Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
But first, I'll be visiting my aunt in Baltimore. I'll report back this weekend!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
The first book, Twilight, is also a movie that's coming out Nov. 21. I'll be sure to see it, but as with all books-to-movies, I suggest reading the book first!
Thanks to Debbie for turning me onto these books!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I tried again, and look at the pretty charms I made for friends. This is why I'm so proud of myself!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Our first true tourist stop was in tiny Williamsburg. I would guess the population is around 50. The reason we stopped is for breakfast at Crane's. Crane's began first as a general store, which it still looks like the old general store, with the screen door and wood floors, and most recently it began selling boots and protective wear for the nearby nuclear plant. So we ate in a little greasy spoon, complete with the 10 farmers sitting around a table drinking coffee.
We then headed toward Kimmswick, which is south of St. Louis. You get off the highway, and you would never guess you're so close to the city. It's an old river town (Mississippi River) that's now full of craft shops and such. Mom and I thought it would be a bit more, but the best part was lunch at The Blue Owl. One Kimmswick resident started making tons of baked goods to sell and it turned into a large restaurant that serves 300+ per day, and they aren't even open for dinner!
Sunday morning was Defiance. The night before we drove through Defiance and there was a biker rally going on. I know that's why Mom initially wanted to go, but we decided instead to go to Daniel Boone's home. It was really interesting. If you like history, and you're anywhere close, you should stop by. We had a great guide, which is who Mom is standing by in the photo.
This home was actually Daniel's son, Nathan's home. Daniel Boone was given around 800 acres along the Missouri River by the Spanish government when Boone was commissioned to bring settlers into the territory. Once it became American territory, our government didn't recognize foreign land grants, so Daniel lost his land, but after some time, he did get the land back and immediately sold it to pay off debts. His son bought this piece of land, including the 600+ acres surrounding for the price of a horse, saddle and bridle. Living here was Nathan, his wife, their 14 children, Daniel and Rebbecca Boone.
It's beautiful country, and you can see why Missouri is a beautiful place for a weekend road trip! If only had a vehicle like this to road trip in!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The three of us at Paradise Falls in Mt. Rainier National Park (notice a theme?)
My beautiful birthday cake. Notice the Happy Birthday writing on the rim of the plate. The pastry chef makes these masterpieces while the train is moving!!! I was also given the wonderful Montana Trivia book by my fellow tour leaders. Thanks!
Me on the carousel in Missoula. I'm telling you, this work is grueling!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Me and Lisa - One Mile Above Seal Level - Capitol Steps
(Note: Lisa is willingly touching the grimy steps...)
John and I pose
John joins in on the silly pictures. What a great sport!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Beauty Brands locations nationwide raise money for local domestic violence shelters through the Reduce Abuse program. As you may know, people often confide very personal things to their stylists, so stylists may learn about the abuse.
Beginning Sept. 29 through Oct. 26 Beauty Brands is selling its Redken Guts product for $6.98 (regularly $14.95), and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the local shelters of each location. Beauty Brands are in 11 states including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.
Be sure to find your nearest location and help stop domestic violence in your community!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
If you have any special requests, ask away! Check back periodcally for new merchandise. Enjoy!
Be sure to bookmark http://finishingtouchkc.etsy.com/!
Monday, September 01, 2008
The GrandLuxe Express is now owned by the bank and is making its way down to San Francisco tomorrow so it will have a frost-free winter and hopefully be bought up by some multi-billion dollar investor. I'm not holding my breath.
As for my trips through the Northwest, they were magnificent. The Northwest beauty is more my speed. I absolutely love all the mountains and trees. Grand Tetons will always be one of my favorite parks, but there are some definite rivals.
During these trips we went through the north entrance of Yellowstone, and I have to say it's my favorite. This is a photo of the falls at Artist's Point, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
A day in the Red Jammer Buses. My first trip through Glacier National Park in mid-August it was 42 degrees. Very cold in a convertible top! A week later, it was in the 70s. Fall comes quick in the mountains!
Mt. Rainier National Park - Spring came late, so we were still enjoying wildflowers in August.
Kylie, a fellow tour leader, and I ride the carousel in Missoula with our guests. If I were to live in Montana, it would be in Missoula. It has the necessities, but it's a clean, fun and artsy town that's minutes from the mountains.
Mt. Rainier from my Tacoma hotel.
The train going over the trestles of Montana.
Mt. Moran reflecting in Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park.
The train rolling through the mountains. I believe we're in Montana, near Three Forks. This is where the Gallitan, Madison and Jefferson Rivers converge to form the Missouri River.
Kylie, Michele and I's last day as tour leaders for GrandLuxe Rail. You can tell that we haven't heard the news! It was a lot of fun working with these gals!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
GrandLuxe Rail Journeys is closing down operations on Aug. 29, the company announced internally Tuesday morning. Employees were called into a meeting by Tom Rader, chairman and owner of GrandLuxe, who told them the company wouldAs for me, I flew from Jackson to Grand Junction to spend my time in between tours. Since there are no more tours, I'm stuck. I'll see if I can get an inexpensive flight back to KC soon. Even while I'm here in Grand Junction, I'm doing some freelance PR and I'll get back on the subbing wagon once I'm back in town.
cease operations with the return of the train to Tacoma on Aug. 28. In a letter rafted to send to clients, Rader wrote: “We are financially unable to continue operations.” Later in the letter, Rader said he was aware that consumers with booked trips will want their money refunded, but, he wrote, “At this time we just do not have many answers to your questions. … I am personally deeply sorry that we have failed to provide your trip.” He urged those who paid by credit card to contact the card company for refunds. Evergreen, Colo.-based GrandLuxe, formerly known as American Orient Express, operated train journeys around the U.S. and Mexico.
I still have a number of pix to post from the beautiful Northwest tours. I'll post those as soon as I can.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I can't read my current group yet. They seem indifferent to the tours. Today we were in beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park, and they didn't oooh or ahhh. A smile or nod would suffice ...
Once I finish this tour, I'm off to John's in Grand Junction for a couple weeks. I'll be sure to post tours and my commentary for the trip then.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
In August I'll be back at it again with the Parks of the Northwest trips. Here's hoping the next group is ready to have a fun-filled vacation!
Friday, June 20, 2008
This has been a great tour with great people. This group has had the most fun and they're ready to have a good time, no matter the situation.
My big news is that my brother Darin and his wife Conda had their baby. It's a boy! Born June 18, 9 lb. 3 oz., 21 in. long, named Wade Cooper. I can't wait to meet him in July!!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
View of the Bookcliffs in Grand Junction.
We took a gorgeous drive down to Gateway, Colo., where John Hendricks, the creator of the Discovery Channel and all its affiliates has a resort and car museum.
John driving down to Gateway.
The "rock" that's the centerpiece of the Gateway skyline.
The car I will one day drive that's in the Gateway museum...
A thrilling adventure we also took was a flight to Moab, Utah, with John as the pilot. It was a lot of fun. I was John's first passenger that didn't have a clue about flying. He did a great job. On the way back from Moab to Grand Junction, he let me take the "wheel," which is not my idea of fun. It made me too nervous. Don't expect me to get my pilot's license any time soon!
John and the plane in Moab.
Me and John flying - Can you hear me now?
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Zion National Park - One of the most beautiful parks on the tour. My favorites are the Grand Tetons, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Zion reminds me of Yosemite with redder rocks.
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, NV
Petroglyphs at Valley of Fire - The day I went, it was record temps for this time of year 110 degrees.
Me and the Grand Canyon. I enjoyed the Grand Canyon, but I think we've all been spoiled by the fabulous pictures taken at sunrise/sunset. It's beautiful, but you don't get the reflections and colors at mid-day.
St. Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM
Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. This is where there are Pueblo dwellings. It's amazing to see them all. It's the first condo or apartment system. Some of the areas were only accessible by shimmying up a couple rocks - no ladders.
My room on the train. I slept on the bottom bunk. The sofa folds down, then we stored tour supplies on the top bunk. Very "quaint" and "cozy." I did have my own toilet and sink, and we shared a shower down the hall. It's not all that bad.
Bryce Canyon National Park near Cedar City, UT. This is one of my favorites because of the Hoodoos, which are the sandstone pillars formed by wind and rain erosion.