Information Overload

So many different pieces of information coming from so many directions right now, it really is just overwhelming. Information from the news agencies, information from the other news agencies, information from conspiracy theorists, information from doctors, information from other doctors, information from the government. Obviously you want to check your sources, but what if all these differing opinions are from credible sources?

Vaccines, treatments, other treatments, protests to open the state, other states protests to keep the state closed, open the beaches, don’t open the beaches, eliminate all germs – use antibacterial products, germs help you build an immune system – don’t use antibacterial products, wear masks, don’t wear masks, America has a surplus of produce, America has no food, America is full of farmers, America has a meat shortage.

Look at her little whiskers!

Honestly, it’s overwhelming. I consider myself a highly educated, well read person and I’m just not sure how to filter out the weeds, and I’m not an expert in these areas, so why am I trying to filter out the weeds? Because the information from “experts” comes from both sides, offers both opinions. There is that saying “there is that person’s opinion (in this case expert opinion or finding) and there is the other person’s opinion (again an expert in this area) and the truth is somewhere in the middle. GREAT! So how do we find what is in the middle?

The other night we watched a movie, I don’t even remember which one, but it was SO interesting to me that after spending almost 8 weeks in ‘stay safe, stay home’ mode it made me very uncomfortable to see the people in the movies is LARGE crowds, right next to each other touching, hugging and kissing. It made me have that little anxious feeling inside. I wonder if anyone has experienced this? So now that we are starting to move around a little more and open up the country, I wonder if that little feeling inside will encourage people to stay socially distanced. Then next I wonder what will this do to all those other little bugs that we pass along.. colds, flu, etc.. Because up until this point I’ve always maintained that one of the reasons my immune system was so strong was because I don’t use anti-bacterial products, I work in a school with lots of smallish people who have a lot of germs all over them, and I spend as much time (although not when it’s below 34 degrees) outside. Between all these things, I feel I’ve built up a strong immune system, I rarely get what these kiddos get and they bring me a LOT of bodily fluids. SO now that I’ve not been exposed to anything for 2 months, what is going to happen? I think when schools open in the fall we will all be like first year teachers, sick often. So be ready administration, we are going to need a lot of substitute teachers next year!

So if I decide to retire and stay home and social distance for the rest of my life, it’s because I can’t figure out which advice to follow, which people to believe or which path to follow. For me, that really is a dramatic over reaction, but for some, this may be a reality, for those who are a little more vulnerable, this very well may be a reality, so we need to watch out for one another.

My contribution to good will, will be lots of puppy videos on social media to make people smile (hence the pictures on this post), and the usual ‘share the good’ posts and pondering of what is happening around town and around the world. Hopefully some travel thrown in to bring back that sense of adventure that seems to be squashed right now!

Black and White Stripe

It’s hard to write about fashion when the only thing I wear all day long is cozy clothes. My friend Tania is a professional blogger, that’s her career, and she’s amazing at it. She will get cleaned up and ready and take several days worth of photos at a time, I just don’t seem to have that motivation! Nor is blogging my career, so there’s that. I also enjoy blogging about traveling, we travel a lot, and we do it frugally which appeals to many people (some blogs you go to it’s all high end, super swanky places and although we’ve done that before, it’s not our travel of choice right now). But there is no traveling right now either. So that leaves me with a couple of choices; Keep writing lifestyle blogs, write about past travels, or take the time to do some outfit changes and write about fashion….. You’ll have to watch for the next several days to see what happens…. quite honestly probably a little bit of both. If you do want to see a professional in action, head over to https://50isnotold.com and check out my friend Tania. When I am stumped about what to wear a particular item with, I head over to Pinterest and put in the search what I am looking to match (ie: denim shirt) and several options pop up. I love having that resource, but what’s really fun is seeing my friend Tania all over those pages!

So today, for an example of how to dress very comfortably but also look presentable. I just threw on a wonderful pair of joggers that I got from all places Wal Mart. Wal Mart has really stepped up their game in the fashion area. When we went to Florida in February, we woke up to 40 degree weather and it was chilly for a couple of days. I had the jeans I traveled in, but no long pants other than that. We stopped at Wal Mart to pick up a few groceries and I threw these in the cart thinking they would be and extra pair that I could use to paint or work outside in, but they are SOFT and comfortable and I actually love them, they are now a staple in my casual wardrobe. This is the pair https://www.walmart.com/ip/Champion-Women-s-Jersey-Joggers/136712730?variantFieldId=actual_color . The shirt actually came from TJ Maxx last spring or the spring before. I have this affinity for ruffled sleeves right now, and then, and luckily you can still find them. And apparently the only place to find striped, ruffled, short sleeve tops are on Poshmark or EBay. Who knew they would be so popular? Sorry I can’t provide the link. I do usually put on socks and shoes for the day, but I hadn’t yet when I told this picture. I have on my Minnetonka black slippers. I love them along with my bionic slippers, but my feet get too hot in slippers, so I can only wear them in the mornings. The pair I wear is here: https://www.minnetonkamoccasin.com/women/styles/slippers/cloud-kilty

Are you a get up and get dressed in real clothes person? Are you a wear your jammies until noon or all day person, or are you a get up and get dressed in cozy clothes person? It seems we all fall into one of those categories, for whatever reason. The middle one certainly saves on laundry! The first one seems to be a lot of effort to impress the dogs, however it is probably more of a mindset than anything. I’m more of the last one. I do get dressed, but in shorts and a tee or sweats/leggings and a tee. And if I have to go anywhere (can you say grocery store?) I do put real clothing on. However makeup is a no go most days, even in these photos, so thank goodness for Rodan + Fields LashBoost! Let me know if you need more information on that!

I hope you are all doing well. This is certainly an interesting time. I’m pretty much a rule follower, so if the governor says wear a mask, I wear a mask, however I’m not a rule follow to the point of compromising my morals or values. I’ve seen some picketing and posts lately of people who are comparing following these rules fo something ugly in our world’s history. I think if we all follow our moral compass. Have compassion and kindness for others, and do what is for the greater good, we will be fine. And maybe if we all stopped watching the news……….. (hence the TP shortage)……. Good luck with that one……

College Graduation

What should’ve been one of the most memorable days of my daughter’s life, her college graduation, ended up to be just another lovely day in northern Michigan with a Champaign toast over the fence with the best neighbors ever. Katie graduated from Hope College, a small Christian college in Holland, Michigan. It is a small school, academically rigorous, with a host of caring professors and staff who ensure each student is on the right path, has the right courses, is doing well and completes their degree in 4 years. She has made life long tremendous friends who continually astonish me with their accomplishments and maturity.

My heart is so sad for all of these seniors. Both college and high school for different reasons. The high school grads for missing out on what may be their only graduation, missed senior year sports, missed SAT tests, missed senior skip day, missed senior spring breaks, to say nothing of potential for college sports, they missed the opportunity to play in front of coaches.

The college grads missed out on more life altering experiences. Not only did they miss their graduation and last several weeks with their friends and roommates (because as most people experience, it’s your college buddies are who you usually have life long relationships with) and their spring sports, but their opportunity to apply for jobs, while the whole country is shut down is non-existant. You can look up companies, you can send resumes and cover letters, but most application sites say “shut down due to Covid-19”. This is a very daunting challenge for many college grads. Some have had their positions secured only to have their job offer rescinded due to the shut downs. A very small percentage are fortunate enough to have secured their jobs and have a job to now go to, but some states are in lock down, so can they really relocate to their new homes?

Although sad, disappointing, and scary, I think if we just take a step back and look at the big picture and the big timeline, we can relax and breathe a little. Of course in a perfect world, graduates would like to have their ceremony, pack up their college apartments, spend a weekend with mom and dad or friends and then move into their new adult apartment or house and start their job Monday. But right now the world is not perfect. Think about this though. We work for about 40-45 years of our lives. YEARS. I really think this downturned economy and pandemic closings will be if not over, lifted, within months. We will either come up with a medication to fight it, a vaccine to prevent it or a way to reduce the spread, we will move forward from it. They are working hard on that because the American people are weary from the quarantine. You can see it from the pictures and social media posts. People need people. They need interaction. They need human contact. But even if these grads went a whole year without a job, that would be just one year out of 40 or 45 working years. Again, scary, maddening, frustrating, overwhelming…. all the adjectives…. but I think if we/they concentrate on the big picture, the deep breath and shoulders relaxed outlook we would all have would be beneficial not only for their mental health but also in the job search. A relaxed, confident job searcher will be more successful than a stressed out desperate job searcher.

So please, if you know of a senior, whether high school or college, show them a little love, send them a kind note, give them a little extra love right now. Pressuring them, stressing them out will not do a bit of good. I am quite sure that seniors everywhere are doing all that they can in this frustrating time and will be much more successful if we support them rather than pressure them.

Cheers to the class of 2020!

Working From Home

For those of us who are ‘homebodies’, don’t have small children at home and are still being paid to work from home this quarantining business is really not inconvenient. Now don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to go on vacation this spring, I love going out to dinner or having drinks with my friends, but I don’t have near the challenges that I would have if I had small children at home, was trying to work and homeschool or trying to work with small children around. And although moms everywhere would tell me this is no comparison, my whole routine changed this week with Rosie the new puppy.

Last winter Mark sectioned off part of our basement with what started as a very large walk in closet, and ended up being a walk in closet/office/potential guest room. As Mark was sectioning my part off, I was offered some beautiful furniture that had been my children’s when they were small. A lovely solid trundle bed and a side table. So I incorporated that into one side of the room, and then decided that would be a good reading nook and the trundle area underneath would be good for sweater storage. The next step was when we reverted the mud room back to a mudroom rather than a reading nook and moved the high top small breakfast table to my “closet” as well. So what went from a walk-in closet now serves many purposes. What I have been finding is that if I go downstairs to my “office” and work down there, I don’t create as many interruptions. You know, the laundry needs to be changed out, the dishes need to be done, the phone rings, the dog needs to go out, etc, etc, etc…

So with this quarantine I’ve been working down there in time blocks (like I mentioned the other day) and it’s been working well. I was getting a lot of school work done, a lot of Rodan and Fields work done, Zooms – both business and pleasure, I block times to come up and do those housework, doing small projects every day. I would get up, have my coffee, check emails. Get dressed, go down and write my blog. Come up for more coffee, work on school projects getting ready for next year. Eat lunch. Answer school questions and emails. Work on Rodan and Fields, posts, trainings or answering questions and emails. Work out. Finish up school work and any R + F work. Make dinner, eat dinner, and the day is done. Well that has come to a screeching halt. (Hence my blog at 7 pm last night instead of 7 am) And I know that it will all fall into the “new” routine… but this is how it looks now….

Wake up, take the puppy out. Start coffee, play with the puppy, try to drink said coffee, separate big dog from small puppy, keep trying to drink the same cup of coffee, keep puppy from antagonizing big dog. Open laptop, take the puppy out again. Open email, pull puppy away from lamp cords, start to write email, pull puppy off of cat…. and soon it’s lunch time and I’ve gotten nothing done…. HOWEVER, my friend Tina loaned me her enclosed baby gate, it’s a GAME CHANGER! I can actually get a few things done while I leave her in it. I don’t leave her for hours on end. I just “time block” her time in there as well. She’s safe, she’s contained, she usually sleeps (she is a baby after all) and I can move it from room to room with me.

So with this new ‘tool’, let’s see what all I can get done. today is going to be a beautiful day in Northern Michigan, so the baby gate may be transported outside so I can keep her contained while I’m working outside. I think she’s going to be a bit of a digger, so she may just tunnel her way out of that one…. Stay tuned!

Wearing Masks

Today I had a big day out to the grocery stores. That is really the only place I go other than for walks. I shopped at 3 stores and here is what I found in small town northern Michigan:

All but just a handful we’re wearing masks, and I’m sure that those who didn’t have a mask on had a reason that they didn’t have a mask on. And what fun to see all the different masks, if we gotta wear ‘em, we might as well have some fun with it. I ran into my friend Kurt, he has taken a Crown Royal bag, if you know Crown Royal you know what I mean, and turned it into his mask. There were bandannas, gators, medical masks, those light blue surgical masks, masks that had mouths on them, polkadot masks, plain masks, print masks…. I even ordered two masks from Lilly Pulitzer print, just to throw a little happy on the subject!

I did find though that if I wear my mask with my glasses and if I don’t have it adjusted just right, it fogs up my glasses… So when I went out today I wore my contact lenses so I wouldn’t have to deal with the fogging up while I was doing my grocery shopping. Grocery shopping for three weeks is stressful enough as it is.

The grocery stores now have arrows to show you which way to go down the aisle, as all the aisles are one-way now. It reminded me a lot of shopping at the commissary on Air Force bases… That is how they used to be. And it was interesting I only saw a couple people who are going down the isles the wrong way and this was my take on them…A couple of them were elderly and working really hard to find things on the shelves so I don’t even think they knew they were arrows on the ground, but I did see two of them who looked at the arrows and defiantly went the wrong way. I found that very interesting.

All of the grocery stores had the arrows in the isles, had X’s 6 feet apart at check out, had limits on the amount of food you could purchase, as far as quantity for any one item, The grocery stores were not crowded, in fact most of the shoppers were single shoppers, although there was a couple or two in the store. I’m sure they were just trying to get away from homeschooling their children. It really was refreshing to see everyone being respectful of the guidelines that have been put out. Whether they’re 100% effective or not just by doing these things I think that we all limit exposure potential.

I was shopping for three weeks worth of groceries so I had to go to three different stores because no one store carries everything I was looking for. It took me three hours to go to all three stores to buy my groceries and to come home, and I only live seven minutes from the grocery store. It is not my preferred method of grocery shopping, but for right now it is how I choose to do it.

Stay safe out there, I hope your shopping experiences are as pleasant as mine was today.

Rosie The Doodle

You have heard all about my Hank, the 95 pound lap dog, who had cancer at 3 months old and then lost his best friend at 11 months. Hank is THE most tactile animal I have ever owned. He NEEDS to touch someone ALL the time, so as you may have heard me say, this time of quarantine when we are all home, all the time, makes Hank very happy. We’ve talked a lot about Hank getting a buddy. We debated an older rescue dog, but with Hanks mouth being so sensitive, I’m not comfortable bringing in a dog I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what it’s “triggers” were or if they had any or what happened in the home that they were in before ours. I feel a greater responsibility to keep Hank safe than I do adopting an adult dog. Not everyone will agree with me, and that’s fine, we can agree to disagree. I’ve been on lists for puppies at shelters and rehoming sites, and they are just adopted so fast, you have to try for months/years to find one.

Last week my friend Katie showed a picture of the last of her puppies that her mom’s dog had, she was back and brown and adorable, even cuter as an adult (she had a pic of her adult sibling), that lead to talking, debating, “hemming & hawing” in our house hold… and all the questions that go along with it… is it the right time, is it the breed, are we ready for the infant stage again, all the questions. Michigan is out of school for the rest of the year, Mark and I are literally home until sometime in August so the timing probably couldn’t be any better! So I called my friend. Funny enough, the puppy we initially saw was no longer available. So we had to choose from a boy or girl, yellow or black. We chose the smaller, sweeter, yellow female and picked her up on Monday.

Hank was a little beside himself for the first couple of hours. He barked loudly in her face a couple of times, and didn’t want her to touch him, but within a short amount of time they were drinking out of the water bowl at the same time! Within 24 hours they were sleeping together on the floor like two otters! Hank is in Heaven.

She’s doing well with potty training, she did have one accident that was totally our fault for not taking her out after she woke up. We are learning all about sleeping… when Hank was a puppy one of my blogs was called “puppies don’t sleep”. We’re trying something different with this one. Whenever she falls asleep, we pick her up and put her in her kennel. She cuddles in and stays asleep. When we tried just putting her in her kennel when we went to bed the first night, she cried and cried until I couldn’t take it anymore and brought her out to my lap in the recliner, where she went right to sleep. Now she sleeps for hours when we put her in there while she’s sleeping!

Then there is naming, that’s a hard one! So far we tried about 4 different names. Rosie is the one that has stuck! So we’re going with it. So Rosie it is…like Rosie the Riveter. If you follow me on social media, you’ll see a lot of Rosie in the next few weeks! And if you’re in Marks 6th grade class, you met her on Zoom class today! More fun to come!

Time Blocking

Happy Monday morning! Does it feel like a Monday to you, or so all the days blend together? The first few weeks of this stay home stay safe order felt like our Christmas break. No agenda, no plans, no diets…. but then the fact that this was going to be a long haul started to set in and it was time to set up routines and schedules. I think now that we’re starting week 7 of this I’ve got a route down pat. It starts with always get dressed, and always make your bed!

I take Saturday’s and Sunday’s off of school work. Otherwise it would be easy to work every day at all hours because it is so easy to lose track of time and days. For me that sets those days apart from the work day and allows me to relax and do fun things (watch movies, read novels while sitting outside, hiking in wooded areas… ).

During the week I try to stay on a “flexible” schedule… wake up & leisurely drink my coffee, write my blog, answer all school questions and do some of the admin stuff that needs to be done for each student, teacher, end of school year and to prepare for new school year. Eat lunch, jump on my daily zoom with my Rodan & Fields team (there are usually about 25 of us on… for short trainings, fellowship, support and how we can help others), walk &/or work out, finish more school work, cook dinner, eat dinner & watch the news and depending on what everyone else in the house has going on; watch movies, play a card game or go back to some type of work.

In between all of that there is some housework that gets done, showering, the dog gets let out every couple of hours to chase the tennis ball, the “always on the table” puzzle to put a few pieces in and emails and social media to peruse.

Quite honestly, I feel far busier than I was going into my office every day. I think it’s because some of the things I do from home require finding the document, updating the document or creating the document, and online learning brings up a whole new set of questions and problems to address. I’m sure it has nothing to do with being distracted often, whether it’s the dog, the puppy, the laundry, the mailman, text message…. whatever it is I’m more easily distracted than normal. I’ve taken to working in “time blocks” to stay on task. I literally set my timer for either 30 minute or hour long blocks and work until the timer goes off, then I get up and move around or do some distraction and then get back to it. So far seems to work, except today with the new puppy, my blog is 9 hours late.

I hope you are all well, I hope you are finding joy in the simple pleasures. Puzzles, reading, spending time with your family… all of those things we don’t always get to do, and read blogs, I love blogs. My friend Sheri actually does hers as Facebook posts entitled “Dear Diary” and does a diary like entry on quarantine day xx and they are HILARIOUS, . We have done four 1000 piece puzzles, and are just waiting for Katie to finish her final exams before we jump on number 5.

As it’s almost time for the news, I had better listen to my timer and move onto the next task. Until tomorrow……

Curly Girl Hair

I started writing this in February, on my way to watching Jackson’s spring training baseball tournament.

How I keep it from my face while drying (I’m sure not on the “do” list)

I’m half way to Orlando right now. With a 3 hour lay over in Baltimore, I have walked 2 miles, eaten dinner, watched a group of young lady athletes (my guess is softball as I am on my way to a baseball tournament) make tik Tok videos, downloaded two new apps on my phone to edit pictures and fully charged my phone. I haven’t had much conversation with other folks this trip as it seems that there are a lot of men traveling today, so I’m just minding my own business. Amazing with how much you can get done when you have no other distractions. That’s kind of how I work my online, virtual skincare business. I find a few minutes out of each day to eliminate distractions (tv, laundry, dishes, kids, phone calls etc.) and I do all the things that an online business requires. Things like phone calls, reach outs, posts on social media, messages to current customers to see how they are doing… Here’s an encouraging number, in the months in 2020, I’ve doubled my income from 2019. Now my business was new in 2019, and it takes 3-5 years to build a business to it’s full potential, but those are exciting numbers!

Shorter and not so curly but wavy

But what I was really going to write about: The Curly Girl Method; what is it? How did it come about? How do you do it? Why do you do it?

Longer, and see how the top layer doesn’t curl
as much?

If any of you have curly hair, or wavy hair, you know the struggle to make that curl look like a curl and not like a big frizz ball. Sometimes you don’t even know you how curly your hair is until you start doing these things. As you know, in life the grass is always greener on the other side. I’ve always had curly hair and never wanted it, I always wanted straight hair. But as I age, I try to embrace the things that are uniquely me.

Used heat to add curls to top layer.

Google tells me that the Curly Girl method, while in use for some time before this in various ways and by various people, was intoduced to the mainstream in the early 2000’s by Lorainne Massey, who even wrote a book about it. Women for generations were fighting a losing battle with frizz and someone came up with a solution!

Used curling wand here too.

Now you can’t Google it, Pinterest search it, Instagram hashtag it, or Facebook group it without getting tons of options to choose from. I went with the basics when I was looking at trying it, and I am not a very good test subject because I love to brush my hair (OCD maybe? I can’t stand the tangles) and I use heat (curling wand or iron) to “bend the ends” as my sister in law used to say, and to make the frizz stand down. That goes against the basic rule of the curly girl method.

So what is the curly girl method? It’s just actually a list of do’s and don’ts.

Do:

Use a t-shirt to dry your hair rather than a towel. A towel breaks or frizzes the hair shaft.

Do finger comb and scrunch your curls.

Do use plenty of conditioner. and then even more conditioner.

Do add some curl cream to the ends of your damp hair.

Do read the book “The Curly Girl Method”

Now for the Don’ts:

Don’t use a towel, as mentioned above.

Don’t color your hair…. lost a lot here!

Don’t use heat on your hair… lost a few more here….

Don’t use a brush or comb, use your fingers.

Don’t over wash your hair.

Don’t use any products containing sulfates or alcohol.

Now I’m certainly no master at this method, heck I can’t even follow it for a few days, but now that I’m we’re all in quarantine, maybe it’s time to try. We’ve got nothing but time, right and I guess if it’s a complete failure, I could always were a hat….. or is that on the don’t list?

Championsgate, Florida

With all the world in turmoil thanks to the Corona virus, I never got the chance to write a travel blog about my February trip to Florida. The first of 3 scheduled trips, but the only one that I was able to take.

Jackson plays baseball for Delta College here in Michigan. Part of the college baseball experience is they go to a big spring break tournament and play baseball for 10 days straight. This is especially important for those colleges in Michigan, because quite frankly it is the first time they get to get outside and play on a real baseball field since October when ‘fall ball’ ends. The winters here (and sometimes the springs) just don’t support baseball during the school year very well. Our weather usually turns for the better in mid to late April and school are out by the first weekend in May. Both of my college kids are studying for final exams right now!

So last year and this year I had the opportunity to fly down and watch them play in the tournament. I work for an elementary/middle school, so the timing isn’t idea, but I feel like it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity (okay twice) but you know what I mean. Last year my daughter and a dear friend went along and we stayed in a lovely condo in a beautiful Holiday Inn resort. I would recommend it over and over, the grounds and the amenities were beautiful! This year I was traveling alone (initially) so I stayed with another baseball family. It was kind of nice to let someone else do the leg work this time. She found a beautiful home in a subdivision (gated community) called Championsgate. I had heard of it and I actually saw it last year, it wasn’t far from where we stayed (but closer to the ball fields), very easy access to Hwy 27 and Interstate 4.

Championsgate is HUGE! 8 miles long, for a total of 15,000 acres, this place is massive. Each day that I stayed there (10 in all) I learned a little something new.

There are two sides to the property; the homeowners side (no short term/vacation rentals allowed) and the rental side. Honestly, you might thing that that rental side would be less luxurious, but it wasn’t. Our home was absolutely stunning. Managed by a property management company and staged by professional interior decorators, it was a beautiful home. It was plenty big for the 7 of us. 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The kitchen/living area was well set up and all of these homes had little tiny pools in the backyard (covered by nets to keep the gators out) which entertained the children for hours!

We discovered, after about 5 days that there was a little “downtown” to Championsgate with restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores and little shops. This made for easy treks for dinner or whatever we needed. The sidewalks and walking trails went for miles. Perfect for someone who likes to start their day out with a little 3 mile jaunt with sunshine, palm trees and golf courses for a view. Although quite honestly “the club, clubhouse Oasis on the Championsgate property offered THE BEST shrimp salad I have ever had!

It’s probably a little closer to fly into Orlando than Tampa where we flew into, but Tampa was an easy drive, we just took non-interstate roads. This gave us a lovely view of central Florida along the way. We saw farms, orange groves, orange packing plants (those were new to me) and a whole lot of Dollar General stores… who has noticed that every small town in America now has a Dollar General? From years of searching, sometimes it is cheaper to fly into Tampa and sometimes Orlando. But if you’re staying in the middle of the state, either one works fine. For me it worked out really well because I had a night on the end by myself, so I drove over and stayed in Clearwater for the night….. that’s another blog in and of itself. I may have fallen in love with that area.

I rented from Thrifty Rental Cars (my first time). Apparently they are a division of Hertz (I hadn’t realized this) but if you sign up for their rewards program, they offer GREAT rates. Less expensive even than TURO (a new app I discovered for cars that is similar to AirBnb for home). I didn’t want to try Turo when I was traveling by myself, but when I booked through Thrifty, I was pleasantly surprised at the price. That was no other special discounts (no military, no USAA, no AAA, just their rewards program). Plus , although there were a few glitches at pickup (and these are simply convenient glitches… like my car wasn’t sitting there with my name on it and the keys in it…. which apparently to some who were right in front of me or right behind me was a BIG deal), they were very quick and efficient to get me my car and even upgraded me to a luxury car because it wasn’t there waiting for me (totally not necessary) but I guess being kind and courteous when others are being rude pays off.

SO… Championsgate through AirBnB or VRBO, Thrifty Rental Car and Southwest Airlines (ALWAYS for the customer service and for the 2 free bags and no hidden charges. I’m not so fussy about seating). Made for a lovely little vacation.