Adventure Time: Norfolk, VA Edition (Round 6 – An Evening with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox)

Al and I discovered Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) on YouTube within the last year. When we found out they were touring and coming to Norfolk, we bought tickets in April!

Sadly, Al wasn’t able to go because the concert date conflicted with his recent work trip to Mexico. So, we invited our 13-year-old niece, Mia, to be my date. It was awesome!!

The ensemble told everyone up front that photos and videos were definitely allowed, which was amazing!

This was the set before the concert started. The curtain was gorgeous!

There was such a vintage theme. I took pictures mainly because of all of the costume changes!

This woman. Holy cow! So soulful, and beautiful. She reminded me so much of Aretha Franklin!

All of the different dresses!

One of the singers, and the resident tap dancer!

The beginning of their rendition of “Africa.”

The whole band! Every single one of them was awesome!

They were singing and dancing to “Umbrella.” So colorful!

The trombonist’s last night on tour was in Norfolk. He was awesome!

The tap dancer! I love this action shot!

She sang a fabulous version of “Time After Time.” It brought the house down!

It was such a wonderful experience! If they come to your city/town, it’s completely worth the money!


For more information, check out these links and videos:

There’s so many more on YouTube!


Have you heard of Postmodern Jukebox?

If you have, do you have a favorite version / rendition of theirs?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Norfolk, VA Edition (Round 5 – Norfolk Tides Baseball Game)

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Image Credit: Ticketmaster

The Norfolk Tides are our home baseball team!

The Tides’ home, Harbor Park, opened on April 14, 1993. This year is it’s 25th anniversary!

The Tides are a minor league team in the Triple-A International League. Prior to 2007, the Tides were affiliated with the New York Mets for 38 years. For the last 11 years, the Tides have been a farm team for the Baltimore Orioles. Harbor Park can hold 11,856 people!

The long-time mascot is Rip Tide. He’s hilarious!

Image Credit: Wikipedia

And, yes, he has a baseball for a nose.

Not too long ago, the Tides changed their color scheme to green, black, orange, gray, and sea foam, and added a seahorse mascot.

For more information, check out this link: Norfolk Tides


On Tuesday night, we enjoyed a night of good food, a few drinks, great conversation, and the game with several of Al’s work colleagues, and the law firm that his company has on retainer. The law firm has one of the boxes at the park, and they offer tickets to any employees who are interested around once a year. Al scored an extra ticket, and asked if I wanted to go!

I can’t remember the last time I went to a Tides game. I think it was with Al, and I know we weren’t in a box! I felt super fancy.

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This was the Tides’ long-standing image/marketing. Image Credit: SevenVenues

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An aerial view of Harbor Park, which sits next to the Elizabeth River. Image Credit: The Virginian-Pilot

We left the game in the eighth inning, mainly because we knew the traffic would be bad once the game ended. The score was 3-2, with the Tides leading, when we left. I checked the final score yesterday, and that’s where the score remained! Go, Tides!


Do you follow baseball?

What are some of your favorite summer pastimes?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Blacksburg, VA Edition (P.E.O. Virginia State Convention 2018)

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This is my first-ever P.E.O. State Convention post!

What is P.E.O.?

  • From P.E.O. International: P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women CELEBRATE the advancement of women; EDUCATE women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College and MOTIVATE women to achieve their highest aspirations.
  • Motto: Women helping women reach for the stars
  • There are 230,000 members throughout the United States and Canada
  • More information: https://www.peointernational.org/

This was at least my fourth Virginia State Convention. I have been to Convention in Roanoke, at least twice in Richmond, and this year was in Blacksburg, at The Inn at Virginia Tech.

I was one of two delegates. Each chapter – There are 76 chapters in Virginia – are asked to send at least two delegates to Convention every year. I was thrilled to be a delegate with Darcy, a newly-initiated sister into our chapter. We are from Chapter L, based in Norfolk.

Convention was held from June 1-3, 2018. Come along for the ride!


Friday, June 1st

Darcy and I left my house around 8:30 a.m. for the long drive. It was roughly 440 miles from Hampton Roads. I wanted to make sure we got there before 4:30 p.m., where I was supposed to be in rehearsal for one of the convention workshops.

Thankfully, we didn’t have a lot of traffic. We arrived around 2:00 p.m., and the hotel was already buzzing with activity! We checked in, and then went toward Virginia Tech’s campus in search of food, and to stretch our legs.

We discovered downtown Blacksburg, and we stopped at Bottom of the Stairs (BOTS, for short). They weren’t busy, and the food was delicious!

My Slider Trio – Chicken, pulled pork, and their “veggie BBQ,” which was pulled jackfruit. Yummy!

After our early dinner, we took a Lyft back to The Inn. My workshop rehearsal was successful, and we were able to relax for a bit before the evening activities began.

I was part of the Friday night membership workshop, which was stylized as a live radio show from “WPEO.” It was a blast! I was “selected” as a Region 3 contestant, where I was a panelist with Ibani, a sister from Chapter AS in Richmond.

The Convention theme was “Catch The Waves To Better Futures.” Our outgoing President, Sherry Arendt, lives right on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, so she brought “the ocean to the Alleghenies.”

After our evening workshops, Darcy and I spent several hours with the Franc 7’s group. Franc Rhodes was one of the seven founding sisters in 1869, and she was the youngest of the group. So, Franc 7’s are the women who are under 40-years-old. We had 21 Franc 7’s present during Convention, which was awesome! We pushed couches and chairs together, and enjoyed a nice, productive, unscripted conversation. Darcy and I hit the hay around 11:00 p.m.


Saturday, June 2nd

Saturday is easily the busiest and longest day. Breakfast usually starts around 7:00 a.m., and the day ends with the Saturday Night Banquet at 10:00 p.m.!

The P.E.O. flower is the marguerite, a flower much like a daisy. When I saw this dress for sale in the Darby’s Dresses Facebook group, I knew I had to have it!

One of the highlights of Convention is honoring our Golden Girls – Women who are celebrating 50 years of membership in P.E.O.! We had one sister that we celebrated this year – Our current chapter president, Jeanne Brody. She was initiated into a New Jersey chapter in 1968.

The handmade gold centerpieces!

The Golden Girls luncheon was fabulous. Ethel Muter, the State Organizer, did an amazing job with the presentation. In addition to displaying the 29 Golden Girls, their photos, and fun facts, she also did a ton of research on things happening during these ladies’ initiation dates in 1968!

One of Sherry’s challenges for the past year was using our special sand castle bucket for collecting spare change and fundraising ideas. All 76 chapters decorated their buckets, and proudly displayed them for all to see!

$2,000 in one fundraiser!

On Saturday afternoon, there were a few hours between the end of the day’s Convention business and the Saturday Night Banquet. Darcy and I walked around campus, and enjoyed the Duck Pond area.

On Saturday night, there’s a great banquet. There are project speakers who thank the P.E.O. chapter or chapters that helped nominate or sponsor them, and all of them are incredibly inspirational and humble.

We had dinner, and then an awesome trio played beach music. Imagine around 200 women dancing for two hours!


There are six International projects:

The state / Commonwealth of Virginia has two state projects:

Convention also has what’s called a “Projects Room,” where attendees can learn more about the projects, and see the recipients from the last year.


Sunday, June 3rd

I wanted to get as many photos as I could!

The sign outside the Projects Room.

The photos below showcase our seven founders, who started P.E.O. at Iowa Wesleyan College on January 21, 1869.

P.E.O. is celebrating its sesquicentennial – 150th anniversary – in 2019!

The year 2019 is also a P.E.O. International Convention year – So the 150th celebration will be held where it all began – Des Moines, Iowa. I’m already saving my money for next September!

I love this handmade quilt that showcases all 76 chapters, and where they are in Virginia.

Sunday morning is always a whirlwind. There are just a few hours to finish the Convention business, install the new State Officers, and say goodbye!

P.E.O. also takes time to remember sisters who have died, or passed on to “Chapter Eternal” every year. This year was particularly emotional. There were 69 sisters who passed away, including two Past State Presidents (PSPs).

Tragically, one of those deaths was the accidental death of Liz Jackson, who was the sitting State Secretary. I met her when my church was host to one of the Reciprocity Rallies (Reciprocity is a group of chapters based on geographic location – There are many throughout the state) in September 2017. Sadly, she fell off a balcony in February 2018, and never recovered.

After the Time of Remembrance, Convention business was concluded for the weekend. The new State Officers were installed. Our new State President is Rhesa Janice, from Chpater AZ, Herndon.

The 70th Annual Virginia State Convention will be held in Richmond, Virginia in 2019. The year 2019 will be an exciting one for P.E.O.!

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Rhesa’s theme is “Value The Past, Vision The Future.”


I hope you enjoyed my post about P.E.O. and the annual Virginia State Convention!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #126: Movies That Are Inspiring My Travels

Travel - Adventure in You

Image Credit: Adventure in You

I love Paige Wunder’s blog, For The Love of Wanderlust. Check her out!

I was inspired to write this post by Paige’s recent post:


Chicago, Illinois – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

As a kid, I visited Chicago a couple of times, since my Aunt Nancy, Uncle Larry, and cousin Missy lived in nearby Gurnee, Illinois, for years.

However, I’ve never been back to visit as an adult. I’d love to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, Wrigley Field, and Willis Tower.

Other movies filmed / set in Chicago:

  • The Blues Brothers (1980)
  • Risky Business (1983)
  • The Breakfast Club (1985)
  • Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
  • Backdraft (1991)
  • The Fugitive (1993)
  • Never Been Kissed (1999)
  • On the Line (2001)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • The Incredibles 2 (2018)

Mountain Lake Hotel near Pembroke, Virginia – Dirty Dancing (1987)

I’ve had the opportunity to stay at the Mountain Lake Hotel twice. Longwood’s S.E.A.L. organization has held their annual Leadership Conference there several times, and I was able to go as both a participant and a workshop presenter. If you ever get the chance, it’s such a beautiful area!

I would also like to eventually visit Lake Lure, North Carolina, where the rest of filming took place.

Other movies filmed / set in western Virginia and/or western North Carolina:

  • Shenandoah (1965)
  • Firestarter (1984)
  • Bull Durham (1988)
  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • Richie Rich (1994)
  • Patch Adams (1998)
  • Big Stone Gap (2014)

New York City – Ghost (1990)

I’m a bit biased, since I was born in Manhattan. Plus, there are so many movies that have been set in or filmed in the Big Apple. Oodles of them!

It was so hard to pick one movie that makes me think of New York. But, Ghost is one of my favorites. I still remember the very first time I watched it – With my mom.

If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. It’s dramatic, it’s a love story, and it’s also very funny.

I can’t wait to show Al the Big Apple for the very first time this fall!

Other movies filmed / set in New York City:

  • Rear Window (1954)
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  • The Great Gatsby (1974)
  • Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  • Superman (1978)
  • Ghostbusters (1984)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  • Romancing the Stone (1984)
  • Big (1988)
  • Coming to America (1988)
  • When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
  • Quiz Show (1994)
  • Men in Black (1997)
  • You’ve Got Mail (1998)
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
  • Finding Forrester (2000)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  • National Treasure (2004)
  • Night at the Museum (2006)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • WALL-E (2008)
  • Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
  • American Hustle (2013)
  • The Great Gatsby (2013)
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
  • Whiplash (2014)
  • The Big Short (2015)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
  • Ghostbusters (2016)
  • Sully (2016)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

New Orleans, Louisiana – The Pelican Brief (1993)

This is one of my favorite John Grisham book-to-movie adaptations. Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are a great pair, and it’s a gripping thriller.

Roberts’ character is a law student at Tulane University, and seeing the variety of locations they used for filming is one of several reasons why I want to visit New Orleans.

Other movies filmed / set in New Orleans:

  • Gone With The Wind (1939)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Live and Let Die (1973)
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
  • JFK (1991)
  • The Client (1994)
  • Interview with the Vampire (1994)
  • Ruby Bridges (1998)
  • The Haunted Mansion (2003)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Beaufort, South Carolina – Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’ve watched it at least 20 times.

I’ve only been to South Carolina once on a trip – To Charleston, for a family friend’s funeral, when I was 12. I’d love to go back as an adult.

Just the antebellum architecture and gorgeous old oak trees is enough to lure me there.

Other movies filmed / set in South Carolina:

  • The Big Chill (1983)
  • Glory (1989)
  • The Prince of Tides (1991)
  • G.I. Jane (1997)
  • Radio (2003)
  • The Notebook (2004)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

British Columbia, Canada – Juno (2007)

I had the opportunity to visit parts of British Columbia while on a trip to Seattle and the San Juan Islands with my parents in the summer of 1998. I saw parts of Victoria, and Buchart Gardens. However, I’d love to go back and explore more.

Other movies filmed / set in British Columbia:

  • Jumanji (1995)
  • Double Jeopardy (1999)
  • Lake Placid (1999)
  • Agent Cody Banks (2003)
  • I, Robot (2004)
  • Miracle (2004)
  • Saved! (2004)
  • Fantastic Four (2005)
  • Shooter (2007)
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
  • Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Greece – Mamma Mia! (2008)

Mamma Mia! has become one of my favorite musicals. I need to see it on Broadway! Until then, I can’t wait to see the sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, with my mom when it comes out in theaters in July.

Other movies filmed / set in Greece:

  • The Big Blue (1988)
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
  • Before Midnight (2013)
  • Jason Bourne (2016)

Boston, Massachusetts – Spotlight (2015)

It’s a tough subject – Child sex abuse within the Catholic Church – but Spotlight is one of those movies that I’ve seen multiple times. Maybe it’s the journalist in me?

I’ve always wanted to visit Boston. It’s one of those historic cities that I haven’t had a chance to see. In addition, I’d love to explore New England as a whole. But, Boston is a good place to start.

Other movies filmed / set in Boston:

  • The Firm (1993)
  • With Honors (1994)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • A Civil Action (1998)
  • The Boondock Saints (1999)
  • Legally Blonde (2001)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)
  • The Proposal (2009)
  • Ted (2012)
  • Ted 2 (2015)

This was a really fun post to write!

What about you? Do you have movies that have inspired you, or are inspiring you, to travel? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Portsmouth, VA Edition (The Visit From The Vacationing Doll)

American Girl Dolls Sandcastle

Image Credit: Flickr – Julia Monroe

As most of you probably know by now, I love American Girl.

I’m also a part of a huge Facebook group called Obsessed BST (Buy/Sell/Trade), which has well over 14,000 members.

At the beginning of May, a woman named Kammi proposed an intriguing idea: Doing a traveling doll, kind of like a Flat Stanley idea. I immediately wanted to sign up!


Kammi lives in Ohio, and was great at keeping in contact with me!

The doll, Emily, belongs to Kammi’s 7-year-old daughter. Emma is one of nine children! Amazing!

Emily came to Al and I on Tuesday, May 29th. Kammi included a journal, and asked everyone to write in the journal, add pictures, and write a short bio of the family who has her. I was so excited, and Al got in on the fun, too.

Emily is now on her way to the next destination – North Carolina! – so I wanted to share my photos of The Visit From The Vacationing Doll!


Tuesday, May 29th

Emily was so excited to get out of her box and get the packing peanuts out of her hair. She made seven new friends almost immediately. Here she is spending time with my dolls.

Emily meets Autumn, Chrissa, and Z. The photo got cut off – I was so excited!

Emily meets Stephanie, Molly, mini Molly, and Kit!

They apparently had a nice slumber party. I thought I could hear them trying to be quiet!


Wednesday, May 30th

Emily spent most of the day with my dolls, when we were at work.

Once I got home, Emily joined us on the couch while we ate dinner and watched TV. We’ve been re-watching Chuck on Amazon Video.

For dessert, we made s’mores in the microwave! We had the traditional Hershey’s chocolate, but I also had one with a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Yummy!

“Oooh, yum!”

Yummy!

Emily wanted my extra candy!

As much as Emily wanted a taste, I didn’t want her to get messy! S’mores are really sticky!


Thursday, May 31st

Today was my Friday, since I was off work on June 1st for my P.E.O. Virginia State Convention! Al proposed the idea of going out to dinner, like we normally do on Friday nights, and showing Emily downtown Portsmouth.

This is the historic Commodore Theatre. The Art Deco-style movie theater was originally built in 1945, and was fully restored in 1989. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

This is just one of several murals in the downtown area, honoring local musicians and other celebrities.

We stopped by the Portsmouth Courthouse. Built in 1846, it’s now home to the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center. The fence was beautifully decorated for the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Naturally, we had to stop by the Children’s Museum of Virginia, also on High Street. I think Emily was sad that it was already closed for the day. It’s been open since December 1980, but it’s been at this location since 1998. From 2009 to 2011, the entire building was gutted, expanded, and revamped to offer more interactive and spacious exhibits.

I think Emily really loved our mini-adventure!


Friday, June 1st – Sunday, June 3rd

I was in Blacksburg, Virginia, all weekend. I thought about taking Emily with me on the road trip, but was afraid something would happen to her. So, she happily stayed home with Molly and all her new friends. Al tells me they had slumber parties every night!


Monday, June 4th

Emily had to say farewell to her friends today. But, everyone was very excited for her next leg of the journey. I even wanted to send her along in a new outfit!

Before. I kept the pretty handmade dress, but the pink shoes were specifically requested to come back to Ohio. They’re in a secure baggie in the box, I promise!

After. She’s ready to go!

The School Stripes Dress was introduced in 2014. Emily is headed to her next destination in style!


We loved having a visit from the vacationing doll this past week!

Have you done anything like Flat Stanley?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #65: “SuperShe Island: Women-only luxury retreat opening in Finland”

Image Credit: LoveThisPic

On a recent Monday, this article from CNN caught my eye:

I’ve always been fascinated with the Scandinavian region! That’s one of the many, many places on my travel bucket list!

And, I totally agree with the article’s author. Yes, I did want to relocate to the island of Themyscira after watching “Wonder Woman” this past summer. Bring it on!

This retreat paradise sounds like a super-awesome, grown-up version of summer camp. Who’s with me?!

At least it’s not like Survivor.

Excuse me while I go daydream about the beauty of Finland!

The retreat’s owner, Kristina Roth, also owns property in Turks and Caicos. She stated that if the resort in Finland is successful, she plans to renovate her additional property for a similar purpose. Yes, please! She’s already received rousing positive feedback, so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more from her!


For more information, check out the SuperShe website.


What do you think about a luxurious women-only retreat in Finland? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Adventure Time: Newport News & Williamsburg, VA Edition (Greyhounds, Colonial Williamsburg, and Romantic Escape Package)

Al and I had a great weekend! We got to meet and greet some greyhounds, and then spent some time at The Williamsburg Winery!

We went to a meet-and-greet with Old Dominion Greyhound Adoption. This was their first meet-and-greet at the Care-A-Lot in Newport News. There were nine greyhounds there, with their owners, along with the Director of the group. Everyone was so nice and friendly! The dogs were incredibly sweet. We went home with an application, and are excited to start this process!


After the greyhound meet-and-greet, we went to Colonial Williamsburg for lunch. The Trellis Bar & Grill is a really nice restaurant, right in the heart of Merchants Square.

We enjoyed a hearty lunch – Al had “The Burger” and I got their tortellini.

I love the unique touches, from their birdcage lanterns, to their cute salt and pepper grinders.. Their water comes in epic bottles!

We weren’t quite full after our entrees, but we decided to spring for dessert and their signature mock-tails. For dessert, I chose their Flourless Chocolate Torte, and Al had their Burnt Sugar ice cream. Al had the “Moscow Pony” mock-tail, and I had their “No-Jito” mock-tail. They were awesome!


After lunch, we ventured 12 minutes away to The Williamsburg Winery. Al won a very generous gift card at his company Christmas party in December, which allowed us this experience!

We chose the Romantic Winter Escape Hotel Package:

  • One Night in a Tradition room, with king-sized bed and wood-burning fireplace*

  • A Tour and Wine Tasting for two at the Williamsburg Winery, including a tour of the barrel cellar and a tasting of seven wines

  • Bottle of Williamsburg Winery wine

  • Artisanal chocolates

  • $100 Dinner Voucher for CafĂ© Provençal

  • European-style Continental Breakfast for two including croissants, pastries, fresh fruit and more

We got to the winery around 4:00. We checked in around 4:15, which gave us just enough time to unload the car before the 4:30 tour and tasting.

These are the giant oak barrels where the wine is stored!

Barrels of wine in the cellar.

This is the “reserve cellar,” where a more extensive tour and tasting is held.

The shelves hold different vintages of wine, dating back to the late 1980s.

These are the three concrete eggs that hold the white wines.

Once the barrels are past their prime (Their life span is about 10 years), they are sold to private collectors, or used as trash cans in places like Colonial Williamsburg.

The tour and tasting were fabulous. Our guide, Stephanie, was incredibly knowledgeable and awesome! We tasted several different wines. It was really nice and relaxing!

The view from our hotel window. That’s the winery in the distance.

Our room at Wedmore Place was the “Brittany.” I felt like we were in Europe! The bed was incredibly comfortable. I wanted to take the mattress home!

I got to wear my new LuLaRoe Maxi!

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes.

Filet Mignon.

Poached Apple Tart.

Pumpkin Cheesecake.

We had an amazing dinner at Cafe Provençal, which was located in the lower level of the hotel. Everything was divine! Al got the Caramelized Onion Soup (no photo), and the Filet Mignon. I had their delicious Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes, along with a glass of their A Midsummer Night’s White.

For dessert, Al got the Pumpkin Cheesecake, and I had the Poached Apple Tart.

There were exquisite pieces of furniture, like this, throughout!

The courtyard.

Our complimentary bottle of merlot, wine glasses, and artisanal chocolates!

Part of the package was a bottle of wine of our choice, wine glasses, and artisanal chocolates! We took it home. With our complimentary tour glasses, we have four new wine glasses at home!

On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at the cafe. It was a lavish feast, with fresh fruit, strong coffee, assorted croissants, and quiche! We took our time, and checked out about an hour later. We went back to reality quickly – Getting gas, grocery shopping, getting ready for the new work week.

It was a much-needed mini-getaway. A piece of Europe is only 45 minutes away!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂