Monday, October 25, 2010

Daryl is in complete Remission


Prayer Warriors:

Today, Monday, October 25, 2010, my sister, Daryl Lee was told by her oncologist that she is in complete remission. No sign of cancer!

That's all I've got to say!

PS That is not true - I have a few more things to say: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU and THANK YOU for all the prayers, thoughts, healing vibes, encouragement and kindness!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm Coming Along Great!

October 17, 2010

Prayer Warriors:

Just wanted to send a quick update to everyone. I am doing fine. I've done 2 chemo treatments and I do believe I have 12 more to go - I go once a week. No side effects at all - YEAH!!!!! The miracle of modern medicine continues to amaze me. So I am giving thanks each day for my supportive and loving family, my friends, all the prayer warriors on my side, my healing team, modern medicine, and just plain old life everyday I open my eyes. Now don't get me wrong I do have my moments but when they come I give thanks and count off all my blessings.

So Thank you to each and everyone of you who keep me in prayer and thought!

PS Daryl is healing wonderfully - back in class at Columbia 3x a week. Her doctors continue to marvel at her speedy and steady recovery.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Bald & The Beautiful!

September 24, 2010

Presenting my sister, Daryl Lee, after her stem-cell infusion. Bald and Beautiful! I took this picture today as she was finishing up her Spanish homework b/4 heading out to catch the train for her class at Columbia. She keeps on keeping on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Certificate Says It All!

September 17, 2010

Yesterday, Thursday, September 16th was my last day of radiation treatment! AMEN! Thanks for all the prayers, thoughts, emails and love! Onto to chemo.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Momentary Pit Stop in Crazy-Weepy-Dark-Cloud Land and then onto Sunshine Land!

September 4, 2010

Yesterday was a weepy, tearful, emotional day. Not all day long, intermittently throughout the day. One second I was cool, the next I was so weepy I couldn’t listen to a dear friend’s (Alissa) voicemail message and thrown into the mix were those moments of passionate craziness, which equaled an overall feeling of discombobulation.

It all worked out in the end with the help of my sister Daryl. She pointed out to me that it was the Oxy aka Oxycodone aka the painkiller. One of the side effects is depression. Add to that piece of information the fact that I forgot to take my Paxil aka an anti-depressant. Oh and one more tidbit to the brewing stew is I forgot to eat so it was quite a day for me but my leg feels better after my second zap of radiation. Bitter with the sweet, that’s life.

I ran into an old family friend the other day and he said the exact same words in response to something I said to him: the bitter with the sweet that’s life. He was right. Life is usually a combination of the two sentiments: bitterness and sweetness. We just have to figure out how to deal with the bitterness, how to savor the sweetness and finally how to live so that we get more sweetness than bitterness.
I was not in a good place the other day but I’m okay today. I am so glad to have only made a Pit Stop in crazy-weepy-dark-cloud land.

So join me in a song: Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, The sunshine in, Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, The sunshine in, Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, The sunshine in!*

I hope this has been Tasty and Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Have a FABULOUS Labor Day weekend!

*Lyrics by James Rado, Gerome Ragni, and Galt MacDermot.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Next Steps for Daryl & I

August 31, 2010

I met with the orthopedic surgeon today and he has given the go-ahead for radiation treatment on my hip. There is a small fracture but no surgery necessary. But I do have to use a cane going forward. And yes, I am already shopping for a stylish one online. :-) I meet with the staff in the radiation department tomorrow morning and will get my full treatment schedule. The radiologist oncologist previously stated that the entire process should take about 4-6 treatments done on a daily basis, so we are only talking about a 1 to 2 1/2 weeks of radiation treatment. My plan is to have radiation each morning before work.

Now that I have the radiation part confirmed I will meet with the oncology department to find out when I can start chemo. So it looks like I will be back in the office starting Tuesday, September 7th.

Daryl update: She is home!!!! She finished the stem cell infusion process and came home from Yale Smilow Cancer Center yesterday, Monday, August 30th. She just has to go back to Yale on Wednesday and Friday and then they turn her back over to her regular oncologist @ The Bennett Cancer Center.

We are both putting one foot in front of the other moving towards our individual finish lines.

I hope this has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Peace, Love, Joy and Blessings to you and yours!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our Lessons to Learn!

August 25, 2010

I am doing very well today! Not much different from yesterday, which I give many THANKS for. My radiologist finally spoke with an orthopedic surgeon, who thinks I might have a small fracture. I have an appointment for next week, 8/31 Tuesday @ 2 PM. We will meet, discuss, access and make a decision regarding palliative radiation treatment. Then back to my oncologist to find out my treatment schedule in regards to chemo.

Moment of Hilarity: The surgeon wants me on crutches - I don't think so since there is, how shall we say it, extra Valerie to pull around. He also suggests the use of a walker - again I don't think so. Not ready for that mode of transportation yet. I will just stay put and use a cane and wheelchair when I need to go outside. Although I don’t really need the wheelchair but it’s easier to use than tell my Mom I am okay and don’t need it. Sometimes I think my Mom thinks my femur and/or hipbone is going to snap in two at the slightest provocation. It won’t and I will stay off of it as much as I can. I promise. Tomorrow I must get out though so I can feel the wind on my face - oops, that sounds so corny but you get the point.

Daryl is doing well. She had a moment with Mom this morning at Yale-New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital, where she is recuperating from the stem cell transplant. The date of her actual infusion was Thursday, August 19, 2010. She had the procedure then came home and returned to the center everyday for the rest of the week then as previously, scheduled Daryl checked into the hospital where she would receive daily tests.

Daryl said to me today, when the doctors come into her room they always say, “You are doing so well we might as well not stop by.” As some of you know whenever you have surgery or treatment the hospital is required to tell you everything that could possibly go wrong as well as the side effects. Well my sister, Daryl has not experienced one negative side effect nor have any of the negative possibilities played out for her. THANK GOD!!!!!! She says I’m going to keep on keeping on with my recuperating and the doctors can continue to marvel. All right now-

Back to Daryl having her moment today: Mom and Brenda (my other sister) want to fix the moments when they pour out of Daryl whereas I let her have the moment and then we move on. I believe we all have lessons to learn in this life and the current situation certainly lends itself to big time lesson learning for my family! I think Mom and Brenda's lesson might be to realize they can't fix everything. Now I don’t have a medical degree, prescription pad or any patients but that has never stopped me from making proclamations in the past. I’m sure there will be plenty more declarations from me in the future because that’s just the way I am. :-)

My Mom has been staying at Yale with Daryl but she is coming home for the night, which is good because she is a Mama Bear so taking care of her cubs is part of the job description. But we have been watching and making sure, she is not overdoing anything. Sometimes it is best to let her be but other times we do have to tell her to take a break and breathe. She is learning.

I think one of my lessons is to SIT DOWN. I have learned to put myself first in a lot of areas of my life so taking time to rest, rejuvenate and rejoice is second nature to me. But the Creator obviously feels I need to sit down for a little while and despite the fact that I don't know why - I am going to sit my ass down! I will keep my eyes and ears open to see if I can ascertain why I need to SIT DOWN for now.

I hope this post has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Peace, Love, Blessings & Joy to you and yours.

Monday, August 23, 2010

PS to Change in Treatment

August 23, 2010

PS for 8/21/10 Turns out that I didn't get radiation on Friday, 8/20 - the radiation oncologist wants an orthopedic surgeon to review the x-rays to make sure there is not a teeny, tiny fracture because then the radiation will cause pain and there might have to be surgery - I am crossing my fingers and hoping that is not the case but if it turns out to be then I will do what has to be done. So I am resting, resting, resting, updating this PS and resting some more. I do believe I am supposed to be resting - LOL.

Peace, Love & Blessings to you!

Hope this post has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Change in Treatment

August 20, 1010

The last few days have seen a little limp I sometimes have turn into a full fledged LIMP. I went to the doctor's yesterday to get my treatment schedule and also got a new x-ray of my hip and found out that while nothing is broken now I am at high risk for a broken hip and/or femur bone so I am going to start radiation TODAY. Dr. T says I should feel no pain by next week - Yow-sah, Yow-sah, Yow-sah! Keep on dancing!

So dah-lings keep keeping me in your prayers - and make sure to laugh at least once a day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chemo Brain and the DMV!

August 14, 2010

Why did I get up, get dressed, drive to the DMV- in the next town - stand in one line and then another before I realized my license was NOT expired!!!! That is such a chemo brain move and I have NOT even had my first treatment. Good Lord - Oh, the adventures I will have!

The last time I was at the DMV the entire process was so smooth. Not today though, no today the place like a freaking zoo - people unsure which line to get in, including me. I stood in one line and then realized I was supposed to be in another line only to realize that I was actually in the correct line the first time. Then Daryl called me and asked if I was in DMV hell? I told her yes but I was surprised because my last experience at the good old DMV had been a good one. We chit-chatted for a few minutes about how our Mother aka Babs had complained about the DMV a few weeks earlier when she had to register my Dad's car. He doesn't know it but he will be paying for that misadventure sometime soon.

Then my little voice told me to check my license. So I did. Then I GASPED because the expiration date on my license says 2014! I told Daryl and the next thing I heard was her from the belly-no-holds-barred laugh. All I could say was: Well that's 30 minutes I'm never getting back.

I got out of line, left the building and walked to my car. All the while Daryl is saying: Valerie you are so CRAZY, No you didn't drive to Norwalk and your license is valid, Why did you think your license had expired? Why didn't you check your license before you left? And she was still laughing while asking all those questions. I could only say to her - Girl I AM crazy and this is CRAZY. But that's okay.

I also said: For whatever reason I am supposed to be here in this line at this moment. I believe in things happening for a reason. So for whatever reason I was supposed to spend some time at the DMV this Saturday morning, which also happens to be my cousin Kim Cherie Etheridge Jarvis' Birthday! Birthday shout-out to Kim!!!!!

The adventures I will have. The last time I had chemo I was 36 and now I am 48 so just regular aging coupled with the brain fog you get when on chemo will lead to some great adventures this time around. The adventures I will have. And rest assured I will share them with you. When I can remember.

Paranoia Moment: As you can see, I blocked out my Driver License number, address and birthday. I can't let anyone get my info, steal my identity and go shopping on me. NOT going to happen.

I hope this has been Tasty & Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Keep The Faith Baby!

August 8, 2010

It's been a while since I last posted. Forgive me. But you know life can get in the way sometimes. And that's okay. I'm rather proud of my ability to cope with life's little surprises. I am a 11 year breast cancer survivor and damn proud of it. Unfortunately my baby sister, Daryl has joined the cancer club. She is currently undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma and doing well, outside of wanting the whole damn episode to be done and over with, which is a very normal reaction to cancer treatment. She just completed the harvesting of her stem cells at Yale Smilow Cancer Hospital. What could have been a 1 or 2 day process actually stretched into a 4 day experience but they were able to harvest almost 10 million of her stem cells for her transplant that will take place in about 2 weeks.

And to complicate matters I found out on Tuesday, August 3rd that I have had a relapse with my cancer. But my doctor has assured me that I will be just fine. I was hoping he would be able to just change my medicine like he did when I had an earlier relapse 2 years after I completed my chemo treatment in 1999. But no of course not. Seems some stubborn cancer cells have migrated to my ribs and lungs: 4 lesions in all involving 2 ribs and a small area on each lung, each measuring no more than 1 inch as per my doctor.

Dr. T wants to zap these stray cells before they get their own blood supply. So he has prescribed a targeted chemo drug, that did not exist back in 1999, coupled with a traditional chemo drug and then a change in my daily medicine. I do trust this man and his ability to heal me along with the Creator so I am going with what he has prescribed. Just like I have for the last 12 years. What a Blessing he has been to me, my family and friends. He has a quiet strength about him that allows me to put this relapse in perspective.

I do realize how Blessed I am to have a relapse in 2010, a time when there are medicines on the market that did not exist when I was first diagnosed in 1998. I do realize how Blessed I am to have family, friends and friends of friends who are collectively praying for me and my healing. I do realize how Blessed I am that humor is such a big part of my life because laughter heals. But, even with all those realizations I did scream in my head: I WANT MY NEW MEDICINE! NO CHEMO!

It has actually become a running joke in my immediate family. I know I have to go through the process of having chemo so I will do it and move on. Yes I will do it and move on. I am Blessed beyond words. I will not mentally rush the process, although I know that will be easier said than done on some days. On those days I will not berate myself for feeling that way that day. I will forgive myself. I will be kind to myself.

I do believe for a reason unknown to me that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing at this moment in time. I welcome your thoughts, prayers, good vibes and well wishes. Know that I am Keeping the Faith! Know that I am still planning vacations. Know that I am still adding places to my trips-to-take list. Know that I am still enjoying my cupcakes. Know that I am steadily working on my creative thesis aka my novel so I will receive my MFA in Creative Writing in January 2011. Know that I am going to be just fine. Know that LIFE IS GOOD!

I hope this has been tasty and informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hair is not always Political or Edgy - Sometimes it is just Hair!

Hair the bane of some black women's lives. And a crown of glory for other black women. You can put me in the "crown of glory" category, thanks to my Mother. For some folks their hair is political and for others it's just about individuality. I am blessed with having hair that lets me wear it anyway I want. I can sport braids, cornrows, go natural, sew in a weave, grow some dreds, get it permed or get some dreds weaved into my head. I can change my look overnight and not thing twice about it, now that is GLORIOUS!

I like to think black women do not have to justify their hairstyles to anyone but I am realistic and know that some companies make it hard for a black woman to wear ethnic hairstyles so those women have to go along to get along. Or move on to another company. Or better yet start their own company. Alright now!

Now that all that is out of the way here we go: most of the criticism of black women's hair comes from other black women. Which brings me to Zahara, the daughter of Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt. I stumbled upon a blog the other day where the blogger, who wears her hair natural, was going on about how Angelina needs to do the child's hair. Now I, myself have had problems with white Mothers of black and bi-racial children who have no idea what to do with their child's hair. I feel if a person is going to adopt or birth a child and have no "experience" with "different" hair then that parent needs to go to a black salon, a black church, ask a black co-worker or stop a black stranger whose hair they like and ask for help in doing their baby's hair. I always say I am going to open myself a salon just for white mothers of black children and help them out. I digress. Back to Zahara.

Her parents are Angelina and Brad, movies stars and parents. They appear to be two people who love each and wanted to create a family together, which they have created with children from around the world as well as having 3 birth children. Their household is considered by most Americans non-traditional when in reality they are what should be considered traditional in my opinion. They wanted children and didn't care what the outside package looked like. They appear to love their children and want to support and encourage them to explore and try different things. All parents should want to do that. Back to Zahara's hair.

The blogger essentially said that Angelina and Brad needed to get with the program and understand that her hair is different from the other kids in the family. Well I don't think Angelina and Brad are stupid or blind - because only a stupid or blind person would not realize that Zahara's hair is different. The blogger continued by saying that when Zahara got older she wouldn't be able to look at childhood pictures without feeling bad about herself and her hair. Puhleeze! I guess that blogger has a crystal ball and can get inside Zahara's future head. I'm sure Zahara will look at her family photos as a young adult and realize how lucky she was to adopted by parents who wanted her. Plain and simple.

As a woman of color myself I understand the whole hair issue and I just want everyone to know that my wanting hair "different" from the hair the Good Lord blessed me with had nothing to do with me wanting to be white or hating myself. I just wanted to be like my Mom who is Native American. And it was that Native American woman who told me that my hair was perfect just the way it was. My Mom stepped up and made sure I felt good about my hair. All parents have to step up and make sure their children are safe, confident, loved and practice self-love. And it appears that Angelina and Brad are stepping up since they have sought out "black hair" care products like Carol's Daughter so they get credit for taking care of Zahara's hair business. In my opinion.

Then there's Willow Smith, daughter of Jada & Will Smith who is currently sporting a Mohawk hair-do. While no one is saying Willow's parents need to realize what kind of hair she has - I wish someone would step to Jada and say that...I would pay to see that interaction. What people are saying and debating is whether or not Willow's 'do is too edgy. Too edgy? Again, Puhleeze! Willow's parents are letting her explore and experiment with HER hair. As I am sure Angelina and Brad will do when it's time for Zahara to do her own 'do. Until then, I wish everyone would get out of Zahara and Willow's hair. Let individuality reign!

I hope this has been Tasty and Informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Memories!

July 5, 2010

I hope everyone had a GREAT 4th of July - mine was good. I attended a picnic at friend's house in Stratford, CT. Not too many people, good food and good company. Just like my childhood holidays. We (my mom and sisters) used to spend the 4th in Southampton, LI - our hometown. We had a spot downstreet (local expression) where our family stood for years and watched the parade come down North Main street right past us. The family hasn't been together on the 4th in years so I know some other tribe has "our" spot. I hope their memories are as great as mine.

After the parade there was usually a cookout at my Aunt Florence (my mom's sister) and Uncle Elton's house, which was the same house my mom and her siblings were raised in. My Grandfather was married twice and my mom and her four siblings were the result of his second marriage. His first marriage blessed him with 2 children. And my mom's mother had a son when she married my grandfather. Oh yeah grand-dad was already a grandfather when he started his second family. Quick genealogy lesson on the Lee tribe. So my mom, her seven siblings, their mates and children would fill the yard where we ate the burgers grilled by one uncle or another while another uncle or cousin was boiling the water for the lobsters and crabs and still another uncle or cousin was steaming clams. And for those who liked their clams raw someone was shucking them over an over-sized garbage can filled with empty shells.

We would all eat too much and laugh a lot while grubbing on good eats. And the adults would drink until it was time to watch the (illegal) fireworks and sparklers that my uncle, who will remain unnamed to protect the guilty, would bring from the city. All in all a good time was had by everyone every year.

I hope all your past 4th of July celebrations, including yesterday, were family-fun-filled times. And if they weren't make sure to make it happen for yourself next year.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Magazine!

Hello People! I know I have missed a few days but that could not be prevented - had to finish a paper for my MFA program. Now onto my post for today - June 27, 2010.

I received my issue of More magazine last week and had to laugh out-loud - again. I laughed because when I first saw More on the stands a few years ago I immediately thought it was a magazine for full-figured women like moi!So I purchased it thinking I knew what was between the pages. I was leafing through the magazine and remember saying to myself where are the plus sized women? What kind of plus size magazine is this? So I went back to the beginning and started again - then realized it was for women over 40! Not a problem there since I was indeed over 40 so I relaxed and started reading the magazine for what it was - and lo and behold I enjoyed it.

I picked it up from the stand on and off until last year or two years ago when I got myself a subscription. More's tagline: For Women of Style & Substance - alright now! And for advertising purposes, it is described as: More is the leading voice of today’s sophisticated, affluent and accomplished woman, who is enjoying the richest years of her life, sharing news and advice on beauty, fashion, health, career, travel, money and relationships from her distinct perspective. I am a More Woman and I'm sure you are too so check it out, even if you aren't over 40.

I also love the fact that I thought it was one thing and it turned out to be something else. A something else that still fit me. I like to think my More magazine incident was a lovely mistake.

I hope this has been tasty and informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Share the Love!

Hello Everyone! For those who don't know I live with family, just like the Ewings from Dallas the 80s television show. However, there are no evil machinations going on in this house. Nothing but love. Now don't get me wrong we do get on each other's reserve nerve sometimes but the underlying emotion is L-O-V-E!

Tonight my mother, Barbara aka Babs made some chicken soup for my younger sister, Daryl, to help her get over a cold. Now my mother can burn some pots and she LOVES getting compliments about her cooking. She always asks if we had some of whatever she has cooked and then she waits for your reply. In those moments between her asking the question and the reply, it is so obvious that she needs to hear how good the meal was.

Tonight I realized how brave it is of her to show her need for a compliment. Most of the time we try to act as if we don't need anything from anyone. When in fact the truth is plain as the nose on our face: we all need a positive word, compliment and sometimes, pure adoration from those we love.

When presented with the opportunity to bestow a compliment, kind word, or plain old adulation on someone you LOVE, go on and just do it. Tell them what they mean to you and how much you love what they did for you! Why not? You will both feel blessed and loved. So go on and reward your loved one with the truth. Reward their courage and bravery.

I hope this has been tasty and informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Follow Those Dreams People!

What did I say on June 20th? I said that I would blog everyday, even if said blog was only 2lines - well I didn't even do that - but don't be disappointed in me because I will keep this promise to myself. Let's all keep the promises we make to ourselves. I mean if we can make and take the time to do for others we must, must, must make and take the time to do for ourselves!

I am working towards my dream of being a published writer by pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. The program is low residency, which means you attend 2 10-day residencies in December and July and in between you work with a writing mentor. I'm am so loving this program. When I have completed the FU MFA I will have a novel in my hands. All you writers and/or aspiring writers check out the site: While I am glad to be part of the FU MFA low residency program there are other programs across the country that may interest you:

Whatever you want to do - like Nike says, JUST DO IT! And yes I am going to share all the cliches and truisms that we have heard before and now will hear again: Life is short, We aren't promised tomorrow, You don't want to say woulda, shoulda, coulda, Time waits for no one, etc. etc. etc. Get up and go out there to find your DREAM, BLISS and PEACE OF MIND.

And for those who don't know what they want to do or what will make them happy, just start looking, start trying different things or just ask yourself: If you didn't have to worry about paying bills, what would you do for free? See what pops into your head, write it down, share it with someone, don't share it with anyone. Look at what you wrote on that piece of paper, stare at it, accept it, whisper it, shout it out loud. Let it out!

Make a plan and start doing it. Come on out and play! When I get to the other side I want God to say: You used what I gave you all up Valerie, job well done my child!

I hope this post has been tasty and informative like Cupcakes and Travel Magazines.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

HodgePodge of my Life! And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Good morning people! It is June 20, 2010 Father's Day and I am making a promise to myself to Blog everyday going forward. Even if the blog is only 2 lines. I make time to do the things I don't like to do like work so I might as well make time to do the things I LOVE to do, which are talking and writing about travel, writing and cupcakes. Alright now!

I returned to Jamaica in May and had a RELAXING vacation with my two sisters and my sister from another Mother, Courtney Oliver. We swam, drank some Ting-tinis (not Daryl since she is still doing her meds), had a massage at the Rockhouse Spa, ate great food and basked in the Blessings that have been bestowed upon us all. And Lord knows we have been blessed in the last 7 months what with Daryl's diagnose of multiple myeloma. Luckily the cancer was contained to her lower back so she is handling her treatment of chemo and some other drug, that breaks her arms out, with grace, coolness and overall Darylness.

She is a trooper because we have been trooping through some airports in the last few months starting in May with Rainique's college graduation from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH on 5/8. Then we headed off to Negril from 5/17 until 5/24. Then back on the we headed out to Long Island on 6/5 to celebrate the high school graduation of our cousin Kody Michael Jarvis from St. Mary's College Prep HS at a family dinner at Carrabba's in Central Islip. Then we were back on the road the weekend of 6/11 back to Ohio for the college graduation of Corey Lamarr Gaddis from Ohio University in Athens, OH. We would not have missed one of those celebrations. I was actually sick during Corey's celebration but nothing was stopping me from hearing Corey's name being called out. We have to make time to observe and celebrate the accomplishments of the youth in our lives. Well if truth be told, we must take the time to celebrate the accomplishments of those we love. And I do love a good get together.

I've recently had the opportunity to participate in few get-togethers that were short and sweet. For Daryl's birthday my Aunt and Uncle, Florence & Elton Etheridge drove from Southampton, LI to join us for lunch in Westport, CT. It was filled with laughter, love and sangria! And then my family met at Carrabba's in Central Islip for Kody's HS graduation dinner - we all met there, celebrated and then headed back to our individual lives. It was FABULOUS. And I look forward to more of those mini-get-togethers with my loved ones.

I hope this was tasty & informative like Cupcakes & Travel Magazines!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Off To See The Wizard!

Friday, March 26, 2010-03-26

Accommodations: MGM Grand @ Foxwoods

Concert: Norah Jones – Theater @ MGM Grand

One of my sister calls Foxwoods, Oz because it appears out of the forest of upstate Connecticut like some mirage beckoning you to come and have some fun. Well we stayed at the MGM Grand @ Foxwoods which makes the Oz reference even more apt since MGM produced the classic The Wizard of Oz movie.

We stayed in a deluxe room with 2 queen beds on the 23rd floor. OMG the bed was a D-R-E-A-M – more on that later! We had a great view that looked out over 2000 acres of trees. A lovely mini-bar but I don’t touch the mini-bar in any hotel I stay at – are you kidding me? Mini schmini bar – not happening if Valerie is staying in the room. I actually woke up Friday evening from a codeine cough medicine induced sleep and saw my sister holding one of the items, cashews or something in her hand and yelled, PUT THAT DOWN! I was under the impression that once you picked any item up it signaled the front desk that some fool had taken something from the mini-bar, CA-CHING and it popped right onto your bill. I was wrong but you never know these days and I’ll have you know I double checked my bill when I checked out on Saturday – Y-E-S I did and I am not ashamed to say it.

The shower was rain-fall shower which I love and the toiletries were French. Yippee if you love French toiletries – makes no difference to me just as long as the hotel offers them because I scoop them right up and donate them to a local group that creates baskets for homeless families.

The other amenities in the room are as follows: 32" LCD HDTV flat-screen TV with video on demand, iHome clock radios, hairdryer, coffee maker, in-room safe, wireless high-speed internet access, marble shower and vanity area, 24 hour room service, which I normally LOVE but since I was only there for a short time there was no need for the 24 H.R.S.

Now let’s talk about the B-E-D! I walked into the room and fell face first into it. Just like that commercial when the wife and husband return from vacation, burnt red like lobsters mumbling into the mattress how much they missed their bed. Well I just gave a silent prayer of THANKS for the genius who designed this one. The usual stuff: 300 thread count Monaco imported linens adorning feather-pillow topped beds that envelop you in a warm caress of blissful comfort. Yes, Yes, & more Yes! I didn’t know a bed could bring such comfort – I don’t know if it was the 300 count 100% cotton linens, done up in the triple sheet style or the loft blanket. Individually each item might not have had the same effect but all together each element produced a feeling of a floating cocoon. YEAH!

I had to pull myself away from the bed so I could go and see the incomparable Norah Jones. It was my first time seeing her and I tell you I will go and see her again. She sounds just like her CDs and her playful attitude made for an enjoyable musical experience. She was on the stage with 2 Jumbotrons, which I normally don’t like but they seemed to bring Norah closer to the audience – amazingly it was a rather intimate affair.

All in all it was a good evening of great music and blissful sleep!

Until I write again -