All We Want This Christmas


This post is coming right off the cuff. Nothing fancy, no preparation, no particular plan, no rhyme, or reason. I only want to wish my followers, readers, and visitors to my website the absolute best for the holiday season. I hope your celebration whether virtual or in person, at home or work, be one that you enjoy. Like everything else this year, we have to make the best of it. 

In my house we are celebrating virtually. From Barbados to England to the United States (somebody please say THANK YOU Zoom ūüėā). Since we cannot be physically with each other as in former times, we are all still excited to see the faces and smiles, hear the voices and peals of laughter from those that will be joining in the virtual meeting on Christmas day. I think I can speak for my family when I say, “that is all we want this Christmas.”

Community Peeps, how about you? It is my truest desire to wish you and yours the best for the season and beyond. As usual, I invite you to share how you plan to celebrate the Christmas holiday in this extraordinary year. Write your comment in the box below

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Itinerary Planner

Better Safe Than Sorry


Eleven days to Christmas and the prediction this year is it will be another busy travel holiday, actually one of the busiest we have seen in a long while.  We just had Thanksgiving and that travel volume prediction was spot on.  If you are traveling during this busy season to some faraway place or even close to home, I would be remiss if I did not inform you of the importance on adopting safety practices whilst on holiday. These tips will help to put safety on your radar if it is not a priority.

First, print or email a copy of your custom-tailored itinerary to those closest to you.  Family and friends should know what your daily plans are and the places you will visit.  Even if you change plans, be sure to update this plan intermittently and keep your loved ones well informed.  In this age of technology, it is not a hard thing to do.  Send them pictures, video footage and messages of people you meet and the places you go as regularly as possible.

If you are traveling solo or in a group to a foreign country and uncertain about your transport, especially if you must take it on the fly, nonchalantly carry your smart phone in your hand, snap photos of the taxi’s license plate and driver when he is stowing away your luggage or not looking directly at you.  Align with a friend to send them pics as soon as possible as back-up information. This suggestion may sound sinister but could turn out to be a valuable action that will ensure your safety.

Beware of children and adults who pan-handle.  They often work in groups to pick-pocket and rob the unsuspecting visitor of their hard-earned cash.  Pay attention to your surroundings and do not carry to many bags.  Visible signs of luxury will make you an easy target.  Men should not put their wallets in their back pockets and ladies should not carry their purse swinging loosely from their shoulder.  These are all easy marks for sticky fingers.   Avoid close contact with unknown groups of people.  Especially if you must ask for a pass to move ahead.  Find an alternate route.  If your way is blocked and you must cut through the middle be conscious of the slightest contact.  Check your person immediately to make sure your valuables are still intact.

Another safety measure to follow is a familiar one ‚Äď don‚Äôt drink and drive.¬† Even in a strange country it is not cool to party hearty and then get behind the wheel intoxicated. Arrange with your hotel for a pick-up from the party you will be attending.¬† Then you can relax and have all the fun you want.¬† If in a group, make sure you know who the designated driver is.¬† Doing this may save your life and the lives of others.

Community Peeps, these are all simple things you can do and still have a safe and enjoyable vacation during yuletide.  There are many horror stories of vacations gone wrong simply because safety habits were not a part of the plan or were not enforced.  Have you learned a hard lesson because you did not carry out safety precautions?  Or, do you know someone who was affected by the lack of safe behaviors?  Please share some of your safe practices with my community.  Write in the comment box below.

To one and all, it is my sincerest wish and desire that all of you will be safe and well as you traverse to your various destinations for Christmas.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Itinerary Planner

A Bajan Christmas


It is too late for me to jet off to Barbados (ticket prices are a budget buster) in time for the holidays.  Below are pictures of Bajan foods I like and will miss diving into during this season.  For certain, some, if not all, will be served as part of the cuisine in every household for Christmas.  Check out the links and try some of the recipes.  You are bound to get a taste of Barbados if you do.

Pigeon Peas and Rice  and Macaroni Pie

 

 

Fish Cakes and Steamed Pudding

 

 

Black cake

 

 

Sorrel

 

 

Soca vibe  Maizie  by Calypsonian Red Plastic Bag (Stedson Wiltshire)

Besides the foods, I will miss the warm weather, the hustle and bustle of Bridgetown, watching the fashion parade in Queens Park, and listening to the Royal Barbados Police Force Band’s performance.¬† If you are like me and cannot make a quick getaway for the holidays, then I hope these few pictures of traditional Bajan foods at Christmas time, and the links demonstrating how to make them, as well as, listening to the local Soca vibe that is most likely being played on the airwaves there now, would be enough to encourage you to add this destination to your bucket list for 2018. ¬†It is never too early to plan ahead. ¬†Need help with your itinerary? ¬†Let me know, I am here to help you.

In three days we will celebrate Christmas and I want to wish my blog community, viewership and supporters a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

Itinerary Planner

Staycation Plans


Yesterday I looked outside my window and saw snow flurries.¬† Thoughts of traveling to a sunny, exotic location, lying on a beach, sipping a cool mocktail or reading a book, began to fill my mind.¬† Reality check.¬† This is peak season to destinations like that and the costs of airfare, hotel, etc., would probably blow my travel budget into smithereens.¬† It’s just a pipe dream.¬† So, if this is your dilemma what can you do and where can you go?¬† I propose a staycation.

I am especially fond of the holiday season, albeit cold.  Usually around this time, my travel plans whether using bus, car or train, are limited to the Northeast for these simple reasons:  It is a time to enjoy my colorful backyard, a time to give thanks, a time to enjoy Christmas, and a time to spend with family.

I live in the Hudson Valley and at this particular time of year it is a picturesque place to be.¬† 70 miles north of New York city, you can begin to enjoy nature’s foliage as you drive along any of the major highways to the upstate suburbs.¬† If you pack a lunch basket, don your walking boots, you can take your family on an outing to witness the explosive kaleidoscope of colorful leaves.¬† Browns, reds, oranges, yellows splash across the mountainside and along the rippling Hudson River banks like Holi (the Hindu festival of colors). ¬† I especially like to take the ride up through the Taconic State Parkway or the Palisades Parkway.¬† These two routes present some of the most advantageous views and scenic photo ops for both the professional and amateur photographer.¬† Hiking on Bear Mountain and the many national parks that make up the Harriman State Park is another great way to witness the colorful leaves and explore the trails.

Do not feel left out if you live alone.  Plan a surprise visit to a friend or family member and spend Thanksgiving or even Christmas with them.  Choose a destination away from your town so you can see some different scenery.  Drive half hour or more if you have to.  I am not talking turkey when I tell you that I love Thanksgiving.  On such occasions, I drive two and a half hours just to be with family.  Here are my reasons why.  Giving thanks is a priority when my family sits down together for our meal. We acknowledge in our daily devotions thanks to God for being our provider, sustainer, protector and redeemer.  Thanksgiving day is no exception.  When we gather at a pre-selected household to break bread,  before laying into the delectable spread,  every person present is afforded the opportunity to give thanks.   Sincere expressions of thankfulness for:  kindnesses received or given, thoughtfulness of and to others, love-in-action demonstrated by friends and family are often recited.  The food, though mouth-watering, is not the priority, as one by one we tell each other why we are so thankful.  Sometimes these moments can be very nostalgic, moving each other to tears (happy tears), or being outright hilarious.  After all is said, one person says the corporate pray of thanks giving to God for us all and then we dig in.  It is a beautiful, special moment with family.

Christmas is another favorite holiday of mine.¬† If in the city, a great travel plan would be to attend a local concert.¬† Many church choirs in the area renders the ageless Handel’s Messiah or the Hallelujah Chorus much to the delight of their audience.¬† If you like the ballet, The Nutcracker is another staple performance for theater goers.¬† I attend a choir concert or two just to enjoy the music of the season, but it begins for me much sooner than December.¬† Every September 1st, I swap out all the music in my car to only play Christmas songs, carols and hymns as I drive.¬† My friends think it is strange (you might think so too) to be playing this holiday music so early, but I think the month of December is not long enough for me to enjoy them.¬† Besides, my quirk was adapted to de-stress after a long, hard day.¬† The combination of listening to favorite carols, watching twinkling lights, feeling crisp cold air, and seeing snowflakes fall, helps to make my travels extra special as I whiz up and down the highways.

Although mentioned last, spending time with family is by far the most important reason for liking the holiday season, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Without the love of family and friends, and the ability to share with them, all the aforementioned would probably be less enjoyable.  According to Statisticbrain.com  it is estimated 39,000,000 people will travel this Thanksgiving day.  I like the fact that travelers will crisscross the nation to see and be with their loved ones.  Too much cannot be said about the value of being with family during this season.  Quality time spent with the people you love and appreciate makes great, unforgettable memories later on.

Here’s a question for my blog followers and viewers.¬† Do you have a favorite holiday plan you would like to share?¬† Please let me know in the comment section below.¬† I find your comments very interesting.¬† Don’t be shy to drop me a note via my website, Google+, LinkedIn, or email.¬† If you have gotten this far, thanks for reading.

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Itinerary Planner