Our Trip Thru the Rockies Pt. 3

We finish our trip with a 2-day visit to Salt Lake City before heading home to Chicago. SLC is a beautiful, clean city with an abundance of things to do, with one caveat. Seeing the sites on Sunday, as we did, might disappoint some of you. SLC, being a Mormon dominated city, is virtually closed at least in the downtown area. Even Macy’s was shuttered for the day. Finding an open restaurant, impossible.

Monday, however, the city comes to life with a 2 1/2-hour shuttle tour of the area in the offing. Photos are of the 2 days we enjoyed on our extended weekend trip in SLC.

One venue always open on Sunday is the Morman Tabernacle and its’ famous pipe organ.

It is open to the public on Sundays.

And this is the world-famous organ with a short recital (maybe tuning the pipes).

At 11:00, it’s time for mass down the street at the Cathedral of the Madeleine with its magnificent altar, stained glass windows and its own pipe organ.

We happened to attend a mass that featured a 20-voice choir accompanied by the organ.

This smaller organ rivaled the sound of the Mormon Tabernacle organ.


More sightseeing. We visit “The Place” or “This is the Place” Heritage Park. It is named in honor of Brigham Young’s famous statement in 1847 that the Latter-day Saint pioneers should settle in the Salt Lake Valley.

The monument that features Brigham Young and the pioneers who crossed the Rockies in a 4-month ordeal.

A typical wagon used by the pioneers on their journey.

Lastly, a tribute to the Pony Express riders (Sorry about the raindrops).

Thoroughly exhausted (who knew sitting for 4 days could be so tiring), we board our flight back to Chicago, just missing a violent thunderstorm that occurred just prior to arrival.

Not our plane!

It’s good to be home, but we are both ready for more adventures. Any suggestions?

Our Trip Thru the Rockies Pt. 2

Flying over the Rockies is an awesome, bumpy ride. My wife and I decided to take Amtrak thru the Rockies to get a close-up view of what we had been seeing from 30,000 feet. Here are some of the highlights.

Yes, our train: The California Zephyr rounding one of many bends.

And yes, that is snow on top of the Rocky Mountains in June.

The Zephyr stops to let passengers on/off and for a short stop for picture taking.

Rapids anyone? That’s a long way down!

These pictures don’t capture the majesty of the Rockies. Many, many times the train slows to a crawl because we are so close to the mountainside. There is a 3-wire barrier next to the track that protects the Zephyr from the mountain boulders that could come crashing down at any time because of the train’s movement.

Looks like fun. Maybe try that next time.

Leaving the spectacular Rockies behind, we ride into Utah and the Wasatch Mountain range as the sun sets.

We are scheduled for a 11:05 p.m. arrival time in Salt Lake City, however, freight still rules the rails, so we wait outside of SLC as the freight trains clear out. So, at 11:45, we detrain and head for our hotel, the itch having been scratched for now. I’m wondering how the Rockies would look under a pure white blanket of snow in winter.

Our adventure continues the next day, as we explore downtown Salt Lake City.

Our Trip Thru the Rockies Pt. 1

Chicago to Denver, Denver to Salt Lake City and back to Chicago…in an extended weekend. My wife and I, Whew! What a ride. Ride along with us, won’t you?

Welcome aboard. It all started at ORD, Chicago’s humongous airport on the furthest northwest reaches of the city. I was thinking our 2:30 flight to Denver should be a breeze, right? Wrong! It’s Friday afternoon and business travelers are scrambling to get a flight home, college students, ditto, or going off to party. Anyway, the TSA line… it’s like someone is giving away free food. I have never seen a line of people so long, so filled with bored, grumpy looking individuals. OMG. And so, we enter the line. Uh, do we need to pack a lunch? No, a beady-eyed TSA guy says. “No food allowed. No beverages allowed. Not in your hand, not in your carryon. Eat it now, drink it now, or toss it.” Welcome to today’s travel nightmare.

Lois, my ever-lovin, goes ahead of me in the line, then I go. I get thru it with no prob, but Lois gets a “random” pat-down from an agent. “Every time”, she explains to no one in particular. I begin to see why people are so grumpy.

After the TSA experience, it’s off to find the gate. Naturally, it involves walking to the other concourse which means walking about a 1/2-mile underground to get to Gate C-24. But we still have plenty of time to reach it and we do without stopping for lunch along the way.

Not surprised, we get to the gate to find our plane has been delayed due to lack of a crew. Our 2:30 is now 4:45 and counting. Not to worry, the plane arrives, passengers get off, the cleaners get on and get it done quickly. Soon we are seated and airborne, on our way to Denver.

(Not our plane)

Along the way, we catch a nice tailwind and end up only 1 hour late. No bags were checked, so it’s time to find our hotel which is located in downtown Denver. There is a handy, but pricey shuttle that takes us there and so we arrive in downtown Denver coincidently at Union Station, the site of our next adventure in the morning.

It’s now Saturday, 9:00 a.m. and we are on Amtrak train #5 to Salt Lake City, Utah only 15 hours away. Getting there at 11:05 p.m. so fingers are once again crossed that we are on time.

(Not our train)

I want you to check out some of the things we saw while on the train, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

12 Things That Could Be Getting Your Luggage Flagged by TSA

Get to your gate quicker by knowing what TSA looks for. To help, we rounded up the items, substances, and packing strategies (or lack thereof) that are getting your luggage flagged by the TSA, causing your things to be tossed at security checkpoints or simply adding time to this not-so-fun part of your travel experience

©EvgeniyShkolenko/Getty Images

Bringing too much liquid

Liquids, gels, and pastes (including toothpaste) can’t exceed one 3.4-ounce container each (aside from these 12 items), per the TSA. Consumables must also comply with the rule if you’re carrying your luggage on board, however they can be packed in any quantities in checked luggage. All of these must fit into a one-quart bag (again, this is only for carry-ons). Only one bag is allowed per traveler. Exceptions include baby formula, medications, and other items for special-needs travelers. 

Liquid medications

You’re allowed to bring clearly labeled prescriptions in your carry-on, per the TSA, which you should always do, just in case your other luggage gets lost or delayed. Additionally, you can bring medication in liquid form that’s more than 3.4 ounces—and you don’t even need to put it into a resealable bag, unlike other liquids. However, you must tell the TSA officer that you have these medically necessary liquids before your search, as they will likely require additional screening. 

Wrapped gifts

This is the worst: You spent hours perfectly wrapping presents, only for TSA officers to rip through them at security. To avoid this miserable situation, they recommend simply popping your gifts into gift bags or gift boxes so they can be easily checked, or keeping them unwrapped for now and bringing the wrapping paper with you.

To view the complete list, click the link below.

Source: 12 Things That Could Be Getting Your Luggage Flagged by TSA (msn.com)

Cute Swimsuits

I know what’s happening on the beaches, swimming pools and cruises right now, BUT it won’t always be this way.  We will get back to normal and what better way to wait it out is to dream a little.  That country, that island, that beach, that ship, that swimsuit !  Yes, swimsuit.  Are you ready for summer ?  Take a peak at some really cute suits.  Then get dreaming where you’d love to wear it.  Read on:

Iyasson Blank Memory Stripe Bikini Set #femaleswimwear

25 Varieties Of Bikinis To Put on This Summer time  2020 #bikini2020 #Bikinis #Summer #Types

Bikini trendy bra & bikini sets, fashion bra & bikini sets with competitive price | modlily.com

SWIM – Pink Desert

Two piece bathing suit

Women Teal Floral Ruffles Trim Shirred Bandeau High Waist Sexy Bikini - XL

That’s all for this edition.  I may post another edition if you enjoyed this one.

In the meantime, stay well …..and keep dreaming !

Photo credits:

  • Target
  • Lysson
  • Bikinihealth
  • swimsuitsforall.com
  • lacecloth.com
  • Free people
  • Thereformation.com
  • Glamati Beauty
  • Modilly.com
  • Thepinkdesert.com
  • Maykoolfsshion


Comfy & Stylish Walking Shoes

As someone who walks around all day, everyday when I travel, I know how difficult it is to find a pair of stylish walking shoes for travel. That's why I created this expert's guide to 12 of the best, stylish but comfortable walking shoes for travel! From Converse to UGGS to Birkenstocks, see which shoes made the list #travelshoes #walkingshoes #stylishsneakers #travelpacking #travelfashion #traveltips

(Sorry guys, this one’s for the ladies)

Stylish walking shoes for travel. Sounds impossible. Kind of like the Lochness Monster of the fashion world. Am I right?

Well thankfully, that’s a myth!

Truthfully though, this list won’t contain any super sexy, six-inch, stiletto heels that give you fantastic upper Lumbar support and that make you feel like you’re walking on air.

Sorry but honestly:

I can’t remember the last time I wore a pair of heels.


This list does contain an assortment of flats (ballet flats, boots, flip-flops, slip-ons, etc.) that are not only WICKED cute but that are uber comfortable too.

And I’ve worn all of these shoes so I’ll detail the good, the bad, and the UGLY about each and every pair.

Because really:

No shoes are totally perfect. But for MOST of us womenfolk, we need about ten thousand pairs of comfortable, stylish walking shoes for travel.


Not only are shoes cute, comfortable, and fun to wear, but they never make you feel fat!

Three cheers to that. Now if only I could eat whatever I want and not gain a pound.

But back to comfortable walking shoes.

They’re always there for you to comfort you and remind you that you are wicked awesome and insanely gorgeous, even if you’ve gained about a hundred pounds.

Because guess what?

You’re fashionable walking shoes? Yeah, they still fit! They never gave up on you!

So this post on stylish walking shoes for travel? Yeah, its an undying, ode of love to my shoes, who forever reassure me of just how amazing I really am.

At least:

That’s how I justify buying myself a ton of walking shoes for travel that I actually don’t need.

But onwards and upwards to all the glorious pairs of shoes!

1. AOMAIS Women’s Fashion PU Leather Sneakers Low Top Laceup Canvas Shoes

Let’s be honest. Are these AOMAIS sneakers the greatest and most comfortable walking shoes that I have ever owned?


But for $20 a pair, they are pretty darn good.

2. Converse, Chuck Taylor, All Star Low Tops

“I love getting blisters and watching my feet bleed!” said no one ever.


You also don’t want a heinous pair of sneakers (cough…Sketchers Shape Ups…cough) that make you look like a total selife sitck wielding, fanny pack toting tourist.


Unless you’re older and have a back problem, or have no idea how to tie shoes, velcro is not a super hott look.

So what’s the walking shoes for travel solution?

Converse! Not only is this iconic brand perfect for men and women of all ages (talk about a cross-generational fashion icon), but they are comfy, come in a ton of different colors, and can easily slip on and off (perfect for zipping through airport security).

3. DREAM PAIRS Women’s Winter Lace up Mid Calf Combat Boots

They are REALLY reasonably priced and cost $34 a pair, which is damn cheap when it comes to women’s boots.


Not only do they look good, but they are comfortable, easily zip on and off (perfect for airport security), and have a secret pocket, in each boot, where you hide extra cash/credit cards.

4. Cole Haan Women’s Elsie Ballet Ii Flat

My mission is life has always been to find cute ballet flats that I can actually walk around in all day while I travel, 

You know:

Without getting insane blisters that make me limp around like Tiny Tim’s big sister.

Only not in an endearing kind of way.

Well, I am delighted to say that I finally found a pair of ballet flats that both me and my feet love.

And no, I haven’t tried Tieks yet but when I do I MAY add them to the list.

Yup, Cole Haan ballet flats have been the answer to this ballet flat lover’s prayers.

Not only are they insanely comfortable, and made with incredibly high-quality leather, but they provide you with great support and are perfect for people who have wider feet (if your feet are narrow, you may want to size down).

5. TOMS Women’s Avalon Sneakers

I love TOMS.

Not only are they a company with a conscience, but they make high quality, comfortable, super cute shoes that are great for walking in.


They’re not the warmest shoes on the planet, but warmth isn’t really something that you’re looking for when purchasing TOMS.


The classic TOMS do have a rather thin sole that I would constantly wear out or destroy inadvertantly when walking over a jagged rock.

6. Teva Women’s W Voya Flip Flop

I LOVE TEVA flip flops so much.

They were my go-to flip flop in high school and still are today, at least if I need shower shoes or if I’m traveling somewhere tropical.


They’re not like normal flip flops that have no arch support and that fall apart in about 2.5 seconds since you’re basically walking on a thin layer of cheap plastic.


These bad boys of the flip flop world come in a variety of different colors, styles, and patterns, and are relatively inexpensive too.

And wait for it….

They were actually recommended to me by a physical therapist since they have hella awesome arch support.

7. Polar Women’s Winter Thermal Snow Outdoor Warm Mid Calf Waterproof Durable Boot

These winter boots cost $40, are absolutely adorable, and super comfortable to walk around in!


They’re also infinitely cheaper and warmer than that pair of Sorrel Boots I got five years ago.

8. Steve Madden Women’s Gills Fashion Sneaker

I’ll be the first one to admit that I have a slight love/hate relationship with Steve Madden, slip-on sneakers.


A while back, I got these quilted, Steve Madden slip-on sneakers, and they were exactly what I was looking for.

They were nicer than ordinary sneakers, comfortable, and incredibly easy to get on and off (especially at the airport with a pair of no show socks).

The one big flaw?

Until I broke them in, they gave me AWFUL blisters.

It got to the point where my blisters were so bad that I was kind of limping around while wearing them.  So when I finally caved and got these Steve Madden Women’s Gills Fashion Sneaker in leather, I was a bit worried.


I diligently researched this shoe before I purchased a pair and ordered a size up to avoid any possible blister incidents.  And I am delighted to report that my faith was not misplaced.

In this model:

The heel is rounded and padded so that blisters aren’t an issue. I would still wear no show socks though so that your shoes don’t smell.

They’re also super comfortable, last, a LONG time (so you can justify the price tag), look good with almost any outfit (as long as you get them in a neutral color) and are easy to get on an off.

9. Adidas Originals Women’s Campus


These aren’t the most stylish walking shoes on this list. Unless you’re dying to look like Sporty Spice while traveling.  In which case, go for it and own that shizxle.

But in all seriousness:

I put these shoes on the list because while they are mad comfortable, they are more nostalgic than anything else since the youth of America forever and always LOVE Adidas.


This pair in black and white totally remind me of the sambas we all used to wear when we were little.

Also not gonna lie:

These are awesome walking shoes that most men would probably love. Not that I know what men want but just an educated guess.

10. UGG Women’s Kristin Winter Boot

I feel like UGGS are the shoes that everyone loves to hate, but in reality, we all not so secretly love them.


Well, I feel like UGGS are basic AF (pass me my yoga pants and pumpkin spice latte while you’re at it) and if I’m honest, the classic pair is mad comfortable but not exactly a super sexy shoe.


If you wear them out in the snow (big no no) they get all those hideous salt stains on them.  They are also NOT naturally waterproof so make sure you buy the spray and waterproof the crap out of them before you wear them.


I just made UGGS sound horrible but I swear I love them, especially the UGG Women’s Kristin Winter Boot.

11. Franco Sarto Haylee Women’s Slip Ons

True confessions?

This is the only shoe on this list of best flats for walking that I don’t actually own myself.


There are just a little too professional for my taste (since I work from home and slum it up in sweatpants with holes).


One of my friends who travels a lot for work absolutely loves these shoes and insisted that I put them on this list (Shout out to Danielle, you’re the best).

12. Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Oiled Leather Sandal

I feel like I need to write a sonnet to my Birkenstock’s since I have been rocking them since the stone age.

AKA when I was still in high school.

And while the style of Brikenstock’s that I wear has changed dramatically since high school, my undying love for this brand of shoe has not.

Not only do they last forever (I always get tired of my shoes before they wear out):

But the Birkenstock Women’s Mayor style is super comfortable too.

Unlike my older pair of Birkenstocks that gave me zero support, not that I actually gave a hoot at the time, this pair is a bit more supportive with a built-in arch that I adore.

Only downside?

They take an eternity to break in but it’s totally worth waiting since these sandals literally mold to your foot.

So use this list of awesome travel shoes for women if you have no idea what shoes to pack for your next international flight or crazy long car trip.