Aloha… Hawaii October 2014

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Well there were no Mai Tai’s in Maui, but there were Lava Flow’s in Kona……



Due to tropical storm/Hurricane Ana, my plans to meet my friends in Maui were changed. I ended up flying directly to Kona for a work conference. There is something psychological about flying for work, it’s just not fun. My flight had WIFI, which was a good and bad thing. Good because I was able to get some work done, bad because I was emailing and texting my friends constantly for 9 hours.



With the 5 hour time change, I was not happy when I arrived on the Big Island of Hawaii. I tried to stay up as late as possible, 9pm, but I still woke up with the birds at 3.30 am.  I figured the best way to beat the jet lag? Go to the gym. Except the Hilton is huge, 62 acres to be precise. And it was pitch black. And did I mention it was insanely humid due to that crazy weather system that was blowing past? So I called the operator and she told where to find the gym and it would be a little warm up of a walk……. WHATEVER. I walked for 45 minutes before I found that gym.  Well I got my workout in.

I had no conference stuff scheduled for Wednesday morning, so I spent the morning being lazy by the pool. I am glad I did, I met some amazing people from Kentucky! Hi friends from Kentucky!!! And then it was work, work, a little pool, more work.

When I was in Dubrovnik, last year, I met Bill and Matt, from Seattle. We’ve kept in touch and they were actually in Hawaii for work as well!  So fun to get to hang out with them.  We had a pre-pre-pre-pre party for my birthday party in 2016.  I believe the next pre-pre-pre party will be in Vegas in December.

I did make it out of Waikoloa to do a little sightseeing, I headed up to Volcano Natural Park. It was cold….



Charlotte for Wine, Brunch in Raleigh

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On the road again……

I really enjoy enjoy traveling, internationally, but man do I ever have issues when I fly domestically. But I gladly suffered thru because I was going to visit friends. And because I was so excited, I had delays upon delays.

IMG_2257My flight was delayed about an hour.  Had to wait, for what seem like forever, for the rental car shuttle bus. And then it took me no less then 20 minutes to get out of the airport because some engineer did a horrific job designing the maintenance of traffic.

I finally arrived at Carrie’s house and was properly greeted by Lucy. I got a hug from Carrie, but Lucy, well, she was running around yapping about how excited she was to see me!



Carrie showed her enthusiasm in other ways, she cooked! Wait, not only did she cook, she had a menu, yes a MENU!  *** Note to anyone that actually knows me, your lucky if you get water when you come to my house………


IMG_2267She also made me candied bacon. Did I happened to mention she’s my best friend in the entire world? ( Disclaimer: I love all m BFF’s equally, make me bacon and you can have the #1 spot,too).

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It was quite the enjoyable evening. I was actually quite sad to have to leave the next day. But I had brunch plans in Raleigh so off I went.

Michelle and her family moved to Chapel Hill a few years back, and I am  sad to say this is only the 2nd time I’ve visited. I am great about keeping in touch, just not about actually visiting. She’s the one the encouraged me to blog about my adventures, in part because I think she was getting annoyed with just getting links to pictures with no explanations. Thanks to her son, Logan, who built this blog, I know have a platform to actually share my crazy adventures.

I had originally hoped to pop out for a day, quick in and out, but United was not cooperating. When I realized I had to overnight, I figured I would fly into Charlotte and out of Raleigh, it’s what an easy drive, like an hour and 1/2? Yeah, no. It was more like 2 1/2 hours and I must have blocked that out from the last time. When Michelle said 2 and 1/2 hours and I was like no….. That’s can’t be right. Oh it was right…..

A visit to Michelle’s is not complete without some Garrett’s Popcorn. I love to see the excited look on Logan and Izzi’s faces when they see they bag. I think next time I will have to make the sweat it out.

We had brunch at Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill. It’s a great spot for people watching.



The afternoon flew by, way to quickly. But those planes don’t wait, even for me. Here is a travel tip for those of you returning rental cars in Raleigh, get gas when you find it. I took a nice scenic route trying to find a gas station.  Luckily, it’s a small enough airport, that there was no gate running involved. And of course, my flight was delayed…….

I really enjoyed visiting with my friends and I hope to do it more often. I wish I could have stayed but I had to get home to cheer my friend Mandy on as she ran her first Bank of America Chicago Marathon. She’s rocked it of course!



Stayed tuned for more adventures, next up Mai Tai’s in Maui………



Random Pics-Edinburgh Scotland, October 2014

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So yes I flew to Scotland for boots and to visit with friends. But I manage to do some actual sightseeing. My friends were kind enough to drive me throughout the countryside where I got to see some castles, waterfall, bagpipes and more. While I did not eat some haggis, I did get a taste of Scotland and I will definitely be back again, one day.  Here are some random pictures

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Of course there a pictures that I wish I could post, but it being a public blog and all, it’s better that I don’t. But on a fun note, I just happened to be at the same hotel as the Scotch Guards.  You know the ones that guard Buckingham Palace? Turns out they can smile!

@DuoBoots, where have you been all my life? Edinburgh, Scotland October 2014

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When I arrived at customs in Edinburgh, I was asked the purpose of my trip. I said to buy some boots. The agents laughed and said boots? I said yes, Duo Boots. She stamped my passport and wished me luck.

Since it appeared that my hotel room was not going to magically become available, I decided to hit the streets and take care of this boot business. I was staying at the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor so it was nice stroll down Princes Street to visit my friends at the Duo Boots.


I spent the better part of an hour trying on all sorts of boots and shoes. The ladies were quite nice in indulging me. I am happy to report, that yes, I found boots and shoes to take home with me.

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Boots,check now off to find some scotch and shortbread.

Since I was on Princes Street, I decided to visit the castle. Now for those you planning a trip to Edinburgh, the easiest way to get to the castle is take a taxi to the top. Option 2, is to walk across the North Bridge. Or take Option 3 and take the stairs in the middle of hill and then walk up a insane curvy road ( worse option, trust me)


Edinburgh Castle


I noticed the Scotch Whiskey Experience on my way to the Castle, so after touring around, I decided a little scotch would help me warm up. Plus I was not about to climb those stairs/hill again.

I learned there are 4 regions in which Scotch Whiskey hails from and that each region has its own distinct aroma. Highlands, Lowlands, Islay and Speyside.  Apparently I like Whiskey from the Highlands.


Now properly warmed up, it was time to head back to the hotel. Again I was not about going down those stairs, so I jumped on the Hop On Hop Off Bus. And fell asleep. Like you did not see that one coming.  I woke up in time to remember that I needed to head back to Duo to pick up my boots.  I was really sleepy at this point, so I decided to pop into to Starbucks, for the wifi, and as luck would have it, some shortbread!

IMG_2133Scotch, Shortbread and Boots. DONE! Mission accomplished……..

Edinburgh Scotland- October 2014

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Time for some shortbread, scotch and boots…..

The day before departure, I kept getting notices from United saying that due to weather, ATC issues from the  fire the previous week at the FAA tower, there were a lot of cancellations so check flights before heading to airport. Great. I was scheduled to fly thru Frankfurt connecting to Edinburgh. Since I was up at 4:00 am and thought I would check my flight. Still good, but the direct flight to Edinburgh had seats open and upgradeable seats.  In true Flo reservation fashion,  I could not change my flight online. So I called reservations and was able to change my flight. So instead of seeing my German friends, I arrived in Edinburgh at 7.45am rather then 12.45pm

I actually arrived at the airport on time and did not have to make a mad dash for boarding, for once. I got settled and started chatting with my seatmate and texting a few friends. The purser was going around asking everyone if they were familiar with how the seats work. It was a nice touch, but I was familiar, so ignored the demonstration.  Apparently the lady sitting in front me of me, felt like I need instructions and gestured that I pay attention. WHAT? No proud of what happened next….

DYKWIA moment.Yep, Do You Know Who I Am?  Pretty sure the words I am a 1K and flown over 100,000 miles this year came out of my mouth.

That’s when my seatmate asked had I been drinking, just as the purser approached our row for the seat demonstration. “Do we need to cut you off? Put a star by your name?” Seriously? For the record, no I had not been drinking. I was just highly annoyed that some silly lady thought I needed instructions on how to use a seat…….

I smiled politely and said, no, I will behave. Hmmmmm

Anticipating loads of flight time ahead, I tend not to sleep well the night before a international flight. Sometimes it works, so that I fall asleep and stay asleep or sometimes, I am tossing around like a hamster on a wheel. This was a wheel flight.

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I arrived in Edinburgh ready to go to bed….. But since I had arrived earlier then anticipated I was unable to get into my hotel. So off to Starbucks I went for the wifi of course, but the coffee and Bacon Buttie were not bad either.IMG_2104Stay tuned for more of this adventure…….