The Happy Hour Hiking Club with Chris Erskine

Photo: Dave Wilkenson
Photo: Dave Mickelson

An Empty Nester Hiking Club Adventure ~

When was the last time you did something for the first time? My most recent experience was Wednesday. Craig and I joined a cheerful group of hikers who were mostly middle-aged and some even a bit older, who live near Los Angeles. We went on a short, but steep hike to the Griffith Park Observatory and it was awesome.

Columnist Chris Erskine, from the Los Angeles Times, put this group together. Yes! That guy! He is just as great in person and as friendly as you would assume he would be.

Chris had this idea of getting some nice people together, taking a short-ish walk or hike and finishing with a Happy Hour. This became the Happy Hour Hiking Club.

The views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills were spectacular. Many of us had never been up there before and we all lived nearby. Hard to believe but true! Chris said “Welcome to the rooftop of Los Angeles”. The sunset sky rolled out a rainbow of colors for all of us to enjoy.

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The Empty Nest Home Renovation is Delayed… a little

Original Backyard home renovation
The original backyard – There was a super odd looking (and useless) planter in the middle of the pool deck. All of the back of the house has changed with new windows and doors and the second story addition.

The Empty Nest home renovation is…DELAYED, but just by a little.

I know many of your heads are nodding and you are silently saying “I told you so”, but we do have a slight delay of our home renovation. We cannot blame it on El Niño, we cannot blame it on the contractor, we cannot even blame it on me.

building the wall home renovation
Without the planter in the middle of this small yard, it will add more usable space. The new wall being built will add privacy along that side of the yard.

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The Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2015

top 5 most popular posts of 2015


You do not have to look too deep in to the world of social media to see that everyone is publishing topics like the Top 5 Most Popular Posts ,The Nine Best Instagram Photos, The Best of This, The Best of That and even The Top Ten Dishes of 2015 (I did that). There is a very good reason for this. Reflection. As responsible bloggers, we need to reflect upon the work from the prior year in order to plan for and evaluate the next year’s editorial calendar.

However, my favorite part of the “Best of Post” is revisiting a topic that made people happy! My goal was to bring together a community of empty nesters to share their adventures. I am indeed the largest contributor, but there have been many Guest Adventurers who have written amazing articles and were willing to allow me to publish them! Thank you for that!

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The Evolution of the Empty Nest

  One more change in the Empty Nest Graduate from high school, move out, go to college, graduate from college, get a job – rinse, repeat. This is all happening again. Now, five years later, our second and last child has left the nest and graduated from UCLA just a few days ago.   I knew …

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Channeling her “inner Hemingway”

Let us give a warm welcome to a return Guest Adventurer, Laura, a self-proclaimed beach bum, who lives in Illinois! She shares how she channeled her “inner Hemingway” and offered us a refreshing idea!  It is not easy being a beach bum when the ocean is 600 miles away. Oh sure, my deck is painted Caribbean …

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The Inevitability of Change

Change is inevitable, but we must try to embrace these persistent ups and downs and learn to thrive on this roller coaster of transition. What does change look like exactly? It looks different on everyone. It fits differently too. Some people handle it with ease and for others, it is a huge challenge.  It is suggested that we “Go with …

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Don’t worry about your children leaving for college, they’ll be fine!

As an alumni and parent of an undergraduate at UCLA, I was thrilled to be featured in the UCLA Parents and Family Program’s Bruinlink, the newsletter for the parents of new Bruins. Your student’s next chapter in life has officially begun, so what does that mean for you? The transition from high school to college doesn’t only take a …

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