From mind to the wild

The Forum

The Forum, Rome, Italy

When do ideas leap from the mind, to paper, and into the wild?

I was thinking this thought while I gazed at Ancient Rome. Though garbed in traffic, pollution, noise of the now, nothing can mask the fact that it has laid bare to all – it is gazing at us with very old eyes. Eyes that have seen it all – a different culture, a different way of life, a time when a ton of stone was but a plaything to regale a population.

An idea that was realized. A creation that withstood the test of time.

From the mind, to paper, and into the wild.

And then, preserved.

By accident, by design.

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10 Ways to Save on Summer Road Trips

Need for speed

Guest post from Andrea Woroch.

Roadtrippers everywhere are rejoicing in their ability to control costs as the airline industry continues to add fees. These days, everything from carry-on luggage to the privilege of herding your kids down the jetway before the masses will cost you some extra cash.

However, road trips can get pretty pricey too, unless you plan ahead. Consider these 10 money-saving tips before you embark on your next cross-country adventure.

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Resort Review: Pacific Shores Resort and Spa (Vancouver Island)

Pacific Shores Resort and Spa

My timeshare is probably one of the best investments I have ever made.

I did not always think so.

I ranted about fees, used it sparingly, suffered poor customer service, thought about selling it.

But very recently, RCI redeemed itself through one beautiful resort in Vancouver Island.

Enter Pacific Shores Resort and Spa.

Let’s start from the very beginning.  The resort was in Vancouver Island, which is not in Vancouver, and we had to cross a body of water to go to it.  And by body of water, I mean a large one, and by cross, I mean through a ferry.  So we took the BC Ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island and brought our rental car to the island (our rental car on a ferry!).  This was the first time hubby drove in Canada ever so he was not very pleased that (1) he was driving the car to the inside of the ferry (which was crowded with other cars) (2) the ferry, with the car (and us), will be sailing for more than an hour and (3) he was sticking his neck out and his driver’s license too by doing this.  But after all is said and done, I think he did a great job.  (whew)

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The Journey is the Message

The Color of Happiness

We were late.

We were going to beautiful Victoria in Vancouver Island and we overslept.  There was a forecast of sun and I peeked to the window, apprehensive, because we have not seen the sun in days.  It was out!  And the world was beautiful! At once, I was filled with panic.  It might disappear all too soon, as it is wont to do during these cold and dreary winter months (as we found out).  Slivers of sunshine are all we get, and I was determined to get my sliver.  I woke up everyone and hustled and bustled.

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Of Antiques and Thrift Shops

Giddy for Antiques

You love them.

You love the history of the thing, or the imagined history.  Which could be what you make of it, since history is written by the victorious anyway (those who lived to tell the tale), and it might be that the actual truth could be less rosy, or rosier, or be in the in-between (yeah, maybe not much there).

(fact could be fiction and fiction could be fact – but what is reality anyway?)

Well, I love them.

I have been fascinated by antiques since, well, I don’t really know.  I have not been exposed to them since houses in our family were demolished with abandon and new ones constructed and the old stuff (furniture, clothes, bric-a-brac, pictures, vinyl records) were stashed away some place or thrown or burned even before I had the consciousness for antiques.

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(Hopefully) Not Too Late Christmas Tips

You Can Make this a Special Christmas

At Christmas time, the mall is particularly stressful.

I mean the crowds are massive and stifling, the parking is horrible, the merchandise are disgustingly overpriced.

Christmas never used to be this way.  It used to be special.  The glittery, dreamy, new-clothes-new-shoes-lots-of-gifts-and-sparkles kiddy kind of special.

(Or is it because, then, I was not in charge (and not spending)?)

But I have grown up (as I must) and now it is my turn to make it special for my brood.

(And I wonder, was it stressful too for my mom and dad, or is it more stressful now because the world has become more fast-paced, more guilt-ridden, more material-focused?)

So ever since the countdown for Christmas began, I have been on the lookout for other alternative ways to give or buy gifts without breaking the bank or losing my sanity.  Here are some of my picks:

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The Enchantment of A Summer House

Paradiso

I irritate my husband with one habit.

I get myself invited to open houses – of summer houses – and I drag him with me.

For some reason, summer houses appeal to me.  I tried to enter an exclusive one once and I was turned away (not a member, no invitation from a member, no appointment to go in – how was I supposed to know it was that exclusive?).  And maybe that is where the appeal lies – it is so hard to get in (well, okay, that one time, but memories of experiences sometimes stick around longer than they are wanted).

Hard to get in but also hard to keep one.  But that is another story.

Summer houses in exclusive enclaves.  They are the playground of the rich, and when you own one, it means you have earned the right to squander money away – and squander you will because although you paid an arm and a leg for it, it is a place where you will stay maybe only 1 or 2 months in a year.

But like I said, I like them.  So yesterday, we went again to another one – in Anvaya Cove which is off the coast of Bataan, very near Subic Bay.

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If You Are in Business, Why Customer Service Should be Your Priority

With A Smile

I was surprised by a frantic call from my home resort, the company where I bought my timeshare.

They were threatened to be exposed on national television of being a scam.  Being an attorney for the leading broadcasting station, they wanted me to speak on their behalf, to do some sort of a testimony, to talk to their client and allay the client’s fears (and silence his threats).

I told them I could not.  I was not happy with them.

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