Friday, May 17, 2024

Fly on The Wall Where The Lions Roar

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today there are three of us inviting you into our homes to see what a nosy fly might see if he was buzzing around. 

Our fly---or rather flies---followed us on an RV trip 2 weeks ago because we camped at a zoo (and you know how much flies love zoos)! This was Lucy's virgin trip, so we stayed close by, camping just 1 hour away at the famous Lion Country Safari park. WHAT FUN!!! We met our RV neighbors who helped us work out a few newbie issues with Lucy when we first arrived, but after that, it was all about relaxing outdoors and grilling burgers while we sipped some champagne. We took Yoda with us and he was the perfect doggo! But this story would not be complete without a little back history and a promise Mac and I made 40 years ago. 

After saying our wedding vows in 1984, we agreed that when we reached retirement age, we would buy an RV and travel around the country. We also joked about how we would both wear muumuus when we did it. We actually bought the
muumuus many, many years ago and kept them in the closet. So on our virgin trip 2 weeks ago with Lucy, we pulled out the muumuus to celebrate this promise. The best part? We've decided to make the muumuus a tradition and wear them at every campsite we visit!

Even crazier is that this RV park is right next to the zoo, so while we were sipping coffee outdoors the following morning, we heard the hungry lions roaring for breakfast! It was incredible, but I was very grateful for the fencing between us. We also heard a ton of monkeys jabbering in the trees. 

Since we weren't too far from home, several of our kids and grandkids drove the extra miles to have a cookout on our second day at the park. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the cornhole was competitive! 

We are embracing the RV life 100% now and couldn't be happier living in our little Lucy. I already have 7 more trips planned---our next one May 23 up to the GORGEOUS Blue Springs State Park!

Before I forget, let's hear it for all the mamas out there who celebrated Mother's Day last weekend! You deserved your special day! We had a lot of fun, too---visited our favorite South Florida spot, Morikami Japanese Gardens, and enjoyed lunch at their outdoor cafe. We got to hang out with our neighbors by their pool afterward. And then on Mother's Day, it was all about brunch with the family. I'm sure I gained 10 pounds from the weekend but calories don't count for Moms on their special day! 

Wish us luck next weekend with Lucy--it will be hot as Hades at the RV park but the springs will be cool and hopefully, the flies will stay away!!

***Want more Meno Mama? My latest fun piece for BUSINESS INSIDER on retirement is HERE to read.  I also have a few over at AARP's "The Girlfriend" on the most affectionate cat breeds (HERE) and great Memorial Day dishes HERE. You can find me over at AARP's "The Ethel" sharing classic recipes from our Moms HERE . If you've been following my column at Yahoo Life, then hopefully you caught these popular posts---one on seniors who choose to live alone (HERE ) and the much debated Mother-In-Law issue (HERE). Enjoy!

Now it's time to go buzz around with the fly at Karen and Diane's house to see what they've been up to!

Baking In A Tornado                      


On the Border                               

Friday, April 19, 2024

Fly On The Wall At Our 40th Wedding Anniversary

Welcome to another edition of Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A  Tornado. Today there are three of us brave souls inviting you into our homes for a peek at what goes on behind closed doors. 

The nosey fly followed Hubs and me to St Augustine last week for our annual wedding anniversary vacation (this year was our 40th!). He definitely overheard some weird conversations but mostly he saw us relaxing on the bay and eating waaaay too much seafood. 

It was such a fun trip! Mac got to jet ski in the bay (I will never do THAT again after almost falling off into frigid water that was infested with little worms!!) and one evening we went out on a sunset cruise that was also a wine tasting party. The wind was CRAZY but we had a blast (who wouldn't when you're out on the ocean sipping wine for 2 hours!).

Our favorite part of these annual trips to St. Augustine is exploring the historic district and tasting all the culinary delights the city has to offer. Best seafood, best martinis, quaint shops, adorable old homes and B&Bs, friendly locals..... I'd buy a home here if I could afford it.

We went back to the special place that rents clown cars---a tradition of ours every year---but looking at those mini mobiles this time (and feeling horribly bloated from so much calorie-laden indulgence), we looked at each other and realized there was no way we could fit our fat butts into the tiny car---not to mention crawling back out. FUGGEDABOUTIT. So we rented a golf cart instead to toodle around town. Much more comfortable!

In typical Doyle fashion---and the motto we live by: "Go Big Or Go Home," Mac and I got matching tattoos to celebrate our 40 years together. We chose the Japanese symbol for love since we love Japanese culture and we're still deeply in love (yeah, I see your eye rolls....). It was a funny experience even though there were some OUCH moments while getting inked (but totally worth it!). 

So here are some snippets of conversation with the hubs during our trip and a total photo dump of St.  Augustine: 

ME: "That was a great meal and a great dessert!"

HUBS: "It was....but now I need to hibernate for a few months to digest it all."

ME: "There are vultures circling over our hotel!"

HUBS: "That's because I haven't showered in a few days."

ME: "Ah yes, they DO like the scent of rot."

ME: "Why are you lying on the hotel bed like that?"

HUBS: "I ate too much lobster at the restaurant---I have to lie in the fetal position to feel better."

HUBS: "My back is killing me from all the walking we've been doing at the tourist spots."

ME: "You should just get back surgery and be done with it." 

HUBS: "No way. The surgeons will remove one or two of my disks and then I'll be shorter. In fact, I'll probably be so short that you'll stick me in the backyard and use me as a yard gnome."

ME: "Or a door stop....."

HUBS: "We're eating too much rich food at all these restaurants. It's making me gassy. But at least my farts are kinda quiet---like tiptoeing through the tulips."

ME: "I wouldn't call that tiptoeing. More like galloping."

ME: "Aren't you glad I'm not a picky person like some other women we know?"

HUBS: "Yes, you're definitely not a picky person because you picked me. Happy Anniversary!"

Happy Anniversary Honey, and cheers to many, many more!

Want more Meno Mama? First off, some menopause humor (it felt great to write humor again!) over at AARP/The Girlfriend which you can read HERE. Next, healthy spring dishes for AARP/The Ethel that you can read HERE.

Now it's time to go buzz around with the fly at Karen and Diane's house to see what they've been up to!

Baking In A Tornado                      


On the Border                               

Friday, March 22, 2024

Fly On The Wall In The Spring Of New Beginnings

Welcome to another edition of  Fly On The Wall group blog postings hosted by Karen of Baking In A Tornado. Today, three of us are opening our homes to give you a glimpse of what goes on behind closed doors. 

While the past month has been tremendous fun, it did have its difficult moments. We had to say goodbye to another one of our pugs---an unexpected ending that felt like a terrible gut punch. Brewski was just shy of his 13th birthday and the first pug pup we ever adopted. He started having gall bladder issues and before we knew it, he was at the emergency vet clinic, diagnosed with cancerous tumors on his liver. The prognosis was not good and the poor baby was in pain, so we had to make that devastating decision once again to let him go (only 1 1/2 years after losing our sweet Savi). The grief is still fresh but I'm trying to keep busy and focus on the good stuff.  We have one pug baby left---Yoda, who is seven, but I don't see any more dogs in my future after going through so much pet loss trauma.

We've also been spending more time with friends to stay busy and avoid feeling sad about Brewski. We are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful, caring people in our lives.

On a lighter note, one of the highlights of this past month was our weekends at the Renaissance Festival.  We didn't attend as much this year (wasn't up for it after losing Brewski), especially since I noticed a BIG shift in the crowds. Mac and I are the old farts there watching all the "youngsters" getting wild and crazy. Damn, that used to be us....WHAT HAPPENED?? Still had fun though with the family and of course, met some interesting characters......

However, the best part of the month is spending time with my grandbabies. They are growing up TOO fast---12, 5, almost 3, and a 4-month-old baby. PLEASE STOP THE CLOCKS! I truly hope I live to a ripe, old age because I need to see what these kids will be doing in 20 years. 

And of course, there was our annual St. Patrick's Day celebration with the family and the neighbors. I made the traditional corn beef, carrot, cabbage, and potatoes in memory of my mother, who always spent the holiday with us. Not only did we wear green, but also served green beer and green champagne to our guests! Yeah, I'm weird with my enthusiasm for ANY  holiday.....

The next day we hopped on our tandem bike to burn off the green calories. Why do people laugh at us when they see us pedal around the neighborhood???

Lastly, I've been busy planning several RV trips this year since we finally have our "Lucy." I feel like this is the beginning of a new chapter for us, and I'm pretty excited! I finished decorating Lucy so she is ready to roll! But I don't know if the Florida Highways are ready for The Doyle mobile. A friend actually gave me a sign for our RV that reads, "If this RV is rockin', don't come knockin'!" Would the Doyles have it any other way??

***Want more Meno Mama? Check out my latest grandparenting advice column for Yahoo Life HERE and my recent essay on AARP/The Ethel about the 2 words that help me through life (you can read it HERE). If you like movies that feature the power of female friendships, I have an article about it on AARP/The Girlfriend ( you can read it HERE) and one on easy 4-ingredient meals HERE.

Be sure to visit the sites of the other bloggers participating in this month's Fly On The Wall post. They always have something fun going on!


Baking In A Tornado                      

On the Border                               


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