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.

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.

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

London, and Scotland and Ireland...oh my!

The problem with travel, blogging, working and having a startup is that something always lags behind. Sad to say recently this has been my blog, my life, my new normal.

Time is something I am learning that there is never enough...never enough time to go see one more site, never enough to get to the airport, never enough when finally letting go...there is never enough time. But you can prepare. However that is not my strong suit.

So much is going on in this country right now. It makes me scared. Scared for the path we are heading, and scared for my life. Daily I walk a bit more alert to my surroundings. If I see police I cross the street as I don't want to even be in the way if they have to chase down an actual criminal. Sometimes, the fear is so overwhelming I need to escape. Luckily, I can work just about anywhere, I have a passport, will travel.

This time it was London, Scotland and Ireland...it was beautiful:

A week in the UK and all became right in my world once more. It was like a mini reset button. And with this year's election...I NEED it.

Frogs and Kisses

Kit n Lex

 

Day 2: And I Didn't Die

Today was a day of first for me. I went on the morning hike and the guides decided to make it a bit more "fun". Fun is code for hard as hell. So the hike started off hard and crazy, we started a steep incline and scaling the mountain right away. Then she threw in something extra and asked if anyone wanted to try. I am terrified of heights and no one wanted to try...so if you know me, well you know I said "I want to try"...and I did but I just couldn't do the last bit. It was some scary footing and one false move and I would have fallen to my death. BUT at least I did try and got pretty far up.

Today's workout was pretty tame in comparison to yesterday:

I did ALL of this and I didn't die!!!! #winning

I did ALL of this and I didn't die!!!! #winning

After the hike was my favorite part of the day breakfast. We have a great selection but I went with my eggs scramble with hot sauce. Here is today's menu and I got a pic of all the food today. It was delicious. Hard to believe so few calories. Look at all the food for under 1250 calories. Amazeballs

I am feeling much stronger, however the environment can be taxing at times especially dealing with the "personalities". Many are Type A, some are shy, and others are just plain rude. I am the only black woman here and at times I feel like I am the only one in St.George. No one has made me feel uncomfortable except for one guest whose name I knew but he referred to me as "Felicia" He says it was an honest mistake but really COME ON, you'd have to live under a rock to not know one of the biggest catch phrases of the past year. I just laughed it off but it isn't funny. So I just decided to distance myself from the person and focus on me. As I am not here to make friends, but change my life.

Speaking of friends, I have made a few. One is my new workout partner... I push her because I know she can do it. Everytime we workout together she tells me...I didn't think I could do that. And it helps me to push her because then I work out harder as well. It is a good partnership and I look forward to working out with her everyday.

So far, so good. Today was hard and long. I went to bed at 8:30 PM which is why I am posting this on Wednesday morning instead of Tuesday night. However our day starts at 630am and ends around 630 pm...so it's a lot. However I am digging the structure, and I can already feel myself getting focused and becoming stronger.

Welp, gotta hit the gym and foam roll before the hike...time for Day 3: Wednesday. And as they say what doesn't kill us, makes us STRONGER.

xo

K

Movara Day 1: THIS is NOT a Game

People come to a health and wellness spa for a variety of reasons...to take a break from life, to lose weight, to get healthy, to hike, and a myriad of others. I came because I am afraid of heights and I also could lose 50 or 60 pounds. Which isn't that bad considering I have been over 150 lbs heavier off and on thru my adult life, so having only 60 or so to lose is like a blessing.

Today was officially Day 1 and it was a grueling schedule, but I made it:

I got up at 545 am, washed my face brushed my teeth and got dressed. I had to be in the dining hall by 615 where we learned what our assessment hike would be. To be honest I found it a bit basic and somewhat boring. I burned 944 calories but I've burned more than that doing a 10K, so I'm not certain if I will continue unless they become more challenging or I'm moved up a group. I've spoken to management about this ...so we shall see. It was however a beautiful sunrise and the hiking was lovely:

Morning Hike...Monday

Morning Hike...Monday

After a two hour hike it was breakfast time. I snapped a pic of today's menu. I got a pic of all the food except for dinner. I was a piggy and ate it all before I remembered to snap a pic. Actually it wasn't until I was about to blog this post that I remembered that I didn't have a pic. Sorry, but the food was delicious. I like how they have the calorie count as well. It makes me using myfitnesspal MUCH easier:

Breakfast: we have a selection of six different meals and lunch was soup and lettuce wraps...Yum

Breakfast: we have a selection of six different meals and lunch was soup and lettuce wraps...Yum

The rest of the day was filled with kickboxing, hip hop class, free gym time, then court challenge filled with mountain climbers, running and burpees, and off to circuit training. By the time 430 came and it was the final class I chose stretch because my body was talking, and it was saying "mama I AM SPENT". I was never so happy for dinner.

After dinner, I hung out with my new friend Paige and her lovely pooch Nico. Who is about as sweet as sweet can be; then I took a dip in the hot tub followed by pool.

WHEW...that was a day, so I took a shower, typed up this blog and plan on being in bed by 9PM, because welp...tomorrow we do it all over again. I am really loving this place, it's like sleepaway camp but for adults.

 

Well Heck...I think I'm falling in love with...HIKING

If you tell anyone I said it, I'd deny, deny, DENY but truth be told I am starting to like my morning exercise ritual of hiking through Snow Canyon Park in Utah. I get up around 530, hit the trails by 630. I go with a great group of folks and it's fun. Yeah...I just said that...EXERCISE is fun. And it clears my head for the day. I mean look at all this nature:

Utah is breathtaking...

LOST IN THE WILDERNESS

Hey friends...I've been away for a few days. I'm currently in Utah shooting a film, as well as checking out a few places for hopefully LOLA getaways in the future...and guess who is going domestic? That's right ...yours truly. I still will be focusing on Amsterdam, however I want to expand to various US cities in unusual places like Utah, Seattle, Portland, Chicago and somewhere on the east coast. Still in the air about that location.

Today was my late day on the set. I'm in lovely Ivins, UT and the scenery is absolutely stunning.

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Snow Canyon State Park- Ivins, UT

Isn't it breathtaking? So breathtaking that I got lost and was scared for my life. I think the movie 127 Hours played over in my head at least a million times.  I walked around FOREVER, then it started to rain so I took cover in a rock enclosure. 127 HOURS had become my life, and all I could think is "Please God let me keep my limbs" . Reception was spotty at best but I was soon able to get a call into park officials and send them pics of the things were around me.

They found me within20 minutes maybe less..definitely faster than Domino's delivery. Once I had been saved...well I needed a pic of course.

Wilderness Woman

Wilderness Woman

At first I swore I would never attempt hiking again, then after thinking about it a few hours I've decided to fight this fear. I'm going ALL IN, and signing up for a hiking retreat. Why? because if something scares you then you have to face it head on.

THAT'S how a LOLA woman does it! Wish me luck.

xo

Kit

Fear...of water, flying and more, however JUST KEEP SWIMMING!

Fear...I am afraid of anything, everything and NOTHING; all at the same time. Moments creep up on me and I wonder: am I doing the right thing? , How am I going to afford this? Am I crazy for thinking a travel adventure company for women could work? And so on and so forth.

But then I remind myself to do NOTHING, just breathe. Get through the moment. It feels as if some moments are a lifetime, but they too pass.

Personally, I detest long flights, water vexes me, have no use for repressive heat OR so I believed until I chose Asia for my destination de jour. After catching a great break on Qatar Airlines I was off for almost three months to see the undiscovered...I traveled all over parts of SE Asia and Australia.

First and foremost, I do NOT like to fly. Mainly because I feel it is a waste of time. I mean I'm just in the air. I can't control anything on a plane. I can't even backseat drive and tell the pilot to "watch out" I feel powerless.  However, Qatar made me forget all about that:

Second, I was terrified of water; now thanks to a lovely Aussie I am over that fear. I made a new friend in Thailand who was a behavioral specialist as well as former lifeguard. In the beginning, I didn't want to even get in the water, by the end I could doggie paddle.

 

Last but not least, I HATE the heat. I don't like being hot and I believe that air conditioning is the best invention EVER. PERIOD. THE END. So to exist in 100 degree heat and even (GASP) exercise.

 

One night in Thailand I was feeling VERY alone and homesick. And I thought of the movie Finding Nemo. Especially the part where Dory told Marlin that when you don't know what to do you "just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. swimming. swimming" and that's what I do.

I know how I want the game to end, I just don't know the path yet. And that's Ok.

Been Around the World and It Was Cheap too...

Ok, I KNOW I need to blog a hell of a lot more. And starting today I plan on getting back on track at least once a week. Forgive me, however I have been traveling a lot this year. I have many NEW and EXCITING adventures planned over the course of the next year from Africa to hopefully Antarctica. I can't really stand the cold BUT I want to hit all seven continents.

Many have asked me how I afford to travel. First and foremost...PEOPLE WILL FIND A WAY to do what THEY want to do. Period. The end. Granted, I don't own a home, heck I no longer even have a lease I just sublease and move every few months. It can be stressful, but the travel makes it worth it. When I decide to settle down, I'll get a lease and live somewhere for more than six months at a time. Another method is travel groups/clubs. I am a member of various travel groups on Facebook, Twitter, WhatApp etc...and I get deal alerts. I've gone to Thailand and have a ticket booked to South Africa that cost less than a domestic ticket to my home state. All because of a fare special. And because of one of my groups I've made some connections with different airlines, pilots and such, so now I have a few companion passes to use if I ever NEED to get somewhere but can't.

2016/2017 is going to be THE year of adventure and travel. If all goes according to plan I WILL hit all SEVEN continents. Wish me luck.

Happy Travels to you

K

NLDR- The #Shade and #Struggle is REAL- 7 day play by play

In effort to NOT bore you with a daily post of my time at the detox, I write down my daily thoughts, experiences, issues etc. and post as one big blog at the end of the 7 day stretch. You're welcome.

I am keeping it 100 with you the entire time. Some stuff you will laugh, some you may think "this chick is crazy" and the rest will more than likely be "OH HELL NAW" but this is my experience during my first two weeks, and let me tell you...

Read More

Almost Time...Winter Getaway 2015

This has been an amazing year. I came back to the states in March a changed woman after 9 months in Europe. In a way I found myself again, and purpose.
LOLA was conceived in Amsterdam. That city does and always will have a special place in my heart. I discovered I can be happy without the craziness. I also discovered that I could create a business idea into a concept and reality.

My upcoming trip (as of this posting will happen in T-9hours, but who's counting) will be my first "official" LOLA trip as I'm heading to...guess. Lexie will give you a hint:

Greetings from Havana...

Greetings from Havana...



I have some great things in the works for my lovely LOLA ladies coming up in 2016.
Adios,
K