Travel Tips and Tricks

tiny me up, scotty!

Thanks to Charlotte Agenda for this little (get it, little?!:) nugget of info. today about tiny houses for rent around my neck of the woods.

When I lived in Wilmington in 2009, I rented a brand spanking newly finished tiny house, (before anyone called them tiny houses) in the back yard of a sweet young couple who had a brick ranch and a cute 2 year old son. My tiny house was actually a converted shed and I only paid $525/month. The hubby, Zack had done all the work himself, complete with chalkboard wall in kitchen, pullout drawer dishwasher, modern rectangular bathroom sink, loft bed, high ceilings, and skylight. It was AWESOME.

I sure wish I still had that place!

This is where minimalists like me have an occasional DOH! moment:

I just looked for a few photos I took of my fab mini space to share with you here, and sure enough found that I have deleted them in one of my 7 million photo purging fiestas over the years. You will just have to envision the scene of my bike parked right outside white-trimmed french doors on the patio leading into my beach happy home that was light blue. I did find this summer of 2009 ocean shot of my feet during that time:

Beach Feet 2009


What can you do to simplify your space so you’re able to live more?

#LessStuffMoreFreedomHappyLife #Simplicity #GetTinyLiveBig


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.


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


go, be, do, see

Well happy Wednesday to me! This just in, Another Best Day interview posted. Check it out here!

I learned of ABD this summer and think their message is totally awesome. It was founded with a simple idea:

To serve as a consistent reminder to make the most of every day.

Alaska ir Bust


I agree with the Another Best Day crew, that we CHOOSE our thoughts, the same way that we choose our clothing. We choose to think positively, or negatively, we choose to think that we are capable of going, being, doing, and seeing anything imaginable, we choose to sit on our asses, or kicking them into high gear. Luck has nothing to do with accomplishing goals. Goals take hard work and making the choice to stick with them no matter what.

Think of the last time you had “the best day ever” and imagine it happening again and again because you wake up each day choosing that it will be. Seems pretty simple, right?

Thanks for working to spread a great message and including me in your awesomeness, Dave & Brett!

How do you pursue Another Best Day?

#ABDLife #Choices #GoBeDoSee


who needs a hotel room?

Camping, (whether in the car or in a tent) is so much fun. (And so much cheaper!) We’d much rather spend those extra bucks on some good food and get the bonus of star-gazing and listening to the sounds of nature:


It was a little chilly at 45 degrees in West Virginia last night, but waking up to this:

Camping in West Virginia

…was so much better than waking up to 4 white walls. I’ll take a little chill for a morning like this one, any day.

When is the last time you slept under the stars?

#AdventureOnABudget #Camping #Fall #RoadTrip


solo travel = badass

Boy did the Today Show miss out on the perfect person to have on this solo travel segment. Me! I wonder if the woman who was rattling off her tips for travel has ever driven alone to Alaska, slept in her car at truck stops around the country, run trails around Bermuda alone, or sat in a Denny’s outside Oklahoma City sipping coffee while chatting with a 70 year old self proclaimed cowboy in the middle of the night. Just sayin’ 🙂

Hey Today Show! Hire me to be your expert next time. Solo travel is my middle name!

For anyone else who’s reading this, go forth and go far young ones, old ones, meek ones, bold ones! And go alone. The great world awaits! There’s no better way to find out what you’re made of and build a healthy sense of independence that will take you big places in life, than hitting the road…alone. Don’t worry and don’t be afraid, your peeps will be there when you get back. Go earn yourself a badass card. It’s totally liberating. You will have a blast. I promise.

Need some inspiration or a few ideas before hitting the “road”? Check this out, and happy travels!

How do you find your inner badass?

#JustDoIt #LifeOnTheBlueLollipopRoad #SoloTravel.


365 days of blue lollipop road; day 23


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(@) 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….


sunday new york times

A sunny morning with coffee and the New York Times travel page definitely makes up one of my favorite ways to start a Sunday. In today’s Frugal Traveler article, one line in particular by Writer Seth Kugel caught my eye:

I’ve almost always found that a dose of personal discomfort is often a sacrifice worth making in the search for good travel experiences.

I couldn’t agree more! Finding the best people, places, food, or adventure often requires stretching yourself out of your cozy comfort zone. Think about it; How is an experience going to knock your socks off, if you already know what’s coming?

Here’s to jumping uncomfortably into the unknown and coming out at the other end with a far richer experience than you ever imagined.

When is the last time you jumped?

#NYTimes #FrugalTraveler #ThinkAboutIt.


in honor of national taco day…

…I thought I’d share a few photos from one of my favorite noshing spots in Chicago: Big Star.

Big Star Chicago

Even though I pretend to be vegetarian, I am all about Big Star’s Tacos al Pastor. In fact, I’ve always eaten that one so fast when I’m there- I don’t even have a photo.

Dear Cilantro & Pineapple

I love you.


My veggie tostada shot will have to do:

Big Star Chicago

(To all of you carnivores out there…you win on this one. The marinated pork of a Taco al Pastor pretty leaves anything veggie in the dust.)

Besides great tacos, there are lots of good drinks and colorful, sassy employees at Big Star too:

Big Star Chicago

The bathroom is even fun:

Big Star Chicago

(I’m realizing I take a lot of photos in bathrooms. Funny considering I’m a germaphobe.)

Oh how I love and miss you and your food Chicago!

Where’s your favorite taco joint??

#NationalTacoDay #BigStar #ChicagoEats #FoodPorn.


tetris and other tricks

Recently I’ve gone from home base to home less once again. (Don’t cry for me Argentina, this is a chosen mobility.)

I’ve boasted many times in the past about my mad organizational skills and ability to live light, and I admit I am patting myself on the back a bit again today for this. As I was unloading the BLR-Mobile and repacking all my life belongings for the 7,777th time, I couldn’t help but think; Man do I rule at box and car tetris. Michael Phelps gets the gold for his by-a-tenth-of-an-inch precision in the pool, I think I should medal in- I fit all of THAT in THAT size box/bag/bin/compartment with not a fingernail length to spare like him.

Here’s an old photo of my mighty partner in crime during one of the pack, unpack, repack, days. This photos was taken in September of 2011, after I arrived in NJ to pick up my new Honda Civic Hybrid for my Honda sponsored road trip. The transition time never usually looks this neat and tidy, but I have just discovered during my iPhoto search, that surprisingly have very few car packing day photos:

The BLR-Mobile in NJ September, 2011

If you’ve followed here for any length of time you know, that everything I own fits very comfortably in my little Honda Civic any time I want it to. When I rent an apartment or find home base, I buy the big “stuff” I need, and when I leave I sell it. This is not only fun (because who doesn’t like furniture and vintage store shopping and scoping)- but also affordable for the smallest of salaries.

How you ask? Well:
1.) I usually resell for the same price I pay for items (up to 25% less- worst case scenario.)
2.) I don’t have to move any large items because buyers come for purchase pick ups.
3.) I never pay for storage.

Yet another bit of insight on how I have afforded my nomadic lifestyle on a very low budget.

The ability to sell for free on Craigslist, and liquor stores anywhere USA that offer free piles of boxes on any given day- are a very beautiful thing. It’s not easy, it takes a lot work, sweat and organization, but It’s all very, very worth it to be able to live free. There’s a good possibility I’ll continue training to stay on the medals podium in the unpacking and repacking Olympics forever..