Surprise! It’s Ms. O

“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.”- Oprah Winfrey

Show time

Show time

Finally. That word says it all but it can’t tell the story so here goes.

On September 22, 2015, I was a part of the VIP group to the taping of the Dr. Phil show. This was not my first. Years ago for my birthday month, I decided to visit my favorite places. I stood on the plaza at the Today Show while holding a cardboard shaped replica a of kidney (dialysis). I attended the taping of Who Wants to be a Millionaire and I flew to California to be part of the audience on the Dr. Phil show.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning as I checked in and was later directed to my seating area for the first taping of the show. I sat one row from the stage and to the left. It was during the warm up, as the music played and gifts were given out that I knew this day would be special. I won a book written by Dr. Phil regarding finding the love of your life. It wasn’t until the second taping that I was in rare form.

As Taylor Swifts, “Shake It Off ” blasted overhead, the emcee chose guests to come up and dance. This time I sat three rows from the stage, on the right side and on the end. When another guest in front of me shied away from being chosen to dance, I made it clear, through a few screams, to choose me and the emcee did. I went back in the day as I did the boogaloo, the hitchhike and anything else I could think of while lip-syncing the tune and dancing throughout the studio. (After the show, several people questioned if my performance was staged while offering wonderful compliments regarding my performance) After my stage time, I returned to my seat before the taping of the next show.

Dr. Phil appeared shortly and began to speak of the people in his life that had made a difference. Before he could finish the statement regarding one of the most pivotal people in his life, I screamed as Ms. Oprah stepped from the wings. I lost my mind. Some years later, I finally had a chance to see the former Queen of Daytime Talk up close and personal. So overcome with excitement, I had to use my hands to fan myself. Oprah looked in my direction and mirrored my actions. I looked at her as if to say, Yes Ms. O, it’s that serious!

She spoke of her new passion as I stared in disbelief. When the taping concluded I still could not believe my luck. I finally had a Oprah moment, one that I would never forget. (The show will début Thursday, Oct. 15)

Point Sur State Historic Park

“When a traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself.”-Liberty Hyde Bailey

Along Big Sur Coast

Along Big Sur Coast

This tour is for any lighthouse lover or person who enjoys a great view.

First, understand that the tour is open only on weekends (Wednesdays, seasonally) and at two times during the day, once during the late morning and then in the early afternoon. My tour started around 2 p.m. Second, this is a guided, three-hour walking tour. A 360 foot rise in elevation that involves one to two flights of stairs. Third, arrive at least 30 minutes early outside the locked gate om Hwy 1 outside an old naval facility. Fourth, take money and/or a credit card with you as you are expected to pay once you reach the end of the tour.DSCN2026
I’ve never had an experience like this one and truly enjoyed it. You are greeted by a park ranger that directs you to travel an unpaved road that leads to the bottom of this large rock where another ranger will instruct you where to park.
The weather can change in this area so dress in layers and pack lightly; water and a few snacks. I used a walking stick. Also, wear a good pair shoes. If the group is large, the rangers will break you up into smaller groups which is helpful for the presentation.
The incline walk is manageable as the rangers lead you up and pause to tell you the history along the way while you gather your breath and shoot photos.
The scenery is breathtaking as you learn about the life of the light keepers, the lighthouse as well as the land around you. With clear skies, a warm sun and sea lions below barking away, I could not have asked for a better unplanned trip.
IMG_2656The lighthouse was under repair during my visit but we were still allowed to go up to the top and even walk outside against the strongest winds I’ve ever felt.
A set of stairs took us to buildings like the blacksmith shop, keepers home, water tower and several other buildings. There was even the jawbone of a young whale on display. Go inside the keepers house and look at the kitchen, sleeping area and other rooms that will bring back memories of appliances, or food packages that use to fill most American homes.
The staff was wonderful, knowledgeable and very kind. This tour was well worth the time and money. For those with disabilities and in need of help, call the park in advance for more information.

 


 


 


 


 


 

Spotlight-Local Buzz

“The cars we drive say a lot about us.”-Alexandra Paul

Purple Beauty

Purple Beauty

I want to apologize for the lack of Spotlight stories for the last two Fridays in a row. The explorer in me has roamed around the country in search of the fun and unusual. So here is the first in several interesting happenings along the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest.FSCN1858

On May 9th, in Oroville, California, a vintage car show lit up the downtown area. The Oro Dam Cruisers, a Oroville vintage car club, sponsored the Gold Rush Car Show. A step back in time to poodle skirts, rock and roll music brought on the party to show off these and many more vintage cars. A heartfelt thanks to the owners of these beauties that allowed me to snap these photos. (Photos are those of the writer and may not be reproduced.)

Spotlight-I Thought Spring Had Arrived

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”- Proverb

Tree blossoms

Tree blossoms

I just completed another trek across America, west bound to California. Along the way I welcomed the signs of spring as I traveled I-70 until it turned into I-80, one of the longest highways in America. Imagine my surprise when I came across snow-capped mountains and long patches of snow throughout the landscape.

Oh no! Snow!

Oh no! Snow!

When an opportunity presented, I snapped away at any and every sign that spring had arrived. These snapshots of beauty allowed my mind and body to celebrate the joy of things to come. (Photos are those of the author and may not be reproduced without permission.)

Life emerging

Life emerging

Spotlight-Finding Peace

“You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”-Virginia Woolf

On this Good Friday, I’m taking time to not only reflect but to give thanks for so many things. Of course as you all know, my book, The Fat Girls Cub was released last Wednesday and for that I’m pleased. I’m also thankful for the ability to trek across America to find the usual and unusual. I give thanks for my friends, family members and all those whose paths I’ve crossed along my journeys.

Today’s Spotlight feature goes to Oregon and all its wonderful waterfalls that filled my mind, body and spirit. These photos are one of the reasons I love Oregon so much.