Tuesday, July 27, 2021

3 Things to Remember to Do When Planning a Vacation

This is a guest post by Steve Conway, a passionate traveler who explores the globe in pursuit of adventure, sun soaked beaches and azure waters.

After spending the last year or more at home unable to travel as you ordinarily would, you are very likely excited to be gearing up for an actual vacation finally. Being able to get away from home and escape the demands of daily life for a week or two can be a fantastic way to kick back and relax.


That being said, any seasoned traveler will tell you that going on vacation is not as simple as packing a bag and hitting the road. There are preparations to be made and things that you will need to organize so that you can leave home without a worry.


With all the anticipation of finally being able to go on vacation, it can be easy to allow a few things to get overlooked in the planning stages of your trip. However, forgetting such things can at the very least prove to be an inconvenience for you and, at the worst, cause your trip to be spoiled entirely.


If you are preparing to go on a vacation in the near future, here are three things that you will need to remember to take care of ahead of time so that you can truly enjoy your trip.


1. Accommodations for Your Pet


If your family includes a pet, you will need to make sure that you arrange appropriate accommodations for them well before you head out on your vacation. Quality boarding facilities for dogs and cats can fill up fast, especially during peak travel seasons. This is why it is best to make your pet’s reservation sooner rather than later.


Your veterinarian might have a good recommendation for a dog or cat boarding facility if you have never boarded your pet before. You can also check out some great options for dog boarding at exceptionalpets.com. Just make sure that your vet knows where your pet will be staying in case a medical emergency should arise.


2. Home Security


Before you head off to the airport for your vacation, you will also want to take steps to ensure that your home will be secure and protected while you are away. If you are traveling during a peak time of the year, you can be sure that burglars will be out and about to see what homes are being left vacant while owners are away.


Consider calling your local police station to have your house added to their watch list. That way, an officer will patrol your street and check in on your house, in particular, to ensure that nothing appears to be out of the ordinary.


3. Transportation


Even though you might have booked your plane tickets months ago for your vacation, you might have forgotten to arrange transportation for yourself upon arrival at your destination. 


Whether you will need a car to get you from the airport to your accommodations or use some form of public transportation, it is always a good idea to get these details sorted out well before your departure from home.


Monday, July 26, 2021

TWTW - the one with the bridges

Friday I made salad and gnocchi for dinner and put it aside. MFD assembled my new desk and I worked until 8 pm. I ended up having to put the damn desk on the opposite wall, fucking up my gallery spread but whatever. I had no idea the one outlet was only two prong. I think it's the only one in the house. I fell out around midnight.
Saturday I was up, over the Walt Whitman bridge, and down the shore by 8:30. I went to the beach for a bit, prepped things for MFD to do turnover next week, had an easy turnover aside from a super gross grill which is why one of the reasons we do not provide grills any more, caught up with a neighbor, and was back over the Walt Whitman by 12:45. I stopped at HomeGoods then two damn grocery stores because the first one was our of salsa verde. Got home, made a quick dip, painted my nails (OPI Do You Have this Color in Stock-Holm? And four nails topped with Rainbows a Go Go), and had MFD load the car and buckle me in to not ruin them.
Back over to Jersey on the Betsy Ross Bridge for the return of the annual Sannelli summer party. Aside from Evan once last May, Darwin once last May, and Frank and Amanda, it’s been two years since I sat around with these people. Most we have known for 30 years, with families and partners and entire group adopted friends picked up along the way. Nothing makes me remember the person I have always been and what is good and true and important than being around my longtime friends. Nothing shows me the ways I’ve grown and changed more than being around them either. It was great to be together again. I was There for seven hours, back home over the Tacony, and got home around 12:45! Still got it. Not really but it feels good to say. 


Sunday These damn dogs were up at 6 even though we were all up until 2. There was a fight over food and Mae’s eye is fucked up so that’s being monitored. She is also having an allergic o episode and her wrinkles are infected. It is fun to wipe them three times a day. JUST KIDDING. I worked much of the day and night, did some purging and organizing in the basement, engaged in the business of running a household - placing Target same day delivery and Chewy orders, updating calendars, getting all the trash and recycles out (we missed last week and had a ton), cleaned the washer, etc - and made salad and grilled chicken thighs for dinner. 


I have my first in person meeting today since March 2020. So that's the focus! 

Have a good one!


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Where Luxury Meets Tradition In The Maldives

The bright blue waters and white sands of this gorgeous island nation might be more than enough to entice some people, but the Maldives have tucked away delights to thrill just about any traveller. You can experience some of the most phenomenal natural beauty sights, thrilling experiences, great food, and a culture that’s to be treasured. Here are just some of the treats the Maldives are hiding.


Link - Pixabay License


Take a cruise

The Maldives are a series of islands, each diverse and gorgeous. If you want to take in as many of the sights as the archipelago has to offer, then there are few better ways to do it than by sea. Dhoni boats are the traditional way to explore the island, and there are plenty of Maldives dhoni cruises that will take you around the islands, some of them lasting just a day, but some of them lasting for days on end with several opportunities to stop and sample life on each of the islands, as well as some stops to lesser-seen sandbanks along the way.


Get the real experience

The Maldives may have become known for the high quality of resorts and services provided by its thriving tourism sector, but there’s a culture there as well that’s left unexplored by many. There are authentic cultural experiences that you can enjoy, from trying out the sweet hedika with a cup of black tea at any of the shop’s cafes in the early evenings to explore the Buddhist stupas, the mosques, and the shrines throughout the island. The Boduberu drumming performances need to be caught at least once on your travels.


Go exploring the waters

The oceans surrounding these islands are a gorgeous turquoise and they’re replete with opportunities for adventures. There are plenty of diving and snorkelling spots that offer a close look at tropical fish, tortoises and even some reef sharks and rays. The islands are also home to some of the best spots to ride the waves in the world, and staying at one of the Maldives surf resorts can help you get access to the best of the best. Perfect for not just surfing, but windsurfing and kite surfing, too.


Getting the luxury treatment

The Maldives are a very popular vacation destination, especially amongst the wealthy and influential. As such, it has built up a strong industry of luxury treatments designed to offer the very best of experiences, and the wide range of spas are top amongst these. These luxury spas take the traditional treatments and go the extra mile, taking a holistic approach to ensure that every bit of the experience invigorates the mind and soul, from the services themselves to the amenities and bonuses you can enjoy along the way.


If you’re going to be making your way to the Maldives, be sure to follow the tips and advice posted elsewhere on the site. These islands are so packed with stuff to do you will want to make sure you get the absolute most out of your time there.

*************

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday Thoughts - there's a pale moon in the sky the kind you make your wishes on

1. The Olympics and sports leagues are having a time. As FeministaFabulous said on Instagram in two separate posts, "Are the Olympics okay?" and "Alternately, we could just let women live" in regards to attire. The racism, sexism, and ableism on display in the Olympics and various sports boards or whatever in leagues wherever is straight fucking trash. Not to mention disqualifying a track woman for marijuana, which has never made anyone faster at anything or enhanced performance regarding speed in anything. Can we fucking do away with archaic "laws" that are just there to oppress people? Man alive.


2. Hard agree. Me yesterday.

3. I'm letting my toenails breathe, which I never ever do in the summer. They're always polished. It's quite liberating and also feels like something has been left undone, been overlooked, got lost in translation.

4. Through work from home life, I started working at the dining room table, then eventually I moved to a room in the basement, made MFD give me his big desk, set myself up nice, then decided I wanted to move my office to the top floor. So this is in progress. The pink cabinet was brought home from the shore a few years ago. The chair is from the basement. I'm building out a gallery wall the way I like to do it which is not measure jack shit and just assemble things I like which is eclectic and also loud. My pink desk is coming in a little over a week. The second desk we had in the basement that I made MFD take is over 10 years old and is about to collapse. 
5. Yes, that's a new dog bed for the new office too. MFD was like, "Can we stop buying new dog beds? We have so many." No. We cannot. Go on about your business and worry about your own self. 
6. I am trying to build a routine where I go into the office once every other week at least with the goal possibly being once a week by the end of the year. I need a day out of work from home life and I miss a lot about the city. There's a lot I don't miss too, but I do miss some.

7. I will never understand not getting this vaccine if you are able to get this vaccine. Imagine your children or grandchildren getting Covid because of you. Imagine them having long-haul health issues because of you that negatively impact their whole lives. Hell, not even kids related to you closely, just kids you pass by in the store because I know for shit sure people who are not vaccinated are going to stores and out in public and not wearing a mask or maintaining distance. Going mask-free and closing up the distance is for people who are vaccinated. Not people who refuse to get the vaccine. Imagine in general thinking 600,000+ dead from a virus is not a big deal. 

8. Co-sign this. In my world this time of day is good for absolutely nothing except laying around, reading, or doing other things that don't require serious brain power. 

9. Reminder: We have a tendency as humans to count small things piling on each other - or more typically a big thing piled on by smaller things. Sometimes, unfortunately, a few big things in succession that feel like knock outs. Most of us still have so much going right for us and it's good to remind myself (and you, in the process) of that. 

10. Ecards: can't hurt to give yourself a leg up.
Happy birthday to Mr. Chris yesterday!

And you?


What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to or most recently heard when I'm starting this - this week is I don't wanna fight by Tina Turner





Monday, July 19, 2021

TWTW - July style

Friday I started work early, then headed to the shore around 10. Ridiculous traffic. I stopped to pick up a library hold, hit my corner store for sustenance for the weekend, and finished out the workday. I set up my new foldout desk that will move to an upstairs bedroom when rental season is over. Your girl is too old to work from a not ergonomic position. For $50 the desk is perfect for my needs and I love that it folds totally flat and can be stowed if necessary. My big ass office chair which obviously does not fold flat and cannot be stowed but does have wheels so can be easily moved was also supposed to arrive but alas it did not. Allegedly it's coming today. I hit the beach at 5:45, which is a great time to do so in the summer. The tiger lillies are in full bloom down the street hanging out over the sidewalk like a riot. Tomato sandwiches for dinner, this week the tomatoes should be perfect. MFD and all the dogs arrived after 11. We did a final walk and then fell out.

Saturday Ben's Bark Box unboxing is a big event in our house. He likes to sit with all of his hoarded toys after. We did turnover and there were food in bedrooms again. Why why why. We packed a cooler and went down to the North End for the day. It was great when the boat was not docked on the beach blaring its music out. We came back and I painted my nails (Zoya Brandi and Essie tide of your life), finished my book, and started another.
Sunday I lazed around with coffee, did the business of vacation rentals by updating listings and photos, made potato salad, did some clean up, and hit the beach for two hours. I was annoyed with all people so I headed back home, lay down and read and took a small nap. I made chicken thighs and oyster mushrooms in the air fryer, took a quick shower, caught up with my neighbor, then biked over to see Joyce Maynard discuss her new book in the parking lot of the public library. Love my library here for getting a big ass tent so they can still hold events but not rely on the indoors as Covid is not magically gone. MFD met me there and I got my book signed and photo taken and talked with her a bit, then we biked to Aunt Betty's to get ice cream for National Ice Cream Day.


Send up a flare that FedEx finds my freaking chair so I can make my way back to Philly on a schedule that in any way resembles the one I had planned on. 

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