Tag Archives: travel

A Real Surprise

I recently got to be part of a real surprise. I’m talking about the kind of surprises that are so good, that even when told, you don’t quite believe them.

Recently, my niece was to be married with just immediate family and a few selected friends at a resort in the Dominican Republic.  As luck would have it for me, I was able to be a last minute fill in for my nephews wife who wouldn’t be going.

Just a month prior to the wedding, both my niece and nephew were out to our house for a visit as the bachelor party just happened to be in Denver. We didn’t know then that a spot would be open for sure, but we did joke that someone from our family could fill any opening that came available. Just a few days later, I did get a call asking if Devin or I could come. I guess we are the two most likely to pull out a passport and jump in a plane.

Devin’s passport had expired, but I said we could fast track the renewal and I would pay half of his trip to get there and room share, but if he wanted to go, he would need to pony up the other half because I wasn’t willing to fund the entire trip and not get to have any of the fun. After some brief calculations, he decided it was a bit too rich for his blood and I should just go.  Lucky for me, Ian was totally fine with it being either one of us as he and I have a history of having really great stories when we get together.  So, it was decided (after consulting with bride and groom) that I would go. It was also decided that we should just keep it a secret for a few more weeks and surprise my Brother and sister in law (the parents of the bride of coarse)

As fate would have it, Dave, Heidi and Ian were on the same connecting flight out of Washington DC that I was also on to get to the Dominican. I had taken an overnight flight out of Denver and arrived in Dulles around 5 am . I made it to the United club area for some breakfast, coffee and a bit of work on the computer. Before I knew it, Ian was texting me that they had  landed and would be off their plane and headed to the next gate soon.
I decided to call my brother Dave as if I knew he would be in the airport at this general time and wish him a good trip.  He picked up his phone as expected and we chatted as he walked from their arrival gate to the departure gate of the next leg. I was standing behind the doors of the United club as they passed, so I simply exited and followed at a safe distance so that he couldn’t hear me speaking behind him as well as on his phone. Ian turned around and I waved so that he knew my location, and I kept bodies strategically blocking the view of Heidi as she too would sometimes take a full look around. I could see that they had gotten to our departure gate, so concluded my conversation with Dave and waited for Ian to come find me to plan the surprise as the gate was around a corner and he was hoping to catch it on camera.

Ian came out, but said his mom was right behind him and would see me. Well, there wasn’t any place to hide at that point, so I just backed up a little bit more to make sure we wouldn’t be in sight or earshot of Dave when she learned I was there.

I was just finishing up giving Ian my hello hug when she walked up and was surprised to have run into me at this airport at the same time they were there. It didn’t even dawn on her that I was there to go to the wedding.  She just figured I was traveling and happened to be in same spot at the same time. Even when Ian said that I was his “date” for the wedding, she laughed it off as a joke. It wasn’t until we both just stood there nodding that it was true, that it sunk in that I was indeed going.

This time she screamed a little, hugged me harder and was in true delight.

We then walked around the corner to surprise Dave. He was sitting facing the direction I was coming from, so he saw me coming, but the connection from recognition, to registration to realization was like a movie across his face. The realization brought the tears and shock that I was there to share in their trip.

I don’t know that I’ve ever surprised two people as fully as that morning. There has been some hard surprises this past year for them, so it was great to be part of a good one.

The wedding was awesome, beautiful and perfect.  The resort was beautiful, immaculately maintained and had an impeccably trained staff.


I’m ever so thankful to have been considered to go as a fill in, to have the passport on hand and be able to go (even if it was touch and go with work as they were none too happy), and to have had that time with family that I don’t get to see enough of and meet the friends of the bride and groom and see what a wonderful group that is.  It was a bit odd for me to have everyone there (except Dave and Heidi) call me Aunt Sally all week, but that was fun too.

I’ll get to the Ian and Aunt Sally stories on some other posts.

Love,  Sally


Trip complete, Journey still unfolding


focus on the journey

I am sitting on the deck and it is a beautiful morning.  The stream below us can be heard with its temporary  small rapids from all of the rain that happened while I was gone.

stream behind the house

The jet lag is gone or at least I can no longer use it as an excuse. It is time to put some words to this last post on the Raw Challenge page.

full circle

I think that this experience from beginning to end will continue to stay with me and reveal more treasures that would not have been found without it.  I find the entirety of this adventure to be nothing short of a miracle.

miracle of starting

Well for me, I don’t think it was so much courage to start as it was the abandonment of rationale that would normally have kept me in the mode where I knew it was not good timing, reminded me there was no way to write a daily blog (especially since I’m not a born writer), and that I’m not in the kind of shape to attempt an obstacle race.  Clearly this was something that pulled at my heart so strongly that I could not ignore it and just had to approach it as a possibility.

think you can

I have had the good fortune to experience so many aspects in these past few months that would not normally have come about otherwise.  I have connected with friends and family that I haven’t necessarily been in touch with.  I have worked some muscles that I haven’t necessarily been in touch with either.  I have been to another continent, hemisphere and seen sites truly amazing.  I have written more in a two month span than I probably ever have prior and found that I truly enjoyed it.

one one sees the world they way you do

I have had several comments on how adventurous I was to set off alone each day and explore. I can say that I never once felt that I was alone.  You see, with all of the postings, comments – written and verbally expressed- over the past two months, knowing I was to be sharing my days with all of you, I sincerely felt accompanied at all times.

I would often type up some of the post on my phone while riding the train into the city or back to the burbs. I could take advantage of that down time to jot some thoughts if I didn’t get too distracted with watching the different areas stream past my window or get caught up watching fellow passengers.  People watching is pretty entertaining at times.

I was totally unencumbered by having to comply with anything someone else wanted to do and just let my days flow with a general idea of where I might be headed and mostly let each day evolve knowing that I was sharing it not with someone riding or walking next to me, but with the friends and family that would read about it the next day. I had Wilma, Pebbles and Poppy to share with in the evenings.  The few days that Wilma could be with me enhanced those days with laughter that I would mostly keep to myself when alone. I then too had that extra person that could laugh and make fun of the silly things that I tend to do.

Had I thought to write up what a perfect trip would be, I daresay I could not have done better.  Okay, I could have been lighter so that my feet didn’t scream of all the walking.
Best Journey's


My Fitbit was always on Mountain Standard Time, so the daily walks were not recorded in full, but my report from the last week that included the last two days of mostly riding on a plane with no walking/standing/moving at all was:

Fitbit report

It is obviously my new high water mark and a goal to see how it can be beat. So I have that to look forward to.

As for my blogging, I have decided that for now I will continue to share my thoughts and experiences.  I will keep this page separate and a available and start a new page as I feel there are stories to tell and stories to hear from you as well.  The posting regularity is sure to change, but I am not ready to give it up.

My only real question at this point is do I stay Betty for the blog or go back to my given name?  No last name – ever – as I need to keep it so my crazy customers over the years don’t find me.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and support the endeavor of the past few months.  It was a trip worth taking.

live, travel, bless

I’m not sorry.

Love Betty






Afterthoughts and a few days needed




This was one of the very first quote photos I downloaded when I started this not so little adventure.  It served to remind me that the outlandish things I was attempting with a blog, workouts and a trip to Australia on little notice was akin to the impossible. Yet it was only impossible if I believed it to be and thanks to the support of everyone, it was not only possible but has been to fruition.

I want to wrap up the trip in a proper post but am struggling with the emotion of it coupled with jet lag (at least I will blame it on that) and  feel that I need a couple of days to get to a state of balance before a proper final chapter.

So I’ll ask for a couple of days to process and put together a proper post.

Love Betty

Good Dates to Go




Last year on the same dates I am currently scheduled to go to Australia, I was fortunate enough to be invited on another epic trip.  It was to an island off of the coast of Mexico called Isla Mujeres.

A good friend with twin daughters who were both currently living on the island invited me to travel with her down for a visit.  One of the girls had married a local and the other was staying and working on the island after working in Costa Rica for some time.

We flew into Cancun, Mx and went straight to the ferry and over to the Island.

mom ipad 1129

We stayed in a small hotel on the beach with a pool that only had something like 17 rooms.  It was the east side of the island so I could peak at the sunrise – if I wasn’t already up – without even getting out of bed. Below is the view from our balcony.

mom ipad 1661

I hadn’t spent much time with this friend over the past 20 years but had always stayed in touch if we saw each other in the grocery or at the town events we would both find ourselves at.  She had at one time worked with Barney and I and she is the biggest reason we moved to where we are now in the mountains. That is another story.

The island was just my kind of place. There are many people who live on the island and while it lives off of the tourism, it has retained a local feel.  I had found someone’s blog on the wondrous food on the island.  He was a food critic from Philadelphia and I could tell by the way he wrote and described the delectables  that I probably could trust his recommendations.

With my translators with me, I was able to pretty much taste my way around the island.  English is not always spoken everywhere on the island so I was well cared for by having that crew around me.

More on this trip tomorrow.  It was last night with son 1 so that took priority. Pray for safe travels for him driving across country tomorrow ans Sat.

Love Betty