Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Look at the Lighter Side of Signage

Hey all,

I've gotten quite a few emails on how much you're enjoying these signs I find in my travels, so I've decided to try and give you a lighter side post about them every month or so.  It won't be hard to do.  Every country we're in seems to have weird signs.

Today I've got a few from Barcelona and a couple from here in Amsterdam.  I hope you enjoy the ones I've come up with.

So, here we go... this sign is one we found on our road trip in Andorra.  As you can see it's warning you not go over the side of the road and into the river.  Helpful, right?  Not really.  Because this sign...the one that's supposed to warn you there is a drop off?  It's not placed out on the road where it will help.  It's behind the drop off.  You have to drive all the way up to the edge to see the stupid thing.  How is that helpful?

Now these next two signs aren't funny, but they ARE interesting.  They're everywhere in Spain.  Maybe you've got these in your country, but we sure don't in the USA.  At first we didn't understand it, but then once we'd seen a few of them, we realized not only what they were, but how helpful they were.  Especially to travelers who don't know where the hell they are!  LOL

Coming into a Town...  Pretty normal, right?
 But this is the sign for leaving a town...  Gotta love the red line!  LOL

This next sign is another one we saw on our roadtrip.  I laughed when I took the pic and I wondered what it actually said.  Because it couldn't mean what I thought, right? did.  Translated, this sign in Catalan says, "Private Area of Shit".  Really!

This is a personal favorite of mine.  As soon as I saw it, I loved it.  You see, when I was pregnant with my kids, we always looked for the closest parking space so I wouldn't have to walk too far.  And invariably, we found one right up front.  It got so that whenever someone wanted to go somewhere they'd ask me to go with them so I could get them a parking space.  LOL  So when I saw this, I sent a copy to my congressman.  We need these in the states!!!!  

People get really caught up with their bodily functions in some countries.  I've seen more signs about peeing, pooping and assorted other "things" than I can believe.  But again, every country we've visited makes sure you know exactly what NOT to do.  Some are subtle...some, like this one, isn't.

This one confused the hell out of us at first.  When I first saw the sign it looked as if Big Brother was spraying people from the sky.  I actually had to go online to find out what it actually meant.  Do you know?  We'll use this last one as a fun game.   Don't cheat and go online like I did.  Give it your best guess in the comments below.

So I hope you enjoyed this quick look at unusual and funny signs.  I love finding them for you all, and I've got enough for the next few months, so we definitely won't run out!!!!

Take care and I'll see you on Monday with news and more fun!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So Who Get's To Say What's Best?

Hey all,

I read an article the other day about Kris Jenner (for those of you like me who didn't know who she is, she is Kim Kardasian's mom.)  Apparently, she wore what's called a "bandage dress" to her son's 25th birthday party.

And the critics came out and flamed her so hard and fast it's a wonder she didn't catch on fire!

Now people who say what other people SHOULD do annoy me.  So, out of curiosity I went and looked at this "age inappropriate" dress everyone was sniping about.  And what I saw made me wonder what the hell these people were thinking.
Here is the picture so you can take a look yourself, but personally, I think she looks great.  In fact I hope I look half that good at fifty-six.

But the bottom line for me is if SHE likes the way she looks, why not? 

Now don't get me wrong, I've seen some things on people that make my eyes bleed, and I often wonder what they were thinking when they got dressed that morning.  

But it's their body and they have every right to wear what they want.  Even if it looks ridiculous.  My OMG ridiculous might be their idea of the most beautiful outfit on the planet.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching the red carpet at the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, Tonys or any other major award show.  Some of the outfits are gorgeous and elegant, and some *cough, cough--Lady Gaga--cough, cough* are nothing but a promotional hype.

But then you get the critics going.  And I often cock my head and say "What??????" to myself.  They'll rip into some celebrity for what they're wearing, and I just don't see the horror they do.  And again, why the hell do THEY get to decide what is good and what isn't?  

People get a huge charge out of dissing someone else.  I think it makes them feel better about themselves.  We may be talking about clothing here, but I've seen the same behavior in my business as well.  Some publishers and editors are not shy about giving their opinion on a story, and I've seen some pretty nasty remarks come down the pipe.  Luckily, I've never been on the receiving end of that type of stupidity, but in every case I've been told about, the publisher or editor in question went to great lengths to try to convince the author they were being nasty to that their opinion was the ONLY one that mattered.  That THEY were the authority and should be listened to.

Can you see me rolling my eyes?  Whether it's a publisher, editor or reviewer...a theater critic, censor or the fashion police, they all have one thing in common...

They are giving their OPINION!!!!

Which is a real problem when their opinion suddenly becomes the standard for which everything else is measured.  Want a last ridiculous example?

When I went to the Picasso Museum in Barcelona I saw some great paintings.  One in particular made me do a double take.  It's called Two Figures and a Cat.  Basically, Picasso drew a picture of a guy going down on girl while a cat watches.  I know...weird, but I thought it was awesome.

It's not a painting, it's a drawing, but it's a Picasso.  A painting worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions.  A picture that is done by one of the great masters of the past.  I loved it, so I bought a magnet of the drawing to remember the museum by.

I wrote an email to my yahoo group about it, and in it, I put a copy of the picture.  Just in case it didn't come through, I put it in my photobucket folder so I could send people a link as well.

And guess what Photobucket did?  Yep.  That's right...they pulled it.  A masterpiece by Picasso himself was called porn and removed.  When I asked about it, mentioned it was a Picasso masterpiece, I was told that when the people who monitor accounts see something that is in their OPINION porn, they'll pull it.  Even if it's by one of the masters himself.  Really?  Seriously?

So there you have it.  Some idiot pulled up the picture, saw the subject matter and decided it was porn without doing their homework.  Does that mean that the Venus d' Milo by Alexandros of Antioch would be pulled?  She shows her breasts.  GASP!!!  What about The Creation of Man by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?  The man with his fingers outstretched has his willy wagging.  Would that be pulled because of nudity?  And what about the hundreds of Renaissance paintings of cherubs.  They are all definitely naked.  Does that mean it's child porn?

See how ridiculous it all can be?  Opinions can be silly, weird or hysterically funny.  They can also be downright dangerous.  IF, the people who hear them don't take a moment and think about it before just accepting the opinion as gospel.  We all have the freedom to give our opinion, but it's also our responsibility to use our head and consider an opinion carefully before believing it.

In the words of John Moore... "Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception--do not confuse them with "facts" or "truth". Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint."

I'll be back on Friday with another trip to the Lighter Side.  This time, we'll do some more signage fun!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Monday, March 26, 2012

A New Species is Discovered in Amsterdam

"May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong.  May those you love bring love back to you, and may all the wishes you wish come true!"

Hey all,

Have you ever seen a cormorant?  You know, those skinny black birds that when the sun shines brightly, they spread their wings and use them like sun reflectors?  They stand there for hours and suck the warmth into their bodies.

Well, I've found their human counterparts.  Actually you can see them in any big city--any place that has the proper ingredients.

All you need is a busy street or square, a beautiful sunny day, a cafe or pub and a beverage of your choice.  And I've seen these creatures here in Amsterdam more than any other city.

It's amazing.  When the sun appears, the Amsterdammers (yes, that is actually what you call them, though the colloquial term Mokummer is used by the locals) all come out and spread their wings.  They sit in the sun by canals, on benches, under statues and of course, at tables outside cafes and pubs.

Now I know you've seen these elsewhere.  Like I said, any big city seems to have them.  But here in Amsterdam, it's different.  It's...more.

The first few days we were here it was cold, gloomy and misty.  Coming from sunny Barcelona, it was like a slap in the face.  We put on our woolies and long johns and prepared for a few more weeks of winter.  The locals were all bundled up and there weren't many people out and about.

But then the sun came out, and it happened to be one of the days I had to go out and get some shopping done.  And the difference between that day and the day before was huge.

Amsterdammers were EVERYWHERE!!!!  They were all piled into the outside seats at cafes and bars with cuppas or drinks in their hands.  Each and every one of them was facing the sun, with their faces raised to the sky.  And they reminded me so much of Cormorants I immediately christened them all Amstercormants.  LOL

It was kinda funny.  No matter where you were, people were outside enjoying the sun.  Faces raised to catch the rays, they chatted, sipped their drinks and sucked that sun into their bodies.  If the pubs were full, they spilled over onto steps, and if those had no room, they sat along the streets or canals. 

And if you look at the cormorant picture, you can see exactly what they all looked like.

Now I have to decide if they are doing that because they know that spring has sprung and we are headed into good weather OR they're sucking in the sunshine while they can because they know that it just won't last!

I really, really, really hope it's the first!

Until Wednesday,


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lighter Side

Hey all,

We've been in Amsterdam now, just over a week.  I've found all kinds of neat stuff and I'll have lots of fodder for the Lighter Side once I pull it together.  But until then, I've got something else to share.  It should give you a chuckle or two.
My daughter sent me a link a while ago.  She has this favorite website and she thought I'd enjoy it.  I took a look and after just a few minutes I was hooked.  Anyone who has EVER dealt in customer service will relate to this site.  Anyone who has a sense of humor will enjoy it as well.

The site is called, Not Always Right - Funny & Stupid Customer Stories.  They have stories and  also LOLs that share tales about dealing with crazy, confused or just plain stupid customers.  And I thought since today is Friday, this site would be a perfect fit for the Lighter Side.  Let's check out some of my favorites...

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

(I work at a store that sells area rugs. We take a fair amount of phone calls from people who have questions regarding area rugs.)

Me: “[Store], this is [name].”
Caller: “Hello? I have a question. Can you help me?”
Me: “Of course, what is your question?”
Caller: “I can’t get it to stay up!”
Me: “Oh…um…okay. What do you mean?”
Customer: “My area rug! It’s old and I love it, but recently I can’t get it to stay up. The…what are they called? Fibers? They are all crushed and won’t stay up!”
Me: “Oh, I see.”
Customer: “I’ve been vacuuming it non-stop on all the different settings. It’s not as stiff and thick as it used to be. No matter how hard I suck, it just won’t stay up!”
Me: *trying to stay composed* “Alright, well that does tend to happen with age. Rugs tend to get pile-crushing after long periods of heavy traffic.”
Customer: “So, you’re telling me I can’t get it up because it’s old?!”
Me: “Yes, ma’am, that is exactly what I’m telling you.”

(I manage to keep it together for the rest of the conversation. However, my manager, who can hear the entire exchange, is cracking-up next to me the entire time. The innuendo was much thicker than her rug!)

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

(I am helping a man at the fish department when this happens.)

Customer: “So, goldfish evolve into koi when they outgrow their tank…”
(I look at him waiting for him to say he’s joking, but he’s completely serious.)
Me: “It’s a fish, sir, not a pok√©mon.”

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

Customer: “Do you know who wrote Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?”
Me: “Oh yeah…it was the same guy who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I can show you where it is.”
Customer: “When I first heard about this book, I was shocked! I had to sit there for a minute and see if I remembered any of my teachers mentioning that Lincoln killed vampires.”
(I decide to remain silent while she continues.)
Customer: “You know, the government tries to keep things like this from us. You can tell, because they never mention any of the supernatural things that happen in the news. You know…all those true exorcism and demon movies!”

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

* * * ~~~~~ * * *

(An elderly lady approaches the counter.)
Me: “Can I help you?”
Customer: “Yes, I need some dish bags.”
(Unaware of what dish bags are, I assume she means dish rags.)
Me: “I’m not sure what that is and if we carry it. I would look in the cleaning section.”
Customer: “Well, my doctor said I could get it here.”
Me: “Okay, well I would check that aisle.”
(The customer leaves and returns after a couple minutes.)
Customer: “I didn’t find them!”
Me: “Can you tell me again what it is you need?”
Customer: “Dish bags.”
Me: “And you say your doctor told you to get them here?”
Customer: “Yes!”
Me: “Well, I’m sorry. I’ve never heard of dish bags and I don’t believe I’ve seen anything like that here.”
Customer: “Well, this is ridiculous! What am I going to do?”
Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, would you like me to ask our pharmacist about them?”
Customer: “Yes!”
(I go get the pharmacist to assist me.)
Pharmacist: “So, what is a dish bag used for?”
Customer: “Jeeze! You clean your lady parts with it!”

* * * ~~~~~ * * *  

* * * ~~~~~ * * *  

(I am a vampire at a haunted house. My costume includes fangs, a cape, and of course, I am drenched in blood.)

Teenage girl: *looking extremely mad* “What is this?! They got your costumes all wrong!”
Me: *snarling, not dropping character* “You smell delicious…it’s so rare we get fresh victims…”
Teenage girls: “No, no, no! Vampires drink ANIMAL blood! And why aren’t you sparkling?!”
Me: “Your neck…it’s so…inviting—”
Teenage girl: “This is WRONG! You aren’t real vampires!” *stomps away*

* * * ~~~~~ * * *  

Well, there you have it.  Just a few examples of the laughs I found at this site.  Check it out for yourself by going to  Or, if you want to look at the newest part of the site, the LOLs, go to the EXTRAS page at 

I hope you enjoyed today's offering.  I'll see you on Monday with more news and fun!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So How About a Cup of Coffee?

Hey all,

Did you know that in coffee houses in Amsterdam you can't get a cup of coffee?  That's right.  And while you can smoke pot in one, you may not smoke a cigarette.  I have to say the rules are a bit screwy, but I'll bet they make sense to the locals.  LOL

So, let's talk about coffee houses.  As you may have guessed, a coffee house in Amsterdam is a little different from one in the USA, Canada, France or even Japan.  It's a fun and relaxing place filled with interesting people.  Okay, maybe not so different.  Except for one little thing.

The first time I walked into one--Hunter's Coffeeshop--I didn't know how to act or where to look. 

It was early afternoon, but the place still had quite a few people inside.  They were chatting and laughing, enjoying a beer and smoking a joint.  The air was thick with smoke--I swear you could get high just sitting at the bar.  It's obvious, they take their motto seriously.  Keeping the World High for 25 Years!

Now I only had a short amount of time (it was a layover back from Singapore to the USA), and I didn't want to get back on the plane smelling like pot smoke.  I could just see arriving back in the states and being jumped on by all the drug smelling dogs. *giggle*  Anyway, instead of smoking I decided to have a space cake, which is just a fancy term for a pot filled brownie.

I paid my money, grabbed my brownie and headed out to eat it by a canal.  It wasn't the best brownie I'd ever eaten, but now I could mark experiencing a coffee house space cake off my bucket list.  I've eaten brownies before--in the day it was one of my favorite ways to get high--so I know what to expect.  And I have to say I was disappointed.  It didn't do a thing for me.  I waited and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering and still nothing.

I thought to myself, oh well.  At least I tried.  Bucket list and all.  I jumped on the train and headed back to the airport to get my carry-on out of storage and catch my plane.

Well, I was standing next to my locker pulling my suitcase out when I noticed something odd.  My eyelids were kinda heavy.  I figured I was a little tired after all the walking I'd done.  So I put my suitcases on the table to pack a couple of souvenirs since I didn't want to carry them separately.

I happened to look down at my hand and thought, "Wow.  That's awesome.  All my fingernails are the same length.  And my rings are so pretty.  And..."  My mind drifted away to some really great daydreams.

Suddenly, I came back to the present with a start.  I looked around the small room and saw there were  a lot of people around me that I didn't see come in.  I glanced down at my watch and about fell over.  It was twenty minutes later.  Somehow I'd lost time.

I was now in danger of missing my plane.  Quickly, I finished packing, but I couldn't see straight and my fingers were all clumsy.  I felt...GREAT!  A guy walked by me and smiled, and I grinned back like a loon.  That's when it hit me.

I was bloody high! 

With my weird metabolism, it had taken several hours for the brownie to kick in.  Instead of the immediate high I was used to, I got this.  I started to snicker.  And everyone who's ever been high knows that once you start laughing it's almost impossible to stop. 

I giggled through locking my suitcase, guffawed during the walk to security, where I kept it to quiet chuckles just out of fear of being arrested for drug use.  I tittered as I raced to my gate and chortled like a mad woman as I boarded the plane.  And then, as the plane left the ground, I hooted in glee that I'd made it safe and sound.

It was the best flight of my life.  I slept like a baby.

So, as you can imagine, I'm looking forward to trying out a few more coffee houses around Amsterdam.  They are as common here as a sidewalk cafe is in Paris or a burger joint is in the US of A.  I'll let you know how it goes.

And if I become aware of my hand again, I'll have someone take pictures!

See you on Friday when the lighter side takes a trip to Advertising!  

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Very Cool Start in the Venice of the North

Hey all,

We made it!  We got to Amsterdam without any trouble.  Just the normal stuff you have to deal with when you fly.  It was a beautiful sunny day when we left Barcelona but when we arrived in Amsterdam we were hit with cold worse than Paris.

Really glad we didn't pack all our cold weather gear away in our suitcases!

We have a really nice apartment right in between a couple of canals. This is a shot of our living room-kitchen.  It's really big and the rest of the place is the same way.

We are only a few streets away from the Red Light District, Chinatown, and the main part of town with all the museums and attractions.  Walking distance to just about everything!  

Except the circus tent.  That's quite a distance away, but luckily a straight shot on the metro.  Jonathon and Ian both get reimbursed for their travel, so it makes it easy.

The first two days we spent here in Amsterdam were quite interesting.  We didn't do anything major, just wandered around and saw the sights.  Like I've said, we've been here before, so we revisited some places we'd enjoyed the first time around and got our bearings.  Then, the next day we tried wandering new turf.  That's always exciting.

One thing we discovered was our first windmill.  I'd seen one once before from the air, but that only counts if you haven't seen anything else.  *grin*  This one was pretty cool.  Not a working windmill, but one even better in some ways.  It was a windmill that had been renovated into a bar!

I have to say it's a very cool place.  Inside is very cozy and the people who tend bar are friendly and quick with a refill.  It's a little like going into your neighborhood pub at home.  You feel welcome the second you step inside.

They had a taster of all their draft beers which I got.  I love that kind of offer.  I've found several of my new favorites that way.  The inside  of the pub is lined with shelves covered in beer bottles.   We were told they weren't from the bar--no--that honor lies with one of the patrons who collected them over the years.  When he ran out of room at home, he brought them down to the pub.  Every month he comes in and cleans a section.  It was great.

After our refreshment stop, we went down to the harbor area and picked up our Amsterdam Museum Pass.  This puppy gets us in to 35 museums in Amsterdam and close to 400 in the Netherlands proper!  And we have a full year to use it!  PLUS, it is like the one I did in Paris.  You can go back to the museum as many times as you want.  

We visited the Maritime Museum first--just a big schooner outside.  It was a replica of an East Indian Trading ship and it was great to see how the sailors lived for months on end.  

They had a video presentation about the trading routes they built and it was enlightening.  I'd read about the EIT in several romance novels, so it was good to get the rest of the story.

We'll go back another day and see the rest of the museum.  We ran out of time and were getting hungry, so we headed down into the main part of town to eat.

Since Dutch food is difficult to find in Amsterdam--seriously, it's probably there, but we sure couldn't find anything-we discovered a great Argentinian restaurant and ate there.  Jon had spareribs and I had steak and it was awesome.  The guy who served us was a delight and we had a wonderful first meal.  We wandered around afterwards walking our meal off and then headed home.  Jonathon had an early day, so we wanted a good nights sleep.  

 The last few days he's been working, so I've been doing my part and putting our house together.  This is my favorite part of moving.  Setting up our apartment and making it a home.  I want Jonathon to come back each day and feel comfortable after work.  And he says it makes him relax better when he sees familiar things around him.  So I make it so.

I got that all done, did some grocery shopping and found something pretty cool while doing so.  Just around the corner from our apartment is one of the biggest flea markets around.  Another awesome!  It's got a little bit of everything, so I'll enjoy exploring it.

Anyway, the next three months should be interesting and enjoyable.  We've already had one celebration--we went out last night for our traditional Saint Patrick's Day drink.  Now we can say we have done that in six different countries!  LOL

You all have a great beginning to your week.  I'll be back on Wednesday with a closer look at one of Amsterdam's biggest attractions.  The Coffee Houses.  Space Cake anyone?  


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Lighter Side Gets Naked

Hey all,

I just have to tell you about my last Sunday in Barcelona.  I had nothing major to do.  Just wandered around and enjoyed myself.  I went to the big park in town and just meandered in the sunshine.  I walked up Las Rambles one last time and applauded all the street performers.  I ate gelatos all the way through the Gothic quarter and found a last cool item to purchase that reminded me of my time in the city.

When it started to get dark, I headed home by walking the beach.  I wound up having dinner at this little restaurant.  I ate fish and chips and drank beer as I people watched and listen to the waves crash on the shore.  It was delightful.  A perfect ending to my day.

Now I'll bet you're wondering where the Naked part comes in.  Well, it's a two parter.  LOL  

As I was first walking along the boardwalk, there were people everywhere.  It's Sunday afternoon...everyone's out enjoying themselves. 

 Then I see this woman.  Very heavy, wearing rag-bag type clothing.  I don't notice anything amiss at first, until she flashes her breasts at me.

Back the truck up!  What just happened?  I probably wouldn't have even blinked, but not only did she flash them, she gave them a bit of a squeeze as well.  Like she was enjoying herself.  It was kinda creepy.

Honestly, I think she was homeless and maybe a few sandwiches short of a picnic.  But no one else seemed to notice, so I was left with the impression she was a regular.  Maybe she does her act every Sunday in front of God and everyone.

So I kept walking and found my restaurant.  I nibbled on my food and was quietly enjoying myself.  I love to people watch and while it was thinning out-it was close to 7pm by now--there were still quite a few out and about.

I noticed a guy, sitting in the sand quite a distance from me.  I couldn't make out his features, but he was playing a guitar and seemed to be pleased with life.  I smiled, wishing I could have brought my guitar with us.  I could have gone down and played with him.  I looked away, thinking about other things, and then a few minutes later I looked his way again.

Guitar guy was now with a girl.  And as I watched them, as authors often do, I came up with a story about what was going on.  By his body language, he was into her, but she didn't seem as sure.  She was leaning away one moment, then leaning in the next.  It was fun to see the whole courtship thing.

I was done with dinner, so I flagged down the waiter for the bill.  Then I looked back at our couple.  And blinked.  Twice.

He was naked.

That's right.  Naked.  As the proverbial jaybird.  And on one of the public beaches (not normally a nude beach)  I couldn't see anything fun.  LOL  He was too far away.  But he was a natural brunette.  THAT I could see.

He was dancing in the waves, not sure if he was going in or not.  I wondered if I needed to re-evaluate the whole courtship thing.  Either he was VERY secure with his masculinity, REALLY well hung, or she'd already seen him in his--OMG it's fucking cold--state.

He finally jumped in, swam around and eventually climbed out.  She went down to meet him, but after a bit of a chat, he jumped back in.  Was he trying to show her how big and tough he was?  How the cold didn't affect him?

I went in to pay and by the time I came out, so had he.  I was curious enough to walk down and see what he looked like.  Was he hero material or an idiot who'd had one too many cervasas?

By the time I got to him, he was dressed and huddled in a ball with the object of his affections standing over him.  He wasn't too good looking.  Reminded me of a stoner with glassy eyes and sloppy smile.

But that could have been hypothermia.  The symptoms are the same.

So, that was my last full day out in Barcelona.  It was fun, interesting and, well...a little weird.  But in all honesty, that pretty much sums the city up in a nutshell.

Have a good one and I'll be back on Monday with our first full week of fun in Amsterdam!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Welkom in Amsterdam

Hey all,

According to Google, the above means 'Welcome to Amsterdam'.  And as you read this, Jonathon and I will be wandering around that great town taking in the sights.

As I've said, I've been to Amsterdam before--three times on layovers, but this will be the first time we've spent a good block of time there.  I know there are quite a few things to do and we hope to spend some time touring around the countryside. 

There is a canal trip we are going to go on--an overnight trip to a danish village--complete with a tour of a windmill, a tulip farm and a wooden shoe factory.  We're looking forward to that.

There are museums, parks, restaurants and other attractions we have on our list and several months to do them.  And I'll keep you up to date on all that I find here.

Now you know that Amsterdam has a few sections of town that are considered... "naughty".  I've been there already and enjoyed the freedom of the coffee houses.  I've wandered through the red light district and not known where to look as I passed by the women on display.  I may not go into the red light district again, been there, done that, but I have to admit I liked spending an afternoon sitting outside a coffee house and enjoying a smoke now and then.

Anyway, once we get settled, I'll be back with more on our trip and the fun stuff we have planned.   And I'll be back on Friday with another trip to the Lighter side!!!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Ready To Move Along...

Hey all,

I've only got another day here in Barcelona.  The last couple of weeks I've tried to see everything I hadn't had a chance to yet and with being sick lately, it's not been easy.  But I don't know if I'll ever be back in Spain again so I didn't want to miss anything.  I've seen lots of museums, parks, architecture, beaches and so many other things.

I've tried to consider what part of Barcelona I'll miss the most and it's hard to pick just one thing.  I love the architecture here, the dozens of restaurants we've tried, and most of all, I think the wonderful atmosphere of the city itself.

If I had to choose one place I like the best, I'd say it is the Gothic quarter.  The rabbit warren of alleys, the different churches, the beauty of the architecture and even the people themselves.  One day you can find yourself being entertained by a wonderful street artist doing Spanish guitar, the next you can watch children playing three card Monty as they mimic their parents. (Not so sure that's a good thing.)

I've seen some great things while I've been in Barcelona.  Festivals where I've learned a lot about the history of this city, performances of different aspects of Catalonian culture, as well as just the daily way people go about their lives.  Sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by can teach you so much.

When I left Paris, I thought THAT would be my favorite city on the tour, but now, I'm thinking Barcelona may win that top honor.  But, who knows, once we're done with Amsterdam I may decide that one is the best.

I guess I'll need a few more cities to choose from before I  can make a final decision.  LOL  

Anyway, I'll be back next time with a quick blog about our first day in Amsterdam  Until then, you all have a great next few days!!!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Lighter Side of The News

Hey all,

I found a great new site today.  I was doing some research on something else and came across this news feed by a guy named Mark Stevenson.  Apparently Mark likes to find all the odd, unique and weird news stories and report on them.

Like what you ask?

How about a guy who after a domestic dispute is ordered by the judge to take his wife out to dinner? Or a couple whose naked bondage play wind them up in jail because they decide to do their thang in the back of a car in full view of everyone.  Or the dude who walks into Walmart naked and winds up stealing only a pair of socks.

I'm not sure where Mark finds all these stories--he must have a lot of time on his hands--but they are all pretty good and a hoot to read.  He's got a Facebook page too.  HERE.  You can like him and keep up to date with all the lighter news around the planet.

Want more examples?  How about these hysterical headlines...

Emu escapes from Vt. farm, on the lam for 5 weeks

And my personal favorite...

Cops: Nude burglar covered in peanut butter, chocolate

It just goes to show you how messed up the human condition really is.  But I guess we should really thank these guys.  They'll give me Friday fodder for the next thousand years!

I'll see you on Monday!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Irony...Thy Name is Man

Hey all,

Did you read the article about the dude who had a heart attack while eating a "triple bypass burger"?   I mean I feel for the guy, truly, but honestly this has got to be the best bit of irony I've seen in a good while.

I don't know how the guy is doing now, but I doubt he'll live down his fifteen minutes of fame anytime soon.  I mean, some people can be made famous for awesomely cool things like a history making speech or maybe even saving a child from drowning.

But this guy will go to his grave knowing he swept the internet because he went to crazily named burger joint, had a high cholesterol sandwich and his own body revolted against him

Honestly, not the way I'd want to be remembered

See you next time,


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ridiculous or Retro?

Hey all,

Good thing I'm not the fashion police.  I mean I usually love stuff they hate and look at what they hate and think, hmmm, that's not so bad.  But then I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal who likes to dress up only when the time is right.

But I always check out the best and the worst on the Red Carpet and if I see an article like THIS ONE I usually will give it a look-see.  Just 'cause I'm curious.  And honestly, for the life of me I can't see why this guy is so worked up over these uniforms.

With the hullabaloo he is making,  I'd half expected the uniforms to have some horrible insignia or color, but instead I see an angular looking red white and blue logo that IMHO, looks pretty cool.  I don't see the problem, but then again, I just know what I like, and I don't worry about some of the stuff this guy is griping about.

Will NIKE change it?  Who knows?  They are VERY media conscious, but they're also money conscious, and I'll bet they spent a chunk of change on this little number.  

Personally, if I have a problem with this uniform at all it's because the USA flag and the NIKE emblem are the same size.  Seriously?  I think our flag should deserve a bigger place of prominence than the advertiser's name.  

Don't you?

See you next time!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Lighter Look at Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Hey all,

I found something fun the other day.  It's been around for awhile, but somehow I'd missed it.  Very surprising once you know where I found the thing.

As most of you know I love the LOL Site.  The kittahs, puppies, celebrities and politics are my favorites.  Until I saw this new area of I've got another one to visit every day.  *grin*

For those of you who love sci-fi and fantasy, you'll enjoy this one.  You can give it a look yourself, but like the other LOL sections, they take a picture--in this case sci fi / fantasy, and caption it.  I spent all night laughing my head off at some of the captions...  But I have to say my favorite part of this new area is where they take a sci fi book cover and comment on it.  THOSE are great!  Check out a few of my favorites and then go see the rest for yourself!


This is just one of dozens of covers that made me chuckle.  It's one of the latest and a great example of the genre they are spoofing.
sci fi fantasy - WTF Sci-Fi Book Covers: Daughters of Earth
No daughter of Earth’s is going out dressed like that! Now come back here and put some real clothes on, young lady.

 Gotta love Clint Eastwood and as THIS Harry, I just busted up.

A classic.  Good 'ol Spock.  He's a hoot!

Twilight is one of the favorites to diss on this site.  This one has got to be one of the best.

Take a look at all the fun pictures on this part of LOL.  Go to SCIFI LOL.  Like I said, if you enjoy a good sci fi show, you'll really have fun at this LOL.  

I'll be back on Monday with more rants and raves!!!!


CJ England
Follow Your Dreams