Boston, Massachusetts- June 2017

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Let me start this one by saying I love my friends and family. They support me and my crazy. Truly, I am blessed.  When I decided to buy tickets to see my “boyfriend” perform in Boston, plane tickets were immediately booked. I think it was more so they could watch me drool, more then anything.  I LOVE Leslie Odom, Jr. He’s not my “boyfriend”, as he has a beautiful wife. And besides, I moved on this his piano guy, Michael Mitchell. More on that later.

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Leslie was performing with the Boston Pops. Couple that with the opportunity to see my favorite German. DONE!  I loved my friend’s Bruce’s answer, “is there a question?” It was a corporate event, so I ended up with 10 tickets.  Enter in my super supportive friends, Natasha, Jan, Carrie, Nick, Michelle, Beth, Rob, Megan and Drew. What a night.

It was pretty amazing. Watch the piano guy. That is Michael Mitchell.  Hmmm…… Again, back off Beth, he’s mine. Lucky for him, I was still in my boot, or I would have rushed the stage!  The finale was super cool. They performed the Star Spangled Banner. And since we were inside they released balloons.

The owner of the New England Patriots was a guest conductor for the last song.  So Pat the Patriot came out. My friend, Carrie, has the biggest crush on Tom Brady.  When I saw Pat come out, I thought she was going to launch herself off the balcony.

We actually did a little sightseeing in Boston as well. It was actually a really nice visit.

Stay tuned…… Safe Travels!

 

New York, NY- February 2016

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Have you seen the a TV show, Younger? It’s about a 40 year old pretending to be 26 to get a job in publishing. I felt like I was re-enacting an episode of Younger with a weekend trip to New York with my friends Jana and Whitney.

l love visiting with my extended family. So when an invitation come for a baby shower in New York, I booked my ticket before sending in my RSVP. I then mentioned it to Jana and Whitney, and boom girl’s trip to New York.

Seeing the value in losing a vacation day, Jana booked a 6 am flight. I just laughed, silly gal, said I’ll see you about 6 pm, when my 3 pm flight lands.  Then Whitney booked a 6 am and well, not one to miss the party, I moved to a 6 am too… BAD IDEA.  Surprise surprise, there was weather in New York. United pushed my 6 am to 7 am the night before, so thankfully I did not have to show up early for no reason. Whitney’s original flight cancelled, her re-booked flight cancelled as well. She was put on a 1 pm flight from Norfolk. So much for our 6 am’s.

It’s funny no matter how many times I visit New York, I always discover something new that just surprises me. We took a walk down a walk down 5th Avenue and checked out the flagship New York Library. Its just beautiful inside. We watched the ice skaters in Rockefeller Plaza and awed at the beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Whitney arrived with a broken foot, so we just kept our dinner plans simple. We were staying in Koreatown, so Korean BBQ was a no brainer choice. My friend Rebecca, who lives in Manhattan, was able to come join us.

The next day we headed off to Soho for Cronuts at Dominque Ansel’s.  It”s the only place in the world you can get a real cronut. Forget that crap you may have had at Dunkin Donut’s.  Lucky for Jana and I, Whitney really wanted to try a cronut, so she had placed an order a few weeks back to ensure we got some. There is only 1 flavor and you get what you get. I think it was blackberry? Whatever it was, it was messy, so don’t wear a pretty outfit if you are planning on eating some cronuts.

 After that filling feast, we headed over to the 9/11 memorial. It’s an sad part of US history. We then headed over to the Times Square, the gals were able to get tickets for the matinee of Chicago. I was heading to Brooklyn for my cousin’s baby shower.

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We met up with Rebecca again for dinner at the BarBacon. Who doesn’t love a bit of bacony goodness?

The next morning we headed off The Highline, a park built over old railroad lines. After which we head to the famous Katz’s Deli. Where I got see where a scene from one of my favorite movies, was filmed.

We then so unwisely walked back to the hotel. I underestimated the time and well I missed my flight.  Luckily there was a seat on the next one and it was leaving an hour later.

I had a great time visiting with my friends and family.  But as always the time was too short.  It was great to be able to squeeze in one last trip with my friends before the “Big Move”.

Happy Travels………….

 

Raleigh, North Carolina- October 2015

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You ever have one of those days were you just wake up on the wrong side of bed and yet your day turns out to be so crazy you can’t even remember why you were cranky in the first place?

I never thought that I would met a really nice guy (he had me a Tumi), pick out a ring, go to a chapel and find a reverend. All on the same day that did not start out so well.

I woke up insanely early for a Saturday morning. I was excited to see my friend, Michelle, but I was uber cranky about having to actually go to the airport.  I usually take the back roads to the airport, but for some odd reason I took the expressway. It’s not a secret I have a lead foot. BUT the lovely truck drivers on 290 thought better of allowing me to use it. Turns out they were ALL doing me a favor. There were like 20 police officers pulling people over right and left. I have to admit my mood increased a bit, and I thanked God for for those truckers.

Of course the line for TSA Pre Check is about 100 deep.

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I finally cleared security in Terminal One and go to look at what gate I am leaving out of. Terminal 2, F19. Seriously?

About an hour later, I get to my gate and plop down and decide to catch up with what was going on in the world via Twitter. One of the travel bloggers I followed,OneMileataTime posted about being a flight with a celebrity.  Well boy was I surprised when I say that same celebrity walking down the terminal to my gate. I did a double take at first, because I was reading a blog about said celebrity and here he was right in front of me. I turned to the lady sitting next to me and just said “how strange is this”.  There was a little boarding area bonding with other passengers as we waited to board. It should be noted, said celebrity was using a “flip” phone. But I must say what baffled many of us was that this was a United Airlines EXPRESS flight. There was no first class, just crammed together coach seats.  I am pretty sure I had one of the better seats on the plane, 1A, so we were all curious to know where he was sitting. 5A for those of you interested.

It was during these conversations when my eyes discovered some “candy”, by candy I mean nice Tumi suitcase,being used the Nice Guy.  As easily distracted as I was by the bag, I was soon pulled back to reality when they announced boarding. I was going to run on the plane, even though I had no carry on bags  so I could get some spy photos of the celebrity. Well turns out while I was oggling the Tumi, I missed the celebrity boarding the plane.

Since I was in the bulkhead, I had asked the flight attendant if she had room in the closet for my purse. And then I said, Where is he? (Yes, it’s a creepy as it reads) She said 5A but he’s going to move. So I sat down to plot my next move. Well divine intervention worked in my favor. 5A had his bag in the closet and needed something so up the aisle he came. I said “Sir, would you like my seat?” **It should be noted, I used my full “Flo” smile. He turned smiled at me, put out his hand and said “It’s nice to see you”.  Well, forgot the spy photo. I asked if I could take a picture, he said sure but only with you. And this is how I found the Reverend.

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After we landed I headed downstairs to wait for Michelle. She was about 10 minutes out so I just took a seat. Well the nice lady I had been chatting with in Chicago came up to me and said did you notice the other celebrity on the flight? I said no, wait who? She showed me a picture, it was Tumi Man……. I am not proud of what I did next. I proceed to walk over to the baggage claim carousel. Yes, I was on a day trip, so no I did not check any bags. I asked my new friend to confirm that Tumi Man was one and the same and she said yes.  I then proceed to march right up to him and admit that A. I had not checked bags, and B. Is he a celebrity, when’s he not being good looking Tumi man? and C. Could I take a picture?  I must say he’s a good sport, that or he saw the crazy in my eyes and decided it was safer to just play along.

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Of course now that I found the Reverend and a M an with great taste in luggage, it was on to the next stop. The Chapel of course, Duke Chapel.

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All that was left at this point was to pick out some some rings! Thank you, Sara at Hamilton Hill.

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Who knew I could accomplish so much in 1 day? I had a wonderful time visiting with Michelle. It was great afternoon, the kind with beautiful weather, good food and of course great company. We ended the afternoon visiting Duke Gardens, where ironically we found a wedding.

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And then back to reality, no celebrities and cranky flight attendants.

In case you do not recognize the celebrities, that would be Reverend Jesse Jackson and Tumi Man, Jay Williams.

And here are some  photo’s of my attempts of being paparazzi….

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Clearly I need to work my spy photo’s. Maybe a new camera? Any suggestions?

Until next time, Safe Travels.

St. Augustine, Florida- January 2015

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Traveling is great, but it’s even better with friends. BUT do not assume because you are related or best friends that you can travel together. That’s a post for another day.

When I first graduated from college, I went to work for United Airlines where I met Renee.  Being in our early twenties and broke, we did what most gals would do. We hopped on planes going anywhere and everywhere.  Our first international trip together was to London.  We only had 2 1/2 days, so Renee took the map split it half and said we would go one side each day. Yes we did London on roller skates, but I learned that you should always go, even if it’s only for 2 days. I also later learned, the hard way, that Renee is a fantastic travel companion.

Over the years, life happened, Renee married an Army man and moved all around the country. We’ve keep in touch and manage to see each other every now and then. We had such a great time catching up last year when I had my work conference in Savannah, we said we should hang out more often.  Lucky for me, Renee is very organized, and we penciled in a date right then and there.  We looked at the map and flights and choose St. Augustine, Florida for our first annual girl’s weekend.

I was able to fly a direct flight to Jacksonville and Renee just drove down from Savannah.  There was no Hyatt in St. Augustine so we stayed at the Doubletree. Which should have been ok, given that it’s a fairly new hotel. BUT apparently the contractor forgot to sound proof the walls.  I have spent a lot of nights in hotel as of late, and I can safely say this was first……

Renee was recovering from a medical procedure, so we did not split the map of St. Augustine in 2, rather we just did enjoyed our time together and took in a few sights. Lucky for me, Renee loves to take pictures.

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I realize that I spend a lot of time visiting other countries, I really should spend more time seeing the United States. I take what’s in my own backyard for granted.  And what’s a trip report with about something silly to share?  As a women, I should know better then to underestimate my ability to shop…….well too much shopping equaled a really heavy bag… FLO TRAVEL FAIL……

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Until next time……. Happy Travels!

Sunday Funday, Charlotte, North Carolina-December 2014

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Ding ding, who’s there? SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So due to unexpected change of travel plans, I decided to fly out to Charlotte and crash Sunday Fun day at Carrie and Nick’s house. But since I waited until Thursday to book my ticket the United options would get there too late to spend any decent time, so I checked out American Airlines/US Air. Oh they had seats, alright, MIDDLE SEATS!!!!!!!

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Never mind, that A & C were empty, I will forever being using the “remember that time I fly middle seat Coach story”.  Oh how can I forget Zone 5 boarding? Well that was not so awful, I did meet Scott in line, so it was not a total waste.  Hi Scott!

It was a fantastic afternoon hanging out with old friends and making new ones, Shari and Shelley! The boys flew their planes, while the gals gossiped over wine.

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And then I had to go back home…….

I am so very thankful that I had the ability to fly out for the day. The look on Carrie’s face was absolutely priceless! The 2nd best look of shock was Brian and Jen……. ( Brian’s realization that I might be there to collect my hug was more a look of horror then shock!)

So friends, be forewarned, I might be stopping by for a visit soon…….

 

 

35,216 miles

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I love to travel. Clearly I must, because over the next 60 days, I am schedule to fly, 35,216 miles on 23 flights.

That’s a lot of flying…….. Even for me.

So where will be I heading on those 23 flights?  Well heading to Edinburgh for boots, followed by Charlotte for wine, brunch in Raleigh, Mai Tai’s in Maui, Lava Flows in Kona, Burgers in Boston, Work (wait what?) in Orlando, Friends in Denver and well Christmas Market hopping in Europe. ** My Seychelles trip is no longer a go, due to flight schedule changes**

So Flo is on the go. I am looking forward to catching up with old friends and hopefully picking up some new ones along the way.  In the mean time, if anyone has any suggestions on good TV shows to binge on or interesting books to read, I am open to suggestions. Apparently I am going to have a lot of time on my hands….

Sometimes you just need a little pampering….. Denver September 2014

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I had business meeting in Denver, bright and early on Monday Morning at 8 am. So I needed to fly in on Sunday. But since I am short on nights for keeping my Hyatt Diamond status, I flew out on Saturday to Hyatt Hop.

Hotel Hopping or mattress running are terms near and dear to the frequent traveler trying to maintain their status in hotel programs. To maintain Hyatt Diamond, you have to have 25 stays or 50 nights. I am not about to make the status on nights, but I am coming close on the stays.  Well I was coming close due to hotel hopping. So Saturday night I stayed at the Hyatt Place Denver Airport and Sunday night I moved to the Grand Hyatt.  So 2 stays done. If I had wanted to stretch for a 3rd stay I could have over to the Hyatt Regency, but even I get lazy about packing up and moving every night.

The Hyatt Place was great! First time I’ve been given a rose and the cookie was pretty tasty too.

 

I originally had plans to spend the day with friends down in Colorado Springs, but those plans changed and I ended up at the spa.  It’s funny in all my travels, I think I can name all the places I have every done “spa” days. First time was in Bangkok, Thailand, with my friend Jon. They mistook us for a couple and we were put in the same room for massage.  I refused to take my clothes off. It was awkward.  If you’ve ever had a Thai massage, you know what I mean.  That put me off massages for a little while. The next one was on the beach in Cancun, thought it would be nicer then it was.  And the last one with in Bali, where I was covered in so much oil, that no amount of showering would rinse it off.  So my “spa” experiences up until this trip had not been memorable.

Enter the Oxford Hotel Spa, Club and Salon. I had unintentionally arrived early so Leo and Zero, at the hotel next door invited me to have a seat in the lobby, while I waited. What a beautiful hotel, too bad it’s not a Hilton or Hyatt, I would have liked to stay there. I booked The Perfect Day Package, that included a massage, facial, lunch, manicure and pedicure.  It was bliss…….

I have to wonder why I don’t do it more often. It was a experience that I will definitely plan on repeating again in the future! Possibly even at the Oxford Spa! I wish I had written down everyone’s name’s that had done my treatments, because they were just wonderful! I only remember Christine, who did my facial, because we bonded over our love of travel!  My face still feels amazing!

It was such relaxing day, I headed back to my hotel for my favorite pass time, drinking wine in the lounge, while pretending to work.

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I would like to say I did something awesome during the day on Monday, but well can’t be posting that on a public blog……… However Monday evening, that’s a different story. I love Bacon. . I found a place that had bacon appetizers, but probably should have looked closer at the address though …. Oh well thank goodness for Uber. I ended up at The Berkshire , for some swine and wine.

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After thoroughly enjoying the bacon, it was time for cheese. Yes my perfect night, wine, cheese and bacon……… So off to Cru Wine Bar, for wine flights and goat cheese beignets.

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And finally ended the night at Tom’s Urban for some pork belly tacos. Of which there are not pictures, because at that point, I inhaled them upon sight. It was a nice night, until the damn sidewalk jumped up on me, causing me to roll my ankle. YES, sigh, the same foot.

Lucky for me the Grand Hyatt had a nice gym, so the next morning I was able to work off the remaining effects from the night before. And then I had another seriously boring day at a work conference, that first speaker really should thought about serving coffee as part of their presentation…….

And finally time to head home. Of course the conference ended earlier then planned, and of course, I booked a later flight to be safe, and well I could have switched to the earlier flight but I was not about to trade my confirmed first class seat, for a middle seat in coach. I knew I could find wine at the airport. IMG_2002

Somehow I made it, 5 minutes late for boarding. I was not in a hurry because my carry on’s were small. BIG MISTAKE. I get to the gate and there is not line for boarding, odd. That’s because there was an insane line on the jet bridge and it was hot. IMG_2004

Given the prima donna traveler I have become, I started looking around for the special line for people like me. Yeah, there is not such line……….

And back to Chicago I go, but I have to wonder will I ever get tired of this view?

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