Solar Powered Florida Adventures

Last week I did something I rarely do but realized I should really do more of – I took a mini vacation. The two days in Albany and the press that followed after took more out of me than I realized. I was exhausted. So, when the opportunity came for me to travel to Florida for a few days I (reluctantly) said yes.

My adventure began with a red-eye flight out of the Niagara Falls airport (yeah, who knew?) via Spirit Airlines to Ft. Lauderdale, FL last Sunday. Apparently, if you pack light enough, something I am NOT known for, you can fly very reasonably on this airline but don’t even THINK of using a legit carry-on bag. Nope. Think small backpack or something half the size of a carry-on suite case and it should also function as your purse ladies or you’ll be paying an extra $50 for luggage. I digress….

I landed in Ft. Lauderdale at 5:30am Monday and it was a glorious 75 degrees!! It already felt like I was going to have a good time. My second wind was waking up and asking about breakfast.


My early morning breakfast view at The Hilton Doubletree

I should have taken a nap but where was the fun in that? In stead, I decided to take advantage of the glorious weather and get into my (GASP) bathing suit and head straight to the pool for some much-needed Vitamin D. I am extremely deficient after all. It would be very irresponsible of me not to lay out in the sun for a little while, right?? Yes, of course I had sun screen.

After a lovely afternoon of sun and Piña Colada’s, I made plans to see a friend in Key West. The last time I was in Key West was in 2014, which was my first time. It was a difficult trip for me because of all the bone and joint pain. I was also 45 lbs heavier. The heat made moving around that much more painful. I was looking forward to going back not as that person and creating some new memories.

Bright and early on Tuesday, I began the trip to Key West. The drive thru the different Key’s is so nice. About 4 hours later, I rolled into New town Key West and checked into the hotel. I had a bit of time before dinner and meeting up with Monique so that meant I had to check out the pool. It was a bit warmer at 85 degrees but still absolutely lovely. My brain can’t even comprehend leaving anytime soon and returning to cold weather.


I met Monique for dinner in Old Town Key West at a lovely restaurant where she works part-time. It’s on the water where the cruise ships dock. There is a large crowd that gather for cocktails at the outside bar to watch the sunset. The food was amazing and the dessert was from heaven. Yes, I could have had the Key Lime Pie but when Caramel Crème Brûlée is on the menu you order the Caramel Crème Brûlée. Always. Thems the rules.

We had a LOT of laughs and a crazy adventure after dinner that involved visiting a local dive bar off the beaten path that, if I had to guess, is probably only known to the locals. Probably for good reason. The rest of the night will, as they say, stay in Key West.

I wrapped up my stay with lunch with Monique at the Blue Macaw for Conch Fritters and then a quick picture of the Southernmost Point. A landmark that I didn’t make it to last time I was in Key West because of the extreme heat.

I also have to add that if ever in the area, at Mile Marker 15, you simply MUST stop in at Baby’s Coffee. They roast their own beans and have the most outstanding blends of coffee. There are also sandwiches and snacks if you’re hungry. If you’re a coffee connoisseur but not going to be in Key West, you can order their coffee online.


Wednesday night, I very begrudgingly made my way back to the airport to begin my way back to the cold tundra of NY. I was already beginning to become sad knowing that I was leaving the lovely sun and warm weather but Adam and my pup Bella were waiting for me to come home. Oh, they are SO lucky I love them so much.

I barely remember getting back home Thursday morning. It was sometime around 3am. I just know Bella came our of Adam’s room to great me and jumped into my bed with me. When it was time to wake Adam up 4 hours later, this is how I woke up…..


This trip taught me something important. If I’m going to keep doing the things that are important to me. If I’m going to keep trying to make a difference in the world, I need to remember to take time for me too. Not just Dr appointments. I need to remember to take breaks and recharge. I can’t run myself down or I won’t be good to anyone.

It was great to get away. I’m so lucky that I was able to. I had a fantastic time and I am absolutely counting the days until I can do it all over again but God help me, coming home to that furry face is the sweetest thing ever.


Something To Look Forward To


In April, at The Lowes Philadelphia Hotel In Philadelphia, PA, an organization called Living Beyond Breast Cancer will be holding their 9th annual convention for those living with Metastatic disease.

I have decided to go and with the help of a travel/lodging grant I can.

Much to my surprise the grants are funded by none other than Susan G Komen.


I’ll admit, I did have some reservations about requesting a grant from an organization I have huge problems with but then again by accepting it, learning as much as I can and sharing that information with my readers and social media followers, well, that is more important to me. I still feel Komen could and should do more for metastatic women and men and I still feel they view us as pretty pink Breast Cancer’s dirty little secret. But that’s an issue for another day.


I’m as excited as I am apprehensive. This will be the first time I will be in the company of women facing what I have for the last 18 months. I’ve been talking to many via Facebook and/or Twitter and with some, formed a bond. We have talked about how nice it would be to all be in one spot and talk face to face. In April, we will get this chance. While I am over the moon about this, the reality is that our bonds of friendship will grow stronger and while we have no cure for our illness this may be the last time some of us see each other. As much as that scares me, I’d rather have this chance than none at all. All of these women want to be part of bringing metastatic breast cancer to the forefront and help further research efforts. An amazing group.


I am hoping to get a lot of good information from the seminars I’ve signed up for. There are 2 Saturday and 1 Sunday. I plan on sharing what I learn in future blog posts. So, be sure to look for them at the end of April.

Many of us, including my roommate, are arriving on Friday night. We have casually talked about meeting up possibly for dinner. That should be a lot of fun. 

I’ve already started mentally preparing what I’m going to pack. As usual, I will over pack because that’s just what I do. This is only the second time I will be traveling without my husband. This also makes me a bit unsteady but I’m sure once I get there I’ll be OK. I’m most concerned about my connection – and missing it. I can’t walk very fast and I’m terrified I’ll have to navigate an airport I’m unfamiliar with in little time.

I’m currently trying to fight off some kind of bug. Fever today was 100° and the fluid in my lungs continues to rattle around. Hopefully I can keep it at bay but the fluid can’t be a good thing. Tuesday will be 3 weeks I’ve had this lung issue. Time will tell……..