Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Here is the fourth of the posts I have selected from the archives of D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who is a regular contributor to the blog with her travel column and also as a guest comedian…Debby has some terrific posts on blogging and social media… and here is one that I think we can all relate to.

Are We Lost in #Social Oblivion? by D.G. Kaye

Social media sharing

Today I’m going to share my thoughts here on the madness of social media, and book promoting, and our constant battle to keep up with everything social media to stay afloat with our presence.

I’m speaking for myself, but I know my thoughts are shared by many a writer. As writers, we all develop our routines, and although every one of us has our own methods of tackling our ‘to do’ lists, if we’re writing books, much of what we do will involve ways to market our books using social media.

With the explosion of new authors and books in the past few years, there are waves of cries to ‘buy my book’ in order to be heard through a sea of social media blasts. I sometimes feel as though I’m drowning in that sea. But I don’t wish to become one of the ‘hard sell’ authors, and I don’t even spend nearly enough time or dollars doing the amount of marketing I’m urged to do through all the social outlets I follow and with all the subscriptions I read from newsletters telling me about another method to push my books.

Sure I read many articles to stay abreast. I’ll bookmark pertinent information and save it to Evernote for the time I’m ready to tackle it. But with all I read, I still can’t bring myself to become an aggressive marketer. I have my daily routine planned the night before with my list of things to accomplish, and that keeps my plate full as it is. As much as I want to try a million new ideas out, there are only so many hours in a day. So I prioritize with my book writing days and my blog post days. I’ve learned what social media sites I gravitate to most. I’ve built friendships and followers who I can chat with, share with, or just have a simple ‘thank you’ for sharing rapport with for dedicated sharers. I read many blogs, and like and comment where I feel like contributing, and if I enjoyed a post, I’ll share it to my social sites.

This routine I have was never a strategy to gain followers, but somehow it had led me to gathering readers and making some wonderful friends along the way. This is who I am, and I don’t wish to conform to being one of those hounds shouting hashtags to ‘buy my book’.

And what may have prompted me to write this you may be thinking?

I came across an article yesterday while reading my morning newsletter subscriptions. This is part of my morning routine with coffee in hand, my morning newspaper. I check my personal emails first thing in the morning, and catch up on what’s going on with the writing and publishing world with my Indie newsletters. This is usually when I send out my Twitter tweets while I’m reading articles. Some also get sent to Google and Linkedin and my Facebook author page. But I check Twitter once a day only, every morning, because I have a lot of writers that follow me, and I know some will find these posts informative because I’m sure that’s why they followed me in the first place. I know my posts are interesting to some because I’ve gained quite a few followers in the past few years, and I can honestly say I never search for people to follow, they find me, and I decide if I will follow back based on the criteria I have for following back.

My usual stipulations for NOT following back are: They use an egg as a replacement for a photo, no bio or website, hard sellers, or promisers to get you hundreds of followers for a price, or of course pornographic posts. I don’t hesitate to follow someone just because they may have few followers. I’m not looking for popularity, but sincerity and something informative offered. I always follow back authors because I believe if they took the time to follow my posts they’re eager to learn, especially if they’re new and just starting their platforms. This is just the way I roll in life with the people I congregate with and develop friendships with. If they’re sincere, forthgiving, and informative, I’m in.

Now, the reason I’m sharing this here today goes back to 2 relevant posts I came across from 2 articles I read in parts from a writer, Delilah Dawson from Whimsydark. She wrote about herself not being one of ‘those authors’ who are constantly pushing their books at every opportunity. She makes a pertinent point in her post that if people like you, and like what you have to say they may just follow you and buy your books because of those qualities, and eventually, hopes that word of mouth become our best marketing tool. Her point is to keep writing and doing what works and states that current trends don’t necessarily dictate what works for everyone.

The articles resonated with me because that’s what I do. I do my thing, and socialize where I enjoy being best, not trying to dance at every wedding (every social site) because there just isn’t enough time to do everything. Below I will give you a sampling of the two posts with the link to continue reading. I think you will find them good reads.

https://www.whimsydark.com/blog/2015/4/13/please-shut-up-why-self-promotion-as-an-author-doesnt-work

Spend your energy and time being kind to your colleagues, thanking your publishing team, and making new friends with no expectation that you will eventually use them to claw your way to the top. Before you Friend another writer on Facebook, make sure it’s because you legitimately want to know them better and be part of their life and not because you’re planning on sending them an Event invitation or a link to your book…Continue reading

And here is her follow up article: http://www.whimsydark.com/blog/2015/4/14/wait-keep-talking-author-self-promo-that-actually-works

“Adding value means passing on truly helpful links, retweeting job listings or calls for submissions, wishing someone a happy launch day, recommending books you’ve enjoyed, discussing the news of the day in a respectful and thoughtful manner, talking about an upcoming event, or generally saying things that make someone’s day just a little brighter. Over time, people will begin to trust you as you repeatedly add value to their life..Continue reading

I hope you enjoy these posts and take something from them as I did. They confirmed to me that I’m doing just fine the way I’m doing. And please feel free to leave me your comments because I’d like to know where you guys stand on the marketing front.

©D.G. Kaye 2016

Debby writes a monthly travel column here on Smorgasbord and you can find all her articles: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye/

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Twenty Years After “I do” on Goodreads.

Aug 27, 2018 Janice Spina rated it it was amazing
A Loving Reflection of Twenty Years of Marriage!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”. It was a heartfelt journey through the author’s life with her devoted and loving husband who is much older than she. I laughed along with her and shed tears of sorrow when she did.

D.G. Kaye expressed herself in endearing terms when she spoke of her husband and their wonderful life together. She wrote with deep expressions of angst over serious health issues they both experienced and then joy over happy times with much shared laughter.

Marriage is a difficult union as anyone who has been married knows. This book takes the reader down this path to discover the true meaning of soul mates and undying love from one another. D.G. shares the beauty of each day that she and her husband, Gordon, have had together and continue to have even in adversity. She displays a remarkable wit in tough times and a brilliant resilience to go on no matter what she must face.

This book is a must read for all who have been married whether for a short time or a longer time. All couples face similar situations and must make tough decisions in their lives together. The author has shown how she has had to deal with serious health issues and come out stronger and more persistent to make the best of every day she and her husband have left together. For isn’t that part of our marriage vows – to love each other in sickness and health till death do us part?

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for allowing me to share her archived posts and I hope you will head over to her blog and delve into them even more.. thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – D.G. Kaye finds another gem.. This parrot has an opinion on everything


Debby Gies has been scanning the airwaves for videos to share… here are some more that she has come across.. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Thanks to Debby for finding another gem.. I hope you have enjoyed… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Guest Writer – D.G. Kaye – What I did Yesterday — Besides Having a #Colonoscopy


D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies has updated her post from 2015 on her experience with a colonoscopy which was repeated last week. It is one of those things that people are reluctant to talk about, but needs to be demystified and discussed.

 

What I did Yesterday — Besides Having a #Colonoscopy by D.G. Kaye

As I was digging through some older posts, I came across this one I wrote 4 years ago after a colonoscopy and before another one was to come, and I’ve had a few more since that time.

Although this post is quite humorous in parts, colonoscopy is serious business. We all dread them, and if you’re anything like me, worse than the actual procedure is the poison prep we have to drink the day prior to the test. In this post I share some of the humorous findings I came across while searching out alternative methods to getting the guck down, but no matter how you slice it, a beast is still a beast, even with lipstick.

Since the time of this posting, I have managed to find the potion of lesser evil that actually works for me, but everyone’s system is different so what works for some may not be as effective for others. Just remember, having a colonoscopy can literally save your life. So many people who have them have had polyps found and removed in routine checks which could ultimately have led to colon cancer left unchecked. So put on your big girl/boy pants, choose your potion and do yourself and your families a favor and get yourselves checked!

Colonoscopy – An ugly word, with fearful connotations.

Yesterday I went for my overdue colonoscopy appointment. When I say overdue, I mean that it’s been three and a half years since my last one, and consequently, that was my first one.

After having my first one and enduring the awful, but not most awful of all the preps, I was lectured then by the gastroenterologist because I didn’t take the prep she instructed me to take, and my colon wasn’t 100% clear. Although, she had told me it was clear enough to see, and that I was fine. I was elated to hear the good news. But she also informed me that because I have Crohn’s disease, I should be having an annual colonoscopy.

I pleaded my case to her that my Crohn’s is holistically under control, I eat a healthy diet, and being that I had a clean bill of health from her, could she please let me do it every three years. Thankfully I won my plea, and she conceded.

So last fall, I was to have my three-year scope, but life was happening for me in full force, one crisis led to another, and the winter had passed in 2015. My doctor’s referral for this scope was to end by May, so I booked the appointment, and yesterday was the day.

Now, let me preface this by saying, the procedure itself is really no big deal, honestly! I mean, I go to this lovely digestive clinic where everyone is treated so well by lovely nurses, they put you in what looks like a small hospital ward, each with his own private curtain and gurney, and eventually you are wheeled into the small operating room, asked to verify some questions we previously filled out on the forms, and wham, we’re put under with anaesthetic. Just the way I like it!

But heaven help us all, that preparation the day before to cleanse the colon is the most vile, disgusting, nauseating, ass-burning day to endure. (I probably could have used more adjectives here!)

Getting back to the prep, after my first colonoscopy, I was reprimanded for taking something other than what was prescribed. The doctor didn’t feel that the prep I used (Citromag), was effective enough to empty the colon. I had researched something easier than what she had prescribed to ingest. All the preps are disgusting enough as is, and I am the sort of person who gags from a teaspoon of cough medicine. I also have a very slow digestive transit time, thus I get full very quickly, food and liquids hang around my upper stomach much longer than the average person’s.

The difference between taking Citromag and the many other formulas, is that you only have to drink two – 300 ml. bottles of gross stuff, chased down intermittently with 64 ounces of water throughout the day. This is a cakewalk compared to drinking 4 LITRES of other gross stuff mixed in with the water!

Now I cannot even conceive the thought of drinking 16 GLASSES of liquid in a few hours span, even if it were my favourite drink, let alone with the vile taste and consistency. So, once again, I drank the Citromag and gagged from the briney/sugary mixture of fake lemonade, but held it down.

It took almost 5 HOURS until anything started to happen, other than the huge hard feeling and distention of my stomach, and nausea. Even after the rumbling urges came, they weren’t of much substance other than many Niagara Falls- like liquid showers. I was bloated, tired, starving — I was sure this prep was not going to be effective. I wasn’t wrong!

After I had the procedure done, and the doctor called me in for consult, I was informed that I wasn’t properly cleaned out, and I had to admit my crime of not taking her prescribed method of choice. The doctor then added that from the parts she could see through, she had found, removed, and sent for biopsy, two polyps. Just as I was processing the fears that came attached to this news, she then added that I was to come back in 2 MONTHS to do it all over again to be sure there was nothing else she missed. I immediately froze in fear. I knew my charade of switching preps was no longer effective for my lazy colon, and I didn’t have three years to put it on the back burner.

I began to panic with worry about my biopsy results, and what on earth was I going to have to drink, worse than what I had already ingested.

I returned home around noon and made myself a piece of toast and an egg. Surprisingly, after 36 hours without food and starving, I no longer felt hungry. My husband went back to work and I got on the computer to catch up with emails and intentions of doing revisions on my next book. But the looming fear within me about having another colonoscopy wouldn’t allow me to concentrate on anything other than searching for a potion that I could possibly tolerate for ROUND 2.

I checked my emails then went directly to Google. I typed in numerous search words with the names of each prep available here in Canada and the U.S. And then I went on forums to read about other people’s experiences with different potions, and read about their stories and success rates. I was obsessed and engulfed in the stories and blogs I read. There were moments I laughed so hard at some descriptions, and I could barely breathe as I pictured them.

Many offered tips and tricks about how to get through the dreaded prep process. The most repetitive information I read was to stay close to the loo, (I know that) have baby wipes handy to ease the soreness down below from the acidic explosions, and to use baby zinc cream to comfort and protect the delicate area below from the sting. But when I read about some various methods used to ingest the vile and copious amounts of liquid, I couldn’t stop laughing.

One girl advised to cover your nose with a Bounce dryer sheet as you gulped, to avoid the smell, which enhances the flavor. Many advised to drink from a straw and to make sure it’s placed at the back of the tongue to avoid the front palate where most of the taste buds are located. Others had their own rendition of avoiding to taste, admitting there was no way to fully mask it. But the most hysterical description I read was from a boy who was trying to describe what his prep tasted like. He said, “Imagine a hockey team’s socks soaking in a tub overnight, and then drinking the water.” I gagged at reading it, as well as doubled over in laughter. Another said that he sat on the throne so long that his foot fell asleep and he didn’t know it until he got up and his foot turned over and he sprained his ankle.

I processed so much information, that before I knew it, I had been sitting at the computer for 6 HOURS! It was 8PM and I had yet to eat dinner. My work day had vanished while it was spent investigating ways I could get through the next scope.

It really is a procedure feared by the masses. The actual procedure is nothing, like I mentioned, but that prep day is the horrific part that keeps people from having the procedure done.

Yes I’m nerved out about doing a repeat and then having scopes annually after, but I have to do it. These polyps they find are a precursor to colon cancer. And after losing a grandfather to colon cancer, an aunt to pancreatic cancer, a cousin to colon cancer (from Crohn’s disease), and another aunt on her way now to the next world from stomach cancer, I have no choice.

I know I had a hard enough time taking the Citromag and litres of fresh water. I don’t know how I’ll be able to chug 4 LITRES of mixed prep with my gag reflex, but I know I have to start summoning up my courage NOW.

Addendum: This article was written in 2015. Since the writing of this article I have endured another few colonoscopies. I’m happy to report that my new choice of weapon that works is Miralax, a clear crystal, tasteless, odorless powder I mix in with gatorade, totally palatable and effective.

Do you have any helpful tips or experience you’d like to share?

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Twenty Years After I Do.

Aug 27, 2018 Janice Spina rated it it was amazing   A Loving Reflection of Twenty Years of Marriage!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”. It was a heartfelt journey through the author’s life with her devoted and loving husband who is much older than she. I laughed along with her and shed tears of sorrow when she did.

D.G. Kaye expressed herself in endearing terms when she spoke of her husband and their wonderful life together. She wrote with deep expressions of angst over serious health issues they both experienced and then joy over happy times with much shared laughter.

Marriage is a difficult union as anyone who has been married knows. This book takes the reader down this path to discover the true meaning of soul mates and undying love from one another. D.G. shares the beauty of each day that she and her husband, Gordon, have had together and continue to have even in adversity. She displays a remarkable wit in tough times and a brilliant resilience to go on no matter what she must face.

This book is a must read for all who have been married whether for a short time or a longer time. All couples face similar situations and must make tough decisions in their lives together. The author has shown how she has had to deal with serious health issues and come out stronger and more persistent to make the best of every day she and her husband have left together. For isn’t that part of our marriage vows – to love each other in sickness and health till death do us part?

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for sharing this experience and demonstrating that humour can go a long way to making daunting medical procedures bearable.. along with Miralax……..

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Christmas fun from guest comedian D.G. Kaye and a festive joke from the archives


Debby Gies has been scouring the Internet for some funnies to share with you as my guest… D.G. Kaye Writer Blog and I have been delving into the archives for a festive joke or two…..

 

Thanks again Debby you are booked for the summer season too..

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com – Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

And now that joke from the archives….

Besht Cishmash Reshippy.

  • 1 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Cup dried fruit
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup nuts
  • 1 or 2 quarts of aged whisky

Before you begin, sample the whisky to check for quality. Good isn’t it?

Select a large mixing bowl and a measuring cup. Check the whisky again as it must be just right. To be absolutely sure, pour a large glass and drink as fast as you can.

Repeat

With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat the hell out of it again. Meanwhile at this parsnicular point in time, wake sure that the whixy hasn’t gone bad while you weren’t looking. Open second quart if nestessazy.

Add 2 large leggs, 2 cups of fried druit and beat until high, If druit gest shtuck in peaters, just pry the monsters loosh with a drewscriver.

Example the whiksty again, shecking confistancy, then shitf 2 cups of salt or destergent or whatever, like anyone gifts a shplit.

Chample the whitchey shum more.

Shitfin shum lemon zhoosh. Fold in chopped sputter and shrained nusts. Add 100 babblspoons of brown booger or whushever’s closhest and mix well. Greash ubben and turn the caky tin to 350 decrees. Now pour the whole mesh into the washing machine and set on sinch shycle.

Cheque dat whixney wunsh more and pash out.

and last but not least

Please feel free to pass along….thanks Debby and Sally…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Welcome to Saint Kitts #Caribbean


Welcome to my October edition of my Travel Column at the Smorgasbord Invitation. Today we’re going to another small, beautiful and still developing Caribbean island – Saint Kitts.

Welcome to Saint Kitts

Saint Kitts is the more popular name the island goes by, shortened from its formal name Saint Christopher Island with Basseterre being its capital. Located in the West Indies, bordered to the left by the Caribbean Sea, and to the right, the Atlantic Ocean, St. Kitts is located approximately 1300 miles southeast of Miami. This island is considered another of the gems of the Caribbean.

Saint Kitts and its close neighboring island – Nevis are considered one country – The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The two mountainous islands are of volcanic origin, causing many beaches in St. Kitts to consist of black volcanic sand.

Unlike St. Martin where two countries exist together on one island, Saint Kitts and Nevis are narrowly separated by shallow waters, by a mere two-mile channel aptly named ‘The Narrows’. The natives refer to themselves as Kittitians.

The island is home to over 53,000 people as of 2016, mostly of African descent. The language spoken is primarily English as well as St. Kitts Creole.

A Bit of History

Saint Kitts is formerly a member of the British West Indies when it first became the home of the British and French colonies in the mid 1620’s along with its sister island Nevis. It wasn’t until September 19th of 1983 that it became an independent country. Along with several Caribbean islands back in the 17th and 18th centuries, islands were conquered and taken over and changed hands and ownership a few times between military take-overs and treaties. French and British colonists fought over St. Kitts in the early 1620’s. Ultimately, in 1783 it became affiliated with the Kingdom of Great Britain , which became the United Kingdom and in 1967 became an associated state of Britain.

Slavery – The island originally produced tobacco back in the 1600’s then switched to sugar and importing of African slaves to look after the fields. The importing of slaves became outlawed and abolished on August 1, 1834. The slaves already there were apprenticed to look after the sugar cane fields to protect the planters from losing their labor force. August 1st is now celebrated as Emancipation Day. The Great Depression helped to collapse sugar prices precipitating the birth of the organized labor movement in St Kitts and Nevis. After 365 years, the government shut down the production of sugar cane again in 2005 due to huge losses in the industry and the lowered price cuts of sugar called by the European Union. St. Kitts/Nevis really has a fascinating history of hostile takeovers which you can read more about HERE

Currency – The currency used on the island is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar with one U.S. dollar roughly equaling 2.70 in EC dollars. But as in most countries and islands, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.

Climate – Typical Caribbean tropical weather year – round with June through November notorious for rainy and hurricane season.

Tourism – Like most islands, St. Kitts heavily relies on tourism to grow its economy. On 21 September 1998, the islands were severely crippled by Hurricane Georges  resulting in nearly $500 million of damage to property. Georges was the worst hurricane to hit the region in the 20th century. In 2009 the number of visitors to the island almost doubled since 1978. I have seen a lot of this growth of the island with my own eyes. This island is also a duty-free island where tobacco and liquor are exceedingly cheap to purchase. And of course, jewelry is also duty-free but nowhere near as plentiful in selection as in St. Martin!

When I first visited St. Kitts on a cruise ship stop about 10 years ago I didn’t tour the whole island, and in my opinion, there wasn’t much happening on that island to entice tourists, there wasn’t even a welcoming port set up for visiting cruise ship tourists. On my next return about 3 years ago, I could see how much the island had become developed.

My brother and his wife spend a month there every year visiting their children and grandchildren every January. Their daughter-in-law is studying at the  Ross University of Veterinary Medicine, which is a popular and well-known university for many Americans and Canadians to receive their education to become a veterinarian.

On my last visit 3 years ago, while on a cruise, we stopped in St. Kitts for the day and pre-planned to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law. When we got off the ship I was amazed at the beautiful port that was built, lined with stores and duty-free outlets and plenty of tour guides and taxis vying for passenger’s attention, offering tours and rides.

St. Kitts still doesn’t have many resort properties, but construction is booming there as the tourist industry is growing everywhere. And as the tourism grows so does the demand for vacation properties.

My brother had rented a car and met us at port and took us on tour of the island and to a beautiful lookout point at the southern tip of the island where we stood on a cliff and could see Nevis with the naked eye.

We then spent the afternoon at a most paradise-like resort atop of a beach where the swimming pool’s edge ran over with water like a fountain and our lounge chairs rested inside the pool. It was a spectacular day.

Because I haven’t spent a lot of time in St. Kitts I can’t personally recommend a beach or hotel, but I’m listing some helpful links below where you can learn about best beaches, places to stay and eat, and attractions to visit. I will add here that as much as my brother and sister-in-law enjoy the island, they don’t choose to spend the whole winter there because the island imports most of its food, making it often more expensive than in America, and rarely have they been tempted to eat some of the meat available in grocery stores, and so being carnivore lovers, a month is more than enough time there for them. But for fish lovers and vegans island food is ideal.

Opportunity to Live in St. Kitts and Become a Citizen!

If you’re perhaps considering relocating to a desert island, largely still unspoiled, you may want to consider investing in St. Kitts!

With the intent to grow the island and its population, St. Kitts and Nevis have opened a unique ‘citizenship by investment program.’ If you pass a government strict background check and make an approved real estate deal of $400,000 or more in U.S. currency, you are entitled to apply for citizenship of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. You can check out more information about this and all detailed requirements at the Henley Estates market overview.

Links to Check Out to Learn More About St. Kitts

Top Ten Beaches to visit on St. Kitts
Top ten attractions to visit on St. Kitts
Best Places to stay on St. Kitts
Where to dine

I hope you enjoyed this edition of my travel column. Next month I’ll be introducing you to one of the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas!

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

A recent review for Twenty Years After “I Do”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”. It was a heartfelt journey through the author’s life with her devoted and loving husband who is much older than she. I laughed along with her and shed tears of sorrow when she did.

D.G. Kaye expressed herself in endearing terms when she spoke of her husband and their wonderful life together. She wrote with deep expressions of angst over serious health issues they both experienced and then joy over happy times with much shared laughter.

Marriage is a difficult union as anyone who has been married knows. This book takes the reader down this path to discover the true meaning of soul mates and undying love from one another. D.G. shares the beauty of each day that she and her husband, Gordon, have had together and continue to have even in adversity. She displays a remarkable wit in tough times and a brilliant resilience to go on no matter what she must face.

This book is a must read for all who have been married whether for a short time or a longer time. All couples face similar situations and must make tough decisions in their lives together. The author has shown how she has had to deal with serious health issues and come out stronger and more persistent to make the best of every day she and her husband have left together. For isn’t that part of our marriage vows – to love each other in sickness and health till death do us part?

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Traveling to #Mexico


This edition of my travel column is all about Mexico and what you need to know about traveling there.

I love Mexico and have been there many times over the years, visiting several different parts of Mexico in the past. My favorite destination is Puerto Vallarta, located on the Western coast of Mexico. I recently spent one month there last winter and looking forward to two glorious months there next winter.

About Mexico

Mexico’s official name is The United States of Mexico – Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Mexico is comprised of 32 States. It is also the 11th most populated country in the world with a population of over 118 million people, and the 14th largest country by land. The climate in Mexico is hot and humid – less humid in the interior states. Mexico has the 9th largest economy in the world. Their main industries are: food, beverage, Tequila, Corona beer, tobacco, cotton, iron, steel, and last but certainly not least – tourism. Their rich natural resources are silver, petroleum and natural gas.

Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821. Mexico City is the capital, originally built on the ruins of the Aztec capital, which was destroyed when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs. Although the language predominantly spoken in Mexico is Spanish, there are in fact 68 languages spoken there by the natives and approximately 350 indigenous dialects!

In the year 2000, Mexico finally became a democratic country after 7 decades of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the ‘PRI’. Like many other countries in the world, there are parts of Mexico that are safer than others.

Popular Places to Visit in Mexico and Places to Avoid

Currently, there are 7 northern names states and 3 western named states  that are on travel advisory lists, mostly due to cartel violence. If you click on the link supplied above with the named states, you will see that specific cities are named on the advisory in the named states. Sadly, some of my fond memories of yesteryear vacations were in the once beautiful Acapulco (in the state of Guerrero) where the cartel has finished off that resort town for travelers. And although the beautiful and serene city of Manzanillo located in the state of Colima, is said to not be part of the advisory of that state, there’s not a shot you’d catch me going back there either.

So where are the safest and most popular tourist locales?

Many people love to visit the rich culture in the heart of Mexico, Mexico City. Another popular place people like to visit, and incidentally, many ex-patriots make their home in is San Miguel Allende, which is a beautiful city located in the interior of Mexico, not far from Mexico City. But the most popular vacation destinations in Mexico are Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific west coast and Cancun/Playa Del Carmen on the eastern gulf coast.

Have a look at the map of Mexico HERE to get a broader scope of where the different cities are located geographically.

I always loved Puerto Vallarta and had spent quite a few vacations there through the years but hadn’t been back there for almost 10 years until last winter because my husband and I got hooked on cruising and exploring the Caribbean. We always said that we must go back to Puerto Vallarta and with the advent of the current administration in the U.S. and the devaluation of our Canadian dollar, we took the plunge last winter and we had the time of our lives.

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful coastal town, and my, has it grown. I love that it hasn’t lost its native charm, yet, has grown with the availability of many North American amenities. We rented a beautiful condo right on the beach.

We shopped our groceries at Walmart and Costco, a short walking distance, and ate out at some spectacular restaurants. One block away I could get my daily dose of a Starbuck’s Soy Vanilla, Sugar-free latte. A five-minute cab ride north is the beautiful Marina area where the cruise ships dock nearby and many restaurants, yachts, shopping and weekly markets can be enjoyed. A ten-minute cab ride takes me downtown to what’s known as the ‘Malecon’ which is Mexican for the boardwalk where hundreds of people stroll, eat, shop and watch artists at work and displaying their crafts for sale. The people are friendly and the value for our dollar was fabulous. The sunshine is also virtually guaranteed daily, save for their short rainy season from mid-June til October, boasting approximately 300 sunny days per year. Honestly, I don’t recall ever seeing rain in Puerto Vallarta.

The weather in PV is hot and humid by day – usual temps in winter (November thru April) can range anywhere from the high 70s to the mid-90s. We spent last March there, and I found the days became exceptionally hotter once mid-March hit. The nights often offer a cool ocean breeze where I have been known to actually have to throw on a sweater when walking through town.

Cancun, being on the gulf side, is known to have sporadic rainfall and has become quite Americanized through the years. I personally have never gone to that side because I prefer knowing I’m waking up to guaranteed sunshine, and besides the weather, I also prefer the unspoiled feeling of being in Mexico when I’m in Mexico, not feeling I’m in a more commercialized locale, and according to the many I know who have been there, a lot more expensive in Cancun. I don’t need American dollars in Puerto Vallarta, and my Canadian dollars get me great value with Pesos. U.S. dollars are used a lot in Cancun and food and beverage are also more expensive there.

So, let’s get into what you need to know when visiting Mexico.

Facts, Dos, and Don’ts, and Safety

First and foremost, you need a Mexican Tourist Card to both, enter Mexico and to leave. If you’re flying to or on a cruise going to Mexico, the card is supplied to you by the airline or cruise line and included in the price of your flight or cruise. Please refer to the above link for instruction on how to obtain one if you’re traveling by car. You must fill out the card to have ready to hand to Mexican authorities upon entering Mexico along with your passport. This card will be stamped and given back to you at customs. DO NOT LOSE IT! Keep it safely stored with your passport. You will need to hand it in when leaving the country.

Currency

Mexican Currency is the Peso. You will get the best value when exchanging your dollars by changing them at a local bank in Mexico, or from using a bank ATM in the bank as opposed to machines located in stores or hotel lobbies. Outside of banks, other ATMs, hotels, money exchange booths, will charge higher fees and offer lower rates on exchange than the banks. You will also receive lower value on your exchange when purchasing Pesos from your home bank.

To give you a general idea, I purchased $500 Canadian worth of Pesos at my home bank before visiting Puerto Vallarta last winter. My bank was charging approximately 12. something Pesos for one Canadian dollar. When I went to the bank in PV, where my brother who winters there annually, suggested I go, I received just over 15 Pesos to a Canadian dollar, whereas the U.S. dollar was getting 19 Pesos. The service fee was only 3 Canadian dollars. This is a beautiful thing for us Canadians because we don’t have to purchase U.S. funds first, losing almost 33% on each dollar to then again have to exchange into Pesos. But please note – I do advise anyone traveling to Mexico to purchase at least $50 to $100 worth of Pesos before leaving home, despite the extra charge because you will need to have some on you for incidentals such as taxi, tips and perhaps a meal before you get settled and have time to go to the bank.

Note: Although you don’t need to purchase American dollars for Mexico, all rental properties – VRBO, Airbnb, etc. rental fees all charged in U.S. dollars.

Drinking Water and Ice Cubes

The old myth of Montezuma’s revenge still exists in Mexico. From my understanding, it’s not so much that the water is bad, but more that the delivery system through the pipes that are often old, and corroding which causes the problem. But have no fears, as long as you are conscious of what you put in your mouth you will be fine.

Most hotels and restaurants in the tourist destination spots in Mexico have water purification systems. As a leery person myself of strange waters, I never drink tap water there, nor do I even drink it at home without my filtration system. If you’re ever in doubt while visiting a restaurant, always ask if their water is purified. You can always play it safe like I do, and order bottled water, but asking about a filtration system will also give you piece of mind if you’re a salad lover because of course, raw vegetables are washed in water too. Also, be careful at buffets with raw vegetables.

Tip: When you’re drinking anywhere, look at the ice. Filtrated ice has a hole inside each ice cube!

In the condo building where we rent, the lobby concierge brings in large filtered water jugs, which we purchase for $3. It comes with a pump and I fill pitchers and ice cube trays with it, as well as wash my fruits and vegetables with (along with my fruit & veggie spray wash I bring from home). I also make coffee with that water and brush my teeth with it. Even though some say the building water is filtered I’d rather be safe than sorry. And of course, we always have cases of bottled water stored too.

Dining

Puerto Vallarta is known for its many wonderful restaurants offering a variety of tasty cuisines. There is no shortage of Mexican restaurants, Italian and North American fine dining. And the beef is fabulous there and much less costly than at home. The Malecon in downtown PV has many fabulous restaurants. Many of them are set up on a hill for exquisite views, especially at sunset while enjoying a Margarita!

The Marina area is equally entertaining with its numerous bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a cocktail after the sun or before dinner and watch the yachts come back in.
Eating out is reasonable in Mexico, much cheaper than home here in Canada, and that much cheaper for Americans. We found some fabulous eateries in town on the recommendations of fellow condo renters who are always eager to share their great finds.

Safety and Warnings

As previously mentioned, Puerto Vallarta is safe for tourists, but like anywhere in the world there will always be people with an evil agenda so pay caution when out and about with your purses and wallets. Just carry what you need with you and leave your passports, extra cash and expensive jewelry in your room safe. You never know when a professional pickpocket may be lurking.

Beware the Tides

Be careful when swimming in the ocean – specifically, the Pacific Ocean. Many coastal beaches have some deadly under-currents. It may look calm to the naked eye, but once you get in, you could be swept away by rapid undertows. Because of this, designated swimming areas on all beaches are monitored daily in resort areas. You will likely go to the beach every day and find a different section roped off showing where it is safe to swim that day. I can remember quite a few days walking on the beach and having to walk one hotel over to be able to swim in the ocean because of warnings at the beach front of our own property.

A little story: A long time ago when I was in Acapulco (when it was a safe place to go), I was sitting at the pool in a lounge chair and happened to watch a couple walking on the beach, a few feet away from the water, when a sudden huge wave came up and swooped them both into the water. Thankfully, they didn’t drown. Another time visiting there, 3 people drowned by being swept up by an under tow.

Medical/Pharmacy

Puerto Vallarta is known for some state of the art medical and dentistry facilities. Many doctors from North America have opened specialty clinics there. In fact, many Americans go there to have elective surgeries that would cost them tens of thousands of dollars at home for nearly 1/10th the price. I’ve met people there who came for knee and hip replacements, cosmetic surgery and dental crowns and root canals. We are blessed here in Canada having our medical paid for, but from what I’m told, a knee replacement could run near 80K in the U.S. and can be done in Puerto Vallarta for approximately 10K! Doctors make housecalls there for a mere $20!

But I also know a few Canadians who get their dental work done there. In fact, last winter, my brother was seeking out recommendations for a good dentist to have a cleaning done while he was there. A dental cleaning/scaling and X-rays typically run us approximately $250 here in Canada. My very picky brother found a dentist in the Marina area and had his teeth scaled, cleaned and X-rayed for $40 Canadian!

There are also 2 hospitals, both 5 minutes away from our rental condo, which I checked out thoroughly before going because even with travel insurance, my husband’s pre-existing condition isn’t covered. I had to make sure if he got ill while away we wouldn’t lose our life savings to do so.

Pharmacy

You will find one on almost every corner. And you’ll be stunned to discover (as I was) the pharmaceuticals available without a prescription. I’m talking about the availability of many drugs that are difficult to get a prescription for at home. Just to name a few – Valium, Sleeping Pills (Ambien), Muscle Relaxers, Percocet, and even antibiotics!

I’m quite sure there are users who delight in such access to these drugs and for a much cheaper price. But beware – if you plan on bringing any of these drugs back home and are caught by your customs without a prescription from your doctor, they will be confiscated, and you could be fined according to the laws of your country so be careful. But it’s good to know, in a pinch, that these drugs are available – especially antibiotics.

Getting Around

Taxis are cheap! There is no need to rent a car in Mexico (and believe me I wouldn’t want to drive there), unless of course, you’d like to rent a car/jeep to go exploring. I’d also highly recommend a tour guide go with you for these expeditions as there are certain parts up in the mountains that aren’t safe.

I found that a taxi to anywhere I went within Puerto Vallarta cost 50 Pesos – equivalent to about $3.25 Canadian. You can’t beat that! Although I love to walk a lot, I take cabs downtown or to the Marina and back from grocery shopping.

Just be cautious. It’s always advised to ask your concierge to hire a taxi when leaving your hotel, and you will find designated taxis lined up from many venues such as shopping centers, restaurants, etc. for your return trips. It’s not advised to flag a cab down from just anywhere. The cabs that are lined up in their designated areas are all documented and kept track of. If you’re planning on going to a desolate tour area, arrange for the same taxi that takes you there to pick you back up. And ALWAYS verify the fare before you sit down in the cab!

Alternatively, many tourists enjoy taking public transportation for the experience and the mere pocket change it costs to do so. Often these buses are not air conditioned. But I am more than happy to pay my $3 and take a cab.

Short True Story – The Good Samaritan

Approximately 12 years ago, my husband and I went to a beautiful resort in Nuevo Vallarta, a twenty-minute cab ride north of Puerto Vallarta. While we were touring around there at a market, my husband fancied a money belt that he purchased. When we checked out of the hotel to return home, the hotel concierge called us a special cab that went to the airport. We chatted with the nice driver all the way to the airport, thanked him and I gave him a nice tip.

As we lined up at airport check in, I asked my hub for his passport. He fumbled around for a moment then exclaimed, “I left the money belt in the taxi.” I freaked out and left him in line with the luggage as I was trying to find a policeman or someone who spoke English to get hold of that taxi driver. Finally, someone called the hotel we stayed at to find our which cab had taken us to the airport.

Before he hung up the phone I turned around in the beating hot sun to the sounds of a man shouting, “Lady, lady!” As though it were a miracle and a mirage, it was our cab driver – holding the money belt in his hand. Apparently, within minutes of leaving the airport, he spotted the money belt on the seat and brought it back to us, after frantically looking for us at the airport. I hugged him and couldn’t thank him enough and handed him an American $20 bill. He was elated, and we had hubby’s passport and every dollar he had in there remained.

Moral of the story? There are plenty of honest people still left on earth. Second moral? It was after that trip that I never allowed my husband to wear that money belt again – the one he thought was uncomfortable, so he took it off in the cab. From that trip on, I became the holder of all the money and the passports!

What to Buy?

Mexico is a great place to buy handcrafted items and silver. You will find many artisans crafting their wares at the markets. There are a variety of items you will find from straw bags, to cotton beach coverups, decorative plates, wind chimes, hats and much more. You will also find many of these items being sold on the beach as the Mexicans all dressed in white cotton and big sombreros carry their wares on their backs and hope to make a day’s pay. Always bargain as the prices will start higher than you will end up paying. The Mexico savvy travelers know that you must bargain, it’s half the fun!

What to Pack?

Pack summer clothes. It’s never cold in Mexico. But depending on the season, you may want to pack a couple long sleeves and a sweater. Although the temps are hot during the day, typically, November thru February you will have some beautiful breezy nights.
I found due to the humidity in the air that I never wore anything but sandals on my feet, day or night.

Make sure to pack a few sun hats, sunglasses, and bring your favorite sunscreen or buy it there. Great deals in Walmart! And of course, don’t forget your bathing suits and coverups, pretty much what I live in there.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Travel Column – Mexico, and maybe I’ll see you there next winter! Ole!

©D.G. Kaye 2018

I for one would love to visit Puerto Vallerta and my thanks to Debby for such a comprehensive guide to getting the best value for money in the safest and most enjoyable environment.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Michelle Clements James 5.0 out of 5 stars Written with candor and wit August 8, 2018

In TWENTY YEARS: AFTER “I DO” the author talks about some authentic problems one encounters when the love of their life experiences health issues of advancing age. In her instance there is an age gap of nearly 20 years, but none-the-less, the difficulties of illness of either partner, the marriage with not only a new partner, but with the partner’s family, and a plethora of other concerns are easily faced by a couple of any age and at any stage of their marriage if love and laughter are part of that union.. I’ve always believed that true love conquers all, and D.G. Kaye confirmed that belief with candor and wit in her book as she talks about the trials and tribulations of her own marriage.

To say that I am a huge fan of D. G. Kaye is an understatement. I love her style of writing, her honesty in telling it like it is, and her never-ending sense of humor. If you haven’t read any of her books, just peruse all the titles and find one or more you can relate to. The author writes in a way that you can easily slip into her identity and find yourself present in a real-life situation that may be similar to your own. You will laugh along with her, sympathize with her, and possibly learn something about life and your own situation.
TWENTY YEARS: AFTER “I DO” is highly deserving of 5 stars.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077V386TL

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077V386TL

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You #Interview with D. G. Kaye


My guest today probably needs little introduction to most of you who are regulars to the blog. Debby Gies…D.G. Kaye is a very popular blogger and non-fiction author who generously supports us all across social media. We have been connected for nearly four years and that initial contact has turned into a friendship that is treasured. There is a lot of talk about online relationships not being as valid as offline friendships, but I disagree.

The wonder of our modern age is that when you meet someone like minded, who lives thousands of miles away, you can communicate both in writing and visually. Of course publicly on social media but also privately in direct messages, emails and face to face using Skype or similar.

For me that offers so many amazing ways to enjoy a friendship.

Debby has recently become a columnist here on the blog with her new Travel Column… and as a double treat this weekend, you can read her second post on the subject of cruise ships tomorrow morning.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Now time to find out which of the questions Debby has chosen to respond to and more about her books later in the post.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

I love this question and love fashion. I’m very up to date on trends in fashion. I’ve been a fashionista since I was a young girl. That doesn’t mean that I would wear all the fashions I love, not everything looks good on everyone. There are plenty of styles and trends I adore, but know instinctively that not all styles are made for my body shape. Some trends are more suited toward a particular body type despite them being advertised in a wide array of sizes.

Fashion sense isn’t only about what’s on trend but being aware of what is stylish and knowing how to put ourselves together with what looks best on us. I’ve had several years of experience in the retail and wholesale end of the clothing business and besides what I learned in the biz, I am gifted with an eye for style. I have a style of my own. I wear what pleases me, and I look for styles that will accentuate my finer qualities and keep the eyes drawn off the maybe-not-so finer qualities. I’m often complimented on my outfits and flair for style. I love wearing bright and bold colors, which I can pull off with ease because I have a big personality that can carry it.

Sally here:  one of my favourite photos of Debby dressed for her Mexican vacation… fabulous.

Puerto Vallarta

What are 5 things you would find in your handbag?

Whew, I’m glad you only asked for 5, lol. I have a standing joke that if I ever went on that (old) TV game show – Let’s Make a Deal, I’d never be without something they’d asked the audience to produce from a purse.

  • Ok, I’ll start with gum. Gum is numero uno priority in my purse – always
  • Next, lipstick. Oh yes, even if I dared to venture anywhere without make up on, never will you find me without wearing lipstick
  • Kleenex – self explanatory
  • Sunglasses. As long as the sun is shining, I’m wearing them. Not only are they fun and fashionable, but mine are all prescription so they are functional and good for watching people without being detected
  •  Mobile phone. I don’t leave home without it. Not that I’m much of a phone talker, but good for emergency calls, Google maps if I get lost, and of course my trusted built in camera for capturing memorable moments.

beautiful beach sunset

One of Debby’s memorable moments when in Mexico recently.

Do you have a favorite childhood song?

Yes, I do. Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. That song just brings warmth in my heart every time I hear it. When I was a child while in the car with my dad, I remember that song being popular and played often. I don’t even know why it resonated with me so much as a child, but I can say how big that song became with me since my father passed away. I don’t hear that song played too often, but when I do, I stop in pause and look up above to acknowledge my father, feeling as though he’s saying hello to me, letting me know he’s still around.

What’s your favorite TV show and why?

My favorite TV show has been Grey’s Anatomy since its inception 13 seasons ago. I’ve never missed an episode. I’ve always enjoyed watching medical series on TV going all the way back to the Dr. Kildare days. I may have watched every doctor series through the years, but I was instantly hooked on Grey’s because of the interaction with the doctors and their relationships with both, patients and in their own personal lives. Despite the show being based in a hospital environment, the stories involve a compassionate look into patient/doctor relations, doctor/doctor relationships, and love relationships among the doctors.

Grey’s is a heartfelt show with a cast of characters who have become like friends and family to me over the years. I laugh and cry with them and can’t recall too many episodes I didn’t need a Kleenex to watch whether for happy or sad tears. The show’s writers know how to entertain and touch our hearts and there are plenty of Grey’s fans around the world, unsurprisingly.

Sally here:  I have also watched Greys since the start.. and I used to sneak down and watch Dr. Kildare through the crack in the door.. had a massive crush on Richard Chamberlain.

Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?

I sure have done both. When I was a child I took piano lessons. That was organized by my paternal grandmother, who despite there being no real love between us, I know she tried to compensate for the lack of activities any of us children were enrolled in. Sadly, my stubbornness not to conform to anything she wanted for me, had me bailing from piano lessons as though they were a punishment.

Ironically, I was born with an ear for music and gifted with a lovely voice. My dream was to become a singer. Once I left home at 18, I pursued by dreams of ‘stardom’. I actually took 3 years of voice training at university, hung out with musicians, was in a band for a couple years, made some demo tapes hoping to be discovered, but getting discovered in Toronto, Canada in the late 70s/early 80s was a tough situation as the music industry was hot in the US, but more difficult to get anything going in Canada.

I had several auditions, hoping to go to New York and latch on to an agent, but once again my stubbornness ended that when I discovered there was a lot of sliminess in the music industry. I began to feel as though it wasn’t about how talented we were, but more about connections – who we knew that could further us ahead. And of course, there were those who dangled promises of advancement for a price. I wasn’t about to use my body to get ahead. I realized I’d given that industry my best shots, had some fun years doing the club circuit, and finally packed it in.

Sally here: I am sorry that there is no video of Debby singing.. but I am sure that had this been today with all the platforms to share music, that she would have been a star in the music industry too.

More about Debby and her books with a recent review for  her memoir P.S. I Forgive You.

About the book

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Heartfelt on May 13, 2018

The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.

A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.

The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.
I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/P-S-Forgive-You-Broken-Legacy-ebook/dp/B01LWOYPRP/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/P-S-Forgive-You-Broken-Legacy-ebook/dp/B01LWOYPRP/

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and I know that Debby would love to receive your feedback.. It would be great if you could share the interview on your social media as well. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Caribbean and Canada Customs by D.G. Kaye


If you would like to share some of your posts on travel to anywhere, by any means of transport and pass on your experience and tips, then details are at the end of the post. Don’t forget it is an opportunity to showcase your blog and your books!

Time for the last in the travel series of posts from D.G. Kaye’s blog. And this week we are off to the Caribbean and more adventures with Customs and Excise!!! First published by Debby Gies in February of 2017.

Welcome Aboard

Hello lovely people! I’ve just returned from the beautiful Caribbean, and although I’m in between my return and part 2 of our winter vacation in Arizona next week and doing lots of laundry, sorting out emails and details for the next trip, and having a few follow up doctor appointments for hubby, I’m dropping in here with a short post.

We had a spectacular vacation of fun and sun. We were blessed to have everything flow beautifully from our departure to Fort Lauderdale, all the way through our return journey home.

Fort Lauderdale

A view from our balcony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

I had hoped to post more on social media, but between our constant busyness and unpredictable internet, as anticipated, I was pretty much absent on the web. While at sea, the days magically turned into night so effortlessly that time drifted by.

We were up early daily, eating breakfast on the balcony before we headed out by 9am-ish to either our lounge chairs at the pool or exploring on the shores. All the years I’ve been with my husband on vacation, he’s been the one to get out by 6am to secure the deck chairs with a towel and chair clips to ensure we ‘got a good spot’ to soak up the rays without being squashed in by too many other chairs enabling us to turn our chairs around as the sun moved. This time was different.

Balcony view on the Caribbean

A view from my cabin balcony in the Caribbean

Our friends who my husband had always got chairs for as well, repaid the favor to allow him to sleep in, and took turns waking at dawn to secure our seats. Chair saving and positioning is an art, and one the six of us are conveniently all fussy about.The weather was gorgeous and hot, particularly when we got out of the Atlantic into the Caribbean.

Balcony view Equinox

Our lovely balcony

We traveled with our friends Lynn and Gary who we’ve been friends with for 6 years now and actually met them on a cruise. They also live in Toronto, and now book our cruises together. We also met up with other friends we’ve made on past cruises, Deb and Sean from the U.K., who also booked the same cruise to once again spend time together. We soaked up the sun daily, laughed a lot, and met more interesting people, Holly and Brad from Vancouver.

The last supper

Last dinner night with friends: Sean and Deb, Hub and me, Lynn and Gary

Travel pals

Holly and Brad

The routine was simple: Get up early, get into the sun or off the ship and back into the sun after a shopping trip, grab a cocktail to go at 4pm back to the room to shower, lounge on the balcony and get ready for dinner, meet at the bar before dinner then go listen to music or dare to visit the casino, or on occasion head to bed at 930pm when we’d all taken in too much sun and fresh ocean air that knocked us right out. That combination is a great sleeping tonic and had me hitting the pillow and knocked out many nights before I could even read a book.

Amazing sunset in the Caribbean

Gorgeous sunset view from our balcony in St. Martin

So, with our busy agenda and lounging life, I didn’t have much opportunity get on the computer. When I did attempt to use the computer by getting up at 6am to try to steal an hour’s time on it, I found every page load was taking 5 minutes and decided I wasn’t going to spend hours in my room on the internet. Intentions were there but I wasn’t going to allow shaky, lagging internet to take over my vacation. Thus, I didn’t visit many blogs or even get to post pictures more than once on Facebook. Eventually I got over the computer withdrawl stage and relaxed in island time. I have to admit, it was quite freeing to do nothing but relax, laugh, chat, and of course, shop, lol.

St. Kitts

I hope to post some notable moments of our trip and some of the places we visited by the weekend. I have a few short days this week to get organized here and get ready to leave for Arizona early next week. And for many of you who have read my book, Have Bags, Will Travel, and know about my struggles with all my luggage and Canada customs, I’ll share an enlightening recap here of my return home to Toronto airport.

First off, I’m proud to announce that I was quite disciplined when it came to shopping this trip. Subsequently, I stayed within my customs allowance, AND BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE.

I’ve made a bit of travel history for myself! But, just because I stayed within the limits doesn’t necessarily mean that Canada customs would take my word for it and may want to have me pulled over for further inspection, so I still felt a little apprehensive.

This time, as usual, they asked me questions about how much I spent and what I was bringing back. And as part of the system, they hand back my declaration card stamped and write a ‘secret code’ number in big red numbers on the card. These numbers always have me perplexed, leaving me guessing as to what fate will be in store for me, so I try to snoop at other people’s cards to see if anyone has the same number as me, or if mine is different, as has been the case many times in the past.

After picking up the luggage from the carousel, we get to either exit the terminal to freedom once handing over that card, or find out we’re being pulled over to the investigation room where they rummage through your luggage to see if they can find something we haven’t declared. I call it the ‘scary room’. I’ve been sent there too many times and done some fancy talking, and gratefully I always managed to get out unscathed.

I had a glimmer of inspiration this time when I noted that the number written on my card this time was ‘111’. Many of you who know my obsession with being guided by angels, may also know that triple sequence numbers, particularly 111 are messages that the angels are around you. I immediately felt calm when I noticed that number.

This was the first time of all my returns home from the Caribbean that I handed in that card after picking up my luggage, and sailed right through customs through the exit doors! A fantastic finish to a fantastic vacation!

©D.G. Kaye 2017

My thanks to Debby for sharing some of her entertaining travel posts and you will find plenty more on her blog, just follow the link at the end of the page. I have read Debby’s book Have Bags Will Travel and I am sure you will enjoy.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

 

How to participate in this series.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 600 posts from 150 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Twenty Years After ‘I Do’ by D.G. Kaye


If you are a frequent visitor to the blog you will have seen D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies here many times as a contributor, commenter and supporter. It is no secret that we are friends. This however, does not influence my views on her books, and this applies to her most recent release. Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging.

 

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

My review for Twenty Years After “I Do”

The emphasis on partnership is present throughout D.G. Kaye’s story of her 20 year marriage to Gordon. Whilst it is clear, that theirs was a wonderful love affair from the beginning, she does not flinch from describing the various aspects of their relationship in a very forthright and honest way.

Their relationship is a May/September love affair that was put to the test from very shortly after their marriage. Despite the nearly 20 years age difference, it was Kaye who suffered a near fatal medical emergency, which brought home the fact, it is not necessarily the older partner, who will be the first to suffer ill health.

The book does highlight that in a relationship where there is a significant age difference, issues arise that might not for a couple the same age. Having children for example, or the dynamics in a relationship after retirement  and natural aging; reversing the traditional roles, as one becomes more dependent on the other.

D.G. Kaye allows us an intimate view into her marriage, encouraging us to look at our own relationships, appreciate how they have triumphed over challenges over the years, and to celebrate the love that endures.

I certainly recommend the book for those who are about to embark on a relationship, whatever the age difference. In this modern day and age, when the pressures on couples and families are ever present, it is very useful to be offered the experience and guidance from someone who has successfully navigated their way through those same obstacles.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077V386TL

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077V386TL

Other books by D.G. Kaye

51ipqxbodml-_uy250_crophave-bags-will-travel

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and as always your feedback is gratefully received.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord posts from Your Archives – Travel Day -Day 1 Arizona Here I Come by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the first post in a four week series from D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies. Originally posts in 2016, this post takes us through just the first day of travel on Debby and her husband’s winter vacation to Arizona for two glorious months. As you will see not plain sailing…although they were not on a boat,  actually there was the limo first and then a plane, but that came with optional extras… Including germ distributing fellow passengers.

Travel Day -Day 1 Arizona Here I Come by D.G. Kaye

plane

The limo was to pick us up at 630 am. I thought this would give us plenty of time to get through the travel ritual and rigamarole one has to endure to get where they’re going to via airplane these days.

After playing switcheroo for a few days, by adding, subtracting, and switching items in my 4 full-sized suitcases, and 3 severely overweight carry-on bags, in efforts to get ready for the trip to Arizona, I was ready. I had been high dosing on homeopathic remedies for a few days to help heal my injured hip and gratefully I had regained more than half the ability back in ease of movement for travel day. Lord knows I needed mobility to lug the lot of bags through airports, customs, on and off carousels, and on and off a shuttle bus from Phoenix airport to the car rental building.

Have Bags Will Travel

We waited for the limo driver to buzz us to inform us he’d arrived, and when the clock ticked 640 am, we began to worry they may have forgotten us, and we’d be getting into morning traffic to and at the airport being that we were flying on New Year’s Eve day. Hub decided to go down to the lobby and check, and sure enough, there he was sitting in the limo, apparently there for half an hour waiting for us. Thanks to our great ‘security’ at the gate of our building (NOT), the driver was told we were coming downstairs, only nobody told the gate such a thing, and so he waited patiently instead of buzzing up to confirm for himself.

I digress, this little incident reminded me of a conversation I had with the management office in my building when we first agreed to move there and I questioned them on the extent of security. Yes, there’s a security guard who opens the gate through the entrance when guests pull in – quite nice, but really irrelevant when they don’t ask where you’re going, or write down a licence and proceed to let anyone in. And yes, our building has a security guard at the desk in the lobby, who is rarely sitting there when anyone who comes to visit me makes their way up to my apartment door without having to buzz up for me to let them up. So when I was concerned about the underground parking and the safety, the management office told me it’s very safe. I pointed out that I didn’t see any cameras and she assured me that anyone would have to come through the security gate to get to the underground. That was not reassuring, so I said, “Ok, let me get this straight, the security at the gate entrance is supposed to make me feel safe? So after something happens to me and I’m left for dead it’s ok because they got a licence number?” How reassuring.”

Anyhoo, after getting to the airport and worrying about huge lines, which didn’t turn out to be too bad, but getting grilled by a grizzly US customs officer about the sandwich I brought to eat on the plane that was considered food that I didn’t check off on the customs form which gave me a choice to tick off of ‘are you bringing into the country … a multiple choice question of , from a farm, dairy, poultry, eg. ‘(there was no tick box for egg salad on a flaxseed wrap). He finally let me pass. Then we whizzed through security after undressing and redressing and proceeded to the gate. The plane was an hour delayed in leaving due to some mysterious unknown reason.

After getting settled in my seat on the aircraft, I once again began to feel as though I was contained in a metal can in a cess pool of germs. The plane was full, with at least 200 and some odd passengers and the heavy-set woman who whooped her cough and didn’t let up for longer than 3 minute intervals with her hyena-like coughing fits. Where was she sitting? Need you really ask? Right behind me!

My hub and I rolled our eyes at one another and bitched back and forth how people who are sick were allowed to fly and spread their germs without at least wearing a mask. We huddled our heads into our jackets as long as we could endure, hoping to stave off her ominous germs. My hub became quite snarly by the time we’d had an hour of whooping woman. He turned to me and asked me how on earth is it possible that every time we travel, we get the sickos behind or beside us. I mean really, what are the bloody odds?
I’ve always been the 1% girl when it comes to the odds of something happening to someone. So once again, I replied to him, “We’re bound to win a lottery one day. Surely all the 1% situations we encounter can’t only be negative ones? We’re gearing up for a big win!

Four and a half hours later, we landed in sunny Phoenix, Arizona. The stunning view of the mountains from the airplane window was like winning a lottery for me. We deplaned and headed through the airport on a very long walk to the luggage carousel. By this time toting my heavy and large overstuffed purse and carry-on bag, while my hub toted the other carry-on and another overstuffed computer bag, we proceeded to the luggage carousel. We loaded a cart that could barely hold 7 pieces of luggage and proceeded to push that through baggage claim to the outside through a busy walkway to the shuttle bus we had to catch, which took us to the car rental.

Once again we off-lifted the bags to lift them back onto the shuttle, only to have to lift them off once again at the car rental. We were grateful for a man who generously offered to lift our bags back onto a cart. I’m sure he could see my hub was worn right out and I was walking with a slow limp. We had only to sign in for the car and load the bags into the car, which became a mathematical puzzle we managed to accomplish.

arggg

We were worn out and feeling pretty broken in the back department when we finally arrived at our rented accommodations and discovered our condo was on the second floor with 2 flights of winding cement stairs. We only had to lift those cases one more time; each of 4 bags weighing nearly 50lbs and the smaller ones at 30 lbs. We both held an end of each bag and with our last ounces of energy managed to get them all up to our floor.

We got inside and saw this beautiful condo we’d be living in for two months, which we could barely appreciate from our worn out state of exhaustion and realized it was already nearing 4.30 pm, New Year’s Eve, and had to run and buy groceries before the stores closed until Saturday. The last thing we felt like doing was go grocery shopping and carry more bags up those stairs, but we did.

We got back, dragging our asses and bags up a few trips from the carpark up the stairs and putting the groceries away, it was nearing 6.30 pm when my phone rang and it was our good friends Larry and Lois who live in Scottsdale, informing us that they’d be over to pick us up at 7.45 pm to go out for dinner.

This was the first New Year’s Eve I can remember ever getting ready to go out in 20 minutes. The food was great, the company was great. We got home by 11pm. I barely got my face washed and creamed, hit the mattress, never saw the ball drop at midnight, and couldn’t think of anything better I’d rather be doing at midnight than sleeping.

Stay tuned for more adventures as they happen!

©D.G.Kaye 2016

Thanks to Debby for her detailed itinerary and it does sound like the condo was worth the effort….

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about some of her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

This amusing memoir by D.G. Kaye is all about the difficulties faced by a shopaholic whose idea of travel centers largely around shopping and getting all her fantastic purchases home without paying excess baggage costs. I could relate to this book really well because I am both of the things the author is; I am a germ fanatic and I love to shop. My shopping also comprises of bulky objects because I collect antique and vintage dolls and books. Have you ever tried to pack three teddy bears, two porcelain dolls, gifts for everyone you know and about twenty vintage books into your return suitcase without it being overweight? I have so I can relate to D.G. Kaye’s weakness for shoes and having to get them back home.

I really laughed at the descriptions of trying to make do with the tiny bathroom facilities on an overnight flight without touching anything. I recently bought my Aunt, who was travelling overnight to Dubai, a pair of soft slippers to wear on the aeroplane so that she would not get dirty socks.

D.G. Kaye has traveled to some interesting places, and it was entertaining to read about some of them and see them through the eyes of a shopper who is focusing mainly on what she can buy. Her reflections on Las Vegas, a city I have never visited, were particularly interesting.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-packer/dp/0992097495

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

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