Paris. Take Off or Not?

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Arrival. Finally. The first thing we see is the Arc.

WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT! First of all you wouldn’t believe the drama and trauma we went through to get here. Flight delayed in Memphis for 2 hours! Then we sat for an hour and a half on the plane. Then diverted to Charles Town, West Virginia for 45 minutes. We made it to Newark and we knew the flight was gone and they delayed waiting on us. They said it was room on the next flight, but on arrival the bridge to let us off got stuck and by the time that was over seats were gone. I broke down crying at the counter. I was beyond stressed. The man put us on standby before booking us a room until next day. We get to the gate, last night and they told us others before us, but I said no we have first. Then they said only one of us. I said nope! Can’t leave my daughter. Again, I sat there and cried and was praying the whole time. Then BOOM they call our name. We get the good seats on the 747. They feed us good. I pass out from exhaustion, but my body was not in pain. Get to Paris and luggage is in Chicago. I blame Memphis because that girl was half doing her job when she tagged it. They comp us to buy anything we need up to $100. Luggage will arrive at hotel tomorrow. We are in our Uber and he speaks little English, but is very nice and is telling us many things. He speaks the language of Congo and French. He is from the Congo. We are laughing at the language barrier. The lady on the plane next to me was so nice and calmed me down. It’s crazy the madness yet we are here. We are safe. We are happy. (Taken from my Facebook page as I documented my journey).

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Marvelous view from our hotel!

~Nikki

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Vegas: Arrival, Luxor, Sight Seeing, Food

I have been silent for a while because I have been busy crocheting holiday orders AND I finally got a chance to go back to Vegas. A trip we use to take every year before Rheumatoid Disease came back. Right, who knew it could come out of remission. I sure didn’t! This trip was expanded beyond my brother and I to more family members. The same crew we went to Orange Beach with.

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The bonus for me was on the night we were looking to party and let our hair down was a night that Lil’ John was scheduled to come to Hakkasan as the guest DJ. Well, I have been trying to catch him there for a long time, but it was never when we planned to go. This was a bonus! We did a shorter visit than usual because my brother wanted to be cheap and fly Allegiant. They do not have many flight time options like Delta or Southwest. We usually stay 4 days and 3 nights PLUS we arrive in the middle of the day instead of in the middle of the night.

But, the bonus was going with a group of family that had never flown before and had never been to Vegas. We had soooooo much fun and the night we partied was EPIC! But it all started at the airport where we had drinks, met a guy that was a promoter who actually worked at the night club we were going to, and we wore our custom made shirts. We stepped off the plane, put our bags down, and hung out into the wee hours of the morning. This photo below is one of my cousins and as you can see we love to take pictures. Our shirts were made by a good friend of mines Key’s Krafts. I am from Memphis and we call it the M-Town.

The next morning we did some exploring and also on Sunday.

 

Oh, the Hotel we stayed in was the Luxor. I have seen it numerous times and been there before. It’s connected to the place we stayed on our very first trip to Vegas which is Excalibur. They have since added what are called the towers and this is where we got the best deal and great rooms! However, the King room I booked was not available when I arrived. I was given a Queen double bed room and a comp for a buffet meal. I had the option to move to the King room the next morning, but after thinking about it I stayed on the ground floor. I have had some great views from higher floors, but when I looked out of my window that morning I liked what I saw. There was a little rock and shrub garden and you could see the hieroglyphics. I liked looking at the Sphinx. I also saw a hummingbird that morning! And I considered how much I like to shop in Vegas and bringing all of those bags to the first floor was convenient!

These are a few photos of the Luxor.

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It obviously has the Egyptian theme nailed. Customer service was perfect and staff was friendly. There were plenty of places to eat inside of the hotel and because it’s connected and very close to four other hotels, finding food was not a problem. The buffet at the Luxor is really good and worth the money. Also, with two Starbucks and plenty of other options in the food court you could not go wrong.

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The food from Excalibur’s Steakhouse was PERFECTION. Everyone in the group savored their meals and handcrafted cocktails. I had the Roasted Pineapple Martini and Salmon with Asparagus (Asparagus cooked right!).

Well, this is all for today. I will post another blog tomorrow or Monday on Vegas: Vegas Nightlife, Fashion, Rheumatoid Disease & Fibromyalgia. (The aftermath).

~Nikki

Confetti Travel: Orange Beach & Family PT 1

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What an amazing trip with family (mostly cousins)! Our corner condo was fabulous with a wrap around balcony and perfect view of the gulf shore.

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A group of cousins got together and decided we should take a trip. Florida was on the table but, Orange Beach seem to be the best option. I knew they would enjoy it and they did. I went a few years ago and the best part of that trip for me was being able to wake up and see this view. This year I had the best experience of waking up to people who truly care and love me, their wonderful company, 98% drama free, and sleeping next to the gulf. I woke up every morning and took pictures of the sunrise and on the last day we saw sharks and dolphins.

 

 

 

 

 

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A captured moment of my brother’s girlfriend. She had no idea I was taking this photo.  

 

 

 

Every morning we had breakfast together. We had mimosas and fruit on the table. This was a bonding moment and beautiful memory. But, not before I had my coffee on the balcony while most were sleep, watching the sunrise, and taking my stroll on the beach in the cool of the morning.

 

As they say; “But first, coffee!”

More photos to come…

~Nikki

 

 

Smokey Row Coffee Co. Oskaloosa

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We pull into Oskaloosa, Iowa late night on a drive from Memphis, TN and suddenly I perk up as we cruise down Market Street. What’s that? A coffee house? I will be back in the morning!

We were only in Iowa overnight as I rode with my brother to pick up my nephew from William Penn. We stayed at my second family’s house which is a home away from home. I went to “my” room and once I was underneath “my quilt” I was fast asleep. After getting ready the next morning I headed to this coffee house. It is huge with plenty of room, coffee, and uniqueness. I was overwhelmed and I am sure everyone knew I was a tourist as I snapped pictures of everything. The service was fast and as friendly as one could be on a Saturday morning. The hustle hand yet to bustle but, all of that changed as it neared 9:30 a.m.

Caramel flavored coffee was my choice and what a delicious blend! The caramel was subtle and not overpowering. I like to be able to taste my coffee and flavor at the same time. Each table in the shop is different, nostalgic and coffee related. I thought that was so cute!

And the menu…Breakfast all day, Lunch, Dessert, Kids Menu, Dinner…you name it! It was better than a Starbucks (No shade! I still love you Starbucks). It wasn’t carbon copy and I love the sunlight coming through the huge windows and so many places to go within. A parlor-ish feel for a coffee place is really different. I like different. A book vault? Upstairs? A stage for lets say…a live local band? Yes. All of that and more.

Fancy that. I purchased a mint green mug and a sconce. I eyed a big hunk of tiramisu but, decided next time and by next time I mean fall. I hope to be able to linger a bit longer with laptop in tow and just enough space for lunch and a milkshake. I am sure I can walk those calories off in the square.

~Nikki

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