A Warm Day in September may be the Best Time to go to Valley Fair!

When I was 19, I lived in Virginia Beach, VA. My friend, Carlos, and I both loved theme parks, so we both bought a season pass to Busch Gardens Williamsburg & Water Country USA. The day I got my pass (I had the day off work, he didn’t) we were having so much fun he decided to call into our work sick. The bad news was… our BOSS was also at Busch Gardens. Oops… Well, 14 years later we are still friends, and when he came to Minneapolis, this past weekend, we both decided to get new theme park passes. I purchased 3 GOLD passes, which includes unlimited admission for the rest of the 2018 season and ALL of the 2019 season. The pass also gives you FREE parking, and FREE admission to ValleySCARE, Dinosaurs Alive, and Soak City. In addition, I was able to sign my daughter up for the Pre-k pass, a FREE pass for kids 3-5. My friend, who is visiting, signed up for the Cedar fair Amusement parks Platinum Pass; this pass allows him entry into 13 parks around the country; his lifestyle allows for him to travel frequently, so this pass was perfect for him.

Our day at Valley Fair was not preplanned, at all. We literally decided at 10am to go and were there with preregistered passes at roughly 11:30am.

IMG_9355(1)

We immediately stopped at Dinosaurs Alive. My 5 year old is fascinated with dinosaurs and currently wants to be a paleontologist or a professional skateboarder when she grows up. I had zero expectations of anything we were doing, and I hadn’t been to Valley Fair in over 3 years so everything was new and fun. The moving dinosaurs were a bit of a surprise. The kids and I pretended we were in Jurassic Park. I personally liked all the dinosaur signs through-out the exhibit.

 

We made our way through Planet Snoopy, and were sure to get my daughter on as many rides as she was tall enough. She is a daredevil. So she was pretty bummed her brother got to go on bigger roller-coasters, but she wasn’t tall enough. 48in seemed to be the height requirement for most of the rides (outside of Planet Snoopy). Luckily, for my daughter, she is roughly 45 inches and is growing like a weed (we are giants in our family). I told her she may be tall enough by next summer. My son was only brave enough to try the High Roller roller-coaster; he did it twice.

IMG_1697

Unlike my daughter, I am a chicken and have a serious fear of heights, but lately I have been working on going on higher things. I made it on the High Roller, Renagade, and even the North Star Swing. There are a lot of rides at Valley fair that can continue to scare the crap out of me. Honestly, getting on the rides was almost scarier to me than the actual rides themselves. As my friend and I walked to get on the North Star, we both were wondering what kind of crazy things we were doing in our 30s. My husband was bummed he missed watching how scared I was getting on (he was with the kids on another ride). Chains, a metal-bar and a seat-belt were the only things holding you on this swing which took you 230 feet into the air. It went way faster than I anticipated, 40mph is what I’ve now learned.

The Great Pumpkin Fest was an awesome surprise to me. I have only been to Valley Fair 3 times before (once when I was 13, 23, and 30). So deciding to go the weekend Halloween festivities started, on a 75 degree day, with barely any lines anywhere was AMAZING. Our family LOVES Halloween! The Great Pumpkin Fest was a huge hit for both of my kids. While my daughter was singing and dancing on stage with Sally Brown, my husband had allowed my son to enter Pigpen’s People Washer. Once my son was out…. I asked him what his plans were with his very wet everything. Our friend took him to the bathroom to stand under a hand dryer. I was very thankful for the warm weather because he dried out pretty quickly. The rest of the Great Pumpkin Fest had mazes, games, and trick or treating (many of the kids wore costumes).

 

Seriously, going to Valley Fair on a weekend in September was an awesome choice. If you plan to go more than 1x in the year, I absolutely recommend getting a season pass, but make sure you sign up on line before you go so you aren’t charged $17 in parking.

 

Enterovirus D68: How Mother’s Intuition (and Medical Doctors) Saved My Son’s Life.

As parents gear up to send their kids back to school, I find it important to share this story. The absolute scariest time of my life (and there have been a lot of scary times).

I remember it like it was yesterday. Tuesday, September 2, 2014. My son, Caleb, was completely healthy. He was a very busy 3 year-old. We had gone to the park with his friend: they were laughing, climbing, and playing.

IMG_6509

Caleb had only been to the doctor, aside from his routine check-ups, 1x and it was for eczema when he was 14 weeks old. He has always been very independent. At 12 weeks old, he started sleeping through the night. He didn’t like to sleep near us. He liked HIS room, HIS bed, and HE chose his bedtime of 7:00pm.

On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, Caleb started his first day of preschool. He was very excited! However, when he got home from school, at 2pm, he had a cough. I didn’t think much about it at first because he was still acting like himself. Then he just kept getting worse. By the time his dad got home, around 6:30pm he was ready for bed, so we put him in our bed to be near him, and he was okay with that. At first, we thought he might have bronchitis. We decided I would take him in first thing in the morning if he wasn’t feeling any better.

IMG_6510

I LISTED TO MY MOTHER’S INTUITION

I kept a close eye on him. As I lay with him, I started googling his symptoms. I was reading through pages and pages of articles, and I came upon this small news article from Kansas City, on the 3rd page of results, talking about something called Enterovirus D68. I believed Caleb was showing similar symptoms: coughing a lot then later a wheezing sound started. Caleb has what is called Pectus Excavatum, and his chest normally dips really far in, but I was noticing his chest pull in deeper. At 11pm, I called ask a nurse through our insurance because I was starting to feel uneasy, and my mom gut was telling me this was serious. On the phone with the nurse, she had me count his breaths. She told me I should call the On Call Doctor at our Clinic, and if the doctor didn’t return our call within 4 hours to call her back. I DID NOT LIKE THIS ANSWER.

I called the On Call Doctor and left a message. I then decided to call Amplatz Children’s Hospital (now named University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital) because I believed I needed to go to the Emergency Room.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overreacting before I took him in. I told the nurse the Insurance Ask-a-Nurse had me count his breaths, he was at 61 breaths per minute. The nurse calmly told me, “ma’am, I don’t want you to freak out, but you need to hang up the phone and dial 911. Your child’s breaths are double the maximum they should be for a resting heart rate.”

My son was awake and I told him we were going to the hospital. He agreed to go but only if I allowed him to get dressed and not wear his pajamas. I decided to drive him since we were close to the hospital, and it was late so there would be no traffic. My husband called the hospital to tell them we were coming in. I pulled up and my son wanted to walk in, not be carried. At this point, I thought maybe he was having an asthma attack (my husband and his sister are both asthmatic). I thought we’d get a nebulizer and go home.

WE WERE GETTING TRANSFERRED TO THE PICU

They brought us into a room and started getting all of his stats. They immediately hooked him up to a nebulizer. The nurses told me how good it was that I trusted my gut and didn’t listen to the Insurance Ask-a-Nurse. I was told he would’ve been dead if we had waited 4 hours. I mentioned how I read this article on Enterovirus D68 from Kansas City. They had no idea what I was talking about and I think brushed it off due to me being another mom playing Dr. WebMD. THEN…. At 3am… the nurses came in and told me, “WE ARE MOVING YOU TO THE ICU.” I was not prepared for this. I thought after his series of nebulizers we would go home. My husband was at home with our 1 year old daughter. I thought we’d be home before my husband would go to work in the morning. I left my husband a voicemail and texted him telling him we were being transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit.

I called my dad, a nurse who at the time worked overnights. He started asking me what all of Caleb’s numbers were. I remember him asking what the blood oxygen level was. The nurse told me 76 (I now know how to check all of these numbers). My dad told me if it got any lower to call him and he’d be on a plane. At that point, I didn’t know you want a blood oxygen level of 97-100% saturation, and anything below 90% is considered low. I texted my sisters and my in-laws; I called my mom, she had the stomach flu. My mother-in-law sent me a text, “I can be there in 8 hours, do you want me to come?” I took a deep breath, started to cry, and responded that we needed her there. She told my husband and me that she’d leave immediately. She had 500 mile drive ahead of her.  My sister, her sister-in-law, and my son’s godfather took shifts watching our daughter that day so my husband could be at the hospital with Caleb and me.

IMG_6518

DOCTORS IN HAZMAT SUITS

Doctors and nurses entered our room in the pediatric intensive care unit in hazmat suits. NO ONE knew what Caleb had, but he was very sick. He was hooked up to so many cords. I mentioned a few other times to the doctors about the Enterovirus D68. Again, they disregarded my Dr. Google status. Caleb’s blood work came back. Negative for everything, but he tested positive for rhinovirus, the common cold. THAT’S IT! My 3 year old was on 8L of oxygen due to the common cold.

 

For 36 hours, Caleb was on 8L of oxygen. As he started showing progress, they started to lower the oxygen. I posted on Facebook how Caleb had been sick. I started getting tons of private messages about Enterovirus D68 because it had hit mainstream news, the same thing I had been telling the doctors about the entire time, including the Pulmonologist who saw Caleb in the PICU. Caleb was eventually transferred to a regular hospital room and off of oxygen. Saturday, September 6, we were discharged from the hospital. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved in my life. When we left the hospital, Enterovirus D68 was the number 1 article on CNN. At least 4 children died of Enterovirus D68, more than Ebola… the disease most of the country was freaking out about.  On September 9, 2014, I had a message from Caleb’s pediatrician (she had also personally called me while we were in the PICU). In the message she quoted the pulmonologist saying, “I don’t think we are currently checking for Enterovirus D68, but I wonder if we might start.”

img_6519.jpg

HE DID HAVE ENTEROVIRUS D68

2 months after Caleb was in the hospital, I was at the doctor with my daughter for pink eye. Their pediatrician told me the doctors had decided to recheck Caleb’s blood work and it was INDEED Enterovirus D68. Apparently Rhinovirus and Enterovirus D68 looked similar under the microscope. Caleb was apparently one of the first cases (if not the first case) of Enterovirus D68 in Minnesota, and that is why no one knew what it was. Since Caleb was so sick at the hospital, they diagnosed him with asthma. We proceeded to meet with the pulmonologist, we saw in the PICU, for over a year. We also had him see an asthma/allergy specialist. His allergy panel came back with him having MANY environmental allergies. It was determined by his allergist/pulmonologist/pediatrician he had experienced the perfect trifecta… Ragweed season + asthma + Enterovirus D68 = PICU.

My son is now in 2nd grade. He has allergy and viral induced cough variant asthma. He takes daily allergy medication. We carry a rescue inhaler and spacer with us. We have a nebulizer and prescribed meds to help keep him out of the hospital. So far, he hasn’t had another hospital stay and we hope to keep it that way.

IMG_1499

I will leave you with this: MOM GUT IS REAL. Trust your instincts!

Making Memories: How Entering a Facebook Contest Allowed for My Daughter to See Her Favorite Band.

Do you ever wonder if anyone ever wins the contests on Facebook? I tend to like, follow, share because I love the thrill of entering contests, and I believe if I win it is meant to be. One contest I recently entered was by a local event promoter, Carrie the Moment Sales + Events. The contest was to say something funny or cute that your child says wrong, for a chance to win 2 Okee Dokee Brothers tickets at the Minnesota Zoo. My daughter had recently danced to “Roll on River” by the Okee Dokee Brothers at her Pre-k graduation and really enjoyed their music. I knew immediately I had to enter my favorite thing my daughter says, “cheek butts instead of butt cheeks.” SHE WON!!!! We were so excited!

Carrie was so great to work with, and she was very quick to mail me the tickets. It was going to be such a treat for my daughter and me to have a mother/daughter date night. As we pulled up to the parking lot, my 5 year old daughter exclaims to me, “Mama, I’m so nervous, this is my first concert; I don’t know what to expect!” As we made our way through the gates of the zoo to the amphitheater, there were princesses and face paint. We wanted to get to our seats, so we only had time to meet the princesses, but she was in heaven. My daughter told me, “I know those are just people dressed up as princesses, but that was AMAZING.”

IMG_1297

We took our seats just in time for the Grammy Award Winning, Okee Dokee Brothers to take the stage. The show was amazing. The songs are super fun for both adults and kids. The band was extremely interactive with the crowd, and with the lack of breakdowns by the children (or adults) in attendance you would have had no idea the concert was taking place during most of these children’s bedtimes. I promised my daughter a CD at the end of the show, and she b-lined it to the merch table after her favorite song, “Roll on River” was played during the encore. After we got her CD, she wanted to wait in line to get it signed. As we walked to the car, my daughter was on cloud nine. She clenched her new, signed CD, bouncing up and down to the car proclaiming, “I’m so excited! I’m so excited!”

Everything about the night was so fun. It was also very bittersweet because I drop my daughter off at Kindergarten, next week, so it was extra special to have this time with her. I am so glad I entered the contest because I will forever have the memories of the entire experience. So, if you also wonder if anyone ever really wins those contests, THEY DO! It could be you next. I absolutely recommend following Carrie the Moment Sales + Events on Facebook. She always has tons of discounts for fun events to do with your kids, and often she is having giveaways, just like we won. I also absolutely say to check out the Okee Dokee Brothers, especially if you have kids or grand-kids. My daughter has already listened to the CD and watched the DVD, which came with her CD, and she wants to get the rest of the CDs. She has also asked if we could go to another one of their concerts. In addition, Music in the Zoo at the Minnesota Zoo was amazing. There is seriously not a bad seat, and it is a very intimate concert setting.

Remember to Like, Share, Comment when you see a contest and YOU could be the next winner!

IMG_1299

3 Suggestions to Have the Best Birthday

I feel as though I am still on vacation, writing this, but I haven’t gone anywhere. This birthday, my 33rd birthday, I was so fortunate to have so many people I love in the same place. If you want to celebrate a birthday, or any random day, in the best way possible, here are some suggestions:

I. Have a long-time friend (my sister’s college roommate) fly in from England, who you haven’t seen in 15 years, with her child.

In November, 2017, my older sister’s college roommate, Salome, booked tickets to visit Minnesota for the first time in 15 years. I met Salome when I was 14. She never made me feel like a friend’s little sister; she always treated me as a friend. The last time I had seen her was when she came to Minneapolis, when my older sister and I moved to Minneapolis, in 2003. Since Facebook allows for me to know what it is going on in her life, it didn’t feel like it had been 15 years since I had seen her. During this time, my sister, myself, and Salome all had children of our own. Salome’s son, Freddie, and my son Caleb are 1 month apart.

After an 8 hour flight, Salome and Freddie landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport; 3:45pm Central time, 10:45pm London time. Ignoring jet-leg, they came to a get together at my Uncle Matt’s. As Caleb and Freddie both shyly hid behind both of their mom’s, listening intently to each other’s accents and differing words, Freddie smiled and starting flossing. They were instant friends after that. My mom was curious how Freddie knew how to floss dance; I exclaimed that they have the internet in England, too. 😉

II. Offer to host a party, in your backyard, and have it rain

Salome visiting over my birthday also happened to coincide with the 1 year anniversary of learning of my mom’s younger sister. After 33 years, I celebrated my birthday with my new aunt (who my dad dreamed looked exactly like my grandfather only with really long hair; luckily for her, she is much prettier than that mental image).  We had many people travel near and far; it’s not every day you celebrate a birthday in which people travel to get there by Airplane, Car, and Bicycle.

I offered to host a build your own hot dog bar. The ease of being able to prep ahead of time was super helpful. I chopped up all the toppings and purchased side dishes from Costco. The hotdogs, we placed in a crock pot and finished them off on the grill.

We were excited to host in our newly almost completed backyard. We haven’t had much space to host a bigger group, so it was nice that we would be able to. A family walk was taken around to show off the changes happening in our neighborhood. Then, it started to downpour. For a while, roughly 20 of us crammed into our small living room and kitchen; however, the kids found it far more exciting to run around in the rain. A family dance party broke out, in my living room. My mom and I completed our eyebrow challenge which we agreed to the week before, and many of us ended the night with a competitive game of Catch Phrase.

III. Try New Things: Foods and Experiences

I was super fortunate to have breakfast with my mom and step-dad the morning after they arrived in Minneapolis. My kids had their last day of camp, so I had very rare, much needed adult time. I suggested the Hen House Eatery because they are known for their gluten friendly options, and I cannot consume gluten or dairy. It didn’t disappoint!

IMG_0986

The day of my actual birthday, a group of us went to Fort Snelling for the first time. I wasn’t aware of the full history surrounding this place, and couldn’t believe it took me 15 years to check it out. (Earlier in the summer, my family upgraded to a Minnesota History Membership after visiting Split Rock Lighthouse – we plan to get to as many History locations in our state as possible.) After Fort Snelling, we ventured to Fort Snelling beach…another place I hadn’t been to in the Twin Cities. We had a picnic and let the kids swim, until the sunny skies released another downpour.

IMG_4749(1)

The evening of my birthday, we had a lovely birthday dinner at Hai Hai. This restaurant opened in NE Minneapolis, the end of 2017, and was named one of the best new restaurants in America according to Eater.com. Definitely put this on your list to check out. I told my son a good birthday present for me would be for him to start trying new foods.

The morning after my birthday, I had previously scheduled to try Reiki for the first time, as my birthday present from my husband, needing to get my chakras aligned. After originally knocking on the wrong person’s door, I made my way to the home of the massage therapist/Reiki practitioner. As I lay on a massage table with alchemy bowls playing, I could feel the sound waves moving through my body. The therapist placed her hands gently on or above different areas of my body; I could feel the energy moving through me. She then placed her hands on my head, I could feel where my varicose veins were removed and it almost felt like the energy escaped out of my feet. When she placed her hands on my feet, I seriously felt air leave my ears. And as she stood with her hands above my stomach, my intestines started to move and my stomach started to growl. Most people may think I was only hungry, but I had recently eaten AND I have suffered from IBS almost my entire life. My experience with Reiki was incredible. I will go back. I offer you a suggestion if you ever want to try it: don’t have any expectations because everyone has different experiences; you get out of something what you put into it.

We ended the weekend with swimming and dinner, hosted by my always aunt and uncle before they flew back to Denver. The long weekend was amazing, but wore this old gal out. This year, I plan to live as my best self. I do not have expectations of what may lie ahead, but I can tell you I have a LOT of fun planned for the coming year.

Psychic Revelations: My first Trip to Baltimore OR WAS IT?? (Part 2 of 2)

I have always had very vivid dreams. I was 10 when I started having dreams of my deceased family members. In the dreams, I felt like my loved ones were visiting me, long after they had died. I truly felt they were with me. It wasn’t until I met my sister-in-law,  I really opened up about my dreams because I learned from her to watch for signs. I had one free tarot reading done, 7 years ago, in which everything came true. I was gifted a  medium reading on the phone, about 4 years ago. However, my Baltimore experience had been vastly different, and I felt the need for answers. I decided I would pay for a reading. So I walked into a shop, a shop which was actually the store front of this woman’s home. I weirdly felt more comfortable seeing her kidsIMG_0058 because before my father-in-law passed, we talked to him and to my kids… to watch for signs.

After chatting with the Psychic for a few minutes, and her offering us a cheaper deal; I love deals. My sister and I agreed we would both do a tarot card reading. I wanted to go first. I am a pretty timid person, so when I decide to do something I jump right in so I don’t back out.  I sat down with Mrs. Kay and the following unfolded. Mrs. Kay asked me if I had recently lost someone close to me. I had. My father-in-law passed away a few months before this reading. She asked how long I’d lived in Baltimore. I told her I was only visiting and it was my first time there. She proceeded to tell me she didn’t believe this was my first time there and asked if anything seemed familiar. I answered yes, but I used my poker face because I didn’t want to let on what had happened to me only a few hours earlier. She then told me I had an old soul. That she could see I had lived 7 lives since the 1700s. “No wonder I’m so tired all the time, I thought to myself. My soul has been busy.”

Mrs. Kay had me shuffle cards and chose some, then she laid out half of the deck (this is what I agreed to in what I was paying for). She told me I was a really good person. Which is true, I think I am too. She told me she saw moving boxes in my house; my husband was seriously emptying out our storage unit at that very moment…into our house. Mrs. Kay told me my husband loved me a lot, like more than I probably realize. I responded that wasn’t a surprise to me. She told me I was going to live a long life, but I needed to get my chakras aligned. She told me my heart chakra and crown chakras were off. She explained to me my ability to love out was full, but my ability to love myself was troublesome. She saw deep depression, and I needed to take care of myself. She was right, but again I didn’t want to let her know too much. HOW DID THIS LADY KNOW THIS? She told me my crown chakra was off and I needed to balance my spiritual connection. Mrs. Kay saw things there is NO way of her knowing. It was wild. She told me dates and colors that were lucky for me; I’m still waiting to see what those do for me. She also told me there was a spirit with me. She asked if I knew who it would be. I said one person it could be would be my father-in-law. The spirit isn’t a male, she said. The only other person, I truly felt it could be, the person I felt like had been with me the entire trip so far….”My grandmother, I said.”

After we finished up, my sister went in for her reading. Her reading was much different than mine. My sister wasn’t told her chakras were off. They weren’t. She instead was told she had a purple aura. Mrs. Kay asked my sister if she had recently had a Spiritual Awakening. She had. My sister had spent 10 days in Guatemala on a yoga trip, just a few months before, and had attended a Mayan Fire Ceremony. Nothing about past lives or anything of the sort to what I experienced. However, my sister also had been blown IMG_7069away by her experience. My sister and I finished up our evening shopping the local stores and having dinner at 13.5% Wine Bar (our mom bought us dinner since she wasn’t able to join us on our trip). We then walked back to our Airbnb, to spend the night on the property owned by our 6th great-grandfather, in the early 1800s.

The next morning, my sister and I headed to Ellicott City, MD. Ellicott City was started by our 7th great-grandfather, Andrew Ellicott, and his brothers; these three brothers built Ellicott Mills, and were responsible for getting farmers to plant wheat instead of tobacco. As we neared Ellicott City, my sister says to me, “Well, I’m just going to turn off the GPS because you probably used to live here.” I was able to navigate to the Historic Downtown, but I believe with help of street signs over past memories. As we got to Downtown, we saw signs for the Ellicott City Spring Fest. They were having a huge art festival and we had no idea. I joked how they were throwing us a welcome home celebration.

We drove around a bit to find parking, and we ended up parking in the Court House lot. We walked past an Underground Railroad site, and I wondered how many of my ancestors helped with the Underground Railroad, aside from my 6th great-grandfather, Elisha Tyson. Timing couldn’t have been more perfect because we walked up to one of the shops a minute before it opened. We IMG_7073shopped in local stores, one of which had 3 levels of knick-knacks, it was as if Christmas and the Renaissance Festival had a baby. We checked out the tents and music, for the art festival, and had lunch at the Ellicott City Brewery.

The last thing I had wanted to check out before we left Ellicott City was a house called Mount Ida. Mount Ida was initially built for William Ellicott, my 6th great-uncle; unfortunately, he died young, and the house was eventually acquired by Judge John Shoemaker Tyson, my 1st cousin 7x removed. After Judge Tyson and his wife passed away, their three daughters inherited the house. It is said the ghost of the last daughter to pass away, Ida, is still heard in the house today. We gps’d directions to Mount IMG_7078Ida, from where we were walking, and it took us some really weird way, hiking up back streets with no sidewalks. When we finally reached the house, I realized we could see our car. We had almost parked directly in front of the house, which members of our family on two different sides had once owned.

We walked the roughly 300 feet to our car, and we headed back to the Airbnb for meditation and relaxation before heading to meet up with my husband’s cousin, Nikki, that evening. We walked back to the area we had been the previous day and met Nikki at Café Hon for drinks and dinner. My sister asked if we would be interested in going to an Improv Show across the street, in which she had seen an advertisement for the previous day. We agreed. We had to walk through a busy bar, then up the stairs, to where the Improv Show was to happen. We were the ONLY people there aside from the people performing. In one skit, they asked the audience for a weird phrase, and a kid sitting next to me yelled out, “JOHN!” John is not a phrase. The entire skit, they just said John, over and over. I felt in that moment, my father-in-law, John, had come to make his spiritual presence known as I was sitting with his niece.

 

 

 

 

After the Improv Show, Nikki headed home and my sister and I stopped for a night cap at Rocket to Venus. An Irish gentleman, probably my mom’s age, approached me and asked if I was interested in cowboys. I looked down the bar to see a young man, in a cowboy hat, had just bellied up to the bar. I laughed and had to tell him, I was married, and I really didn’t think my husband would appreciate me being interested in cowboys. The man that approached me and his friend sat next to us, they were regulars of the establishment. We told them why we were in Baltimore, the historical discoveries of how we had gotten there. Then the first man tells me I have to hear his friend’s story about being contacted about his ancestors. The man was very hesitant, but finally decided to share with us ….

His family discoveries were not as uplifting. Apparently, his grandmother and some German Nazi had conspired to kill his grandfather. They succeeded. His grandmother was wanted for murder and disappeared. This gentleman’s dad was raised in an orphanage. A few months before meeting us, someone in Germany had contacted this man as he was writing a book of these events. He found out what happened to the grandma. Grandma had moved to Arizona and started a different family. Yikes!! I now IMG_7102knew why he was reluctant to share his story, especially to strangers. My new Irish friend gave me a print of his art, told me to hang it on my fridge, and it would bring me good luck. It’s still there. I’m always looking for extra good luck!! We said our good-nights and retired to our Airbnb for the evening.

Our last morning in Baltimore, we locked up and headed for one last fun breakfast before heading to the airport. I sure hit the jackpot of experiences when I chose the Paper Moon. The service and food was incredible, and the décor definitely made for a lasting impression. As we made it to the airport, my sister and I see the man who sat next to us on the flight to Baltimore. He says me, “how was lunch in Baltimore?” IMG_7094

 

**Update** After our trip, I have some sad news. On May 27, 2018, I was contacted by both Julie and Nikki, and Ellicott City was flooding. I couldn’t believe I had only been there the month before, and now this beautiful city was destroyed. Then in June, I was contacted by Julie, the Flour Mill which was located below the summer home of Elisha Tyson (below the Airbnb where we stayed at) was going to be destroyed for High Rises. I do not believe in coincidences. I believe you are where you are supposed to be or the forces of nature work against you. My sister and I not only had the opportunity to get lunch together, which is a rarity in itself, but we have the most amazing memories from simply agreeing to go to lunch in Baltimore. Someday, we’d like to do dinner in Germantown, PA and visit our ancestors before Elisha Tyson. Lastly, I finally made an appointment to get my chakras aligned.

“Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.”