Give Yourself A Delightful New Book Called Don’t Overthink It

new book called Don't Overthink It

Check out this thought-provoking new book called Don’t Overthink It

Are you looking for illuminating practical suggestions to take your everyday life to a new level? Does facing annoying personal habits sound daunting? This book will help smooth out the wrinkles in your decision strategies and most certainly put a smile on your face.

Reading is a huge passion of mine and almost borders on obsession. I can never be reading a book without several more in line for my next read. My TBR (to be read) list is long, and I often read two (sometimes three) books at once. To be clear, one could be a novel, another personal development, and a third is likely a memoir about a chef. It depends upon my mood and the amount of time I have to read at the moment. 

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More Downsizing, Too Many Photos, More Lessons Learned

downsizing
My renovated kitchen nook and library – My happy place.

Empty Nester Downsizing:  Are you doing this?

The downsizing continues… More sifting, sorting, tossing and saving. Are you doing this? Lately, I seem to read a lot about how people are downsizing, buying smaller homes and some of them have adapted to a nomadic lifestyle. They just travel and don’t even have a permanent home any longer. 

Our children now are grown, we looked around and noticed… we have lots of stuff. I’ve written in the past about how we had a much bigger home and downsized to a smaller home which we completely renovated. The entire experience was a gratifying and exciting adventure. However, what we came to understand was that we collected too many personal possessions! Sound familiar?

Read moreMore Downsizing, Too Many Photos, More Lessons Learned

Love & Gratitude at Christmas in The Empty Nest

 

Christmas in the Empty Nest

Christmas in the Empty Nest seems to be a little different each year as we move forward. Did you know that many empty nesters are Googling and researching “How to be happy in The Empty Nest at Christmas?” Yep, many may be new at this Empty Nest adventure and it might not feel very good right now.

In the past when the children were young, every Christmas holiday was pretty similar to the next. We embraced the family traditions that we started when they were little and my husband Craig and I divided and conquered as we raced around trying to find everything on their lists. We made the same traditional cookies, attended the same Holiday Programs at school and found the perfect present for gift exchanges.

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Attention Bourbon Lovers :: A Fantasy Trip to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky

trip to Bourbon Trail
Humorous sign at Mammy’s in Bardstown, KY

An Epic Trip to the Bourbon Trail

A trip to the Bourbon Trail… is this on your list too? Ever since our grown kids came home from college loving this delicious brown spirit, I have been paying attention. Truthfully, at the time of their discovery, I was still favoring the ubiquitous Cosmo. I then moved on from the Cosmopolitan to a vodka martini which was made up of  “Chopin, up, two olives and a twist.”

However, in the last year, my favorite adult beverage is now a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, because I love the aroma and smooth flavor of a good quality bourbon.

trip to the Bourbon Trail
“The Travelers” hanging out by the two-story copper still at Angel’s Envy

This leads me to the story of our most recent vacation, an adventurous trip to the Bourbon Trail. We began our tour in Louisville, Kentucky, traveled over to Lexington, KY and then finished our trip in Nashville, Tennessee. Not surprisingly, it was one of our favorite trips in years!

Read moreAttention Bourbon Lovers :: A Fantasy Trip to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky

Our 35th Wedding Anniversary – The Adventures Continue in a BIG Way

35th wedding anniversary
How can this be 35 years ago?

Our 35th Wedding Anniversary – A Love Story

When and where did this marriage adventure begin? For me it was love at first sight and without boring you with too many details, this is our sweet story: We were in Spanish class together. I was young, excited to be in high school and there was this handsome brown-eyed, music loving, irreverent, young man sitting behind me. We went on to different colleges, broke up several times during our seven year courtship, but met so young that we needed time to pass so we could mature enough to justify getting married. My parents were always so worried that we would want to get married before we graduated from college. That was never our plan, but I understand their concern.

In the vineyard in Tuscany

It seems like yesterday when I wrote about our 30th wedding anniversary. Now we are celebrating magic number 35. Where did the time go? Funny thing is that I still feel just like that sweet, naïve 23 year old who couldn’t wait to marry the man of her dreams.

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A Spectacular Road Trip Through South Dakota Should Be on Your List!

A Spectacular Road Trip Through South Dakota

Our road trip through South Dakota was way bigger and way grander than we ever imagined it could be. I was in Medora, North Dakota (another place you should visit) to attend a travel conference. So because the Dakotas are so close to each other, our vacation plan was to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, explore the other areas of the state we were familiar with like Custer State Park and enjoy the beautiful panorama.

road trip through South Dakota
You really understand how small and insignificant you are when you stand at the edge of a canyon like this. It was a powerful and moving vista.

 

What we didn’t realize was just how spectacular this South Dakota scenery would be! The sheer size (242,756 acres) and vastness of the South Dakota Badlands absolutely blew our minds. Located in southwest South Dakota, this national park protects buttes and pinnacles along with the largest mixed grass prairie in the United States.

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A Visit to Sylvan Lake – Why Didn’t Anyone Ever Tell Me About This Place?

Our Visit to Sylvan Lake, The Needles Highway and Crazy Horse

I kept thinking, “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this place?” Nearly speechless, I stood silently in awe. I knew the landscape was created by nature, but it was just so unusual, with the staggeringly huge rocks, so smooth and perfect it looked like a ride at Disneyland. How could this be real?

In addition to being blown away by the natural elements of the shores of Sylvan Lake, we also arrived just after a small rain shower and the sky was mostly clear and the lake like a mirror, not a ripple. The mirror image of the enormous boulders above and below on the water was magical.

visit to Sylvan Lake

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A Visit to Mount Rushmore: It’s even more spectacular than you imagined

 

Empty Nesters visit Mount Rushmore

A Visit to Mount Rushmore

Tomorrow is our nation’s birthday and besides slicing the watermelon and wearing red, white and blue, I will be thinking of how awestruck we were standing below the Four Presidents of Mount Rushmore, the friendly soldiers we met there and the Thomas Jefferson ice cream. Read on, it’s a great story. 

To find adventure is our personal mantra and therefore our travel plans are eclectic by choice. In just the first six months of 2019, we have been to Maui, Iceland, Seattle, Italy, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming! Pretty cool! But lately my curiosity for exploring more of our nation has intensified. I have visited 40 states thus far, so with ten left to go, traveling in the US is on my mind a great deal.

sunset at Mount Rushmore
Sunset on Mount Rushmore – Nearly 3 million people from all over the world visit and some become citizens here.

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Without a doubt, empty nesters love their dogs ~

Empty nesters love their dogs

Without a doubt, empty nesters love their dogs – An Update!

Does a dog fill in the space that has been left behind since our kids have grown and left the nest?  Can a dog fulfill a parenting need in the Empty Nest? In my opinion, yes. Yes on both questions. Don’t misunderstand dogs are not children, we just love them like they are!

Ultimately, it may not the best idea for enhancing our new-found freedom. The kids are grown, the house is quiet and we get… A DOG? Why now? Why complicate life with a new puppy? Because they are awesome!

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Happy Five Year Anniversary to Adventures of Empty Nesters!

 

Happy Anniversary
The Palio – Siena, Italy

 

We are five years old!

Happy Anniversary to me, to us, to you! Without you there would be no us! Adventures of Empty Nesters (AOEN) was created out of the need for me to share my feelings about our empty nest. After five years I have found my sweet spot(s).

I definitely focus upon more than one area of life. I find it imperative and somewhat comforting to share the happenings with our family and with our life as an empty nester couple. Additionally, my dream is by offering colorful details of my traveling adventures you too will plan your own. One of the many benefits of travel blogging is that it takes you inside of a trip or tour. This type of writing does not read like a brochure or pamphlet. We tell stories, but hopefully they enlighten you and perhaps delight you at times. However, most of all, my wish for you is to find adventure.

Read moreHappy Five Year Anniversary to Adventures of Empty Nesters!

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