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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pack a Flashlight

flashlights
Pack a flashlight or two. I always, always, always pack a flash light. If I'm traveling by car I pack a flashlight. If I'm traveling by plane, I always pack a flashlight. Going for a quick wk-end or a nice long vacation, yep I pack a flashlight in either case.
WHY?
  1. Electric can go off anywhere, anytime. After all it goes off at home, right? Why wouldn't it go off due to a storm or electrical problem when you're traveling?
  2. Hotel rooms are dark, which is really nice when you're trying to get some sleep; but when you wake up in different places all the time can you see your way to bathroom in the middle of night? Not normally. Thus the little flashlight on the right in above picture is something always packed in my ditty bag for all trips, long or short. It's always placed on my bedside nightstand in hotel rooms. It always get's used!
  3. The flashlight on the left is a new item we've gotten really hooked on. You do not need batteries! Batteries are heavy. Regular batteries are expensive, always have to be replaced and are not at all environmentally friendly. If you use (and we do 99.9% of the time), rechargeable batteries, then you need to be sure and pack the recharger. This flashlights run by being cranked up. See the handle? You crank it a few times, then snap it back down and you have light. We've tested it out. We cranked about 40 times and it ran all night. It's small, lightweight, easy to use and the light has 2 levels--regular and bright. So, it really is one that you can see with.
  4. If traveling by car, hubby usually has a large heavy duty flashlight in the car. This is a safety must! If you're on the road at night and have a problem, you really do need to see what you're doing. Maybe you need to change a flat, hard to do without a good flashlight.
Sometimes we're caught off guard and things happen one doesn't expect, with truly with a little bit of forethought and planning you can be prepared for almost anything. Being prepared, being organized can make your trips so much more enjoyable. Being organized, being safe and planning ahead can make what could be a bad situation nothing more then a little bump in the road.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

More than a school yard with Flat Stanley and Flat Joe

wolf sculptureThis wolf sculpture came all the way from Bozeman, Montana at the request of Ron Hirschi. It sits in the school yard at Wickliffe Elementary School in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Besides being a fabulous piece of art it has quite a history. It was requested by Ron Hirschi, a author of Childrens Books. He's a naturalist and teaches kids about the importance of saving the enviornment. His book, "When The Wolves Return talks about the importance of this animal in nature. He spent lots of time at Wickliffe helping students with writing, inspiring them to take care of the planet. There were fishing trips, walks in the woods as well. Flat Stanley enjoyed telling Flat Joe all about the Wolf, and Ron Hirschi.
peace poleWalking around to the front of the building Flat Stanley told Joe all about Peace Poles. This one has English, sign language on 2 sides and Japanese and Chinese on the other sides.
peace poleMay Peace Prevail on Earth. Joe climbed to the top of the pole for a really good look, so you may need to click to enlarge it enough to see him.
plaqueThe plaque indicates this pole was commemorated in April of 1991, the end of The Gulf War. When the pole was placed children sang songs about peace. Sadly, that peace has been interrupted.
stone memorialIn the garden beside the Wolf is this memorial to Will Powers. Will loved nature and enjoyed Ron Hirschi's visits. He lost his life riding his bike home from school. Both Flat Stanley and Flat Joe wanted to pause and honor this young man.

Activities:
Go to the library or book store and get one of Ron Hirschi's books.
Draw, color, or sculpt with clay one of the animals from his book.
Plot on the map Bozeman, Montana and Upper Arlington, Ohio.
Discuss how animals balance nature.
Do math with the numbers/miles from the maps
Make a word puzzle with new words from the book.
Discuss what the Gulf War was about.
Make your own peace pole
*No one likes to think of a child loosing his or her life; but it does happen. Discuss bike safety with your children, it's important.
**Look around your schoolyard, are there plaques, statures? Do you know what they mean, what the story is behind them? Many school yards have things to teach us.

See you Oct 1st when Flat Stanley and Flat Joe have a special on playing and having fun for you. Don't miss it, you see FLat Joe will be packing his bag and moving on to another interesting location.
Have you missed previous adventures with Flat Stanley, you can catch up, CLICK HERE
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

When and Where are you Traveling?


Once you finalize all your travel plans type up a complete travel itinerary and email or print to pass along to at least one other person besides those in your travel party. When are you leaving, where are you staying, phone numbers for contact at the hotel as well as your cell phone numbers. If you're flying include flight times along with the name of the airlines and your ETA. It's always a good idea for someone else to know your whereabouts. People have gotten lax and and or lazy and don't do this as much as they used to. They think as long as they have a cell phone, they're ok and anyone could reach them. However, what if your lose your cell phone, or it get's stolen, or the battery runs out, or you find you're not getting good cell coverage and there's an emergency? People need a way to contact you, and you need a way to contact them. Be smart include name, dates, addresses, and phone numbers.

Think of the sad situations we all hear about on the news where someone doesn't make it to their destination. People try, but can't reach them by cell phone. Police can't look for them if someone doesn't know where they were suppose to be, or when.

Maybe you keep everything in your laptop; but someone takes it and then you've got no way to check confirmation numbers. Maybe you keep notes in your purse or wallet and that gets stolen or lost or forgotten. Be prepared, have a back up. If you pass along your complete itinerary to someone else you're covered.

Are you renting a car, include the name of the company. This too can help in the case of an emergency, an accident etc. If you're driving your own car, include the color, make, and license plate number on your complete itinerary.

Not saying something will happen, or that you need to be paranoid; but a little caution is in order when you travel. Things do happen, usually when we're least prepared. Take an extra 5 minutes and pass along your complete travel itinerary. Something so simple can be a life safer later.

My brother was out of town on business when our mother had emergency surgery. We didn't know if she'd make it through the night and contacting him wasn't easy. When you travel, be safe, be prepared. You'll have fewer people worried about you, and you'll have a better stress free time.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Please enjoy some pretty fall color. The suitcase will be back with regular posts soon. Just taking a few days off.



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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Break ins can Ruin your Travels

car break inDon't let this happen to you! Broken car window, that's a rock in the backseat. That's the rock they used to break the car window. Yes they got my purse, my ID's, my glasses. This happened because my purse was in the car. How many times have you left your purse, your camera, your GPS in the car? I'm betting far too many times. I NEVER do now. Thankfully I wasn't out of town on vacation when this did happen. When I travel, I'm actually more on alert. If you leave items in your car (you often can't carry everything), make sure they are not visible. More importantly, lock them up BEFORE you get where you're going. It does no good to get out of the car, walk to the back and lock it (purse, DVD player, GPS etc.) up as people watch you do it. That's about what happened here. When you plan not to carry your purse, or camera bag etc, put them out of site before hand. Take your car keys with you, you chap stick...whatever items you plan to put in your pocket, then lock and or hide your purse and other valuables.

Having nothing visible that's tempting someone to break in will help protect you, your car, and your valuables.

I did have my car keys, and my cell phone in my pocket. Don't be unsafe, don't get stranded. Always have your items locked, or hidden or better yet with you! I down size my purse and therefore it's light enough to carry with me now at all times. I always have my cell phone even when I stop briefly to go potty at a rest stop. Do NOT leave things in the car, it really only takes a short while to have a mishap. Protect yourself, your family, and your valuables. Think ahead, pack well. Enjoy your travels.

**A bit of a side note here, do you have the name and phone number of your insurance agent in your cell phone? If not, you should. Do you have the number to call to stop your credit cards in your purse or cell phone? If not, you should. When this happened to me, I called hubby who immediately canceled the charge cards and call the agent. In this regard, I was lucky.**

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Indianapolis, Indiana

1865 MonumentAs you travel around downtown Indianapolis you'll want to park your car and walk. There's much to see. Hubby recently had business in town so I joined him for an evening. The center of downtown has this large very imposing monument to those lost in The Civil War. It is dated 1865. Streets go out almost like spokes of a wheel from here. Making the monument very accessible and visible from many different locations through the downtown area. This was a drive by shot, as we were short on time. Though we have walked this on other trips, and I highly recommend it.
Dome and StadiumThe evening I got to down we took a little walk around the area after his meetings were over. Was dusk, thus the pictures are a bit dark. Indy has done a nice job blended old and new; business and residential.
Canal WalkThis too was within walking distance of our hotel. In fact just a block away if that. This is The Canal Walk at dusk. Small children are enjoying running through the sprinklers on the left as the grass is being watered. The walk way is used by bikers and walkers alike. People of all ages seem to be enjoying the pretty landscaped area. The Canal Walk runs along part of The Old Central Canal which was funded by the city back in 1830. It's intent was to connect The Wabash and Erie Canals for increased trade; though it was never a success and had financial problems. Historically throughout the country the canal days were short lived, quickly replaced by more efficient rail transportation.
Condo's along canal walkApartments, Condo's, businesses, and restaurants line the sides of the canal. Paddle-boats can be rented as you enjoy the day eating and shopping your way up and down the canal. This area is most unique in downtown Indy in that it's White River State Park. It's not common place to have a state park in a thriving downtown city; but this is certain a plus. Large pretty open areas, sculptures, flowers, and an amphitheater. Truly something for everyone.
Greek Orthodox historic signThis historic marker gives some insight into the history of a church that once stood at this location. Directly across the street from this historic sign is a wonderful park for children to play in, pets to run in, families to picnic in and enjoy themselves under shade trees. While just a short distance away is the beautiful modern skyline of prosperous Indianapolis.
Nestle InnAnd a short distance away a residential neighborhood with many historic restored homes. This is A B & B, The Nestle Inn. I spent a weekend here a few years back with some good friends. It's fabulous, I highly recommend it.
BikesAcross the street from our hotel was a neighborhood pub that was hoping on a Friday night with dining in, dining up and out, as well as dining on the sidewalk area. We managed to get up and out, thankfully as inside is very smoky. Indy has not yet joined much of The US in banning smoking indoors. The weekend we were there, Indy was hosting a large motorcycle race at The Brickyard. No doubt these bikers came to enjoy it. We saw tons of bikers and interesting bikes.
Jagermeister motor cycleThis though was probably the most unique of those we saw. lol
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Traveling Buckeye Style

We're getting ready for another OSU game day. My cousin Flat Joe is selecting his "Buckeye" items so he can look cool like me. After all, I'm his older wiser cousin, Flat Stanley. As you can see, I'm appropriately dressed and sporting the colors. So, did you know OSU means Ohio State University. And the colors are Scarlet and Gray with black and white as extra. And in case you didn't know, (and my visiting Cousin, Flat Joe didn't) The Ohio State Universitys nick name is The Buckeyes.

See the Buckeyes on the earrings, necklace and bracelets? Do you know what a Buckeye is?

Let me back up just a bit. President Lincoln signed The Land Grant Act on July 2, 1862. That made possible higher education for the masses. The Ohio General Assembly established The Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College though there was a dispute about how broad or narrow it's curriculum should be. Luckily Joseph Sullivan pushed the idea of a broad spectrum to the board of trustees for a liberal arts type education. Soon thereafter the school's name was changed to Ohio State University.

Aesculus glabra, Buckeye Tree is native to the State of Ohio, particularly along The Ohio River. It's a very hardy tree, one hard to kill that produces a shinny nut with a spot that resembles the eye of a Buck/Deer. Apparently in early history the tree's wood was used to fashion many items the pioneers needed, and became popular. Ohioans then became known as Buckeye's. Later the school's athletic teams officially adopted it as their nickname, and mascot.

A favorite candy of peanut butter and chocolate is made that looks like a buckeye and can be found in almost any store in the area, as well as made my hand at home.

Keeping a Buckeye in your pocket is thought to be good luck, thus wearing the Buckeye Necklaces should give the teams good luck and cause many wins.

So Buckeye's are Trees, Ohioans, Sports teams, and candy!

Flat Stanley and Flat Joe out, we have to go get ready for tailgating.
And it's Follow Friday, get in the act.
You can read more about Flat Joe Here




Can someone PLEASE tell me why this linky shows numbers on everyone else's blog, but not mine? I've looked at this using 2 different browsers, Moz FF and Int. Explorer, and on hubby's computer (last week), and no numbers????

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Packing Thursday Traveling Tip

suitcasePacking, it's been my experience that regardless of where you go, most people over pack. Ask yourself several questions.
  1. ..What am I going to be doing (what type of clothes are needed to accomplish this)
  2. ..How long am I going to be there
  3. ..What's the weather like
  4. ..Are there laundry facilities there?
Answering those questions will truly help you.
Example...what am I going to be doing? Going to the beach, you're going to be walking and laying on the beach. What do you need? Sunscreen and bathing suit, and not much more. So, if you're in a hotel where you will eat out every meal, you need clothes for that. Is it fancy? Probably not, most beach places are pretty casual. Shorts, or summer skirts and tops are probably all that's needed. If you're in a condo and will be doing you own cooking, are you going to "dress for dinner"?
How long am I going to be there? Going for a week, you need maybe 2 skirts for evening with different tops, and maybe 2 pair of shorts for variety. A couple of suits so one can be drying while you've got the other one on. What's the weather like? Probably a beach trip is hot (though I took one that wasn't) Sweater sets are great, sleeveless for when it's hot, and a matching sweater if it cools down at night or you get cold in A.C. while dining out. Are there laundry facilities? If so, you can pack lighter and do a laundry mid week.

My suggestion is to lay out what you think you need on the bed, look it over; match sure colors blend so you can mix and match. If not make changes. Then when you satisfied, remove 1 full outfit and hang it back up in your closest. Think back, how many times have you come home and said I didn't need this or that while unpacking?

folding bagsPack a slightly larger suitcase then you need for your clothes, you'll have room them for purchases you make while gone. Be they gifts for friends and family or your personal souvenirs. Toss in a bag or two like these. These happen to be what I use grocery shopping, but one or two of these gives you a bag to separate things in your suitcase for the return trip, something to put your beach towel, sunscreen etc. if you're going to the beach or spending time at the hotel pool.

If you're flying, be sure and weigh your suitcase at home. Give yourself room to grow heavier so you're not charged for a heavy bag. Another good purpose of those bags above. You could use one for your carry on if you're over weight. How will you know if you're overweight at the hotel? Does your hotel have a workout room? Most do, so do condo's at resorts. There are scales in a work out room. Weight your bag the night before departure. Don't be caught off guard.

**Still having issues with formatting. Can anyone figure out why the numbers and or dots don't work here when I post on blogger? I see both when I type in draft form, I see both in preview form, I see neither when post is published. The same situation with the few times I've tried to use a linky. No numbers appear???
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Historic Breckenridge, Colorado

St. John's ChurchSuch a pretty little yellow church with a red door. Not a color combination you see everyday. Look how narrow the windows are, look closer (remember you can always click to enlarge pictures) and you'll see original leaded windows. This quaint little church is old. It's located at 100 North French Street in Breckenridge, Colorado. Walking around to explore I was taken in my this cute little building. Looking futher I've learned it was built way back in 1887. It's served the community is several capacities; which is often is the case histrically with churches. It was more then a church, it was a place people could come together.
historic churchGiving you a side videw. The Original building is the part you see in front, while the back portion is the addition. This church was moved from just across the street when they needed to enlarge it. It's been several different denominations from Episcopal to Baptist. This building was the first in Breckenridge to install electric lights back in 1891.
historic signWhile the sign is a bit hard to read, you can tell it's listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Old, small and quaint perhaps; but it's still serving the community. It's not just a building to look on and consider it's place in history, it is a busy and thriving church in modern times.
St. Mary's churchA stone's throw away from the cute yellow church is this impressive Catholic Church, St. Mary's. This historic church was built in 1881 and is therefore a bit older than the previous church. The Bedll and Belfrey was added in 1899 and is original. A nice courtyard, pretty flower bed surround the church. They've added on a modern addition to the left of this which is really disappointing, as it looks modern and frankly out of place. I wanted to get pictures of the inside when I saw the door opened; but as I approached realized a wedding was taking place.
hstoric signIt also is listed on The National Register of Historic Places. My daughter attended Mass here on Sunday and said it was held in the new addition which was disappointing, as she too hope to see the inside of the historic chapel.
historic churchAnother view of the quaint historic church. When you travel, go off the beaten path. Churches have historical been the center of communities, see what you see and learn.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Traveling on Tuesday with The Suitcase Packed

A brief word about a few changes here on the blog. I've reluctantly added comments being moderated after 14 days. I hate, hate, hate, comment moderation. Seems to me it slows down the whole process of blogging which is suppose to be interaction. Not just you and me (the writer of the blog and the commentors), but interaction among the commentors too. I ALWAYS read the full post and the comments...unless there's a huge huge number of them before commenting. I've noticed the fun blogs often have discourse between the commentors. Or people then visit each other. I love that and do it often myself. Spam lately has been an issue with Chinese and Russian comments, generally on older posts, so I've started to moderate comments made after 14 days. Hopefully that will help.

In the process I've learned blogger now has a spam filter. It's important to look at your spam filter to make sure what's there is infact spam. If something isn't you merely click publish. Some of the comments I may not have responded to sadly got there. They are now published and I appologize for them being delayed here on the blog, as well my response back to you; if in fact you asked a question. As I understand it using this filter will be like what we all do with our email. Sounds GREAT to me.
Thank You!


And now for some fun, I've packed my suitcase and am going traveling...virtually with the follow me back Tuesday Meme

Join us for Follow Me Back Tuesday
& this weeks Guest Host
Nicole from


( Do Not Link Your Giveaways.. This is not a giveaway link up.. All links not linked to your FMBT post or your homepage will be deleted )




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It's a great way to start off your week & get more BF's !!

We will draw a Guest Host every week from blogs linked
for the #5 Spot for the following week :)
( In order to guest host FMBT you must follow all 4 host blogs )


How it Works
  • Follow all 4 Hosts & Guest Host - Spots 1-5 leave us a comment w/ your blog url & we will follow u back ( only leave a comment that you follow if you actually follow )
  • Snag our button to add to your FMBT post then post on your blog
  • Add your blog to the list- using the link from your blog post( NOT YOUR BLOG HOP or GIVEAWAYS PLEASE ) These entries will be deleted.
  • Follow as many blogs as you would like, Make sure you leave them a comment so they know you stopped by . Then Follow Back everyone that follows you & comments.


You can link up every Tuesday at 12:00 am est





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