Tag: travel



When we purchased a Groupon for two days in the Carolina mountains, I believed wholeheartedly that a relaxing getaway was exactly what we needed. Obsessed with finishing my Resilience Workshop eBook, I had spent so many hours hanging over my laptop. I reached a point where I was staring out of the window or losing myself in political diatribes more than I was working. My energy and motivation had gone missing.

Click on image for more info – probably more than you’ll ever need. Gaffney Peach Tower

The weather people predicted rain for our travels, but the sun goddess waved her magic wand and instead we had a beautiful, crisp, clear, cool day. Once on the road we headed south and west past the lovely peach water tower. (I posted the pic on Facebook, but have re-posted it here in case you missed it. Feel free to share your thoughts. My favorite comment so far was “Trump’s salute to America”. But there were others!)

The day we left happened to be Valentine’s Day. Trust me, it was an accident. I, for one, have no idea what month it is. Plus, Scott and I usually avoid restaurants on holidays. This would be an exception.


Motivation We arrived at our destination on the evening of the 14th. Tired and hungry we settled into our room at the Pine Crest Inn, which consisted of a main building and several smaller ones built in 1906 as a sanatorium. (What? We didn’t know that beforehand. It seems people with breathing issues flocked to this destination because they found they could breathe better.)

It was true. The air was fresh. In fact, I breathed several extra times just to make sure. Camellia bushes in full bloom dotted the landscape and Daffodils peaked out beneath them. The grounds were beautiful. We tried not to notice the peeling paint on the building exteriors and the wallpaper hanging loosely from the bathroom walls. A gas fireplace roared in our room and a bottle of wine was chilling. What more did we need?

We found our way to a local restaurant in the small downtown, expecting a crowd. What we found was a nice sized restaurant of 20 + tables of which three were occupied. As I scanned the room, I noticed groups of little old ladies (well, they looked older than me) dressed in red. I wondered, wasn’t Christmas long past? By the end of the meal I remembered it was Valentine’s Day. We stuffed ourselves on shrimp and grits and shared a slice of cheesecake for dessert. Life was good.


This was just the appetizer!

When we signed in, we committed to an 8:30 time slot for breakfast in the main building. A little early for me, especially since there would not be coffee in the room first. I did, however, manage to make it. Three cups of fresh and delicious coffee and an exceptional breakfast and I was good to go. (Reality check: brain fog, stomach out of sorts, back ache. . . but we were enjoying ourselves!)

We did some sightseeing, some napping and some rocking on the front porch with a glass of Port before dinner the next night. Cold and windy, I even wrapped up in a blanket just to stay outside and breathe more fresh air. That night we fell into bed full and tired.  Just shy of 3 a.m. the ground beneath us shifted. There was a mighty crack and the bed, with us slumbering away on it, crashed to the floor. Sitting bolt upright while leaning substantially to the left, I said, “What the hell just happened?” As quickly as reality sunk in, we jumped out of bed to assess the situation.


Now what were we going to do?? No option that came to mind was ideal, but we chose the path of least resistance. We pushed and tugged and pulled the mattress onto the floor. There was just enough room between the bed and the fireplace but getting to the bathroom meant climbing over each other.

The next morning we packed earnestly. We were ready to leave. As we drove home I wrote reviews of the place in my head. I couldn’t decide which side of the proverbial fence I would land on when the time came. The people were nice, the food was excellent. . . but relaxing? Inviting? Comfortable? Not so much. But, they’re trying so hard to keep the place going I told myself. . . and maybe a little paint would keep people wanting to return. Oh, and beds that didn’t collapse would be nice; And, coffee in the hallway in the morning; And, a hook on the wall in the bathroom, not to mention a shelf by the sink to put things on. But, they had bathrobes in the closet. We didn’t need bathrobes.

Monday Motivation


It has taken us 3 days to recover from the trip with relaxing in mind. We both wondered out loud why we just didn’t stay home. We have a lovely deck and a fire pit for sitting in the evenings, a comfortable bed and just the right kind of food, food that doesn’t lead to lethargy and stomach pains. A bottle of Apothic Crush is chilling in the fridge.

Sometimes you have to go on an adventure to appreciate home. I know I too often take for granted what’s right in front of me. Is there something you overlook most days? If you need an adventure to appreciate what you have, I can recommend a place . . .


“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”  Rabindranath Tagore

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“Someday” begins with a day just like today.

No one knows this better than Sunny Lockwood. This morning I”m happy to introduce you to Sunny  in The Voices of Wisdom series. Sunny reached out to me and said she thought Aging Abundantly readers might be interested in her story. I agreed! I hope it is as much of an inspiration to you as is was to me. There is no time like the present to live the life we’ve always dreamed of living. It can begin today. After all someday is just a day like today.

Al & Sunny Lockwood
Al & Sunny Lockwood


My husband and I have always been sort of workaholics. Like others with fulfilling lives, we dreamed of things we’d like to do someday (perhaps when we were older and life had slowed down a little).However, on a Sunday evening in July in 2012, as we waited at a red light, our life changed dramatically.

It was a perfect evening. The blue sky held a golden sunset glow. We’d been to the beach earlier and the pounding surf still filled our heads as we waited for the light to change.

Suddenly,  a texting driver slammed full speed (60 mph) into us, totaling both cars in an explosion of glass and metal. I’ll never forget the grinding, screaming metal as her SUV tore through the back end and then the side of our Toyota Carolla. Although seatbelted, we were tossed about as our car crumpled.

Both vehicles were totaled. Fortunately, we suffered no broken bones. But we were bruised and banged up, and our summer was ruined as our days filled with doctor appointments, wrangling with insurance companies and trying to find a replacement car.

We ached for weeks.

I complained loudly about drivers who fool with their phones, wishing I could get them all arrested and thrown in jail.

But my ranting gave way to the awareness of how lucky we were to be alive.

If we had not been wearing seat belts. If our airbags had not inflated.  So many ifs. Yet, here we were. Alive.

The realization that life is fragile and brief changed our lives. It woke us up.

We realized anew how all the little gifts we take for granted — the sweet fragrance of roses or lilacs, the welcome chill of ice cream on a hot day, the comfort of prayer, the pleasure of a kitten’s purring, the delicious smell of newly cut grass or fresh-brewed coffee — all these everyday blessings can be snatched away in a moment.

You can be doing nothing more risky than sitting at a red light, and the next moment you could be hooked up to monitors in a hospital, or lying cold in a morgue.

Everyone knows the truth that life is temporary. But until we take that truth seriously it’s just a distant theory as we rush through our busy days.

Al and I suddenly took that truth to heart. As we focused on how lucky we were that the wreck didn’t kill us,  we decided to start doing some of the things we’d dreamed of doing. It’s not like we had great life goals we’d been putting off. But we both enjoy travel, love seeing what’s over the next hill or around the next curve in the road.  We’d camped up and down the west coast.

And for years we’d toyed with the idea of taking longer trips, perhaps a cruise to somewhere interesting. But we’d talked about such travel in a dreamy, someday sort of way.

Now, feeling grateful to be alive and whole, we decided to actually take part in that “someday” travel.

First on the bucket list was a cruise through the Panama Canal. Al is a retired engineer, and he’d dreamed of going through the canal (one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century) since he was a child.

Online research revealed a 17-day cruise through the canal that we could afford and we signed up. The trip from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale was fantastic.

Traversing the famous canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic in the same way ships have been traversing since 1904 was a thrill beyond compare.  The trip was so amazing that we actually wrote a book about it: Cruising Panama’s Canal, savoring 5,000 nautical miles and 500,000 decadent calories.

So what began as a dream come true trip, grew into a writing/publishing venture.Today is Someday

Cruising Panama’s Canal was named an Amazon #1 best seller in 2014 and continues to sell in both paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com

Since that first cruise, we’ve taken other wonderful trips and have written three more travel memoirs.

One of our books, Cruising the Mediterranean, was named an Amazon best seller in two categories: Senior Travel and Venice Guidebooks and Travelogues.

Readers from around the world have written that they love our books. We’ve been asked to talk about our travels at retirement communities, senior centers, book stores and service clubs.

Making our travel dreams come true has been fascinating and fulfilling. It has led to new endeavors — writing our travel memoirs, speaking about our travels. And our adventure continues as we schedule more trips and write about them.

We write to encourage others. Everyone carries dreams within their hearts. The dreams may be small or large, but often they remain Someday is Todaylodged inside. Al and I want to encourage readers to grasp those dreams and make them come true.

Whether it’s earning a college degree, or traveling to a far away place, we encourage you to do it. Do it now, while you can. Tomorrow is not promised.

Believe me when I say that making a dream come true is deeply rewarding. How satisfying it is to achieve something you’ve always dreamed about. That accomplishment comes with enriching memories and stories to share. And you can never tell where your dream will take you.

Ours has taken us on cruises and tours, to book stores, libraries and travel clubs. It has enlarged and enriched our life as we’ve shared our travels through our books and presentations.

Who knows where you’re dream will take you?

A few photos from our trips:

Someday is Today
Venice’s Grand Canal was a busy and beautiful highway.
Someday is Today
he Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was spectacular.

Today is Someday
We stayed in a small hotel close to the Rialto Bridge.
Someday is Today
One of the many stunning sights in Istanbul.


SUNNY LOCKWOOD has been a newspaper editor, magazine editor, daily newspaper reporter and newspaper columnist. She holds degrees from San Jose State University and Santa Clara University.

AL LOCKWOOD is a retired electrical/mechanical engineer. He is a fine art film photographer, a ham radio operator and an enthusiastic traveler. The sweet photograph of Sunny & Al, at the top of the page, was taken in an Athens coffee shop in 2014. Al and Sunny had ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.

Visit Sunny’s website 

Connect with her on Facebook.




GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

GOING GYPSY or How to Escape Old Age & Survive

I have followied Veronica and David James of Gypsynester fame since they first flew the empty nest and ventured into the world of life ongypsynester the road. I admired there chutzpah and their sense of humor, not to mention their upbeat outlook on life. It was a breath of fresh air. Life seem more than hard from where I sat and I was curious to see how tossing all one’s cares away would all play out. A very big part of me was wishing I was doing the same thing! I so wanted to escape old age!

Back then, when boomers everywhere were trying to figure out the next phase of life, the internet created an opportunity for us to be privy to some really awesome adventures, and courageous folks telling their stories in vivid detail. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to read David and Veronica’s blogs along the way, you’ll love their new book, Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All. Humor always prevails in their world and they both have the gift of the story teller. It’s a delightful, page turning adventure complete with pictures.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. Then scurry on over to their website and sign on for further adventures. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at All

by David and Veronica James


FOLLOW David and Veronica on Twitter and Facebook. 



You’ll enjoy learning about Carefree RV Resorts


Carefree RV Resorts – An Affordable Vacation

Carefree RV Resorts – An Affordable Vacation

Thank you Carefree Resorts for sponsoring today’s post and giving me the opportunity to talk about your new lifestyle program in CA, TX, and FL! 

I was more than excited to discover Carefree RV Resorts and their new Carefree lifestyle program when they contacted me to participate in this campaign. I don’t accept every offer I receive. In fact, I accept very few, but this one hit a nerve. My husband and I have talked endlessly about traveling one day. We don’t have high expectations or long for expensive overseas adventures, we just want to spend some serious time exploring our own beautiful country at ground level. Taking to the road with a small RV trailing behind seems like nirvana. Carefree RV Resorts are both affordable and appealing.

Carefree Resorts

Carefree RV Resorts are not your cookie cutter RV Parks. They’re customer focused and each resort has a unique flavor tied to the local community and nearby attractions.  Enjoy creek fishing at Florida’s Homosassa River RV Resort and Shell Creek RV Resort or live it up in at the luxurious 5-star Horseshoe Cove RV Resort with its private island park and lighted fishing pier. For us, a vacation on the ocean at one of Carefree’s seaside parks sounds like a slice of heaven, such as Pelican in the Florida Keys or Campers Haven on the Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts.

No matter which park you choose, the Carefree lifestyle program provides plenty of activities, amenities and opportunities for learning, social involvement and an active lifestyle.  Opportunities to learn something new are available at each resort, like how to use your new iPad, or learn to play the guitar. If you love meeting new people, community opportunities are abundant.

Carefree RV Resort Daytoa Beach Walking The Dog-78ff8a30

Carefree Resorts just launched the Carefree Lifestyle Program designed especially for active seniors, which is why they came to me to spread the word. It sounds amazing. A complete new line up of activities, classes, events and clubs, there’s something for everyone. Back in the day when we were hard at work all we wanted to do on vacation was sleep and read a book. Now, we’re looking for a little more action and involvement. We’re eager to learn new things, meet new people while still enjoying some downtown away from our routine at home.

Carefree Lifestyle

Carefree Communities has over 21,000 sites at 79 properties across North America, and they’re still growing. While the majority of the communities are located in Florida, Carefree also has properties in Ontario, Canada, Texas, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Arizona. In addition to their RV parks, they have manufactured homes to rent or purchase. If you vacation with your children or grandchildren you will enjoy their locations that are family centered.

Experience Carefree Resorts yourself by taking advantage of their “Start Your Journey with a Passport to Savings” offer, stay 3 nights and get one free! We plan to, and I’ll let you know all about our experience after we do.

Carefree Communities

Carefree offers fun and engaging events, such as Carefree’s Got Talent in Lakeland Florida, that is held every March. Each park in Florida has the opportunity to participate and the winner of the talent show wins $250 and a ticket to the finale show for the chance to win $5,000. A free event, it includes lunch and drinks. Leading up to the event they raise money for Disabled American Veterans, collecting over 15K this year and hoping to reach 25K in donations!


EILEEN BARISH ~ Travel Writer

EILEEN BARISH ~ Travel Writer

Eileen Barish is a multiple award-winning author and nationally known niche-travel expert. Eileen’s books have been reviewed by over 1500 publications. She is a contributing columnist to national magazines including GUEST INFORMANT, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER and NEWSWEEK and is a frequent guest on CNN and other networks. Eileen’s sage advice in her articles and books on unusual travel experiences has enriched the lives of hundred’s of thousands of her readers. Her current books are available at all major bookstores or by calling 1.800.638.3637 and include:

Lodging In Italy’s Monasteries

Lodging In France’s Monasteries

Lodging In Britain’s Monasteries

Lodging In Spain’s Monasteries

Best Spas USA

Vacationing With Your Pet

Doin’ California With Your Pooch

Doin’ Arizona With Your Pooch

Doin’ The Northwest With Your Pooch

Doin’ Texas With Your Pooch

Doin’ New York With Your Pooch.

Website: Eileen Barish’s Monastery Lodging Blog

Twitter: @eileeneeo

Babyboomers Traveling by Doris Gallan

Babyboomers Traveling by Doris Gallan

Thirty years of working as a reporter and writing for others, Doris Gallan decided it was now time to work for herself.  In 2006 Doris and her husband quit their well-paying jobs, sold their house and 99 percent of their worldly possessions and set out on a 26 month ’round-the-world trip. Combining her love of writing with her love of  travel she has since traveled forty countries on six continents – including Antarctica, learned the polite words of some two dozen languages, ate foods she didn’t know existed, used practically every mode of transportation still in use and learned a lot herself and the world around her. With this much experience to write about she decided she had no excuse but to start putting words on paper (or more accurately computer).

Author of “The Boomers’ Guide to Going Abroad to Travel” she is a speaker & travel coach who inspires boomers to live their passions. You will find her on Facebook and posting on her various travel blogs. Her website is a wealth of tips and information. Be sure and drop by! or follow Doris on Twitter: @boomertraveling


Doris also occasionally posts traveling articles on Huff50. You will find a list here: