Traveling the Pacific Northwest – Part 1: Seattle and Vancouver

Family vacations can be exciting, exhilarating and sometimes exhausting.  But, with lots of planning, a spirit for adventure and a sense of humor – the family vacation can be a success.  I am writing this blog as our family completed the first part of our “vacay” and is about to journey on to “part 2” – a cruise through the inside passage of Alaska. I hope that my chronicles helps other families learn how to plan a successful trip and give insight to those who may need special accommodations when they travel. By all means add your “pearls of wisdom” in the comment section, too!

First stops: Seattle and Vancouver. 

I was expecting rain. Doesn’t everyone talk about the Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle, as being nothing but rain, rain, and more rain? Isn’t the reason Starbucks got its’ start in Seattle was to keep people warm when they were cold and wet from the damp weather?  Well, let me tell you – after nearly a week in Seattle and then Vancouver our family didn’t see ANY rain.  We did experience glorious sunshine, lots of delicious coffee shops, restaurants galore and a ton of fun!

Seattle is a bustling city that one can experience largely on foot or with the assistance of a very efficient rail system.  To get to our hotel (Hyatt Olive 8) from the airport meant an easy train ride and then walking about four blocks. The staff was extremely accommodating, especially since we originally were sandwiched between two rooms with screaming babies. They moved us quickly to a quiet floor and all was good!

Seattle is a fun city and there is no shortage of excellent restaurants (My favorite was a small French bistro on 1st Street – Le Pichet.)  We ordered a number of dishes and found all of them to be excellent! In addition to the culinary scene, be sure to check out these places if you find yourself in Seattle:

1. Go to the Space Needle but spend much more of your time at  Chihuly Gardens and Glass. The glass works by Dale Chihuly took my breath away.  His story can be found on his website.   As an accomplished artist, the state of Washington shows their native son’s prolific works of art proudly!   Moreover, his glass sculptures are exhibited in more than 200 museums and gardens worldwide.  The glassworks are so colorful that they seemed to dance in place when the light hits them “just right.”   Below are just some of the many photos I captured from this amazing place!

Special note for travelers: You can purchase a combo- ticket for both the Space Needle and the gardens. It is worth it,  but GO EARLY to BOTH.  The wait in line for the Space Needle for our 2pm ticket was an hour. While the view was spectacular, it was crowded and people were not “at their best”.  Plus, they are still “under construction” and that meant less room for all the people sandwiched in the viewing area.  My advice – make your trip to the “needle” during a weekday.

The Chilhuly Gardens, however, was an exhibit that offered lots of room to meander. It also was wheelchair friendly. With that said it probably would be a challenge for young children and those that need to “touch”.  This is definitely not a place that welcomes people, especially little ones,  who are accustomed to a museum that allows for a tactile experience.

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2. Next to see in Seattle… Pikes Place Market.  This is just a huge hoot! From flying fish to the gum wall. Yes, I said a GUM WALL. Apparently people have put thousands of pieces of gum on to a wall under the market.  While it is interesting, it also is gross. (Have a germ phobia? Stay away!) There is a Ferris wheel and plenty to keep kids occupied. The walking is fairly easy except for a few rough hills from the seaport to the Space Needle.  Don’t fret! There is Lyft, Uber and taxis to drive you. Plus, a monorail.  Most of all – there is a ton of food vendors with reasonably priced meals.

 

3. Travel from Seattle to Vancouver is great via AMTRAK!  The seats were very generously sized with power outlets. And there was WiFi on the train for those who needed to be “plugged in”.   Food and beverages are served on board, although I would bring your own coffee.  There is ample room for luggage (big bags are taken from you and given back at the end of the trip.) Have your camera ready as the ride passes through areas that make for great photos and video! Below is a snippet of video of the ride through Bellingham Bay. BRING YOUR PASSPORT!

 

3. Now let’s chat Vancouver!  Ah… this city has intrigued me for years as it is the place where so many TV shows and movies are filmed. The CW channel has made Vancouver their flagship “set”.  Again, we we visited when the weather was clear and temperate.  The people are super friendly and this town gets an A+ for walkability.  If you are tired of going up and down some of the hills – hail a cab – there are plenty of them! The only downfall – like Seattle, this city is not cheap.  Even with the exchange rate favoring the US dollar, Vancouver is an expensive place to vacation.  We spent quite a bit of time visiting quaint shops and eateries trying to stay away from the expensive restaurants. Our stay at The Burrard Hotel  was very good and the prices were reasonable. The staff was superb!  Our stay would have been “rated” excellent had there been a pool or hot tub/ spa on the premises.

 The waterfront area (where the cruise ships dock) is filled with fun little shops, but true finds are on the side streets and at the Granville Island Public Market. The cute  Aqua Bus  takes you from Vancouver “proper” to Granville Island in two minutes (no exaggeration!) You also are able to ride a bike across a bridge, but it would appear that cars are not welcome unless there was a distinct purpose – such as dropping off shop owners and their wares.  The Aqua Bus also can take you to other points around Vancouver.  While there is a ramp to get from the Aqua Bus to the dock, it does not appear to be accessible for those in a wheelchair.  You can obtain much more information regarding accessibility here.

       Special Note to travelers:  The Burrard has an elevator but not sure it is wheelchair sized. Laundry is at the hotel and there is parking.

 

The Skyline of Vancouver from Granville Island Public Market

 

Coming up next in this series… Discovering Alaska… the cruising experience. 

 

 

Hello Alaska! (Part 3 of “How we made a loser year end like a winner with trips to Hawaii and Alaska”)

This is the third in a series. Welcome back if you have read the first two blogs and for those who haven’t, you may wish to first check out Part 1 and 2 here.

Now to continue the story…

Nothing seemed more apropos on how to end a year that was “not stellar” than to see the Northern Lights.  So, Alaska was the third of three stops on our journey to throw 2016 a “good-bye party”.  By now we are “supercharged” to switch gears from being in a tropical climate to one that could be freezing.

Then there was a blizzard.

Let me explain. Fairbanks, Alaska, our intended destination, is one of the top spots to view the Northern Lights. We had reservations at a quaint place called the All Seasons Inn and were packing for weather conditions that could be well below zero degrees. You know what they say about the “best made plans”… so, with 24 hours to go we received word that there was a blizzard expected  and we needed to cancel any hopes to get to Fairbanks.

Disappointed and determined we quickly rallied (with the help of our friends / traveling buddies) and booked flights and accommodations  to the more southern area of Anchorage.  We stayed in a lovely resort where THE North Face is located known as Alyeska.  Trust me – this place is a MUST SEE.

I can’t say enough GREAT about Alyeska and the people of Girdwood, where the resort is located.  Quaint and picturesque are two words that come to mind when describing this town of just a few hundred residents, perhaps slightly more.

Alyeska is a skiers delight. Ironically, I don’t ski. Nor did any one else who I travelled with – but, that didn’t seem to matter.  The hiking, spa and pool were amazing and just the sights of the mountains and the ocean merging together were enough for me.

Then there is the tram. Gosh I love a good tram ride! But, this one was indescribable. So, let me have the photos and video do the talking. (See below)

In closing, 2016 overall was a challenging year.  Heartbreaking for many (including within our family) but also full of hope.  With each baby born or act of kindness this world did continue to be an awesome place.  I just needed three weeks of travel to places unfamiliar, yet spectacular, to remind me about how resilient we all can be if we surround ourselves with hope, joy, love and humor.

Enjoy the photos and Happy 2017!

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ALYESKA- where you can ski while looking at the ocean

 

We did see the Northern Lights (photo taken by a basic iPhone 6S). This photo doesn’t do it justice as to the magnificence of this solar “flare”.

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The dismal day didn’t hinder the fun at Alyeska
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These icicles are at least 6 feet long – luckily the only thing below them is snow

 

 

Just as the tram was about to end, I filmed this quick video of the view.

Next stop: Kauai (Part 2 of How we made a loser year end like a winner with trips to Hawaii and Alaska)

In my recent blog  and part one of this series, I blogged about how hubby and I longed to search for a great ending to a year that sucked.  We ventured first to Oahu where we discovered some great local spots and learned much about Hawaiian history. The continuation continued with our second stop – Kauai.

Kauai is OLD Hawaii. Charming. Rustic. Enchanting. 

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A long time ago I read James Mitchner’s HAWAII.  It was the only book of his that I read cover to cover and didn’t give up half way through.  What kept my interest was the long descriptions of the lush and mysterious Hawaiian islands that rest thousands of miles away from the mainland of North America. I now have  visited three of the island and it has become apparent that each of the Hawaiian islands have their own personalities.

Oahu is the cosmopolitan island with nightlife and amenities that make you feel that you could be in Newport Beach, California.  Maui is the up-scale island. Quieter than Oahu but certainly full of vibrancy and beauty. And then there is beloved Kauai, considered by many to be the heart of Hawaii.  It is where the clock has been turned backkwards or has just stopped at a time that was simpler.  Wild chickens are everywhere and don’t be surprised to see feeding goats climbing in state parks. There is “the ice-cream place” (Lapperts) and each vista is prettier than the one before. Outdoor living is a must with paddle boarders and surfers enjoying the sea from sun up to sun down.  You relax because it is a place where the lights go out by nine on most establishments. Kauai has the “old” Hawaiian feel that  I longed to discover from the days of reading Mitchner. It feels like home the first day.

Kauai is for gentle hiking (And, some not so easy.) We trekked along many trails and saw everything from those chickens to wild boar.  As a person who loves to photograph everything, I couldn’t get enough of Hawaii’s waterfalls, rock formations from volcanoes that no longer are active, caves and beaches.  The sunsets are extraordinary and the people are some of the kindest I have met.

Christmas day found us at the Marriott Resort Beach Club in Lihue. Imagine my surprise to see Santa come to shore in a canoe to bring cheer to awaiting children and to wake-up  Christmas morning to stockings hung on each hotel door. Way to go, Marriott! (For the record, they also had a menorah for Chanukah.)

I could write a long blog about Kauai and all of its’ splendor or simply upload a slideshow to share.  Remember – I love photography, so slideshow it is!

Aloha and next stop on our journey to end 2016 positively – ALASKA! (Third series of this blog will be coming very soon.)

 

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If you are enticed to travel to Hawaii, may I suggest Linda Kahn-Ferrell from the TravelStore in Malaga Cove, CA.  She can help you by phone or email to get the perfect vacation experience. Connect with here here. 

 

A photo tour of Fallingwater

Not too far from Pittsburgh or the West Virginia border in a little town called Mill Run, Pennsylvania sits one of the most unique architectural treasures in the United States – Fallingwater.  This one – of – a  kind  home was built in 1935 by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufman family as their second home.

During a recent family reunion we all trekked to see Fallingwater – up close and personal.  It is off the beaten path – but no too far off.  The walk is fairly easy and well worth it, even during damp and rainy weather – as we saw it.

Be prepared when visiting Fallingwater.  No backpacks or large purses allowed. Photos are ONLY allowed outside unless you book the photojournalist tour. (Sadly, I missed that memo.)  However, I didn’t feel too cheated as the exterior of the home presents like a photo bonanza.

1- You are met by many signs reminding you of where you are. This is a historical site and was donated to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to be opened as a museum in 1963.  (The Kaufman family should receive major kudos for this!) 

 

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2. Walking to and from the home is a lovely hike. The trail is paved. Bring bug spray – just say’in.

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3. The waters flow beneath the home – yes I said BENEATH the home.  Windows of varying types can be opened to allow for natural air flow.  In the living room you can literally open a window and “fish” for dinner!  The rock formations are integrated in to the building of the home.  Walls are actually rock formations.  The furniture is largely “built in” and all has the classic Frank Llyod Wright signature.  

4.When you first see the home you notice there are three levels.  What you don’t see is that there is a separate guest residence in the back. This home was estimated to have cost in 1930’s economic times $25,000 ,but ,after the total project was completed in 1941 it racked up a final cost of $155,000!  On a positive note, many people who were unemployed due to the aftermath of the great depression and other economic downturns were given work. 

 

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5. When the formal tour is completed you are offered the opportunity to walk about the property on the hiking trails. 

 

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6. Using my i-phone 6 I snapped a set of photos from a different vantage point. I used different filters. Not sure which is my favorite,

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7. And, just when you think you have seen all the little treasures at Fallingwater you spot a bird nest nestled between the rocks of the home. 

 

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Want to learn more about Fallingwater or schedule a tour? Tickets and more info are available at this link:  Fallingwater.org

I will leave you with a last look at the stream that brings Fallingwater to life!

 

These Sign Language Lessons are FREE

This year – start your BACK to SCHOOL planning with FREE Sign Language Programming from SIGNING FAMILIES!

Am I kidding? Free lesson plans??

This year I have decided to offer via my educational platform – SIGNING FAMILIES –  a FREE series of beginner sign language classes. These classes will be “subscription only” but FREE to all who register.

The intended audiences are as follows:

  • Preschool teachers
  • Classroom teachers
  • Home Educators
  • Special Needs Support Staff (such as behavioral specialists)

Nv16eMsdgxb9eEi9JDGuLq2gpx3wQsShaWjMV3qpJ84What to expect:

Each lesson starts with target vocabulary by age.  Preschoolers will get simple words to learn while older students will be instructed to more enriched vocabulary, the alphabet, numbers and grammatical concepts.

 

 

For all students discussions about Deafness is encouraged. Resources are offered.

How to present the material, videos, downloadable photos and images and creative ideas to practice – all are part of the lesson plans.

Lastly, an opportunity to exchange ideas by asking questions will be a feature!

How to access the program?

Simply subscribe to the EDUCATORS LESSON PLAN/ SIGNING FAMILIES NEWSLETTER here:  CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO FREE LESSON PLANS FOR TEACHING SIGN LANGUAGE

Once you subscribe the access codes to the lessons, as they become available, will be emailed to you.

There is no “hidden agenda” to this offer. Simply to educate more people about sign language.

I have seen so many positive outcomes when people know sign language – even the basics.  If you like the idea, but don’t want or need lesson plans for sign language instruction – please consider sharing this information.  Who knows?! – An educator may happen upon your post and love the idea!

Questions? Please use this contact form to ask any questions! 

I will not sell my list of subscribers to any company. Your info is kept private!

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting Professional WWE Women’s Wrestler- Lisa Marie Varon

It is the most unlikely of pairings! A social media correspondent expecting to just snap a few photos at an ESPY gift suite and a professional woman’s wrestler. But, somehow we bonded over a few laughs, high fives and realizing that life is good after your 30’s (and for me a bit beyond that.)  Lisa Marie Varon is a class act.  I instantly thought she was fun, funny and truly engaging.

Not every celebrity who walks the red carpet wants to have a conversation – but Lisa Marie was much more considerate than many.  We chatted for a long time! After I returned home from helping at the Celebrity Connected event, I did a little research on Ms. Varon.  Or shall I say “Victoria” / “Tara”.

As a woman’s professional wrestler she earned several titles, including twice winning the WWE Woman’s Championship.  Her resume includes  bodybuilder, fitness competitor and entrepreneur. Make no mistake- the WWE enterprise is BIG BUSINESS – with  over 650  million fans on social media alone!   Learn more here.

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I also discovered that Lisa Marie (who was named after THE Lisa Marie Presley) – continues to put fitness first. Despite having more than her share of bumps and bruises in her lifetime, she keeps healthy – I am sure part of her regimen is laughing daily. AND she is a professional speaker – another thing we have in common!

Enjoy the photos of Lisa Marie and I at the  ESPY Celebrity Connected Gift Suite. She also is media savvy and tweets as @RealLisaMarie. She has a few more followers than me – but no biggie!!

Lisa Marie, so glad we met!

Media contacts for Lisa Marie can be made here. BookLisaNow@gmail.com

 

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Lisa Marie Varon and Louise Masin Sattler
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No bloggers were hurt in this photo… haha!

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The Language of Laughter – Not your ordinary film!

Remember just a few short months ago when the news was focused on the Syrian refugee crisis?  Many media folks wrote op-ed pieces voicing the pros and cons of Syrian refugees entering various countries, such as the United States, Canada, etc.  Even I felt compelled to weigh in as I penned  last November  a blog  about my thoughts of this very difficult situation.  Yet, as news cycles demonstrates on a routine basis, the passion for the crisis  waned and was replaced in the headlines by crazy political tirades, reports of the all too many acts of terrorism and heinous crimes due to racial tensions. Don’t get me wrong, these are all very important topics – but, the situation concerning the Syrian refugee crisis still remains staggering!  Millions of Syrian citizens, who left their homeland without much choice, continue to be displaced and living in conditions that most people would find unfathomable and unacceptable.

The Syrian refugee crisis is complicated, fraught with controversy and tragic.  Many of these refugees have been relocated to the Syrian – Jordanian border and living in a way that seems without hope.  Every day children are witnessing scenes that are too sad for even most adults. They are being robbed of one thing every child should have – an opportunity to have a carefree childhood.  They are trying to survive in a land where “hope” is often lost.

Except “hope” did arrive to the some Syrian refugees at the  Zaatari Refugee Camp along with a heavy dose of laughter thanks to the Red Noses Clown Doctors International organization – a clown troupe extraordinaire!

The Red Noses Clown Doctors International are literally life savers. To me they give kids who have forgotten how to dream, play and imagine a tangible reminder.  They have offered parents, who only want their children to be happy, a reason to smile themselves. And, the story of how these clowns found their way to a Syrian refugee camp is nothing but amazing, itself.

Thankfully, Reilly Dowd  assembled a team of fellow filmmakers with one goal – to chronicle this story in heartwarming documentary – The Language of Laughter.   Dowd wrote about the catalyst of this film and the adventure that has been ongoing for more than two years as follows:

I was the most skeptical of all. But I know, that by nature, laughter has no borders. It is the shortest distance between two people. As silly as it might sound, it leads to both understanding and compassion. These are the two things much of the world needs in order to tackle our growing, and global, refugee crisis.  

Here is our story: Amidst the collateral damage of Syria’s bloody war, The Language of Laughter documents a transformative friendship between two young women from completely different walks of life. Their story begins in January 2015 inside Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp, a sprawling tent city situated just a few miles from the Syrian border. It’s Ground Zero for what the United Nations now deems the world’s most “dramatic humanitarian crisis.”

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As you can see from this slideshow, that laughter IS the best medicine here in the Zaatari Refugee Camp.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we can keep the laughter going in the lives of these children by telling their story through a film which will in turn continue to shine a much needed spotlight on the plight of these refugee families?

Isn’t an act of #SocialGood a great way to help make the world a bit brighter?

If you are compelled to learn more about the film:  The Language of Laughter,  please see their Seed and Spark page.  Here you will find  many videos that give you even more insight, including one I snatched and uploaded below.  Also, you can get some groovy incentive gifts if you wish to contribute.

Click here to give support to this project

Who wouldn’t love to show their support and get a red nose, too!

Most of all, let’s show the world that we are  a world of compassion. United by what we have similar than different. You can share this story easily by visiting The Language of Laughter on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.  

I also will be uploading a Part 2 with some Q and A from Reilly Dowd.  Stay tuned.

Writing Your First Blog

You have heard about “blogging” and maybe even attempted to start your own without any guidance. Yet if your experience is like many people I know, before you knew it frustration settled in and you gave up!  No need to give up entirely – let me help  by offering you a step by step “short- course” on writing your first blog posts!

Step 1: Use a solid blogging platform.  Whether it be WordPress (my first choice), Google Blogger or even Linkedin – find a place to express your thoughts.

Step 2- For newbies write an outline. Simple paper and pen will be your first “tools” to use.  Write a series of topics that you are passionate about on the top of the paper. Love dogs?  Great! What do you love about dogs?  Perhaps you want to blog about adopting from a shelter or rescue and the experience you had adding a puppy to your family via a local animal shelter?

Once you have settled on a topic then start writing down your primary thoughts. Let’s use the adoption of a dog as basis for our “model blog template”.  I would perhaps write the following as my outline for my blog:

1- You always wanted to adopt a dog, but waited until the time was right as a dog is part of your family for many years.

2. The problems with overpopulation in shelters of unwanted dogs. (I would add an link of some evidence citing this fact, maybe from a reputable source such as the ASPCA.org)

3. Add your own research on finding a family friendly breed and/or how to integrate a new dog in to your family home. (Use a different source than the ASPCA.org -so it doesn’t look like you just read on kind of website. Remember do not plagiarize. QUOTE any and all  facts that are directly copied.  Give credit to all sources.)

4. Description of your search for the dog and how you finally found “Fluffy”.

5. A bit about “Fluffy” and his / her backstory. (Fluffy was abandoned, given up by owners, sickly, cute as pie, etc.)

6. Now be sure to add some links such as from more dog friendly sites about their advice on adopting a dog from a shelter.  OR perhaps a personal story about growing up with a pet.

7. Lastly, close the blog with last thoughts, pearls of wisdom and of course, an update on how Fluffy and the family are doing.

Side note: Check out my own dog-adoption story here (and a template for writing, too!)

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Step 3: When you have completed the actual  writing of your article be sure to include the following components for finalizing your blog:

>ADD photos or images (such as an infographic). Use great apps such as Pic Collage or website like RELAY to give your post a visual boost!  Important: Put your name on the photo that is YOURS.  Be sure to give credit where it is due. DO NOT just “lift” photos from a Google Search in to your blog.  Trust me – Getty Images will know that you did that. They are notorious on seeking out people who post their images and “fining” them a ridiculous amount of money.  I like to use budget friendly photo sites such as Graphic Leftovers.

My Story on Red Keyboard Button.
An image can be a powerful addition to the written word in your blog.

USE the spell and grammar check available on your blog platform. Write like an adult not like a third grader.  And please, be positive – not negative in your first blogs.  If you want to be controversial that is fine. But, hone your blogging skills first.

>Add CATEGORY and TAGS to your post. Categories should be the general gist, such as Dogs or Dog Adoption. Tags should be sub-categories to get peoples attention like: Dog Adoption, Adopt Don’t Shop, (the breed) like German Shepherd, Mixed Breed dogs, Family dog, etc. Both help with optimization of people finding your post in an online search.

>Check it for SEO readability if you have an SEO package added to your blog.

Be sure to SHARE it on popular social media sites such as TWITTER, FACEBOOK, TUMBLR or LINKEDIN.  Use a hashtag such as #DogRescue #DogAdoption #GermanShepherdMix

Do not panic if you feel that it wasn’t well received.  Thousands or even millions of blogs are written each week so there are some that gain traction and others that … well… go unnoticed.

There are a zillion more things I can tell you about writing a blog. But, I fear that may overwhelm blogging newbies and scare you from even trying! So, with that – enjoy the process and remember – write what interests YOU!

 

Am I too old for social media? Survey for those who dare to answer

Am I too old for social media? I am getting the sense that my “mature” demographic is not necessarily the one desired by brands, unless it is for medical equipment or pharmaceuticals.  Maybe I am just having a bit of “post- birthday blues”.  But, in all seriousness, lately, I have had more than one overt signal that I am too old to be a viable media specialist.  I won’t lie – that stings a wee bit.

But, here is the real grit to this blog… I have some secrets that perhaps some brands who have rejected me (and my fellow “mature friends”) may be surprised to discover!

 First, my friends have influence and affluence.  They aren’t starting out millennials – they are people who have actually sweated day and night for every dollar in their bank account and stock in their portfolio. And, they have a heap of both!

They bring with them a rich history of the decades which translates to creativity.  They don’t need to invent what they “think is retro” – they only need to pull some photos from their drawers or record albums from their attics.  They lived  the generations now reflected in the Goldbergs or Mad Men.  They are boomers and proud of it!

My colleagues, family and friends are well- educated, have a thirst for continued learning, travel, sports and entertainment and a plethora of other interests.  In other words – they like to earn and spend money to make their lives more interesting and enriched.

My inner-circle are smart, clever, creative and have wisdom that could fill Wikipedia.  Most of all, many of them have raised children to be decent, hard working and self-sufficient citizens.  This avalanche of smarts and buying power should be attractive to companies – right?

“But you are not a millennial, Louise!”  

Brands want millennials – they are the future-

Ouch! I know that I am not a millennial.  Thank goodness! I don’t have college debt, worries about healthcare nor building my future on hopes and dreams of becoming the next Youtube sensation.  And, in all fairness – not every millennial is what I just described. In fact, my own kids and most of their friends are amazing humans who are working very hard to create their own paths and ensure for the security of their own futures. They are passionate and fabulous.  They also have buying power – thanks to their parents putting them through expensive college educations that allowed them these opportunities.

What am I looking for?

I would love to learn if I am too old for social media?   I know I have skills and influence.  There are plenty of metric companies that tell me so!  But, the real question is why do I feel that there are missed opportunities for people like me – simply based on age?!

And, doesn’t integrity and a desire to make a difference in this world count for something?

I don’t associate with nor care about those who put their own interests before those of the greater good.  In other words, I believe that #SocialGood should be the theme song that runs throughout the social media world vs. #WhatHaveYouDoneforMElately?

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So, here comes the survey… (answer in the comment section)

Do baby-boomers, like me, have a place in social media campaigns?

 1) YES

                 2) NO

                         3) OTHER… here is why__________

For those who wish  (or dare I say have the courage) to engage with mature social media specialists, please connect with me via this blog or 411 voices, a consortium of people of many demographics dedicated to social good and helping brands.. Thanks!

 

 

What Cruise Newbies Might Want to Know

 This article originally appeared on Linkedin here

I just disembarked from my “virgin” cruise vacation.  It was short and sweet –  72 hours from Long Beach to Ensenada, on the Carnival Cruise Line – Inspiration.  I was expecting the entire time to be spent in my cabin waiting for the “horror” to end.  See, I get sea- sick looking at bath water, so I was predicting a miserable time.  I was wrong! It was fabulous and hubby and I had a great time – really!

Our trip left from the Port of Los Angeles at sundown.  A great photography opportunity.  Once out to sea, we went to explore the ship and what it had to offer. This “mini-city” on the sea was packed with about 2400 travelers and quite a bit of activities that were well organized and advertised via their ship’s brochure that was easily found in each cabin.  The food was so-so (probably the worst part of the trip), but the fitness center, outdoor track, spa and water actives were quite fun. The people we met were from as far as Europe and a close as Long Beach, the city where we set sail.

Not many people write about cruising for “newbies” in a way that is raw and honest.  So, I will take this opportunity to give a few helpful hints with the sole purpose to educate others. Note Carnival, the cruiseline mentioned in this post, did not compensate me. They just happened to be the first cruise line I tried.

Here is my “To Do and Not To Do” list for first – time “cruisers”

 1. Seek out good deals with short cruises. Many are available from the Port of Los Angeles (Long Beach and San Pedro). Some cruise lines offer 3 and 4 night cruises for a very comfortable price.

2. Book an inside cabin, in the center of the boat and on a lower floor. Less rocking happens in this part of the ship.

 

 

Read more from the original article posted on Linkedin January 24, 2016