Archive | Best of the Fighting Couple

Fighting at the Better Marriage Conference

 

Better marriages 2015

Exciting news!  The Fighting Couple have been invited to be presenters at the upcoming Better Marriages Conference in St. Louis, MO on July 9-11th, 2015.  If you live in the mid-west and your relationship could use a tune up.  (Who doesn’t?) We invite you to join us!

The conference is being put on by BetterMarriages.org.  Their mission is to promote better marriages by providing enrichment opportunities and resources to strengthen couples.  They have regional events throughout the year that promote vibrant relationships.  Once a year the organization holds their Annual Marriage Conference, inviting couples from across the country to participate in helpful workshops to improve their relationship.

So what will the Fighting Couple be sharing?  Sorry, It’s top secret.  Let’s just say it is going to include a lot of laughs, a few wild and crazy stories from the road, a dash of couple advice, and a lot of fighting.

Are you thinking of attending?  Need more info?  Check out their website:  Conference Info

This will be our first visit to the gateway city.  We are beyond excited to discover what this wonderful city has to offer.  Any locals have any tips/recommendations/good BBQ joints?  Send us a note!

4

The Traveling Innkeepers

They welcome the world’s travelers and then travel the world themselves: Meet the Traveling Innkeepers: Dan and Becky.

Dan and Becky are the proud owners of Prince Edward Island’s cozy Kindred Spirit Inn. 1000Fights has already previewed the Inn’s amazing culinary breakfast, now we’d like to introduce you to the owners of this comfortable and Anne-like property. With a name like Kindred Spirits, you imagine just how friendly the Inn really is! The Fighting Couple instantly felt a kindred spirit with Dan and Becky. They are the younger, more successful and attractive version of Mike and Luci!

Cordoba  Spain

Dan and Becky visiting Cordoba, Spain

Dan and Becky are true Islanders who both grew up on Prince Edward Island.  Dan’s grew up at Kindred Spirits after his parents ditched their desk jobs and bought the property and remodeled it.  Cavendish, PEI, the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous novel Anne of Green Gables, is visited by thousands of people a year.

Dan’s family lived in the Inn, but when tourist season hit from May to October, he moved out and his room became someone else’s! “I grew up with people from all over the world. I was constantly exposed to new people and new ideas.”

Growing up in PEI is a kid’s dream. It’s as idyllic as Anne describes it. “My range was only limited by geography. I could go to the beach myself and bike as far as I wanted; I just had to be back for supper — that was the rule,” Dan reminisces.

Becky and Dan married and bought the property from Dan’s folks. Becky has a knack for organization and started working at Kindred Spirits when she was in high school. Running the Inn, is a 24 hour, 7 day a week job.  And when something needs to be done, Dan and Becky fill in for every role of their 20 employees from security to house keeper, to cook to maintenance man.

But when the tourists leave, Dan and Becky do too. They take the winter and spring to tour the world.

No matter where they have traveled and they have traveled all over: New Zealand, Argentina, Thailand, Costa Rica, just to name a few, people make the difference. From the time a stranger helped them through the chaos of 100 people yelling and screaming in the Panama Airport or to the hotel clerk who helped Dan find his wallet that he left in a cab in Krabi, Thailand, the kindness of others when Dan and Becky travel, make them committed to ensuring that those who stay at Kindred Spirits have an impeccable experience.

Elephant in Thailand

The Traveling Innkeepers in Chaing Mail, Thailand

“Service is never inauthentic,” says Dan. “Everyone who comes to visit PEI is on their vacation and 99 percent of them are having the best days of the year. That’s what makes our jobs great. If you are a lawyer or an accountant, you are dealing with people on their worst days of the year.”

“The tourists are the best part of the job. We meet our guests as they come through the door,” Becky added. “Our job isn’t to be right; our job is to make guests feel comfortable.”

They are so committed to making things as gracious as can be at Kindred Spirits, that Becky keeps a travel notebook when they travel to record the “Wow” moments to help replicate them at Prince Edward Island. Like the time, they were in Argentina and they stayed at a place that invited them to sit and have coffee. “The act of sitting and sharing coffee was very meaningful. They walked us to our room. It was different from being checked in behind a cold, sterile, desk,” Becky explained.

We personally experienced this with the Inn’s cookies and tea service in the evening. In fact, when we arrived there was an entire list of social activities that guests could do to mingle with other guests and the staff.

Being in the travel business has also made Dan and Becky more critical of what they see on the road. “We are ruined,” Becky says about going to other hotels to stay. “We can’t walk into a property without seeing what’s wrong and what’s right. It’s certainly allowed us to relate.”

Better yet, the two are also fighters!  One of their highlights: they didn’t realize they needed a Visa to get to Vietnam. “And that was the time we almost went to Vietnam,” Becky laughs. They didn’t have their Visa so when they got to the airport and the ticket agent asked to see it; they had to change their plans immediately! It’s a 1000 Fight Nightmare! The story did end well, they ended up going to Malaysia instead!

Want to learn more about Kindred Spirits?  Check our recent post!

 

5

The Danger of Expectations (in Marriage and Travel)

One of the many precautions we take in our travels is getting the proper immunizations. Before our Amazon trek, we went in to our local medical clinic and said, give us everything you’ve got! We felt like human pin cushions! Those pesky shots, while painful in the short term prepared our bodies to reject the attack of those pesky yellow fever things. But no immunization or medication can protected someone from an unrealized expectation. We have found this out the hard way.

Perception is Reality?

We just returned from a two week trip to Asia, visiting both Thailand and Cambodia.    I had lived in Taiwan for a couple of years in college, this was Luci’s first visit to the Orient. It was so intriguing to watch her experience a new culture, and dispel and confirm some of her preconceptions. She thought that the food would be spicy, and it was! In other areas she discovered that she was completely off base. Each new place we visit we arrive with the rose colored glasses of glossy guidebooks. (That’s one reason we love the travel blogging community, for its candid un-gussied up descriptions.) As travelers, we tend to be  loaded with pre-conceptions. These notions rarely hit the mark.

 

Pinterest Perfect?

Just like travel, we build in our minds some times unrealistic expectations from our marriages/ relationships. We think things should be a certain way.  Simply because…that’s the way things happen in the movies or on TV. Why would we want to model a relationship after a fictional portrayal? #epicfail ! (I just used a hashtag as a complete sentence! Cross that off the bucket list!) Our culture, our environment push us to envision and quite frankly expect the ideal. Look no further than Pinterest to see well-meaning people create a palette of perfection. The never ending quest for the perfect wedding centerpiece. Then there’s the dress! All of this leads us to create in our mind an expectation, typically unrealistic and unattainable.

Is that really healthy?

How to overcome?

Some of the best advice we have ever received was offered by Javier, our young Peruvian guide in the Amazon Jungle. Before embarking on our night safari in the Jungle he counseled us, “don’t set your heart on seeing any one animal or insect..just enjoy what you find in the jungle.” Wise words for sure. We have often reflected on this advice. Enjoy the ride. Don’t say..i want this, that and the other or the experience is an abject failure. Don’t do that to yourself. Enjoy the journey for what it is. Leave your expectations at the lodge of life and open your heart to the experience.

Finding the perfect in the one you love

Come up with your own perfect. One thing that we have discovered in 15 years of marriage and 25 some years of friendship is that neither one of is perfect. We likely know each other’s flaws and quirks better than anyone else in the galaxy. For a relationship to thrive, we can’t expect our lover to be a combo of every perfect character we have read about in Jane Austen novels. Likewise, it is completely unrealistic and a little dangerous to expect our sweetheart to look like a supermodel 24/7. It is up to us to find the best in those we love, especially our significant other.

 

How do you overcome your preconceptions? What are your secrets to rejecting the pressure for perfection? Let us know in the comments below.

 

5

The Man’s Guide to Traveling with a Woman

 

5 Things Every Man Should Know About Women…While Traveling.

How do you travel with a Woman?  Not long ago we did a post relating little know secrets about how to travel with men.  We have now turned the tables and offer you hommes a few insights on how to travel with the fairer sex.  While every person has their own travel style, and we certainly don’t want to paint every woman into a box, there are a few helpful general tips, that if understood, can help couples find greater harmony on the road.  So here we go:

Keys to traveling with a Woman

Miramare Castle, Triste, Italy

It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

Men, for whatever reason have a “let’s get there attitude” when traveling and doing other things. As women, we tend to focus a little more on the path.  Men: build in a little extra time into your schedules.  Be flexible. Here’s an example from our recent trip to Venice which turned into another 1000 fights. We were driving from Triste, Italy to Venice.  We were looking through tourist books and spotted an amazing castle cradling the bay outside of Triste.  It wasn’t in our plan.  Mike had an Excel spreadsheet that kept a strict schedule with everything we were to see that day and the castle wasn’t on the list. He didn’t even know about the castle. Of course Mike was like, “Gotta get on the road, got to see Venice, got to obey the spreadsheet.” After a fight that resulted in zero pictures of Mike and I together at the castle (in fact, Mike wouldn’t even take pictures of me-our friends were the photographers), we went to the castle.  We ended up seeing one of the most incredible sites of our entire trip.  Mike admitted he was wrong three weeks after the trip, and I have a few pictures of a fairy tale castle in Italy. Guys take the hint.  Be flexible.  Slow down a little and enjoy the ride!

 

Cleanliness is next to Godess-ness

I don’t know how many times I have said…for men…the world is your urinal.  Traveling, as we have in third world countries, the facilities are not always ideal.  No problem.  But there is a clear and bright line between rustic and disgusting.  Third world or first world, some truck stops are dens of disgusting.  Men take this little hint, when the facilities are sub par,  DON’T ARGUE.   Try saying things like…”Let’s find another place” or “There is a hotel just down the road, lets go over there.” My hero!   One option we highly recommend is skipping the hotel and renting a vacation apartment instead.”

 

man-taking-photoPictures are the best souvenir

Its all about the social media and the Christmas card.  Deep down, women are vain.  We really are.  Men could care less how their outfit looks or if their makeup is smudged.  OK maybe most men don’t care about their make up.  For us frau-lines, we truly want our vacation pics to look really good.  Why do we take vacation pics?  To show them off to all our friends on Facebook!   Our photo shoots might take a little long.  Guys, take it from me, you want us to look hot for these pics, it will make all of your old girl friends # jealous!

 

The whole flowers thing

This is likely the hardest concept for men to understand.  Women like cute things.  Cute things can come in the shape of purring cats, daffodils, teacups and cutie-bug kids.  We are going to take pictures of them, we are going to cuddle them, we may put an entire tour on hold to take pictures of a bunny.  I can’t tell you how many pictures we have of the dafodills in front of Jane Austen’s house!  They were incredible!  Guys, this is really going to test your patience.  Take a deep breath.  Count to 10.  Trust me, if you make a big deal about this, you will be removed from our “cute” list.  This will not bode well for you later.  Girls can I have an “amen?!”

 

Dinner in Venice ItalyA little more talk and a little less action

Women need to talk.  We need to communicate.  We need to discuss.  Guys: a couple of different options for you.  Some of you are talkers as well, so no problem.  Some of you are good listeners, no problem.  If you are neither or your name is Mike, a few ideas for you.  Let your spouse known that you need some time to talk. You finally have some time together, and for women it’s all about communication. If you don’t know what to talk about, we suggest “The Book of If: Questions for the Games of Life and Love” by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell.  On a four hour drive through Croatia, we found out a lot about each other. Like, “If you could fire someone from work, who would it be,” or “If you could relive one romantic date from high school just as it was, which would it be.”  Some answers we had to plead the “fifth.” But overall, it’s a great way to get a conversation going.

If communicating together isn’t your thing, join friends you meet on the tourist trail for drinks before/after/during dinner. Meeting fellow travelers is one of the most dynamic experiences that can create lifelong friendships and maybe a few Facebook friend requests!

Gentlemen, these are a few little hints for keeping us gals happy whilst on the road.  Every women is different, but take these ideas into consideration and know your travel partner.

Gals, did we miss anything?  If you could tell you guy just one thing that would make life a little easier out there, what would you tell him?

16

Flight Fashion

Just like the bland food that some airlines put forward as food, flight attendant uniforms are headed for the same mediocrity!   We thought that it might be fun to highlight some of the best dressed flight attendants in the skies.   Luci and I are “fashion challenged” so we enlisted the help of some folks that know fashion and flying!

Please meet our celebrity judges:

@isthisreallife2@finalfashion@theflyingpinto@kirafashion@TheSwelleLife


Just click on any picture below for a larger view.

Qatar Airways

@isthisreallife2 The first word that comes to mind is ‘Safe’ and not in an ‘arm rests down, doors closed’ sense of the word.  No these uniforms are safe in a ‘good but not great way.’ While they look smart and the colour is surprisingly flattering, there really is no Wow factor here.  Thumbs up or down- If possible I would put a thumb half way between up or down its so mediocre!

@finalfashion:  There is a reductive, non-entity effect that suits the role of a service professional. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto Nothing exciting here. Boring cut, and the color would work on very few skin tones. Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION: It’s incredible how chic and glamorous a stewardess can be in a hat. I also love the choice of color here, beautiful. Thumbs up!

@TheSwelleLife A smart look, streamlined and minimal.  I like the deep plum colour and gestural ‘tie’.  Thumbs up.

Air France

@isthisreallife2 Chic, elegant, classic and timeless.  But to be honest, what else could we expect from the best dressers in the world.  Simple is the key here.  From the lines of the shirt-dress to the shape of the over-coat.  It reminds me of the golden age of air travel when air-hostesses were seen as the epitome of glamour and their clothes were coveted.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion These uniforms are actually chic – and they’d have to be.  A remarkably deft feat of design. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto I can see a little bit of Kate Spade in the dress with the bow…but the white could look like a nurses uniform too. I hate the scarf, what were they thinking? Can you imagine wearing that huge thing in your face like that?  Love the red gloves and the over coat.  Thumbs up.

@KIRAFASHION It’s unfair to compare women from any nationality to French women. They have the fashion history on their side.  I love the long coats and the way they wear the scarf.  Thumbs Up.

@TheSwelleLife The chicest of the lot, naturellement. The jackets have the clean, tailored lines of a Chanel boucle, and no self-respecting French person goes out without the loosely bundled scarf, even when working on a plane, apparently.  Love the loose bow sash as well which is done in that none-fussy, French way. Thumbs up.

British Airways

@isthisreallife2 This is everything Air France isn’t.   Air France’s tailoring is to perfection where BA looks like they are all wearing too sizes too big for them, AF’s navy is deep and rich where as BA looks like they have all been put in a white wash in the dryer and come out a mucky version of ‘dark blue.’  It may be an unpatriotic view, but I am not really loving BA’s style!   Thumbs down.

@finalfashion Dowdy, military-inspired things that instantly add 20 years of age to the wearer. Eminently suitable for the purposes of a uniform but executed without flair. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto Are you sure this isn’t the Air Force posing in front of the plane? Everything about this uniform is up tight and stiff, even the bag that looks like it is part of the uniform.  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION Too heavy and not appealing. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife I’ve flown BA a lot and can attest to how uninspired these uniforms are in person, that navy couldn’t be more flat. They look like cadets. BA’s flight attendants are usually quite accommodating and deserve something with a little more ease and flair. But if they’re sometimes miserable, we know why.  Thumbs down.

Delta

@isthisreallife2 I really like how bold and brave Delta had been with their choices.  It may not aesthetically be perfect but it’s pretty and daring and is definitely eye-catching.  I really applaud them from trying something a little bit different and actually pulling it off!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The classic wrap dress works on any age and any figure and for that reason, it makes sense to adapt it to a uniform. However, it lacks a sense of authority. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto My favorite US Airline uniform. You only show the red dress, which I love, and for me a great dress is the best uniform. It’s easy to wear and you can dress it up with accessories. This particular dress was a little controversial because it is not flattering on every body type.   Thumbs up!

@KIRAFASHION Great at the runaway, but not so good in real life.  Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife Is that Richard Tyler? So this is what he’s doing now. If I were a Delta flight attendant, I’d be pretty thrilled with a wrap dress, even one with trench coat lapels, but the fabric looks to be a very stiff cotton.  I’m confused about the runway shot – is that a silk version? Is it for off-duty dates with the captain? Thumbs up.

Have you checked out some of the best Flight Attendant Blogs?  Here is our tribute!

Aeroflot

@isthisreallife2 Nice colour and again nice to see the classic style of the golden age of air travel coming back but just not startling enough!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The wing-motif repetition, echoed in the spread collar, is heavy-handed. Remove two or three elements and there would be the essence of a decent uniform. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto Still looks feminine without being too revealing. I love the fit of the uniform, it’s not boxy like a lot of airlines. I specifically like the dresses in the 2nd picture, it looks easy to wear, but still fitted and stylish with the cuff on the sleeve. And, I love the red shoes with the blue dress! Thumbs up!

@KIRAFASHION So innovative and beautiful!  Thumbs up!

@TheSwelleLife This is the Russian airline that has had a lot of crashes?  Their uniform represents bravery, absolute bravery. It’s ok, the red’s a bit bright and it’s very layered but looks fairly lightweight. And if a wing falls off, they can glide to safety on her collar. Thumbs…instead of an up or down, can I give a nice level one?

Jet Airways

@isthisreallife2 I really like this.  The yellow colour is beautiful and really unique to have this exact shade as other airlines have gone for a more mustard colour when using yellow.  The clothes underneath could do with being a little more exciting than just black but the coat really does save the whole look.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion The long coats have a dental-hygenist quality to them, however the yellow seems to work well on most of the models pictured, and the black pants seem utilitarian. A serviceable uniform, but that’s all. Thumbs sideways.

@theflyingpinto Looks like real estate agents living in a cold climate. Why else would those jackets be so long? And the color? Yuck!  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION I love the yellow here, but the cut is too austere. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife The pale yellow is friendly and cheery and the nehru style is a nice change from the traditional Western look (as this is an Indian airline). But why do the women have to be dressed like men because they’re working on a plane? I’m wondering if Nehru jackets move, they look pretty stiff. Do they, Steven Seagal? Thumbs up, I think.

(Editor’s Note:  We have nothing against dental hygienists, real estate agents or Steven Seagal.  We think.  Well… we don’t have anything against Seagal for sure.)

Lufthansa

@isthisreallife2 Basically BA but with yellow instead of red.  Not a fan of this ill-fitting style at all and the colour is very draining on them!  Thumbs down.

@finalfashion A classic uniform that doesn’t try too hard to reinvent what isn’t broken. Small touches like the pocket square and the single braid at the cuff are sophisticated and work well. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto This uniform really didn’t stand a chance with me. I suppose it is ok, but it looks a lot like the tired old uniform I’ve had at my airline for my entire career! Being fair it’s not that bad, the fit looks good, but the hat tipped the scale for me. Ugly! Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION Original hats and traditional flight attendant style. Thumbs up.

@TheSwelleLife Now this is just mean. It’s stiff, dull, and masculine and the hat looks like an upside-down dog bowl. The harsh goldenrod and navy contrast is not very modern. Thumbs down.

KLM

@isthisreallife2 Again I like the bold-ness of the colour choice.  It’s a really lovely shade of blue in these images (although I have to say in real life, their uniforms never look this glamorous! Ha!)  I like the three-piece style too.  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion Wing tip collars, on an airline uniform? Sophomoric and literal. Somehow every small detail here seems obvious and unrefined. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto I love the way the uniform fits and I find the color very striking. It really stands out in an airport. But, what I see as a pro could become a con..how long would it take to be sick of the color? If they keep the same uniform as long as my airline has (20 years) I can see it getting old!  Thumbs up.

@KIRAFASHION Nice blue, but maybe too blue. Thumbs down.

@TheSwelleLife I like the bright blue and more feminine style of jacket, but those neckerchiefs are just awful. I’m convinced the female staff frequently come into work with hickies – why else would they be made to wear these things? Crimson, gold and navy stripes against royal blue…pass the airsickness bag, please.  Thumbs up without the neckerchief.

Emirates

@isthisreallife2 I adore their camel coats. Again they have the chic factor like Air France, there is a certain elegance with these two that the others don’t seem to have.  I really like the cultural nod too with their hats, I think it’s a really nice touch and again makes them stand out!  Thumbs up.

@finalfashion Simple and elegant uniform, in a beigey non-colour – it would probably work just as well or better if the suit matched the hat. The white scarf is a good choice for any face and colouring. Thumbs up.

@theflyingpinto Can you say dowdy office worker? Funny enough, even though it’s a similar style hat to Lufthansas this one actually works. Maybe it’s the color combined with the scarf? At any rate I would say that is the best part of the uniform, but what does your hair look like when you take it off?  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION How chic and mysterious those women are. I love the way they mix the head scarf and the hat. The nude palette with the rouge look incredible. Thumbs up.

@TheSwelleLife Beige usually means bland and boring, but as a passenger I think I’d find this light, modern shade soothing. The traditional sash adds some softness to what is essentially a business suit. Thumbs up.

Qantas

@isthisreallife2 First off, I would like to say that I love the fact that again, like Delta, they are taking a chance and doing something bold with their uniform, which I really think is great, but unfortunately, unlike Delta, I just don’t think they have pulled it off.  The print is far too big and just won’t flatter all shapes and sizes and it will date so quickly but at least its shows that they are making an effort!  Thumbs up (for trying,)

@finalfashion The satin shirt dress lacks authority and the shiny fabric looks cheap. The overall effect fails to suggest the role of the wearer. Thumbs down.

@theflyingpinto Is this silk? And, is that the designer in the first picture? What was he thinking? He should work in that dress. It looks like the lining in the dress I have now, that we all tear out because of how hot it gets. I’m also pretty sure I have a picture of my grandmother around here somewhere in that same dress!  Thumbs down.

@KIRAFASHION The worse uniform here. Printed clothes definitely don’t go with this job. Horrendous. Thumbs  down.

@TheSwelleLife A refreshing change of style in a more comfy fabric. But the pattern reminds me of a hotel or casino carpet which are designed to hide an array of dirty sins, so I’m thinking Quantas crew get thrown up on a lot.  Also good for disco dancing. Thumbs up for comfort and forgoing the masculine formality of the traditional uniform.

A huge 1000 Fights THANKS to our celebrity judges.  Some great style!  Please follow them on twitter, check out their blogs, and tell them thanks for participating in our project.

Now it is your turn to vote!

Leave your vote for best dressed in the sky in the comment section below.  Flight attendants prepare for crosscheck!

23

Panic Packing

Avoiding Panic  Packing

Weight limits, per bag charges, Overweight fees: OH I hate thee! The Art of Packing is truly becoming more critical for the frequent traveler.  How do you get all of the must haves for an African Safari in tiny box the size of a lunch pail?  IMPOSSIBLE!  One of the biggest packing challenges we at 1000Fights.com face is our traveling tendencies.  We typically travel on the “shoulder” seasons (April & May or Sept. & Oct.).  Weather during these times is especially difficult to predict.  You need to be prepared for every possibility.  We put together a few tips and hints for your packing panicking!

Men vs. Women

The lines between how females and males pack are certainly blurred.  Take Mike for instance.  He is a classic overpacker (which tends to be a female trait).  He wants to be prepared for every fashion eventuality!  Luci on the other hand has a collection of cosmetics that would rival even the most humble Hollywood starlet.  Men in general tend to pack the old stand bys Jeans, tee-shirts and flip flops.  Women tend to stuff the case with every fashion combination imaginable.

Take direction from some of the best dressed travel bloggers out there:

>Vagabond Adventures– Lucie always finds the best sun dresses.

>Me and Frenchie–You can always go native.  Check out their rotating header.

>My Beautiful Adventures— How could we have this list with out Andi? How does she do it?

Hints for the Hommees

Ok guys, too many of us think that a tee-shirt and jeans are the ideal travel uniform.  Candidly, that can be the most comfortable for sure.  But why do you go on vacation?  To relax?  To see great sites? Nope.  You go to take pictures of yourself.  A word about shoes:  Pick good ones.   If you are looking for mens shoes look no further.  I am loyal to my Clarks Natureveldts.  Luci calls the old man shoes…but they are extremely well built, comfortable and go with jeans to jacket.  So…Guys, step your game up.  Pack a dinner jacket.  How about pants made of something other than denim?

Hints for the Femmes

A few ideas for a recent Ladies Home Journal article:

1. Assess your trip. Are you going to the beach or lake for a family vacation? The Caribbean for a romantic getaway? Europe for a sightseeing tour? Let your destination and planned activities guide your packing.

2. Accessorize! . Simple is sometimes better.  Pack a few all purpose scarfs to spiff it up a bit.

 

3. Choose mix and match bottoms. You can get away with wearing shorts, pants, or skirts multiple times on a trip. For a weeklong beach vacation, three pairs of shorts, one skirt, and one pair of pants should be enough.

4. Location. Keep in mind that some museums, religious sites, and even some reasterants have “dress” codes.  Pack accordingly.

5. Bring one dress. A simple style such as a shift in an easy shade (black always works) can be worn during the day with sandals and at night with heels. It’s particularly good to have if your plans suddenly include a dressy event.

6. Go Native. If everyone at the beach is wearing flip-flops and athletic slides, for example, strappy heels will look out of place — and stop you from feeling comfortable and enjoying your trip.

7. Keep fabric in mind. 100 percent cottons and linens wrinkle easily and require lots of ironing. Choose to bring clothing in fabrics blended with wrinkle-resistors like nylon or spandex, or pack pieces in knit and jersey.

8. Stick to neutrals. Clothing in black, white, and khaki, with a splash or red or denim thrown in, makes stylish dressing easy because it all matches, all the time.

9. Scale back on shoes. Most women bring many more pairs than they need! For casual vacations, one pair of sandals and one pair of sneakers is sufficient. Add a pair of dressy mules if you anticipate more formal evenings out.

10. Don’t forget one versatile purse. A small canvas tote can go from the beach to the boardwalk to casual dinners, and look appropriate in all places.

Backpacker vs. Luggage-ites

I am truly in awe at those folks who sell everything they own and pack a little daypack and head off to chase lamas in Peru.  Perhaps my obsessive compulsive side makes me want to have things around me.  There is a tiny piece of me that is jealous of those that forsake all and backpack, it goes back to my upbringing.  I have a very responsible mother.  So as I headed out to scouting adventures, my pack would be chock full of really helpful stuff: snake bit anti-venom, healthy snacks, rain poncho ect.  Other troopers with came armed with packs full of pop-tarts and Mountain Dew soda. #jealous.

We can learn a lot from our back packer buddies.  Focus on the basics.  A great travel packing list was put together by >Our Traveling Circus: Not sure I want to know what unmentionables they are packing, but it is a complete list for sure.  Great blog to checkout by the way.  What backpackers do best is identifying what is really needed.  Nothing too heavy is included.

Too many people leave the packing to the wee hours of the morning before departure.  Bad idea.  You are much more prone to forget something.  Pick socks that don’t match.  Take a little extra time and follow the advice above and you will be glad you did once you open your luggage.

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5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Men…While Traveling.

Love We collected a few tidbits of advice for those traveling women who get a little frustrated with their man.  We broke them down into 5 simple rules:

1 Hunger-One of the intriguing features of male physiology is the constant need for…..food.  In the bible of understanding all men aka: The Godfather, note when big decisions need to be made…food is included ie  “Leave the gun bring the cannoli.”  A little known fact is that 61 scenes  involve food.  Why?  Men need Man Fuel.  It makes everything go much better.  Those little mini-meals they serve on long haul flights?  Not gonna cut it.

How to deal with the food issue?  A little planning can go a long way.  Want to hit that French “chic” resterauant that is all the rave?  You know the one.  Where the portions are super tiny and the plates look like a work of art?  What to do?  The solution is simple. Hit a burger joint for lunch earlier in the day.  Even better yet all you can eat wings!  Problem solved.


2 Directions-Just like the pitiful scene of Napoleon at  Waterloo or  Lee at Appomattox, asking a man to hand over his sword and ask for directions is just as humiliating.  Admitting defeat, even in the face of insurmountable odds, is next to impossible!  Instead, might we suggest that if possible you approach by using rule number one.  “Hey I am starving…is there anyway we could stop by this store/café and grab a quick bite?” (see rule #1)  At the same time… this will give you a chance to inconspicuously ask for some pointers on where the heck you are.  The invention of GPS has quite possibly single handedly saved our marriage.  It is now a travel must.

 

3 Shopping– One of the key factors in maintaining our man card is preserving our dignity while shopping.  Key to men’s primal instincts in the notion of hunting and gathering.  We hunt something.  We kill it.  We drag it home.  The faster the better.  We view shopping as no different.  Enter store.  Find item.  Buy said item.  Done.  The thought of spending countless hours comparing the fairy wings on a half dozen winged porcelain figurines is so counter to our instincts.

In order to counter this predisposition ladies…give us something to occupy our time.  “Why don’t you grab some food and wait for me in the bar and watch the game?” (see rule  #1)  Better yet..make it our idea aka the Jedi Mind Trick.   FEMALE:  “This is going to take awhile…”I bet you don’t want to hangout here and look for hand bags with me.”  MALE: “I don’t want to stay here and watch you drool over patent leather, I will meet you back at the hotel.”

 

4 The Interest Gap– This rule is best understood by reliving one of our greatest fights.  The setting was west of London at what is thought to be Jane Austen’s home.  AKA Female mecca.  AKA Male purgatory.  We pulled up to the thatched roof home to giggling shrieks of delight from Luci.  When she started to bounce up and down and do the little happy clapping motion with her hands…I knew this was not going to end well.  I smiled and pretended that this was what we had come to this God forsaken land for.  I made it to the ticket counter where the asking price to look at a door that squeeks and a couple of old rocking chairs was explained to me.  “There is no way I am spending that much for that.  I am headed to the pub.”  Enter a little pouting and zoooom she was gone to join the tens of other gleeful gals who were doing similar happy clapping.  The men’s congress was convened at the pub next door.

As this experience illustrates…we have found that you need to budget your time to allow for things that may only interest one of you.   In addition to doing the “together” things.  We have found that going our own ways on vacations to see items of interest is just fine.

 

5 Cave Dwelling-In the Dr. John Gray’s book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus we learn that men need their cave time.  They need quite time to reflect.

“When a man loves a woman, periodically he needs to pull away before he can get closer.” Dr. John Gray.

Vacation often creates situations that as a couple you are alone together for long patches of time.  At times men need to commune with our inner Neanderthal.  We need some alone time with out thoughts.  We need those long lulls in the conversation.   When we are quiet, we are not upset.  We are not giving you the silent treatment.  We are just pondering the expanse of the universe or the defensive scheme for our fav football club.  This will pass and all will be well.

 

We hope that these few insights give you some ideas on how best to deal with men on vacation.  Any other tips that we missed?

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My First Bath (Turkish)

 

An experience that is difficult to fully describe. We chose the Cagaloglu Hamami or Turkish bath. It is medieval design. The Cagaloglu Hamami is probably the world’s most famous Turkish Bath. It’s featured in the 1000 places to go before you die book, and is reputed to have been visited by King Edward VII, Florence Nightingale, Tony Curtis and Cameron Diaz and now my wife Luci. You walk in and are greeted by two “bath guys” they give you the run down on the different bath options.  We chose the bath and massage. We put down our green backs, picked out our soap and soapmit.  Luci was whisked away to the women side. From what she described, I should of followed her.

Ok, they give you the key to your “compartment” and in you go.   Directions from the aging gentleman were simple. “take off clothes, put on towel”.  No welcome to the bath, no: you may be concerned about modesty etc… now the mens waiting room is right in front of the main entry way.  So I walk out and some French girls are pointing an laughing at me. I think they thought something was funny with my towel…I don’t know.

You are escorted into the back,  which opens into a huge domed room  At center is a huge marble slab.  It is about a 1000 degrees.  10 bathers total.  One of the employees (blue towel) says: go to hot room.  I am thinking, this is fairly hot.  I head to back. Hot room was an understatement.  I sit down careful to keep knees together.  How do you girls do it?  I cook for 10 minute,  then my “man” comes. “I am Ali” I said, yes you are. “come”. Ali is light on words and heavy on pounds. Ali looks to be expecting twins, and has the hair from planet apes. He directs me to lay flat on the center stone. I do. Enter Turkish massage.  A lot of chopping, and pulling muscle from bone, which is not as pleasant as it sounds. Ali is ingueiness in using elbows, and knees to knead soft tissue. At one point, knee is used to “soften buttocks area”. This was the most unpleasant portion of the adventure as marble was not very forgiving of my reverse side (enough said).

Once my entire body has been stretched, pulled and properly kneaded. Ali explained, “now wash”. I was directed to one of the side marble benches. being completely washed by another man is not something that i do on a regular basis. Ali puts on a sandpaper glove and begins to methodically remove 1 inch of my skin. He keeps showing me the glove. It is completely covered in skin removed. I nodded like this was great. Then he took his finger nails and removed the top layer of my scalp for 10 mins.

Enter more soap, more scrubbing.  At last I look like a drowned cat.  Ali says: “done”. I can’t move. I finally find my way back to my compartment and change.  I take a pic with Ali. I tried to wish him luck with the twins…it didn’t translate well.

It was a once in a lifetime experience (I hope!)

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