Check-check double-check spell check. A Pink Sneakers on the Go dilemma. Or was that dilemna?

Still missing.  It’s been more than three weeks.  Almost a month, but then again, who’s counting?  Unless, of course, you are a travel blogger on the go, with nary a snippet of neither an idea nor a sprinkling of an inkling of how to jump-start your opening narrative.   The Runaways were nowhere to be seen.  Imagination had flown the coop.  Creativity was missing in action and Inspiration had buggered off to anywhere but here.

Inspiration leading a life of leisure in Capri?

Or, was that Imagination contemplating life on a magical Italian eve?

And where oh where is Creativty?  Always reaching for the skies....
Just contemplating life along the banks of the Seine...

Hanging out with the aristocracy in Versailles

Could it get any worse?

You have no idea.  I was in quite the dilemma.  Or, was that dilemna? 

Say what?  Or how do you spell that?

My conundrum began with an innocuous text from The Kid.

“Auntie Nora, how do you spell the word dilemma?  Dilemma with a double “m” or dilemna with a silent “n”?”  Simple enough, non? 

Trick question, I thought.  Surely there are dictionaries out there to consult and I have more pressing issues currently at hand, like tracking down the wayward trio.  Who has the time to double-check spell-check when I’m in a crunch of my own, furiously scrambling to beat the clock and get tomorrow’s blog post up and running?

Might as well placate The Kid and sound out the letters and get her off my back.  After all, her cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora was Queen Bee in her heyday and linguistics was just right up her pink sneakered alley. 

D. I. L. E. M. N. A.

And don’t forget to pronounce the silent “N”. 

And just because I’m that type of triple-checking sort of gal, thought I’d also look it up in the dictionary just to prove that I’m always right. 

D. I. L. E. M. M. A.

There’s a double MM?  Since when?  More like double vision actually.  Like, am I losing my mind or even worse, my sight?  WHERE is the silent “N”?  Or, is it so silent that it’s forever disappeared, never to be heard from ever again??

What is going on?  WHO changed the spelling and why wasn’t I informed of this monumental shake-up of the placement of these two consonants?  Should I just chalk it up to an ill-placed typo?  Perhaps Webster’s has already figured out their gaffe, re-ignited the presses and churned out truckloads of re-prints, discretely re-stocking the shelves of bookstores and libraries worldwide.

Like seriously?  Did those mischievous gremlins of Travel Disruption expand their horizons and purposely jumble the letters of the alphabet just to trip me up?  I wouldn’t put it past them as their crazy ol’ shenanigans have road-blocked me time and time again, hurling me off the beaten path towards uncharted destinations along miles of unplanned routes.

And so dear reader, that is how I ended up squandering my scribbling hours away, obsessively foraging for the truth with regards to the correct spelling of DILEMNA (DILEMMA?) thus temporarily suspending my quest to track down the elusive Runaways.

The adventure somewhere continues....

I therefore leave it up to you to decipher which is the correct spelling.  Either you belong to the double M school of thought or veer off the path of dictionaries worldwide, subscribing to the theory of a conspiracy to eradicate any trace of this alternate spelling of where the N follows the M.  Just like the alphabet.

How could I be so wrong?   Or, am I?

On that note, might as well catch up with my reading and get back to the ever so fascinating and informative issues as discussed in the Mandela Effect.

And, don’t even get me started on the correct spelling of the Berenstein Bears.

Catch up with the adventures of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora in just a couple of weeks, where my pink-sneaker clad feet find themselves traipsing along the cobblestone rues of Quebec City or was that Lisbon?  Or Porto?  Or perhaps even somewhere else?  And, most importantly, do I track down the Runaways?  Stay tuned!!

Next post – In four weeks!  Wednesday, January 25th, 2017!! 

Runaways! Imagination, Inspiration and Creativity have gone missing. Now what?

Write.  Anything.  Scribble.  Whatever.  Even if it’s gibberish.  Or just a whole lot of nonsense.

After all, I’m in a bit of a conundrum, as my faithful sidekicks in rhyme and storytelling, have apparently jumped ship and gone fishing.

Not hiding under the bed, nor sequestered in the library (if only!), my formerly dependable scribbling muses are nowhere to be seen. 

Bored stiff by a humdrum life of 9 to 5 – and not like I blame them – the monotony of languishing the days away in a dull and boring office was not the sort of life InspirationImagination and Creativity had envisioned.  Nope.  They had dreams and loftier aspirations:  Scaling the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, traipsing along the Great Wall of China and sipping bubbly in sun-drenched Capri, all on the bucket-list of places to see and things to do.  After all, there’s a great big world out there and pushing paper in a stuffy ol’ job was just not going to cut it when there were far more desirable ways to fill one’s day.    Mastering a foreign tongue, discovering ancient cultures and sinking one’s chops into oh so delectable gastronomic cuisine, just to name a few!

Capri.  But wait....where's my yacht??

Positano.  The view says it all.

La dolce heart belongs in Italy.

But my first love is Paris.

The Kid in Dubai.  And where is cuckoo ol' Auntie Nora??

The Kid in Greece.  And where is cuckoo ol' Auntie Nora??

So, there I was.  Stuck.  Staring at a blank piece of paper, my pen run dry.  My laptop keyboard was silent, no frantic clacking or clicking, spelling out adventures and tales of a glamorous and action-packed life of a travel blogger on the go.

Imagination, Inspiration and Creativity.  WHERE ARE YOU??????

I need a story!!! Keyboard is NOT co-operating!

Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.

The well had run dry.  Now what?

My first task at hand was straightforward:  Figure out exactly where the three of them had buggered off to.  Like, had they just packed up their bags and run away from home?   Perhaps on a jet plane to exotic lands across the sea?   First class or economy?   Chauffeured limo or roller blades?  Or would they give my pink sneakers a run for their money and elect to marathon on ahead instead?  And, since we’re on the topic of greenbacks, just who was going to cover their expenses?  After all, money doesn’t grow on trees (unfortunately not in this part of the globe) and exactly one of the reasons that some of us (yup, moi!) have no choice but to slave the weeks and months away, bunker down at home and stash the coffers with hard-earned cash.  Granted, waiting 345 excruciatingly long days for one’s highly anticipated 20 day European vacation is challenging enough to say the least – not to mention quite the stretch with nary a well-deserved break in-between, except for an occasional long-weekend thrown in every couple of months. 

Planning, planning, planning....

Patience and practicality were never Imagination and Inspiration’s most admirable traits, thus most likely precipitating their impromptu and hastily planned escape from the drudgery of the daily grind.  Imagination’s take on life was ever so grandiose, always reaching for the stars whilst shooting for the moon.  Anything and everything was both attainable and possible.  You just have to believe in your own greatness.  Inspiration literally lived on the same page as Imagination, driven by Ideas dreamt up by Creativity.  Creativity, on the other hand, required the co-operation of Imagination as well as constant and forceful nudges from Inspiration in order to soar and live out one’s dreams.  But, if all three were stuck in a rut, curled up on the sofa, gorging on bonbons and watching endless re-runs of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, it is no wonder then, that something had to give.  Time to hit the road and kick-start their own adventures to far-away lands and exotic places.

So what’s a travel blogger to do, but lace up her pink sneakers and embark on a mission of her own to track down the wayward trio.

After all, I have a blog post to write and my partners in rhyme have gone missing.

Stay tuned for the continuation of the adventures of Pink Sneakers on the Go somewhere.  But where?  Quebec City?  Lisbon?  Porto?

Next blog – In four weeks!  Wednesday, December 28th!  (It’s going to take me at least that long to track the three of them down!)

The canals of Amsterdam - Inspiration, contemplation and so much more!

Windmills.  Tulips.  Wooden clogs.  Canals.  Venice of the North.  This is Amsterdam.  Originally founded as a fishing village in 1250, the capital of the Netherlands boasts more than 100 kilometers of canals, 90 islands and 1280 bridges.   In 2010, the three main canals that form a concentric ring around the city were recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage site. 

But let me not bore you with paragraph after paragraph of facts galore, dear reader, as you can easily research those yourself.  Having sojourned to Amsterdam numerous times over the past 25 years and then some, the lure of this Dutch city, at least for me, is not the cheese, the history nor even the museums, but is an attraction of an entirely different sort.  The canals.  All 165 of them.  And they’ve stolen my pink-sneaker heart.

Meandering along the cobblestone canal lined rues on a star-lit night, the twinkling and shimmering light dancing seductively on the water is both magical and mesmerizing – beckoning one to pause, reflect and contemplate the night away.

Not to be outdone by such over the top and achingly moving emotion, autumn throws her hat in the wind and offers a descriptive of yet another sort.  A carpet of golden hued leaves lies scattered all about, twirling and swirling in tune with the elements – whether it be a frenzied blow-out hurrah of cyclonic proportions or a lazy, hazy last day of summer elegantly orchestrated descent – a picture perfect postcard of amber, blonde and citron foliage in all of her October delight.

Even torrential downpours and bleak and dreary skies are not cause for despair, as the canals never disappoint, presenting themselves in an entirely different light.  It all depends upon your mindset and what you’re feeling at that particular moment.  Whether sad or glad or mad or not, it feels cathartic to just gaze out over the canals and live in the moment.  Of being there.  A part of history.  In Amsterdam.

A few interesting tidbits of fascinating info:

·       Did you know that there are over 2,500 + houseboats that line the Amsterdam canals?

·       And, that the law requires that the wooden boats have to be re-painted every 3 years?

·       Amsterdam has more bridges than Venice:  1281 versus 409!

·       There are over 900,000 bikes in Amsterdam and up to 15,000 of those bicycles end up being fished out from the canals.  Yikes!  Hopefully one of them is not my bike!!  But then again, I’m usually busy schlepping luggage up and down stairs, so no time for biking except for endless schlepping!

·       On that note – wonder how many pennies and coins are fished out from the canals each year?  Enough for a Chanel, LV or Birkin or two?

·       Swimming in the canals is not recommended as the canals are used as sewage dumps for the houseboats.  Note – the canals are flushed with water from the North Sea three times a week.

Next post – in four weeks!  Wednesday, November 30th!  Stay tuned for the continuation of the adventures of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora and sidekick Oz.

Note:  I'm having a bit of a glitch adding in pictures so will add in more pictures just as soon as these tech issues are resolved.  More pics tomorrow (I hope!).