Is it 900 AD…

3 Oct

…or did I just get an archery lesson from a man in a viking costume?

Fortunately for me, it’s the former. We went to the annual Viking Fest in Vista, California two weekends ago. It’s something my husband has been dying to check out, as we live only 5 minutes away.

The main draw for us was the chance to drink mead, a beer/wine made out of fermented honey. For all the hype and anticipation, the  mead was something of a disappointment. At $4 for 4 ounces, it felt a little pricey. And the taste was bitter and not at all honey-like. I’ve always wanted to make mead, mainly because I’m gluten-free and can’t drink home-brewed beer. But after trying mead, I think I can cross it off my bucket list.

The rest of the Viking Fest was basically a Renaissance Fair, except with an emphasis on weapons, like the archery set I’m using above. There was also an axe-throwing contest, live battle demos, and some scantily clad women dancing with swords. Not really my cup of tea, but at least we can say we went.

And my archery lesson was pretty awesome. I significantly improved my aim and actually got two bulls eyes. I think the Viking felt at a loss to instruct me, given how good I already seemed to be. But I don’t think I would have done quite so well without his tutelage. The secret is to release the arrow by relaxing your hand, not flinging it open.


Another Update

22 Sep

So, I’m thinking about starting up with this blog again. Except I’m thinking about going local this time. That is, I would write about my travels in and around Southern California. So look for a post next week on Vista’s annual  Viking Fest, which I’m going to this weekend. Apparently, there will be lots of mead, a honey-based beer that I’ve always wanted to try.

My new venture

21 Sep

The blog is quiet, but my life is anything but.

We went to Belize last May for 10 days. And as far as I’m concerned, it is paradise.

But the more significant news is that I’ve officially launched Sterling Writer, my San Diego-based copywriting business. And here’s something I haven’t quite come to terms with yet — I think I’m going to be a travel copywriter. But don’t tell anyone, it’s still kind of a secret.

5 travel gifts for your Christmas Wish List

26 Nov

I hope, for your sake, that you’re reading this from halfway across the world. Because as I type, millions of Americans are descending on Wal-Mart and Best Buy in the pre-Christmas ritual known as Black Friday. Holiday shopping has officially begun. And apparently, I’m not exempt from the madness. I am, after all, posting a wish list!

Anyway, here’s the travel stuff I would be dreaming of this Christmas, if I didn’t already have most of it: Continue reading


24 Nov

This year has brought many unexpected blessings: the sudden success of Cory’s work, my own career change, the working out of some complicated health problems, our trips to Annapolis and New York. I have so much to be grateful for, that I can’t help but mention it here.

I’m also grateful for you, my readers, as few as you may be right now. I hope my writing brings a little joy to your life each week, and that each of you has a festive and love-filled Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: controltheweb

Idyllwild: My Weekend Away

20 Nov

Idyllwild is the unloved stepchild of Southern California. Everyone adores our iconic beaches, but no one comes to Southern California for the mountains, which is where you’ll find Idyllwild. Even locals prefer Big Bear, with its decent ski slopes.

As for me, I’d visited Idyllwild a few times, usually for a retreat, but it wasn’t until my trip a few weeks ago that I fully succumbed to its charms. Maybe it had something to do with the time of year. Unlike San Diego, Idyllwild has fully settled into fall. Continue reading

Travel Link of the Week

20 Nov

For $10 you can help build a village in India and be entered to win some fabulous prizes, like a three night stay at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa or a Delta travel voucher. The content is part of the annual Passports with Purchase put on by travel bloggers around the world. To enter, go to Passports with Purpose and click “Donate Now.” For each $10 donation, you get one entry for the prize of your choice. And whether you win or not, you can feel good about helping such an important cause.

Photo Credit: Feuillu