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My Embarrassingly Late Tales of the Traveling Tote Post

Saturday, March 9, 2024


Hello, My Lovelies!  Clearly it's past March 1, and I want to apologize for all my Tales of the Traveling Totes Friends for not being able to post on time and miss the link party.  

Sorry, y'all!

I thought I'd given myself plenty of time the week before, but I had not.  Before posting, I needed to fix a few buggy problems with my blog and Mail Chimp, and I had a few unexpected things happen that kept me from home and my computer.  Aren't we lucky we have Linda our very own Fairy Blog Mother to help! 

I still want to share with y'all our winter travels to California and New Mexico.

When the University of Alabama Crimson Tide was offered a bid to the Rose Bowl, Mr. Bookish and I decided to go and not only attend the Tournament of Roses Parade and Bowl Game, but to also visit family living in Southern California.

Our first stop: our home away from home, The Fairmont in Santa Monica.

We enjoyed all the beautiful Christmas lights on the property, the famed Santa Monica Pier, and the best charcuterie across from the Fairmont at Wally's.

We celebrated New Year's by visiting family living in Dana Point.  I absolutely LOVE Dana Point, and I can see why our family loves it so much!

The Montage is in their neighborhood.

La Countess de Monet likes it there.  A lot!

We went on really nice walks.

This is Finlay's brother Harold and his Best Beagle Friend Barney.

We spent New Year's Day in Pasadena.  I loved it there, too, and some of the cottages there are some of the prettiest I've ever seen!  This one was my favorite:

I've always wanted to see the Tournament of Roses Parade in person.  It did not disappoint.

You can read my post about the Tournament of Roses Parade including my favorite floats by following this LINK.

Although the Crimson Tide lost to the Michigan Wolverines, we still had the best time at the game.  I had a feeling Michigan would win because our daughter is a good luck charm.  While she attended the University of Alabama for undergrad and graduate school, Alabama won at least three national championships.  At LSU while she was earning her PhD, LSU won a national championship.  Now she's doing a post doc at Michigan...OF COURSE they HAD to win.  When her post doc is over, I will literally cry if she joins the Auburn University faculty.  That can't happen, y'all...

At the very end of January, we went skiing in New Mexico (Taos Ski Valley).  I was really looking forward to visiting not only to ski, but to also visit Taos's art galleries.  Unfortunately for us, the Blue Bus Line that takes people back and forth to the mountain and town wasn't running "due to political reasons" whatever that means.  It snowed everyday, which was great for skiing, but not so great for driving, so I skied everyday.  I was worried about my stamina and getting altitude sickness (we were sleeping above 9,600'), but I did not get it, and I was so happy about my stamina: I skied better than I expected!

Miss Candy Max went on this trip with me.  Our home away from home was the Snake Dance Lodge.

Snake Dance is literally ski in/ ski out.  We were spoiled!  This is the view of Lift One from the Juliet balcony outside our bedroom.

One of my favorite views from the ridge looking at the backside of the mountain.
This is where most of the runs are.

Our trip was with the Birmingham Ski Club, and a few friends brought their ice skates as well as their skis.

Mr. Bookish in his new ski duds he got for Christmas.

I really loved skiing Taos, and I especially loved the ski school and my instructor.  It turned out to be a blessing that I skied almost everyday and did not go down to mountain.  I got my ski legs back under me, and I had a blast.  My only complaint is that it takes planes, trains, and automobiles (and buses) to get to the resort: It's at least a three hour drive from the Albuquerque airport to Taos/Ski Valley.  

Our next adventures will be live on June 1, 2024.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill


  1. Oh, i so enjoyed reading about your travels. The view from your balcony at the ski slope was beautiful! There is nothing prettier than mountains in the snow! EXCEPT for the parade! I am in awe of all of the flowers covering the floats and that must have been exhilarating to see! So happy to see you on the go again ( And you must be so proud of your daughter's educational advancements! - congrats too her!)

  2. Ricki Jill, such fun times. I am from southern California, so I know Dana Point. How fun t go see the Rose Parade. The floats are so beautiful. So happy you got some travel in plus some skiing. Taos Ski Valley looks lovely The views are amazing!. Thanks so much for the shout out.

  3. Ricki Jill, it's so great to see this post! How fun to see the Rose Parade. Fun ski trip too. Thanks for taking the time to create your Traveling Tote post. Love it!

  4. I am delighted to see this snowy post! And the Rose Parade floats are gorgeous, and I have enjoyed watching the parade on TV ever since I was a child. So happy you got some travel in plus some skiing. I love a beautiful view, and Taos Ski Valley did not disappoint. My favorite mountain to drive to is Stowe in Vermont.

  5. I am jealous that your totes go to places I have not been! So happy your trips were fun. Happy Tuesday. Hugs. Kris

  6. Ricki Jill, you have been getting around! It sounds like you had some wonderful times. I'd especially love to go to the Rose Parade. This looks like a great holiday. Happy week!

  7. Wow, Ricki Jill, what fantastic trips. I'm so glad you came to the party with your travels. Your story of Shanley Belle being the good luck charm for all her schools is funny, but the comment on Auburn is hilarious. Sounds like your skiing was incredibly successful! I think ski in/out is the only way to go!
    Happy you're back in the swing of all the things you love doing.

  8. I'm so glad you posted this RJ, I've been dying to hear about your trips! I grew up in Southern Cal, and lived in Pasadena for a year so am very familiar with your experience. The Rose Parade is indeed amazing, I'm so glad you got to experience it! And you attended Nick Saban's last game! Sorry we lost, but it was so fun to hear your take on your daughter being the lucky charm over the years! I have family that live near Dana Point, in Mission Viejo and Foothill Ranch, such a beautiful area!
    Your ski trip sounds amazing, but traveling there not so much. I am impressed that you skied, I had no idea you are a skier!
    I hope to see you soon~


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Hello, Lovelies!

I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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