Join me as I talk with Andrea on the Females With a Mission Radio show this Friday, 2/19 at 9:30 am CST. 

Topic – Valentine’s Relationship Roundtable featuring Angela Petitt and coaches Paula Martin, Daniela Koenig, and Ann Davidman.

Here’s how you can listen:

By computer:  www.blogtalkradio.com/fwm
By phone:  347-426-3312

Can’t listen while the show is live?
That’s o.k.  You can HEAR the show from
www.blogtalkradio.com/fwm
anytime of the day.  Even if you are traveling, you can download the show to your itunes library and take it with you.

Looking forward to an interesting conversation!!

Remember, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Prov 3:5-6)

Be Blessed~

-A

Roatan Rocks!!

Just got back from one of my favorite activities…CRUISIN!  My Aunt and I did the 7 day Royal Caribbean Cruise out of Galveston to Roatan, Honduras, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

In Roatan, we met up with my dear friend Marc in Gumbalimba Park.  This park has it all.  First, we did an amazing nature walk wherein we saw many black iguanas, beautiful flowers, and unusual trees. Then, we had a great time trying to cross the stream on an Indiana Jones style bridge.  Next, I got to play with a spider monkey and parrot. Such an awesome experience!!!

After the nature hike, I could not resist the opportunity to snorkel on the Jolly Roger Catamaran. The azure waters were calling me to come forth — LOL!!! Okay, I only stayed in about 15 minutes – but it was well worth it. I guess I was tired from eating too many deserts on the cruise ship.  A guide was beckoned to “rescue” me.  He took  me back to the boat where I had a cool drink and then met a fitness pro champ, Nicole.  She has the BEST ABS!!!

We continued to explore the park and had a chance to talk with Olivia, who is excited about her work with the youth on the island.  After that, we were ready for more adventure by taking the clear kayak tour to see the coastline.   These kayaks have a clear bottom which enable you can see clear down into the sea — Amazing!! 

Roatan really surprised us. The beaches were warm, the waters were crystal blue, the people were nice, and the variety of activities were great!  My Aunt and I had such a good time that we were trying to figure out a way to stay in Roatan instead of going back to the cruise ship.

More Beautiful Beaches

The next stop on the cruise was Costa Maya. This port is a fairly new development with a party type atmosphere and a variety of shopping options. We actually got a taxi to the downtown area and lounged on the beautiful beach for the whole day. 

I continued lounging on the beach in Cozumel to get more “sabbatical rest”.  It was great!! We met up with Nicole and just did absolutely nothing…loved it!

Inspiration – Try not to become a (wo)man of success but rather try to become a (wo)man of value. (Albert Einstein)

Prayer Focus – Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico (especially children). 

Be Blessed!!

Hi All!!

Wishing you a wonderful and prosperous New Year…Happy Travels for 2010!

Inspiration – Never give up a dream because of the length of time it will take to accomplish. The time will pass anyway. – H. Jackson Brown

Be Blessed!

-A

I am back!  Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama.  Of all places, never did I imagine that I would be in Colombia.

Starting out – This cruise adventure started in Ft. Lauderdale, making the first stop in Jamaica.  Here, we  had the opportunity to really talk to the locals and get an understanding of their lives.  After touring the island, the driver took us to a nice beach and we got some jerk chicken.   But to my surprise, it tasted like BBQ chicken – not authentic as I imagined…still good though and I ate every bit of it (LOL)!!!

Costa Rica – We got off the boat and secured a taxi to take us on a tour of Port Limon. The highlight of the tour was going on a jungle boat ride.  As we sailed through the swamps, we saw sloth, iguanas, and other creatures along thick foilage of the jungle.  What a treat!!

TIP – This same trip cost about $75 per person on the boat, but we got it for $20! When going on cruises, the excursions offered by cruise lines tend to be way more expensive. Plus, they leave too early in the morning for me. I suggest negotiating with a local taxi or tour driver at the port. Just ensure that you settle a rate before you begin your ride.  

Colombia – We landed at the Santa Marta port and got a taxi to take us to Tayrona National Park. Check out the pictures of this park to see the most beautiful coastline and beaches ever!   Once we got to the park entrance, I started to get a bit uncomfortable. The “guards” at the gate wanted an extreme amount of money to enter the park. Thank goodness our fellow cruiser was fluent in Spanish! 

We then went to Cartegena. I love this place! The culture, beaches, people, and architecture were just amazing. One thing about Colombia – it was HOT!! You definitely need a hat, sunglasses, and water.

Panama – The ship docked in Colon, Panama. We got a taxi to take us through the city and onto Panama City,  but not before seeing the Panama Canal.  Actually seeing a ship go through the locks was interesting. By this time, we were all running out of money.  One good thing, most of all the cities we visited took the US dollar. Panama actually uses our currency.  But, things were just a little bit more expensive.

 Fin – The trip ended with an overnight stay in the Panama City Marriot. The hotel was really nice. It had a huge gym – which I didn’t use of course. But, I did get in the hot tub!

Inspiration –  Don’t let disappointments, strained relationships and job challenges tell you who God is; let His Word speak for Him. (Joel Osteen).

Peace & Blessings!!

-A

Here in the south, or at least southeast Texas, we hardly get to see a distinct change of colors when seasons change. So, you can imagine my thrill when I saw all the wonderful bright oranges and reds flowing over the landscape of Frankfurt, Germany.  This surely put me in the mood for fall and a perfect end to the Ancient Empires cruise! 

Inspiration – Thank you Jesus for all that you have blessed us with!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

-A

WOW!!!  We really got a great deal aboard the beautiful brand new Celebrity Equinox cruise ship.  Thank you Aunt Thelma.  Here are the details of our adventure…

We landed in Rome and quickly found the train route that would take us to the port city of Civitavecchia.  From there, we boarded the ship for a 12 relaxing days around the Mediterranean Sea.  These days were filled with taking advantage of learning new languages, eating, relaxing in the hot tub, meeting our fellow cruisers, listening to great jazz music, and dressing up for exquisite dinners. 

Oh, I must mention, aside from the exotic ports of call, one of the most exciting part of the cruise was the broadway style show after dinner. In Cirque style, there were aerial performers (which I LOVE) and other dancers in flamboyant costumes.  This show was world-class!  This voyage was definitely off to a great start.

First Stop – Athens

The weather was slated to be clear and hot for our  first stop – Athens, Greece.  Boy, was the weatherman ever wrong!! On our way to the Acropolis, it started to drizzle.  But that didn’t stop our adventure.  The taxi dropped us off and we were headed up the steep pathway to see this ancient wonder of the world. Finally making it to the top, we also treated to a spectacular overview of Athens and the Parthenon. At this point, it started to POUR!!!  There was no place to take cover.  Luckily, we saw friends with umbrellas who gladly escorted us down the hill.  From there, we got a taxi and went back to the ship…So much for a day in Athens.

Next stop??  Onward to Ancient Empires

Words cannot express the awe I felt traveling through the Holy Land and following in the footsteps of St. Paul in Ephesus, Turkey.  Imagine my excitement seeing the magnificent Pyramids of Giza and standing right next to the Sphinx.  I actually envisioned the baby Moses sailing down the Nile River in his basket.  Definitely an impressive journey!  

Here is a challenge – Can you name the site/locations captured in the photos below? (hint – mouse over the pic for the location).

Wait!!   There’s more…But, it will have to wait until my next post.
Be Blessed ’til then!
-A

I am sitting here thinking about the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. So very relaxing!! Cabo really was a great luxurious getaway. I stayed at the beautiful Riu Palace and one thing for sure – the food was AWESOME! I couldn’t stop eating and didn’t want to either.  This trip was a great experience not only because of the destination. But, because of the adventure and the people I met along the way. 

New Friends

Allow me to introduce some new friends. The scene – downtown Cabo. The place – Starbucks (go figure). While shopping around, I happened to meet a very motivated and handsome young man, Modu. This highly educated, finely sculpted and interesting man recently took a step of faith and moved to Cabo to pursue his dream of fitness training, modeling, and launching a clothing line.  He does it all! Check out his site and see for yourself http://www.moduvatedtobefit.com/.  In his own words, he gave me some great advice for this season of my life “Never look back. Do what you love because we only live once. It will pay off soon or later.” Modu is indeed very wise. 

Ziplining – While mustering up enough courage to zipline for the first time, I also met a very inspirational family from Arizona. Rebecca, Jeff, Gabby and JJ. Especially brave JJ!  With his beautiful big sister Gabby watching over him, he was such a trooper as we climbed high in the canyons of Cabo. Check out the pictures from our adventure. Although it was fun, Lord knows I probably won’t be doing any more ziplining again!!

So that was my amazing Cabo adventure. A most memorable one for sure!

Inspiration – A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. – Tim Cahill

I love the quote “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  This truth perfectly illustrates my journey. It has been approximately 3 months since I stepped into my sabbatical  journey and I am still so excited and thankful to God for the opportunity.  One thing for sure is that my sabbatical is definitely teaching me to trust Him more. I mean it is one thing to have a steady paycheck being deposited every two weeks. But to not have that, is a totally different animal.  Talk about a change of habits…I now have to keep an eagle eye watch over everything I do.  But, it is all good!

My sabbatical is also teaching me that life is so much bigger than what goes on in my world.  It is so easy to get caught up in a daily routine that we hardly ever take time to really live and experience life. For me, traveling, being active at church, trying new things, and connecting with others challenges me to step out of my small world and become more engaged with life.  So, my journey continues… 

Inspiration – “Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.”  Braveheart

Ciao!

For the past two weeks, I have been –ahhhh — a couch potato. Friends call me and they know what I am doing –absolutely nothing.  But alas, there is only so much daytime tv one can take. So, I moved on to house projects.  I pulled out old clothes, rummaged through my closets, and have a list of other things that I want to clean up and clear out. However, can you guess what will interrupt my organizational tasks? That’s right – a TRIP!!! I am leaving for Cabo this weekend. So, the excitement continues to bubble up in my spirit again.

Inspiration – “Maintaining a complicated life is a great way to avoid changing it.” Elaine St. James

Be Blessed!

-A

Hi All,

It has been just over a month since my sabbatical started…and I have no regrets! You might be wondering how the finances are coming along. Well, it has been interesting not having an actual check being automatically deposited into my account. My main concern lately has been ensuring that I am getting the most for my money. For example, my homeowners insurance was up for renewal and the policy increased. This was unacceptable.  So, I started to rate search and found a better policy for far less money. It pays to shop around.

Other bills are pretty much the same. I did have some unexpected purchases to help my nephew out with his college expenses. Thank God I set aside a little for events such as this from the beginning.  One thing for sure is that I wish I could find a better option for tv. Seems like out of all the channels, there is never anything on worth watching! Bummer. They need to have an “a-la-carte” option. In any case, I am still watching what I buy and monitoring my accounts accordingly. So, planning is still key.

Oh – I forgot to mention that Cabo is back on for October. WOO HOO!!!!

Last week was busy as well. I spent it preparing for my Wall of Honor induction ceremony.   In addition to being inducted, I was also selected to give a speech at the ceremony.  Being pretty shy and quiet, this was a huge step out of my comfort zone.  But, I believed God gave me the right words to share with those present.

As it turned out, everyone loved the speech! I was so excited.  Having my friends and family there made the night so special. Several friends even placed notes of congratulations in the ceremony booklet – making the event even more spectacular and memorable. Thank you all! I love and appreciate each and every one of you.

Here is a picture from the ceremony.

Wall of Honor Wall of Honor

 Inspiration – “It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”  Henry James

Be blessed beyond measure!

-A

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