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Unapologetically Glamping

Ever have the itch to jump in your car and drive into the night and see where you end up?

Or chat with friends lamenting that you wish you could take a road trip around the country?

Me too! So, that is precisely what I am doing for the next month.

I have left the corporate world behind, and exclusively working on my own consulting company that I started in early 2017. Whew- what a difference. No more commuting hours a day. No more putting dollars in someone else’s pocket. I get to establish my own vision and priorities and work with people, companies, and organizations that share the same value set.

So, off I go!

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I searched high and low for a trusty vehicle for my adventure and found a perfect match on Outdoorsy, which is basically Airbnb for campers. My choice, a 24′ Airstream Interstate Grand Tour. More about her later, but as you can see from the pics, this is unapologetically glamping.

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The route goes something like this. Florida to Savannah, Charlotte, D.C., New York City. Head up to the Cape continuing to Montreal (one of my favourite cities), cross Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota (simply because it is the only state I have not been up). Then the real fun begins in Yellowstone, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, finishing up through New Mexico, Austin, and New Orleans.

So stay tuned, if you have suggestions of places to go, bring them on. Mind you, I will be camping a bit outside of the cities, but up for adventures along the way. Crazy things to see, music, museums, a protest for something important, you get the picture!

See you in Georgia!

Where the Wild Things Stir​

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Longer days and more daylight mean more opportunity to enjoy what Florida has to offer. What better way than by bike!

Over the past few days, I have been on my bike from Tampa to Thonotosassa, and Fort DeSoto to St Augustine. It has been a week of adventure, sun, and a bit of rain.

Outfitted with my trusty Specialized – Vita and lots of water, I take off to reconnect with nature. During my lifetime, I have had the privilege of seeing much of the country, but I keep coming back to Florida as my home base. The water, open spaces, and sunshine, really stir me!

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There is a multitude of trails converted from CSX lines, and you can ride north to south and east to west with ease. Of course, there are still gaps, and you get a glimpse into our state politics as you cross county lines and understand where the funding flows depending on who has been playing budget tzar in Tallahassee over time.

Should we really have to build trails in one county to support education in another? Shouldn’t these things be accessible to everyone in our state? If you haven’t walked the halls in Tally or D.C., I highly recommend it. This is a great way for people to truly understand what makes our governing bodies work (or not) day in and out. If you have kids, take them! Sit in a budget subcommittee meeting, make an appointment to meet your legislators, and PLEASE register to vote!

Ok, ok, back to nature…

Later in the week, I crossed the state to the oldest city in the nation, St. Augustine, FL. A nice small city and bikable. You get quirky restaurants and historical landmarks mixed with Florida’s flora and fauna and, you get the beach! After a night out at Prohibition Kitchen and about 20 miles through the city and sites, I wanted some beach time. The valet at Casa Monica recommended Anastasia State Park, and I was glad he did. Only $2 on a bike and after passing a few tortoises on the trail, you come to a 4-mile beach that you can ride your bike on. Mind you, I have a street bike and it was still really nice cruising along next to the waves.

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Fort Mose, St. Augustine, FL
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Anastasia State Park is a 1,600-acre Florida State Park located on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine

As the afternoon approaches and storms start to roll in, respect! There are few things as stirring as a Florida storm making itself known, but hanging out as lightning careens from the clouds above is a big no-no. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela earned the top spot for lightning in the world, but Florida is the lightning capital of the U.S., so, get out, leave, don’t become a statistic, because the sun will be back out for you to enjoy tomorrow.

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Time to go!

Learning to cook – at 40​!

I am sure that I am not alone here. I didn’t cook – at all! Ok, I could “make” the perfect soft boiled egg, a home-made salad dressing, and chop veggies with the best of them, but actually cooking, never.

I remember my mother trying to get me to come in from the barn (I grew up on a small ranch, but more about that later) and I would have no interest in learning how to cook. From the time I moved out at 18 to the age of 39, there was very little in my fridge. Specifically, pickles, milk, Coke, and eggs – that was it! I was lucky enough to have people in my life that loved cooking, and with working crazy hours every day, I never gave it much thought.

And to illustrate just how bad it was, I ordered takeout for my first dinner party and re-plated to look homemade, made a roast that looked the same after the leftovers sat in my fridge for months, and my kitchen towel said: “Takeout is my safe word.”

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My first experiment – Dal Tadka

That all changed one day when out of the blue I decided, maybe it was time. I had started running and was being more conscious of my intake and quickly realized that would be easier if I actually made what I was eating. I thought it would be best to start with something that fits into one pot – no ‘multi-tasking’, different timings, and something I could use my new food processor on. More on kitchen tools in a later post, but I chose a recipe I found online and volià, I cooked! I was fascinated by the spices, micro-measurements, and the taste was divine.

So, I will talk a lot about food, cooking and all things edible here…because that stirs for sure!

See you tomorrow,

Molly

 

 

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Urban Gardening

I love my urban garden! Living in a city, you have to think a bit out of the box to surround yourself with beautiful and edible things, but it can be done.

I found these planters while staying in Miami, Florida for NYE2018. They are called Wally Eco Pockets. Made from 100% recycled milk jugs, I have diverted about 184 plastic jugs from the landfill. They are also made in the USA and the employees are making a livable wage. Bravo Wally Gro!

I am also slightly obsessed with MCM architecture, furniture, design, etc. and found these laser engraved plant markers by Blue Fox Engraving on Etsy.

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Why Stir?

The words in the mixer above, give you a glimpse of the subject matter that I will stir up in this blog.

I am passionate about people, politics, equal rights, and issues that face the next generation including education, climate change, and innovation.

I love to travel and have a healthy appreciation for music, art, delicious food and pleasing libations.

I always find it strange to write about myself, but now I have decided to start blogging, so here I go. I am a 40-year-old woman that currently resides in Florida, I have been a workaholic most of my life primarily in the social sector. I have had the privilege of leading organizations that work to change the world, yet all of this comes at a price – a physical and mental price for myself and the people closest to me.

So, like the metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly, I have been through many changes in my life so far. I was born in the late 70’s, had a great childhood that instilled work ethic and a love for all living things into my soul, I wrapped myself with making a positive change like a chrysalis, and now I spread my wings to continue discovering and consulting around the world.

Let’s make this a two-way conversation. I would love to hear from you and know what stirs you.

Happy stirring,

Molly