Tag Archives: travel

Tuesday Share [syw]

Share your world SYW

Di @ pensitivity101 has taken the reins this week as Melanie is under the weather. Get well soon, M! Thank you Di for stepping up to bring us this week’s Share Your World.

1. When you’re on holiday, do you prefer self catering or a hotel/B&B?

I always would choose a hotel or B&B over any type of “roughing it” situation. (Not that I have the funds for serious travel and do not anticipate doing much.) I never have been camping and never will. That said, I do not love to eat every meal in a restaurant, so a place with kitchen facilities is ideal. I find it more relaxing to have a quiet breakfast alone in my room before getting on with the day’s activities.

2. Do you have a favourite meal you cook for yourself or order when out?

Not really. At home, I mostly nosh rather than preparing an official meal for just one person. Sometimes I get fancy and make an omelette. Generally, I order salads when in a restaurant and my favorite is a steak salad. I’m also partial to Thai noodle dishes.

3. In the current fuel crisis, have you made a conscious effort not to use the car unless absolutely necessary?

I drive to work on weekdays, which is a necessity, though I have a short commute. Otherwise, I have been cutting back a bit, not so much avoiding using the car, but rather trying to combine errands in a more efficient manner. Thing is, I wasn’t driving much to begin with, especially since Covid.

4. If you were to compare yourself to a plant, what would you be?

Idk, a crabapple tree?

5. I am lucky to have a lot of happy memories from my childhood. Please share one from yours.

I loved the time we visited relatives in Ohio and I got to play with a lap full of kittens.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

5 Things on Vacation

tropical body

Dr. Tanya continues her #5Things series by asking about favorite vacation activities. I don’t travel much, except to visit my family, nor do I plan to start. It’s too expensive and I don’t want to leave my kitty. Honestly, I don’t have many happy travel memories, except for the two times I traveled solo with my daughter. My parents were too hyper on vacation for my taste, and my ex-husband, well… let’s just say we had different ideas. Anyway, besides family visits, here are my favorite activities to engage in during days off work.

1. Wandering. I like to get a cup of coffee or tea and window shop, peruse the bookstore, maybe check out some artwork, and just drift to wherever my feet take me.

2. Painting or crafting. I enjoy spending a bunch of uninterrupted hours engaged in a hands-on creative activity. Sometimes I color to relax on any random day.

3. Visiting Catalina. I don’t really consider this to be travel, since it’s nearby, but it’s really fun to take the ferry over to Catalina and see the island. Last time, there was a Chihuly glass art exhibit there, which I love.

4. Watching a matinee. It’s nice to indulge in an early movie by myself. The theater is pretty empty and I can choose something silly that my friends wouldn’t enjoy.

5. Gaming. I like to play board games with friends, and it’s great to have the time to indulge in the longer strategy games, which can take hours to finish.

Another reason it’s hard for me to become enthused about travel is that fact that I’m so often in pain. The idea of having to deal with a migraine on an airplane is no fun at all. I don’t want to spend money going to a new place only to have to lie in a dark room cuz my head is throbbing. Strange food usually neither agrees with me nor appeals to me, so there’s that as well. I’m just an old fuddy duddy, but I like what I like! Pffft.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

I Hear That Train A’Comin’

Ticket to Ride game

Jim’s Thursday Inspiration theme word this week is train. The above pic is Ticket to Ride (European version), one of my most favorite games. I rarely win, but I love planning out my routes and seeing the board fill up with train cars. Besides games and books, there have been loads of trains in films, such as North by Northwest, Strangers on a Train, Risky Business, The Girl on the Train, Murder on the Orient Express, From Russia with Love, and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.

And, of course, there are a ton of songs that mention trains. From Kenny Rogers to the O’Jays to Aerosmith, we find references to trains across the spectrum. We have love trains and peace trains and the Last Train to Clarksville. There’s the Midnight Train to Georgia and the City of New Orleans. Don’t forget downtown trains or runaway trains or trains to nowhere. But the king of train songs was none other than Johnny Cash.

Train tracks

Johnny wrote about trains representing freedom to a man in prison (“Folsom Prison Blues”) as well as a train carrying a man back home (“Hey Porter”). “Orange Blossom Special” is one of his most well known train songs. Perhaps you’ve heard “Down There by the Train” or “Hey Hey Train.” You can hear the chug-chug rhythm in a lot of his other songs too. Last but not least, there’s a tribute song for JC called “Long Black Train.” Yep, I think we’d all agree that the Man in Black had a thing about trains… (RIP)

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Vacation Rambles

Beach ocean sand rocks bird

E.M. continues her Sunday Ramble series by asking about vacations. While I love having a long weekend to kick back or just a random day off work for me-time, I’m not a huge fan of extensive travel. I enjoy any chance to visit my daughters, of course, who are both (thankfully) now in reasonable driving distance, but in general I don’t make big travel plans. First, it’s massively expensive; second, I dislike having my routines disrupted; and third, I don’t want to leave my kitty for more than a night or two. That said, after I retire and Gatsby has rainbow-bridged, I’d like to see more of the US, if it makes sense at the time (i.e., if I’m not in so much back pain I can barely walk).

1. When at the ocean, do you want to be in it, on it, or just look at it? (If you don’t like visiting the ocean, what is a hobby you enjoy on vacation or in general?)

I live near the ocean, and I love seeing it. Love taking beach pics too. Beach walks and beach-sits are great with me. While I don’t mind getting my feet wet sometimes, I’m not a strong swimmer, so I don’t go fully into the waves. I’m lucky to live in a resort-like setting in SoCal, so it’s easy to find peaceful and beautiful spots to walk/relax/photograph.

2. Have you ever surfed or gone snorkeling?

No. I do not snorkel, surf, ski, snowboard, ride motorcycles, hang-glide, climb mountains, or otherwise traipse about in the wilderness where there might be bears, snakes, mountain lions, etc. I don’t get the thrill of these activities, plus I am clumsy AF and would hurt myself if I attempted anything the least bit athletic.

3. When traveling, do you experiment with the local dining experience or pack a picnic/cook for yourself and anyone with you?

OK, so I do not experiment with dining. Experiments are for science labs when you’re wearing protective gear. Have you noticed yet that I’m not about trying new things? Well, then! I want food I already like and have no desire to try some weird exotic delicacy. I’d rather eat at McDonald’s than nibble on some purple grasshopper salad or whatever thing. And, no, I don’t cook anything. Why would I cook on vacation when I don’t do it normally?

4. What is your biggest pet peeve when traveling?

Leaving my house.

5. Are you someone who takes a lot of photos on vacation? If so, you can share your favorite vacation photos. (If not, share your favorite vacation story.)

Yes, I take lots of photos in general, not so much “look, I’ve been here!” pics of signs and stuff, but more like pretty scenery, flowers, food, etc. Here is a collage of some I took in NorCal last Thanksgiving. The sunflower is from a coloring set.

family thanksgiving alameda dogs

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

A Doggie Story

Rory & Lily dogs

Life had always been an adventure for Jules, but for the first time, she announced that she had no further trips planned.

I feared the worst, that she had met another man during her travels and was about to leave me for him. “Nothing planned?” I tried to keep the tremor out of my voice and act happy for whatever came next. “That’s a bit unusual for you.”

She grinned. “I know! But look in the backyard.”

As I gazed outside, I saw two adorable puppies chasing each other through the grass. “You’re babysitting some pups. That’s great!”

Jules shook her head. She was quite serious when she looked me straight in the eye and said… “Not babysitting. I’ve adopted these cute doggos. I’m going to be a stay-at-home dog mommy now. Of course I’ll keep writing my travel books. I have lots more to say and luckily people are still interested in buying them.”

“That’s amazing.” I took a deep breath and decided to chance a risky topic. “Does that mean you might eventually reconsider marriage and a family of your own. I know we haven’t discussed that for a while, but…”

She kissed me and said maybe. I really thought this was it, that my loving persistence had paid off, and all these years of uncertainty had come to an end.

But after a couple months, Jules became overcome with wanderlust again and booked a trip to Belize. “You don’t mind taking care of the pups, do you, honey? I need to get away for a bit.”

It’s been three years since she’s been gone and I must say the dogs are very good company. Not only are they obedient and loyal, but they never have an urge to run off and leave me.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter and E.M.’s Weekly Prompt.

Vacation Memories

rest stop gas highway desert

I think you can tell where this is going… maybe I don’t need to write a word. Nah. Let’s use words! In her Throwback Thursday series today, Lauren asks about our family vacation memories.

Did you and your family have regular vacations/holidays?

Yes, the three of us (Mom, Dad, me) usually had one summer vacation for 1-2 weeks, often a road trip. Sometimes we took my dad’s parents with us (gah!). Once we flew to Florida over Christmas break (shudder). They were all basically horrible experiences due to my parents’ nonstop arguing. Note that I love and miss my parents very much, but their yelling traumatized me.

Were they like most people I knew, tied to school holidays?

Yup. And it’s a tossup whether it was worse to be subjected to bullying by my nasty peer group or to be trapped in a car listening to my parents screaming over the map.

Couple argue
“We’re lost!” ”No, we’re not!”

Were vacations a big deal or just time to get away?

I guess my parents looked forward to them. I didn’t, except for the times we drove to Ohio to visit my mom’s family and I got to play with baby animals. But my dad was an NY snob and didn’t like going there. To be fair, most of the Ohio fam were terrible racists, though I didn’t care about that when I was 10 and could feed a little goatling with a bottle.

Did the whole family always travel together or did the kids go away for their own time?

I wish! No, the three of us stuck together like sticky icky glue.

Can you think back to a wonderful vacation memory that you treasure?

Sure, my mom let me buy a sexy dress in Florida when I was 12 years old and then I danced with a 23 year old guy my dad had just interviewed for a job. The 1970’s, man, crazy times.

Couple dance sunset beach
Not us, unfortunately

Were there any fiasco vacation memories you wish never happened? Were there some that you can laugh about now, but at the time were horrible?

I try to laugh about everything and/or use it in fiction or poetry. Let’s see… there was that time my dad got lost in Kansas when all he had to do was drive in a straight line across the damn state. I was nauseated all through Colorado because I was reading a romance novel in the back seat instead of looking out the window like I was supposed to. I’m sure I missed a mountain or something important. I literally remember nothing about Indiana or Pennsylvania, even though we drove across them multiple times.

Kitten pile!

Random things I enjoyed… a glass-bottomed boat ride in Florida, the alligator zoo, fried clams in Howard Johnson restaurants and blueberry pancakes for breakfast with little sausage links. All the beautiful turquoise jewelry for sale in Colorado. Those faces in Mount Rushmore. A horsie ride in Ohio. A pile of baby kittens too. The one significant interaction I had with my grandfather there when he helped me look for bugs for my summer science project. I ended up throwing them all out and writing a report instead because they were so gross.

Were your vacations times to go, go, go, or were they time to relax and refresh?

I never found them refreshing and still don’t. Serious traveling more than a local weekend getaway stresses me out. It’s so expensive (and don’t suggest camping because barf), my back hurts, my head hurts, plans get changed last minute (hate!), you eat too much, and, worst of all, places are filled with PEOPLE!

Sad face dislike thumbs down

Staycations rule though…

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Oakland Sky

Oakland sky sunset

I took this pic last Friday afternoon from the car on the way to the Oakland Airport. The sunset was incredible that day and I’ve seen many other photos of it since. I saved it for a Weekend Sky entry ~ you’re welcome. Why not pop over to Hammad’s blog and give him a high-five on his 50th Weekend Sky post?


Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Family Time Smile!

Thanksgiving collage

What a great week I had. First, I flew up to NorCal and spent Thanksgiving (plus a few days more) with my daughter Diane. I also got to hang out with her hubby Sam and their adorable doggos Rory and Lily. Lily is a puppy and needed some time to get used to me, but once she did she was so sweet! We had all kinds of yummy food, colored, and played a bunch of board games. We watched movies too: King Richard, 8-Bit Christmas, and Red Notice. We didn’t go anywhere, just enjoyed being together and cuddling with the puppies. I think I had a slice of pumpkin pie every day, which is what happens when you buy the enormous one from Costco.

When I returned, it was time to celebrate Chanukah with my daughter Sharon, her hubby, and their kids. It was a lot of fun to play with my grands and walk over to the Pico carnival. Sharon’s in-laws joined us as well. We had donuts and latkes and pizza, which were all delicious, and we lit the menorah after sundown. On my way home, I stopped at a restaurant where friends were having dinner and managed to squeeze in one more game before my vacation ended. I love my job, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break, especially when I get to see my favorite peeps!


Photos are mine. Written for Trent’s Weekly Smile.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Weekend Sky

Irvine sunset sky

It’s been a while since I posted for the Weekend Sky prompt. The sunsets have been meh is why. This one is pretty though, and if you zoom in you can see a plane. It just took off from JWA to an exotic locale. Or so I imagine…


Image is mine.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.

Mom’s Flowered Suitcase [repost]


I stood alone at the empty carousel. It had finished spinning out the bags from my flight and mine wasn’t among them. I glanced at the people around me–they were busily texting and briskly wheeling their suitcases outdoors toward ground transportation.

“What did it look like?” The friendly customer service rep was trying to help me find my lost bag as I waited in her office.

I was a little embarrassed. “It was small. And green. With um bright flowers all over it.”

She smiled. “Oh! We have it here. I’m sorry but it seems to have come apart a bit, so we kept it safe.”

“That’s the one.” There was no mistaking the unique floral case the rep brought out from the back. It had been shabby to start with, but now the handle was dangling off and one side was shredded. “It was my mother’s. I guess I’ve had a hard time letting it go.”

“I understand. I could tape it up as a temporary solution.”

As I watched, I thought of the broken vase and the lost earring and the other disappearing mementos. They would all be gone eventually, except for the ones in my heart.


Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. (Cheated a bit ~ this is a true story.) Image from Pexels.

©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon. Thank you.