Never really planned on a hot summer Florida trip.  Originally I was supposed to be on an Alaska cruise with my dear friend Brenda.  She had to cancel so with that I needed to use the airline ticket that I had purchased to Vancouver.  Where to go?  Since I hope to one day move to Florida, I thought why not go during the hottest month, see how it is, can you handle it ?  South Beach is always a fun place so a plan was put in motion.  I get a wonderful email alert that airfare from Baltimore is going on sale for $97 round-trip.  I call my mom and ask if she would like to come for a week.  I booked us at the Posh Hostel and it’s coed.  Mom says that’s okay by her, my friend Kelly says I can come too so she gets booked than my friends Vivian & Marnie decide they can come four nights during the stay.  My friend Pat lives in South Beach so that’s another one added to our little summer soiree.  Hostel link:    It says open to any free spirited traveler.  Well that’s me!  Think I am going to fit in here nicely.  Oh, I am also going to visit Key West.  I have never been but my sisters and quite a few friends love it tremendously so it is about time for me to investigate what all the fuss is about.

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my Mom

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me and Marnie

Kelly the cheap date

Kelly the cheap date

Did I mention it is Tarzan hot in South Beach?  It is. No matter we will sweat and have fun, if we can’t get the fun part going we still will indeed sweat!

The Posh Hostel has a free shuttle. (later I will do a review)  I came in on the day that the shuttle only comes every two hours and wouldn’t you know it I arrive about 15 minutes after it has left!  Okay should I get taxi or suck it up?   I decide to wait.  I had cowboy boots on and I truly wanted to take them off and throw them.   Those buggers didn’t touch my feet the rest of the trip.  What was I thinking?

I finally make it to the hostel, check-in and begin to explore.  I’ve stayed in a lot of hostels and this place is surely one of the best!   You get a free-shuttle to & from the airport, a free happy hour (HOUR) all you can drink each day next door at the Whitelaw Lounge plus breakfast, nothing fancy but enough to start your day. There is also a gorgeous rooftop pool.    It really is posh!   The price FANTASTIC and if you don’t believe me start researching the cost of hotels.  I am a budget traveler.

My first bed is on top and I have a British guy under me, actually I had two British men!  One on top, one below.  (ha ha get your mind out of the gutter)

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our pool

soon to become favorite hangout spot

soon to become favorite hangout spot

another lounge alongside the hostel

another lounge alongside the hostel

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perfect size

6th sense....I see NAKED people.

6th sense….I see NAKED people.

nice sink area for one of the bathrooms

nice sink area for one of the bathrooms

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where I bedded the British guy (kidding)....

where I bedded the British guy (kidding)….

the lovely kitchen to cook in

the lovely kitchen to cook in

common area for tv viewing

common area for tv viewing

your dirty mind!

your dirty mind!

We have lucked out!  I’ve never been to Argentina nor Brazil but they came to us.  Our hostel had a lot of visitors from these areas.  Beautiful FUN people with hearts of gold and a passion for life. Each night at the happy hour was a blast.  Actually they started the happy hour at the hostel first than we moved on the the Whitelaw Lounge.  FUN, FUN & more FUN!  We also met people from US as well.  All great gals!

Argentina and Brazil is definitely on my list now!

South Beach is a free-spirited place, you see all kinds of people all kinds of things.  It’s the salt & pepper that make South Beach unique.


Pat invited us for a cookout at her condo.  Her pool area had just been renovated and was now open.  It was a gorgeous!  Who did we run into there visiting her friends?  The manager of Posh!   Small world indeed. We had a very nice time and a sunset to die for, thank you very much Pat!

Scenes from the day….

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watched while frolicking in the pool :)

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our picnic Pat setup, really was lovely!

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fire in the sky

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one of our views

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the views just calm your spirit

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sun is saying night night

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pretty !

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the end of the sky show :)

Villa Vizcaya & Gardens

Most of my travel is about chasing art & history.  I love culture.  A beach vacation is something I rarely get but do enjoy once in awhile.  The culture bug in me needed a fix so we decided on Villa Vizcaya & Gardens.  Not the kind of place you ever expect to find in Miami.  Pat has visited several times and helped us with the transportation there which was a bus and train.  It was pretty darn easy so if you don’t have a rental car you can still visit this villa.  This mansion belonged to James Deering.  Villa Vizcaya looks like a palace straight out of Italy.  It has the original antiques and furniture.  You may have seen Villa Vizcaya in settings for movies but didn’t realize it.  Tony Rome, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Any Given Sunday, Bad Boys II, Airport 77, Haunts of the Very Rich, The Money Pit and Iron Man 3.  The music video for The Cover Girls “Promise Me”  was filmed at Vizcay.  There was also a music video by New Edition filmed there as well.

I would love to see it here at night I bet it is absolutely gorgeous.  What a home!  You could not take pictures inside the house or I would have a lot more.  Do visit the cafe!  We had some fantastic Sangria and the food was good as well.

Scenes from the day….

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see how it looks like a ship?

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While at the hostel, I meet a young German who I think is 20 years old.  It was kind of funny he could drink in Germany but couldn’t in America.  He was having a hard wrapping his mind around that rule.  We had discussions about young people binge drinking once they are able.  For him, it is not like that and getting drunk is never the purpose.  He was staying one night at the hostel before heading to another destination when his parents arrived from Germany the next day.  He wanted to hang out with us so we went to the beach.  A hurricane may be coming and the previous storms have brought tons of seaweed.  I had my chair in the water and each time a wave left me I was filled with green twigs and berries!  You had to go out a good distance to get past the seaweed.  That was my last beach.

Later we head to happy hour, Monica the beautiful girl from Brazil and the rest of the gals took the German guy under their wing.

Happy Hour = Happy :)

Scenes from happy….

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gorgeous girls with my Mom

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Nathan on left, the bartender

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Whitelaw Lounge (next to hostel)


the beautiful Monica


Monica and the gang with Mom


happy days :)

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Another activity we did in South Beach was to attend the drag queen show at The Palace.  What a hoot!  My mom had already left to go home and I really wish I could have taken her to this show.  The photos speak for themselves!

scenes from the drag queen show at the Palace….

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Key West

I had three nights booked for Key West.  Monica had rented a car for the day and drove to Key West and when she got back to the hostel she showed me her photos.  Now I was really excited to go because the photos were gorgeous!   We booked a bus to get us there and back and we stayed at Angelina’s Guest House which was TERRIFIC!  I highly recommend this place.  The owners were wonderful.

I’m here to tell you it was hotter in Key West than in South Beach.  Much hotter if you can imagine.  A lady on the bus did warn us!  She was right!  Now with three days I believe we packed in a nice mixture of seeing things, bar life and Margarittaville.

Key West is closer to Cuba than Miami.  (I am truly yearning to visit Cuba one day)   It’s tropical, the houses are beautiful and the people are very friendly.  You hear people visit and decide to stay for life.  I get that now.  It’s very laid back and moves on it’s own terms.  That is a winning lifestyle if you ask me.  Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffet are some of the famous people who made homes here.    ONE HUMAN FAMILY is the motto of the community.

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So here is a glimpse of my trip to Key West.  Next time I will stay a week.

Ernest Hemingway House –  do go !!!

I loved the six-toed cats, the house and the gardens. I like the kitten house that is a replica of the home.  Very cool !

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the kitten house

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fountain for the cats

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The Harry S. Truman Little White House was a neat activity.  I went here alone and had a GREAT guide. President Truman spent about a 100+ days at this house.   It has the furniture and look of the times when he was here.  Welcome to the 1950’s!  You could not take picture inside.  This is all I could get from the outside.

Little White House

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I think the Mallory Square sunset is worth trying once.  Next time I will bring my own chair.  I think Kelly & Pat were shopping when I went here.

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The star of Key West is the rooster.   Chickens are indeed everywhere and I personally love them.  I ate with them, drank with them and walked with them.  There are people who want the chickens gone but I am with the “if you don’t like it than leave” group.

Here are some photos of my buddies:

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Now where would we be without the Key West Nightlife (or Day Life) ?

People like to party!

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Walk, walk and walk more and take in the sights and people.

Walking scenes….

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I spent a good bit of time at the B&B as well.  Lovely tranquil setting.  Much ado about nothing.

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Also important–get your tourist photo at this spot :)  The line moved quick.  It’s all in good fun!

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.Y’all come Back Now Ya Hear?

The End


My FL Key West Hotel review – Angelina Guest House

My hostel in South Beach, Miami FL

this was on my old blog….needs to be on my new one :)  Leaving snowy Maryland while I’m California dreaming :)

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that’s me in there ready to land

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ewww ewww and more ewww

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I’m home now after a delightful trip to Spain.  My stay included Madrid, Malaga & Cordoba.  I did a day trip to Ronda.  Next time, I will base all my stay in Malaga.  Awesome people, places and food!!!  There’s lots to see and do there.  Even with a week’s stay I have many more items still on my list.  My report is under construction.  I am going to be very busy the next few weeks but will get to this project as soon as I can.   Here’s a sneak preview.  I’ve got lots more to add.  I miss Spain.

























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We love castles, we love tiara’s, we love villages with old warm charm, cold beer, wine, music, vineyards and adventures. Germany was going to fit the bill nicely for us girls. We like grumpy people who we make smile. We like happy people who already smile. We got lost, we got found, we danced and were sung to by older German men. We were scolded. (mild infraction regarding touching something on display) We rode boats, horse carriages, cable cars, buses, trains and we made friends. We ate & drank everything! We had one flasher but that’s for later. Now a lot of that above is really a reminder list of what I need to write about for this report. Germany gave it all to us and more. First stop – Rudesheim My first tip – pronounced Ru des hime , at first we thought it was like “shine.” This part of the trip includes three Maryland girls (me, Kelly & Vivian) Ellen from New York and Kathleen from Ireland. We moved around far more than usual on this vacation because there was a lot we wanted to and accomplish. At times it was grueling but I’d do it over again.

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Day One –  after the long plane ride and a train here it was a matter of find the hotel, eat and rest. Day Two – GREAT DAY ! We start our Rudesheim exploration with the Ring & Romantic ticket.  This gets you a chairlift to the Germania monument, cable car to Assmannshausen town and a riverboat tour.  If that’s not enough there is a bonus, a deer sanctuary plus you get to feed them!  Oh and did I tell you the chairlift goes over vineyards?  It does!  Coolest thing ever! You want to get over jetlag? You get this ticket! Scenes from the day: oh and Ellen laid an egg and Kelly had to run with an omelette !!!



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Funniest thing ever is when that egg fell out of Ellen’s bag at the restaurant.  I’m going to stick to the story that she laid it though right in that town we nicknamed Assman.  We did indeed run with Kelly’s omelette!  The food came too late at another place and the boat was pulling up and we had to “Runnnnn Forest” with the omelette.  It was delicious.   When I go back to Rudesheim I am going to do this ticket again.  The photos speak for themselves. Our evening leads to merriment! Read the rest of this entry »

Sensational Sicily….first glimpse:

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Hawaii Trip Report 2013 * Aloha :)

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Travel

Oahu, Kauai, & Maui

Oahu segment:

Just what the doctor ordered, Hawaii. But he didn’t order it I did it with miles and after much stress at work which started affecting my health I arrived limping. Not really limping as in leg injury but in mind and spirit. Can you fix me Hawaii? The answer….yes we can and Hawaii does. When you start feeling a bit too warm she gives you a breeze, too dry a rain shower than sun. When you need a sign you get a rainbow.

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Image  —  Posted: September 30, 2013 in Travel
Tags: ,


Image  —  Posted: September 30, 2013 in Travel
Tags: ,

hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you :)  but....we didn't get rain.

hot, sweaty & happy, Paul McCartney does it like that to you :) but….we didn’t get rain.

Friday, July 12, 2013

What was supposed to just one night led to a two-night stay and it started off with a bang, me and my friend Kelly’s first ever chance in life to hear live THE Paul McCartney. It was great to finally see the man. We’ve recently been to Liverpool. How we never got to a concert floored me so it became my mission to make this happen. Well Paul made it happen in Washington DC and I won’t ever try to buy tickets feeling nervous and excited because I messed up so many times trying to get them online it’s a wonder I even got a ticket.

How to describe it?


I have seen Led Zepplin twice. Lots of bands really but this was a one of a kind show and I’m so very thankful to have had this experience. You’re watching a legend. At 71 years old, he is still spitting fire and damn cute!!! Whether he is fluffing his hair or adjusting his pants with the boyish grin I could just scoop him up.

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