is not paid for, I just let it all go. I can’t be responsible. And better yet no one expects me too.

By the by ~ one must remember having no agenda at all what so ever helps ones ability to cope with the gray of the world.

Foster (O wise man that he is) and I were having a conversation the other day about my finally being in a place mentally, emotionally and physically where I can learn to cope with the gray. He has decided the job is somehow medicinal.

I have always lived in a world of black and white, its either right or wrong, either a good behavior or a bad one. It is the reason I get along with animals so well, good behavior is praised and bad behavior is ignored.

Most of the world works in gray, the area where no absolutes exist. Foster is right,  this job is a crash course in the area I have been avoiding all my life, the place where most of the human race lives.

I am digging the job and I have no idea why. Wacky huh?

I heard from the people in Palmetto Bay about house sitting. I am going to the house for a visit tomorrow. The plan is to see the animal program that evening and the next morning. I miss my canine friends so much it will be nice to have dogs around again. Three weeks from March 31 to April 21, house on a beach, satellite TV, free international phone, stacks of DVDs and a private pool. Now that is a real, live honest to goodness vacation in paradise.

Taken some minutes apart

Filed under: Photos,Roatan — she_travels at 2:08 pm on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I have attempted to catch a sunset from West Bay but can’t seem to be in the right place at the right time and still help guests.

By the by ~ I am this close to having the house sitting gig I have been talking about. She changed her dates so I could stay at the house. First three weeks of April. I am so looking forward to canine friends and a pool..woohoo  

Gerrliee (one of Foster’s sons) took me back to West End in his boat yesterday.  It was the most amazing thing to be zipping along on the water with stars from horizon to horison. There is no light pollution here so the sky was absolutely full. I told Gerrilee I would be more than happy to walk around the corner and up the hill in the dark if I could take a boat ride home every night. He said I needed a cell phone so he could call to make sure I got home alright. I am telling you the love and affection in the place is amazing.

It is possible because of who I am down here I am more willing to allow others to take care of me. When I am in the states I have that can do attitude that may put off some people from offering any kind of caring. Something deep to ponder a bit more.

One of the guests brought down Oprah’s new favorite book, “The Secect”. The guest and I have been having some interesting conversations. I was surprised when she said she would bring me the book because I could have written it. The more we talked about writting the more we thought about the possibility of her helping me write. Those of you who keep saying I should write a book, looks like it may come to pass one day.

Many Emotions Abound

Filed under: Beginings,Inspiration — she_travels at 12:21 am on Friday, February 2, 2007

Quick update for those of you following me.

I left my little house yesterday. I was so very sad about many things I think but the house was the trigger for the tears. I am so very much going to miss seeing my friends (the horses, dogs, kitties and their owners).

Several of my clients called (you know who you are) while I was driving. I was thankful for some one to talk with about the sadness of my leaving a job I love. At the same time I look forward to all the new adventures I will have over the next five months.

By the by it was a six hour drive through the nastiness if icy Highway 93 to the slushiness of The Tunnel, to the moonlit byways of Glenwood Canyon and the steepness of McClure Pass. I was so very glad the moon was out it was almost daylight. Truly beautiful reflecting off the snow.

Today I have been packing, repacking and taking care of the last minute stuff, a bit of banking and a post office run at 4:58p.

Tomorrow my parents and I fly from Montrose to DIA. Spend the night at the Red Roof Inn then I get on a plane at 6:05a bound for Roatan while my parents get to sleep a bit longer with a sensible departure time of 8a bound for Mexico.

To all of you I have had meals with the last week, THANKS oodles for the good food, good company and well wishes.

It’s 11:30 and I still have to repack my bag one more time.

Excited? Delighted? Elated? OH MY!

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 10:39 am on Friday, January 26, 2007

Yeah, sure enough I have been experiencing fleeting tickles at the edges of my gray matter could it possibility be I am at the beginning of anticipation. Holy buckets, full blown elation can’t be far off. *giggles* Three months in the Caribbean is enough to thrill anyone but this is a major life change we are talking about. Less work, more play – for years. Shezz, it’s kinda hard to wrap your brain around. Maybe that’s the reason it took me so long to get to this stage.

All the stuff listed in several blog entries so I will not bore you with those again. Lets just say we are down to the last few things needing to be taken care of then I am leavin on a jet plane.

I finally started interviewing property management people. I think my choice is going to come down to speed of response, accessibility and advertising method. Phoenix is the current front runner. I may call them tomorrow, sign the contact and ask when they will start showing the place. I am not looking forward to prospective tennants coming by for  a showing. Could be interesting around here for a couple weeks. I would be very excited if they manage to rent the place the 1st of Feb.

Snow again today, I think in the end there were about 5″. Hard to say I swept the walk three times.

I have a client who wants to go to Arizona the week of July 4th so I will be back the 25-ish of June. Woohoo

I am attempting to find a way to keep my phone number and only use/pay for it while I am in town. I will keep ya posted on that front. Other wise the best way to find me is the email address.

Did I mention I am leaving on a jet plane Feb 3rd. Holy hannah, all of 8 days from today.

Change

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 7:16 am on Monday, July 24, 2006

Several days ago a client brought her dog to me. Jessie is a huge, wild, rather intense sorta ball fetching German Shepard. The thing I love about Jessie is when you speak to her she pays attention, she doesn’t always do what you ask straight away but there is no doubt she is considering what you said.

Jessie’s Mom mentioned she was craving Chinese food and had stopped to pick some up, while she was ordering she thought perhaps I would like some lunch as well. She offered me broccoli chicken or some thing I don’t remember the name of but sounded good. 

Jessie’s Mom sorted out the entree, soup and a fortune cookie gave it all to me along with her Jessie dog and was off for 10-12 days at the beach in Virginia.

I plopped the food on the kitchen counter before introducing Jessie to the various canine friends staying with me. Bella, a golden retriever, was fairly taken with her so they started a game of tag.

The chicken was crunchy, sweet with a hint of hot. Very yummy. What a delight to have a client bring me lunch.

I did not find or open the fortune cookie until hours later. It said

You will make change for the better.

The giggle worthy part… I didn’t  buy the food, I didn’t pick the cookie that would be mine. The universe truly brought that cookie to me.

On a side note ~

My ISP is giving me hassles again. I uninstalled, reinstalled, checked all the things the help says to and nothing worked. I tried the other laptop with Mom’s Juno and it was not working either. I installed my ISP in that computer and still nothing. I called to see how Shawna felt about my plugging my computer into her phone line thinking maybe its my phone. Chatted with Brian, did what he suggested, call the ISP. It took no less than 2 hours to get through. Just over 45 minutes the guy decided it was taking to long and gave up. I went to bed convinced somehow the phone line is acting wacky.

I got up this morning, hit the connect and walked off. When I came back from letting the dogs out I didn’t hear the modem trying noise. Peering around the corner of the office wall I found the computer had connected. What the heck?

Fairy Tales

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 5:17 pm on Friday, July 21, 2006

Last week I placed at advisement with one of the house sitting sites. Thirty-two dollars a year and your ad is searchable for anyone looking for a house sitter.

I sent notes to two home owners and received the an “I am reviewing all applicants and will get back to you” email. I was pleased to get a response at all.

Over the last several days I have been revising my ad and employing a bit more thought to the notes I send. I have decided one must try very hard to personalize the note, perhaps that will make mine stand out a bit more.

I was contacted last night by some one who found my ad. They are from the UK and have moved to just out side of Sydney. He said he was in the very beginning stages of using the search service and saw my ad. He sent me several questions I answered, tossed the mail back and was pleased to see another mail not moments later. I think there were four mails on all. He said when he decided when is leaving he will get back to me.

The third ad I replied to was for a magical mud brick house by the sea with a kind terrier. You can imagine I was enchanted. A matter of hours later I was responding to her response. Tasmania, the house is in Tasmania.

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