Pretty Blue Rose

life musings and inspiration


(Almost) Back to Reality

There is nothing like family. Spending the last two weeks with my parents was wonderful. Spending time with my mom and her childhood friends over the last few days was also amazing. A house full of laughter, good food, and love is priceless.  Everyone was (and still is) sad as they parted ways, but the memories we made were wonderful.

Still trying to hold on to the last moments of my summer vacation (and trying to recover from family withdrawal) I am looking for a place to vacation next summer.

During spring break in undergrad, I stayed at a fabulous vacation rental home in western Maryland called Deep Creek –and I’ve been trying to go back with my husband ever since.  Although the house was nowhere near as nice as the house below–this is my memory, so I can upgrade my experience:)


Chatting with my sister-in-law, I found out she (like me) thinks that renting a big house for a week or two is an economical way to enjoy family and the summer. Everyone brings food and takes turns cooking and there are (hopefully) good times all around. She said she wants to try the Outer Banks in North Carolina and I volunteered to research vacation rentals. (I figure planning for next year’s vacation is a nice way to spend the last day of my vacation before I head back to work.)

One of my favorite co-workers mentioned that she stayed with Brindley Beach rentals in the Outer Banks and had a great time. Looking at some of the rentals, I must say I am amazed at the price differential in the off-season rentals—it’s a difference of over $2K in some cases compared to the in-season rentals. (the beach isn’t so bad the week after Thanksgiving is it?!) I’ll need to research more places, but a summer vacation in the Outer Banks will be something to look forward to during the cold dark winter. If anyone has suggestions for places to stay please let me know (via comment of course!).


Photo: The Outer Banks was recently nominated for "Best Beaches" and "Best Active Destination" by 10best. Make sure you show your love for OBX and vote today:

Picture Courtesy of


Shortly, I’ll need to get back to reality and prepare myself for work. Although I am very grateful for employment, summer vacation is always hard to part with.


(trying to) stay inspired and enjoy life (as I head back to work)…


1 Comment

Smalltown, USA

Spending time with my parents in Pennsylvania, reminds me of how much I really loved (and miss) growing up in Allentown. I was able to find some pictures of Allentown (below) and some I haven’t seen in years because my parents don’t live there anymore.

I’d cross this bridge everyday to go to school.


Eighth street bridge.


Anyone familiar with Allentown knows the big blue water tower (it’s no longer there).



We didn’t have many big buildings, but we were OK with that.


Now, Allentown is PA’s third most populous city,  but when I grew up there, it was a small town. Small towns have an unshakable familiarity, the kids play outside, the neighbors borrow eggs and sugar, and kids actually go trick or treating. (I all but melted down 2 years ago when only 3 families came to our door to trick or treat in Maryland.)


Below are five things I loved about growing up in my hometown:

  1. The park and pool across the street from our house.  I recall catching fireflies and smelling like Avon’s skin so soft in the tall grasses by the pavilion .


Pavilion at Keck Park

In the summer I would spend all morning at the pool, come home to eat lunch, and then head back to the pool for the rest of the day. Summers at Keck Pool are some of the best memories of my life.


2. Walking to the two corner deli stores (CJ’s and Ali’s) and buying penny candy (sour watermelons were my favorite!)



3. Riding my pink bike and later my 10-speed and up and down the street until the street lights came on. They looked similar to these:


4. Having a small Kindergarten through 8th grade class and still being able to remember everyone’s name. I now know how great of an experience that was.



5. The slower pace. Summers seemed to last for ever.

Ultimately I am grateful to my parents for such wonderful childhood memories. I have a high bar in trying to create the same for my child.



Stay inspired and enjoy the journey.