Restaurants

happy 10th birthday blue lollipop road!

Holy moly it’s TRUE! We just turned TEN this week!

I still remember the instant the name “Blue Lollipop Road” popped into my head. I was in the Outer Banks of North Carolina happily driving down the road the day before a friends wedding. At the time I was engaged myself. I couldn’t wait to start writing and sharing stories about my travels. I also wanted to create a way to help others find more freedom in their lives because so many people constantly shared with me that they felt stuck.

Here we are 10 years later and I get to help people simplify and better manage their time, space, and money, so they can have the lifestyle they want.

Oh happy day!

I went for a solo walk last weekend on the beach in South Carolina. It was right after a crazy storm. The air was so incredibly humid- as if I was on a tropical island. I was in heaven. Here’s a photo:

Kiawah Island Sunset Beach Walk

I walked so long it became pitch dark by the time I turned around. I may have gotten a little lost, but I loved every minute of it.

When’s the last time you were so in love with what you were doing you got lost in time?

At one point as I wandered through the warm night shallow waves, I posted a different photo of the sunset with this, on Instagram:

Ever stop for a minute in your days and think about what you would do if you didn’t have any more? I do. All the time. Maybe too much. The good thing is, I celebrate everyday like I’m doing right now, during my no filter sunset beach walk. Don’t like something in your life? Change it. That’s the BLR Lifestyle. We all have far too little time to waste any of it. Respect the clock. What are you waiting for?

For 10 years now, plus far more I’ve been inspired to keep reminding myself and others around me, that we don’t have to wait for anything; approval, perfect timing, or permission.

The Big Red Lollipop

(Isn’t this the coolest? It’s a life sized red Blow Pop sculpture! Not a blue one, but I like it. I took this photo in San Antonio, Texas Thursday night during a delicious client dinner at Battalion. I thought it was perfect timing for the BLR birthday week.)

Life is so simple, and we complicate it. Aren’t the best times spent with people instead of things? Isn’t a meal shared with interesting conversation and laughter, the best kind of medicine? Don’t you think it might do your body good spending a night out looking up at the sky, instead of staring up at the television?

Not much sticks around for 10 years. My engagement didn’t last after the launch of Blue Lollipop Road (thank goodness, because I’ve finally found my right person!), my friend who got married that weekend in the Outer Banks is now divorcing, and there have been a zillion other ups and downs since then. What sticks for me though, no matter what swirls around in this crazy life, is that everyday is a chance and choice to change what’s not working. We are never stuck unless we don’t have our health. The things that weigh us down or break our hearts are not worth keeping us stuck, as days tick by.

I hope I get to continue sharing my stories and doing the work I love for 10 more years, another 10 after that, and more. I hope the same for you.

Call Me, Maybe?

(Yep, they still have a row of phone booths in the historic San Antonio, supposedly haunted Menger Hotel.)

Ready to get kicked out of the drone zone? Call me, maybe…

#GetUnstuck #LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #StartDriving

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still hearing laughter

I’m currently sitting in my travel office for this week; the counter at the Blue Benn Diner:

Blue Benn Diner

Blue Benn Diner

I can’t get enough of this place when I’m in my hometown for BLR Play It Forward week each summer, even though I miss my coffee buddy so much.

I arrived in Vermont late Sunday night, and have spent the last few days reconnecting with some of my favorite people, and putting the final touches on plans for our 6th annual event that kicks off on Friday night. Sometimes I have to pinch myself at how ridiculously gorgeous this place I grew up in, is:

Vermont Views

Mount Anthony - Bennington Battle Monument

That’s view of Mount Anthony and the Bennington Battle Monument above. I took this photo from the town park where we will reveal our community give back surprise on Saturday. To say I’m excited and proud is an understatement. I’m trying my best to keep things under wraps as we complete all parts and pieces, but I really want to shout from the green mountain tops about the all the good heart and effort so many people have put, into making this special gift happen. I know the families of our girls will love it.

Today this article was published in the Bennington Banner.

REMEMBER. CELEBRATE. LIVE.

It’s so important to remember where we came from, no matter how far we might go from “home.” Giving back is key. Celebrating each day, and the happy memories we have, honors those we might not be able to see in person anymore. Living, realizing today is the day, to go, be, see, and do, is how we respect the clock that doesn’t stop.

Much of this life is so bittersweet. As we carry our bruised hearts around each day, I hope the voices of laughter that remain will always inspire us to keep arms wide open.

#AlwaysLookingUp #PlayItForward #RespectTheClock

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a road trip is brewing…

I’m about to shout “Vermont or Bust!” and do what I love more than anything in the summer; ROAD TRIP!

I will get to see these little smiling nugget faces:

Blue Lollipop Tongues

Blue Lollipop Tongues

…who are actually not so little anymore, I will get to hug my family & lots of friends, I will get to have long relaxing mornings at my favorite breakfast diner and most importantly, I will get to give back to the people and the place that have given so much to me.

I hope you will join me with all your windows down, too, celebrating everyday you have in the sunshine over the next couple of weeks. Watch for lots of good stories from the road, coming soon!

#TheBlueLollipopProject #Travel #PlayForwardGiveBack

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baby it’s cold outside

…but It’s nice and toasty here at one of my favorite places on the planet; The Blue Benn Diner.

27 degree VT – you’ve got nothing on a hot cup of coffee and a counter seat here!

Image

If you ever plan to travel through Southern Vermont, make sure to put this on your list of places to nosh. I’ve probably written about this place now about 100 times. Never gets old and I can never get enough. You will love it that much, too. I promise.

This is my office today. Where do you work?

#LessStuffMoreDinerHappyLife #Travel #Vermont

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headin’ down to the bayou

There’s a Cajun in my life, so we’re heading down to where crawfish is a main food group, and hot sauce is believed to be the only condiment needed.

ROAD TRIP!

After a night in the tent at the Jellystone Campground (HA! Yes, for real) where the bathroom and shower doors were on lockdown, we stopped for breakfast feeling nice n’ greasy at the Georgia Express Diner:

BLR Breakfast

…where couldn’t wait to take a bite:

Breakfast inTthe South

“Y’alls” were swirling around this place like the Tasmanian devil on his fastest day, and we were out the door filled with pancakes, cheesy-egg biscuits, omelette’s, grits, toast, and too much coffee for $12.89:

Breakfast in The South

Our waitress fully fit the southern stereotype, sweet as pie as you’d imagine. Mornings like these I absolutely love; The randomness on the road and connecting with strangers hearing their stories in a place unfamiliar.

Tent camping, cheap diner breakfast, and learning about how other people live. Ahhh…travel.

How do you find adventure?

#RoadTrip #Georgia #Diner

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“i’ll figure it out”

I love when friends send me articles like this. (Reference post title the author’s #4.)

Of course the travel & adventure part of this womans’ story are inspiring and invigorating in that I-wanna-go-out-and-do-those-things-right-now, but the best part of this is lesson is that she took action when she had an aha moment. She started really living, and didn’t just crawl under her bed.

We all know life is short, but it seems like we just don’t live like it is. I vote for more of us to wake up with that carpe diem- life is short-let’s do it now attitude, rather than not. Whaddya say?

After wrapping a 3rd Annual BLR Play It Forward Event, I’m more than ever convinced that spending time with people I love like these:

VT playing tourist

Green Mountains

…and doing work that means everything to me:

BLR Memorial Scholarship Award

BLR Play It Forward 2014

Soccer rules at BLR

…(just to share a very few)- is what’s most important. The rest of life- can always be figured out. Read this article, pass it on, then ask yourself; If you could spend time with who you wanted, and do work that really meant something to you- what would you be doing?

Find your Blue Lollipop Road.  Today is the day. What are you waiting for?

#Inspiration #BLR #TodayIsTheDay

*Above photos taken in Vermont during my stay for BLR Play It Forward, 2014

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365 days of blue lollipop road; day 40

2.9.14

Don’t you just love it when your pancake comes out of the kitchen with a swirl in the middle of it, that you can make into an “R?”

I do!

The rest of the deliciousness on that plate is the bottom half of my scrambled egg and cheese biscuit sandwich, and this amazing fresh made local blackberry jam that Zada Janes Corner Cafe’ has on every table. That jam calls to me! Twist my arm, jam! I guess I will have to slather you all over my fresh-made biscuit…yet again.

Mmmm. I love you, brunch.

This is where I found my Blue Lollipop Road today. Where did you find yours?

#BLR365 #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #CLTEats.

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365 days of blue lollipop road; day 31

1.31.14

I fulfilled my week-long hankering for the best veggie burger around today, and we went to Pinky’s for lunch. I was starving, so I thought a fried pickle app was a good idea. Then we decided to play with them and the condiment tray:

Nothing like a responsible 35 and 41 year-old squirting hot sauce, ketchup, and mustard all over the place for reasons of blog post. The staff at Pinky’s is so chill they never would have yelled at us for making a mess of the table anyway:)

If you are in/near/ever visit Charlotte, you must eat at this place! (I recommend the Nature Boy. Mmm…) Walls are covered with random tchotskys, there’s a photo booth, pinball machine, colorful tatted up staff who give speedy friendly service, and a million yummy burger combos (and non-burger) fresh-made options as well. A perfect overall funky vibe of relaxed cool.

I’m soooooo full. (And happy.)

This is my Blue Lollipop Road. Wanna show me yours?

#BLR365 #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #FridayLunches.

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365 days of blue lollipop road; day 23

1.23.14

Hello submissions! We are on a roll!

This just in from a new Blue Lollipop Road reader, Grace:

Here she is!

She makes maps for a living. (Um…how awesome is that?!) She’s been stuck at her desk all day today, so she said she was happy to participate in the BLR project fun.

Here’s to getting creative, even when you might feel stuck, and to letting yourself daydream about anything and everything during the middle of a work day.

Thanks Grace!

Who else is ready to make a BLR?

Send me your submissions: Diane(@)bluelollipoproad.com so I can share here!

#BLR365 #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #CubicalCreations

PS~ If you ever get to Wilmington, NC– you should definitely go nosh at Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn. It is gooood….

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