Creatively Authentic Vittles

The Schitts Creeking of Americas Highways

Posted on November 21, 2022

The Schitts Creeking of America’s Highways. I am sure there are small charming places all over the world that are getting facelifts and resurgences thanks to the charming show Schitts Creek(watch it if you have not seen it yet) but as the great American road trip and wandering grow, so does the motel resurgence.

In my last post, I spoke about the nightmare Airbnb has turned into. I am here to describe one of the more charming things we discovered last summer. That is the cool thing happening in the motel world. The comeback of sorts of the roadside motel is in part due to Schitts Creek and probably also Covid19.

Factors in the motel’s resurgence

Travel did not stop during Covid, but it did change, and some of those changes are directly in line with what was happening at the time. Americans were not flying. We were driving. Many of us stayed close to home for the most part. The big corporate hotel chains had to scale back on staff, and some even closed their doors for extended periods. I traveled to New Orleans and stayed in a 17-story hotel that, in pre-covid times, I would have never entered, but in New Orleans, at that time, it was one of the only games in town. I spent one long 24-hour period not seeing another human being. That’s a very weird feeling when you are in a place where normally thousands would be staying.

At the same time, big hotels turned into ghost towns. Small independent motels found the PPP money useful in renovating enough to keep folks interested in their small motels. With the help of Schitts Creek, making them cool and trendy, we started staying in them again, and others started opening them again.

When a Karen Visits

We found in our travels last year that the owners of the motels went out of their way to explain what a small roadside motel was. Smaller rooms, rustic wood paneling, small bathrooms, and sometimes tin shower stalls. No kitchens or refrigerators. Unless you get a kitchenette. These are general but not set rules for motels, but they are the things a Karen complains about… a lot, as we learned from talking with some of the awesome folks that run or own the motels we stayed at.

Both my mom and I found it odd that the folks we spoke to on the phone went so far out of their way to explain what a motel was and how it differed from a hotel. Once we dived into online reviews, it became evident that some folks don’t get the charm of a road trip or a roadside motel. That’s too bad because they are missing out on some awesome places to stay and a cool way to meet new people and learn about the fun places to eat and drink locally that frequently you don’t get from the big hotels or in big cities.

What constitutes a Motel

This is my definition, I’m sure someone has a respectable official definition, but this is mine. A drive-up establishment where You park your car in front of your room. There is an office with an attendant or a bell you ring for service. In a pre-covid world, you would have been able to stop on the spur of the moment. Many motels you now reserve as they don’t have full-time desk help or the front desk leaves early evening. There are often Vacancy or No Vacancy signs located by the road. They are usually single stories tall, with a few being two stories if there is a view. There may be a vending machine and or ice machine outside. Feel free to add what constitutes a motel for you in the comments. But I think have provided a visual; if not, I will remind you to look at Schitts Creek.

The Great Lakes

I got my love of road-tripping from my parents, and we have stayed in many a motel while we traveled the highways of these here united states. There is something very yin and yang about the Great Lakes and Motels. They go together like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.

When I was a kid, an escape to the Northshore of Lake Superior and a night in a motel were so fun and exciting. It is where my love of both the road trip and the roadside motel stems from

In my opinion, it is the best way to travel the great lake states, and the motels were some of our favorite stops on our road trip around Lake Huron

The Favorite

I will tell you, I wish it was anywhere but where it was. But it won the favor because the woman running it was an outstanding hospitable human being and made everything better. The sunrise was breathtaking, and it had a haunted put put course next to it that we were told about! Sadly I did not see a single ghost.

The winning motel is Bayview Motel in St. Ignace, MI. It is small, it has tin showers. It has a microwave and a TV, they have heat that works, and they have a view of the lake, which is amazing! BBQ grills if you don’t want to eat tourist food. A firepit where they have nightly fires burning. A beach area that you can swim from if you want to. And again, a stunning sunrise. The downfall is it is in this particular tourist town. But it is everything you want a motel to be and then some.

That Sunrise!

I will catch heat for what I am about to say, but Mackinaw Island is overrated. As much as I enjoyed this motel, I do not understand the fascination with the overpriced ferry ride to an island with overpriced fudge and taffy. As always, I will explore this topic of popular tourist destinations I hate in a future post. Until then, let me know what you love about Mackinaw Island. Maybe you will convince me to return to the Bayview Motel again.

Schitts Creeking of our Highways and what I think it means.

Despite my favorite motel experience last summer being in a town I don’t like, I have to say the schitts creeking of our highways is an exciting development. In all my travels over the last year, I have stayed at several reasonably priced motels with varying degrees of success.

I am excited to see more affordable options. I love that a new group of managers and people who have hospitality in their bones are deciding to do renovations and upgrades to a uniquely American way of travel. The road trip is alive and well, and with many of us suffering from wanderlust, let’s hope that we see even more of this something old is new again mentality.

Is Airbnb a Nightmare?

Posted on November 14, 2022

Is Airbnb a nightmare? My short answer is yes! As I mentioned in my last post Bay City, Michigan: AnUnexpected Treat, we stayed in an Airbnb, and I would have some comments on our use of Airbnb’s on the trip we took around Lake Huron and on some other trips I have taken.

I think it is essential to address Airbnbs before people start planning spring break and summer vacations. So here goes. These are my experiences with Airbnb over the years. You can insert VRBOs on the camping side Hipcamp. I have, at one time or another, used all three. Though I will tell you Hipcamp will be a post of its own.

Airbnb the beginning

First off, the original idea of Airbnb was some dudes in San Fransisco renting out air mattresses to conference attendees to make their rent and get the conference folks a place to stay when the hotels were booked. “air, bed, and breakfast” It was literally born out of the fact rent is too high and unaffordable across the nation. Ironic now.

It is mind-blowing to me that some 16 years or so later, Aibnbs have become nearly unaffordable for the average person. They are no longer the cheap alternative to a hotel room. They still sometimes suit a purpose, especially when traveling to tourist destinations like the Outerbanks with large groups. Though I would argue you are better off renting a large house for multiple families from a smaller property ownership or management agency that has worked or knows about hospitality management in the area and not a homeowner based in Manhattan or somewhere.

I do not doubt anyone who has used Airbnb or the like frequently in the past 16 years has some great stories and wonderful deals, myself included. What has happened more and more frequently, though, as I search for places to travel and stay that do not end me sleeping in Hope the Bronco. I have found there is a common thread. It is becoming more restrictive on time. 4 pm or later check-ins and out by 9-11am. It is becoming less and less hospitable. As more people that have no idea what hospitality is, enter the Airbnb arena, they are decorating their places beautifully and adding steam showers and decks and hot tubs and pools, but they are also adding to that 3-ring binder they all leave you with citing a long list of restrictions and rules.

Cleaning Fees

Let’s talk cleaning fees. A hotel does not charge you a cleaning fee. If You stay more than one day, they will change your sheets and bring you towels. Many hotels offer for you to opt out of this if you choose to save water and staff time, but there is no fee on either side of it. If you eat in the room, they take the food boxes away. think pizza or KFC buckets; there is no charge for garbage removal.

If you order room service, you can choose to set the dishes in the hall or leave them in your room. There is no charge either way. In the last two years, I have stayed where I have had to bring my own sheets and towels. I have had to pack up my trash and find a dumpster to place it in off-site. I have had to do the dishes and run the dishwasher. all while paying at least 125$ cleaning fee and, at the most $300 cleaning fee. Even if the space only costs $99, with those fees, everything is over $200 a night. That is no longer a deal that is the cost of a hotel room.


This is where hospitality knowledge comes into play. Many of us travel to places we have never been before. If you go to school for hospitality management, you are told on the first day that LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION will play a factor in everything you do for the rest of your career. The professor in the first class I ever took in college was not wrong about this.

The issue with Airbnbs is that they are homes and/or condos, in many cases, being bought up from areas that are not tourist friendly. Nor close to the things you need, like the airport or the cruise ship terminal. They are cheap to purchase. Sometimes run-down homes were people’s actual homes until investors bought them up. Investors spend thousands fixing them up, mostly cosmetically, and then not wanting to rent them for under $500 a night.

Is Airbnb A Nightmare

When you spend $500 a night in a hotel, you are staying and paying for hospitality. You expect a central location and clean sheets. Possibly room service or concierge service. You can stay at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans in the French Quarter bordering the business district for $500 a night. For that price, you can get amazing amenities. You can also go down the street into the heart of the French Quarter and stay at the Bourbon Orleans(a personal favorite) for $200-400 a night. At either of these hotels, be able to walk, trolly or taxi anywhere very easily. Have room service or a local restaurant within steps or delivered.

The view from a balcony
A View from a Bourbon Orleans Balcony

That level of service does not take place in most airbnbs or vrbos for the same price. For example, I found a place on Airbnb in New Orleans that said walkable to the best New Orleans has to offer for $100 a night. To walk to the French Quarter from this location would be 5.1 miles each way. We can argue that the French Quarter is not the best of New Orleans, but it is where everyone who visits wants to go. It holds nightlife, art, and culture. The French Market is there, and so is the tourist part of the Mississippi River and all the river offers.

Price Difference

After fees and such, the Airbnb ended up being about $220 a night. This is not hospitality. It is also not the great deal one would think it is. This is setting yourself up for a potentially bad trip to New Orleans. This same scenario can be set up repeatedly in the Airbnb/Vrbo world. No matter where you visit.

Management Companies

Lastly, let’s talk a second about who owns these Airbnbs now. The Airbnbs and Vrbos are increasingly owned by wealthy investors who hire apartment management companies to run their properties. They put minimal upkeep into the property and get a maximum $$ out. They often buy up local single-family housing and turn them into single-night or weekly rental units. Diminishing space for people to rent and live in the area. This has far reaching affects the most notable is labor shortages in tourist destinations.

An Example From Our Trip

We encountered this on our trip around Lake Huron; We chose a place for all the reasons you do. Great location and the photos were beautiful. The listing said bars and restaurants were close by, and the views were amazing. It was an old stone house, and it had a history associated with it. We arrived, and it was an old stone house. Built up against the side of a hill. The original wood floors were amazing. Though the water coming off the hill from recent rain was actually coming through the side of the house and across the kitchen floor. The front porch was rotten, the bushes were so overgrown that you could not see out the window, let alone find a view. This is one example of what makes Airbnb a nightmare.

We were over 9 miles from a town or a restaurant. If you live there, I am sure that was close by. As a tourist, that is not close by, especially if you would like a cocktail or wine with dinner. It was an unacceptable place to stay for these reasons and a few others.

Credit to the management company they refunded our money and in the same breath said they had over 60 other airbnbs available in and around this area we were in. I passed, and I was able to find a wonderful hotel in the area that led to one of the best meals of our trip and one of the most wonderful towns to spend a little time in. I will write about this town, hotel, and sights in one of the next articles on the blog. Have you found Airbnb a nightmare, and if so, what have you done about it?

Changing my ways

In writing this bit on Airbnbs, I have decided to go back to looking for hotels/motels and actual hospitality businesses. If I cannot find what I need, I may possibly use Airbnb or Vrbo. I have to say there is something to be said about professional people doing professional jobs.

Professionalism is still important.

That last line in the above paragraph is the most important I spent most of my career being told that I did not hold real jobs. That waiting tables and managing restaurants were not real work. That somehow, time spent in an office was more valid. I used to fight the stigma, and then I just came to not think about it.

But at the core of what bothers me so much about Airbnb/vrbos is that people with money assume now anyone can do it. It’s easy work. It takes no skill. At this stage, I think as Airbnb suffers some serious growing pains and issues, we can see that not everyone can be a hospitality manager. That it does take hard work, and people want to escape their lives for a night, a weekend, or a week. Having us do our own dishes or bring our own sheets and paying for that privilege is way too much like staying at home. Especially when the hospitality leaders have such great programs now to reward you for using their products. We will talk about that in a sooner rather than later post.

Bay City, Michigan: An Unexpected Treat

Posted on November 10, 2022

The first trip I took this past summer was around Lake Huron. There were so many fantastic, fun, and exciting things on our road trip it is not fair to do only one post. The first unexpectedly intriguing stop was in Bay City, Michigan.

Driving around Lake Huron, you tend to get lost in the lake. The way the lake is situated, you see a beautiful sunset or sunrise at nearly every stop! If there were nothing else but these breathtaking starts and ends to the day, the trip alone would be worth it. But there is so much more to see and do. Admittedly we underestimated the spots off the lake by a few blocks to miles. Bay City was one of those underestimations.

Had we known what a charming place this was, we probably would have stayed longer than one night and enjoyed the restaurants and art of the city. There appears to be a rich history in and around Bay City that I hope one day to go back and explore a little more.

We stayed in the most charming Airbnb, and I say that knowing that Airbnb is a waning enterprise until those that own them get some basic hospitality understanding. This will more than likely be a whole post unto itself. Because I have lots to say about Airbnb.

This Airbnb was lovely, and it was in a historic old home. Was it worth it? Probably not for the cost we paid for one night, but it did take dogs, and if we had not been on the road all day, it was within walking distance of many restaurants. I feel there is a lot to explore in Bay City.

Bay City, Michigan. A charming little town split down the middle by the Saginaw River, as you can see by the map, it is at the tip of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron.

We arrived later than planned because the stretch of road to Bay City was filled with beautiful lake views. Remarkable shipwrecks and overall Lake Huron Beauty. As mentioned above, it is why we did not have a great deal of time to explore. We learned our lesson on this trip, and the Great Lake adventure we are planning for this spring will have more exploration built in.

We read about an exciting place for coffee. Harless & Hugh was the perfect start to a day of driving and exploring on our way to Presque Isle. The coffee was outstanding; they made their own syrups the caramel was delicious. As you can see in the photo, the morning toasts were delectable. Lox for mom and Avacado for myself. Plus, we shared a muffin and a cheese pastry.

Morning Toast

Overall Bay City has me wanting to go back and see what other things this cute town offers. It is a 4-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland. Five hours from Chicago and five and a half from Indianapolis. It would be a great destination for a long weekend. Let me know if you decide to check it out.

Summers Over: What’s Next for Tripping Vittles?

Posted on September 19, 2022

Summers Over: What’s Next for Tripping Vittles

I can not believe that Summer is over, and I am back at school cooking food for middle schoolers. I’m still soaking in how awesome it was and planning what’s next for Tripping Vittles.

I know now it will take some time to flush out how to present the trips I made. If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you will know that I made two extensive trips, one around Lake Huron and one to Montana and Glacier National Park.

Lake Huron was an adventure with my mom, who is in her early 80s. It was an extraordinary adventure and one I want to share with you. There were some really special highlights, and we will be going over those this fall, so you all have time to plan your Lake Huron getaways for next year!

Lake Superior Circle Tour

We have already started planning the Lake Superior Circle tour as the first trip after school lets out. Have you done the tour? This is one I am looking very forward to. I grew up in Minnesota, and we went to Duluth and points north often, but I have not been since I was a kid.

The second trip of the summer was incredible, and I thought a trip of a lifetime. But I am already planning on returning next summer for an extended road trip around Wyoming and Montana. This trip had some challenges, as shown in the video below.

A Sad Day

Yes, I lost my beloved Marie the Escape to a flying deer. I have replaced her with Hope the Bronco. Another exciting aspect of getting Hope the Bronco is that I have gotten the opportunity to work with an incredible queer woman-owned business just like myself called SisuCampers. Follow the link and give a follow as you will get to see what we will do to Hope the Bronco to get me ready for all my adventures.

I have many other things in the works for Tripping Vittles and beyond. There will be some changes after the first of the year and some really exciting adventures.

I am always open to suggestions, so drop a comment below and let me know where you want to see my adventures take me.

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

Posted on July 8, 2022

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

So far the #1 question asked is about Leia and what it is like to go Road Trippin with a dog. I will tell you that my Leia is a good dog but not trained super well. If I am honest it is me, I am the one not trained very well.

Leia is smart, but I am not dedicated enough to have her be an off-leash, listen to all my words, find Timmy in the well, and notify kind of dog. I will leave that to Lassie and her trainer.

Knowing I’m a terrible dog mom, I will encourage you to travel with your pets even if they are not Westminster dog show dogs. This post is about safety and making sure your dog is safe when you travel.

Getting to Know Leia

What my readers should know about Leia: She is shy of 9 pounds. She has a huge personality. Leia is crate trained but she has never been put in the crate as punishment. I have put her in the crate to sometimes give me a break because she is a ball of energy. She does not eat people’s food regularly, so it is a treat if she gets it.
When I adopted Leia she had been in a home where she was abused and neglected. I adopted her from a wonderful rescue organization called Stop the Suffering.

I have nothing nice to say about breeders of dogs in southern Ohio or anywhere in Ohio, as I have now owned two dogs that have had significant issues. Both of which came from sketchy breeders and or puppy mills.
Leia has some significant issues with going to the bathroom. From the information gained after her rescue, it appears she was abused around bathroom time and/or has a physical issue from being the runt at the bottom of the pile.

I share all of that with you to say she is a great traveler despite her issues. What I am going to share below are some very specific actions we take when traveling.

Some of these safety measures are easier with a small dog.

So far Leia has covered a lot of ground and after our last trip, she has even been out of the country. After several trips with her, I think I have it down pretty well.

Road Trippin with a Dog: Safety

From the car ride to the hotel stay to the hiking and camping. The first thing I think of is Leia’s safety much like with kids there are some things we all should do. The following is a list with links to products I use and love for Leia’s safety.

  • Leashes. I always have two along. Neither are retractable or longer than 6 feet. I have a handheld leash for walking and bathroom breaks and I have a hands-free leash for hiking and climbing. The 6ft leash rule is just a good measure but it is often a requirement at parks and trails.
  • When traveling in a car it is a really good idea to have your dog secure. Because of Leia’s size, I use a dog booster seat with a safety belt on her harness. For bigger dogs, you can get seatbelt attachments.
  • I believe your dog should always have a place to call their own even when Road Trippin. Crates for me and my dogs have always been that place. I do not use the crate as a punishment but rather as a den tricked out with familiar scents and favorite blankets to rest in after a day of adventure. It is also ideal to keep them in when staying in a hotel. They do not make a sound and they rest while you are out for dinner or some non-dog time. The problem, crates are big and bulky. Solution Leia has her own portable crate. The crate was an amazing gift after Leia arrived from her rescue. I would not give this up for anything. A foldable, portable crate is the absolute best for travel.
  • The last thing is a doggie passport. This is good even if they are not leaving the country. It is a place you can keep all your info on your dog in case your dog goes missing. In Leia’s passport, I have her Vaccination record, her info on her miro chip, her dog license, and two photos. I have an extra tag with my information on it in case we lose the one on her collar. I keep all of this in a passport carrier in the glove compartment so it is easily accessible.

The last thing I want to mention is how I visit stores and some restaurants while still traveling with Leia. I carry her in a backpack! Yes, I have a special backpack called a K9Sack. She loves riding in it. Leia can be up and see what is going on. She tends to be very calm while on my back and most shopkeepers have no issue with you bringing her into their shop. Some even have treats! They make these carriers for dogs all the way to I believe 50 pounds. I love the sports sack and so does Leia.

These are the basics of safety and traveling with a dog. If you do something different I would love to hear about it leave a comment. Safe and Happy Travels!

The Great Lakes: Lake Huron Road Trip

Posted on June 20, 2022

The Lake Huron Road Trip has convinced me that Lake Huron may be my favorite great lake right now. In my entire life, I have always lived in a state that borders a Great Lake and yet I have forgotten how amazing these bodies of water are and how lucky we are to have them in our back yards.

On very short notice with only a little less than a 3-week planning window. I decided that a trip around Lake Huron with my mom and my dog would be a great way to start my very first summer of being a lunch lady and having the summer free.

It was one of the best spontaneous somewhat crazy ideas I have decided to make. If you have a parent you love and are close to who is getting older I cannot tell you what a great way it is to connect and be closer as adults than to do a road trip together. This Lake Huron Road Trip was our chance to connect.

The logistics were more than I let myself see so there are some great lessons I learned.

  1. Driving makes you tired and you get even more tired if you stop and get in and out of the car. Which you should absolutely do on a road trip. If you don’t just fly.
  2. Realistically 150 miles a day is max. You miss way too much if you do more than that. I have a lot more to say about this so follow along.
  3. The idea of just stopping when you are tired is nice but because of factors like having a dog, the seasonal businesses, and businesses closed after covid(this will be a whole post). This is nearly impossible.
  4. Google is not the end-all, be-all for info. I have suggestions to use and incorporate resources you would think were gone but are not. This too will be its own post.
  5. We rely too much on the internet and when you want to escape that means no internet. So enjoy the experience and write about it when you get home. Snap a million photos. your camera phone still works.
  6. Invest in some things that make life easy or help the trip. The below links show my top 5 best purchases for the trip and why I found them useful. I also will admit there were one or two we bought on the road. I hope this saves you that trouble.

An awesome cooler. There are good coolers and there are great coolers. Buy a great one. Why? Because it is amazing not to have to find ice every 12 hours when you are out where you go a day or several hours not seeing another human being. There are several brands you all know Yeti, this is the RTIC there is also Coho and I am sure others. This was worth every penny.

If you are young this will mean nothing but if you have reached the age of needing reading glasses they are a must. Especially when you see number three on the list. I don’t want you to spend a bunch of money on reading glasses though because on a road trip you will invariably break a pair lose a pair or drop a pair in the lake. So a five-pack that comes in its own box is perfect!

Maps. They don’t make them like they used to. It was hard to find a comprehensive off-the-beaten-path map of the areas we went to. We came across these maps from National Geographic and they ended up being very helpful. They make them for many parts of the united states and this is the Canadia Pack we got. I would also suggest a good atlas and taking time to stop at information centers.

You will probably say Whaaaaattttt?? but hear me out. I have started carrying in my car a portable cutlery set. It became invaluable when stopping at roadside food trucks, and getting to-go food from stands, markets, and gas stations. I cannot stand the little plastic utensils for reasons ranging from the environment to they are little and cheap. This makes dining on the road a joy.

This last one turned out to save us many a night. I suggest carrying one for each person or bed in the group. This is a sleeping bag that can open to cover a bed. If you are tent camping you are already prepared but we stayed in cabins and it got very cold a few nights when the quilt provided was not enough. Pull out the stuff sack zip this open and lay across the top of the bed and bingo you are warm in a few minutes. It also makes a great sleeping bag if you are tent camping though this is not designed for backpacking.

We had a truly wonderful adventure on our Lake Huron Road Trip and I cannot wait to get into the details of the trip with you. I intend to share it from beginning to end and highlight some really special spots. Michigan, Lake Huron, and Canada were incredibly beautiful and fun road trip! I hope this encourages you to plan your own adventure.

#lakehuron #roadtrip #puremichigan #canada #trippingvittlesadventure

I am Sorry!

Posted on June 16, 2022

I am Sorry! I have been trying to change the resources and about pages on my website, not a fun task. In doing so I found a form that had been taking comments and saving them! Sadly, I was not getting notified. I am so very sorry for all the responses I missed.

I’m going to work through the more recent responses. Next will be getting all the places you leave comments together in one space. Getting a method set up so that I get notified and don’t miss any more comments and questions is paramount.

If you ever want to get a quick response Facebook Messenger is the best followed closely by Instagram Messenger.

Again my apologies to those I missed messages from.

Tripping Vittles: Lake Huron Road Trip

Posted on May 26, 2022

The Lake Huron Road Trip, the first substantial road trip is happening. Starting on Monday we will be heading out on our road trippn adventure. I spoke about what was coming the last time I wrote. So today I thought it was a great time to introduce you to my traveling companions.

Travel Partners

I thought it would be fun to show you how my mom and dog interact. We have been planning and cannot wait to start this whole adventure. I have not traveled with my mom in years.

Why a Lake Huron Road Trip?

I grew up spending time at Lake Superior. Several times in my life I have lived on or close to three of the Great Lakes. I have spent time reading about the lakes and have had small short adventures on their shores. My goal is to do a road trip around each one.

I thought it would be a blast to take one of the people who instilled my love of Lake Superior in me. My Mom and Dad took us to Duluth and places north many times as kids. The last trip around the lakes with my parents happened when I was 10-12 years old. My mom is in her 80’s now just seems like the perfect time to make this trip.

A Lake Huron Road trip will present challenges and also teach me about how I want to do Tripping Vittles on the Road. How can I take Tripping Vittles and share yet make some $$ to keep this whole thing rolling? I have such a fun vision in my head and I love you are on the trip with me. So I will ask you to do somethings. Below give me a follow. If I share something with a link and you too think that would be great, please buy it through my links. This is fun but I also am trying to create a business. I cannot thank all of you enough who already have done those things and for those that want to support me see the next paragraph.

Bookmark and Follow Me.

There are some places I will be doing live broadcasts. Sharing photos and videos and just writing about my experiences and with luck introducing you to fun, cool and neat things on the road. I will also have shopping lists for things that made this and other road trips easier on my Amazon page. Click the below icons to subscribe to my channels. Don’t miss the road trip!


Lastly a word about affiliates. As I grow companies are starting to come to me and ask me to share products. I will not do anything with a company that I don’t actually use and believe in what they offer. You will never see me representing makeup because I don’t wear it. But know if there is a link I may possibly get paid by the company or through purchases of products on their website or a purchasing platform like Amazon.

Supporting the Adventure

Lastly I was told to include this link from people who have been doing this longer than I. This is my Venmo account if you are enjoying the content but don’t buy on line or are not using the things I link to. But you want to support me you can scan the below link and toss a few dollars my way. I thank you ahead of time if this is the way you go and know everything sent will go towards this and future road trips.

Tripping Vittles Venmo Account

Thanks so much and let’s get to Road Trippn!

What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles

Posted on May 8, 2022

I want to quickly address What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles and where we are in both the spice business and the business of adventure.

You will start to see some changes with the Vittles. I will still and probably always have my spice blends but I am not going to be doing every market out there like I did last year.

Where will you find Tripping Vittles Spice Blends?

I will continue with Westerville Saturday Farmers Market as I think it is the best Market in all of Columbus land. You will also find me at a few of the Gahanna Farmers Markets. I will announce the dates for these soon. Beyond that, I will only be doing specialty one-off events throughout the year. The way the world is right now and the supply side issues for a very small business like mine has made it smarter for me to do things this way going forward.

These issues are why I still don’t have a full store on my website. Doing a full big sales platform and not being able to fill it for me was not a smart move. It was a time suck of immense proportions and stress that was weighing me down.

You can look for me to be selling on both Facebook and Instagram and if I can reach enough followers I will also open sales on TikTok. So give me a follow on these platforms and any others you frequent I am on almost all of them. That’s what’s going on with Tripping Vittles spice blends.

So if not a spice company what are you?

This all said Tripping Vittles is my baby and I intend to keep pushing for what I have always dreamed it to be and that is a place where I discover the world outside of my little bubble. I want to travel and tell people about it. I also want that travel to be accessible and realistic for everyone.

You may have noticed some changes in my logo and wording. If not yet you will as I move through all my media sites. I have made no effort to hide the fact my hero in all things food travel and drink-related was Anthony Bourdain. I admire greatly the ability he had to cross boundaries of social and political justice to tell the story of food and travel.

How my hero affects me every day

One of my absolute favorite episodes of No Reservations was when he was in Leon France. He sat with children at their school and ate with them and talked about food. When I first watched the episode I thought how rewarding to feed kids and make a bridge to both growing up loving food and learning about food.

Through a set of circumstances, I have become a lunch lady. Those circumstances have brought me infinitely closer to realizing my dream of making Tripping Vittles a whole experience, not just a place where I wax poetic when I have a few moments to share about some food or a recipe. I am the person making those differences and I am doing it all while being who I am. It is an incredible feeling!

What I never was and what I want to be

I have never wanted to be the place where I just write about a dish of food and then share a recipe. I have tried that. There are some really amazing people doing things like that. Check out Pinch of Yum her stuff is super cool. But that’s not me. I will happily share how to make something with my spices though. but who I am at my core is not Martha Stewart. I have spoken of it before but never had the time to be more like Anthony Bourdain but I do now.

Till the day I die, I want to adventure. I want to make a difference in the world and I want to do it with people I love and care about. I am becoming more of who I truly want to be every second that goes by. Becoming a lunch lady has been an amazing inspiration and also a giver of free time. I am still wrapping my head around the fact I get summers off!!

Life is an adventure! Eat, Drink and Travel

I have started to do videos and I really love learning the medium. Check out and subscribe to my youtube channel. I will still share my knowledge of 35+ years in foodservice it just will be wrapped up in a different package. My kitchen hack videos are a fun example of that.

So you are all caught up on What’s Going on with Tripping Vittles. Now keep your eyes peeled for the next Adventure and until then Eat, Drink and Travel!

#trippingvittles #adventure #livelifetothefullest

Trader Joe’s Five Ingredient Salad Recipe

Posted on March 20, 2022

A simple recipe for a salad that goes with everything. This Trader Joe’s five ingredient salad recipe is so easy yet tasty and full of flavor. I usually make the salad after a trip to TJ’s when I buy all the fixings. I like Trader Joe’s products for their taste and their price. This salad is cheaper to make when you purchase the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. But if you are not near a TJ’S just grab these ingredients from your local grocery.

It is a jar or can of each item. There is no additional seasoning, and the only addition I have made is if I have any hard Italian salami, I will cube or slice and add that to the mixture; more often than not, I make it without the salami.

Trader Joe’s Five Ingredient Salad Recipe

Salad Recipe
Trader Joe’s Five Ingredient Salad Recipe

How to Serve

Serve this as a salad side-dish or add protein for an entree salad.

  • Steak
  • Fried Chicken
  • Sandwiches
  • Salmon
  • Burger

I make this the day before I plan to serve it because the flavors only get better the longer they marinate.

This is also one of my go to camping salads. It goes great with almost anything you cook on the campfire. There ingrediants won’t kill you are send you to the out house in the middle of the night. It gets better the longer it sits. Make it before you leave and you can serve over the weekend.

Some of my Favorite things

The following links take you to my favorite kitchen items I used while making the dish. All-Clad Stainless mixing bowls. Yes, pricy but they are the only three mixing bowls you will even need unless making food for 100 people. I have owned mine going on for 20 + years and they are like brand new! I use them every day in the kitchen

Make sure you save the recipe on your favorite Pinterest board and give me a follow at Tripping Vittles on all the social media!


The Absolute Best List of Items For Making Soup

Posted on February 8, 2022

We have just had a storm(Snowmaggedon 2022) and we have at least two more months of cold weather. Before it really feels like spring. This is my absolute best list of items to use for making soup.

Yes, there are a million and one soup recipes out there. I think one of the best ways to make soup is just to put leftovers in a pot and add stock and seasoning. No recipe is required. This is easier said for some than done so let’s start with one of my favorite Soup cookbooks.

This is an older book but you can still find new and used on Amazon and a few other places. Barbara Kafka is one of my favorite cookbook authors. In this book, her cucumber soup is a favorite for summers, and pick anyone of her warm soups and you will be thrilled If you have ever wanted to try Bouillabaisse but were too intimidated her recipe is achievable and delicious

Immersion Blenders are the best if you want a smooth creamy soup. Not only is an immersion blender great to make soups velvety smooth. That same blender can also make vegetables like squash into puree to add to broth and liven up a chunky soup. It is a wonderful apparatus to have in the kitchen but I personally use it most for soup.

I love all things all clad and this is no exception. All-clads Immersion Blender is as straightforward as they come.

I am not sure about you but I like a thick stick to your ribs soup. One of the absolutely easiest way to achieve that is by using Wondra Flour. You don’t have to make a slurry or mess around getting rid of lumps. This stuff is maybe the greatest invention for the kitchen. It also will help make the perfect thanksgiving gravy. and I am probably giving away secrets but you know that coating on shrimp that is super light and delicious when fried? Well, this is the stuff. It will make shrimp po’boys magical.

This is the stuff of cooking magic. Order by clicking the link for Wondra Flour

It really is that good!

Lastly, the pot I use absolutely the most to make soup and stews in is my Le Cruset Oval Dutch Oven. I have a whole collection of cast iron from Le Cruset that I earned as a salesperson from the company I worked for many years ago. My pots are over 20 years old and they still look brand new. I realize they are very expensive. It is why I suggest first the Oval because it serves as the best roasting pan for chicken and roasts but also amazing for soups and stews.

Understanding Le Cruset can be out of many people’s price range I have included this link to something lower in price. There is no way I vouch for those other brands as I have never used them but I suspect they work very well. I have used and love my Le Cruset so that is how I arrived at this selection.

The moral of this story is to make soup. Use a recipe or don’t. Serve it for dinner or lunch maybe even breakfast. Warm your house and your heart cook and eat soup. This link will take you to another one of my favorite soup recipes. This one I use camping often but it satisfies on a cold winter night also

Tripping Vittles: The Best Adult Halloween Candy

Posted on October 24, 2021

I grew up in Minnesota and in the 70’s it was a survival of the fittest situation for most Halloweens. I am sure it is where my sense of adventure and my love of all things creepy and chocolaty came. Tripping Vittles: The Best Adult Halloween Candy 2021 edition.

There was more than one Halloween I was grateful for the layers of clothes my costume afforded. Because snow and or sleet was not unusual for October 31st. I am convinced Halloween and all the time playing outside my technique for hot chocolate was professional level. The first cup of the season often flowed on Halloween night.

While you get ready for Halloween be sure you get what you need for a nice cup of Hot Chocolate. Follow my Recipe here How to Make the World’s Best Hot Chocolate goblins and ghouls go better with cocoa. Since this is for adults add a little something special to your cocoa. Vanilla Vodka, Peppermint Schnapps, Kalhua. You get the idea right?

Once you get the Hot Chocolate made don’t forget the candy. When actually tricker treating I am a Hersheys Mini kind of gal. All but those nasty Mr. Goodbars. I have always thought it strange to have a movie about a murderous, sex, and drug-crazed teacher named after a candy bar. The candy bar came first in 1925, the movie was not till the ’70s about the time I started tricker treating. But if you have ever tasted one of these candy bars you will know they are still using peanuts from 1925.

I’m not shy when I say all candy is good it’s just that chocolate is better. Below you will find my top 5 favorite Halloween candies for 2021. These may be too good to hand out to the kids( your call) but if you want to share invite your adult friends over and get your adult Halloween on!

Happy Halloween Tripping Vittles Top 5 Candies for Halloween 2021

These are in no particular order but they are my favorites for Halloween

I can not understate how amazing Tony’s chocolate bars are, buy the 8 pack you will not be sorry. Click the photo to purchase

There is no way to explain how awesome it was to get to visit the Albanese Store outside of Chicago this summer while on a road trip. It was my first encounter with the Ultimate 8 flavors 40oz bag of Gummi Bears. mango, pear, currant, raspberry, blood orange, fuji apple, and cranberry. Get yourself some of these!

If you shop at Costco you may be familiar but there are so many without access to Costco or maybe you want them delivered to your door, either way, click the photo for some of the best caramels covered in chocolate you buy.

Have you have had them? Then you know! If you have not click the photo and order them. They are the best Lollipops!

We all love Kit Kats and if you don’t you are dead to me! Joking, kind of… Anyway, you can not be a Kit Kat Afficianado if you have not dived into the deep end of the Japanese Kit Kat candy experience. Click the photo for a sampling of several flavors. You can also order large versions of the bars on amazon or find some flavors at a local international grocer if you have one near. The pudding-flavored one is the bomb!!

Tripping Vittles is Life

Posted on October 8, 2021

I have come to treat this blog a bit like therapy and a bit like a platform to hash out what I am doing with my life in and around my business, now businesses. Things in life change. I think we oftentimes don’t like to admit we make mistakes or misjudgments. Maybe nothing in life is a mistake just a chance to learn and do better and sometimes not even do better. Tripping Vittles is Life. It is my place to succeed but to also fail.

I think it is super important to talk about why we do things and not be ashamed of where we are in our journey. I am referring to mental health and how it affects us.

These last nearly two years have been incredibly hard particularly mentally Covid has changed and flipped upside down nearly everything in my life and as of today, I have never even had the actual virus, but I have experienced a wide array of effects from the virus.

I am not here to call anyone out or embarrass anyone. but this huge event in all our lives has changed every single facet of my life. Did it start before covid? sure. I do not think you can discount how our former president turned this country upside down. I do not think you can not acknowledge the incredible tipping point the death of George Floyd had. But I am not sure either of those two things would have had the same impact if it had not been for Covid.

Its not really the jobs its my heart

My jobs changed. the root of that change is me but there were so many things that caused me to walk away from not one but two jobs. Was it about pay? How I was treated? The way customers acted? The behavior of people I had known for years acted? How scary it was to go to work day in and day out. How people who were not there would tell me I had no reason to be scared. As if somehow they knew what it was like. How seeing people get sick and some die affected me. So many forget I have been through a pandemic before and have watched friends die too many friends I did not want to see that again. How the only place I felt safe and in control was working by myself.

It finally felt like this was all getting under control. That I could deal with what had happened and move on. Then the reality strikes that this is like all cases of flu. There are deadlier and more fast-moving variants and we are in the early stages of something we will have to more than likely protect ourselves from again and again just like other cases of flu. Sadly until more of us have had it and or get the vaccine to mitigate symptoms many more of us will get sick and some will die.

People Confuse me I like my dog who I get vaccinated yearly

I will not tell you I understand a single soul who is not on board with masking up and getting the vaccine. Trying to understand the leap people are making about freedoms is difficult. Hell, we do things every day that are set forth by the government. There are about a million other ways the government interferes in our lives. Until this moment in time Vaccines were good. Polio, shingles, smallpox, Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Measles, mumps and rubella, tetanus, chickenpox, and the flu.

So yes we slipped backward. I know of someone in the burial business and yes there are shortages of caskets. Yes, they do have backlogs at some mortuaries and yes some hospitals are overrun. Is it all no? Are there things that have had to be done to keep hospitals profitable during a time when they can not do procedures that make them money(layoffs)? yep! This is where I could tell you this is exactly why we need to take the profit out of healthcare and give everyone universal care but some of you are not ready to make that link yet.

You are I am sure at this stage like hey Lauri this is a food/travel blog what the hell. You may be right. But this is also a blog about me and how I see the human condition and if I feel a certain way others probably do too.

Yep I started a second business

I decided in truth to run away to Mexico. It was really easy to make that choice. I have friends that live in Baja the price is right to rent a place. It was outside of Ohio. That was all very easy. the harder part is I made this choice months ago and I have now seen my business grow and I started a second business. Women Have Had Enough . Started as a place to share memes and it has become a passion project just like Tripping Vittles but in another part of my life. The feminist woman empowering helping people part of my life. It is also bringing out other artistic and interesting sides to me I did not know were there.

I am not ready to leave all that for 84 days. I also found a job that I really love. it is part-time and it could lead to full time and it would be the first time in my life I would be working full time with benefits if it goes that way. It is also a job that allows me lots of free time. Time to travel and explore the world. I am so very excited about what this could lead to.

A Thank You

I have to also shout out to some people in my life who have encouraged me and supported me. Who has seen me struggle and have helped me find my way. There have been family and friends who have seen my struggles and allowed me to work through them and be honest about how I am feeling without telling me my dreams are stupid or I need to just buck up. These people are my band of women warriors. They too have struggles and yet all of us seem to be making changes that are going to propel us to amazing adventuresome futures.

Where to find me

So on that note keep on Tripping and watch as I develop first as a human being and secondly as a business owner. I would love for you to follow all my adventures so click the links and hit like or follow.

Social Media


How to


New Business


How to Use the Proper Onion

Posted on September 7, 2021

Onions, there are so many kinds to choose from how do you know which onion to use? This post will show you how to use the proper onion. It will also give you some tips and ideas on how to make onion prep easy.

I have compiled a quick graphic that you can reference while making a shopping list, doing meal prep, or spending time in the grocery store. I will say this in most cases it will not matter if you interchange some of these, your dish will not have to be tossed in the trash bin or fed to the dog.

Do not feed me onions I could puke or die

Leia Jones~Adventure Dog

The dish you make will just be elevated when using the proper onion if your recipe does not state the exact onion(many do not). Refer to this chart.

How to Properly Use Onions

The other thing most people become very concerned about when dealing with the onion is the whole process of cutting and crying, crying and slicing, chopping and crying. You get the idea, how do you stop crying when doing anything with onions. In addition, how can you make it you don’t smell like a big onion when you go home.

We had a few tricks in the restaurant business. If you wear contacts, it is far less likely you cry while slicing onions, a piece of bread stuck to the top of your mouth was another restaurant tale. Rubbing your hands with something stainless while washing them and then rubbing the outside of a lemon tended to do wonders for the smell.

The following are all the things I use at home to make Onion prep easy and as painless as possible. Just click the link to pick up what you need for your kitchen.

Be sure to let me know what you are cooking with onions. Please tag me on Instagram or Facebook!

How To Make Watermelon Salad

Posted on August 17, 2021

How to Make Watermelon Salad. This was my first foray into the video world. I am getting more and more comfortable with this medium but I thought this video was timely because fresh watermelon is so prevalent right now.

This salad takes all the deliciousness of salty and sweet and combines them. It makes for a great side dish to any late summer meal. You can easily make this a full meal by adding in some shrimp or chicken.

Summer is a time for fresh fruit and veggie it is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and relax. Once the kids are back in school these meals seem more and more important.

The Ingrediants

Watermelon, the video says a small seedless melon but right now grab any watermelon at your favorite farmers’ market and enjoy. Two limes, feta cheese, black olives(in my haste I forgot to add that blackberries are also delicious instead of black olives). Add Tripping Vittles Margaritas to Mussles citrus seasoned salt and pepper.

The Video How to Make Watermelon Salad

While you are on my channel learning How to Make Watermelon Salad hit the subscribe button so you can see all my videos as they appear.

Watermelon Salad


There are some things I love using in the kitchen. When I cut fruit and work with citrus if you follow the link you can get purchase my favorite tools watermelon cutter, citrus juicer and glass storage containers

Restaurant Review: Lucky House Chinese Restaurant

Posted on August 11, 2021

My first full-fledged Restaurant Review I told you they would come when the urge struck. Well, it’s striking. Lucky House is a Chinese restaurant in Westerville, Ohio, where I currently call home. But all Chinese food for me is leveled against the place I grew up with.

I do not know the name of that Chinese place. It was in Maplewood, Minnesota. Somewhere on White Bear Avenue near the dollar movie theater and an old Shoppers City. I can still taste their chow mein; it was amazing. Or maybe it was crap, but I just loved the taste of it. Either way, I am constantly looking for something close in taste.

You are probably waiting for me to tell you that I have found that chow mein at Lucky House. Nope, I have not. But Lucky House is so good I kind have stopped looking.

This is your typical Americanized Chinese food. Bright pink sweet and sour sauce. Packets of soy sauce and hot mustard every meal ends with a fortune cookie. Even the spicy stuff here is not too spicy. You can get General Tso’s Chicken and Moo Goo Gai Pan. Sweet and Sour anything. I did not grow up here in Westerville, so I do not know the whole history of Lucky House, but its legend precedes itself, and it appears to have been around since the inception of time.

Start with egg rolls or crab rangoon; we all know what those are. But if you want something really awesome get the chicken lettuce wraps or the shrimp toast. Also, both of their wings, sweet or salt and pepper, are better than 95% of the wings served at actual wing places in town, and they don’t come with a side of sports and toxic masculinity.

Appetizer Spread

You should not have Chinese food without a little cup of soup. I love the hot and sour soup here. They are so close to my house that I sometimes order 3 or 4 servings when I have a cold. It makes me feel warm and cozy and clears up the stuffy nose!

My personal favorite Entrees are Bon-Bon Garlic Noodles with beef or the Orange Chicken. They are exactly what you expect but filled with flavor served hot and wonderful.

If you are a family, you can not go wrong with the Family Dinner deal. It is enough food to feed a large pack of hungry humans. They also have a substantial buffet on Sunday during the day, but with Covid still an issue, I would call and check before I assumed that was still a thing.

I have a Sunday night ritual where I switch off weeks. One week I get an appetizer spread and watch a movie or show I have wanted to catch. The next Sunday, I order dinner and a cup of soup and read a book while eating. It’s my finish out the week relaxing meal.

So here is the official Tripping Vittles Rating System. It is a 1-4 scale. 1-worst 4-best.

  1. So Nasty
  2. Dang that is Pretty Good
  3. Fuckin Great
  4. Holy Crap ya Can’t Beat That

Drum roll, please……….

If you want to try Lucky House click here

Lucky House gets a review of 2 Dang that is Pretty Good.

Picnic Fun: Uptown Lunchbox Concert Series

Posted on August 9, 2021

We have this really cool thing that is happening this summer in front of city hall. Lunchbox Concerts sponsored by The Arts Council of Westerville, The City of Westerville and Uptown Inc. They take place for an hour and a half on Tuesdays from 11:30-1 pm. It is guaranteed Picnic Fun at the Uptown Lunchbox Concert Series.

You bring a blanket or grab a chair. Eat lunch picnic style. You can bring your own or Jave Central has some really wonderful box lunches for $15. you get a sandwich Italian soda and chips.

I don’t know about you but I love a good picnic. I was reminded of all the fun concerts I saw when I lived in Chicago at Ravinia We always brought all we needed to those shows. We had quite the setup it made a picnic fun. It was also great to take to the beach or to the dunes.

It has been a long time since I set out to picnic. I camp and I visit food trucks but I have not done a picnic for a long time. So I dug out one of my favorite cookbooks on picnicking by Diane MacMillian The Portable Feast has lists for the best items to have while picnicking and it has recipes that are delicious.

In addition, the book is filled with delicious quotes about food, drink, life, and love.

“Sans pain, sans vin, l’amour n’est rien!”

(Without bread, without wine, love is nothing)

~French Proverb

Picnic Fun The Set Up

How do you picnic? The following are some of my favorite items to make life easy when taking food to a concert like the uptown concert series in Westerville or Ravinia in Chicago or any number of fun local to you destinations.

Picnic Basket/Backpack with everything you need.

Those items will get you stared down the path of picnic time. We still have many days left before winter comes a calling. Get outside and enjoy the days.

The following is a recipe from The Portable Feast it is a super easy Paté that people will think you bought from some fancy Charchuteris store. Serve on a piece of dark rye bread or with crackers along with your favorite red wine.

The Portable Feasts Quick Pate Recipe

Coming Soon: From Tripping Vittles

Posted on August 4, 2021

I feel I have to explain a little here. As you know if you have been reading I have decided to make Tripping Vittles my full-time job. In doing so I have a ton of irons in the fire. More than I actually realized. That in turn sometimes turns things on end, from personal life to Tripping Vittles life. Yes, my online stores are coming soon There will be spices and more. (yep I said stores) I am super excited. In addition, I have a bunch of blog posts I have started writing and researching, am just not finished yet.

Second. I’m scared to death that there is only one of me and some things sometimes have to slide. That is the writing part. It is not always where I want them to slide but that is ok. My Belief is that it will all come together and the vision I have will be realized.

Coming Soon From Tripping Vittles

I am now going to call on you my readers, friends, and family, and ask you to help me. I was shy about asking and some said I should not but I do not think enough people know how this works. This new world of eCommerce and how we do things is changing at lightning speed. but there are some things you can do to help me. I will add that if you have anyone in your life doing online anything these are ways to help support.

How to Help

  • Follow Me…
    • Facebook @Tripping Vittles You can see what I am doing and my live videos are here.
    • Pinterest Share my pins and pin from my blog to your site.
    • Instagram Photos are fun you will link to shopping from here also
    • Amazon Storefront (when here buy from the things I suggest or use my links to buy other things. I make money when you do and that helps me pay rent)
    • Youtube Subscribe to my channel it helps my videos get seen.
    • TikTok it is fun, funny and you may see some products on there also.

Once my store is up come buy my spices and other products. Yes, I will have more than spices. Both my own products and those that I discover in my adventures. I also have started building relationships with some folks in order to sell some other items on different sites. When this happens give me a follow there.

Lastly, I am going to ask you to share share share. The only way I grow readers, followers and shoppers are for people to discover me. They do that by finding their way to my pages. So please help me out, and help your other friends out too that are diving into this new world. We all will be forever grateful.

Mojito: The Best Cocktail

Posted on July 12, 2021

There are so many things I know for a fact. Cheeseburgers are one of the single best food inventions in the history of the world. I enjoy cocktails. Cocktails are better when made with fresh ingredients. The cocktail is meant to be enjoyed outdoors and with friends. Mojitos the best cocktail ever invented.

I could continue to wax poetic about cocktails and how many beautiful ways to enjoy them there are. Homemade ingredients are the best. Fresh grown herbs and fruits, and veggies make them extra special.

Taking the time to make simple syrups, sweet and sour mix, and shrubs can elevate your home cocktail game. I have written about all of those homemade ingredients before; follow the links for inspiration.

I have also tried to grow everything from Basil to Mint. At that, I have failed miserably. There is no green thumb on my hand. But there is a friend in my life that has a beautiful mint patch in her backyard. A scissors and a little humility, and I end up with a handful of fresh mint.

What I did not realize going into the weekend was that Sunday was national Mojito Day! I headed out for some stealth mint grabbing and home to make a perfect cocktail for a hot, muggy evening with my current ability to acquire mint; the mojito was next level!

The mojito, created in Cuba’s hot, humid tropical climate anywhere from the 1500s to the 1940s and ’50s, said Ernest Heminway enjoyed the mojito as his favorite cocktail. When you taste the cocktail, it is made clear from the first sip—cool, sweet, and refreshing.

The following is my favorite recipe for the mojito. I also love to vary the drink from season to season with fruit. I have in the past used Strawberries, blackberries, mulberries, pineapple, and mango. When you muddle the mint, add your favorite ripe fruit and muddle that too!
Yesterdays was simply a traditional mojito with mint from a friend’s garden; it was perfect!

Amazon Store

Follow this link to the items I use to create cocktails. This is my Amazon Page know that if you purchase I could make a little scratch. I thank you and happy cocktail creation.

Leaving Work Behind and Setting the Covid Reset

Posted on July 5, 2021

This past month has been a rollercoaster.  There is a separate post coming on that. But it is incredible to me how many people want to confront me about my choice of Leaving past work behind and carving out a new life for myself. I call it the Covid Reset  

This idea that there are millions of people just watching TV and eating BonBons is insulting.

You can all find the same articles to read (hundreds have been published) about why this is happening today, but I will say  I’m not lying around collecting government dollars. I’m trying to carve out a life for me that is both satisfying, mentally healthy, and fun. 

The world changed over the last 18 months or so. Some people had a realization of what that means for them. I sure did and I was not alone in this; I had valued, trusted people who have taught me listened to me. Those same people have been patient when I fucked up and kind when I am sad.  There is not one of them that is not going through the same thing as I. They all look like they are leaving work behind and hitting the covid reset button

I think we collectively as a planet are going through this to one degree or another. But many more than you know are making substantial life changes.  This will probably continue to happen over the next year or two.  So when someone in your life says I’m leaving work behind and setting the covid reset, support them; they are sometimes scary and traumatic changes. But in the end, they will bring about a new world for that person who made the change and a more fantastic world for those whose lives they touch.

Why We Have to Change

We as human beings can’t keep existing like this. It is not healthy or fair. We should not have people who can’t afford to live or who can’t pay for food or healthcare.  

We also should not slave away doing jobs we hate inside buildings and institutions for our entire life, and for what?  If we are lucky, 10-15 years of free time. If we are fortunate, we will get that time, and we will have saved enough to follow our retirement dream and cover health issues and housing as we age. 

 A lifetime of struggle and depressing work to do things when we are old is not a reward; it is punishment.

 I do not think it an accident that seven years after I experienced the Boston Bombings and made life changes, this Covid Reset has set me continuing on the path of profound change I am now traveling.

 I intend to share all of my changes and adventures. This last month has solidified that I will be an activist, a lover of travel and food.  I will imbibe in a cocktail every so often. I will share it with you here because this is how I get it out.

I am also inviting you to join me.  Don’t wait!  Let’s make unforgettable memories now while we have our health.  Let us help people who need help, let’s be better to each other, and let’s fight those who think none of this is worth it.  Take a walk in the woods, listen to the earth: it’s all worth it!