Want to Learn French From Dualingo ? – If can I do it, anyone can!


Welcome Back Laura! This Guest Adventurer writes the fun blog called CoastofIllinois.com. She is a land-locked beach bum who works days as a nurse and shares her land-locked life with her husband who recently retired from a career in law enforcement; just scratching the surface of their sit-com similarities. They have two grown children who still insist on Sunday dinner and a cat who has no interest in bettering himself, unless he can learn how to open his tiny food cans. A fixer-upper sailboat takes up a good portion of time these days, as does preparing for more travel adventures inspired by good food, Hemingway stories and Jimmy Buffet music.

Want to Learn French From Dualingo – I did it!

Je suis Laura.
Je suis 57 et j’apprende le francais.
I admit it. I cheated on the last half of that sentence and had to check everything with Google translate. But the feelings are solid.
I am 57 and I am learning French.
The first question I tend to get, when I admit this out loud is:
The most sensible answer is that my husband and I plan to do some pretty extensive travel in the upcoming years. We have traveled a small amount and when we have been in countries where English is not the first language we tried our best to learn at least some polite phrases: Hello, Good-by, Thank-you, Those aren’t my children…
We didn’t want to be those ‘ugly Americans’ who give the rest of us a bad name.
A more personal reason is the fact that, while I am a good one half German descent, I am a solid – one quarter, last name Jolie, drinks coffee from the saucer and loves bread, straight from Paris to the coal mines of the Midwest, French.
According to my husband, my mocking dismay of things with the typical French movie concierge ‘pftttttttt’ is genetically rooted.
The second question is sort of a quizzical, humoring, aren’t you a little old for this, HOW?
My answer to this is a little more convoluted.
The easy answer is: Duolingo. Which I will get to in a bit.

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Visit Iceland for an Incredible 10-Day Adventure, Part Two

Come learn about glaciers and icebergs


Welcome to Part Two from our newest Guest Adventurer! Debbee is a lifestyle blogger and Etsy shop owner who uses themes when decorating, entertaining and crafting. During the past year Debbee and her husband traveled throughout Spain, spent a magical holiday season in Quebec City, went on a 10-day adventure around Iceland, and just returned from two weeks sailing and touring Greece.

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Incredible Iceland 10-Day Adventure, Part One

My waterproof jacket, rain pants and foldable cap kept me dry, warm and comfortable.


Please Welcome our newest Guest Adventurer! Debbee is a lifestyle blogger and Etsy shop owner who uses themes when decorating, entertaining and crafting. She typically posts twice a week; focusing on holidays, tablescapes, parties, DIY projects and travel. During the past year Debbee and her husband traveled throughout Spain, spent a magical holiday season in Quebec City, went on a 10-day adventure around Iceland, and just returned from two weeks sailing and touring Greece.

Incredible Iceland 10-Day Adventure, Part One

I’m really excited to share our recent family vacation — an incredible 10-day adventure to the land of the midnight sun.

Earlier this year, both my husband and I celebrated big-0 birthdays. Later this fall, we will also mark a big-5 wedding anniversary.

To honor these milestones, our sons arranged a 10-day family vacation. They presented the surprise Iceland trip, transportation details, travel route and accommodations to us in the late spring. That allowed plenty of time to plan and eagerly anticipate the July journey. And believe you me, traveling over 900 miles around the entire country of Iceland takes lots of pre-planning.

incredible Iceland
Gift package of maps and books.


Come along on the first day of our incredible Iceland trip in the land of fire and ice.

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Is a Visit to Mazatlán in Your Future? Empty Nesters are Flocking There!

a visit to Mazatlán

Please welcome my newest Guest Adventurer, my friend and travel journalist Stacey Wittig. Here is her quick bio:”I can’t stop exploring the world (I blame it on my father’s Viking blood) and write about my adventures – many as a solo woman traveler. Life isn’t always rosy; I lost my firecracker reasoning skill to head injury in a horrific rollover accident that should have taken my life. Brain injury hasn’t stopped me from traveling, although sometimes it makes for amusing travel anecdotes.” Follow along at www.UnstoppableStacey.com

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A Dreamy Vacation in the Portuguese Countryside

in the Portuguese countryside
The spectacular countryside of Portugal.

Please welcome back Angela Light, my longtime friend and traveler who spent a great deal of time and energy to write this fantastic post for all of us! Her over-the-top amazing vacation in the Portuguese countryside absolutely captivated me. The dreamy descriptions and elegant accommodations coupled with world class cuisine is my kind of vacation. Take a minute to enjoy this post, it is incredible & I just loved her adventure!

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A U2 Adventure :: How I Met Bono and Got a Tattoo

how I met Bono

An Adventure of a lifetime

Adventures come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and packages – What would it feel like to meet one of the biggest rock stars in the world and then getting his signature tattooed on your arm? Who says that life isn’t exciting after the kids move away?

I heard this story from a travel writer friend and it was so fascinating that I asked her to share it with you. Thanks Lori.

How I Met Bono – It’s an amazing story!

Sure, you can look back on events in your life that were pivotal…


The birth of your children.

Perhaps a peak moment in your career.

At this time in our lives, most of us have experienced all the highlights, moments that when we reflect on them we get an instant smile on our face.

Sure I’ve had those moments too, but there is one day that will forever leave a mark on me. That one story that I can tell over and over again and it transforms me into a 7th grade girl with all the emotions of crushing on Donny Osmond.

The first U2 concert I went to was in Madison, Wisconsin in 1992 during the Zoo TV tour. I was transformed that night by the spectacle of this multi media show. I really liked U2’s music before, but seeing Bono work the audience that night was mind-blowing. I have long had a soft spot in my heart for lead singers (hello, my name is Lori, I’m 55 years old and I totally fangirl over Bono!).

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Plan your next adventure! A Trip to Portugal Should Be On Your Travel Radar

trip to Portugal

Angela, my dear friend from college and avid traveler, has returned to the blog to share their luxurious adventure in Portugal. I didn’t know nearly enough about this incredible country, but now I know that a trip to Portugal must be at the top of my travel adventure list!

How does one describe Portugal? Glorious. Mysterious. Land of ancient explorers. A must-go destination.

Portugal had been on our travel radar for some time. Between reading about it on travel sites, seeing Porto featured on my favorite fashion blog, and one of our daughters having visited Lisbon when she was studying in Madrid years ago, that was enough to whet our appetites.

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Walking Through Japan: Along the Nakasendo Way

walking through Japan
Yet another marking with the “Nakasendo Way” symbols.


Please welcome back Guest Adventurer, Angela Light, my college roommate and dear friend. She and her husband Jon are avid world travelers and the minute I heard about their most recent travel adventure, walking through Japan, I asked her to share it with you! Thank you Angela! 

Walking Through Japan ~

Last year my then-59-year-old husband announced, “I don’t want a big party for my 60th! I just want to go somewhere with you. “ Jon is an avid sushi fan and a lover of the Japanese culture, so Japan it was. We decided on a three-week journey around spring break that would include two weeks in Japan and a “relaxation” week in Hawaii on the way home.

We had hiked with Backroads in Iceland the summer of 2015 and absolutely loved it.  Jon wanted to duplicate that kind of experience in Japan.  We love resorts, cities, fancy restaurants and hotels, and lots of culture, but we had recently discovered that we also enjoy another kind of adventure.

walking through Japan
We were so fortunate to hit the peak of the cherry blossoms!

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CarePossible: How to find your passion as an Empty Nester

Please welcome my friend of 20 years who is a fantastic husband, father and friend, Randy Moraitis. Randy is a counselor, life coach and interventionist in private practice in Laguna Niguel, CA. He founded CarePossible to provide free mental health and addiction care to low-income families and veterans. On the eve of Veteran’s Day, I felt it was the perfect time for him to share his personal adventure with all of you! Thank you Randy.


how to find your passion as an empty nester
(L) Randy’s daughter Amber and her husband Keith (R) Randy and his wife Kim

How to find your passion as an Empty Nester ~

Recently, after raising a blended family of five, my wife Kim and I became empty nesters (unless you count our Morkie named Rambo).

One of the best parts of being an empty nester is having more time and freedom to pursue one’s passion. My passion is helping those affected by mental health and addiction issues—specifically low income and military families.

After over a dozen years leading large mental health counseling and addiction recovery programs in some great mega-churches, I became exasperated by the number of people who finally get to a place where they really want help for their issues, but because they lack resources they end up slipping through the cracks of society, sometimes overdosing or committing suicide, or at the very least never living a life of purpose or contributing to the community.

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