Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adventure Day 8

Co-Captain's log...Stardate 11.30

Hello, Key West!

Sunset & Margaritas

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventure Day 7

SoBe is SoMe!

After an exhausting day lounging in the Miami sun...we hit the night life that is SoBe.

Here, all the women look like models and the men are flat out GORGEOUS!

I was perfectly comfortable to see all stares be directed at Marc, though I am not sure he would agree with the same comfort level.

After a stroll up and down Ocean Drive, we decide upon "Quinns" for dinner. Ocean Drive dining is beyond compare and we had a perfectly prepared dinner...mine was seared Ahi Tuna with wasabi and Jasmine rice.

After dinner,we went back to the hotel for a little stroll on the beach...well,let's just say that's what our intention was...

Vegas doesn't own all the rights, you know.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Adventure Day 6

South Beach, FL

I'm writing this, sitting on my balcony, enjoying the night breeze and a glass of Cabernet.

We haven't quite made it to the Keys...Do you have any idea how FAR Key West is from NY?

Though our minds were set on Key West, our eyes spotted the white sandy beach of Miami, so we pulled the Starship Escalade over and landed for a few nights. We couldn't have picked a better spot than South Beach, FL. We took in some much needed rays and of course, a few cocktails beachside.

Apparently the Art Basel exhibit is here this week in SoBe.

The town's a buzz over Art and the beach is beautiful!

We thought WE decided to stop here...but of course there are no coincidences.

  This is a close-up view from our balcony...

And this is the view up-close...

Yeah, I know what you're thinking...we thought it too.

 We asked the guy on the beach, who's guarding the ONLY art as far as your eyes can see, "So,what's up with the roses on the beach?"

He said, "I don't know, some big shot artist from NY."

We smiled and said, "No kidding..."

 We knew Jena was once again leading our adventure!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adventure Day 5

Savannah, GA

"Mommy, the Titanic!"
The first time I visited Savannah, GA was in 1998 on a family trip. Jena was about 6 years old. One morning she had gotten up early and stood on our balcony and watched this huge merchant ship floating down the Savannah River. She yelled, "Mommy, the Titanic!" and the very next moment that ship let out an alarmingly loud blow of it's fog horn.  I sprung to my feet, and we stood out there watching this enormous boat float past us. It was one of the best memories with Jena.
Last year on our 'Adventure Trip to Nowhere' we ended up here on Dec 4th...the worst day of the year.
Marc and I managed to get through the day with heavy hearts and puffy eyes.  We stayed at a hotel in town, far away from the river, and tried to enjoy the painfully sweet memories of our last family trip to Savannah.
 ...and somehow we ended up back here again...
This year we stayed at a hotel right on the river.
This year we woke up to the sound of a ship's foghorn deafening blow.
This year I yelled, "Titanic!" and ran to the balcony to watch it float by.
I just love Savannah.
 I love the history, the Live Oak trees heavy with Spanish moss, and who doesn't love all that Southern hospitality?
If you ever make your way to Savannah,'s my 'Top 3 must-see List'
  1. First, go to Huey's on the River for the BEST coffee ever!  I felt like I was in a coffee commercial when I asked our Paula Dean look-alike waitress, "Excuse me, but what brand of coffee do you use?"
She cheerfully said in her charming southern drawl,"Oh Darlin' I'll just share our little secret with y'all." And with that she took out a pen and jotted this on our paper tablecloth:
2. Then walk down River Street and stop here:
You can't miss the wonderful smells seeping out of this place. No one can resist trying a free sample or two of their mouth-watering warm pralines right out of the oven.
3. For dinner and a little history...go here:
Huge thanks to our Facebook friends who kindly answered our quest of, "Where's a good place for dinner?"
Thanks to the suggestion to go to The Olde Pink House , we had a little history lesson (Georgia's First Bank) and a sensational dinner!
When dining here, you must order their "BLT", Fried Green Tomatoes & Sweet Bacon with Black Pepper Thyme Buttermilk dressing.  It's been featured on The Food Network's, "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" ...and Marc agrees whole-heartedly.
But truth be told...the very BEST thing to do in Savannah, by far, make "titanic" fact, make them wherever you go...

"...near, far, wherever you are I believe that the heart does go on...once more you open the door and you're here in my heart "

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adventure Day 4

Co-Captain's date 11.26

We left Richmond,VA with one thing on our minds...

A Margarita, in Key West, watching the sunset over the ocean.

The Starship Escalade had a full tank of gas and off we drove South on I-95 as fast as our radar detector allowed.

Welcome to North Carolina...check

Welcome to South Carolina...check

Welcome to Georgia...check y'all

We only had 3 little hiccups.

1.  A radar detector actually has to be "ON" for it to work.

2. Flying truck tires are not good on the interstate.

3. An odd whining coming from the engine.  

Thankfully, the nice police officer let us off with just a warning...

The Starship Escalade couldn't activate its force field fast enough and it only suffered a minor scuff to the front bumper from the flying truck tire.

And who needs AAA when I've got Mr Fix-it Man...

And at a rest area, Mr Redneck Man couldn't walk by without taking a shot.

He countered by saying, "Well, it is Deer Season after all! "...and wouldn't you know, he got high score.

Adventure Day 3

We woke up refreshed and relieved that we had made it through 'Just Thursday' and were anxious to see what today's adventure had in store.

But where to go from here?

With perfect timing, my friend texted me,'Follow the Sunshine.'

Back in The Starship Escalade...we left Atlantic City and headed South...that is until we ran out of road.

Then our ship came in...

When we arrived at Cape May, NJ our only option was to take the ferry to Delaware.  Like herd of cattle we were corralled in place and  off we sailed.

Side note: for the 30 mile trip it was the best MPG the Starship Escalade has ever seen!

As Marc looked out at the gorgeous panoramic view I can't help but notice the couple in the car next to us...he's asleep and she's reading on a Kindle...I laugh as I think that is a peek into the 'future us'...still traveling...still together...still embarking on an adventure.

Until then, we'll just do our thing...

Me, Marc, and the open road...or sea...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Adventure Day 2

Happy Just Thursday!
( from Atlantic City,NJ)
And for the first time in 5 years it was really...just Thursday.
We slept in...
Enjoyed coffee with a view...

then took the elevator down to the action.
Nothing says holiday tradition like the ringing of slot machines, drunk guys yelling "Yo!" and the smell of stale smoke...ahhhh...the casino...filled to the brim with fellow Just Thursdians.
The quote of the day was, "What did you win, now?"
I have to admit...THAT was fun!
  At dinner we reflected on how much we have to be thankful for and how blessed we are.  Eric is home with my in-laws and extended family enjoying turkey, the fixings, and all that is traditional.  I'm thankful everyone is where they need to be to get through today.
Maybe what we did, and our Mexican meal, isn't exactly tradition,...yet 

 ...but who knows?
We did see a whole bunch of other fellow Just Thursdians enjoying a meal, a smile, and the rattle of casino chips in their pockets!
Nothing will ever be as it was but we will continue to reach for the stars whenever we can.
Now, if you'll please excuse me...I have to run...the paparazzi is chasing Marc...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adventure Day 1

Adventure: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Escalade. Its 13 day mission: to explore strange new lands, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no married couple has gone before...stuck together, no reservations, no search of Sanity.
Margarete A. Cassalina's log, star date 11.23

We drove south on I-87, to 17 South, to the Garden State Parkway toward Atlantic City...why?
Because of this:

You see, last year we decided where to begin our trip by throwing a dart at a map. That dart toss brought us to The Natural Bridge in VA, then our Facebook friends took it from there. This year, we knew Jena would lead the way and we received this flyer in the mail the day we asked, "Wonder where our first stop will be?"...the "13" is what convinced us.

However, the word of 'Just Thursday' must have gotten out and the rooms were we brought in the 'Big Guns', Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner...The Prince of Price negotiation ...Priceline take it away.

Hurray for Harrahs!!

Hope lady luck is on our side...because Mama needs a new pair of Manolo Blahniks

Just a few thoughts from the road...

Travel with an open mind and heart
Enjoy the Adventure that's about to unfold
And wean Marc off the country stations...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Events & Adventures

4 hours
600 people
1.5 million dollars
all for Cystic Fibrosis research.

What a great adieu to the last CF event of the year…leave on a high note and a fist full of cash for the cure.  I'll leave the event with hope for the future, a couple of roses, and a York Peppermint Pattie.

Ahhh, that Peppermint Pattie.  

My very dear friend, Donna, makes sure there are plenty of Peppermint Patties at the Gala in memory of my little girl, Jena.  “Of course they’re there!” Donna always says, “I would never forget her!”

Over a million reasons to be elated
Over a dozen CF events behind me
and only three very painful dates to now endure

I take a deep breath in and sigh as I think of what’s ahead of me.  I take a Peppermint Pattie off the table, and grab Marc’s hand as we walk out Cipriani’s doors down 42nd Street, toward our hotel.

Marc and I recap the success of evening as we stroll hand in hand in the brisk night air.  I just love the vibe of New York City…all the energy, the unexpected, the excitement that defines NYC.  We are here so often that we don’t even bother to read the street signs anymore; we just walk…engrossed in our chat about CF, what we plan to do about the unpleasant upcoming events, and ponder if we should stop at the great wine bar we like on 44th before we call it a night.

Together we seemed to have figured out how to get through in life what most people can’t understand.  Perhaps it’s as easy as just taking that one step at a time, hand in hand, where the streets have no names.  Okay maybe that last part is borrowed from Bono... 

My point?

Life is hard.
Hearts get broken.
Some things are truly out of our control.

All the more reason to control how you handle it.

3 dates left to handle:
December 4th

They have been absolute hell for us since Jena “moved up” in 2006.
One was her last holiday with us
One date I will despise forever
One celebration that's lost it's magic

We keep trying to find new ways to breathe through them. Each year we try to make them bearable. We keep trying.

Last year we believe we found the answer.  Marc & I decided to change things up a bit.  We cancelled Thanksgiving, renamed it “Just Thursday” and escaped on a 10-day adventure to nowhere and didn't return home until December 5th…oh, and we took ALL our Facebook friends along for the ride.  We asked, "North on 95? or West on 80?"  We let our Facebook friends decide "Chattanooga or Memphis?" "Hurricane or Margarita?"

Our impromptu trip turned in to a communal escape from reality...with nothing but a suitcase, a smartphone and a sense of adventure.

Well, after our walk down the streets of NYC it inspired us to do it again.  We are setting out Wednesday night for another adventure to nowhere...

…so, I'm asking, "U2?"

Adventure begins November 23rd...FOLLOW US!

Margarete McCord Cassalina | 

 For those of you new to this, please read  "Just Thursday: The Adventure to Nowhere"