Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rats! Work Gets in the Way

OK, I was all hyped up about Costa Rica over Labor Day - taking off an extra day on either side of the holiday weekend, but checked next fiscal year's travel schedule to see that I'm scheduled for TWO shows that week (yeah, someone needs to resolve that conflict). So, no trip to the rain forest this year. Where can I travel to instead? Hmm....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Images from the Weekend

In addition to coming up with a totally BRILLIANT idea (yet to be revealed), I did get to experience a bit of Sarasota this past weekend. Here are a few images:



I just LOVE my friend, Matt's house. He has a terrific sense of style - this is his living room. Wonder what he could do with my quirky, cluttered apartment? Hmmm...



Saturday morning was off to the Downtown Sarasota Farmer's Market. It's really grown (pun intended?) since I was there last. On this particular Saturday, an art show was happening. Didn't visit - which was probably good for my pocketbook.



And Saturday afternoon was the quest to "experience" the Amish and Mennonite life for a story I'm working on. Yes, I was lost but found myself again.

And the Next Trip Abroad Is...

Costa Rica. It's not really considered "abroad," is it? It's a country that's been on my radar for the past couple of years and today I was speaking with a travel agent and somehow we veered off Florida to discuss Costa Rica. Plus, this month's "Travel & Leisure" has it as one of its featured destinations - so maybe it's a sign (and you KNOW how I've been listening to signs of late).

I'm trying to make the trip as "economical" as possible and am able to use minimal miles to get there. I'm giving myself one week to plan out an itinerary - lodging and activities and if I can't do it in the budget I set, well, guess I'll have to postpone the journey.

So for now, no Burning Man this year but Costa Rica, here I come (maybe).

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Time to Contemplate

At least thirteen hours were spent in my car this weekend. I headed to Sarasota, a place I consider my second home. It's as though I'm temporarily in Tallahassee and return to my roots every so often.

The drive seems to get longer each time I make the journey, especially the last ninety minutes. But, it's worth it, to see family and friends although I regret not being able to spend "proper" time with everyone - trying to divide myself accordingly.

Two bottles of wine split between myself and ZeldaMae not only resulted in a slight hangover this morning, but a surge of creativity. Alcohol seems to be a bit of a truth and creative serum. I recently heard Gordon Bethune speak, former CEO of Continental Airlines, speak and he agreed. "Over a bottle of wine, we came up with the brilliant idea of flying where people want to go."

Anyway, back to me...With TWO bottles of wine, something incredibly cool evolved from our brainstorming binge. I can't share it (right now), as details need to be worked out

Well, I don't want to jinx anything since details still need to be worked out, but something truly cool came out of brainstorming binge.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cha-ching

I'm back from my Afghanistan trip. The whole experience seems years away. Anyway, just wanted to share the news that TravelPost.com awarded me some of the cash allocated to writers for hotel reviews recently. Their email and notice was a nice welcome home surprise.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

One and a Half Out of Six: New Year's Goals

Well, pursuit of accomplishing my goals for 2006 has been somewhat pitiful. I have one trip abroad planned and that's half a goal (although I've been considering the Burning Man Festival - which could probably count as an international travel destination).

But, I am proud of my proactive efforts to publish more of my work. After much procrastination, I've finally registered with iTravelSyndicate and Associated Content (AC). I haven't posted anything on AC yet, I'm still trying to figure it out.

I'm questioning whether sites like AC are diminishing the definition of journalism, reporting and plain ol' writing. The good and the bad of the web is that everyone can be an expert on just about anything. I suppose this technology (the web) was created to share information and sites like AC or Constant-Content help fulfill that request. They have given us the tools to empower us.

I wonder when we are going to reach a saturation point with those types of sites, as well as Blogs. If everyone is posting on content sites or blogging, who's going to read it? And when is the bubble going to burst with pay-per-click advertising? Is it an intentional circle that we write, post then visit another blogger's or content producer's site and click on their ad? Which puts a dime or two in their pocket. Is that reader a true consumer with an interest in that product? Will the advertisers continue to feel the return on investment?

These are questions for talking heads to discuss. For now, I will continue working on fulfilling my dream.