Monday, May 26, 2008

13 days til the cruise.....

Actually 12 days until we leave...we Fly into Miami on June 8. Everyone is so very excited and I for one, can't wait. Normally, I wouldn't take a vacation this time of year as summer is our busy season, but with everyone graduating and other people bringing their kids, this was the best time. Though work will pile up, I'm really looking forward to getting away. The map at the left shows where we will be going.

Here's one of the locations we'll be visiting:
Its the fort in Puerto Rico as you round the island coming into port.

Though we will be cruising the eastern Caribbean on this trip, Kevin and I are planning our regular birthday cruise for this fall. We usually go at the end of September and started it on our 40th birthdays (which are on the same day). We've continued to keep it up as cruising is very economical and life is too short to go for long periods of time without seeing the beautiful blue waters and feel the soft salt spray from our balcony. We'll be heading to the Mexican Rivera out of LA so it should be a good time. And its Mexico so we probably won't get off the boat that much - I'd prefer to stay on board anyway most of the time.

I'd have been saying that I hope to work on my book on the cruise for weeks - but I'm not saying that anymore. I WILL work on my book. I suppose some would find it odd that the one thing that I do every single day - write - is also the thing I look most forward to when I go on vacation. I guess that's a good indication of what your true passion is, if you do it every day and still can't get enough then its what you were meant to do. Anyway I will be finishing my new book on the cruise - and updating about the trip on the blog so stay tuned.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Memphis, Graduation, and Good Times

So I just got back from spending most of last week in Memphis. The hometown of Elvis, on the banks of the Mississippi, and keeper of secrets......yes, secrets (but more on that later). My parents and I all converged on Memphis for the graduation of my son from college. He is now a graduate of Rhodes College and to the thrill of the family and my son, HE HAS A JOB. He got his dream job at the corporate office of Auto Zone in Memphis. His does some kind of financial stuff (don't' ask me exactly what as it involves spreadsheets and stuff). But we were all VERY extremely proud of him.

So now I have two graduated from college and doing well in real life (with jobs and everything). We have another one graduating high school this year and one that's 16 so we still have a couple to go.

Memphis was totally fabulous. I had always envisioned it a very dangerous city (which it is if you look at the murder rate) because I watch The First 48 and its seems like every horrible murder happens in Memphis. However, I have to say that I totally loved it. The river was tremendous and I got an up close look from Mudd Island. The old peeps and me went down to Beale Street for a birthday lunch for my dad. Had fried green tomatoes, collard greens, grits and BBQ. We stayed downtown at the Madison and it was great. The valets were fab, and service impeccable. I got to treat my parents, but it was pretty obvious they aren't used to that level of service. Due to some issues with their room not being ready the hotel treated them to a suite and they learned pretty quickly why a $40 steak is better than sex and how fabulous room service really is.

My mom has been an Elvis fan her whole life and actually sneaked out late one night as a teenager in Dallas to watch the Elvis train roll through. She finally got to go to Graceland and will adamantly deny that the King is really dead (although she seems to think his estate is commercializing his memory??????).

The whole fam went to Rhodes for Graduation and it was really very nice. The weather was slightly overcast and the graduation was held on a large lawn surrounded by a forest of trees on the campus. I have to say that its something special to see your kids launch themselves into the real world.

In a few weeks we will all be off on the family cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate the grads and get together as a family before they all start acquiring spouses and reproducing. We're traveling essentially the same itinerary as me & kev did last year and I really think they will all love it. To top it off, my sister and her kids are going as well as Kevin's sister and her family so it should be a fun time.

On the home front, I'm catchin up on numerous books in the works and talking to many clients to get their projects underway. Thanks to all for the good wishes on my new book in the fall, The Trouble with Money. It is a book on reducing financial chaos in your life and we'll be teaching it as a class at Amarillo College.

Now for the 'secrets'.....I'm currently reading a book called "The American Plague" by Molly Caldwell Crosby. It is the story of how the epedimic of yellow fever almost destroyed Memphis in the first decade of the twentieth century. It is very haunting and yet educational. It was really intersting going to Memphis because 100 years later you can still see evidence of the result of that epidemic which is incredible......I'd advise everyone to learn about it and understand how it affected the population ....and if you have to go to Memphis and eat cheese grits (and visit Elvis) really understand it, then all the better....