From my travel journal: Las Vegas, 2014

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“After the show, we caught a cab to Fremont Street – “old Vegas.” The Vegas of yesteryear, when neon lights were king ad tacky was the game. It felt like the days of old, walking through the now covered mini strip, with the old casinos and hotels, neon cowboy and showgirl signs overhead and under/half dressed women littering the walkways. It was an experience.

This morning, a chat with our shuttle bus driver enlightened us a little more – no one is “from” Vegas, minimum wage is tough, and 47% of high school seniors don’t graduate. Not promising stats.”

From my travel journal: Coney Island, 2015

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“This morning – a little cold but the wind settled a little. Out to Brooklyn. Actually, Coney Island was the first stop. And it was COLD out on the water! Very quiet in winter, all but abandoned… the snow from the past week still on the sidewalks, slowly turning to grey sludge. It seemed a poorer area, not as well kept, with a lot of high-rise commission home buildings. The closed amusement park area looked so inviting; I’m not sure what it is about abandoned places that feel so inviting to me, but they really are… I just feel comfortable, roaming alone.”

From my travel journal: Los Angeles, 2014

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“Our first trek was out to Rodeo Drive. An unseasonably warm day had us overly-toasty from the outset – we were dressed completely inappropriately due to a crappy weather forecast. So, in my leggings and $5 top, I wandered down Rodeo Drive; we were actually passed by a couple being preceded by not one but TWO nannies to deal with their dead-silent, stroller-bound twins. Why in the name of all that is sane, would you feel the need to PAY someone to push the pram holding your own children?!

Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Tiffany’s… I felt like I wasn’t even fit to breathe the same air. I do wonder how they live, the other side, the rich and famous. There are times I think I’d give my own arm for the chance to swan around a fabulous party in the perfect gown and jewels, just for the night… there are probably more times that I wouldn’t trade in my life for anything else…

Anyway, we didn’t last long in that shiny Golden Triangle.”

From my travel journal: New York City, 2015 (2)

Yes, there have been a few of these journal flashbacks lately, but the deeper I get into planning mode for the #👫WorldTour, the more I find myself thinking back over the semi-charmed kinda life I’ve led for the last few years…

On this day, in New York City, I was that silly cliché with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe how much things had turned around for me. I couldn’t believe all of the hard work and persistence had paid off. I couldn’t believe where I’d ended up because I didn’t give up. I couldn’t believe I was standing right there…

 

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“Today has been pretty amazing, one of those picture-perfect New York winter days… It’s absolutely freezing, around -7°C, feeling about -15; we left this morning to talk up the west side of Central Park, in the snow! Actual, perfect, powdery white snow. Completely carpeting the city. The park was the most magnificent winter wonderland 🙂 How is this my life right now?!”

From my travel journal: Tokyo, 2015 (2)

Because it’s Friday, and I’m over working for the week, and my mind is on travel because we just booked an Airbnb for our time in Tokyo and I cannot wait to get back to that incredible city…

 

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“First up, walked to Yoyogi Park, which was really, really green and very beautiful. I wandered around for a while & eventually made my way to the Meiji-Jingu Shrine/Temple area – swarming with people, construction going on, still breath-taking. On our walking tour, Mika showed us a Shinto tradition at their shrines – you toss a coin into the receiving tray, bow twice, clap twice, make your prayer, then bow once more. I had the opportunity to do this again there alone, which was really nice…”

From my travel journal: Washington, D.C., 2015

When I find things getting hectic, I tend to crave more time in my book nook; time to read or write, to just generally be in a quiet, comforting place filled with books…

 

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“THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (Jefferson Building).
This was a gorgeous building, as they all were, really. The upper level was beautifully decorated, with quotes lining the walls. I quite liked “Books will speak plain when counsellors blanch.” The ornate columns and ceiling were really magnificent, and seeing Thomas Jefferson’s library was brilliant. To have a lifetime of being around all of those books…”

From my travel journal: New Orleans, 2015 (2)

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“Funerary and burial rites and traditions are a little different here, which allows many, many generations of a family to be entombed together. For a start, the tombs are all built above the ground, in order for them to stay buried; before this, floods frequently dislodged the dead and saw their caskets float on down the street. One year and one day after death, it is customary to retrieve the remains if the body – teeth and bones – place them in a bag, and toss that bag back into a deep pit below the family tomb. With temperatures scorching in summer, the bones are generally turned to dust within another year, allowing the bags of bones to pile up almost indefinitely. “Wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole” – that’s what’s used to retrieve the remains, or so we overheard from a tour guide in one of the cemeteries we visited.”