Contemplating Life As A Peppermint Pattie


I decided that I want to be reincarnated as a Peppermint Pattie. I’m not in any hurry. Just sayin’ that when the time comes, that’s what I’m looking forward to coming back as.


I can’t really tell you much more than that. As I was eating a Peppermint Pattie the other day, it just struck me as the perfect plan. I love Peppermint Patties. Always have. They are, to the mint world, what a Reese’s Cup is to the peanut butter world…PERFECTION!!


Now, go on out and have yourself a perfectly fun and spectacular weekend!!!


The Claustrophobic Glamper…the final chapter…




Let’s try this again. Voyage #2. Will I or will I not, freak out again?! The Claustrophobic Glamper (me) goes to Palomar Mountain.





If you’ve read my earliest posts, you know that I’m claustrophobic. For some reason, per pound of body weight, and per square inch of body surface, I seem to require more air and space around me than the average bear.


And if you’ve read my earliest posts, you know that I completely freaked out my first night in our new RV. I’ve left you hanging with that saga, ’cause there was so much other newer funny stuff that I had to write about.


Nothing new and funny to write about today, except that I did ask some of you to pray for me because I was getting my hair cut today. And thank you for that, ’cause I love my new crazy ‘do. (pic below)


A week or two following our maiden voyage to Santa Barbara, we did a weekend trip to Palomar Mountain to practice our glamping skills. After a visit to the Palomar Observatory (a cool place!), we drove over to Palomar Mountain State Park, and got ourselves a campsite at Doane Valley Campground . Gorgeous campground!

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Palomar Mountain Observatory






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Doane Pond @

Doane Valley Campground






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Fiona @ Campsite #1 @ Doane Valley Campground








Long story short….because it got dark and cold by 5:30pm, and we had no wood to make a fire outside, we piled ourselves and the dogs inside the RV at 5:30pm. We ate dinner, watched a video, and went to bed early.


It was really really dark out. We went to bed with most of the shades up, so that I could see outside, since that seemed to help calm my freak-out a bit on our maiden voyage. But it was so dark, that I couldn’t see a bloody thing!


I did manage to sleep a bit. But I woke up around midnight. I was still weirded out about how dark it was outside. I got out of bed and went and sat in one of the chairs up front. I calculated…if it was midnight, then I still had about six more hours to kill before daybreak. WHAT THE HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO FOR SIX MORE HOURS??!! We’d already been inside what is basically, a large van, for seven freakin’ hours!


I got out a flashlight and read a magazine for a while. OK. That killed like 15 minutes. NOW WHAT??!!


I WAS CRAZY ITCHIN’ TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THAT RV! But I couldn’t even get out and take a walk. We were in the woods, it was pitch black out, and I was afraid an animal might attack me. You laugh, but shit like that happens!


What a looooooooong freakin’ night that was. As soon as day broke, I leashed up the dogs and took them for a walk. Finally, fresh air and freedom…for me…not the dogs…they didn’t really want to get up and go outside that early. But I had to get the hell out of there.


This long night led to another great epiphany about my panic attacks. This attack wasn’t so much a claustrophobic attack, as it was that I realized I just cannot be stuck inside for that long of a time. Think about it, I was inside the RV for 13 hours. I wasn’t actually claustrophobic, I was totally bat-shit stir-crazy!


You’ll be happy to know that, for each awful night I endured at the beginning, I learned valuable things about my triggers and about how to cope with and prevent these episodes. I’ll do a little recap here, in the hopes that, if you or someone you know is struggling with the same issues, that something here might actually help.


1. I like to be able to see outside, so we don’t pull the privacy shades closed all the way. This gives me a sense of space. It also opens up opportunities for perv’s to look in, but for some reason, I don’t care.

2. I can not be inside the RV for abnormally long periods of time at night. Now we stay outside as long as possible, around a campfire, or with our battery operated lantern burning low, and we talk or play music until it’s time to go to bed.

3. Unless it gets pretty darn cold, we don’t run the heater at night. We’ll usually set the thermostat to around 55ºF so that it doesn’t get too stifling inside. In our small space, once that heater kicks on, it can get hot and stuffy real fast, and me no likey.

4. If,  for some reason, we have to be inside the RV earlier in the evening, I’ll spend time sitting up front and reading until I’m ready to go to bed.

5. I always sleep on the side of the RV that does NOT have the bathroom and tall cabinets. This way, I have a better view of the whole RV, and I can see how spacious it is.


So there you have it. Pretty simple solutions. I figured all of this out by analyzing what was going on each time I had a panic attack.


Happy to report, I’m doing really well now on our road-trips. I don’t even need the chewing gum or sleeping pills (see earlier posts). Makin’ myself and my family proud, one phobia at a time!




I Almost Slapped A Sales Woman Today

True. I felt myself wanting to slap a sales woman today. You probably don’t think I look like the violent type, but, what she said kind of shocked me. She kind of pissed me off. But then after a few seconds, I thought that I wanted to hug her.


It happened in my favorite clothing store, Title IX (Title 9). Title IX, if you’re not familiar with it, has super fun and comfortable clothes for active women. And get this, almost all of their skirts and dresses have pockets in them!! Woohooo!! No more asking the sig other to carry your chapstick! When we travel, I live in a couple of skirts that I’ve purchased there in the past.


Anyway, I was trying on a skirt and had stepped out of the dressing room to look at myself in the large mirror in the back of the store. That’s when it happened. The very young sales woman who’d been helping me, who was probably 25 years old at the most, which would make me more than twice her age, looked at me and said,

 That looks cute. I hope I look as good as you do when I’m your age.


WTF? What do you mean,

…when you’re my age?


What’s that supposed to mean?! Should I slap her? But wait, a couple seconds later, I decided it was a compliment. Yea, sure, must have been! Maybe I should hug her! No, stay cool. So I just smiled and said,

Thank you, I guess!


Grace under pressure. Yep, that was me today!! And lookin’ good. Yep, that was me today too!


Neighbor’s Doggie…..


The Port-A-Potty Miracle


The most amazing thing happened to me recently, something like a Christmas Miracle, except that it wasn’t Christmas.

I’m 100% certain this has never happened to anyone before in the history of the universe. It happened on that Friday when we had to drive our car from San Diego to Murrieta and back again. I’m absolutely certain that it will never happen again.

Twice that day, not just once, I found myself in a brand-spanking-newly emptied-cleaned-sanitized-fresh-smelling, completely lovely Port-A-Potty! I’m talking so new and fresh, that I had to unwrap a roll of toilet paper before I could use it.

The first time was early that morning. We arrived at the bike races, and prior to driving to the parking area, we made a stop at the parking lot staging area, where there were ten Port-A-Potties all lined up neatly in a row.

I randomly picked one, and was shocked to find that it had not yet even been used! What a pleasant surprise, and what a great way to start the day. I’d never experienced such loveliness in a Port-A-Potty.

Fast forward to later that day, on our drive home to San Diego. We pulled off the freeway, into a gas station so that I could use the bathroom. But, this gas station didn’t have a bathroom. Instead, it had a Port-A-Potty out back. This was gonna be disgusting.

But no! Not disgusting! Again, I found myself in a brand-spanking-newly emptied-cleaned-sanitized-fresh-smelling, completely lovely Port-A-Potty. And again, I had to unwrap a new roll of toilet paper.

What are the odds of this happening once in a day, let alone twice in one day? Zero! It has never happened before and will never happen again. You would have a better chance winning the lottery.

I was so struck by the odd nature of these events, that I couldn’t stop talking about it on the drive home. And I smiled, declared it a miracle, and declared myself the luckiest person on the planet that day!

Thursday Has Been Postponed


Since I cancelled Wednesday, I’ve gotten behind with things. Therefore, I’ve had no choice but to postpone Thursday.

Yesterday, I had a friend suggest that I should cancel Mondays and Thursdays. She mentioned something about not wanting to work so many days each week. Good point.

And I would cancel Mondays and Thursdays, per her request, if I weren’t afraid of the consequences. I mean, look what’s happened by just canceling Wednesdays. If we also cancel Mondays and Thursdays, we’d be so far behind that we might find ourselves in the unfortunate situation of having to postpone Saturdays and Sundays….and that would suck!

So for now, I’m just gonna postpone this one Thursday. Just until I catch up.

Wednesday Has Been Cancelled


Wednesday has been cancelled. Not all of Wednesday. Just Weird Word Wednesday. It’s been cancelled for this week. It might be cancelled next week too.

Truth be told, I’m thinking of canceling Wednesday all together, every week. All of Wednesday. The Weird part of it and the regular part of it. No good ever comes of a Wednesday. It’s just an inexcusable extra day of work. There’s just no need for Wednesdays at all.

Let’s all agree to cancel Wednesdays. Until further notice. We can always bring them back if we miss them, but I really don’t think we’re gonna miss them at all.

The Absolute Weirdest Place To Live


I know there are weird places to live around the world. I won’t name names, as I would hate to offend anyone’s hometown. Plus, anyways, I’m pretty sure I’ve determined what is the weirdest place on the planet that someone might chose to live, so no need to mention other lesser weird places.

On the way back from Murrieta last week, Mark and I were talking about our upcoming cross-country trip planned for this summer. We were talking about some of the different places we want to visit. And we were talking about the possibility that we might discover someplace along the way that we fall in love with and want to move to. (ending sentence with preposition = bad. apologies to grammar police)

So there we were, driving along, talking about how we must visit Mt. Rushmore, when Mark says,

“When we go to Mt. Rushmore, I might stop there and go live in one of the (President’s) nostrils.”

And I said, in a slightly shocked voice,

“Really? You’re going to go live in a nostril? Which one?

And he said,

“I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to see which one looks the nicest when we get there.”

OK, that was weird. But then we both burst out laughing. And that was the end of the conversation about Mt. Rushmore….thank goodness. And I’m taking that as a sign that when we do get to Mt. Rushmore, that my dear husband will not leave me in order to go live in a nostril.

And for that, I’m gratefully hopeful. I mean, really, how would I explain that to the police, or even worse, to the IRS?!

Uh, yes sir, a nostril at Mt. Rushmore. Uh, yes, we are taking a tax deduction for that as a second home. Yes, there are some travel expenses deducted there as well. It’s not cheap traveling back and forth and up and down to get to the actual nostril.

You can see how this one has disaster potential written all over it. Hoping to all hope I’m not living in a nostril in 2015!!!

3 Perfect Days of Bikes, Fiddles & Wine….Part 3


6:00am is the new 5:00am. Changed the clocks the night before. It was dark outside at 6:00am. And cold. We were awoken by the early morning hustle and bustle as others arrived early to park and set up for the first bike race of the day.

Mark’s race started at 7:30am, and when he was finished, we had the whole day to just hang out outside the RV, watch the rest of the races, and basically, do nothing. This “doing nothing” turned out to be lots of fun.

It seems that our Airstream is a real conversation starter. So many people come up to us and ask about our RV. Everyone wants to know if it has a bathroom in it. It does. A very small wet bath. And some people want to know if we sleep in it. Yes, the bed in the back is king size…bigger than the bed in our house!

We’ll almost always invite people to look inside. And everyone is usually really surprised to see that, as small as we are compared to all the other RV’s, that we are fully self-contained. They’re also surprised to see that we can manage in that small space with our two dogs, and musical instruments in the back! Truthfully, I’m surprised too. But I’ve gotten used to stepping over the dogs, and straddling at least one of them while I brush my teeth. I’ve adapted!




Our view of the races and the porta-potties. Lucky we don’t have to use the porta-potties!




And so, we spent a lovely day, watching bike races and meeting lots of nice people. After the final race of the day, one of the race officials came over to see Fiona. We gave him the tour, invited him to sit down outside with us, and gave him a shot of whiskey. We’d made another friend.

And so came to an end, our lovely weekend full of bikes, fiddles, wine, hot rods, and whiskey. Can’t wait to do it again! Gotta start planning another outing!

3 Perfect Days of Bikes, Fiddles & Wine….Part 2


This is Part 2 of our trip to Murrieta and Temecula last weekend. Most of the funny stuff happened in Part 1. Although Part 2 isn’t full of funny stuff, I promise it’ll be super informative!! Well, almost. Maybe just a wee bit informative, with some pretty pics.

This past Saturday afternoon, after Mark’s second bike race of the weekend, we had free time to go out and explore Murrieta and Temecula. From what I can tell, there’s not much exploring to be done in Murrieta. It’s just a really small place. However, they seem to have at least a couple of great little places to eat.

The day before, we’d had that amazing pizza at The Mill. And on this Saturday afternoon, we grabbed lunch at this hole-in-the-wall bbq place that was across the parking lot from The Mill. I never even noticed the name of it. I’d make a horrible travel writer.

Now, if you go to Murrieta, you have to go to this bbq place. Just ask someone where The Mill (restaurant) is, find it, then look across the parking lot, ’till you see the smoke coming out of their meat cooker (big bbq thingy outside of their place).

Mark and I both ordered sliders, and they were delicious. That is probably the first and last time you will ever hear me say that about bbq. Meat’s not usually my thing.

But, here’s a warning….Their sliders are unlike normal sliders. Their sliders are huge, big thick packed-with-meat sized monsters! We made the mistake of getting the combo plates which included two sliders each, and a side each. I was shocked when I saw how gigantic they were. I intended to eat one and save the other for dinner. But, I couldn’t stop eating, and I ate both. We also polished off our sides of potato salad (good stuff!) and baked beans (equally delicious!). Quite gluttonous. Don’t make the same mistake!!

With lunch behind us, we took off for Temecula.

Our first stop was to do some reconnaissance at the Pechanga RV Resort, which is adjacent to the Pechanga Casino. We did a drive-through, and it looked like a very nice, clean, very well kept RV park, complete with a nice sized fenced in grassy dog play area. If you’re looking for an RV park with hook-ups, and a pool, laundry, etc., this would be a nice place to stay. If you’re just looking for a free place to park for the night and don’t need hook-ups, you might just want to dry camp in the parking lot of the casino.

Reconnaissance mission complete, we headed off to check out the wineries in the area. The first winery we stopped at was Alex’s Red Barn. But we didn’t stay. We peeked inside the barn and it was kind of dead inside. So we drove across the street to the Longshadow Ranch.


Longshadow Ranch was a great find. The property was pretty, the place was alive with wine lovers, and they had four big beautiful horses (not sure what kind they were) on the property that you could pet. Sweet things!

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Drinking and driving don’t mix, and so we shared one tasting. $16 for 5 samples. The wine wasn’t fabulous, and we didn’t buy any bottles, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The bartenders were nice, and the other patrons were completely amusing. There were at least three bachelorette parties going on, and those young ladies knew how to have a good time. I was relieved to see that they had all hired limos and private busses to drive them around.

We hit the road again, and headed northeast to check out Lake Skinner Recreation Area. Good choice. The two miles of flat winding road from the ranger station to the campgrounds and lake, were very scenic. And we were there right before sun set, so the light was spectacular.IMG_1517

The campground itself was huge. The whole place was  jam-packed with families and kids. We decided we’d have to come back and glamp sometime soon, but that it’d have to be during the week when the rest of these peeps were at work or at school.



Sunset @ Skinner Lake. You can just get a peek of the lake in the distance







We headed out of the park, and back towards Temecula, where we’d planned to get a bite to eat. This also turned out to be a good thing. Temecula was pulsing with energy. Not sure if that’s normal for that town or not, but it was a “happening” place that evening.

The Rod Run (hot rod show) had taken place that day and all of the hot rod owners were still hanging around town. The entire old town was teeming with the coolest cars and trucks you’ve ever seen! Many of them were parked on the street, and many of them were enjoying cruising back and forth on the main drag. We loved seeing them all, each one more beautiful and more cooler than the last!

Having had enough adventures for one day,  we drove back to Murrieta. We parked off of the side of the road, behind a couple other RV’s, where Sunday’s bike race would be starting. The end of a fun day! One more day to go!

3 Perfect Days of Bikes, Fiddles & Wine….Part 1


This past weekend was a bit of a clusterf^%# as far as road trips go. We are the masters of poor planning, not planning at all, and of just being dumb sometimes.

In all honesty, I just love to say “clusterf^%#” and our weekend really wasn’t that bad. We did have some “issues” with our road trip that could have and should have been avoided.

Mark had to be in Murrieta, CA this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for bike races. The loosely laid Plan A was that we’d all go up there in the RV. That was as far as Plan A got, as far as details. And therein lie the problem.

We keep our RV in a storage facility about 20 minutes from our home in the city. The day prior to, or the morning of a trip, we drive out there and swap out our car for our RV. At the moment, we don’t have a bike rack on our little car (bike was on roof rack, car got driven into our parking garage, bike and roof rack got ripped off. oops), so for the time being, after we do the swap, we then have to drive the RV back downtown and load our bikes from there. Reverse the process at the end of a trip. A bit time consuming, but a temporary situation.

Because we failed to plan properly for this little road trip, we were unable to pick up the RV on Thursday evening or on Friday morning.  So there it was, Friday morning at 7:00 am and we really needed to get our butts on the road right away. Time for Plan B.

Plan B…We throw Mark’s bike in the back of the car, and drive the car up to Murrieta. The dogs would stay at home. After Mark’s race, we’d drive home, and then go pick up the RV, and drive back up to Murrieta early on Saturday morning. Not efficient, but it would work. Murrieta was only an hour drive away.

Off we went in the car. Me, Mark, Mark’s bike, and my fiddle. Glad I brought Gladys (my fiddle). I had a lot of time to kill as Mark warmed up on his bike trainer (photo up top), and did his race. I had a fun time hanging out and playing by myself. I think everyone else was pretty amused by me as well. I was probably the first fiddler they’d ever seen at a bike race!

After the race, we went to The Mill for lunch. Had one of the best pizzas ever! If you go there, get the “Veggie with a Different Opinion,” substitute red sauce for the white sauce, and add Chicken Apple Sausage (or not). Delicious!


And then we drove home. Actually, we headed right to the RV storage place to do the car/RV swap so that we could head back to Murrieta first thing the next morning. We got all the way to storage, when we realized that we didn’t have the keys for the RV on us. Aaarrggggg.

So we drove home, got the keys for the RV, drove back to storage, got the RV, and drove back home. Luckily we found a parking spot right outside our building…a minor miracle here in the city. Fiona would be safe there until we left again early Saturday morning.

As soon as we got home, Mark threw his cycling kit into the washing machine, to be worn again on Saturday (cycling kit = cool spandexy outfits that cyclists wear). We chowed down on our leftover pizza from lunch. Still delicious.

You’d think we’d be exhausted by all of this, but for some reason, we were both totally energized. This is when we made our next mistake. We both agreed that we may as well drive back up to Murrieta that night. We weren’t tired, and this would save us from having to drive up there really early on Saturday morning.

We gathered up all of our stuff, packed up the RV, and at about 11:00pm, we took off, again, for Murrieta.

All went well. We arrived just after midnight, and parked, for free, in a little parking lot right next to where the race would start in the morning. Can’t beat that! We did get a knock at our door at 6:00am to move our rig, but, we had to get up early anyway, so that was ok.

After we moved the rig, and as I was preparing coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, I heard it. “It” was every expletive known to mankind, coming out of Mark’s mouth (another exaggeration. it was just the F-bomb). Mark had just realized that he had left his cycling kit in the washing machine at home. Remember, he was laundering it because we hadn’t planned to drive back up to Murrieta until the morning. When we made that last minute decision to drive back up Friday night, we both completely forgot about his kit.

OMG….we were going to have to drive back home to get his kit, and then drive back to Murrieta for the third time! This can NOT be happening!!! And really, it could NOT be happening, because there wasn’t enough time.

Mark would have to find his teammates to see if any of them had an extra kit with them. It was a long shot, but was the only option. I’m happy to tell you that, thanks to his awesome teammate, Edwin, Mark was able to race. Not only is Edwin a super nice guy, but he’s also the same size as Mark. The day was saved!


Mark had a fun time racing. I had a fun time watching. The dogs had a fun time hanging out with me and meeting all the other cycling doggies.

After his race, we decided to take the rest of the afternoon to go exploring the Temecula area, just south of Murrieta. This tale is already long enough for one day (my most wordiest post to date, I’m quite sure), and so I’ll save the rest of the little road trip adventure story for manana.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “3 Perfect Days of Bikes, Fiddles & Wine.”

Weird Word Wednesday……Kirkle



Definition: Good friend, best friend, bestie, someone you can count on no matter what, someone who is always there for you.

Examples of Use: 

1. You are my kirkle.

2. I can’t come in to work today. My kirkle is in trouble and needs me to help out.

Everyone needs a kirkle. I hope all of you have kirkles in your lives. Life is better with a kirkle!

Special Note: Today’s word is in honor of a friend of an old friend of mine. I’ve never met this friend of a friend, but when I read about him on Facebook, I wanted to honor him.

Weird Word Wednesday….Januarian



A Januarian is one who is really gung-ho to do stuff and accomplish great stuff in January, and has lost all interest and motivation by February. We all know Januarians.

Examples of Use: 

1. My gym is so full of Januarians that I have to wait 20 minutes to use a treadmill….in January.

2. I’m such a Januarian, that I  took my New Year’s Resolutions, and burned them.

Now, if you can’t even make it through part of January, then it might be that you are not a Januarian, but that you are just plain old lazy! You be the judge.

Why The Heck Would We Buy an RV??!!!


Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me WHY we bought our RV. So, I figured a short little post to explain would be in order. Here goes…

1. We love road trips! Some of our favorite vacations, have been big road trips.

2. We want to road trip without constantly having to check in and out of hotels, without having to sleep in the front seat of our little car when we can’t get into a hotel, and without having to look for food and bathrooms while on the road!

3. We want to take our dogs on vacation with us. This has been awesome for all of us!

4. We want to see more of America than just major freeways and airports.

5. We wanted a new adventure and challenge. Definitely got that one right!

You can see, our reasons were actually quite simple. I could elaborate on each of them, but I don’t think I need to. You get the picture.

And so, we jumped right into it and bought our Airstream. And we’re so glad we did it. It is everything we thought it’d be, plus some. There’s good, and there’s bad not so good, but the good always outweighs the not so good stuff.

We’re having amazing adventures…big and small adventures, but they’re all adventures that we’ll be talking about for a lifetime!

Cross-Country, Concerts, College, & Cats!



We’re planning a big cross country RV trip for the summer. Our main destination is the Newport Folk Festival, in Newport, RI.

I’ve always been into music. When I was in college, it wasn’t unusual for my friends and I to drive three or four hours to see a concert…Bruce Springsteen, George Thorogood, The Grateful Dead. They were all worthy of road trips, even if some of them were during finals week. Fond memories, every single one of those rogue concerts with my college buddies!!

And so, it probably won’t surprise most of my old friends, that I bought tickets to the three-day Newport Folk Festival, a mere 3,500+ mile road trip, depending on what route we take.

Mark and I started planning our driving route, by agreeing on two things:

1. We want to avoid the southern parts of the country, where it will be the hottest in July and August.

2. We want to travel through as many areas and states as possible that we’ve never been to before.

With those two points settled, we began prioritizing the things we want to see and do along the way to Rhode Island. Zion and Bryce Canyon, in Utah, are top priorities, as is Mesa Verde in Colorado. After hitting those major sites, I’m referencing the book, “The Most Scenic Drives in America,” to try to link together some of the suggested drives along the way.

For a brief moment, Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky, was on our “to do” list, but really, why would I, a self-professed claustrophobic, drive a bunch of miles out of my way, to go to a bunch of caves that I would then refuse to go down into? We’ll see. Mark loves that s%#^, so, we might just make a last minute detour when we get over to that neck of the woods.

We’re also planning a different, distinct return route, by first, heading north to Acadia National Park, in Maine. While we’re up there, maybe we’ll just keep going to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Then we’re oh so close to getting to Newfoundland, but not really that close, but kind of close. Well, you can see what the problem is. There’s just so many places to visit!

We’re exploring heading back west through Canada, dropping down into North and South Dakota, across Wyoming and Idaho and into Oregon, then down through California until we’re back home in San diego. Simple! Approximately 4,400 miles…..each way!!!

This morning, while discussing our route, Mark asked,

“Are we gonna drive through the Catskills? ‘Cause I want to see what kind of skills the cats have.”

Wow. So, now you can see what I’m dealing with and why planning this trip may get a bit complicated!

And so, dear readers, I have to ask you, have you ever been to the Catskills? Do the cats there really have special skills? Are there other parts of the US and Canada that you’ve been to that you love and would like to share? Please drop me a comment. All suggestions are welcome!