My Book Review – Have Bags, Will Travel by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

My Book Review – Have Bags, Will Travel by D.G. Kaye

By Sally G. Cronin

 

I was thrilled to receive this wonderful review from the talented Sally Cronin!

 

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There was a time when it felt that I spent more time in airports than at home. Travelling used to be very much more relaxed and I find myself these days fretting beforehand. It used to be that you chucked all your makeup and items you might need if your suitcase when missing into your carry on, but now even that is heavily censored. There is nothing sadder than desperately measuring 100mls of essential face de-wrinkler into a little plastic bottle and then into a ziplock plastic bag.  Then having to explain what it is to a stone faced inquisitor (just doing their job.. I know and appreciate why.)”

 

My Review for Have Bags, Will Travel.. Five perfectly packed suitcases.

 

“This is a not a long book but you will find D.G. Kaye packed it the same way that she does her suitcases when on one of her frequent trips. Overflowing with hilarious encounters with custom officers and bemused check-in agents, crammed with memories of travelling companions and skillfully closed with an in-depth look at one of her favourite destinations; Las Vegas.

International travel is no longer straightforward; so a little humour goes a very long way. D.G. Kaye relives those halcyon days when passengers were welcomed with open arms, allowed some leeway on number of bags and their weight instead of being herded through various lines to be interrogated. But if you are going to travel, then take advice from an expert; relieve some of the stress. . .” CONTINUE READING 

 

Source: My Book Review – Have Bags, Will Travel by D.G. Kaye | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life 

 

DGKaye©December2015

HAVE BAGS WILL TRAVEL | Carol Balawyder

Reviews

I was pleasantly surprised when I visited author Carol Balawyder’s blog to get my weekly dose of reading, when I found that she had read, reviewed and featured my latest book, Have Bags, Will Travel, on her blog. Needless to say, I was elated that she not only posted about my book, but that she enjoyed it and took the time to share it on her page.

Thank you Carol!

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“D.G. Kaye’s recent memoir Have Bags, Will Travel reminded me how much I’d neglected the travel section of my blog.

Be prepared to have your heart chuckling and your lips smiling as you read through D.G. Kaye’s amusing travel adventures. Although the main theme of the book is on her affection for shopping it’s also a memoir like no other as she holds your hand and guides you  through her unforgettable trips to Paris, London, Greece, Venezuela and Vegas.  You meet her friends who are almost as zany as she is and she ponders on the good old days of travelling and her sadness to see the old charm of her beloved Vegas fade away.” . . . Read more on Carol’s blog

Source: HAVE BAGS WILL TRAVEL | Carol Balawyder

A Penny’s Worth

My two cents

Things that make me go hmmm?

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While strolling the Miracle Mile Mall underneath the hotel I stayed at in Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, I passed a little kiosk which sold little charms and baubles. My eye caught a silver bracelet, which had engraved in it, Live Laugh Love. Being that the saying is part of my mantra and website header, I had to have it.

When I went to pay the petite blond woman, with the thick Slavic accent, she quoted me the price. The dollar value was irrelevant, but the cents came to sixty-two.

I scrambled in my wallet for the two pennies, and found one. I asked her if that was good enough and she sternly said, “No, it’s two cents.” I chuckled at her and asked her if she was serious.

I also wondered if she was going to let go of a nice sale for a lousy penny. And then I said to her, “In my country, Canada, we don’t even use pennies anymore; we round off to the nearest nickel.”

The woman replied, “Well, this is America. Our pennies are still worth money.” I found her tone and lecture to be quite aggressive and unfriendly. If I didn’t love everything that bracelet signified to me, I’d have left it there.

Now, I know things aren’t as cheap in the States as they once were. And I know you can’t really buy anything for a dollar there either; just as in Canada. So I found her defense for her ‘not natural born American attitude’ a bit over the top.

Still, I suppose she had the right to state her opinion about a country that gave her citizenship. But in this day and age to make a big deal over a penny seems so insignificant.

I found another penny at the bottom of my purse. She got her two cents from me.

DGKaye  ©July 2015

Leaving Las Vegas

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It is always nice to go on vacation and always good to come home. In case some of you hadn’t noticed, it has been kind of quiet here on my site and my social media this week while I was on vacay.

I took a little break just before getting things ready to publish my book, Conflicted Hearts, with my galpal, Cindy. We jaunted off to Vegas for four days.  The two redheads went to paint the town ‘red’ and shop ’til we drop, and we did just that.DSC01866

Our venture began very early Tuesday morning to catch our flight. The usually quite comfortable WestJet seats had somehow became like sitting in a sardine can. This was an unpleasant and uncomfortable surprise to me, being that I had just flown WestJet only a few months ago and many times before and I always applauded them for being a comfortable flight.

Cindy nor I are big people and we both have short legs and trying to cross them was a feat in itself.  We couldn’t even slide into our seats without pivoting around on one leg to plop into our seat.

The unusually extra long flight (due to no tail winds) only fuelled my claustrophobia as we both complained to one other most of the way there, as though it was going to change anything……not, but it felt better if we could bitch about it. We did laugh though and reminisced about the days when travelling was fun.

In those days past, they didn’t fit as many seats as they could on the plane so humans actually had leg room (we pitied those who were taller than us…..that would be anyone taller than five foot three), food was real and included in the price, drinks were free, there was more than one washroom on each end and you didn’t have to undress publicly to get through security and get a dose of radiation in the process. I beefed about tossing your water at security so you can re-purchase more only feet away from security for just four dollars more.

Yes, we were flying to sunny Las Vegas where the temps had been rising to close to 80 degrees daily….until we got there, it was around 50 degrees. As we shivered getting into the limo we looked on the bright side and decided it was still warmer than where we were coming from, leaving our early winter behind.

Gambling was not a friend to me as I donated to the casinos and pointed to a chandelier to Cindy and told her it was mine because I thought I had helped pay for it. We ate at some fine restaurants and put a lot of miles on our feet, which never seemed to stop hurting no matter how many shoes we brought or bought. But that didn’t deter us from spending almost a whole day at the mall, walking, shopping and carrying the many bags that crooked our necks and shoulders. Sometimes a girl has to sacrifice to get some power shopping done.

Sleeping had become a lost luxury as we hit the sheets long after midnight and found ourselves waking at 5am, lucky if it was 7am. Neither of us are drinkers but I decided one night at dinner that we should have a martini…..just because. They were so yummy that we had another. I will only say that these were VEGAS SIZED drinks.DSC01878

As we happily jaunted over to the casino after our late dinner, I decided that I should have just one more martini. I felt fine….real fine. A few hours later, after my nightly donation to the slot machines, I decided to call it a night and left Cindy, who never seemed to have a problem lasting hours on twenty dollars at a machine, where my twenties lasted about three minutes.

I walked the long, what seemed like half mile walk back to our room, seemingly fine and glad I was numb to the pain in my high heeled feet. I got into the room….and suddenly it hit me. Boom! The room started spinning and I instantly passed out flat, half on Cindy’s bed and the rest of me hanging off the chaise at the end of the bed. This scene was not unlike a Roadrunner cartoon when something hits him and he lays flattened.

When Cindy finally came up and saw me posed, sprawled out like a rag doll, fully clothed, she got concerned. She shook me and I raised my head in a spinning stupor and somehow managed to make a run for the porcelain. It was a rough night for me and an even rougher, next, long day. That was the beginning and end of my drinking binge.

Yup, three drinks and I was down for the count. Note to myself……I am not twenty-five anymore. Well we laughed a lot about it after and I was grateful she didn’t have her ever trusty camera on hand to catch that Kodak moment.

Alas, our time in Vegas was coming to an end. It was time to pack and get creative about fitting our new purchases in our bags and not being overweight in luggage fees. Happily I got my bag weighed in at only one pound under the fifty pound allowance…….yes, I know it was only four days!

It was time to wheel our luggage, bags and purses through the long, long corridor to the elevators then through the half mile long casino to the front lobby to our awaiting limo to go to the airport to catch our delayed flight back to Toronto. It was beautiful weather, hot in the mid seventies. Of course it was, we were leaving.

We got on the plane finally and found that there was no cabin space for my overstuffed heavy carryon bag.  When I spotted an available spot two rows down from us I tried with all my might to lift that bag in the air into that cabin to no avail. Finally a kind man in row 8 (who I later named him Row 8), offered assistance and got it up for me.  After Cindy and I sat down in our tiny crawlspace and I turned back to the helpful man and said, “Hi man in row 8, would you please be kind enough to get my bag back down when we land?” He kindly offered to do so and Cindy and I laughed and reminisced over the days we just spent together and some of the characters we met along the way, then we happily ate our left over dinners from Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant the night before.

Cindy and I share the same passion for Vegas.  We have both been there many, many times and we often reminisce together about ‘the old’ days of Vegas, when Vegas was Vegas.  As we took off in flight and rose over the beautiful Sierra mountains and the Grand Canyon, we chatted about the next time we will be back there. When we landed “Man in Row 8” kindly took my bag down and handed it to me.  As we walked on the long, long walk to customs with our bags in tow we approached the escalator down which was broken. With my purse weighing at least twenty pounds and my carryon not far from thirty-five pounds, I could barely make it down the escalator when lo and behold behind me approached, Man in Row 8. He once again kindly offered to tote my bag down the non functioning escalator. As we sailed through customs and got our bags we were on our way back home. Note to myself…..Upgrade seats to Florida for winter vacation!

DGKaye©2013

My Three Day Vacation…Or Was It?

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Every year at this time, my husband and I go south of the border for three days for a little Christmas shopping and some casino fun.  This time it was a little different, as we seemed to have an extra passenger with us; an unwelcomed passenger, in fact this little guy had been hanging around me for well over two weeks now.  I’ve given him a name over the years, as he always shows up at the most inopportune times.  Nobody can see him, as he is not human.  But, nonetheless, I know very well when he is around.  His name is ‘Murphy’, in fact, only me and my best friend Zan are aware of his presence and we named him together.

Why Murphy?  As in……’Murphy’s law’…..you know….. whatever can go wrong, will go wrong?  Yup, that’s him.  Murphy has taken quite a shining to me lately and I can’t seem to shake him.  Now I’m a girl who loves a good challenge, but this guy has been wearing me thin for weeks now.  When Murphy’s around, things break, communications get complicated, my computer gets possessed, things get lost.  There are delays and obstacles in everything I do it seems.  So just to give you a sampling, I’m going to share my mini holiday here.

While I looked forward to my little escape, I was apprehensive about leaving my work behind as my little world had become, just that, for many months, writing and working on my upcoming book, Conflicted Hearts.  So I took my laptop with me so I could stay in the loop.

autumnThe weather was gorgeous, beautiful autumn temperatures at 68 degrees and the beautiful red leaves in full colour.  After a day of power shopping, my legs didn’t seem to have the same stamina of yesteryear.  My legs were aching and comfortable shoes, were no longer.  Of course that didn’t stop me from fulfilling my addiction for high-heeled shoes and boots.

After dinner and an unsuccessful attempt to win any money, I went up to my room, turned on my computer and felt back in my element when I was connected back into cyber world.  It was all in all a good day, considering the bumpy two weeks at home that I seemed to be fighting Murphy off at every turn.  As I turned in for the night, I assured myself that things were looking up and Murphy had not followed me to the U.S.A.

The next day I woke up and when I got out of bed, my legs felt as though they had trudged 100 miles and didn’t want to move as fast as my brain wanted them to.  My husband went down to bring me up a Tim Horton’s coffee, black, so that I could eat my usual travel breakfast in my room.  Because I am gluten and dairy-free, it makes things a bit challenging to eat breakfast out, so I always bring along some gluten-free muffins, almond butter (for protein) and soy creamer for my coffee because I don’t like it black.  As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my coffee, I dragged my slow azz over to the mini fridge to take out my food.  Usually those little fridges never really get things very cold.  My husband returned with the coffee and I eagerly went to pour in the cream which wouldn’t pour because it had froze, along with my baseball-like muffin and block of almond butter.  Oh ya, I got that old familiar feeling that my buddy Murphy hadn’t gone too far.  As always, I needed to overcome his antics and find a solution to my frozen breakfast.

It was a lovely sunny day and the warmth of the sun had heated the room considerably.  I placed the muffin and almond butter on the window sill to try and thaw them, even a tad.  As I smelled my delicious coffee aroma, I was determined to find a way to get me some cream.  Light bulb idea.  I took my cream into the bathroom, placed a Kleenex over the spout to filter it as I blasted the blowdryer on high for a good ten minutes directly on the spout.  Oh ya, that’s right!  Nobody was going to come between me and my morning coffee.  I finally got to drink my cream laden coffee and I ate my semi-frozen muffin with some almost thawed almond butter and got ready for another shopping venture.  I had made a list of things to get for gifts and that day wasn’t too successful as it seemed as though anything I was after was either sold out, out of the size I needed or okay, whatever.

After a long day of shopping, I was now in my stocking feet because my feet were killing me.  While puttering around my room, I was wishing that out of the three pair of shoes I brought and the five new pair of shoes and boots I bought, I could find something that didn’t hurt while I wore them.  But no such luck.  So I forced myself to walk down to the casino at a senior pace and play some slots before dinner.  No luck.  After dinner, I decided that I didn’t want to go back to the casino, I would just go back to my laptop and catch up in my world and watch the Thursday night NFL game.  When I washed my face and got into my night shirt, I propped up some pillows, some for my head and two for my legs to elevate, I got out my laptop…….and it wouldn’t turn on.  I tried all my usual arsenal of tricks for this sometimes recurring incident that Dell insisted was fixed.  Again……not happening.  I resolved myself to just take the day off from cyber world and watch the football game.  As I flicked through the channels, I found, college football, baseball, tennis…..But No NFL.  Par for the course, I thought.  At least I found my Grey’s Anatomy and after that I passed out anyway.

The next day we headed home with all my shopping bags and weary bones in tow.  When I arrived home, I was eager to get on the computer and catch up on the 176 emails I had piling up in my account.  I sat myself down and opened my laptop, only to discover, it still wouldn’t turn on. I gasped.  I knew what was to follow and I didn’t want to go through the drill but I had no choice but to call Dell support.  I knew from the many calls in the past that this call was going to cut into my evening work time…..three hours worth!  While the tech did all the hocus pocus on my computer to no avail, I was flustered and counting down the passing hours that I would once again have to make up after.  They told me it was the LCD on my screen that needed replacing.  As I felt displeasure at the deduction, I made it clear that I’ve had so many issues that never seem to be resolved regarding this, and that I was a writer who had no time for this or to be sending out my laptop yet again, especially while I was on a deadline for my editor.  As she empathized with me she offered to send a tech to me later next week and in the meantime offered to assist me in connecting my old desktop computer’s monitor to my laptop.  I sighed heavily as I knew what that was going to entail.  She guided me through disconnecting it from my dinosaur desktop.  This procedure involved me moving furniture to get access to the back of the desk, leaving me a tiny crawl space and sorting through what seemed 150 wire connections all tangled up.  Finally I connected the two and voila, I had a screen.  After getting off the phone three hours later,  I proceeded to the basement to look for an extension cord.  That monitor from upstairs had to be taken downstairs to the family room where all my work was scattered all over the room in piles.  So I got an extension and went to the family room, I had to move the couch and the carpet to get behind to the plug.  My husband carried down the heavy monitor and placed it on the coffee table, perfectly blocking the view of the television and I went to connect it, except the cord I had found didn’t have a three-prong hole.  Duh, ya, perhaps I should have looked at the plug’s connection first.  By this time I was ranting with expressed volume as I used some ‘choice’ words.  My husband offered to bring in his industrial extension cord from the garage.  I was hesitant as I was afraid it may have had too much power and may have blown out the power in the computer, but at that point, I threw my hands up in surrender.  He brought in the dirty cord, which I wasn’t about to start cleaning, nor did I want it laying on my carpet.  So I plugged it into, yes, the hallway leading to the family room and let it lay across the tiles, coiled looking like an industrial site with the added cyclonic effect of papers all over the floor.  Now into the fourth hour, I began working.  It was weird and uncomfortable, as I typed on my laptop with the top half closed over the keyboard so I could see the too far away monitor with my not so great vision, but I plowed on through my emails and my follow-up comments to my wonderful blogging followers.

It was about midnight while I was surfing around when I noticed that my laptop had miraculously been showing what I was also seeing in front on the big monitor.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Once again, my possessed computer had shown new life.  What happened to the ‘LCD is gone’?  Why did I go through all this?  Was this yet another temporary appearance of my screen?  Should I cancel the tech service call to replace it?  Did Murphy leave, or is he playing games?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know the clock is ticking and I have to get back to revisions!

DGKaye©2013