Posted by missjunebug on May 4, 2013
Bread perfected: The croissant! Photo by mjb2013
missjunebug has been busy lately traveling, returning home, regrouping, doing laundry, catching up with bill paying, etc., etc., the usual maintenance post travel, but she’s also been thinking about some recommendations she’d like to share with you.
So here goes:
Download (and pay for!) Justin Timberlake‘s new album 20/20. It is the best music to walk to missjunebug has come across in a long time (and dance to, too!). The songs are stellar and many great ones await you beyond “Suit and Tie.” which you’ve probably already heard about 100 times by now. (missjunebug still loves “S&T” no matter how many times she’s heard it.) And truth be told she has a big crush on J.T. She hearts him BIGTIME. Lucky Jessica Biel. Seriously.
Check out anything written by Tim Ferriss. This guy has got it going on with his Four Hour protocols. Currently missjunebug and members of her dear fam are reading The Four-Hour Chef, The Four-Hour Body, and plan to read The Four-Hour Work Week. missjunebug really doesn’t need The Four-Hour Work Week, since her work week is even less than that! Ha! Seriously, these books are so smart, so entertaining, and so helpful you will not be disappointed!. T.F. is a phenom.
Read anything written by Julian Barnes. Right now. Really. Go get one of his books. He is one smart Brit. missjunebug recommends The Sense of an Ending and Levels of Life. Okay, missjunebug has actually only read The Sense of an Ending and Levels of Life, but she plans to read all of his books a.s.a.p. because she’s sure the others are equally great!
Eat some croissants. They are so yummy: crunchy, buttery, layers of delicious bready air! How did the French ever come up with these? Beyond brilliant. missjunebug recommends that you eat these in Paris for the best croissant experience ever! And after you eat some croissants, make yourself some crepes. They are super easy to make using Krusteaz pancake mix and a great crepe pan. missjunebug recommends a made-in-France de Buyer which makes crepe making super fun. Of course, you can make crepe batter from scratch, but the Krusteaz is easy peasy and delicious. Just make sure if you are following the The Four-Hour Body eating plan (which you will be after reading Tim Ferriss’s book) that you save these for your 7th day where you can eat whatever you want! Vive la France and vive Tim Ferriss!
Speaking of Paris, missjunebug recommends checking out travelingprofessor.com for excellent travel trips and guided tours in France, Italy, and South America. They are reasonably priced, informative, not too touristy, and fun, fun, fun. missjunebug and her Mr.JB just returned from a week in Paris and a few days in Normandy. It really pays to get to know a city by spending time in it as opposed to a quick cruise-port-of-call fly by in a tourist bus. missjunebug has done both and she’s likes the get-to-know-where-you-are-for-awhile walkabout much better!
Whew! That’s about it for recs for now!
Posted by missjunebug on May 23, 2012
mjb's fave pic taken at Meteor Crater! Photo by mjb2012
So missjunebug’s Mr.JB has been busy planning more eclipse adventures! This time he traced the route from LAX through Phoenix by way of Flagstaff, then onto Page, Arizona and the Lake Powell Resort in a four-wheel drive Jeep! The four-wheel drive came in really handy when Mr.JB staked out centerline viewing real estate atop a semi-remote bluff! By the time the eclipse rolled around, lots of eclipse chasers had joined the junebugs at their prime viewing location. The conditions could not have been better! And the Ring of Fire eclipse was deLIGHTful!!!
missjunebug won’t go into details about getting off that semi-remote bluff. Suffice it to say there were many unmarked paths and the junebugs did their share of choosing the wrong ones to get the heck out of there before darkness descended! Whew! Believe missjunebug when she says she felt some serious relief when they finally found the main road!!
missjunebug also won’t go into the accommodations at the Lake Powell Resort where she requested and paid for in advance a Room with a (Lake)View. Suffice it to say what the junebugs got was a gorgeous asphalt-filled parking lot view! Lucky them! When Mr.JB went back to the front desk to show the receptionist their ressie, he was assured the entire resort was booked with a capital B and they were S.O.L. To their credit the management of the L.P.R. provided vouchers for two dinners and two breakfast buffets which did a lot to assuage a painful situation. And guess what? The food was great!!! And it went a long way toward make that parking lot view look a whole lot better!!
Here are some pics that tell the tale of missjunebug’s Paging Arizona Adventure:
First Stop: Meteor Crater!!! Photo by mjb2012
Wow! 20 football fields could fit down there! Photo by mjb2012
Navajo Nation Roadside Retailers! Photo by mjb2012
Eponymous Horseshoe Bend! Photo by mjb2012
The Grand Canyon earns its name! Photo by mjb2012
Lake Powell Resort's Rainbow Room: Great Place to Eat and View the Beauty! Photo by mjb2012
missjunebug's Annular Eclipse Point and Shoot Shot Rocks!!! Photo by mjb2012
Cruise America Rvs: Great at Impeding the junebugs' Progress!! Photo by mjb2012
missjunebug’s Tip#1: Get out there and Cruise America! Just don’t do it in a Cruise America RV!!! Try a Jeep instead!!
missjunebug’s Tip#2: Get a Senior Pass at the National Park of your choice for 10 tiny bucks and you can get into any National Park for free forever! How to qualify? Be Mr.JB’s hair color and age: silver and 62!!! The junebugs used his card on the way back to Flagstaff, stopping in at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon using that pretty little card for no dollars!!! Now that’s a fine bene for being a senior.
Posted by missjunebug on March 3, 2012
Image via Wikipedia
missjunebug has been having some fun on the internet! She’s been busy creating her own personal bulletin boards that reflect her tastes, aspirations, desires, and interests. Yes, you guessed it: Pinterest! This is almost as much fun as shopping on the internet, but there’s no credit card required!!
missjunebug’s boards include My Style which reflects fashion preferences, a couple on food (healthy recs “Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much” and a semi-healthy mega-delicious one entitled “Splurges, Indulgences, and Extravagances” with delicious pics of all those craved only-every-once–in-a-while treats missjunebug can’t live without. What else? Home Decor featuring wished for things for the Hacienda. Tangible Philosophies, a thought-provoking collection of smart things people have mused about and displayed in the most interesting of ways.
missjunebug is sure you get the idea behind Pinterest. Pin pics to your heart’s content, explore the interests of others, and get altogether inspired by the great ideas out there being pinned and repinned. Cool x 10. Thanks to missjunebug’s friend Rox and her friend for recommending this website. Oh, and speaking of friends one of the coolest parts of Pinterest is following your friend’s interests! Double good fun fo sho.
Now just imagine a website pinning up Design Finds from all over the world that are for sale from $1 to $10,000 or more. Credit card required! If you get a little weary of living in the potential world of fun finds from pinning on Pinterest, move over to Fab.com to do some serious shopping in many interesting marketplaces including ones for fashionistas to foodies and everything in between. missjunebug just made her first purchase of a cool waterproof winter jacket for upcoming travel to the Stans! Yeah, those Stans: Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan! She will be warm and dry no matter the weather there! If you’re a fan of the bargain find on Amazon.com you’ll love the hunt for design finds on Fab.com.
missjunebug wishes you Happy Pinning on Pinterest and Divine Design Find Shopping on Fab.com!
Posted by missjunebug on October 20, 2011
Most Beautiful Flowers Ever! Thanks, Margaret!!!! Photo by mjb2011
What was the first thing missjunebug did on her BIG 6-0 B-Day? Checked her Facebook page, natch. As much as she complains about the invasive nature of media, technology, i-this, and i-that devices (of which she owns all the them–thanks to Secular Prophet S.J. (may you R.I.P.), she couldn’t wait to see who offered up to her Birthday Greetings from around the country. She loved reading every last one of them! From elementary school friends she hasn’t seen in decades to church friends to close friends, to dear family flung far and wide, it was a thoroughly delightful way to start her 6-0 B-day. Whatever did she do before Facebook? Thanks, Zuck Dawg for this amazing, invasive, confounding, delightful tool of communication without which missjunebug’s life would be socially impoverished fo sho. And thanks to all my fbfriends for fond birthday greetings. And, hey, missjunebug even got some email greetings, text-mail, phone calls, and cards IN THE MAIL!!! with sweet wishes, too. Special thanks to those who took the time to write in cursive (dying art!) their greetings. Life is good. Life is good, indeed.
As for sixty? It sucks.
As one of her dear fb/church friends said: “This year 6 wins, 0 losses.” missjunebug loves this idea so much so that she’s figured out what those future wins should be:
missjunebugWin#1: Continued Good Health with the C-word a distant memory.
missjunebugWin#2: Living in the Now, just like Eckhart said. No past. No future. Now. Now. Now.
missjunebugWin#3: Loving neighbor/other as self, just like J.C. said. He is missjunebug’s homeboy.
missjunebug’s Win#4: Cherish family and friends forever, just like Facebook says: Stay connected, but missjunebug suggests,”Do it in person!”
missjunebug’s Win#5: Cash in those airline miles and resort points and travel often and open-minded. missjunebug’s dear Mr.JB and she head for Central Asia and Australia in 2012. STANS, here they come for the Transit of Venus! And Aussies, fire up the barbie and the Total Solar Eclipse! Fun times to come in the big 6-0!
missjunebug’s Win #6: Continue to write her little bug heart out on missjunebug.com for fun, for learning, for legacy! She hopes you’ll continue to check in with her from time to time!
Posted by missjunebug on September 17, 2011
A moonscape? Planet X? No! It's the Schrimpf-Davis Seep Field near the Salton Sea. Photo by mjb2011
missjunebug has a secret obsession with the Salton Sea. And that was even before she saw the Val Kilmer film of the same name! She toured this salty, below sea-level inland sea with Mr.JB, ElderJB, and TinyJB many years ago and recently returned to do a solo drive around its entirety. She’ll save that experience for another post another day.
What she did find about half way around was really stunning: the Davis-Schrimpf Seep Field.
The Davis-Schrimpf seep field is located off Highway 111 near Calipatria, California off Davis Road, a glorified dirt road that cuts through local farm fields. As with all things Salton Sea, the Davis-Schrimpf seep field is well below sea level and super surreal. What missjunebug found was lots of mudpots bubbling up carbon dioxide gas from deep down below the surface of the earth. On the surface what you’ll see if you visit this cool seep is nifty nodules rising up. These gryphons as they’re called by geo students in the know are variously textured with mudflows and salty remains of the magma cook-off going on about a kilometer below. The smell reminds missjunebug of her family’s experience in Lassen National Volcanic Park many years ago. But the bubbling at Davis-Schrimpf isn’t hot like Bumpass Hell, just gurgly and blurpy, salty and muddy. And very, very cool if you enjoy all things geologic.
Walk carefully around the gryphons and watch your step. There are lots of pockets that are soft and several deep gurgling pits that are not feet friendly. Treat the area with respect and take plenty of pics. This is a rare geologic treat!
Next time you are within striking distance of the Salton Sea, set your GPS for the Davis Schrimpf seep field and prepare to be amazed. And if you don’t plan a road trip anytime soon, at least check out the Kilmer film Salton Sea. It’s equally surreal!
Otherworldly Seep Field! Photo by mjb2011
A Salty Jigsaw Puzzle! Photo by mjb2011
Mud Flow Gray and Gooey! Photo by mjb2011
A Last Look at the Seep Field. Photo by mjb2011
Posted by missjunebug on September 16, 2011
missjunebug hearts the Palm Springs Art Museum! Photo by mjb2011
missjunebug was prepared to be underwhelmed when she decided to finally visit the Palm Springs Art Museum. She’s been traveling to Palm Springs for many years and just never got around to checking out the local art museum, thinking it was probably too small to be interesting. But contrary to popular belief, size isn’t everything! Despite its compact three and half stories–yes, there is a half story!–the Palm Springs Art Museum packs a big punch!
When missjunebug visited a few weeks ago, she found the masters–Van Gogh and Picasso and Rothko to name a few in the Simply Masterful: Picasso and Artists of the Modern Era. But all good things must come to an end and that exhibition has closed. missjunebug apologizes for the head fake, but she mentions this exhibition to show the range of art exhibited at PSAM. Along with a few choice masters, she saw some amazing glasswork, fine Western and Indian art, and some rad geometric abstractions of the 60s and 70s. What fun! What a playful range of art work!
missjunebug encourages you to consider stopping by the Palm Springs Art Museum for an accessible art experience that inspires! The PSAM is located in downtown Palm Springs on Museum Drive at Tahquitz Canyon Way, just west of N. Palm Canyon Drive at 101 Museum Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262-5659. They’re closed on Mondays, but you can plan a visit Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost? A nominal $12.50 for adults, even less for seniors, and free for kids under 12.
The good news is that admission is FREE every Thursday from 4pm-8pm during the Palm Springs downtown Villagefest and there’s FREE admission the second Sunday of every month, too! How accommodating! So there’s simply no excuse not to tap into your inner art appreciator! Everyone has one! If you’re not convinced yet, take a look at missjunebug’s PSAM pics!
Lino Tagliapietra's "Stromboli." Photo by mjb2011
Ghostly glassy dress sculpture by Karen LaMonte captivates! Photo by mjb2011
"American Still Life" by James Urmstron is haunting and surreal. Photo by mjb2011
missjunebug has had days like this! "Apart X" by Antony Gormley. Photo by mjb2011
Beaded Bowls shine! Photo by mjb2011
Piero Dorazio's "Colorando" Plays with Color! Photo by mjb2011
Elegant arrangements of Abstract Geometrics Intrigue! Photo by mjb2011
Posted by missjunebug on September 1, 2011
The African Savanna? Nope. The Living Desert in Palm Desert!
missjunebug and her MrJB struck a deal recently: when he travels on business, she travels on pleasure. mjb suspects she has the better end of the agreement and she hopes Mr.JB doesn’t figure this out anytime soon. So when Mr.JB headed off to the exotic heat of Shanghai to wheel and deal, missjunebug headed to a more prosaic and decidedly closer heat (105°-119°) in the low desert of the twin palms: Palm Springs and Palm Desert.
missjunebug considers these two gorgeous desert cities her personal playground having traveled to them many times over the past few years. But this time she decided to play tourist.
Her digs? The fab Club Intrawest at the corner of Cook and Country Club in Palm Desert located contiguously to the meticulously groomed Desert Willow Golf Course.
A Room With a View at Club Intrawest! Photo by mjb2011
Her first stop? The Living Desert and Botanical Garden in Palm Desert at 47900 Portola Ave (760) 346-5694. missjunebug really likes their motto: Desert Conservation Through Preservation, Education, and Appreciation.
missjunebug has lots and lots of appreciation for The Living Desert. Check out her pictures and then take note of the summer hours. Admission is super reasonable–less than 3 lattes–and there are so many interesting flora and fauna to see. When you are in striking distance of L.A. you are within range of the Living Desert so don’t miss it!
Open every day June 1 to September 30
8:00am to 1:30pm
Last admission at 1:00pm
The Lush Entrance! Photo by mjb2011
The African Savanna? Nope. The Living Desert in Palm Desert!
Zebra Chillin" under the Brella! Photo by mjb2011
Nifty Fennec Fox! Photo by mjb2011
Can you find the Fennec? Clue: Look for the Big Ears! Photo by mjb2011
Posted by missjunebug on June 26, 2011
missjunebug knows what you are thinking: Enough with the Case Against Packing Light blog post. It’s been up forever! What a slacker that missjunebug is!
missjunebug has been on Mediterranean time for the last few weeks and then she was jetlagged into going to sleep by 7pm for a few nights (and waking up at 3am!) after she returned. Now everything is all better and she is waking and sleeping at the appropriate times. Sooooo time for a new post!
missjunebug learned many, many things in her recent peripatetic wanderings in the Med. Here are few of her gems of wisdom:
1. Trip planning really pays off. missjunebug put a lot of effort in selecting flights, a cruise line, a particular cruise itinerary, excursions, hotels on the front and back end of the trip, drivers from port to hotel and hotel to airport, and yes, clothing choices! And believe her when she says all the hard work paid off! She even exchanged dollars for euros in advance which really came in handy when she and Mr.JB arrived in Rome. Her advice: Do your advance planning meticulously and you will be rewarded with smooth sailing.
British Airways Business Class (747-upper deck!!!) missjunebug â™¥ her flatbed sleeping pod and endless movie choices and sparkling champagne!
Regent Seven Seas Hellenic Treasures Cruise where each shore excursion topped the previous one and the Horizon Suite view was even better than imagined!
Albergo del Senato Hotel in Rome (right next to the Pantheon…literally!)
RomeinLimo drivers-knowledgeable! friendly! semi-English speaking!
Royal Olympic Hotel in Athens where the garden terrace restaurant really did have a view of the Acropolis
Foreign Currency Express in Los Angeles on Figueroa at the World Trade Center which has the BEST exchange rate of all the local money changers.
2. The anticipation of and planning for the Big Vacay is as satisfying as the trip itself which, it turns out, is a lot of work! All that walking! All that eating! All that excursioning! All that meeting and greeting cruisemates! missjunebug is exhausted just thinking about it again! The planning is always done in the comfort of your own home, often in your p.j.s while the actual touring takes place in warm weather and uncomfortable shoes and no matter how comfortable you think those shoes are, after 4-5 hours of walking, they are less so. fo sho. So missjunebug’s words to the wise: enjoy the anticipation with as much present-moment awareness as you can. mjb guarantees it will contribute to your overall trip satisfaction.
3. No matter how well you plan your trip, scheisse happens!
Ex. 1: missjunebug’s hopes to see Positano and the Amalfi Coast were disappointed by high waves that tender boats could not safely navigate so it was off to Naples instead. missjunebug and Mr.JB made the best of the unexpected situation by seeking out the restaurant that originated–really! the Margherita pizza! Yum! Thanks, Pizzeria Brandi!
Ex. 2: And once again a cruise eclipse was crowded out by clouds. ElderJB got a better photograph in Rwanda than Mr. JB did on his Horizon Suite balcony in the middle of the Med.
Ex. 3: Thanks to the Athens Austerity Strike, the port of Piraeus was closed to cruise ships so they rerouted to Santorini to join missjunebug’s ship and several others! Over 10,000 visitors sardined their way through the narrow passageways of Santorini the day missjunebug and her Mr.JB were touring! Hmmm. Not exactly the idyllic refuge pictured in Mamma Mia and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films. missjunebug repeats: Scheisse happens! Be prepared to do some shoveling!
4. There is nothing like travel to open your heart, mind, and spirit to the amazing people, places, and things on the planet. So missjunebug says (like the commercial), Just get out there!!
5. And there is nothing like the coming home part, back to the delightful little routines of daily life. That’s about as sweet as it gets. missjunebug doesn’t need to remind you what Dorothy said. She knows that you know!
Here are a few random pictures from the well over 2,000 that missjunebug took. More musings and pictures to follow!
The real deal at Pizzeria Brandi! Photo by mjb2011
Oh. my. yes. missjunebug's mussels were delicioso! Photo by mjb2011
Mr.JB livin the dream in Sicily! Photo by mjb2011
A little boat afloat in the bay of Malta. Photo by mjb2011
What a sense of humor those Maltese have! Photo by mjb2011
A Hilltop with a View in Santorini. Photo by mjb2011
The classic Santorini shot. Photo by mjb2011
Posted by missjunebug on May 29, 2011
Image via Wikipedia
missjunebug and her Mr.JB are heading out for a cruise adventure soon on the Regent Seven Seas Mariner. Destination: Mediterranean! She’s been busy as a bee (mixed simile since she’s a junebug!) selecting her wardrobe and thinking about the different philosophies out there regarding packing for trips.
One of her acquaintances explained how she packed for a recent trip two-week trip to Paris: twenty-two inches of carry-on only. What was her secret? Only two pairs of shoes-walking and dress, a few neutral pants and tops, one dress, and lots and lots of scarves to make each outfit look fresh and new.
Hmmm. In Paris with only two pairs of shoes? That is strictly against missjunebug’s fashionista principles. Part of the fun of the trip is the planning, anticipation, and pairing of shoes and accessories with outfits missjunebug feels good in! What’s the point of strolling down the Champs Elysees if you feel like a schlumpadink in infinitely recycled pants and tops and a few sad scarves! missjunebug appreciates the lightness of being a 22″ case affords the traveler, but give her the almost infinite capacity of her rolling duffle and Tumi wardrobe bag any day!
Another of her acquaintances created a brilliant system using Ziploc bags. One outfit per day including the underwear, bagged, zipped, ready to go. On her way to her morning shower, she grabs a Ziploc and voila! She is set! Fortunately for her, she’s svelte and her size 0-1 clothing is tiny to begin with so it easily fits into a Ziploc bag. missjunebug would need a trash size bag for her size 8/10′s! While she admires this packing system, her acquaintance occasionally finds she has underpacked since she only allows herself one Ziploc bag per day per trip. If something unusual comes up, she’s short clothes! This is tragic to missjunebug because her packing system relies on one very important one-word principle:
Yes, missjunebug takes plenty of shoes, scarves, jewelry, shirts, pants, dresses, swimsuits, wraps, work-out togs, jackets, and p.j.s to pick and choose from! Why? Two reasons: She’s got a generous weight limit (50 lbs. per two bag limit)–why not use it? and she’s a bug of many moods–what she might feel like wearing one day will simply not necessarily work for another day. That’s a fact of human psychology and believe her when she says fashion and dress are filled with psychological pay-offs and pitfalls. Just watch one episode of Gossip Girl if you don’t believe her!
Soooo, missjunebug will be filling her bags to the brim and enjoying the infinite combinations her packing plan affords!
Posted by missjunebug on May 18, 2011
Image via Wikipedia
missjunebug has the good fortune to be cruising soon on a fine ship in a finer place: The Regent Seven Seas Mariner in the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean.
missjunebug and her Mr.JB have a hat trick of things to celebrate: 30th anniversary a few months back, turning 60 a few months from now, and a year out from cancer treatment with fingers tightly crossed! Woo double hoo!
In a preemptive strike against the inevitable onboard calorie-o-rama with fab food and bev available 24-hours a day, missjunebug and her Mr.JB have adopted and adapted a new eating plan based on the now famous Dr. Pat’s V-8 Juice diet outlined in Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas & Found Happiness by Dominique Browning. Chapter 16 alone entitled “The Diet” is worth the price of the book because this simple and super restrictive eating plan works! In a nutshell: a hard-boiled egg for breakfast, a little V-8 juice for snack, a couple of hours later, a little container of fat-free cottage cheese, a little apple, a little cinnamon; a few hours after that, a little tuna or a little chicken, some greens and lots of water! By now it’s about 3:30 or so, so pull the tab on another little can of V-8! In a couple of hours, repeat the cottage cheese course, then it’s dinnertime with 4 oz. of protein, a cup of green veggies (broccoli, zuchs, summer squash, greenie beanies, or cucs.) Before bedtime, pop a little turkey and drink a little water! If you find yourself semi-famished between the two-hour intervals, have some–wait for it, wait for it–V-8 juice!!! (Please note the operative words in this diet description are “little” and “V-8″).
Ms. Browning had the good fortune to lose 15 pounds of her muffin weight (you’ve got to read the book) in a mere month. missjunebug will settle for five! So far, so good. She’s 3 pounds down and still has a couple of weeks to go before she cruises the high seas and the vast buffets!