Peach salad; Arugula & manchego cheese:
Tortilla Española; Potato & Sweet Onion Spanish Omelette:
Lunch today. So yummy. Love this town.
#NapaLife #FoodPorn #Travel
I was invited to speak at Robious Middle School in Virginia again for their Career Day this week:
(I’m sandwiched between a funny sales guy, a high-energy teacher, and a sweet and sassy fire marshall. Not bad company for a Wednesday lunch:) We were just a few of the 30+ speakers on hand.)
The thought that kids who are between 12-14 years old might think I am the slightest bit cool is pretty great. (Let’s just assume they did.) It was a blast and honor to be at this school. Funny though, I found that once again, more adults (teachers and administrators) thought I was cool, than the kids did. I love having conversations with parents or teachers who say “I want to do what you did/are doing!” or “Um…do you mind if my daughter/son calls or writes to you?”
Um- yes please! Call me! Write me! Send a bird!
One particular teacher this week (who happened to be a writing teacher) was a welcomed and helpful force in my room of 25 antsy kids as I was on my soapbox. She occasionally piped in with something like; “Listen to that kids? Passion! That’s what makes you great at a career! That’s what we talk about all the time.” She was fantastic, she got it, and I am thrilled to know there are still teachers like her out there. After my talk was done, she came up to me and asked if I minded if her 25 year old daughter contacted me. Of course! I’ve heard time and time again from parents of 20-somethings, that they have these super smart and driven young adult children who “just don’t know what they want to do.”
Rest assured supportive, yet concerned parents; This “no idea what to do” is a positive big deal: Your 20-something has officially stepped out of the American Drone Zone. (Wahoo!) They’ve jumped off the gerbil wheel that’s labeled “This is what you do now.” They’ve taken a plunge into a pool that’s full of maybe a tad bit scared but actually really excited fellow troops, who are proclaiming; I don’t know exactly where I want to go/what I want to quite yet, but I know one thing for sure and the automated have-to life is not for me!
Your kid will be fine. In fact- better than fine. They can think for themselves, they value their happiness, and they don’t want to be like everyone else. That is totally awesome. They will figure it out and be better in the long run for jumping ship into their own ocean.
Some advice I gave the middle schoolers. Can be applied to all humans:
1.) Concentrate on what you’re good at, not what you suck at: Challenge yourself to try things that are hard for you, but if you genuinely don’t like something, if you pretty much still stink at it even though you’ve tried and tried- walk away and focus on your greatness. You will become a master and the opportunities are endless. In short: Stay in your lane.
2.) Stay top of mind; Keep showing up. Want a job at that place that isn’t hiring? Want to learn from that person or company you think is the bomb? Tell the company why you’d be the best ever at that job. Tell the person you admire why you think they are awesome and why they inspire you. Send a resume, send a video, send a chicken, send flowers, send a note, send yourself showing up at the door waving and smiling. I promise as soon as there is the need for a hire or room for an intern- they will think of you first. In short: “They” will find it impossible not to love you and want you around.
3.) Never be afraid to ask: Those who ask shall receive. I was mortified as a kid when my grandmother shoo’d me up to various counters asking if the store would still honor an expired coupon, or if they offered any discounts. Embarrassment central when you’re 8 or 10 years old, but you know what? – nearly every single time, I was met with a “Sure! We can do X,Y,Z” response. Just speak up; when you stand up you stand out. In short: You get what you ask for. Seriously.
Here’s to encouraging ship jumpers! I can’t wait to keep doing it again, and often
What advice do you give?
#DoWhatYouLove #ShipJumpersUnite #CareerDay
UPS delivery from California today! A piece of art, made by an old Vermont high school friend who now lives in L.A, just for BLR 365:
How totally awesome is this, and how perfect for Blue Lollipop Road?
Sean “got creative!” (Ok, so he is regularly creative) – but I want you to get creative too! Send your submissions to me:
Blue Lollipop Road
PO Box 276
Shaftsbury, VT 05262
This is where I found my Blue Lollipop Road today. Where did you find yours?
#BLR365 #Art #GetCreative
Today is Wednesday October 16, and this makes b-day number 5 for BLR. Let’s celebrate!
This is the perfect time to write about the above de-lish treat (sun drop pound cake with a sun drop glaze and lemon buttercream) that Wendi, Owner of She Daisy Cupcakery gifted me a few weeks ago after she bought a pair of my vintage Frye boots. (Craigslist rocks.) So yeah, I took a treat from a stranger. (I seem to keep breaking all those rules our parents told us to live by.) Wendi was a blast to talk to. She quit a career that was blah, followed her passion to the land of things sweet- and voila a cupcake company! Another good story about a random encounter with a hard-working, inspiring person who followed their heart. I love being able to share about these kind of people here.
Without a doubt the best part of these past 5 years on the Blue Lollipop Road, has been meeting new people, the kindness of strangers, and spending time with those already in my life that I love. What else is there, really?
Ahhh- yes, the people I’ve met along the way, who share similar interests:
…the cities I’ve fallen in love with:
…my various office locations:
…the food I’ve noshed on:
…the places that’ve helped me find the way back to myself:
…the signs that make me laugh:
…the excitement, energy, and adorable kids (and adults) who keep the Strong Mojo alive:
…the adventure from coast to coast and beyond:
…the lessons I’ve learned:
…the special friends I’ve reconnected with:
…honoring lost friends by giving back to hometown female athletes, so they have the opportunity to go out and see a bigger world too:
(Above left 2012 Blue Lollipop Road Memorial Scholarship recipient Hannah Patterson, and 2013 recipient Mercedes Chen at a recent soccer game:)
…events with good friends in beloved landmarks:
…the strangers out there who’re also on the Blue Lollipop Road:
…the freedom I have found and felt:
…the truths I’ve come to know and trust:
…the journeys and daydreaming in the sky:
…and on the road:
…the cheesy places I’ve been:
…and the beautiful:
…the nicknames I’ve acquired:
…knowing that there will always be bumps, so I better strap in tight:
…never losing faith in things that I hope for:
…and to wherever, and whatever- the road leads to next:
5 years ago today I drove down a road in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and “Blue Lollipop Road” popped ever so randomly into my head as I was brainstorming a best way to share my stories with more than just family and close friends. Who knew this is what it would become! I’ve managed all the above on a shoestring budget and with no plan whatsoever. I didn’t grow up with a trust fund, I never spent my childhood jet-setting the globe with my parents (I barely made it out of the state of Vermont until I was 15), I’ve never taken any writing or computer classes (I’m sure that is very obvious considering my regular grammatical errors and other:), and at the risk of sounding so cliche’- I’m just a small town wildly curious kid, that came from humble beginnings, learned in an heartbreaking incident at a very young age how short life is, and since then have decided that every day is a chance and a choice to live like I mean it. During my journeys on this Blue Lollipop Road, I’ve learned things that’ve absolutely changed my perspective and my life as a whole, I’ve seen places that’ve taken my breath away, and I’ve met people I wouldn’t have been able to in my wildest dreams- all because of this platform. Now that is something to celebrate!
I’ve written and shared here in and effort to keep myself in check and awake about what’s really important, to prevent myself from falling into the drone-zone, and to remember all the things that are possible. I hope by visiting here, you stay fired-up about life, like a kid in a candy store too.
Here’s to the next 5 years, and to going for it all.
What are you celebrating today?
#HappyBirthday #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #ThisIsWhatILove
I’ve been in California for a week now and have loved every minute of it. There’s something about the west coast that makes me feel peaceful, healthy, and happy. The Napa Valley has a certain magic for me that I don’t think will never change. One of those magical things is the drive through Sonoma over the Golden Gate Bridge. This time of year the rolling hills in Sonoma are becoming that gorgeous green and the buds on the grapevines are barely showing. The weather is 65 and misty one minute and near 80 and sunny the next. You can sleep with windows open and sip wine and have dinner outside even this early in the season. Ahhh…
Of course I love that mild weather and this magical place means I can go for long walks, long runs, and sit on coffee shop patios to work at dozens of places in flip flops. It’s always easier to get good work done when you’re feeling healthy and inspired so I am happy as a clam house sitting here for this good portion of April. I’m really excited to update that the possible work project I mentioned in this post, is coming together beautifully and has turned from yellow light to bright green! I’m staying unusually protective this go-around about sharing too much yet, probably because I’m still in a bit of shock (good shock) so I don’t want to jinx anything.
We are just a little over 3 months away from BLR Play It Forward Weekend. An exciting summer is coming and I can’t wait for it all!
What makes you happy and inspired?
IAD to MSP:
MSP to SFO:
I missed Blizzard Nemo and escaped to sunny California just in time.
Where you can disappear to for hours and no one can find you, where you can stare out the window endlessly and day dream, and where you are reminded just how big and magnificent the world really is.
Where do you sit?
After these past few weeks of talking about, reviewing, voting on, and dreaming of America’s most:
*Best for food
…small town spots. Team Blue Lollipop Road was inspired to dive into our photo archives and pull out some of our snap shots that reminded us of each category.
Sitting on a lawn during sunset in Cape Elizabeth, Maine:
Morning grapevines and hot air balloons after a run in Napa:
Hiking near Hood River, Oregon:
On a boat ride and fishing trip in Juneau, Alaska
Driving through Poland Springs, Maine
On the back roads of Sandgate, Vermont:
The town square in Bath, Maine:
With Ferry Manager in Swan Quarter, North Carolina:
The staff at Mainely Custard in Freeport, Maine said- “Come on in!” when I told them I was a big ice cream fan:
The Popcorn Man in St. Helena, California:
3 gents I met at Alaska Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska:
Our hilarious rafting guide near Hood River, Oregon:
Staff on a Beatles themed Â food bus in Virginia:
Dancing Pedro at a country bar in Illinois:
Concert goers dancing the night away with us in Wilmington, NC:
*Best for food
Me noshing on a whoopie pie in Maine:
Dessert at Dano’s on Seneca, Hector NY
Breakfast crepes in Madison, Wisconsin:
Fresh veggie quesadillas in Illinois:
Dessert crepes in Charlottesville, Virginia
(Clearly we are not afraid to dive right in!)
So many amazing people, place and things in America to enjoy. We love that when you travel, all you have to do is be your interested, open, and curious self- and people invite you right in to join anything!
There is always plenty of adventure around every corner…
Here’s to the road!
Have you put in your reviews for Best of the Road yet? Where do you like to adventure, eat, drink, play, go? See some of Team Blue Lollipop Road’s favorites here and pipe in with your own reviews, then vote for us hereÂ so we can be a finalist team in the 2012 rally!
If you need some travel inspiration for yourself or to vote for us, here are a few photos from “there road”s I’ve taken the past couple years.
Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, CA:
Sitting on the side of the road at sunset in Sitka, AK:
Stopping to take in the mountains in Yukon, Canada:
Relaxing at sunset at Seneca Lake, NY:
Sitting on the beach in Outer Banks, NC:
During a bike ride outside Cafayate, Argentina:
Looking up at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC:
Ferrying into Juneau, AK:
Kneeling by the water at the Taj Mahal:
Hiking near Hood River, OR:
From the walking trails at Iguazu Falls, Argentina:
Parked on the side of the road looking at the Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau AK:
Driving through Central Canada:
So where are you getting inspired to go this summer?
There’s a whole big world out there ready for the taking. Let’s hit the road together!