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….

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

 

High Times in Denver

Sisters Weekend 2017 was a success. 

This year my sis and I decided we wanted to spend a Thanksgiving doing what we wanted and NOT cooking. We hopped on planes and headed to Denver, Colorado. It was a very relaxing trip thanks to our Bud and Breakfast. Yes you read that right ...BUD and Breakfast.  we stayed at the Adagio. It was a lovely little B&B that not only had every kind of instrument available to smoke from:

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The days began with an 8am-10 am: wake n bake there was breakfast which was always a variety of cereals, breads, fruits, eggs, chicken, sausage or pork, juices and mimosa's as well as a stocked fridge of beer, water, soda and wine. I would have taken pics but I was h.... (ahem I forgot)

Pipes, Bats and Bongs oh my!

Pipes, Bats and Bongs oh my!

The Inn itself was lovely and quaint:

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The bedroom we were in was a bit small but homey, however the bed itself was not the most comfortable, in the world but overall a comfortable stay.

Sister weekend the Bud and Breakfast was  a success.

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.

 

 

48 Hours in China...A Kitty's Tale

The Great Wall has been on my 'bucket list' since forever. Actually I have quite a looooonnnnggg bucket list but traveling is one I have been fortunate to obtain fairly easy over the last few years. With this being said I had put off China as I was waiting for a good time to go, or someone who wanted to go, however as I have learned DO NOT WAIT ON OTHER PEOPLE, even if they say they will go or can go. If you have an opportunity just GO. My own sister promised she would join me on a trip, I bought the ticket and guess what...life happened and she didn't join me. After that I learned not to wait...just do it.

After a wild time in Bali, tours, swinging over the jungle, getting sick as a dog with Bali belly and the worse being in the same city in a foreign country with former President Obama and still not getting the chance to meet him...I was heartbroken but the show/trip must go on...Beijing, China was next on my list.

Beijing was overwhelming to say the least but thanks to the lovely folks at Tour Beijing made it easy as 1,2,3. I took two tours with this company. Both days I had the same guide 'Lucy' as well as driver Mr Chia (not 100% of the spelling of his name, but I believe Lucy is correct or at least the pronunciation). They were punctual, polite and all around great people. Both tours were private, so we got to know each other quite well.

The tour on the first day was amazing and short. I arrived at 558 am, made it through customs and made it to my hotel (St. Regis Beijing) by 715am. The staff their is lovely but as a world class hotel I was hoping for a few more bilingual/english speakers. It was quite aggravating. However I made my voice known and management listened. And when in Beijing, I will return. Back to the tour:

Day 1: The Half day Cooking tour. We began early morning around 930 am. Lucy was in the lobby when I arrived. We drove to a lovely neighborhood and went shopping at some of the local vegetable markets. It reminded me of bodegas back home in NYC. We walked for a bit and she gave me an overview of the streets as well as Chinese culture and dynasties. It was very interesting. Soon we went deep into the Hartongs (streets) and she took me to the house where we would learn how to make authentic Chinese dumplings and have lunch. She explained that dumplings are the simplest of dishes and many Chinese mothers use it as a litmus test for women who want to marry their sons. And well...while I had a grand old time, Lucy and I both agreed that I should be glad that it's 2017 and many Chinese men cook, as my dumplings..well let's just say they were not on fleek. But I had a great time:

I can cook too, on top of the rest my dumplings are the best in the town...ha!

While there, we met a wonderful artist who hand painted the most beautiful designs inside of glass bottles. I fell in love and of course Lexie had to have one. (and by Lexie I mean me)

Lexie buying this beautiful blue hand painted bottle

Lexie buying this beautiful blue hand painted bottle

The next day was the day I had been waiting for...THE GREAT WALL...check!

We Did this...A girl and her frog

We Did this...A girl and her frog

Afterwards I took the toboggan down as I was tire, hot, old and pudgy...I did not have the heart to walk anymore...mama was done. As luck would have it. I got the "Michelle Obama" car. I will happily put my rear end where hers has been any day of the week. I love her. I wanted to add a pic but squarespace is being a bit dicey. You can see it on my INSTAGRAM tho.

The day was also spent in Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City:

Side Note: TWB- Traveling While Black in China can be a bit oppressive if you aren't ready for constant staring, and picture taking. I honestly felt like an animal at times. Some people (especially in that part of the world) have NEVER seen a black person, and are curious. THAT I understand. They would come up and talk to me and ASK to take a picture, which I have no problem with. It was the people who tried to sneak photos, or would physically put their hands on me and force me to be in a picture. I had a few #jesustakethewheel moments, but all in all it was a wonderful experience.

 

 

 

 

Swinging in the Jungle..and I didn't Die

Sometimes you have to just do something because "it looks like fun" and is just a wee bit dangerous, but not really. I mean you could die if you fell, so just hang on is my motto.

I read about "Bali Swing" by the guys at Wheel Bali last night and decided I HAD to check out this place before I left. It fed the inner child in me as well as the adult daredevil. It was the perfect mix of innocence and adventure. And it's relatively new as it is less than 3 months old.

I could write about it all day but the video will sum it up better than my words...it was AMAZEBALLS:

This was amazing and per usual I made new friends. I call these two my "Sisters in Swing"

Sisters in Swing...#ladiesonthelam

Sisters in Swing...#ladiesonthelam

My Birthday Adventure..starts now...Malaysia

Wow..today is an amazing birthday (so far) as it is only just beginning. I woke up at the lovely Mandarin Oriental in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. I expected the executive club but the treat was the upgrade to a lovely suite. (Don't forget that if you can't see all the pics then just click. )

My birthday began at the crack of early 5:30 AM to be exact. Time to get up and head off to my birthday adventure. Those who know me...know I am TERRIFIED of heights, and since my dad died I have tried to live my life in love and not fear, and embrace all that scares me. So, I decidedfor this MAJOR bday...to tackle heights and away I went:

The company is called My Balloon Adventure and is family owned and operated and have been around for ages. They were super professional and so kind. As you can see in the first pics I was terrified but by the end I was having the time of my life. My pilot was named Agatha (no that isn't it) but I can't remember as I was only introduced once in the beginning and to be honest I was scared out of my wits but she is an amazing pilot and so kind. We talked about travel, live and family. It was not an ordinary tour as I felt I was with a good friend, who also made sure all my needs were met. 

After soaring great heights we had the easiest landing I could have imagined, followed with a champagne/sparkling cider toast:

Celebrating a safe and easy landing

Celebrating a safe and easy landing

and to top it all off...I got a certificate of flying and by golly gee I earned it:-)

Me and my Captain oh Captain...I love it when women are in charge, Who runs the world? #GIRLS

Me and my Captain oh Captain...I love it when women are in charge, Who runs the world? #GIRLS

After the flight we had a nice breakfast then back to the hotel where the staff and mywas waiting with even more goodies. It was an absolute dream.

Cooking in Tokyo...easy as 1,2,3 with ABC Cooking Studio

Whenever I go off on an adventure, I try to immerse myself in the culture. While in Japan I did not only attempt to eat all of Tokyo but wanted to learn to make some sushi as well. I then went to my boyfriend, Mr. Google and found a tour of the fish market with a cooking class. SCORE!!!

The morning was wet and cold, but the people in my tour were kind and warm: a family from Chicago (who travels all the time to NYC), a couple of guys from NYC, and a family from Italy:

The day begins...all smiles

The day begins...all smiles

The day began walking thru the fish market. It was crazy hectic and they WILL run you over in their fish carts... (don't forget to click on pic to see the next one if slide show option doesn't run on your computer)

After touring the market. We split up into two groups.  ABC Cooking Studio is great because they keep their classes and instruction in very small groups of six, therefore the Midwestern family went off with their instructor, which left Team NYC vs Team Italy. However I don't really think that was fair as Team Italy was made up of a chef, pastry chef and their kid who was charming, as well as creative. I was nervous, but they give you Sake to drink as you cook so I just drank until we got better.

It was a fun adventure and costs less than 60$ USD. If ever in Tokyo and you've ever wanted to try your hand at making sushi...then ABC Cooking Studio is for you. Remember how we started the day off...all smiles, well this is how it ended:

ALL Smiles...

ALL Smiles...

And I graduated: