Our itinerary…


01 Jun 2013                                          Kilimanjaro – Arusha

0110hrs – Arrive Kilimanjaro airport by TK673, meet and transfer to Arusha for overnight at Impala Hotel BB


02 Jun 2013                                                    Arusha

Breakfast at the Hotel

A day at leisure with overnight at Impala Hotel BB


03 Jun 2013                                             Arusha – Tarangire
0900hrs – Depart from Impala hotel to Tarangire Park with game viewing on arrival. Lunch at Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Afternoon game viewing in Tarangire Park – Much of the area has an unusual landscape, dotted with Baobab trees giving it an almost pre-historic look. It is also one of the best places in Northern Tanzania to see Elephant, especially along the river in the dry season. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Sopa lodge


04 Jun 2013                                           Tarangire – Ngorongoro
With lunch boxes, early breakfast and a short drive to Ngorongoro Conservation area and enjoy spectacular views down to the floor and several kilometers across to the far wall. Descend into the crater for a day’s game viewing – there are some wonderful varieties of wildlife and Stunning landscape make this one of nature’s most unforgettable spectacles.

Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge


05 Jun 2013                                          Ngorongoro – Serengeti

After breakfast, morning drive to Serengeti National Park for lunch at Serengeti Sopa and then afternoon game viewing in Serengeti Seronera Area. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge

06 Jun 2013                                                    Serengeti

Enjoy full day game drives in Serengeti endless plain – Seronera Area – Look out for Leopard along the riverine forest or marvel at the vast herds of Wildebeest and Zebra out on the plains. While Lion and Cheetah may be spotted lurking around the rocky Kopjes

Meals and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge

07 Jun 2013                                                         Serengeti

Enjoy full day game drives in Serengeti endless plain – Seronera Area –

You may encounter one of the most incredible sights you will ever see. An unending stream of wildebeest pour across the plains, while a parade of hungry predators, lion, leopard and cheetah, anxiously try to prey upon the youngest or weakest members of the herd. Use your binoculars to look closely for topi and impala, grazing with zebra and the beautiful kudu. Other animals to see are giraffes, elephants, hippopotamus and even endangered black rhino.

Meals and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge


08 Jun 2013                                              Serengeti – Lake Manyara

Enjoy an early morning game drive, before breakfast. Return to the lodge for late breakfast. Enjoy a mid morning and then depart to Ngorongoro Highlands – lunch at Gibb’s Farm.


Afternoon visit to the waterfalls


Dinner and overnight at Kirurumu Tented Lodge


09 Jun 2013                                                Serengeti – Lake Manyara

After  breakfast,  you  will  have  a  morning  game  drive  in  Lake  Manyara  National  Park  whose  inhabitants  include hippos,  monkeys,  tree  climbing  lions,  flamingos  and  other  varieties  of  birdlife.  Lunch at Kirurumu Tented Lodge.


After lunch, drive back to Arusha and proceed to Kilimanjaro airport


I was at the Eye Doctor yesterday getting a new prescription for my bifocals, talk about my dry eye I’ve developed and ask if losing (because I can’t see them anymore) my upper eye lids can affect my vision.

Alright so maybe I was feeling my age today and that looming big number in a few days didn’t help my state of mind.

While staring into my dilated eyes my Doctor informed me that I have the eyes of a very young person, alright maybe I just added “very,”

Isn’t it crazy how sometimes the smallest compliment can just make your day.

Try it and watch the reaction on a person’s face, it’s pretty amazing.



I was starting to feel downright embarrassed about my multiple trips to Bed Bath and Beyond and my craziness about finding the perfect pillow.

It just wasn’t right!”  I was starting to feel like Bed Bath and Beyond would put me on some type of a black list, a pillow black list!  I was starting to feel like I would never find my “perfect pillow,” what’s a girl to do?  A sad girl without her pillow, I was desperate!

I was on my I-pad, yes,  actually doing google searches for at least an hour or so.   I can’t be the only person who has major pillow problems.  I was very happy to see there are a lot of us out there, I’m not alone which did bring me some comfort.  I swear I have woken up with a headache almost every morning for years it feels like.  It’s always at the base of my head where my neck is, sometimes these headaches will last for days.  It really is miserable…

I was telling Dale – why isn’t there just a “pillow store?” I started thinking about mattress companies and remembered the commercials for the Sleep Number Bed and how you set the mattress for your specific number that works best for you.  I wondered – Did they make a pillow for your particular needs?  I pulled up their site and saw they did have an adjustable pillow and there was a store very close to home  http://www.sleepnumber.com/.  It was like I was at the Indy 500 racing to what I like to call my “pillow store.”

I walked into the Sleep Number Store and was helped by one of the sales ladies.  I told her all my issues – position I go to sleep in, type of bed I have, type of pillows I’ve used, where my headaches are located.  And she said,  get this, “it sounds like you’re using the wrong pillow!”  Finally, validation!

I saw the adjustable pillow but was told it would be to firm for me, I’d still get headaches.  She told me you can customize your own pillow with Sleep Number.


I wanted to scream with excitement when I saw this display.  I can create my own “perfect pillow.”  I felt like I was at the Build a Bear Workshop for adults.

I spent a good portion of time selecting the perfect material for the outside portion.  I ended up with an “Alternate Down” outer, and a “Real Down” inner.  These pillows all have an opening where you choose your own insides – check it out!

I’m happy to say that I am in love with my new pillow.  If you have any similar “issues” check these pillows out.

Dale is crying now that he needs a new pillow too.

“I’m not a homeless person, I swear.”
Many times Dale and I look at each other on our weekends sitting on our opposite couches, our hair sticking straight up, the same clothes on from the day before and laugh at what an exciting reality show we would be. This always cracks us up, I don’t know why but it does. I like that we both have the same kind of humor, its one of the things I love best about “us.”
Tonight would be one of those amusing shows, titled something like “Sandy gets a new pillow.”

I have always had “issues” and I guess you could say “obsessions” with my pillows. I’m not ashamed to say that as an adult I have flown with my bed pillow on an airplane. I have attempted to be an adult and fly solo (no pillow) but have almost felt like crying when I’ve tried every pillow at the hotel and none of them cut it. They are too hard, too soft and never just right. Are you quick enough reader, did you get the comparison to Goldilocks and the three bears? I’ve also got issues with only sleeping on the right side of the bed, but that’s a whole different story.

I wasn’t going to post this picture, but shit, its funny. We are at Bed Bath and Beyond and I didn’t know Dale was taking this picture. I wanted to try out the pillows and all the beds had like 100 decorative pillows on them.
Me: “Should I just get on the floor here to try them out?”
Dale: “If you want to”
Me: “Are you sure no one is coming?”
Dale: “Who cares if they are”
Me: “Hey don’t take a picture I look stupid”
Dale: “No you don’t!” (laughing)

I was busy running around this morning getting the last of my suitcase packed up for my vacation that starts today, heading back East to see the family.

It was much earlier than I normally get up (around 5:15 a.m.) and as I glance out the front window I  see the dark clouds floating around the blue/black sky with the street lights casting a warm glow.  I’m not outside but I can feel the quiet and I’m transported back in time.

I’m 20 years old and in Air Force Basic Training marching around with my troop at dawn with the dark clouds and that same blue/black sky, the street lights casting their warm glow.  The air is so quiet and the only sounds you hear are a hundred pairs of combat boots hitting the pavement.

I marched out into the living room and shouted to Dale (*) Road Guards Out.”

I love that we have a shared history and he gets that, it made me smile this morning.

* This is something the Drill Sargent would yell out and two soldiers would run up to the upcoming street crossing with their flashlights with the Star Wars green laser covers so we could cross the street in safety.  The funny thing was there was never any traffic this damn early.

I’ve been a little bummed because I feel like I have no time to write.  By the time I get home after a long day of work I’m usually too damn tired. 
I’ve known that the only solution was to get up earlier.  The house is quiet and I can have some peace and time to unwind.  So today I set my alarm for an hour earlier and although I was tempted to stay in bed from sheer exhaustion I felt my feet hit the floor. 
I can’t believe how much “shit” I got done with that extra hour.  I picked up the house, hung up all the laundry I did yesterday, cleaned the cat’s litter box, cleaned the kitchen, had a cup of coffee and actually had some time to write.  Go figure…

Today my mother’s visit with me ended and she headed back to her home in Connecticut, my childhood home.  It’s all the little things she does around my house that make her so special to me.  Even my cat will miss her.  Sorry Tip (that’s his name) your litter box will probably not be cleaned quite so often, your moist food will not be left on the counter until it reaches room temperature before “you are served,” and the bedroom window will definitely not be opened each morning at the crack of dawn so you can feel the cool morning air on your face.  


Mom loves to play her penny slots at the small local casinos in my neighborhood and she has all these wacky theories and methods to her play, it’s quite mad.  I was amused one day as we walked into one of her favorites; it’s where she starts out each day.   “I usually get one good hit here each morning,” she says.  I follow closely behind as we weave through the casino, we maneuver in and out the narrow rows of slot machines.    I feel my breath quicken as I follow this women on a mission.  I didn’t know she could move this quickly.  I can sense her annoyance when someone is on the machine she likes to start on.  “You can’t play that machine,” she says as I tried to sit down next to her.  “That’s always the second machine I play.”  I get up actually feeling a little hurt, but I know she has her routine.  I start to wonder if maybe she is developing OCD.  I know people with this affliction must have a routine.  I mentally make a list of some of her other “casino quirks.”  
–  She must always play the third machine from the left
–  If three is not available it must be seat five from the left
–  If you get a good hit you must get up immediately  
–  Must order her drinks in a pirate voice, “Oy matey I’ll have another”
–  Never sit on machine that shows it just paid off
–  She must wear the same underwear everyday (kidding)
–  Wears her left shoe on the right foot and the right shoe on the left foot
–  Spin around three times before you sit at a slot machine
–  Put winning tickets in pocket, use cash.  
–  Always use ten-dollar bills in machines
–  And the most embarrassing thing is every time she hits a jackpot she shouts out across the    casino at the top of her lungs “Boo Ya.”  Who is this woman I ask.
I brought my Ipad with me to the casino because I had an idea that I was playing around with to do this blog and wanted some funny pictures.  I was like a famous Hollywood director shouting out the poses I needed.  I had a funny idea about how to compare her to Dustin Hoffman’s “Rain Man,” with her “routines/quirks.”  I couldn’t tell her what I was doing.  We were laughing our heads off though; I know I peed my pants.  I love that she’s such a good sport. 


Here I was trying to get the Rain Man’s head tilt.  Jeez, how hard is it to tilt your head, I mean really!

You’re really mad.   I’m telling you we are leaving and you’re very angry.  Yeah, lift your fist up.  I was trying to get Rain Man’s anger at being late for Judge Wapner. 


I miss her already!

I sit with my hands on my computer keyboard summing up my thoughts of my Mother on her birthday today. 

I wonder when the transition happens as it does to all of us when our parents, although still our parents, become our friends.  It’s a strange shift in the universe when that happens. 

I can remember being a kid, a pretty sensitive one who was a little afraid of my Mom.  She always spoke her mind and told you what she was thinking.  I’ve come to admire that quality in her.  I think it’s a trait I have in common with her.  I have no problem telling my husband, “your such a dumb ass,” (just kidding, honey).

My mother has always been my biggest supporter in every aspect of my life.  She’s taught me to how to put myself in someone else’s shoes, that whole, “How do you think that would make you feel… I still remember when I was pretty young and I bit my sister Cindy on the stomach.  I don’t think she bled, but I definitely left an imprint of my teeth.  I remember my Mom grabbing my arm and pushing up my sleeve and saying, “how would you like it if someone bit you.  I remember screaming – “no, no, no.”  But the lesson was learned and I don’t think I’ve ever bit anyone since.  THIS DID HAPPEN MOM, I REMEMBER, I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES…. 

Laughter has always been the number one ingredient that binds my family together. 

I know how lucky I am to be born into this crazy, spontaneous, wacky clan.    It’s like I hit the lottery….

Happy Birthday Mom, you are one in a million


Do you ever notice that when your running late that “Murphy’s Law” thing always seems to happen.  I often ask myself, “what gives,” ” I mean come on already!”

I was running late leaving the house this morning and of course I have to get behind someone going 15 m.p.h. driving in my neighborhood.    I get on the freeway and no one seems to want to let me merge, “really people.”  I hit every stop light, get behind every slow driver.   And then,  I stop at Walgreens (needed gum)  and there is only one person working the register and I am third in line.  Of course you can guess what happens next, the cashier shouts out, “I need a price check on register one.”  Why wouldn’t he, I thought.  I pull into my parking garage at work at their are no open spots where I normally park.

Oh yeah, the real topper to my morning was:

“Having the toilet seat liner stick to my ass because we are having monsoon season in Nevada and it is so muggy.  It took me forever to peel that second skin from my backside.”  I was almost late clocking in!

One of my husbands favorite words is, “free.”  He can’t resist it, his eyes actually light up and his heart begins to race.  “But it was free,” “they were just throwing it away,” “can you believe they were throwing this away,” “free hotdogs today,” “are you going to finish that sandwich, well if your just going to throw it away…”  These are words and phrases I’ve heard often over our twenty plus years we have been together.

As I write this blog my car isn’t able to fit into the garage, why you ask? Well, because I have some free “shit”, as I call it filling up my garage.  “But, we can sell it on Craig’s List, Vance was just going to throw it away…”

But, the sad fact is that we will probably make a few hundred dollars on this crap and then I will have to listen to Dale say, “just admit it, I was right?” God, I hate that!

I can see him so clearly as a small toddler pulling his little red wagon around the neighborhood and loading it up with all his “treasures.” He says it didn’t happen, but I have my doubts!

This is why my blog is called “the funny side of the street,” because loading this crap ass furniture into my garage I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all.  And that little, happy smile on Dale’s face thinking, “Can you believe he was just going to throw this stuff away, what an idiot!”

I say, “Who’s the idiot,” but only quietly to myself…