Monday, December 15, 2008

Carpe Christmas, Carpe Chanukah, Carpe Festivus!

I know, I know, where have I been? I've been in Calgary where i was below freezing, the home for a day of balmy Chicago to a day of more freezing and now ensconced in hotel room in Baton Rouge where it's 72. OK, enough of the weather report, I've been so darn busy trying to navigate the rocky waters of buying that second home. We've killed many trees with all the paperwork I have been subjected to. I hope it will all be worth it when I'm staring at the lake from my new condo..details after closing on the 30th.

On a brighter note, went to a fab' party at Rex Grossman's (yes, da Bears) apt in Trump Tower and I don't know what was better the apt, the view, the food, the view, the libations, the view, the band, the view, the people watching, the view...I think you got it. Saw lots of ol' friends, many EO members who had heard me speak (Young Entrepreneurs Organization) my dentist, a former member of my Vistage group and a long lost friend.

This is my last speech for '08 and I'm so looking forward to coming home tomorrow, attending my two Vistage meetings and parties this week then welcoming THE son (as my darling Jason is called) to spend the holidays with his mama, that would be me. I love the holidays...friends, cooking, presents, goodwill, I am always so happy at this time. OK, joyous, I'm always happy. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Calgary, Canada ay? Where it's 17 below...

From the balmy Hawaii to the frigid Calgary, what a fab' life I lead! Up here all week speaking four times all over Western Canada. I haven't been here in about 15 years and it brings back one memory in particular that is high on my memory scale. People often ask me, knowing that I've travel the world, "what are your favorite places?" I always say, Santorini in Greece, Sydney, Australia, Paris (and of course I have added Monte Carlo since the birthday bash this summer) and always Banff and Lake Louise outside of Calgary.

There are two times in my life that I cried over scenery, this was one. Picture this. My then beau, Dutch and I stayed at Chateau Fairmont in Lake Louise. We got up one morning so he could teach me how to cross country ski. We went out on the lake, fresh snow, not a footprint on it except for the ones we made. In front of us, surrounded by the majestic Canadian Rockies on three sides and the Chateau in the background, it was like living in a postcard. I remember falling and dragging Dutch down with me and there we were, laughing so hard yet overcome by the beauty and romance of the moment. Later we built a snowman at night, then took a horse and buggy ride on the frozen lake. It was magical. So I am here reliving wonderful memories and as always so enjoying my Canadian friend and clients. Ay!!!

Oh yes, the really big news...I got the FL condo, found out last night, hooray!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Seasons GrEATings!!

OK, OK, it's not gourmet but it sure is fun. At my last Speakers School, two of my attendees, Deb and Kathy and I were having a conversation at the break and somehow got on the topic of hot dogs and how we all love them. I proceeded to rant and rave about my fave at The Wieners Circle which started us on a course of who has the best dogs. Soooooo we made a commitment to get together once a month to go to the myriad of hot dog places that Chicago is so famous for and that we all crave. December...Deb's choice, Rockstar Dogs on Ashland. Ratings as follows ...dogs 5-6, fries 8-9 We took a photo but no access yet, stay tuned.


I did it! I bought my second home, well almost. I found it, now I just have to go through the real estate/bank dance. I always wanted to have the proverbial "winter getaway" not that I don't get away enough to warm wonderful places, courtesy of my work but...this is different. I never thought it would be FL, it had too much of a stereotype for me on so many levels...Boca...NY Jews (hey I'm one of them so I'm not being slanderous, South Beach, too hip, Naples, broken hips...well it's just not so. I got to know my new home area last year when my ex, Beau Joe as I referred to him, took me to his home there, when my friends Sherri, Shari and Linda all invited me to their homes, when my CEO group went to the Grande Naples on retreat, I got to love this vibrant, beautiful upscale part of Southwest Florida, rumors put to rest.

So when the market tanked, the economy slumped, I said to myself, "self, why don't you buy real estate at a time and place most affordable and sure to appreciate quicker than all the money lost this year in all my retirement accounts, arrrrrrrrrrgh. It was exactly the impetus I needed to get me to do what I had been thinking about for so long.I am knee deep this week in contracts, offers, jargon, people and actions. Stay tuned.