December 31, 2008

Yes, You Can! The Ultimate Guide to Motivation

I can't think of anything better for New Year's Eve than two articles that will get you ready to accomplish great things in 2009. Both essays appear on Zen Habits.

First, for "How to Turn Your Goals into Habits," click here.

Second, for "The Ultimate Guide to Motivation - How to Achieve Any Goal," click here.

Happy New Year!

December 26, 2008

National Geographic Adventure: 100 Best Adventure Books

This isn't a new list, in fact National Geographic Adventure posted their list of Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time in 2004. However, it was new to me and if you're looking for a house-bound adventure for the cold winter months, this list is just the place to start.

December 24, 2008

Pick One Thing That Scares You...

Since this week has a bit of a book theme, I have a book-based challenge for you. I just finished reading a terrific book, The Friday Night Knitting Club. Author Kate Jacobs has woven many themes through her novel but one of my favorites has to do with facing a fear (not too surprising). There is a point in the story where a character addresses the women of the club and declares, "Let's all make a pledge to do something that scares us. Something that will challenge us." I think this is a great idea!

Here's your challenge for the next seven days, think of one thing that makes you uncomfortable (maybe it's holiday related, maybe it's just a personal fear) and tackle it. Be adventurous and try Mabel's turnip casserole, tell your family how much they mean to you, read Philip's manuscript, stop smoking right now, give the holiday toast, register for that class, sing out loud....

You could put this off by turning it into a resolution for 2009... but can you think of a better way to end the current year? What challenge am I going to give myself? After my rant of last week, I think I'll bake a pie.

December 19, 2008

Are You Afraid to Make a Pie?

Earlier this week I wrote about the American Pie Council's national competition, but I've come to realize that MANY people are not only not ready for competition, they have never attempted a pie from scratch. I am embarrassed to admit that I fall half-way into that category.

Oh, I can make a filling with the best of them, it's the crust that scares me. Mine never roll out in a circle, they crumble at the edges, they disintegrate before getting to the pie plate, they're hard to cut with a knife let alone a fork. I have become a firm believer in purchasing the pre-rolled, refrigerated versions -- something that baffles my mother. My mom, who has been to the Pillsbury Bake-Off so many times that she (and her children) are ineligible for all future Bake-Offs; whose favorite childhood memories involve snowy days and mincemeat pie, has raised a daughter who runs an adventure group, writes an adventure blog and is afraid of pie crust.

Well, my mother will be happy to know that the Pie Council wants to help all of us (OK, me) to develop a new skill. From now through December 23, there will be pie pros manning the Crisco Pie Hotline who are ready to answer questions, supply tips and cheer us on. These happy helpers can be found at 1-877-FOR-PIE-TIPS (1-877-367-7438).

If you are a visual learner and you want (need) more help, you can go to "Pie Central" at where there are videos with step-by-step instructions on crust making and more pie tips. How can we go wrong?

December 17, 2008

36 Best Travel Ideas for 2009

The TimesOnline has prepared a list of 36 adventures to make sure that 2009 is anything but dull. Grab a pen and get out your datebook because the Times was nice enough to put their list in chronological order.

Beginning in January, you can pair free space on your calendar with a Mudbath in Essex (January 4), the Picasso-Cezanne exhibit in Aix-en-Provence, France (opens May 25), the oldest street fair in Ireland (August 10), or the Mevlana Dervish Festival in Turkey (Dec. 10). Click here to read the entire list.

What's that? You still have 6.5 days of vacation and 13 sick days? Well it's the TimesOnline to the rescue again. Here's their much abbreviated version of Lonely Planet's top travel spots for 2009.

December 15, 2008

The American Pie Council Wants YOU!

I have to admit that I only recently discovered that there is an organization called the American Pie Council. Just saying the name makes me happy. Even better, the American Pie Council is calling ALL pie bakers (amateurs, kids and pros alike) to compete in the 15th Annual National Pie Championships, April 24-26 in Orlando.

There are 15 separate categories for amateurs ranging from Apple, Citrus and Cream to Pumpkin, Splenda and Open. The top three winners in each division take home $100, $150 or $200. The pie baker earning "Best in Show" also gets a Sears Kenmore range and the top cash prize of $5,000.

If you aren't quite ready for competition but you think it's high time you had credentials to back up your baking, you can become a card-carrying member of the American Pie Council here. (I hear they're nice but a little flaky....)

December 10, 2008

Meteor shower: Geminids

The annual Geminid meteor shower began on December 7 and will peak this week during the evening of December 13. Sadly, a very bright moon is expected to obscure all but the brightest meteors. For the best viewing, grab a heavy blanket and a lawn chair then look up between 10pm and dawn. If you're patient and in a location without a lot of light pollution, you can expect to see a meteor (shooting star) streak overhead every couple of minutes.

If you'd like more information about the Geminids, where the meteors come from and why this particular meteor shower is a little unusual, check out this nice article by Mark at Meteorblog.

December 8, 2008

Make a REAL Figgy Pudding!

"Oh, bring us a figgy pudding, oh, bring us a figgy pudding, oh, bring us a figgy pudding and bring it right now!"

Sure, you've heard of figgy pudding but I'm willing to bet that even though it's been around for more that 600 years, you've never tasted one let alone prepared one. Well, girls, this is the year to change all that.

First, let's get rid of the confusion about the word "pudding." Figgy pudding isn't something you mix with milk and top with Cool Whip. This kind of pudding is really a dense, moist cake that is steamed instead of baked. It is very easy to make, it's yummy (a lot like carrot or spice cake), and it's sure to be a hit at the holiday dinner table.

According to Better Homes & Gardens, "The original figgy pudding, thought to have been created sometime in the 1400s, was a dish of dried figs, dates, raisins, and spices boiled in almond milk." Speaking of Better Homes & Gardens, I've been using the magazine's recipe since December '02 when it first appeared and I've made a lot of puddings since then. This year, I invite you to be an adventurous woman and give it a try. If you're feeling really adventurous, try the flaming presentation described at the end of the recipe. Oh, don't forget the Hard Sauce!

Tastes a lot like a warm, moist spice cake. Yum.
Stand: overnight
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Cool: 10 minutes
Serves: 8

½ cup snipped dried figs *
¼ cup orange liquor (triple sec, grand Marnier, Cointreau or curacao) or orange juice
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup milk
¼ cup chopped dates
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup coarsely chopped almonds
¼ cup walnut pieces
¼ cup brandy (for impressive presentation option)
1 recipe Hard Sauce (follows)

1. Soak figs in orange liquor (or orange juice) overnight. In a bowl beat together butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Add flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, and pepper; beat on medium speed until combined. Stir in undrained figs, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, dates, raisins, almonds, and walnuts until combined.
2. Butter (or coat with nonstick cooking spray) a 1-quart heatproof pudding mold, bowl or casserole. Spoon batter into the pudding mold and cover the top with a double layer of aluminum foil. Press foil firmly around edges of mold to seal. Place pudding mold on a rack in a deep pot. (Rack can be a small cookie rack, or several tuna-sized cans with the tops and bottoms cut out.) Add boiling water to a depth of about 1 inch. Put lid on pot. Bring to a gentle boil and steam for 60-75 minutes or until a long wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Add more boiling water to the pot as necessary. (AWB: check every so often to make sure the pot does not boil dry.)
3. Remove mold from pot. Cool pudding for 10 minutes; remove pudding from mold. Serve slices with Hard Sauce.
4. Impressive presentation option: If desired, just before serving, heat brandy in a small saucepan until it almost simmers. Carefully ignite brandy with a long match. Pour over pudding. Serve immediately with Hard Sauce.

Hard Sauce: In a small mixing bowl beat together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, ¼ cup softened butter, and 2 tablespoons brandy (or ½ teaspoons vanilla) with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Cover and chill to harden, about 30 minutes. Makes ½ cup.

*Snipping figs is easier if you lightly coat your scissors with vegetable oil. Dried figs can get quite hard. If your figs aren’t snippable, microwave them along with a teaspoon of water for about a minute or until they soften.

Plagiarized from Better Homes and Gardens; December 2002

December 5, 2008

Learning vs. Achieving

Take 20 seconds to consider this: When you are faced with a task, is your goal to learn from it or to be as successful as possible? The approach you take can affect how you deal with your day and the difficulties you may encounter. Here's a quick article to help you deal with successes and setbacks.

November 28, 2008

Can You Conquer Your Fears?

Everyone is afraid of something but do your fears keep you from enjoying life? Do they make you too dependent on others? Do they prevent you from being the person you want to be? There is a nice article at Zen Habits about all of this. Author Doug Heacock gives you "Five Great Ways to Conquer Your Fears."

November 21, 2008

Go Weightless: Try a Zero Gravity Flight

I've seen TV personalities laughing and floating on zero gravity flights but I never thought of it as an experience for the common woman. Well, I was wrong. If you have been saving your pennies (lots of them) you too can walk on the ceiling, gulp floating water droplets and have the time of your life.

Charles Platt has written a terrific article for Boing Boing about his experience aboard G-Force One, the special aircraft used by the Zero Gravity Corporation. The flights offered by Zero G are the only way one can experience weightlessness without going into space. The company uses parabolic flights to help passengers become lighter than air -- the same method that NASA uses to train astronauts. Anyway, Platt's article is both entertaining and informative and worth a read.

Just in case you're thinking you're too old for weightlessness, one of Platt's fellow riders was a woman who had signed on as a way to celebrate her 90th birthday. And, in case you're wondering why anyone would want to do this, here are a few words from Zero Gravity Corporation Cofounder Peter Diamandis as they appear in Platt's article:
“I’ve experienced it 70 times, and it’s still an amazing amount of fun. It’s a sense of pure joy, a magic show, a feeling of bliss, a return to a childhood state. It creates a true sense of wonder. It’s hard, as an adult, to have a new experience that is so transcendent, because normally everything you do is a slight variation of something else you’ve already done. But here is something completely different and wonderful.”

November 17, 2008

Skiing & Snowboarding Just for Women: Telluride's Women's Weeks for 2009

Sure the holidays are coming but put down your to-do list for a moment and think about the fun of skiing in the Rockies come January, February and March.

Telluride, Colorado, is going to host three separate "Women's Week" programs in 2009. Each "week" (actually a few days) is devoted to women learning from and skiing (or snowboarding) with other women. Each Women's Week begins with a welcome reception, instruction, video analysis of ski technique, after ski events, celebration dinner, stretching, spa, discounts, gifts and more.

For more information on each event, click on a date below. Or you can visit and click on the Ski and Snowboard School link.

Dates for Women's Weeks 2009 are:

January 21 – 23, 2009

February 8-12, 2009

March 1-5. 2009

image from Dreamstime

November 14, 2008

Books Can Have Adventures, Too

"...BookCrossing, where books have adventures of their own."

I haven't put this to the test yet but here's the concept: Your pile of paperbacks is taking over your living area and it's time to clean house. What to do?

1. Go to, open an account and register your surplus titles.
2. As you get a registration number for each book, type in where you plan to "release it." You can "release it into the wild," which means leave it so a stranger can find it or you can do a "controlled release," which means hand it to someone you know.
3. Paste a BookCrossing label and the registration number onto the book you are about to release.
4. Release the book.

Since your book has a registration number, the person who finds it (receives it) can look it up on BookCrossing and see where it's been. When the new reader is ready to release the book again, they can go to BookCrossing and type in the new release location. You'll be able to follow your book as it travels the world with assorted readers. According to BookCrossing's homepage, they currently have 724,017 registered humans and 5,215,158 registered books all around the planet.

November 12, 2008

Start a book club

You may be wondering how a book club could be adventurous. Well, if your reading has become limited to waiting room magazines or books for baby then a novel would be an adventure. If you ALWAYS read the same author/series/genre then branching out would be an adventure. If you are shy about expressing your opinion in front of a group then discussing a controversial book would be an adventure. If your days are filled with meetings or diapers or driving or anything that doesn't involve having relaxing fun and using your mind then a book club would be an adventure.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Call a bunch of friends and ask them if they want to start a book club. If you don't find a lot of interest have your friends invite some friends.
2. Hold a meeting (food and drink are always good here) and set up your ground rules.

Ground rules? Yep, here are some basics that will help you get things rolling. How many women should participate (just a few, the whole apartment building)? How often will you meet? How will you pick your books? Where will you meet? Will food be part of every meeting? Once you've got these basic areas covered you're good to go.

Listed below are a few online links to help you get your book club off to a great start: is a great place to buy books for a group. The site offers good prices and free shipping for orders over $25. has links to discussion starters for a lot of popular titles, the site also has a list of general questions that can apply to most books. has discussion help as well as information about every other book club issue including on-line book clubs.

For FREE advance copies of new releases, check out Random House's e-newsletter

November 7, 2008

Why Obsession Can be a Good Thing

Piggybacking on yesterday's post about finding your "other" life. Here's an inspirational article from Zen Habits. Click here to learn why "Discovering your Obsession Can Lead to Your Greatness."

November 6, 2008

What's Your "Other" Life?

I became aware of “other” lives a few years ago when the two people who shared a nearby office told me about theirs. Yvonne revealed that after she left work, she became the late-night voice of a local radio station. I was stunned by this and then Ted disclosed that he spent his other life as the play-by-play man for college football. I was embarrassed that my other life revolved around sitting on a couch or possibly grocery shopping.

Since my initial discovery, I have learned that many people complement their “pay-the-bills” or “take-care-of-the-family” lives with other lives. Here are just a few of the real people I know: Christine is a curator by day but in her other life she is a make-up consultant for Chanel, Cynthia is a rocket scientist with NASA as well as an accomplished martial artist, Maria teaches special needs children and runs marathons, Lori is a nutritionist who travels the world as an amateur astronomer, Karen is a research scientist who spends her free time on a Harley.

Each of these women found that it was important to not only have a career but to follow a dream. What about YOU? If you don't have an other life, think about what you have always wanted to do. What would make your life more fulfilling-interesting-fun?

Stuck? Why not make a list of all of your interests, and see if anything sparks your imagination? If you're like me, this task may give you instant brain freeze so here's some help. Click here for Wikipedia's very long list of hobbies and here for another 206 ideas from NotSoBoring

I'm happy to say that I have another life these days and its keeping me off the couch. What's YOUR other life?

November 5, 2008

The Adventure Starts Here.

In these first few hours following the most amazing presidential election in my lifetime (in the history of this country!) I am stuck on the thought that no matter what you want out of life, it is do-able. Dreams do become reality. So today, while the hum of possibility still electrifies the air, think about what inspires you. Think about the adventurous path you want to follow. Grab a piece of paper and write down what you want to accomplish in life. Tack it to your refrigerator, look at it everyday and say to yourself, "I can do it, yes I can!"

October 31, 2008

It's Halloween: Give Blood

You think of Halloween and you think of scary stuff like blood and vampires and, of course, treats! Why not combine all of that into a nice community service activity?

According to the Red Cross, "...virtually all of us will face a time of great vulnerability in which we will need blood." Yet, they report that very few of those who can give actually donate.

Does the thought of giving blood make you nervous? Perfect! This IS a blog that encourages you to expand your comfort zone and it IS Halloween! So click here to find a donation location near you. You'll be conquering your fears and, best of all, the Red Cross staff always gives you a treat when you're done.

Happy Halloween!

October 29, 2008

Timely Attractions

Uptake Attractions Blog has three timely posts for this week. Click below to learn more about haunted corn mazes, the best baseball museums between the World Series cities, and lovely fall drives in Minnesota.

Top 10 Ways to Get Scared in a Corn Field

Top 10 Baseball Museums from Philadelphia to Tampa

Beautiful Fall Drives in Minnesota

October 24, 2008

Dig This: You Can Drive a Bulldozer for FUN!

Admit it, you've always wanted to drive one of those huge earth-moving machines. You aren't alone. Dig This, the country's first heavy-equipment play area, gets almost 50% of it's business from adventurous women. The Steamboat, Colorado-based, company has opportunities for individuals or groups (adventure clubs!) to take control of excavators, skid loaders and bulldozers for a half day or a full day of fun.
The folks at Dig This will make sure you're well trained so don't worry about having previous experience. Prices range from $250 for a half day with the skid steer loader ("the sports car of heavy equipment") to $650 for a full day with the excavator and bulldozer and lunch.
But wait! There's more! Dig This just announced plans for a new Excavate and Exfoliate program; an adventure, lodging and spa package that combines the big toys at Dig This with the spa at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Watch this space for details....
Images courtesy of Dig This

October 22, 2008

Ghost Hunters Wanted: Become a Paranormal Investigator

TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) has become famous as the Sci Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters investigative team. The show always offers some spooky fun but for a more 3-D adventure TAPS offers Paranormal 101 classes.

According to their web site, "Paranormal 101 will prepare you for an investigation. This course will cover everything from the initial client email through the investigation to the resolution." The next class, the only one this month, is scheduled for October 26 at the Colonial House Inn, Yarthmout Port, MA. Most classes are held at the TAPS office in Warwick, RI.
Don't have time for a class? Can't get to New Hampshire or Rhode Island? TAPS' Grant Wilson has written an article on launching your own ghost hunting career. For TAPS' library of articles on everything from buying haunted objects to fairies to demonology FAQs, click here.

October 20, 2008

Meteor Shower Tomorrow Night

Here's a quick backyard adventure for those of you with minimal light pollution. The annual Orionids meteor shower will be streaking overhead tomorrow night, October 21. Settle into a comfy chair (and a warm sleeping bag) in the pre-dawn hours and watch 10-15 for shooting stars per hour. For a better show (but possibly cooler conditions), the Geminid display on December 14 should feature around 75 meteor streaks per hour and the Quadrantid shower on January 4 may grace us with 100 meteors per hour.

Meteor showers peak on a specific day but meteors can be seen in the night sky a day or two before and after the peak.

Looking for a little more background on meteors? Click here for Sky and Telescope's Meteor Primer.

October 15, 2008

Build a House with Habitat for Humanity

Did you know that by the end of this year, women will have built more than 1,400 homes for Habitat for Humanity? I don't mean that there was a woman here or there, I mean that the women of Women Build created those homes.

Women Build, part of Habitat for Humanity International, began in 1998 and has spent the last decade working to eliminate poverty housing. The program has a variety of hands-on ways for YOU to get involved. Training is available so a lack of construction experience is not a problem Click here to learn, work, and contribute.

I think this would be a fantastic opportunity for any adventure club.

October 10, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Colleen Fant Blogs About Her Experiences at a Health Clinic in Ghana

I've been reading this intriguing blog for weeks now. Colleen Fant, a recent graduate of Northwestern University, packed her bags and moved to Ho, Ghana in August 2008 to be a public health worker at the HOPE clinic. Colleen will live in Ghana until next June and is spending those months sharing her thoughts and experiences with readers back home. Her insights are interesting and frank and encompass, as she says, "the good, the bad and the ugly." You can share Colleen's adventure here.

October 8, 2008

Take a Segway Tour: it's the most fun you'll have all week!

Last weekend my adventure group spent a beautiful day touring Washington, DC on Segways and I have to say that if you haven't tried a Segway, you should put it at the top of your adventure list.

What's a Segway? Imagine you're standing on a small platform with a wheel next to each foot and bar with hand grips in front of you. A Segway has only two wheels but balances beautifully with the help of hidden gyroscopes and motors that I won't attempt to explain. The result is that you simply apply more pressure to the front of your feet to roll forward. To stop, shift the pressure to your heels. To turn, you shift your body weight to the left or right.

Our three-hour tour started in the office. We signed release forms, handed over a credit card for a damage deposit (returned in full after the tour), watched a brief safety video and then moved to an alley for a few minutes of personal instruction. I think we all spent about three block getting used to the machine's sensitive nature and speed and then suddenly we realized that we didn't have to think about what we were doing. Driving the Segway became so second nature it felt like it could read your mind.

Our tour took us down sidewalks, along the National Mall, and past all the most famous DC attractions and crowds of tourists. We stopped once to stretch our legs but honestly no one wanted to stop at all. In fact, one of my team kept saying, "I don't want to get off!"

Segways can cruise along at about 12 miles per hours making them a hot trend in law enforcement and, of course, the tourist industry. To see the Segway in action, click here. To take a guided tour on a Segway near you, click here then go to "guided tours" at the very top of the page. You'll find links for cities across the US and around the world.

I spent $70 for three hours and it was money very well spent!

October 6, 2008

Belly Dancing

Over at the Mommy-Muse Blog there is a nice post about belly dancing for women who are expecting or who have just had a baby. This is probably something you want to discuss with your doctor if you're pregnant but it does sound like a lot of fun.

October 3, 2008

Adventurous Treks: Get In Step!

When is walking an adventure? When that walk is one of the 50 best hikes on the planet.
The Adventure Blog had a nice little review of the Sunday Times' (London) article, The World’s Best Treks, from a grade-one pub stroll right up to a grade-five yeti hunt. Ranked by difficulty, the list of great hikes spans the globe with walks for novices and athletes alike.

When is walking an adventure? When that walk is one of the top 10 hikes in the US. has posted their list -- in no particular order -- of the 10 best treks in the States.

When is walking an adventure? When it gets you to change your routine and try something new. Next time you go to Google for directions, try their WALKING option and get across town in a whole new way. Visit Google Maps for directions and look for the little drop-down menu below the destination's address box. You can choose " by car" or "walking."

Do you regularly walk your city? Want to know how your area ranks compared to the rest of the country? Check out Walk Score. This site ranks 2,508 neighborhoods in 40 U.S. cities according to their walkability.

September 29, 2008

It's National Coffee Day: Try a cup of Kopi Luwak

If you saw "The Bucket List" you know that Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world. You also know that it is created through a process that only an adventurer could love. Since today is National Coffee Day, it seems only fitting that an adventurous woman should forgo her usual Starbucks latte or mug of Folgers and choose something a bit more exotic.
The Kopi Luwak process does not begin with Juan Valdez and his mule, it begins with something smaller and furrier, the Common Palm Civet. The civiet, which looks a little like a monkey-cat, eats the raw, red coffee "cherries" as part of its usual diet. Because the hard inner beans don't digest, they travel through the civet's digestive tract intact. Enterprising local citizens collect the beans from civet feces and sell them to dealers.
Considered the rarest coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak is very expensive. Shopping around the web I found prices ranging from $100 to $300 per pound. However, I'm not sure how you go about verifying that you are buying the real thing so actually purchasing Kopi Luwak may be the most adventurous part of the coffee.

September 24, 2008

Road Trip! All National Parks are FREE this Weekend!

The Adventure Blog is reporting that the National Park Service has declared that all 147 parks will waive their admission fees this weekend. NPS is celebrating National Public Lands Day on September 27 and honoring new U.S. citizens on the 28th.

In addition to waiving entrance fees, national parks and other public lands will host special programs and volunteer projects on Saturday to commemorate the 15th annual National Public Lands Day.

In all 50 states, volunteers can take part in projects to improve public places. Last year, more than 110,000 people helped with tasks such as planting trees, building trails, or removing invasive plants. Anyone who volunteers at a National Park Service area on National Public Lands Day will receive a free one day pass valid for future use at any site.

Grab your Adventure Club and volunteer your time, plan a girls' day out or take this opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of our natural treasures on your own.

For a list of National Parks by state, click here. To get to the official site of a particular park click here and type in its name. For a list of parks and sites under the National Park Service in alpha order and links to their official pages, click here.
Photo credit: William Bradfield

 Links updated 4/17/2010

September 17, 2008

Go Yurt!

In my opinion, fall is the best time for camping: the days are warm and dry, the nights are cool and dry and you have two chances to catch meteor showers in the evenings.

What's that? Your tent has collapsed from overuse? You don't own a tent? You don't WANT to own a tent?
How about a Yurt!

A yurt?
The housing unit of choice among nomads in the Eastern hemisphere, yurts are circular, portable and roomy. However, since most people in the West don't store theirs in the basement with the holiday decorations, there are a number of places that are happy to rent a yurt for the night.
For a lot more information about living in the round, check out this article from "How Stuff Works." Still not sure if yurting is for you? Click here.
Now, go find a yurt in your neck of the woods:

Yurts for 5 in Oregon state park:
Yurts in Vermont

Yurts in Georgia state parks

Yurts at Nickerson State Park, MA

Yurts in Utah

Photo credit: A yurt in Bobby Brown State Park in Elberton, Ga

September 15, 2008

Are You Game? Road Trip

Women's Health Magazine just concluded their "Are You Game? Road Trip" where for one week they challenged readers to escape their comfort zones and join organizers on California adventures ranging from snorkeling to kiteboarding to star gazing. (OK, they also made a stop in Las Vegas for indoor skydiving.) Although their efforts were limited to one week and one area of the States, this is a concept that any adventure club can embrace.

What do YOU want to do? Grab your friends and plan a weekend, plan a week-long road trip, plan a year's worth of adventures. In her final entry on the Road Trip Tracker blog, Suzanne Neubauer's words summed up everything good about adventure:

The goals don't have to be climbing Mt. Everest or doing the Ironman, but they should have you stepping out of your comfort zone and facing some fears. Seeking adventure in all aspects of your life makes it worthwhile. There is a certain exhilaration that is experienced when you succeed at something you've never tried before. Take the road less traveled and remember it's all about attitude. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun!

September 12, 2008

Be a Force of Nature: Help in a Disaster

Hurricane Ike is closing in on Texas and the citizens of Galveston and surrounding regions are moving out. Saturday, the storm is expected to destroy homes, utilities and change the lives of everyone in its path.

If you're reading this it's probably because you're fortunate enough to not have to worry about Ike but disasters can touch all of us at any time. Are YOU ready to step up and help your friends and neighbors?

We all know that the American Red Cross is one of the first to provide assistance and they always look for funds to support their efforts. You can donate to the Red Cross here. But there is a way that you can be in the heart of disaster relief.

Check out the courses offered by the FEMA's Emergency Management Institute. Their independent study classes cover topics including disaster logistics, emergency communications, service to disaster victims and more. FEMA also uses trained reservists to step in to assist in disasters around the country. For more about FEMA jobs, click here.

You CAN make a difference!

Photo courtesy of NOAA

September 10, 2008

Recipe from "Bizarre Foods"

It just wasn't right to promote an adventure where you watch a man have all the fun so, I'm happily sharing one of the Travel Channel's "bizarre" recipes so you can make some fun of your own.

I've eaten chicken feet and it's not too different from gnawing on a chicken wing -- not a lot of meat but if the seasoning is good the experience is satisfying.

Bon appetite!


32 chicken feet (about 2 lbs.)
1/2 cup sake
1/3 cup water
6 large thin slices fresh ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese yellow rock sugar
2 dried hot chiles, crushed
2T oyster sauce
2T hoisin sauce
2 star anise buds
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup scallion cut in 1” pieces
2T minced scallion and 1t toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Rub chicken feet with kosher salt and let stand for 10 minutes, rinse in cold water.
Place feet into a pot of rapidly boiling salted water, blanch for 5 minutes and drain well. Chicken feet can be set aside and refrigerated for a day until you need to cook further.
Place a 14 inch saute pan over high heat.
Add the chicken and dry-sear to lightly brown.
Add the remaining ingredients (except the garnish) and bring to a simmer.
Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes.
Uncover, and simmer until pan is almost “dry,” tossing frequently to coat the feet as the sauce reduces.
Serve, garnishing with scallion shavings and toasted sesame seeds.

September 9, 2008

Follow Adventurous Woman's Trip to the Arctic

Join Jessica Robertson, Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey, as she travels to the Arctic aboard the U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy. Our adventurous woman is traveling with scientists from the U.S. and Canada on their collaborative mission to map the sea floor. You can share the adventure from September 6 through October 1, 2008 as Jessica records her thoughts, her photographs and maps her route here.

September 8, 2008

Take the President's Challenge Adult Fitness Test

Remember that award from the President's Council on Physical Fitness? We spent hours in PE running and exercising in the hopes of earning a certificate and a dark blue patch with a golden presidential eagle.

Even if your gym teacher is long past retirement, you can't escape the fitness challenge from the White House. Click here to learn more about the President's fitness tests: aerobic, strength & endurance, flexibility, and body composition. You can enter all your test data online and receive instant fitness scores along with tips for improving. My suggestion: try it today, set some reasonable goals and then try it again in a few months. Challenge YOURSELF and see what you can accomplish over the next year.

Go put on your Keds or your PF Flyers and give it a shot. It'll make you feel like a kid again!

Image courtesy of the President's Challenge Program.

September 5, 2008

Facing Fear

I started taiji (tai chi) four years ago for a variety of reasons. At that time, I knew very little about the sport and had no idea that taiji was a martial art, that every posture had a martial application, that swords could be (would be!) involved, and that there were taiji competitions. Participating in a martial arts tournament had never, ever been on this soccer mom's radar screen. But life can take some unexpected turns.

Three weeks ago, dressed in silk , I was standing just outside a large rectangle made of blue tape. It was one of about a dozen “rings” that sectioned off the carpet of a Marriott hotel ballroom. Every ring had a head judge seated at a table along the side and additional judges planted in chairs at the corners. All of them held dry erase boards and markers for scoring. The spectators and other competitors occupied the rows of chairs nearby.

Each ring was dedicated to a different art. Those closest to me were dedicated to karate and to competitors with weapons (sword, staff, saber, etc.). The farthest side of the room was for wushu (think Jet Li and Jackie Chan). Wushu had the largest and most vocal audience. Their chanting and cheering echoed off the walls and settled over ring 5 where I stood, waiting to be called.

I was definitely feeling the pressure. Part of me prepared to do my best taiji: slow, soft movements, high kicks, low drops and perfect turns. Part of me REALLY wanted to run away. Fast. I guess that’s the “fight or flight response.”

Choose: do it or run.

I was thinking about all the reasons to run, “What if I forget my routine? What if I disgrace myself? What if I disgrace my school?”

Then I reminded myself, “This isn’t life or death; it’s an ADVENTURE! It’s all about BEING here. About participating and controlling fear enough to ENJOY being here.”

Three weeks later, I can’t brag about my performance but I am proud of myself for doing it. I am pleased that I faced my fear and had a great time to boot. I think I'll try it again next year -- with a sword!

September 4, 2008

September is Yoga Month

Ok, I'm a tiny bit late with this announcement but according to Diane Cesa's 3rd Living Yoga Bulletin, this is Yoga Month! For a schedule of activities around the country, click here. For information about Health Magazine's "Here Come's the Sun" event in NYC's Central Park on September 27, click here. If all else fails, click over to Diane's Everything Yoga Blog or click here to find a yoga school in your area.

September 3, 2008

San Shou (Sparring) Day 1

When I was about 18, an artist friend of mine, who also practiced the fighting arts, thought it would be very edgy to photograph me wearing a lot of his Everlast gear, looking tough and beating up his punching bag. I gave it my best effort but I just couldn't pull off a Hilary Swank. (Sorry Carl.) Fast forward 30 years to this weekend when I donned my own pair of hand wraps, a borrowed pair of gloves and took my first real steps into the world of sparring.

San shou (sparring) is a Chinese martial art involving punching and kicking. Similar to kick boxing but with different competition rules, it's a good way to burn off extra physical and mental energy.

Since I am currently the only woman in this class (the only pedicured foot practicing kicks) and I'm twice as old as some of the guys, I'm happy that we'll be punching our padded instructor and not each other -- for awhile. But age and gender aren't a reason to hang back. I know another woman who takes San shou. she has a dozen years on me and a scary-strong left punch. I want to grow up to be just like her.

September 1, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

Andrew at "VeryGoodTaste" has presented a challenge to the bloggers of the world. He would like to see his list of "must try" foods appear on computer screens across the planet. I see this list as a life-long food adventure. Here's Andrew's list, how many have YOU tried?

The Omnivore’s Hundred

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

August 29, 2008

Adventure Club in Australia

Sue Hile of the Australian travel firm Adventurous has been reading Adventurous Women Blog and likes the idea of Adventure Clubs so much that she's decided to start her own. If you're going to be in Perth on September 5, hook up with Sue for the big launch of her Women's Adventure Club. Click here for more information.

August 27, 2008

Extreme Tree Climbing

Remember being a kid and climbing that big tree in the backyard and feeling like queen of the world because you could see into your neighbor's yard? Well, these days the trees are bigger, the climbing is higher and the views are MUCH better. Happily there are also ropes, safety harnesses, helmets and guides. TreeHugger has an article about extreme tree climbing and some links to get you and your adventurous friends headed to the woods.

Three sites mentioned in the article:

Tree Climbers International

Treetop Trekking in Ontario

Photo courtesy of Tree Climbers International

August 26, 2008

From the Blogs: Weird Fruit Fun

Treehugger has a nice article to introduce you to the pros (and cons) of some fruits from around the world: the creamy biriba, the famously stinky durian, the mangosteen (all the rage on food blogs), and the beautiful salmon berry.

SeriousEats has an article about the jackfruit, "the largest tree born fruit known to man." The jackfruit is said to be not only large but odoriferous -- though not as smelly as the durian.

Finally, SeriousEats also gives us a post on pulasans and rambutans. These red, spiky, hair fruits look a lot like toys my kids throw at each other. Said to be protected by vicious fire ants, fruit lovers think they're worth the effort.


updated 1/19/2012

August 25, 2008

Motorcycle Misadventures

I've been building a list of helpful links on the lower right side of this blog page. This resource is a work in progress but at the moment you'll find sites to help you with everything from getting your passport to finding a corn maze to locating the world's best fireworks or America's weirdest roadside attractions.
The newest link is for motorcycle lovers. Motorcycle Misadventures is a blog offering reviews, tips, news and everything else for women who want to hit the open road on two wheels.
Want to know more about getting your motorcycle license? Click here.

Photo courtesy of American Honda

August 22, 2008

Why We Need Adventure

Over at National Geographic Adventure Blog, Laurence Gonzales, the author of Everyday Survival and Deep Survival has posted #5 in his Deep Survival series. This article, entitled "How Hypersensitivity Can Save Your Life" makes some interesting points about new experiences and how they train your brain to help you survive (just don't let the crocodile story put you off).

"...When you go to the wilderness or an exotic land, what you’re implicitly saying is: Surprise me. Seeking novelty and surprise, doing what you’re not used to doing, is a prescription for triggering that ancient perceptual richness that helps us to live more fully."

Read the full article here.

updated 1/19/2012

August 21, 2008

Labyrinth Event in San Francisco

From Roberta Sautter, Veriditas

The Women's Dream Quest, will be held October 28-29, 2011 at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. You get to spend the night IN the cathedral, which is very cool. Click here for more information.

Adventurous Woman: Anchor Leaves News Desk to Follow Her Dream

Kathy says goodbye to follow her dream
Local news anchor going to Indonesia to help Red Cross

Posted By Ben Benedict on

Kathy Mueller, following her own destiny, wrapped up 20 years in media this week to take the long walk to the other side of the table. She’s off to Banda Aceh, Indonesia where the 2004 tsunami hit hardest to work with the Red Cross as an information and community outreach delegate...

...Upon completing her five-year anchor commitment last fall she made the final decision to get into humanitarian aid and began making phone calls that got the people’s attention in Ottawa. She began studying French and took a course in international humanitarian law.

“I was doing what I could to be involved. I also applied to do a basic training course and the person in Indonesia at that time decided to go back to school. I’m not running off to save the world. It’s something that’s been stewing in my mind for a few years and it seems like the right time. I’ve gone as far as I can here and its time for a new challenge.”

Read the full story here.

August 20, 2008

Labyrinth: A Maze or Something More?

Some use the terms labyrinth and maze interchangeably but there are differences. A maze, like a corn maze, is a puzzle of multiple paths, dead ends and separate entrances and exits.

Looking at the picture above, you will notice that the labyrinth's winding pathway does not have dead ends and is not hidden by high walls. In fact, you can see the layout of the entire design at a single glance. Ultimately, where a maze is a fun way to lose yourself, a labyrinth can be a way to find what you have lost.

There is only one path in a labyrinth and it takes you to the center of the circuitous design. To exit, you must reverse your steps and the entrance becomes the exit. A walker who allows her mind to become peaceful as she travels the labyrinth's path will experience an inner adventure. According to, "...there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received. "

Dating back as far as 5,000 years, labyrinths are found around the globe in many cultures and many spiritual traditions. To find a labyrinth near you, use VeriditasWorld-wide labyrinth locator.

If you are housebound or you need a break at the office, try a virtual labyrinth walk. Labyrinth Online offers two virtual options. The first is modeled after the famous design found in France's Chartres Cathedral. You can “walk” this labyrinth by visually following the ball along the path. The second, classical labyrinth, offers a shorter virtual walk.

Photo credit: Roberta Sautter, Veriditas
updated 1/19/2012

August 18, 2008

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

If you've never been lost in a corn maze you've missed out on the most fun a corn crop can offer. Farmers around the world have been strategically removing stalks to form miles of twisting mystery on the ground and fabulous pictures when viewed from above.
The mazes I have visited provide guests with "maps" (like that helps), a few clues along your route as well as communication areas and tall flags if you need assistance. Some have games and other entertainment to distract you along the way. This kind of fun is limited to late summer when the corn is high and usually lasts until late fall. Many add some spooky effects for Halloween.

To find a corn maze near you, check The Maze a corn maze company with over 330 member mazes worldwide. This is perfect for adventure groups!

August 15, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Adrienne So, Harnessing the Jiggle

Adrienne So isn't all that fond of her breasts, she figures that they're only useful for a few years and then they're just a nuisance. In a burst of creativity, Ms. So decided that there had to be a way to put her "girls" to better use and the concept of powering an iPod by harnessing the jiggle was born.

"As I rode public transportation to the office, my messenger bag slung uncomfortably across my chest, I thought, "Why not put the girls to work?" Human-powered devices are showing up everywhere, from Rotterdam's sustainable dance floor to human-powered gyms in Hong Kong. The time seemed perfect—perhaps even overdue!—for a bra that could harness the untapped power of breast motion.

The idea of an energy-generating bra isn't as crazy as it might sound. A company called Triumph International Japan recently unveiled a solar-powered bra that supposedly will generate enough energy to power an iPod. But I live in foggy San Francisco and prefer not to walk around in my underwear in public. Could someone design an iPod-powering bra for me?"
Read the entire story here.
Posted on "Slate"
By Adrienne So

Running Books

You've decided to spend the next months training for a marathon or a 1/2 marathon....Ok, you've decided to run to Starbucks and back. You've read the inspirational article at Zen Habits, you've got a pack of friends to keep you motivated. What more do you need? How about advice from a running coach? There are loads of books out there but here are two authors that are worth investigating:
First, try Maria's favorite running guru, Jeff Galloway. He's written a variety of books for all kinds of distances. Click here for books to help you run that marathon, 1/2 marathon, or just start down the road to Starbucks.

Another terrific author with a different take on long distance running is Danny Dreyer author of ChiRunning. The book and his ChiRunning technique are based on elements of tai chi that he believes allow runners to use with their bodies' natural movements to run longer distances without injury.

If you like Dryer's approach but still aren't sold on the whole running thing you might want to check out Chi Walking.

updated 1/18/2012

August 13, 2008

Yes, You Can! Start Running

You have the desire to start a new running habit but a little extra motivation would be helpful. Zen Habits has a lot of great articles on improving your life. This particular essay will help bring out your inner runner: "How to Go from Sedentary to Running in Five Steps"

August 11, 2008

Start Running

I have always disliked running. In junior high, when we had to run to qualify for the President's Council on Physical Fitness award, I always got a cramp. In high school, I just avoided the whole thing by taking bowling and archery and golf.

So, you can imagine my thoughts when my walking partner suddenly started looking amazingly fit and, when pressed, she admitted that after our nightly 3-mile walk she went on to RUN a couple more miles. I was disgusted but after thinking about it (for a month or so) I decided that maybe I should give running another chance.

I was not (am not) a natural runner. I started by running the distance of two street lights and then walking one. There were an alarming number of body parts that jiggled uncomfortably. Nevertheless, after a few weeks I could run whole BLOCKS at a time and my body jiggle had improved. After three months I could run three miles.

I'm not going to lie to you and say that I LOVE running. I have yet to hit that "zone" where running is bliss. (Marathoner Maria tells me that I just don't run far enough.) But I will admit that I'm in much better physical shape and that running helps psychologically too. If I don't run for a few days, I feel the stress build-up that only a nice run with my little running group can alleviate.

If YOU are ready to pick up a new healthy habit, I have two suggestions:

First, start slowly. Who cares if you only run a couple of blocks for the first month(s)? Starting slowly will give you a nice sense of accomplishment and it won't be so unpleasant that you avoid doing it all together. When you're comfortable, you'll naturally start extending your run.

Second, start with friends. It's hard to avoid running when your running group is standing on your driveway. It's also a pleasant way to divert your attention from your body and breathing to a friendly conversation. The perfect thing for an adventure club!

(By the way, the two cool characters above are my running companions after the Komen Run 5k. I'm the beet-faced one in the middle.)
1/13/09: This post is featured in the outdoor literary magazine, In The Mist, volume 2.1.

August 9, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Evelyn Carlson Pilot Extraordinaire

Evelyn Carlson, an outstanding pilot, instructor, university professor and nurse has a story worth reading check it out here at Baby Boomer Blog.

August 8, 2008

Adventurous Woman: Marathon!

My friend, Maria, decided she wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall of 2007. She had never done a marathon before and spent many, many months training for the event. This is her story:

AWB: When did you start running?I always enjoyed being active. My main mode of exercise was tennis starting in high school and continuing until my 20’s. My inspiration for running came from my father. He started running when it wasn’t the “thing to do” but I would watch him get up every morning and run 1 mile at our local high school track before going to work. I admired this in him and tried to emulate this in my life. I started running in college, although, it was painful and something I did not enjoy. In fact, I wasn’t very consistent. I couldn’t run more than 2 miles. I remember coming home for a weekend, from college and asked my dad if we could run together. We went out and I huffed and puffed my way to the 2 mile mark. He just smiled at me and encouraged me to keep at it. There was something inside of me that kept bringing me back to run. Over the next 20 years, as I concentrated on my family and my job, I “took a break from the whole concept of running.”

AWB: What made you want to do a marathon?
Three years before my oldest daughter was to move out of our home, I was at a Christmas party and was talking to an avid runner. This man ran in 100 mile events and I was very intrigued with the conversation. I made some comment to the effect that, when my daughter moves out I would love to train for a marathon. The words came out, but I never shared them with any other person other than my father, not even my husband. Somewhere inside I had this voice that kept bringing me back to running. About 1 year later, a young woman I work with—age 25, began training for a marathon. I overheard her talking to other staff saying that she was never athletic but had adopted the method of Jeff Galloway. His method entails running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute throughout. At this time I was 47 talking to this 25 year old. But, within the next year I learned of 3 women my age who trained and successfully ran marathons.

I have 3 children, but once my oldest daughter, who has a disability, moved out of our home, I started to re-evaluate my role in life. I was her primary caretaker and she required a lot of attention and supervision. Any hobby or activity that required a commitment was out of the question while she was in our care, so when she left, I had this huge void in my life. I had 2 younger children, but they too were more independent. I began asking myself certain questions. How are you going to spend your time? What are some things you would like to accomplish in your lifetime

AWB: What training technique did you use?I developed a nice friendship with a co-worker and we decided to run 1 day a week after work. We started with 1 mile and I suggested we try the Galloway method. I can remember our feeling of triumph when we went from 1 to 5 miles. We were very methodical. After weeks turned into months, we found ourselves running 8 miles. I finally said, why don’t we try a 10K race at the next Marine Corps Marathon. (At this point I was not focused or thinking of a marathon). So that’s what we did. The day of the 10K is the day I decided I would run a marathon the following year. I remember standing at the starting line amongst throngs of runners and thousands of spectators –what a thrill. I remember looking around and seeing all of these people coming out to cheer for us.

The critical moment came when I looked to the right, and saw another huge line. One simple thin rope separated the 10K runners from the marathon runners. I looked and saw myself in so many of those people. I turned to my friend and said, “We can do this. Let’s run a marathon next year.” Shortly after this I said the words out loud to my husband.

Shortly after that we joined a training group. This is very important and something I highly suggest for running a marathon. This particular group adopts the Galloway method and it’s free. They are called the Bethesda Rebel Runners. They meet every Saturday in Bethesda, Maryland and anyone interested is encouraged to join. (They can be found on yahoo groups.)

AWB: How did you keep yourself motivated during the training and during the marathon itself?Once we joined the group, motivation was not an issue. I can’t stress enough how wonderful it was to be involved with the group. The members were so friendly and supportive. Each Saturday we met in a circle and the more experienced runners supported the “babies.” I was in awe to learn how many women ran 10 plus marathons, and traveled all over the world running marathons. The members were from all walks of life, and getting acquainted while running and sharing all sorts of stories, took the pain out of the runs. As you may know, running stimulates endorphin production, so it gives you a feeling of well-being. We would also run all over the Washington, DC-Virginia area. Ten miles took us to the National Zoo; 16 miles took us to Reagan National Airport. I never thought I would run from MD to DC to VA. I took in the beauty of our nation’s capital and met wonderful people along the way. After each run on Saturday, I would call my father, as I drove home, to tell him how far we ran and how I felt. He was so encouraging and excited for me. I know if he had the opportunity, this would have been something he would have wanted to do himself. Several weeks before the marathon, my father passed away. This was a huge loss to me. I especially missed those “after run” conversations. But on marathon day, I felt him right there with me, and I thought of him and my family as I crossed that finish line. The next best thing of crossing that line was to see the faces of my family and how excited they were for me.

This group prepared me for the marathon. Physical training was one piece of the equation. I was physically prepared for the marathon. Hydration, diet, dealing with heat, cold, and rain, timing, and what to carry on your person as you are running all come in to play. We discussed mentality throughout, especially toward the end. Each week I learned something new as part of the preparation, and with that built confidence that I was actually going to do this.

AWB: Do you have any advice for women who would like to run a marathon?
For me, this was a personal and spiritual journey, as well as a physical feat. I wasn’t competing with anyone but myself. You have to really want to do this. It is a commitment of time—so make sure the time is right for you. I ran amongst young mothers, single career women and older women in their 60s who still come and look adorable in their running skirts.

AWB: What’s your next big adventure?I am still running with the group, but not training for any races. I love to run and enjoy my running friends, but I want the flexibility to go away during the weekends. Running is a hobby, and I can see myself doing this for many years. I may or may not run more races. This past Christmas my husband and I received tennis rackets from my second daughter—and so after many, many years of not playing, we are back on the courts. I am not sure what my next big adventure will be, but I am very open to listen to that little voice inside to see what it says.

August 7, 2008

Get a Passport Card for Your Wallet

NEW!! In 2008, the government started producing a passport CARD that will fit in your wallet. The card will help at land and sea ports when entering from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. However, the card can’t be used for air travel. If you already have a passport you can apply for the card as a renewal and pay $30. If you don’t have a passport, a card will cost you $55 if you’re an adult and $40 for your children.

NOTE: As of June 1, 2009 you’ll need a passport or a passport card for border crossings into Canada and Mexico.

Updated 1/18/2012

August 6, 2008

Get Your Passport

You dream of international travel but you’ve never left the country. You went overseas in college but that was so long ago your passport has long since expired. What to do? Make today the start of your next big adventure—get yourself a lovely navy blue booklet that proves your citizenship and your identity. Get your passport!

For first timers, the passport home page, will tell you how to apply and what documentation you'll need.  Already have a passport but need to renew? The link will tell you about processing fees and application processing times.

NOTE: As of June 1, 2009 you’ll need a passport or a passport card for border crossings into Canada and Mexico.

Updated 1/18/2012

August 4, 2008

Countdown to the Olympics: A New Perspective

Sure everyone is going to watch the Olympics but did you ever want to see the same event from a completely different point of view? This summer you can follow the games through the eyes of Americans, Australians, the British, the Canadians and the Chinese by clicking on the links below:

From the American perspective (NBC)

From the Australian perspective (Austrialian Broadcasting Company)

Olympic news from the British perspective (the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC)

The Canadian perspective (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC)

From the Chinese perspective (China Central Television, CCTV)

August 2, 2008

A List of Adventure Suggestions for a New Adventure Group

If you're thinking of starting an adventure group and aren't sure how to find adventures, I have two suggestions. First, ask your members what they've always wanted to try. Second, print out this post.

What follows is a small part of my adventure club's Master List of Adventure Possibilities. It's very eclectic because our membership is quite diverse. It doesn't hurt that all the ideas are from "anonymous." I'll never tell who wants to learn to pole dance!


Guided kayak trip
Nature hike
Bike trip
Day trip on motorcycles
The Bahamas
Downhill skiing
Corn Maze
Cross country skiing
Jet skiing
Helicopter ride
Hot air balloon ride
Hang gliding
Sky diving
White water rafting
River tubing
Snow tubing
Ice skating
Deep sea fishing
Swim with the dolphins
Horseback riding
Play paintball
Play laser tag
Ropes courses
Rock climbing
To the race track
Attend different religious ceremonies
Go to a hypnotist for past life regression
See a psychic
Tea at the Four Seasons
Film Festival
Street Painting Festival (participate!)

Wine Tasting
Behind the scenes at the zoo
Haunted tour

TEAMS:Team: Softball
Team: Soccer
Dragon Boat

Relay for Life
Avon Breast Cancer Walk
Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
Do secret good deeds at night

LEARN:Bartending lessons
Scuba diving lessons
Theatre workshop
Cooking class
Watercolor workshop
Flower arranging
Learn to give a massage
All the Las Vegas games
How to be a Black Jack dealer
Tai chi
fly on the trapeze
Run a ½ marathon
Car repair
Pool or Billiards

BODY:Brazilian Dance workshop
Pole Dancing
Belly dancing
Hula dancing

OTHER FUN STUFF:Watch the Wizard of Oz while listening to
Dark Side of the Moon