Lunch in Chinatown, New York

Saturday was my nephews wedding. A big crowd helped celebrate the young couple. It was great to be part of the fun and I am finally OK with seeing other couples be happy.

After your spouse dies, it is really hard to see other couples. Especially older couples. There is a pang of envy and anger when you realize that will never be you.

For some widows that feeling stays longer but for my nephew’s wedding I was happy. I even brought a date!

All of my husband’s family was there, including both his parents. We always acknowledge Mike but this was a happy event and we kept it that way. We danced and had some laughs. Maybe ate and drank too much but a shuttle to our hotel was provided so we all made it back safely.

I slept in as long as I could and then devoured the hotel’s complimentary chocolate croissant (update on my healthy new lifestyle and diet soon).

We were happy to be driving home on a sunny afternoon after spending much of the drive Saturday in torrential rain. The GPS redirected us off the New Jersey Turnpike to avoid extra minutes in traffic and that’s when our Sunday adventure in Chinatown NYC started to take form.

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17 Fun Facts about Montauk and why you should visit.

Late one June we checked into the Ronjo motel and heard the glass shattering at the least expensive motel in town.  We drove the Toyota Corolla the 40 miles for our night away in Montauk, at THE END of Long Island, New York.  My parents willingly watched our charming 2 year old son so we could have a romantic night together. After closing the door to our first room alone, in a long time, we heard the screaming followed by glass breaking.  We looked out the sliding door to a crazy pre-college scene.  Prom had been the night before in a nearby town. Many teens had been in the pool area when one boy crashed into a door. He was taken to the hospital and the door soon repaired.  We all settled into our rooms and continued our experience.  Montauk is always an experience to be remembered.

I have visited Montauk, NY regularly for over 21 years since that night and I love it.  As much as the place wants to avoid the establishment, it is taking over, not always in a bad way.  The locals are adamant about keeping it the same and that is cool too.

The town has no traffic lights.

I was recently told, at Liar’s Saloon, that if you have left town for even 5 days, like to have a baby, you are no longer a local.  That is very important.

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2 Days in London at Easter

Packing for a trip to England in early April can be tricky. Will it be cold? Will it be warm? Well one thing is certain. It will rain. Hours before my departure I found a stylish Michael Kors black raincoat. I wrapped my olive green scarf from Thailand, complete with elephants, around my neck and tossed a few lightweight dark colored sweaters, black pants and comfy black boots in the suitcase. I reread my blog post on how to alleviate anxiety while traveling. I was ready for London.

International flights from JFK are the way to go. The roads from Long Island and the terminals are well lit and labeled. Long term parking is s bit of a maze to reach but once parked you easily board the train which circles the airport and brings you directly to your terminal.

We flew Virgin Atlantic and the overall experience was fine. We had a nice selection of movies to watch, 2 small meals on the direct flight to London and unlimited cocktails!

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10 ways to have an adventure while visiting family in Florida.

During a sales presentation for time shares near Disney World, we were scoffed at for saying that staying with family was how we intended to enjoy our vacation. “Surely you want more than a visit with FAMILY” the woman sneered. … Continue reading 10 ways to have an adventure while visiting family in Florida.

Montauk point light house

Montauk in Winter – Overnight retreat or spa day

The best part about visiting Montauk in the winter is the price tag.

Off season beach towns are the best!  Montauk is one of those fishing towns that welcomes tourists for the few summer months with hotels, restaurants, mini-golf and shops and then puts closed for season signs on the windows in the winter for many of the businesses.

The ocean changes it’s personality day by day, and season by season.  Water can be calm and soothing to the soul, it can reflect inner turmoil with waves of fury, or it can create waves that escalate into grand crescendos and softly release and melt back into sea with few ever having witnessed the moment. Watching the sea is one of my favorite things to do.  And in the winter, you can even afford an oceanfront room so you can watch from inside with a cup of coffee in your favorite pajamas and slippers!

Visiting Montauk with family in the summer is ideal.  If you need a girlfriend spa weekend getaway this is a perfect location for indulging in spa activities while even staying for an overnight.  If it is the romantic night away, Montauk is the place.  And even if you are alone, and need a day to reflect and rejuvenate your life, an overnight in Montauk can do the trick.

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Montauk – Budget Friendly Vacation

My happy place, Montauk, was recently written up as the most expensive place to vacation. How can I afford it and why not go somewhere else?

This month was not my first rodeo with vacationing in Montauk. It is easy to get carried away and spend frivolously but there are also some helpful hints to make this beach town reprieve match your budget.

Travel with friends.  Some hotels don’t mind if you bring a blow up mattress to accommodate extra friends.  The more people pitching in for the room, the less you have to pay and the longer you can stay.

While it is possible to fly a private plane to the local airport or hop on a bus or train from Manhattan, traveling by car enables you to pack lots of goodies from home, including food.

Most hotels offer some type of kitchen efficiency area.  Bring a coffee pot, filters and coffee to save on that daily expense.

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Widow’s Guide to the Girlfriend Getaway

The option for a romantic weekend away is not available these days so I have turned to embracing weekends with the next best thing; The girls.

I am getting pretty good at these and I have to admit that sometimes I think I may be having a lot more fun than I did on those romantic weekends.

Don’t get me wrong.  I loved all the romantic getaways that I got with my husband. We just had a different kind of fun than I get with my girl friends.

So, how to have a great girls weekend? Pack your bag and smile. Here are some fun guidelines that have been working for me.

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A Cruise for Christmas? Yes!

Reflecting back on last Christmas, I am pleased that we did something different.  A one week cruise from Florida to Belize, Honduras and Mexico got me and my 2 sons away and planted some seeds of travel for all of us.  This past week memories of that cruise as well as my first cruise with Mike have been replaying in my mind. If you haven’t tried a cruise yet, it is something to consider.

Last year  my husband was gone and I did not want to deal with it.  I was fortunate to be able take a break from life and join my boys on a completely different version of Christmas.  Life long traditions such as writing Christmas cards, decorating a tree and the house, baking cookies and buying presents were far too painful and I had no energy.  I even went off Facebook so I wouldn’t have to see the happiness of everyone enjoying the holidays.

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