photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.


I’ve decided that I need a vacation. I’m considering:

  • Turkey (Cappadocia, in particular: the “Land of Fairy Chimneys” and Star Wars-like lunar landscapes)
  • Morocco (Marrakesh & Casablanca- and a desert trek on camel’s back to stay in a smelly tent with indigenous desert tribes in the Sahara- Heaven!)
  • Puerto Rico, AKA “Zombie Island” (due to a startling rise in the number of krokodil recipients). Krokodil is a flesh-eating drug that drug abusers shoot up: they then wander around the island in a semi-comatose trance (or, fully-induced) and do things like stumble into traffic begging for change, or, shove their intestines back into their abdominal cavities as they wander off in search of more of the drug; I’ve seen both in documentaries.

I’ve told a select few that I’m considering Puerto Rico, as I’ve researched the place for years and is in large part why I’ve studied Spanish for the past year; they think I’ve completely lost it because I want to venture off to a place that’s loaded with drug addicts. Hello…the town I live in is loaded with drug addicts who are multiplying rapidly due to the pill mill on the main strip! People stumble around in their pj’s here- doped up- glazed look in their eyes, robbing the Dollar Tree. How high do you have to be to rob the Dollar Tree? I’ve spent my whole life in this area: I’m used to drug addicts.

And really, after dealing with these people all the time, I could use a break- switch up the drug addicts for a change.

Also though, I’m drawn to the El Yunque Rain Forest located near white-sanded Luquillo Beach. I’ve spoken with a woman who owns chalets there in the rain forest: 15 minutes down a jungle path leads you to a waterfall that you can swim in. There’s a hammock on the chalet deck which allows one to relax while listening to the Coqui frogs that fill the night air with their croaks and stories of all the others who were ever there on the deck, sipping a chilled Corona. I want to hear them.

I told my daughter once: “We have $1,000. Pick a city. Wherever you choose- we’re going.” She chose New York City, New York. (I wasn’t expecting that one!) But, I made arrangements and booked the Crowne Plaza on Broadway of Times Square/Manhattan (with wrap-around views of NYC- amazing…) and we drove right into that mug like we owned the place: fresh from Podunk, Indiana! The New Jersey Turnpike threw us off for a minute, but we regained our bearings quickly and found our hotel without (major) incident. It was cold freezing, but we dined on Broadway, toured Times Square at night, and sampled the broad spectrum of ethnic cuisines that New York City is known for.

Apart from having her camera pick-pocketed during a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), we I had the time of our lives my life and was able to shoot Times Square at night: a dream-come-true for a photographer.

So yes, I can feel it in my bones that I’m getting ready to jump ship and fly somewhere halfway around the world. I have to scrub the disease of 2013 off my skin and out of my hair…

I’m going to have to squeeze my vacation into my next semester somehow. My spring semester and work on my 2nd degree (A.S. in Social Work) begins January 13. My four new classes are:

Biology: Connections and Impacts
Elements of Economics
Intro to Social Work
Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Let’s get this party started!

Museum of Modern Art- NYC/Man in hallways- stairs
Sigma 17-70/Canon Rebel


View from Crowne Plaza Hotel- overlooking Broadway in Times Square/Manhattan/NYC
[Sitting on business desk- Indian style/Sigma 17-70- Canon Rebel]


8 responses

  1. This is the most fabulous plan in I don’t even know when. I LOVE that you took $1000 and just asked your kid where they wanted to go. That is so beautiful and such a wonderful memory that she will never ever forget. One day, I hope to be able to do something very similar. Even going into a nice restaurant and having a meal is inspiring to me! Nick took me a few weeks ago to this really nice and expensive sea food restaurant where we got to sit at the top overlooking the market . He ordered some expensive food. We had the most amazing hush puppies. He could not really appreciate them though as I ate 98 percent of them LOL. Anyway, it is really cool to be able to treat yourself sometime. I totally promote you going anywhere your heart leads you. Just be safe about it and blog when you are there!!!

    January 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    • You know, I want to go soooooo much and I have the itinerary already planned- down to what lens to shoot where- seriously. (Can you say, perfectionist/Virgo?) But my only problem is, from the $1,500 Frank O’Bannon grant (that I don’t have to pay back) I could finally go to Puerto Rico for an amazing vacation, or, get a head start on my rent by a few months. My heart wants to go to Puerto Rico but my head says, “Hey, you know how you’re always broke? Well um…you could get a head start on your rent and…”

      Right. So, therein lies my dilemma. It’s a tough one, M&M! I hope you’re feeling better. :0) I would have eaten the hush puppies too. (For future references, it’s always good to throw up a verbal road block when you’re going in for the kill on somebody else’s food. Sideswipe ’em- talk about their grandma, their job- wherever you want to go and when they’re deep into their story…captivate them with your care, facial expressions, and gentle verbal interjections, all the while slipping your hand away from their plate- hushpuppies (etc.) secured. That’s how to do it.) You’re welcome.


      January 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm

  2. Yes! Do it! I love this “we have XX dollars, where are we going?” mentality! That is basically how every single trip I’ve ever been on has started 😉 I loooove NYC but haven’t been in several years… you should totally go somewhere in South America– cheaper flights AND you’ll get to use your Spanish skills. A friend and I went through Guatemala when we were in undergrad… it was magical. I think Costa Rica would be very similar, and safer!
    Love what you said about drug addicts– yep, prescription med abuse is rampant in America. We can hardly judge.
    Woohoo! Love the energy in this post, book a flight! Book a flight!

    January 5, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    • You know, Costa Rica is totally in my radar! My idea of a “good vacation” would include a hot jungle/rain forest, dirt, sand, weird sounds, a beat up hut in Africa, eating yak butter with Mongolians in their family yurt-that type of thing. I was raised on Nat. Geo.’s- it’s just in my blood. :0) (This is probably why I hang out in abandoned warehouses and stuff. I have to get outside of my comfort zone or I feel like I’m dying…) I’m intrigued that you went backpacking though China. Link me up! I know you’ve got a post (or 10) about it. I’m itching to read about it. :0)

      January 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      • Ah! Yesss!!!! You speak to my heart! That is sooo my idea of a vacation– I have to convert the boyfriend over to seeing things our way!
        And, okay… if you’re sure! I haven’t blogged too much about it, just some random stories, but here they are:

        Awkward sex-related thing in Vietnam:

        HORRIBLE guy I met in Thailand:

        I feel like you may have already read one or both of these… more stories are coming eventually though!

        January 6, 2014 at 1:52 am

      • Mmm…it’s a tie between awkward sex-ification in Viet Nam and the reeeeeally bad guy you in Thailand (but I’m betting they’ve met before). I guess I didn’t realize it but I have enough bizarre stories from my youth to start my own travel blog. Ha…[lots of whiskey and pot were involved back then, as were many interesting places I didn’t know I’d be traveling to].Thanks for the links, Aussa. I’ll check ’em out later today. :0)

        January 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

  3. Where can you go if you split the difference between rent and travel?

    January 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    • By the way things are looking, I may be spending my extended vacation in my living room. (Hey, I’ll save on travel, eh?) Really though, I’m long overdue to head off to the rain forest for a week, but I’m not sure I can pass the opportunity to pay 4 months of rent up front. It’s really tempting…

      January 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm


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