Welcome to the Jungle...Golden Dreams Safari (review) -Tanzania, Africa

Africa is a massive continent. Its’ actually the world’s second largest continent by both land area and population. It’s like huge…so when my friend mentioned a safari in Africa…I was like nah hard pass.

Let me be clear I am city girl through and through so I was NOT on board. I mean I did not want to spend my vacation sitting in a car looking at animals. I could go to the zoo. And sleep outside in a camp? Tented lodge?!?

Then she mentioned Zanzibar (and I did some googling) and soon I was on board.


It was the best experience of my life. One that I would easily do again. The whole experience was top notch. Victor (our guide and owner of GOLDEN DREAMS SAFARI) has been eating all the carrots as his eyes are amazing. He could see movement from what felt like hundreds of meters away. The call him Big Five and with him we saw the Big 5!
The Jeep was comfy and great for taking pics. The packed lunches were ok but camp sites were great, comfy, running water and a bathroom and very glam...we weren’t camping we were glamping and it was glorious.
Love love loved our time with Golden Dream Safaris and the owner/operator Victor.

This was a private tour which cost us less if we would have booked with a group. An amazing experience and my advice to anyone looking to book a safari, read reviews, check out different sites and always try and deal directly with the locals.

remember this is a slide show and sometimes needs to be toggled to get to the next pic.




NATURE'S BEAUTY. Tip toe through the tulips...HOLLAND

Special two BLOG week because last week I was enjoying everything Amsterdam had to offer.

It’s my favorite time of year…SPRING. And Springtime in Holland does NOT disappoint. It’s time! It’s time!!!! Time for the tulips to bloom. An hour outside of Amsterdam is the town of Lisse. It’s small, the house are beautiful, and the flowers...well, judge for yourself:

NOTE ABOUT TOUR: ONLY OPERATES APRIL and May of 2019

AFTER the tulips will be gone and you’ll have to wait until next year. This bus will get you closest to the park minus walking a few hundred meters. Booked via THIS IS HOLLAND- Tour: Keukenhof booked via This is Holland. Cost: about $42 USD. (this includes “skip the line” entrance, transport to and from the park.

We are ALL Becoming...the day I met my Big Sister (in my head) Michelle Obama

I’ve always thought people who fanned out (or worse STANNED out) were just a bit obsessed. I live in NYC and have worked in some part of the entertainment industry for over 20 years so I see people ALL THE TIME. So much that I NEVER notice anyone anymore. I’m just trying to respect folks on their “down time”.

That being said, I am OBSESSED (in a GOOD way) with Michelle Obama. First it was her education, then it was her demeanor, and then THE ARMS. For years I have coveted her arms. I still don’t have them but I’ll get there.

Seriously, her health initiatives changed my life (and it’s still changing). When I began my journey I was well over 335 pounds. I am now a little under 200, with more to go until I’m at my personal goal. I always knew I was to meet Michelle Obama. I put her and her book on my vision board. I didn’t know how, or when or why but I knew the meeting would happen. And then…

Amsterdam…

one of my favorite cities in the world. THE one that inspired LOLA.

one of my favorite cities in the world. THE one that inspired LOLA.

I really wanted to hear Mrs Obama speak when she was in NYC. However the Gods of timing were not on my side, and tickets were sold out all around. Then one of my sisters in an Amsterdam small business group I belong too reached out. She had an opportunity for me. It was a longshot, but I took a chance, and it paid off.

Which led to one of the best days of my life so far to date. The opportunity to meet someone who has changed my life just by living her truth. She shows that I (a little brown girl from Tulsa, OK can have JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE at the table). She also shows/ and spoke on the reality which is that I will have to work harder and faster to be considered half as good; as not ONLY a woman but a woman in the minority. This is reality but I don’t have to let it be my reality.

I still believe WHEN THEY GO LOW, WE GO HIGH. (Thanks Mr. O for that, your wife let the cat out of the bag that one belongs to you).

Mrs. Obama was an absolute delight. Warm, funny, and she gives the best hugs. I felt like a pre-teen girl seeing her favorite rock idol, except I’m a middle-aged woman.

Some have asked me and maybe one day I will tell, why we laughing like cousins reminiscing about the time when great Aunt Gertie drank waaaayyyy too much punch.

Aaaaahhhh family….

JAL (Japan Airlines) First Class Product Review

Well, today was a first of firsts….My first experience in FIRST CLASS. It was all it was cracked up to be but is it really worth 11-13K? I’ll let you decide.

Let’s start with the lounge at Narita. The first class lounge was under construction so while it was less crowded, if I really wanted anything like a shower, massage chairs or to take a nap, I had to go downstairs to the Business class lounge. It was a nuisance but not a deal breaker. One bonus about the first class lounge was the sushi bar (note: only 3 pieces per person at a time) but the fish is so fresh it literally melts in your mouth. Honestly, if you have been to one airport lounge, you have been to them all.

Let’s get to the main event…the flight: JAL #4 from NRT to JFK…FIRST CLASS.

The boarding process: was a joke. And to be honest a bit unorganized. In the beginning, First Class felt almost feels like Senior Business Class. All classes trampled through, no real line-up process. Everyone seemed in a clump, not a line. The boarding process was erratic at best, and the flight was delayed by almost an hour.

At this point I was not impressed, but still willing to give it a shot because the seats were soooooo BIG and comfy. Imagine a super big lounge chair that your grandpa would read the paper in. Seriously, the seat width between armrests was 23 inches, while in bed mode it was 33 inches wide and 78.5 inches long, so my lil 5’3in self was in Heaven.

I’m not gonna lie, one of the MAIN reasons I love the leather seats is because I am afraid of a British Airlines incident. (for those that don’t know, a Business class passenger sat in a seat full of URINE. I have no desire to be soaked in urine and it’s easier to spot, as well as clean leather. AND, I am THAT person with the Wet Ones and Lysol. #nottodaysatan 

Biggest Drawback: THE POWER OUTLET. It’s near the television monitor,(you can see it’s where my little toes can’t even reach), not CLOSER to the passenger as in most aircraft. It’s far enough away that if you are using an iPhone and standard cord, it will not make it back to your seat within a matter of mere centimeters.

Seating was a 1-2-1 configuration, 8 seats total in first class.

Next: Let’s Talk Amenities aka Face Masks, and Toothpaste and BOSE…OH MY

The meal service is what I read most about on the blogs. And the menu was simple, clean lines, like the decor. The service is known as JAL BEDD and after all the hype I couldn’t wait to try the food and of course the champagne.

The ENTIRE menu:

First the drinks…which was just changed March 1, 2019 …so I got to try the current selection.

and trust I tried ALL the champagne…

The Signature Champagne is EVERYTHING…and at a retail value of around $600 a bottle it should be. Light and fruity, and very crisp. It demands your attention. I almost feel as if it should be enjoyed without food, however their food is so delicious, it’s like Sophie’s Choice. #icant

2nd The 2009 Cristal (about$250 per bottle) while good, it really did pale in comparison that i didn’t even write any notes. WOW! Sorry Cristal.

3rd:Comtes De Champagne Welp ($200) …I’m back in the groove. And I must admit I enjoyed this champagne alot, maybe because I was about 4 glasses in but this one had a dry and crisp taste, like new money.

Then there was the food, and of course Lexie decides to make an appearance. She only shows up for the booze and upgrades, but back to the food….and I can’t lie the menu was TOO extensive for me to post, and I was a bit sleepy. I however chose the “Japanese Menu” and have pics of that plus some of the dish


While the entire meal was delicious and filling a few things stand out…the seasoned rice was delightful to my tummy. The caviar with wafer cake melted in my mouth. I loved it. The Steamed Savory Egg Custard was so good, I asked for another…the food was DELICIOUS.

Now I’m sleepy, so I go to the restroom to change into my pajamas, and before I go in the cabin attendant asks if I’d like her to make my bed and if I would prefer “hard or soft”. I chose soft and stepped into the loo. Which was a basic Premium class loo. Tidy with tons of toothpaste and mouthwash. There was one thing that puzzled me:

A Bidet ? On an Airplane? Ummmm…NOPE. I know certain airlines have used them since early 2000 but #Hardpass

A Bidet ? On an Airplane? Ummmm…NOPE. I know certain airlines have used them since early 2000 but #Hardpass

And Now time to get some sleep.

The 12.5 hour ride while long I never went hungry, or thirsty. The attendants were quick to come pour you a glass. The movies were current enough to keep me entertained, however the main attraction was the bed. I have never slept so soundly on a plane.

All in all, a stellar 1st time experience. Only thing is now I want it AGAIN. #aboutthatlife

Budget Travel in your 4o's and Beyond, and it's COMFORTABLE!!!

Wake Me Up, When I’m Famous: let’s be honest, we all like a little luxury now and then, some of us like it a lot more than that. I mean I don’t know when it will happen again but I’d love to take another first class international flight. The goal is Emirates.

Granted, even travel in business is lovely with the flat beds, champagne, and even the comfy jammies, but sometimes we are talking a pricing difference of thousands AND THOUSANDS of Dollars. I mean how can one justify a $12000 ticket versus an $1200 one…but then the champagne:

Qatar Airways Boeimg 777-300ER Business Class Product

Qatar Airways Boeimg 777-300ER Business Class Product

I wondered if I could do it. But I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I mean, a week-long European holiday, WITHOUT having to check a bag and for $850 or less. And that MUST INCLUDE plane ticket. Piece of cake…sigh.

To be honest even IF it could be done, I DIDN’T want to do it. I mean how could I get a week’s worth of clothes in a backpack? What about shoes?

But I did it. And now at the airport with my backpack on as well as three sweaters and two pairs of pants, well because …weight restrictions. #thestruggle

Two destinations were set for the week-long European Adventure. First up Amsterdam for 4 nights/4.5 days. We chose a budget airline as we just needed to get there as inexpensive but as SAFE as possible. We chose Norwegian. (pro tip: when using a NON US Carrier always use the airlines website in THEIR language and LOCAL CURRENCY. Use a Chrome or Safari if you need translation. This can save you anywhere from 25-50$ a ticket). During this time of year the JFK to AMS ticket was super cheap. I scored a one way “crazy ‘$99 Dollars to Europe for Winter” so yeah it was about $115. The flight is a little over 7 hours from NYC to AMS. You leave at midnight, arrive aroun 7am (ET) but it’s actually 1PM Local time, by the time you arrive at hotel it’s check in time, you can refresh and hit the streets. The money we saved on traveling, we made up with food and fun:

The Housing Situation: we stayed in a charming Dutch AirBnB for four nights at the cost of $145 a night / (72.50 pp), and it could realistically sleep FOUR. It was an entire apartment for half the cost of a hotel. Perfection!

Next up, London. We flew again. This time it was an hour long flight on British Airways, for the low, LOW cost of $30!!!! #WINNING! Stayed at an Airbnb that was $130.50 per night (65.25pp) for a decent size studio in a lovely area for three nights, and saw some friends and theater. Plus a little champagne of course:

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Then there was the situation of returning home. It was right before Christmas and NYC so we braced for the worst…which was about $170 via good old Norwegian once more for the win. As well as the Victoria Station bookstore where I picked up my book to read on the plane ride back, however I was so excited I decided to start the night before with a little night cap:

The perfect ending to a perfect trip….

The perfect ending to a perfect trip….

Summation for flights and accommodations :

Airline ticket JFK to AMS: $120. Carry-on ONLY. No more than 10 KG! (I wore a lot of sweaters that trip)

Accommodations in AMS: Airbnb $580/290 pp

AMS to LGW: Flight on BA $30.00

Accommodations in London: Airbnb $391.50/195.75 pp

Airline ticket LGW to JFK: $170. However this time I was allowed 12kg.

Total: $805.75 pp for a WEEK IN EUROPE!!!! It can be done.

BONUS: Nothing needed but a passport if you are an US citizen!!!!







Qatar Airlines from Economy to Business Class aka Started at the Bottom Now We Here

I’m not lucky, nor am I fortunate. I am a hard and diligent worker who takes chances, and have made sacrifices. I am not rich, or even well off. I am like the minority of Americans. No, not the 1%. The middle class poor…we make just enough to pay our bills and buy a pair of shoes at the end of the month, or maybe splurge for a night out at the movies.

Yet, there are the days when the flight Gods smile upon me, and says UPGRADE!!! One day it will be a first class seat but until then, Qatar Business Class will do nicely…thank you!!!

It has taken a couple years, a few thousand miles and dollars but I’ve done it. I’ve ridden the entire Qatar Airlines Business class international fleet. And it has been glorious.

First how I did it:

When I started the flight game I was a wet behind the ears pup of 37 years old. I had no idea about how points worked, and frequent flier what? Then I joined a FB travel group geared toward black solo travel, another more women centered, another for women 35+, and then another. THEN I lurked, and lurked and lurked some more. Just reading and seeping up the vast amount of knowledge as much as I could.

For my initial flight to Thailand I chose Qatar for three main reasons:

  1. flight time (was the shortest around 19.5 hours)

  2. Cost- the economy ticket was on sale via their website for under $600 (THAT’S STILL a steal)

  3. Even their economy class was touted as part of the Five Star Service so you better believe I tried it out as well.

The Cost:

First, the cost of a International ticket JFK to BKK Business class can run between $9G-10G. That’s right around TEN THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS. Is it worth that much? I can’t justify it in my mind, but I also don’t have THAT kind of money. If I did, I’d still look for a bargain but yeah I’d do it. Besides, business class tickets from the states to Asia are costly. I however need SLEEP. Seriously to lay down.

Is it cheaper to book three economy tickets. YES. But we all know me…so

Two weeks before my flight I got an “OFFER” email. It seems I could bask in the Joys of Qatar’s Five Star Service in their business class for the low low upgrade cost of $1200 for the 12 hour flight from NYC to Doha, and an additional $850 for the Doha to BKK. AND I could use all lounges and services for the entire flight. Qatar Airlines was the ONLY airline that actually let you utilize this privilege. Something they don’t do anymore, FYI.

Well $2150 was a bit too steep for me so I opted for the NYC to Doha portion. I was NOT disappointed. It was everything I thought it would be. It was a 777. The seating is nice and the flatbeds seem to be larger than the American standard business class seats.

My first experience was delightful. Ok it was fruitcaking AMAZING. I had to have more. The food, the amenity kit, the pajamas, and did I mention the food? I spent 12 hours not wanting for a single thing. It was Heaven, and I was spoiled.

From the Q Suites in the 350, to the 777 spacious layout, to the Grandpappy of em all the double-decker 380 with it’s on COCKTAIL LOUNGE. So NOT kidding.

(SLIDESHOW ALERT: and by slideshow it’s eight pics, just click on image to see next one.)

The Q Suites are my favorite as it gives you the ability to be private but also social, and great if traveling in a group/team for work or a family. I love the little privacy door. You can actually shut the world out.

The entertainment system on all flights is the ONYX system. I did not notice a difference in programming between economy and business class, as I have noticed on other carriers. And while award tickets can be a BEAST to book with miles, it can be done for about 70,000 miles, BUT THAT’S A POST FOR ANOTHER DAY.

More and more I find myself flying to Asia and Qatar being my airlines of choice. Maybe I can work out a LOLA special with them. I mean everyone needs to try Qatar Airlines at least once.


SS: A Tokyo Love Story

I met him on Tinder with one and only one thing on my mind.

I've often wondered when I became attracted to their culture. True, I loved their food but was that/is that enough? Was it the mild soft-spoken manner in comparison to my loud boisterous one? Their delicate frame to my solid dancer's build with a bunch of midwestern meat and tater's over my belt? Or was it that they too have flawless anti-aging skin? True, "Black don't crack" but "Asian don't raisin". The Japanese skin regime is on point. And he was no different. Also, there was his hair...he was in his early 40's and has a full thick luscious head of hair. The times I have stroked that hair, GOD, the times I've pulled that hair. The beautiful babies we would have made.

I had it planned. It was to be one night and one night only. So different from my other Sabbatical Smooches stories as I was gonna try for a little bit more than smooch.  

He was sweet, soft-spoken, and while English was not his strong point, he had something quietly sensual about him.

He... was the one, and surprisingly he knew of the perfect love hotel. Hence, the adventure began.

 

It’s a Ryokan Life

A couple of years ago I went to Tokyo for the first time. While I was there I met a guy who was awesome and we dated while I was there, and when he'd come to NYC. The thing with dating across the ocean is you get lonely. One day I asked him to send me a pic. He did. The difference is in this pic he looked totally relaxed and very Japanese formal yet informal. Like some sort of Japanese Tea service.  He explained to me he was staying the night in a ryokan...a ryo..what?

A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese Inn which stems from the 8th century. They are hard to find in a big city like Tokyo as many of the Japanese have taken to western culture and hotels, however in the smaller towns you can find them, but be prepared they are EXPENSIVE.

As a treat my friend surprised me with a two-day trip to Kyoto as well as a Ryokan. It was so charming, seeing old world Japan.

A Ryokan: The Traditional Japanese Setting

My apologies as I was so excited I did not get pics of the bathroom, and because of other clients no pics of the Japanese baths, but it was glorious.

Definitely an experience but for the price and sleeping on a floor...well I prefer the St.Regis.

Ladies On the Lam is now a LLC...I Own a Company Y'all!

When I originally launched LOLA I always wanted to make her a company but cost and time were major factors. Actually,they still are however over the next several months we have many great new adventures coming up and becoming a company was the best way to go. Main reasons: financial. I have been using my money and moving money around like a slick day trader for years trying to keep LOLA afloat but the time has come for my little LOLA to stand on her own two feet.

It's so overwhelming at times but with baby steps, it's becoming a reality.

Actually, it already has:-)

It's Official cause the IRS says so...

It's Official cause the IRS says so...

Taking Chances...Part 2,923,309,434,343 ....

The kick-off of my birth month was a treat. And not an apple pie and vanilla ice cream kind of treat either...It a was sinful, decadent, sexy, shop-filled and gastronomical delights all in one...  Italy. It was perfection. 

I flew into Rome on a Sunday morning. Hopped the train from the airport to the city, checked my bag and walked for a bit. Destination: Breakfast and the Trevi Fountain. Trevi Fountain Tidbit: There is a belief that if you go to the fountain and throw in a coin you will return to Rome. Well, the first time I was in Rome was five years ago and I did just that, and here I was back in Rome so it must have worked.  Near the fountain, Lexie made a new friend.

The afternoon flew by, and soon we were off to our next destination:

Rome was just port of entry the real fun was to begin in Florence.

Rome was just port of entry the real fun was to begin in Florence.

Italian men are handsome, and make me h---yAF! It's been five years since I'd been to Florence, but nothing has changed. They are still sexy and it felt like home. I wanted  to have sex with all of them. The whole city. Well, the whole city over the age of 30 and under the age of 50.

Florence was about wine, food, fun, and frolic. My first night was filled with all of these plus a late night Vespa tour of the city that ended with me kissing on the sexiest men I've ever met. That was the kind of night that RomComs are made of. (more of this story in the book)

I spent my days walking the cobble-lined streets, shopping, eating and drinking my way around town. It was amazing.

Florence was so short but what was even shorter, however, one of the most perfect parts of the trip: Milano!!!!!

First, I have to amend my earlier statement about the age requirements on men I'm interested in 35-50 does not work in Milan. Mainly because ALL the men are gorgeous. Seriously, made me consider dating men in their 20's all the way up to 75. The men are too much.  If that isn't enough to make a girl swoon, it's Milan! The fashion capital of the world.

 I stayed in a delightful Airbnb which was adorable. I had lunch, (a light yummy margarita pizza)

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then went on my main mission. To shop until I dropped...some cash. I went to a (read: THE) vintage store: Vintage Delirium. Click on the link because the store is classic. Better yet if in Milan go to the store in person. So freaking worth it. I found the most beautiful dual tone leather travel bag, a 1940 back and white dress, and a 1980's brooch that would make Patti LaBelle's voice go up yet another octave, sunglasses and more.

Next up, evening cocktails. I mean I can't be a lady who lunches, shops till she drops and then not complete with a cocktail..how uncivilized. I went to one of the world's top 50 bars...Nottingham Forrest.

This place was lovely, the service was quick and attentive, everything was edible and the drinks were STRONG. I barely got thru the first one, but I did it. (check out picks below. It's a slide show so just click and the next pic will cycle through...five in total)

This birth year for me is about re-birth. It's scary, new, different but I am embracing every minute. Check back in a week or so when I go on my end of the month birth trip, becuase why the fuck not?

I travel to see the world, but also that I can be seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

Save The Dates- Thailand Dreams Tour- September 22-30, 2018

The trip of a lifetime awaits. You are welcome to do as much or as little as you like but we think you will want to do it all. Ever dream of a vacation with white sand beaches, 5-star accommodations, food glorious food all while getting the workout of your life?

If so Thailand Dreams is for you. You will arrive at the lovely island of Koh Samui, Thailand. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a car and driver who will whisk you off to your deluxe accommodations at the lovely Ammatara Pura Pool Villa . 

The accommodations are worth the trip alone.  The hotel is located directly on the beach where you are just inches from the deep blue warm waters of the ocean. The hotel has a luxurious outdoor pool with bar and restaurant where you can sunbathe, have drinks, or just lounge in one of the mini cabanas...HEAVEN ON EARTH:

The rooms are beautiful and include everything your heart could desire:  HUGE outdoor shower with sunlight peering in, and TRUST total PRIVACY, a ginormous bathtub fit for two, kitchen, washing machine, and more so much more. Did I mention all the rooms have a personal pool? Rooms are billed with double occupancy however single supplements can be arranged.      BONUS: The room also has a twin day bed. So could possibly sleep up to three in a room...which makes your cost even cheaper if you are a party of 3.

This is only the beginning. Koh Samui is a lovely little town that is known for it's Muay Thai training and exercise in general. So yes relaxation is involved but if you also want to drop a few pounds on vacation THIS is the vacation for you. This is where I began my weight loss journey almost three years ago, and I have teamed up with some of Thailand's top fitness professionals and will include: beach walks, hikes through the jungle, yoga, Muay Thai classes, Weights, Strength and Conditioning and MORE. A typical daily schedule:

630 AM: Morning beach walk, jungle hike or view points. Usually 5-10K (3-7 miles)                    9:00 AM: Breakfast provided by the hotel (included in package). This is your vacation. Eat as much or as little as you want just make good decisions. (and of course,we will always answer questions and assist when needed)                                                                                               10:30 Yoga- Get your zen in. We swap between Yin and Vinyasa every other day, so all muscle groups are covered                                                                                                                          12:00 noon: healthy organic lunch consisting of fish of the day/chicken, veggies, fresh juices or smoothie (included)                                                                                                                            1-3:00 PM- free time. Hang out on the beach, get a massage (one thai massage and one sports massage is included)                                                                                                                         3:30-4:30 Time to get physical with Strength and Conditioning                                                  5:00-7:00 PM: Muay Thai with the folks of Lamai Muay Thai. This facility changed my life. They will do the same for you.                                                                                                                          Dinner: your choice. So get out and ty the local cuisine or some of the other great eateries around town. (yes I have faves..and will advise)

Again, this was MY schedule and so far I am down 100 pounds, but you can do as little as you like and if you want even more, we can arrange private classes of Muay Thai, weight training swimming and more.

Best part...all classes and food is available along the main beach road so you don't need a car or motorbike UNLESS you want one. They are available for rental.

Schedule for week is as follows:

Saturday, September 22nd- arrivals. Your day to sleep, hang out on the beach, and if not too tired an excursion to Fisherman's Village for an early dinner.                                                                   Sunday, September 23rd- YOUR day. I will however be taking a group down to a couple of viewpoints and you just have to go to the Sunday Market. You can try every food that Thailand has to offer, pick up gifts and more. A definite must do in Samui.                                                   Monday -Friday: we eat, sleep, train (or maybe a little of everything in between)--*note: Muay Thai Lovers Thursday Night is Fight Night. So if you want to see a real Muay Thai fight this is the time we do it. Van and tickets are under 40 USD and can be purchased from Lamai Muay Thai Camp.    Saturday, September 29th : Excursion of choice...a trip to the elephant sanctuary, snorkeling, temple visits or all of the above. Whatever you want to do this is your day to get it in.               Sunday, September 30th- the end...NOOOOOOOOOOO. I know it will be hard to say goodbye but think of all the fun you've had.

********Pricing depends on how many are interested. I am aiming to keep it between $1500-$2G per person but mainly depends on rooming costs. Flights are NOT included but if you need assistance I can offer suggestions. Especially since you will more than likely need to fly into Bangkok (BKK) then take the hour flight to Samui (USM) via Bangkok Air or Thai Airlines.

Also, you can always stay a while longer. I can assist with finding a place to stay,  excursions, workouts and more. I love Koh Samui, it is like a second home to me. I know the area and people well. Let LOLA help you have the best time ever.

Questions? Please post below in comments section or email ladiesonthelam@gmail.com. In the coming weeks, I will have a page where you can get more info, make a deposit, as I will have payment plans available but trip must be paid in FULL by September 1st.

Since this is the first trip to Asia as a group, size will be limited so act quickly. If you are traveling alone but willing to share a room, there will be a questionnaire in effort to match personalities.

Please note: YOU are responsible for your own health/travel insurance, flights and anthing that is not listed or included. Shoot me a note with questions, and let's get ready to LOLA.

Thailand Dreams 2018

Kit (and Lexie too) because you already KNOW she is coming.

You Can Always Go Home Again...Amsterdam

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, from parts of SE Asia to Japan to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has my heart unlike no other. It was one of the first (of two) places I ever visited outside the United States. The other was Paris. I called the trip the "Kittykat Olympics". It only made perfect sense as the trip included the iconic shopping mecca that is Paris, as well as the ahem, 'recreational" activities of Amsterdam. Seriously, if shopping or smoking EVER became an Olympic event...I'm READY. No need for training. SEND ME IN COACH!!!! (especially if it's the shopping)

Amsterdam is a city no matter when you go you can always find something new or interesting. This trip was a last minute, "let's go see some friends for a couple of days" and that's exactly what I did. I strolled the canals with Lexie, we shopped, drank a lot and ate a little:

And the highlight of this little excursion was the pleasant surprise of the "My Name Is Prince" exhibit. More details and pics on my next post.

Remember...there's no place like home,

Love,

Dorthy aka Kit n Lexie

 

Facing My Biggest FEAR aka How I Learned to Swim in my 40's

Water to me has always been a siren's song to me. It calls me, beckons me and for years I would evade it. I loved water as long as it wasn't on my face or near any part of my body that I used for breathing. I would scream whenever I had to get my hair washed or if was caught out in a rainstorm. I always felt it was trying to drown me.

It started one year at summer camp. I had an ambitious swim coach who swore up and down, every which way until Sunday that she could teach me and anyone else in the world to swim. Somehow my parents believed this cocky little girl as she was probably 20 at best. Yeah...

I won't even bother to go into the details except to say I almost drowned and took out another little girl at the same time. I was seven. That day I decided swimming is not for me. My sister almost drowned a few years later. My mom didn't swim and oddly enough she drowned in the bathtub at 50. Needless to say, we are not water folks.

I tried again though at 16, then 21, 30, and the magical year of 33. I thought if Jesus can die for our sins and save the world at 33 I could learn how to swim, and well, just be thankful your soul was not at stake on my swimming prowess. Now here I am in my 40's and #livingmybestlife

I was given a couple of near-death experiences over the last few years that I now have a "fuck it" mentality. When it's my time, it's my time...period the end. Some think it makes me reckless, I believe it makes me fearless. Don't get me twisted I'm not jumping off cliffs or anything.

I am trying things I believed were damn near impossible for me. And what I've learned is all things are possible. In four weeks...I did what so many had tried to teach me to do. I SWAM ON MY OWN, without floaties, without anyone in the pool to hold my hand. I did it. WHY? What changed?

When I first arrived in Koh Samui, I went to a Detox camp. The instructor was very motivational and convincing. She along with my best friend and a host of others talked me into going in the ocean. To calm my fears they gave me a floatation device which I refused to hold on to. I insisted that I wear it instead. Then they all told me I would be safe they were strong swimmers...blah blah blah...they are all looking and talking to me with their back towards the ocean. I am looking past them at the biggest wave that was about to take us all under. If I hadn't insisted on wearing that floatation device I honestly believe I would not be writing this as I would be dead. It was in that moment I knew, if I ever wanted to truly survive I could not depend on others. I was going to swim!

I reached out the Aqua Instructor, Marco. We worked every other day 3x a week. Every week was a battle but now four weeks later...I'm a swimmer baby. Aint no stopping me now.

Many lessons, I wanted to cancel but I decided NOT THIS TIME. Many times I cried while in my lesson and at home in private but I KEPT GOING BACK. I PERSISTED and I SUCCEEDED. This has empowered me in more ways than I can count. Not only did I learn how to swim, I learned how to LIVE.

Until next time....

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just keep swimming ...just keep swimming...just keep swimming swimming swimming swimming

K

 

To Detox or Not To Detox is NOT the Question for Me

Over the last two years, I have tried various things in effort to improve my health. My two biggest mistakes have been choosing anything with the words "detox" in them because in all honesty they just don't work. Well let me rephrase this..they don't work for me. Not the energy or the results. Sure I look great for a few weeks but when you go back to life you realize you can not survive on less than 800 calories a day, and just juice. Whole foods/clean eating yes...but to live the rest of ones life on just juice is not feasible for me and about 96% of the free world.

Currently, I am in Thailand where the first part of my trip was spent with my best friend and some LOLA ladies. It was a great time for me and my friend, and I had a blast with my new friends. I did not have a blast at the detox camp. Mainly it was the energy of the place. I was unhappy with a few things and like an adult, I went to the management and believed we had a direct and upfront conversation. I had no issues with him after or so I thought. Then a few days later he calls me and my attitude negative. I was anything but, as I thought we had a conversation, but his words stuck with me. If he thought that was negative and this judgment was made off one conversation then what else was he holding back. That creates distrust. Then he would tell me what his staff said (all opposite of what they were saying to me. Granted, I could easily have told him the truth but in the end WHY? I didn't come here for drama but to get my health and my life on track. So I left...early...way early.

Why? There was Muay Thai camp down the street. I've stayed here before, never had an issue, always had fun and everytimeI left the healthy choices I made there STUCK. The people in general are happier here. The minute I moved my first bag onto campus a guest greated me with a huge smile. I was singing. I was at peace, even though my neighbors are half my age, love their music and hanging out outside during the day..come time to train or go to bed and they are right on time. It is amazing how my energy has changed for the best. I added more calories to my food plan and lost over 5 pounds (2.2kg) the week after I left. They even have working wifi and comfortable beds. Something the owner of the detox place tried to tell me wasn't really available in the area we were in. Granted, he did TRY to fix my bedding as well as the internet, but it was more than that...it was the overall feeling. I never felt like they ever actually CARED. It's money. They would take group walks and leave guests on their own. I just don't approve of this ..as one woman was in remission from cancer. What if she had an episode? So I would slow down my own exercise progress to watch someone else. THAT was NOT what I signed up for...but that was the way it was.

At the end of the day, detox no matter where I go just doesn't seem to work. Not physically nor mentally. And that's ok. It's also OK if it works for you. Different strokes for different folks.

However, this lead me to work on something I have toyed with for about a year. At my highest RECORDED weight, I was 343 pounds (156kg) and currently 197 (89kg) making a grand total loss of (67kg) 146 pounds. When I started this time (June 25, 2014) I was scale shy, I'd estimate that I've lost 104pds of those over the last three years. I lost weight with diet and exercise. Starting with Muay Thai and yoga, and running. I found what worked for me and did it in beautiful surroundings. I have a way to go as I still would love to lose another 37 pounds, but if it's 25...I'm ok with that too. I also want to help other women do the same and live their best life.

Currently I am working with a CERTIFIED Yoga/Exercise trainer, and we have decided to launch a retreat in Thailand Jan 2019. OUrs will be different as while we focus on healthy eating, there will be FOOD, as well as yoga, meditation, Muay Thai and tons of time for the beach. And we will host at a FIVE STAR Resort...this will not be a little cabin, with hard beds, and gecko like lizards in your room like many places in Thailand. I'm trying to work out a deal with a place on the beach, and all rooms have a private swimming pool. The property also has two huge main pools, a gym and more. I'm thinking the week Jan 13-20 or 23rd depending on cost. As a LOLA woman I know that health and LUXURY is key...and what a LOLA woman wants...A LOLA woman GETS!

I'll post more when details are clear as well as pics of location. Or if you really can't wait shoot me an email: ladiesonthelam@gmail.com and I'll add you to the Thailand LOLA Retreat 2019 Mailing list.

Ciao for now

Kit

Penises, and Penii and Penes...A Love Story

Some days you walk along the beach and you see something that makes you stop and say, "Hmmm, that's different" then there are things that make you say "What kind of foolishness is going on here"?

Are these what I think they are?

Are these what I think they are?

Currently, I am in Krabi, Thailand at Phra Nang Beach which got it's name and plethora of penises, (or would it be Penii, or Penes? You choose) in a legendary way. A way so legendary that there are numerous tales.  It begins with Phra Nang (or Mae Nang) who is a female spirit symbolizing fertility. Part of the cave looks a tad like a vajayjay (like for reals), with a mountain of phallic symbols ranging from inches to several feet tall and some wide. Local fishermen believe that offering a phallic symbol will result in a hefty catch. Most Thais who visit make it a point to pay their respects to Phra Nang.

The one I was told by a local was thatPhraNang was an Indian princess who was killed in a shipwreck. Another, she was the wife of a fisherman who was lost at sea, and spends the her days in the cave, awaiting her husbands return, but my favorite was:

She was the lone woman on an island of many men, and they all wanted a wife and procreate yet there was only one woman. So all the men fought and killed each other for her. The shrine represents all the men that died for the love of this one woman.

Now I don't know about you, but I think this makes her one bad chick.

Today, local fisherman and boatmen leave offerings to ensure safe travels on the sea, in the form of male genitalia- the cave is covered in various "linga" or phallic shaped statues. And trust the ones in the cave are EXTREMELY realistic and lifelike from the head to the shaft and the ridges too.

Definitely, something you don't see on your daily commute. Or maybe you do. I don't know your life.

Check back for more pics and stories. I haven't posted tons over the last few months as I have been stateside but now...I'm back! Until the next post I leave you with kinda dick pics. OMG I'm as bad as Anthony Weiner. (click below to see the pics...total of five)

Pics of the cave

xo

K (and Lexie)

 

Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam aka Where it all began

I officially launch LOLA January 1, 2016. Now, here we are almost two years later and growing and evolving. What started out as a small tour in Amsterdam has morphed into a website, IG pages for both LOLA and the face of the company Lexie, and so much more. 

2018 will be chalked full of adventure as I am working on my first fitness/wellness retreat that will include yoga, Muay Thai, meditation, hiking and more in the lovely location of Koh Samui, Thailand.  

Also, I'm planning the adventure of a lifetime and would love to get a group together for some or most of the trip: Africa 2018

Gonna hike Kilimanjaro, go on a Safari, then on to the lands of my ancestors Mali, Benin, and Togo for a couple of weeks. This trip will be 4-6 weeks. If any interest or you want to know more you can always reach out to me via email: ladiesonthelam@gmail.com

So excited for the things to come but here is a reminder of where I started:  

We started at the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje and now we are here. Located in Amsterdam, NL, is a museum devoted to historic handbags, purses and suitcases. The museum's collection includes 4,000 items dating back to the 16th century. One of only three museums across the globe specializing in the field, and its collection is the world's largest.

2017 keeps on whizzing by and we all know I am not one to let moss settle on my feet. Stay tuned or better yet contact me and JOIN me on my next adventure.  I mean we are Ladies on the Lam.

Tokyo Memories

Seems like just yesterday I was walking the streets of Tokyo glancing at vending machines which had everything from little toys to full meals ...in a VENDING machine. #icantevendeal #mindblown

Tokyo was a treat for the senses from the food, the sites and even a little romance. 

 

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the city is mine for the taking...Tokyo♥️ 

 

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cooking class...lunch. #nomnom  

 

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dinner time ... 

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new friends

performing in Tokyo open 🎤  

performing in Tokyo open 🎤  

time to say goodbye my love ...cue #sadface

time to say goodbye my love ...cue #sadface

On My Own ....Around the World Solo

Many, often ask/say: you are so brave to travel by yourself? How do you make friends? Do you feel safe? etc and I laugh and say "of course". But real talk: I am terrified AF! It can be intimidating but, also be exhilarating.

The main thing I have learned is to avoid "couple" event type tours or something that puts you in groups of couples or twos because everyone always had someone except for me and a random guy from Korea. (real talk and shout out to my Indian Street Food Tour). That ish was good...

Cooking classes/tours are a great thing to do when traveling solo...everyone bonds over food.

 

Ummmm....yummy Indian Street Food....but I digress

Ummmm....yummy Indian Street Food....but I digress

Sometimes, I believe that pics are better than words and the street food in Delhi was on point so if you ever are there, make certain to give it a shot. Also, food tours and cooking classes are GREAT classes to take when traveling solo as you learn a skill, and you don't feel so much like a third wheel. I find any type of tour that is active can be a great deal of fun when traveling alone. Or even painting or crafts like when I painted a scarf in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia:

I DID THIS ...#artist

I DID THIS ...#artist

I'vefound that drinking can be done alone and you can make friends, from bars, wine tours, ghost tours, walking tours, or even a random swinging adventure.

Just swinging....

Just swinging....

 

 

The thing is to get out and do and see as much as you can.

It's your vacation, your time, live your best life.

 

 

Missing Asia

Today I am sitting at work wishing I was enjoying the beautiful scenery...enjoy: 

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 Cherry Blossom Time

 

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The Taj

 

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A beautiful Samui Morning ... 

 

 

The Love of a Lifetime..the story of the Taj Mahal

I was fortunate to go visit the Taj Mahal in India. The only words that come to mind are epic, spectacular and "WOW just WOW"! It was beyond my wildest dreams. 

I literally gagged...it IS epic:

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The love story of the Taj Mahal had me by my chest. The story ended long ago, 1631 to be exact, yet a testament to eternal love. And of course royalty was involved: a handsome Prince named Khurram (also know as Shah Jahan)  fell in love with a lovely maiden selling silk and glass beads in a typical Indian Bazaar. Her name was Arjumand Banu Begun who was around 15 at the time. He was 14. He went to his father and declared his love and that he wanted to marry her. They wed 5 years later, in 1612.

When Khurram/Shah Jahanbecame emperor 1628 he entrusted his favorite with the royal seal and he presented her a new name Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the "Jewel of the Palace". Now this man had NUMEROUS wives but Mumtaz was the favorite. She went EVERYWHERE with him, even on military missions. They had the love affair of a lifetime and she bore him 14 children. It was in the delivery of the 14th child she would die. She made Shah Jahan promise her three things (or so the story goes) on her deathbed:

1. to always take care of her daughters. She had two and wanted to ensure that they would be ok.

2. Make a memorial in her honor bigger than anything he has or would do for his other two wives.

3. NEVER marry again

She died and he was inconsolable. Her remains were buried in Burhanpur, but this was NOTpermanent as Shah Jahan, was going to keep his word.  It took 22 years and basically all of his wealth but he built the most beautiful monument for his royal jewel: The Taj Mahal.

 

 

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