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My Blog

How about a free week in Spain?

No need to adjust your glasses! Yes, you read it correctly! How about a fun, interactive week in lovely Madrid Spain? We just returned and would highly recommend this wonderful volunteer opportunity. Check out the website: www.vaughantown.com and sign up. This was our second experience with this program and this second trip was equally as enjoyable as our first. Stay in this beautiful hotel and dine on gourmet meals (with wine included) for FREE! All they require of you is conversation. You must like to talk in order to attend but the Spaniards are very friendly and happy to listen and talk about most any subject you desire. They are working to improve their English speaking skills. You will make wonderful new friends and have a grand time. 

Decking the Gatewood Halls

Seasons Greetings!

Oh what fun it is to ride....by and see the flashing lights of the holiday store front windows. In between my inn sitting jobs, I enjoy working in Blue Ridge at Gatewood Hall Gracious Home. 
It is a lovely store that is filled to the brim with everything you would need to decorate your home. Lots of Christmas gift goodies too. We had a blast decorating all throughout the store this year. Come in and have a look. 
 

Returning from Italy

The fairytale village of Gratteri Italy is forever in my heart and thankfully in my photo album. I had a wonderful two months working and playing in Italy. The first month was spent housesitting in Torino for two cats in a small lovely apartment in the center of a the lively Gran Madre neighborhood. Next, I traveled to the medieval style village of Gratteri which is near the beach city of Cefalu in Sicily. I worked as an innkeeper for Dimora dei frati. It was a lovely time and I made some very close friend connections.

Homeless and Happy

Yes, it is true!

The Hood's are officially gypsies!

We sold our home in Georgia and Durell took off on his bicycle to pursue his lifelong dream of cycling coast to coast. He left Anacortes Washington July 12 on a solo trip peddling approximately 4700 miles (depending on how many times he gets lost). He plans to finish his ride by the end of September in Bar Harbor Maine.
You can follow his blog spot if you like: durellhood.BlogSpot.com
 
Cathy is busy chasing her own dreams too. She is headed to Turin Italy beginning July 29 and will work there at a house sitting job until the of August.

Crazy for Key Lime

Key West, Florida, is famous for its fabulous key lime pie, one of America's best-loved regional dishes. Every restaurant in the Florida Keys, and especially in the city of Key West, serves this wonderful pie. There seems to be a key lime pie for every palate, with numerous versions made throughout the region. This pie is considered the official pie of the Florida Keys.
Well, we love it here in Georgia too! This lovely tart was served to me the other night by one of my dearest friends. What's on your dessert plate?

Say "Cheese"

Check out this yummy tray I served up to visiting guests....
Nice selection of goat cheese and honey rolled in pistachio nuts along with a creamy smoked Gouda. 
Double dipped chocolate strawberries too! 
Pop the cork and celebrate!

Trash or Treasures?

I love a good treasure hunt!

This one recently occurred during my last inn sitting job in Seattle. Love that place!!

I came across an estate sale on Sunday when the items were marked 1/2 off. This little music box was hand crafted in Germany and played one of my favorite tunes from the musical Annie..."Tomorrow".
I also purchased a second music box with little gardening girls and flying birds. I snagged the both of them for $5 each! After some quick research on ebay we discovered that one was worth $140!

Pet Sitting Rewards

Do you own a pet?
I'm sad to say that currently we do not.
Since our job includes lots of days away from home it is just not the appropriate time to adopt anyone new.
But, fortunately some of the inn sitting jobs that we work include pet sitting services. Here I am at one of my favorite bed and breakfast in Seattle Washington. The Three Tree Point B n B has a wonderful menagerie of pets to keep me entertained while I tend to the rooms and guests. Here is Lillie taking a sip of water from Sushi's (the fish) bowl.

A Passion for Bread

Au Bon Pain "The Place of Good Bread" was recently experienced in no, not France, but Midtown Atlanta. Last week my visiting daughter came from overseas for a 2 week trip to see family, friends and to improve her bread baking skills. We enrolled for class with The Atlanta Cooks Warehouse. Maître Boulanger- Master French Baker Lionel Vatinet was our instructor for our lesson on preparing good, country French bread.
He gave us the inside scoop on what it takes to transform simple bread flour, salt, yeast and warm water into a crusty, tender mouthful of pure heaven.

Castle in the Rockies

           Rockies in Canada!
Enjoyed viewing the luxury of this beautiful 19th century hotel during the Christmas season. The Banff Springs Hotel was one of the grand railway hotels built in the heart of Alberta Canada in full view of Banff National Park. Great location for exploring the quaint resort community of Banff with their unique shops and local restaurants. Too chilly (-14*F) for hiking, but a short walk in the park was just enough to appreciate the beauty of this frozen wonderland.  
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