Ode to Halloween

 Halloween’s a special time. It’s the time when the veil between our world and the afterlife is thinnest according to Celtic tradition.  We dress in costume to fool the ghosts and ghouls who walk the earth for one night each year.  So don your cloaks, get out your wands and keep you black cats close. 

From ghoulies and ghosties,
Long-leggety beasties,
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us.



“You’re what?” asked the common or garden spook
Of a stranger at midnight’s hour.
And the shade replied with a graceful glide,
“Why, I’m the ghost of a flower.”

“The ghost of a flower?” said old-time spook;

“that’s a brand-new one on me;

I never supposed a flower had a ghost,

Though I’ve seen the shade of a tree.”


Scout’s Tips ~ Jet Lag


I’m Back! I had to share an article I ran across in. of all places, Reader’s Digest.

The title is:  How to Avoid Jet Lag

If you have ever suffered from this very real side effect of traveling across time zones then you will appreciate the tips in this article.. I guess there are pills to help but I don’t know what they are. Maybe caffeine or No Dose? But I’m sure you’ll still be wandering around in a fog if you depend on stimulants to get you through the adjustment.

So here’s what the pros recommend.

1. EAT

That doesn’t mean use the trip as an excuse to pig out but eat starches like pasta or rice the night before you fly across more than 2 time zones. Carbs help your body adjust more quickly to sudden jolts to circadian rhythms.


The cabin air that circulates during the flight is bone-dry. This can lead to dehydration, a big contributor to jet lag. Avoid caffeine and avoid those alcoholic beverages. 30,000 ft is not the time to party if you want to avoid jet lag. Drink lots of the good old H2O before, during and after the flight.

3. Sleep

Ahhh, sleep, something Dusty knows how to do on airplanes. If you fly often you would do well to develop this habit too. If you’re flying at night, use earplugs and an eyeshade, turn down the lights, cover up and adjust the a/c valve to a cool setting. Your body will recognize these signals that it’s nighttime.

4. Switch your watch

Switch it to local time before you get off the plane. Dusty doesn’t wear a watch. She just uses her cell phone so when she deplanes and turns on her phone, Voila, local time.

5. Resist the Urge to Nap

I know, I just told you to sleep but now that you are at your destination you want to get your body on local time ASAP. So on arrival don’t decide to take a nap. If you’re landing in the morning, take a shower and have a high protein breakfast…eggs are a great choice, the protein will keep you going through the day. Then head out for some sight-seeing right away. Later in the day get some excercise, jog or swim. This will help you wind down so that you fall asleep naturally.

6. Stay Up

Yup, this first night stay up as late as you can. Aim for your normal bedtime by the local clock. Indulge the next morning and sleep as late as possible. By that night your body should have transitioned into the new time zone and your new routine.

And that’s it. Sounds pretty simple.  Dusty often flys several time zones but she could only think of one time when she really got knocked out and had a tough time with jet lag. That was after one of the Hawaii trips. It was the return trip and she went right back to work the next day. Usually she ends her vacations with a couple of days to get back into the home routine before going back to work.

I don’t think she even thought of it as jet lag. She attributed the  lethargic feeling she had for three or four days and being so relaxed from her vacation. But we think it was really jet lag…just don’t tell Dusty. We don’t want to disillusion her. 🙂

Have any of you had any experience with jet lag? How do you prevent it or overcome it? Have you tried any of the recommendations we suggested? Did they work for you? We’d love to hear your experiences with jet lag.

Well that about wraps it up for this post. I’ve got some other things in the works so hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back with more Scout’s tips. In the meantime…Happy Traveling!

Why Japan?


Oct 10, 2011…REPORTING FROM SEOUL — Seeking to lure tourists to a nation still reeling from the effects of the March earthquake and tsunami, Japan says it will make it easier for foreign travelers to visit: It’ll offer free airline tickets.

Officials next year plan to offer 10,000 travelers free airfares to visit the country, which is still coping with the tsunami-triggered nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant several hundred miles north of Tokyo. Government officials say the nation is safe for travel anywhere but the area near the stricken nuclear power plant.

The Japan Tourism Agency announced this week that it plans to ask would-be travelers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing the region of the country they would like to visit, according to a story in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

The agency will select winning entrants, who will be required to write a review of their experiences in Japan to be published on the Internet. Travelers are asked to cover their own hotels and meals.
Officials hope that positive reports from tourists will help lure travelers back to Japan, which endured a 50% drop in tourism for the first three months following the March 11 disaster, compared with numbers from the same period in 2010.

The sharp drop eased this summer but numbers had yet to rise to normal rates, officials said.

The day this hit the news I began to get emails from friends from all over. My co-workers also made sure I heard about it. I admit I’ve never been all that interested in Japan or in visiting the country even though I know a number of people who are fanatics about that area of the world.  But as my friends point out, I am making my humble attempt to write a travel related blog and this would certainly fit the bill for a subject. It’s actually a requirement of being chosen for the tickets. You must write about your experience in a blog.  Obviously there are more  established blogs than mine but many are professional so they might not be interested in free tickets since they are already paid to travel.

I searched for some suggested itinieries and was disappointed in what I could find on-line. They are heavily weighted with shopping, something I am not really interested in. Most of my souvenirs are my photos. I wouldn’t mind visiting a Shaolin Temple and some Japanese Gardens or having a dinner of Kobe beef..said to be the finest in the world. I’ve heard that Mount Fuji is very hard to climb and usually covered in clouds so what are the chances of seeing that?

And that’s where my research stands right now. That’s why I thought I’d toss the idea out for comment. If I should decide to apply I have to include what I want to see and why.

As one of my friends pointed out, an opportuity like this could open doors and lead to more travel opportunities. In that respect it is very appealing. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Drum Roll Please!

The winner of the New Hampshire Dream Vacation Photo contest has been announced and I couldn’t agree more with the choice. It’s a beautiful photo.


Grand Prize Winner:

Linda Adamczyk of Simsbury, Conn. won the contest for her photo of her husband and daughter enjoying the view of a sunset over Lake Todd in Bradford, N.H. with Mount Sunapee in the background.

The “I Love it Here” sign was propped up next to two candles overlooking the lake.

Linda Adamczyk

Enjoying a Sunrise/Sunset

View of Mt. Sunapee from Lake Todd

As you know I entered late and this was a contest that  definitely weighted with  the popular vote. At the time I uploaded my meager offerings the leaders had 6-7 thousand votes.  I entered for the experience. It forced me to explore the remote release on the camera and use the tripod. Two things I hadn’t done much of. So even though I wasn’t the lucky winner, I feel it was a great experience.

If they run the contest again next year and if I chose to try that one again, I have a much better understanding of what needs to be done and one of the big things besides having a beautiful picture is to upload early and have a very active social network.

So congratulations to Linda. It’s a wonderful picture and definitely worthy of the Grand Prize!

Interested in the other winners? You can see them all at http://nhdreamvacation.com/

A great job was done by all!

OOPS~ We’re Sorry

Editor in Chief

Good Morning,

 It’s me Rocky, your Editor-In-Chief

I guess I was taking a cat nap and didn’t notice that Dusty was getting really backed up. I should have told you we might miss a post here or there. Our star reporter has been working a lot of OT again which has cut into the time she has to file reports for us.

Plus she’s trying to put the  2012 pet calendar to rest but there has been a flurry of activity from folks who want to have their pets included.

We heard the “S” word in the weather cast last night  so I got locked in the bedroom while Dusty brought in all the plants. (I try to escape out the open door so have to be confined). I don’t think we’ll get much snow, if any, but it was time to bring them in because even without snow, a frost has to be in the near future. It’s almost November!

Anyway, now all the plants need to be trimmed and pruned and fed and whatever she does so until that’s done the plants are all over the living room.  Fun for Smokey and me  as we play in the jungle but it drives Dusty crazy to have the mess.

I’m not making excuses for her lapse in posting but I do  want everyone to know that she is fine and I’m sure we’ll get back to a regular schedule very soon.

I know she has several topics on the drawing board plus a winner to one of the photo contests has been announced and she wants to share that. Scout is working on a follow-up on the “Bumping issues” with airlines and  some comments on the recent fare hikes. He’s researching a question on car rentals for another reader and is almost done with another article on jet lag…so you can see we have a lot coming up.

One last thing..have any of you been to Japan? We’ll tell you why we’re asking in another post. 🙂

Until then Happy Traveling.