A Time Out

This Friday I am taking some much needed to time to heal and repair myself. After almost six years of pain and lack of good exercise, I’m finally having my left knee replacement. That’s right – a total knee replacement.

I’m both looking forward and feeling quite anxious about the surgery. The idea of my knee getting sawed apart is not exactly my idea of a good time. Plus, I have always heard that bone surgery is always the most painful. The pain I am not as much scared of as knowing I’ll just have to take it day-by-day. It’s the other stuff that can go wrong: Infection, blood clots, or even… lord have mercy, issues with anesthesia.

What I am looking forward to is a time-out. A time to just find balance and look inward. Reflection is always required when taking that much time off of work. We will see… we will see.

I hope to write a little more, as I will have a lot more time. But then again, who knows! I always have the best intentions, then some how, end up doing the bare minimum. I realize I will blink and the month I plan to be home will be gone!

I have a few trips I want to share here, and I promise to get those stories out very soon.

Until then, throw a few prayers my way for a healthy and successful surgery!

Health Revisited


Back to the REAL stuff.

I’ve been in a funk. The funkiest of funks since 2011. And that was one hell of a funk if you have been following me that long. (on the former Destination Unknown Blog.)

I ended up removing any extra things to just focus more on me – and doing it by my self. I’ve been working with the most fabulous nutritionist, someone I highly recommend to everyone. But I decided to take a little break. Why? Because I was not making any progress with myself. It was absolutely nothing she was doing – I was using her as a crutch and yes, my excuses were real, but I need to see if I can do this myself… for a bit, then revisit to take it to the next level.

I noticed a few weeks ago I was off the rails. Eating whatever I wanted, not tracking like I should and getting really snippy with everyone. Red flag. So what do I do when I catch myself spiraling? I call a therapist. Yep.

I called and made an appointment. Two hours later, I was given two assignments: 1. Scream in the car.

2. Come up with plan B.

Now what does that mean? It means stop waiting for life to happen. Start making some plans. Who do I really want to be the next 40 – 50 years (God willing.) Find things to look forward to.

And so.. I did.

I do want to be healthy. I have learned sooooo much over the past year from Sue. But I need more of a disciplined approach. So guess what I did? I signed up, again, for Weight Watchers. I’m applying the nutritional education I received from Sue and applying it to the point system to help me sort out my day. Same deal – I’m tracking my macros for myself to see if I am getting a balanced diet, but I am also just entering the foods to see when it is time to pull back. Week one – I have lost 4 pounds. Probably mainly water, but hey – I am focused and eating a VERY balanced meal. For example, tonight I am making Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas and a pot of zero point, slow cooked bean dip for some whole grain tortillas. All whole foods, nothing processed but the tortillas and a whole lot of good. I’m doing it. Sue would be so proud. This week I have meal planned and found delicious new recipes. I’m going to be okay on that front.

My knee.

This is what is depressing me. Every time I start to feel better, my knee flames up. This is making a full body workout almost impossible. Which is causing me issues. Luckily, my pool opens up in two weeks, however, I’m back to the doctor next week. I may end up having to have one of my knees scoped.

Updates – no lupus or RA – or at least I haven’t been called. I was told by my doc that if it was positive they would call. If not, we would just have our face-to-face on Tuesday. That’s good news. One more test – for Lyme. Anything is possible.

As for Plan B. Hmmm… well, Tim and I are in the process of turning our backyard into our little oasis. We are just waiting for some stocks to be cashed in and then you will see! Also, we have an idea for our first investment and I can’t wait to reveal what that is. I suspect that will happen before Fall!

Yes, we have been discussing retirement. I told him it is easier for me to plan for retirement, if I knew what that looked like. So we have been dreaming a little more lately. My whole idea behind my off-season travel blog and potentially coaching small businesses on buzz marketing, strategic planning, and team-building and a whole lot more is finally started to take shape in my head.

I’m truly looking forward to the future.

I just need to be a little more selfish with my time, a little more picky with the gossip I let in my head, and a little more goal oriented and I will be the best version of me.

What are you working on?

Woo, Woo, Chattanooga – There You Are!

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?
Track twenty nine, boy you can gimme a shine
I can afford to board a Chattanooga Choo Choo
I’ve got my fare and just a trifle to spare
You leave the Pennsylvania station ’bout a quarter to four
Read a magazine and then you’re in Baltimore
Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer
Than to have your ham ‘n’ eggs in Carolina
When you hear the whistle blowin’ eight to the bar
Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
Shovel all the coal in, gotta keep it rollin’
Woo, woo, Chattanooga, there you are
There’s gonna be a certain party at the station
Satin and lace, I used to call funny face
She’s gonna cry until I tell her that I’ll never roam

This is the final chapter of my Chattanooga experience!

Our last full day in Chattanooga was Saturday. We woke up to a fairly dry morning and made our way over to the main house on Little Tails Farm in Dunlap, TN.

Part of the Airbnb experience included an opportunity to pet, feed, and play with the miniature animals on the farm. I. Was. In. Heaven.

A Great Pyrenes greeted us upon arrival, and yes, we were allowed behind the fence!

I petted a pig for the very first time.

And was nibbled by a miniature horse.

After we left the main house, we went back to shower and change since we got a little muddy with the animals and no sooner did we get back, but the cos outside of our tiny house came to visit.

I FINALLY got to pet a Hairy Coo!!!!

After my magical moments with the cows, we got dressed and headed back into Chattanooga and visited the Selfie Museum. Yes, that is totally a thing.

To say that Tim was NOT comfortable at the museum would be an understatement.

But somehow I talked him into participating. Here are just a few of the shots we took.

After the museum, we headed next door to a French shop and I purchased a gorgeous red wool beret.

Next up were our tickets to a Whiskey Distillery.

The Chattanooga Whiskey Distillery was on the same block as the Selfie Museum, so we were able to just walk around the corner.

We waited a few minutes, then joined up with our group to learn about how whiskey is made and then went down into their basement to see where it is stored and aged.

After about 45 minutes, we made our way upstairs to the private bar in the back for our whiskey flight and tasting.

I’m not a huge whiskey girl, and I barely took a sip. I gave all of my shots to Tim. He then proceeded to not only drink mine, but his also.

Needless to say, he was three sheets to the wind. He did inform me that we should have started off at the Whiskey tour and THEN went to the Selfie Museum. It would have been a different experience.

The more you know.

By this point, I knew I needed to get a little food in him – so we headed to the waterfront.

We went to the Boathouse and Raw Bar and some of the most delicious food!

After dinner, we went for dessert and picked up a few gourmet cupcakes to take back to the cabin.

We packed up our stuff, had a final night in the tiny house and drove back home the next morning.

All-in-all, it was an awesome trip. If you are looking to follow our itinerary, just go back a few more posts and all of the links are provided on each day.

Until next time…

It’s How I Deal

I’m kind of at the Fuck You point in my life. You know what I mean?

That – “Stop being so damned sensitive and learn to laugh at yourself and at life.”

Remember the lyrics from Indigo Girls:

I’m trying to tell you something ’bout my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all, yeah

I am dealing with some serious issues. I was being checked this morning for RA or Lupus. Lots of pain in my body, inflammatory issues – the works. It’s April Fools Day and I always make a joke about maybe being pregnant. I just happened to be at the hospital, dealing with my own issues and thought I would make a joke.

That’s what I do.

Why would I think this would be hilarious to joke ? I forget these folks around here have no idea what a loaded issue this used to be for me.

News Flash: I had to remove my body parts due to cancerous cells.

Come on, folks…. Let’s laugh a little.

Life is only as painful and as hurtful as you make it. I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. You know?

With that being said, I’m just a little sick of the level of “wokeness” people are exhibiting. Look – around here it is one of two extremes: Racist, homophobic jerks, or super sensitive, overly whiney folks.

I just can’t anymore. Not. Any. More.

Life is waaaay too short for me to be worrying. I’m going to live. And live well.

With that being said:

Nutrition: About to be taken up a notch.

Exercise: About to be taken up a notch… just super carefully. I wonder if I can find a trainer that deals in achey people?

Mental Health: You best believe I am taking that up a notch!

Spirituality: Always on point. Sure, I curse a little. It’s what makes me special.

Part 3 of Chattanooga will probably be posted this afternoon. Got a BIG, huge day! Events going until well after nine pm tonight and tomorrow is the BIG festival all day.

Even though I ache, even though life has kicked my ass over and over again, even though, even though, even THOUGH – I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.

Go and tell that.

Bend an ear & listen to my version of a really solid Tennessee excursion

Day 2 – Part 2 of my Chattanooga experience!

On Friday, February 25th, Tim and I awoke to the sound of cows mooing in the field right outside of our tiny house window in Dunlap, Tennessee! We made a little coffee and went outside to greet this hair coo and start our day off right!

Friday was our actual five-year wedding anniversary! We exchanged gifts early that morning. I was given this beautiful bamboo tea tumbler, a wooden massager for my legs, and a beautiful leather, personalized recipe notebook.

Five years of marriage symbolizes stability and flexibility – like wood. Wood is the symbol of the commitment at this point in our lives. I had some of my favorite photos of us from our today, our wedding and our honeymoon in Paris transferred to a piece of wood to hang on his office wall. He loved it!

After exchanging gifts, we drove back down Cagle Mountain to Chattanooga and Rock City on Lookout Mountain.

Rock City is one of those attractions that requires you to pre-register for a ticket online, however the ticket is good for the entire day. We got there right before 11 am and began our exploration.

Rock City features massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking “See 7 States” panoramic views. Guests can take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail where each step reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path.

We even got to see the magic of Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village.

The entire experience takes about 2 hours, if you run through it fairy fast. There are restaurants and shops at the beginning/end of the trail and completely worth stopping by.

The hike is easy to moderate. Some areas you might have to step up or squeeze through, but even with my bad knees, I was able to enjoy it fully.

There are several benches along the way for visitors to take a break, if the need arises.

What is the best part about Rock City? The views!!!

Mixed with a little adventure.

After Rock City, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed over to the Incline Railway. Again, this attraction requires online ticket purchases before arriving and their times are exact. We went at 1:30 pm.

At the bottom Incline station in St. Elmo, you will find a great collection of unique shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Some of the things you’ll find are microbrewery tours, fresh flowers, homemade candlemaking, unique coffee, indoor climbing wall, fresh-made burritos, outdoor local dining, hand-dipped ice cream, nostalgic clothing or relax with a massage.

What makes the incline railway a must-see is the fact that it is a Funicular Railway. Also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, a funicular railway normally solves the problem of transporting people up extremely steep slopes. They’ve been used for hundreds of years and are an extraordinary feat of ingenuity.

After the Incline Railway, we made our way around the block to the Naughty Cat Cafe! This was a bucket list item for me! I have always wanted to experience hanging out in a cafe, petting cats and relaxing to good music – and that is exactly what we did!

The funny thing is, I really thought it might be a strip club, up until we pulled up and it was confirmed with that sandwich board sign!

The cost to visit is $15 a person and booking includes a complimentary, non-alcoholic beverage. Beer and baked goods are available for purchase. Walk-ins are welcome if space allows, but reservations are highly recommended. We recommend booking in advance to ensure a spot. The last booking is one hour prior to closing.

According to the website:

Naughty Cat Cafe is one of the largest cat cafes in the world. We serve as a big foster home for our local shelters.
We always have at least 30 adoptable rescue cats hanging out in fancy lounges full of posh furniture, art from around the world, and jazz music. All the cats are up for
adoption and while adoption is the goal it is most certainly not the expectation. Many people just come to enjoy the cats and give them love and attention they might not otherwise receive in the shelter.

While it does say “cafe” in the name, the local health department asks that they not cook with 30 cats running around. They do offer a large selection of baked goods prepared especially for them by a local bakery.They also have organic, locally roasted coffee, hot teas and a host of non-alcoholic drinks as well as over 30 local beers, hard ciders, sours and seltzers.

We had the absolute best time socializing the cats and giving them all of the pets. Please note: This place had ZERO smell and was extremely clean. It was an awesome experience for both of us!

After spending time with the cats, we went shopping at the moon pie store and a few candy shops. For dinner we headed over to Urban Stack for some juicy burgers for our anniversary dinner. That’s right – no fuss, no muss with us!

Finally, we made it back to the farm and our tiny house to visit with the hairy coos!

Tim got a fire going for us and we just relaxed by the fire enjoying the night, knowing we had another big day in Chattanooga for our Saturday!

Stay tuned for our next adventure – this time we will head to a distillery, selfie museum, and a delicious seafood restaurant!

Until then…

Rolling In The Deep

Look, I know I need to finish my Chattanooga blog experience. I know.

I pick up my laptop each night and I start to write something and I think to myself, “Just do it tomorrow, when you are in the mood.”

I haven’t been in the best place mentally. It is all work related and I’m exhausted.

For the record, I am going to be fine. Everything, technically, is fine – I just have to stick it out and make some changes.

For one, I need to not allow toxic, negative people affect how I do business. I recently had some photos taken of various people doing various activities in town. These photos are meant to show the diverse audience we attract.

Apparently there is someone out there (and yes, I know who it is,) stirring things up. Asking questions like, “Are these the type of people we want to bring to our area?”

Excuse me?

African Americans. Inter-racial couples. Gay couples.

Yep, that is EXACTLY the type of people I want to bring here. As well as: Baby boomers, white people, Asian people, native people, older people, younger people, people with disabilities, etc.


I KNOW I am doing the right thing.

But I need to clear this mess out of my head before I finish my Chattanooga series.

Please be patient. I’ll be back.

Step Aside Partner, It’s My Day

Buffalo Wild Wings, Columbus

Looking for an awesome experience and cheap vacay? Then look no further than following the next four days on Destination: Unknown! Today we are headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, but first – we stop off in Warm Springs.

Tim and I got off work and decided to head out a little early and stay in Warm Springs, Georgia, which happens to be about an hour and a half from Plains. We stopped in Columbus to use our gift card for Buffalo Wild Wings. THIS is one of our cheap hacks: If you have any gift cards for restaurants, use them when you travel! It cuts down on your total bill. What should have cost us $40 ended up being $24 (including a tip.)

Me at Buffalo Wild Wings

After dinner, we headed toward Warm Springs. We would have driven straight, but something to note: most of the restaurants in the area would have been closed when we arrived, so we decided stopping in Columbus was the best idea.

According to the Explore Georgia website:

Located just an hour south of Atlanta, the town of Warm Springs is nestled among the rolling hills and the naturally heated waters made famous by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Take a step back in time and experience our Southern charm and hospitality. History is evident in the 100-year-old restored buildings. On the bustling Main Street and through the alleyways you will find additional courtyard charms, which provide a unique shopping experience. We offer food to please all tastes, including the world-famous Bulloch House with its fried green tomatoes and buffet.

Located on the southern end of town is the Little White House, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spent his happiest times with those who loved him the most. We are proud to offer two museums in our town that chronicle FDR’s life in Georgia, detail the history of our Victorian era town and let visitors feel the famous and natural warm springs. Not a month goes by without a festival or innovative program taking place in Warm Springs.

I chose the Aiden by Bestwestern on White House Parkway. I went to hotels.com and discovered I had a free night. Another travel hack is to use a service that provides reward nights. Hotel.com gives you a free night valued up to $200 every ten bookings. I always use it (if I can) for work travel and I ended up getting one free night. Our hotel room, with a patio & view was $197. All we had to pay was the $5 state fee. In other words – our first night of travel was close to $30.

Aiden at Bestwestern in Warm Springs, GA

What I liked most about this hotel was the very beautifully constructed pavilion/gazebo right outside of our hotel room. Tim and I went out there and sipped our coffee and just enjoyed the cool breeze. We couldn’t see the view of the valley below, but were told the views were phenomenal.

The pool and fire pit on the property were really beautiful, also.

Enjoying the evening breeze

The cons to the Aiden: The bar was not really a bar. The vending machine only offered sodas. (I needed water so bad!) The breakfast bar that was promised in the booking was sort of side. But, at the end of the day – it really wasn’t that big of a deal. We were on the road by 8am and had just enough protein to get us going!

Pros: The room was very large and the bed was very comfortable.

Barn Door to the bathroom

I have noticed this trend with hotels – Barn doors to the bathroom. I am not a fan. I feel it sort of takes away any privacy you might desire.

Otherwise, the hotel was perfect for a quick stop over before heading northward.

The next morning, we drove the 3.5 hours north to Chattanooga, only stopping to use the bathroom at a Q.T. (Because, well… it is a QT!)

Our first stop was the Bluff View Art District.

Bluff View Art District

Finding parking in this area was a piece of cake. We parked along a little bridge and walked about half a block to this courtyard. We chose Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria. Since Tim has been doing low-carb and was in the mood to carb load, we opted for the perfect option!

The restaurant is adorable and has gorgeous views of the river. I can only imagine how beautiful it is at night and more so in the Spring time.

Tim opted for the Create Your Own Pasta option.

Tony’s Pasta

Tim loves Italian sausage and mushrooms. I am pretty sure that is just some of what was in the bowl!

Tony’s Pasta

I went for the spaghetti carbonara. I barely ate a quarter of it! My recommendation is to purchase a pasta and split it with your friend! If so, lunch would have been around $15. However, we spent closer to $45 for lunch. Which included delicious home-baked bread with cheese and olive oil.

Tony’s Pasta

The food was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend this place. We carb-loaded and then decided to tackle the day. Luckily, we would have enough fuel for a long day of walking!

Chattanooga Bluff View Art District

After lunch, we walked right outside and found the sculpture garden. This is a free public art instillation in Chattanooga.

Sculpture garden
Sculpture Garden

We spent about half an hour just checking out the beautiful works of art and snapping photos along the river. Afterwards, we decided to move the car just a little closer to the museums we would be touring later.

Overlooking River in Chattanooga

We headed over to the Hunter Museum of American Art.

It is important to know that during the pandemic, all of the tourist attractions were requiring us to pre-book and purchase tickets – they are timing and spacing the amount of people allowed in the building. We were able to purchase the museum tickets and luckily, we could use them at any point that day. We headed over, used an app to park (which I highly recommend,) then headed over. We were asked to mask up and we took about 1.5 hours to explore the museum.

One of the things I really liked about the museum was the various sculpture installations right outside of the museum.

Hunter museum

These are just a few of my favorite pieces I saw at the museum.

Admission to the museum is $20 a person. We spent $40 total.

They have a wonderful gift shop that had this old cigarette machine that spit out original works of art!

I bought a $5 token from the gift shop hostess.

Selected my favorite option, pulled the level and BOOM!

Pretty cool, huh?

After the museum, we walked down toward the Walnut Street bridge and grabbed some ice cream.

I grabbed some vanilla frozen yogurt and added white chocolate chips and fresh strawberries. It was delish!

After we quenched out sweet tooth, we got in the car and drove a few blocks to the Tennessee Aquarium. The aquarium does require time slots, we opted for 2:30 pm.

We started on the River side and made our way over to the Ocean side.

The penguins on the ocean side made our day!

The cost to attend the Tennessee Aquarium is $34.95 a person. We added the IMAX option for additional $8 a piece.

It took us almost 2 hours to get through the entire museum.

After we finished up, we crossed the street to go to the IMAX movie theater.

We chose to see Antarctica on the IMAX. It was absolutely amazing and well worth it. Just know this – whale poop is going to save the world!

After the movie we drove across the river and headed to the neighborhood Whole Foods. We decided to get a wide range of nibbles and enjoy a little time outside at our next stop!

Just where did we stay?

Dunlap, Tennessee at Little Tails Farm in the Highland Cottage, also known as a tiny house! We spent $86 a night, with zero cleaning fee. What a deal!

We drove the 45 miles to Dunlap and up Cagle Mountain (which was an absolutely beautiful drive!) Great water falls all along the way.

The Highland Cottage

This is the space we stayed in. It is 8 x 16 and on 60+ acres.

This is the view when you walk in the door. Small kitchen to the right, bathroom to the right and living area right in front.

I booked the space through Airbnb. I typed in unique stays and found the perfect fit for us.

We slept upstairs in the loft.

The stairs were not steep, however, they do not have a hand rail, so I definitely recommend being careful!

Once we arrived, it started drizzling and we had a super hard time starting a fire. After about 30 minutes of trying, we just gave up and headed to nibble our goodies and chat. Tim was exhausted from driving and trying to unwind from work and life and we both tried to sleep upstairs. The owners were kind enough to keep the heater on for us, but we got too hot. I headed downstairs and opened the windows and slept on the couch. It was super soft and perfect for someone my height. So, yeah, might not have been the most romantic night, but it was cozy!

Our view

It was a jam-packed day and well spent! Stay tuned for Friday’s fun!

The Struggle Bus

Back when I was in the hospital, super sick

They say nothing worth having is ever easy.

I suppose having good health is a lot like that.

The struggle bus has parked and I think the brakes need fixing.

I spent yesterday morning at my doctor’s office. The idea was to chat with my team about how to decrease the inflammation and lose weight. Something I have been attempting to do for a very, very long time. Especially after the November acute pancreatitis issue, I have been working so incredibly hard to shed the pounds. The very pounds that could kill me.

I lost almost 30 pounds.

I have gained every single one of them back.



I work with a nutritionist and the information I have garnered and implemented has me feeling fantastic. I did see a little decrease in inflammation and I did have more energy. My skin looks better and I was just in a better place with anxiety.

But the inflammation is STILL there, so I called in the big guns. My internal medicine team.

What did they do? They looked at my numbers. Blood pressure: perfect. Cholesterol: good. A1C: good. Liver enzymes: Good. Weight: bad.

They took my age, my activity level, and all of the other information and turned me into a number. That number is 1,200. That’s how many calories I need to consume to lose weight.

My nutritionist has me at 1,625. That is what I need to nourish my cells and live a healthy lifestyle.

What is a girl to do? The struggle is real!

This is part of that journey. That #Fitby50. I’m trying to get all of the information, talk to all of the experts, and at the end of the day, I’m going to do what is best for me.

Am I frustrated? Yes.

Am I struggling? Yes.

Am I feeling over it? Yeah.

But I refuse to give up.

I’m resetting this weekend. I refuse to capture what I am eating in an app. I refuse to discuss my food or my nutrition or my exercise with anyone. I just want to be and do and feel and smile and laugh – guilt free.

I will make the right decisions for me.

But for right now, I am parking that bus and heading on out to find some peace and quiet.

Getting My Groove Back At Grove

Believe it or not, I actually find it hard to just decompress. I know, I know… I am the queen of talking about self-care and I will be the first to purchase the latest stretching mechanism or essential oil. But the truth remains- real, honest relaxation is something I have to consciously and intentionally make happen.

I know you guys remember me talking about my friend, Telisa. Yes, she is the one I traveled to Scotland with and I have known since middle school. You guys probably also remember that she left education to open a float center in Warner Robins called Float Robins. If you aren’t familiar, check out the story HERE.

This very same friend recently opened a new spa in Warner Robins called Grove Spa Retreat.

Her vision was to create a truly luxury experience right in the heart of central Georgia. She put her blood, sweat, tears (and let’s be honest, a whole lotta money,) into her new space, which happens to be next door to Float Robins.

I put out a plea to my friends on FB asking if anyone wanted to go have a spa day with me. Luckily, my friend Kim agreed to come along and we booked full packages for their opening weekend.

We kicked the day off with lunch at one of my favorite places in WR (a place Telisa introduced me to,) Pita Mediterranean Street Food on Watson.

I opted for the chicken shawarma pita with a side of garlic spread hummus. OMG… my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Kim opted for the chicken shawarma bowl. We nibbled, laughed, and finally, we finished up and headed over for an unbelievable spa day!

I think one of the first things I noticed when I walked in was this gorgeous fireplace that is centered in the lobby. It is a beautiful focal pointe that acts like a beacon of serenity. Between the beautiful glowing lights, soft music, and sweet scents, I could almost just curl up right there in the front! We didn’t have to wait long to get called to the back to change into a spa robe and spa shoes.

I will tell you this little tid-bit: I’m a plus-sized girl and I always have this fear that the standard robes are not going to fit around my belly and hips. The hostess showed me the two different robes and I went for the larger one. I stripped down to my undies and attempted to tie the robe, which would tie, it just wouldn’t cover the bits, if you know what I mean.

Thank goodness I could text Telisa and let her know. She came to the back with one of those wrap around velcro spa covers for me to put on under the robe, which solved my problem. I tell you this so that if you are plus-sized, you can conquer this issue up-front.

After changing clothes and putting my items in one of the lockers they provide, I weaved my way down this beautiful, dimly lit hallway that led to a snack bar.

Grove offers complimentary teas, oranges, waters, granola bars, and a wide variety of other items for you to nibble on in their waiting lounge.

I curled up in the lounge and awaited my massage therapist to bring me to her room.

One of the first treatments I went for turned me into a human burrito. I was asked to strip down to nothing and climb onto this table that was covered in what looked like a sunvisor and plastic wrap. The table was heated and I was given a towel to cover my body with. The therapist came into the room and began to dry brush my body. This is an exfoliating process that feels absolutely heavenly. Imagine, if you will, the perfect scratching mechanism. She brushed my legs, arms, stomach and back. Afterwards, she began to apply a warm clay mask all over my body.

After she finished applying the mask, I was wrapped in this plastic wrap, then covered with this heating element and blankets. My whole job was to lay still, in the dimly lit room, and just breathe.

I wasn’t sure if it would freak me out to be wrapped up like a burrito, but to be perfectly honest, I was able to wiggle my toes and move my arms if I needed to. For someone who suffers from just a little claustrophobia, it really wasn’t all that bad. About 20 minutes later, the therapist came in and prepared the steam shower for me. I got to pick out the essential oils I wanted for my aromatherapy experience. I chose eucalyptus and peppermint.

After about a 15 minute steam shower, I dried off and headed back into the massage room and then was given a 60 minute Swedish massage with full body moisturizing and CBD oil for my legs. This entire service cost $150.

After the massage, I was escorted to another room for my facial.

I was given a 60 minute Organic Facial that included a warm towel, cleansing, exfoliation, moisturizing, essential oils, facial massage, as well as steam, and a head/neck/shoulder massage. The entire experience lasted one hour and cost $95.

After my facial, I went back to the lounge and drank plenty of water and somehow made my way back up to the changing room to get ready to go home. I say, “somehow” because I felt like jelly. I had spent the past 3+ hours being pampered LITERALLY from head to toe. What a wonderful birthday gift from my husband.

After saying goodbye to Telisa, Kim & I set off for home.

I know what you are thinking – of course you are going to recommend your friend’s spa. Um.. no. I would not just recommend her spa. And no, I did not receive a single discount – I experienced this just the way you would. With that being said, I would 100% recommend giving Grove a try. It is a completely different experience from Float Robins. Grove is about pampering and relaxation. Float Robins is about healing and transformation.

To book an appointment, go to their website https://grovedayspa.com/ or call 478.333.2210.

And if you are celebrating a special day, like I was, then make sure to grab a cake pop at Starbucks on your way home. 😉

This is 49

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Joe Lewis

I could not agree more.

This is 49, folks. That’s right – I turned 49 yesterday, and it was spectacular. There was laughter, love, and a whole lot of authentic, deep connection.

But really, the whole week has been that way.

For one thing, (actually if I back up a week or so,) I had a wonderful time in Columbus, Georgia at the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus annual conference. It is always refreshing to gather with my tourism colleagues and explore new cities. There were a multitude of educational opportunities, time for networking, and then there was gorgeous Columbus!

If you haven’t had a chance to explore Uptown Columbus, you are missing out! They have a gorgeous river walk where there is white water rafting and a zipline that takes you across from Georgia to Alabama and back again!

We got to enjoy a lovely reception at the Power Plant right on the Chattahoochee River. The event was catered by Epic, which is this super swanky restaurant in UpTown.

It was such an awesome experience.

Later, after I got home, Tim and I spent a relaxing weekend with each other and the dogs on the farm. Just celebrating our little boy, who happens to turn two today!

Last weekend, Tim gave me an awesome spa day at Grove in Warner Robins. I plan to write a little post on my entire experience this weekend. So stay tuned for that!

Grove is a beautiful upscale spa in Warner robins, GA

Downtown Americus Main Street held an incredible Downtown Chili Crawl. Your’s truly actually entered and shared one of my healthy chili vegetarian recipes. Unfortunately, I didn’t even place, but the experience was a lot of fun. There were several people that came to my booth and thanked me for offering a meatless option. It felt good to be able to share that new side of me. (Beef maybe once or twice a month.) This was simply: Chili beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, paprika, tumeric, sea salt, pepper, garlic paste, onion powder, and garlic powder. That was it!

Valentine’s Day was nice! Haley and I dressed all Valentinesy – I wore a Mod 1960s’s pink and black hounds tooth from Unique Vintage. I LOVE this shop. They have so many cute things and I love shopping their dresses. Here is a link to their shop: Unique Vintage.

My birthday was Wednesday and the night of my party, I realized that I have finally created a community. I moved here in 2016. I was 43. I was at the top of my game. Happy, in love and used to living fancy-free. This whole journey has been about me moving to the deep south, and specifically a small town in Southwest Georgia.

It was nice when I first got here. I love change, I love meeting new people, and the first year was a bit of a honeymoon. I got engaged, rebranded a community, got married, traveled to Disney for the first time, went to Paris, and built a house. All in that first year and a half. It was the best of times. At first, I was welcomed into Plains with open arms. I went to bunco games at a local boutique after hours. I would gather up the street with the community have dinner with neighbors (including Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter.) It was good. We were invited to visit churches in Plains, and though I enjoyed meeting everyone, I am neither Methodist or Baptist. I’m Catholic. We don’t just bounce denominations.

I didn’t realize how much of a cultural faux pas that was in small towns. Again, I am learning.

Then there was Andersonville. I didn’t live there, only worked marketing the area.

Leslie & Desoto – same as Andersonville.

Americus – I don’t live there, but I work for the engine. You know, the City. People would invite me to social things, but only ask me about work related items and tell me “what I should be doing.” *Sigh.* Took awhile to find my tribe. I “auditioned” friends (though they didn’t know it…) and finally found the people that will be forever friends. And at my birthday party – it showed.

These are my people!

And there were so many others that I picked up along the way. I also figured if you care to come my party, I may have to count you are apart of my new fam!

Yesterday, I ended up getting two cortisone shots in my knees – one in each. Yes, this is really what 49 is about. Especially when you have massive inflammation, excess weight, and years of ballet. But I feel fantastic today. No sleep, since it sort of jacks me up, so I stayed home with my little man.

Neither one of us got much sleep, so we are relaxing together today.

So this is 49, folks. My trip leading into Volume two! I just wanted to catch everyone up what has been going on. I have some new content lined up and I look forward to sharing this journey with you! Want me to tackle some topics or have some questions for me, simple leave a comment or email me!