Prayer flags and Mt. Annapurna I background from Annapurna Base Camp ,Nepal.

Now that we’re down to the last months of the year and the pandemic continues to threaten the whole world, we can’t help but think of the days when we could pack a bag and just go — anywhere. Travel was and always will be the greatest way to connect to the world and while we cannot go about it as we normally do, we still believe in the power of exploring places as yet unknown.

We hear from friends and colleagues both here at home and abroad about if, and how, they are traveling now. Are you more comfortable in a hotel or a vacation rental. Will you go to a restaurant and, if so, will you dine outside or inside (if permitted). What’s it like to be in the airport, on a commercial plane or, if you’re lucky like Anne, a private jet.

We are starting to dip our toes. Anne is just back from 3 weeks at a private house rental in Jackson, Wyoming – all wide-open spaces and social distancing. Next month Audrey will be heading just north of L.A. to Big Bear to spend a couple of days at a little cabin in the woods – no internet, no cell reception – just back to nature and a chance to take a deep breath and enjoy a change of scenery and turn off the noise.

We realize that everyone has a different comfort level, different circumstances and risk thresholds. It’s why we have done extensive research to create a list of properties across the U.S. for those clients who, after 6 months at home, feel the need to just get out and go somewhere, ANYWHERE. When you are ready, we are ready to help. Until then, stay healthy and keep dreaming.

Let’s fly way up to the clouds — Away from the maddening crowds
A couple of years ago, Audrey and Anne were lucky enough to visit Puglia – the best “little known” region of Italy. In the town of Polignano a Mare we stood next to an enormous statue dedicated to the great Italian singer Domenico Modugno, who was most famous for his hit song “Volare” (also a huge hit for Dean Martin). This was in the 1950s, so if you were born after 1970, we don’t expect you to know what we are talking about. Nevertheless, here is a lively performance of the song – a few minutes of fun and happiness – played by foot on a giant keyboard. Thanks to Cynthia Camazine for sending us this link!
Watch it HERE
If you watch all the way through, you’ll also be treated to “Americano.”

COVID-19 Information: Johns Hopkins Health Security Headlines
Our heads were exploding. The TV said this about COVID-19. The radio said another thing. The internet said everything. So, we decided we needed to narrow our source of information about the pandemic to just one: Johns Hopkins Health Security Headlines. They provide clear, non-partisan, straight-forward information directly to your inbox every day. We had to trust someone – and Johns Hopkins was our choice. It is easy to sign up on their website:
Just click HERE

Are you done clearing out? Me neither.
From the streaming service that brought you ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, Netflix has a new organizing show, “Get Organized with The Home Edit”. Expert home organizers Clea and Joanna help celebrities and everyday people edit, categorize and contain their clutter to create stunning spaces. After watching a few episodes, I realize that I don’t squeal in delight and excitement with my clients and friends as much as I should. They shriek all the time! I will admit, however, that my various types of masks are now in neat, clear, labeled, conveniently placed boxes after watching the show

So now, you either follow some of their advice and have a tidy new abode or feel bad about how your home is not organized. We have a foot in both camps.

When we wish we were in New Orleans we:
Watch: Sea of Love
Cook: Gumbo (the recipe is on our Facebook page)
Order from Amazon: Café du Monde Beignet Mix. We often fall asleep while counting images of these puffy square French doughnuts covered in powdered sugar.
Listen to: Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” because we are optimists and “St. Louis Blues” because, well you know. . .
Drink: A Sazerac – the Official Drink of New Orleans. Did you think it was the Hurricane? No way – too sweet and not nearly as refined as the Sazerac. Just a few simple ingredients (absinthe, sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, Angostura bitters, Rye whiskey and cognac) and – voilà – you’re in the Big Easy! Just don’t try to take it to go. Few cities allow a “walker”

Scream Therapy – It Can’t Hurt
Remember when Iceland suggested we hug a tree to feel better during this pandemic? Now, 6 months in, there is another stellar stress-releasing idea: screaming. HINT: It’s Iceland again.
They know we’ve all been through a lot this year and we need someplace to let our frustrations out. Somewhere big, vast and untouched.

Just go to Click Here and record your scream and they’ll release it in Iceland’s beautiful, wide-open spaces. They even tell you where they let it go. There are instructions on the best way to stand when screaming, using your breath for the best and most therapeutic scream. And when you’re ready, they’d like to you come to Iceland and let it out for real. They promise you’ll feel better. We did it and YES, we feel better.

Creative people that have more time than we do:
The artist at DoodleChaos spent over 3 months synchronizing a line rider track to Beethoven’s 5th drawing everything by hand. It’s graphically simple and endlessly entertaining.
Watch it HERE
You can also watch/listen to more on the DoodleChaos YouTube channel including
“Les Toreadors” from Carmen by Bizet, “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart and “The Blue Danube” by Straus.

Creative people that have more time than we do:
The artist at DoodleChaos spent over 3 months synchronizing a line rider track to Beethoven’s 5th drawing everything by hand. It’s graphically simple and endlessly entertaining.
Watch it HERE
You can also watch/listen to more on the DoodleChaos YouTube channel including
“Les Toreadors” from Carmen by Bizet, “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart and “The Blue Danube” by Straus.

The Ravens at Tower of London are Bored
A lack of tourists is driving the ravens at the Tower of London to boredom and causing them to fly the coop. Legend has it the monarchy and the Tower of London will fall if its six resident ravens leave the fortress. There are seven ravens in total – the required six, plus one spare.

This was an actual headline in the Daily Mail:
‘Bored’ Tower of London ravens are sneaking away from the site in search of food due to the lack of tourists – raising fears that the monarchy could CRUMBLE.

Our thoughts are that while the British monarchy could possibly crumble, we seriously doubt it would be because of wandering ravens. In his book “The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London” Ravenmaster Christopher Skaife’ writes “

Click HERE to see Relief expressed widely

Quote for Today
->“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long.
If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”<- ->~ Winnie-the-Pooh<-

30-Day Song Challenge
We have been doing this since the beginning of September. Even if you don’t actually keep track, it’s fun to look at and see what songs spring to mind. Day 17 was a no-brainer for us because we WON a karaoke competition while cruising the Galapagos Islands. The song? The disco classic “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, of course. Watch it HERE

Anne’s song for Day 29 is improbably “I’m a Lonely Little Onion in the Petunia Patch And All I Do Is Cry All Day”. Don’t believe me? Listen to it HERE

Audrey can’t stop thinking about Day 5 – Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl”. Which, sadly, was the last song he ever played in concert. Concert Video HERE
Original Version is HERE
RIP TP.

If you plan to pick your songs in October, you will see there is no 31st listed. That is because the only song for that day would absolutely have to be “The Monster Mash”. It was one of Dick Clark’s favorite: Watch it HERE

Finding Fun Facts
If you like fun facts, check out Mental Floss’s “Amazing Fact Generator.” Click Here You can get as many facts as you want. An example: “When Disneyland was opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future — 1986.” (In 1959 Anne actually remembers seeing an electric toothbrush in the house and thought “No way!”)

The Best Hand Soaps for the Age of Non-Stop Handwashing
Some are a splurge; some you can find at Target. All of them will get the job done! Read it HERE

Travel Word We Love: Fernweh (n.)
Origin: German
An ache for distance places; the craving for travel.
This word ties with Flâneur ( a stroller, someone who ambles through city streets in search of adventure and fulfillment) as Anne’s favorite travel word. Fernweh literally means ‘far sickness’ or longing for far-off places. In other words – wanderlust. Fernweh is the longing to go on adventures and see places you have never seen/ heard of before. We’ve got fernweh bad.

Breakfast is not just for weekends anymore.
Haven’t you always wondered about this – ‘The Best Method for Making Bacon’?
During the slightly-more down time we find ourselves in, we are cooking a proper breakfast more often than grabbing a yogurt or a protein bar. But what a conundrum: how to guarantee that the bacon is always perfect? Read THIS

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