Rain, rain, go away?

I love the rain. Maybe it’s the nine years I spent living in Florida, but to me, nothing beats a hot shower in the tropics. So when my insane work schedule made it so that my last Costa Rica adventure landed during the tail end of rainy season, I didn’t bat an eye. Obviously, it was sort of a buzzkill when it rained during my one boat day, but we didn’t let it stop us. And the beach here in Guiones proved that stormy weather can be absolutely beautiful. I’ve collected some of my favorite photos that show off the wet weather. This first one here is the Club at Coco Bay, a beautiful beach club that just recently opened to the public. One minute we were sunning ourselves in the searing hot sun, the next we were grabbing our towels and running for cover, as the sky tore open. I thought it was beautiful, all part of the Costa Rica adventure. I love how the rain makes everything so green — none of that lushness exists long after the rains have stopped for the year, usually in November. Instead of “summer” and “winter,” Ticos enjoy “wet season,” “windy season,” (which affects all sports and tourism at the beginning of each year) and then dry season again until about September.

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No Judgements on a Stormy Day

No cranky clouds could keep us off that boat!

On my first day of vacation in Costa Rica, visiting for the first time in the 15 months after I left the good life to follow my career dreams in Las Vegas, my friends had gotten the entire group together for a day on Lisa and Mau’s fishing boat at North Pacific Tours. It was all set up to be a perfect day… The weather, however, was not in a party mood. Nothing can stop this group though! We laughed during the entire wet, cold trip out to our favorite beach, Playa Juevos. Being with the old crew gave me a lot to think about – I have such amazing friends in Las Vegas, but we don’t have this same sort of light friendship, where we can laugh all day at nothing, and everyone feels themselves. Maybe it’s just that we’re all so busy there that we don’t get to spend the same amount of quality time together as I did during my year in Costa Rica, where I saw my friends literally every single day.

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Travel vs vacation

Nothing beats the sunsets — and happy hours — at Pacifico.

I am taking a vacation.

It is weird for me to have five glorious days off of work yet not be planning a Big Trip. I don’t have to research all of the sites or look into visa issues. Packing ahead? Nah – I’ll just throw a few things into a bag tomorrow night.

Finally, I am off on a trip that will rejuvenate me – I won’t need a vacation after the vacation. I often say that Big Travel revives and reenergizes me. Most of the time, it does. But lately, I’ve been run-down, trying to fit everything in. Work has been too hard, and I’m getting up when it’s still dark out just to catch up or work on my blog. My gym membership is a thing of the past, as is getting more than a few hours of sleep. On the weekends, I want to get all of my errands done – and then do nothing. I am just too tired and need to rest up to start all over again Monday morning.

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Let your “spirit” be your guide: hypnotherapy

©iStockphoto.com/Dimitris66

Halloween weekend in Las Vegas was graced with crisp, 80-degree sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. But I didn’t need stormy weather to get in the “spirit” of things — I had an appointment for hypnotherapy with a doctor known for past-life regression. Happy Halloween to me!

Whether or not you believe in past lives, fragmented spirits, earthbound spirits or spirit guides, I promise you that ….

 what I experienced was the best therapy I’ve ever had in my life.

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Michael Jackson Cirque premiere in Montreal

Montreal, Michael Jackson, Cirque du Soleil

World premiere red carpet for Cirque’s Michael Jackson homage.

Despite having seen all seven of Las Vegas’ Cirque du Soleil shows, all but one of them two or three times, when I headed to wintery Montreal (Cirque headquarters!), I had no idea what to expect. The brand has already put its mark on the legendary Beatles and Elvis Presley, but Michael Jackson? For some reason, this was different. And I was going to see first-hand, at the world premiere of The Immortal, Cirque du Soleil’s stadium tribute to the late, great Michael Jackson. The excitement was building fast! The show was about to embark on a tireless North American tour. Its only prolonged stop? Las Vegas, of course!Twenty-four nights in Sin City, starting December 3. A more theatrical version of the Michael Jackson spectacle will eventually settle in Sin City permanently. I can’t wait!

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Ojai, California Grand Finale: wine, shopping, cocktails

The final day of my girls getaway to Ojai, California just might have saved the best for last: shopping, a vineyard tour and cocktails. I really did not want to come home! Being so used to all of the name brands that dominate the Strip in Vegas, I found Ojai’s boutiques especially  adorable, and I loaded up on unique knickknacks to take home. Catherine and I also talked up the owners, who knew everything about Ojai and the surrounding areas. It had been a long time since I’d spent 20 minutes in a store just chatting! But we had nothing but time, strolling the main drag in the California sun. This was my kind of day.

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