So much in common

If you take different mythologies from different cultures, the names may change and the story lines may vary but there is always something in common.
– Maynard James Keenan


Winter wanderlust setting in…

Temperatures in the single digits.

Cars dirty with salt residue and road grime.

Three inches of snow last night.

I want to get away.

But, not to a beach. Not to warmer weather. To better winter weather.

I love winter. I need the change of seasons to keep my internal rhythms right with the world. But, Central Illinois is not my idea of a “Winter Wonderland”.

Switzerland, Colorado, Banff, Bavaria, Scottish Highlands… those are the winter wonderlands I want to visit. Now. Right now.

Sadly, it’s January. I’m a teacher. There’s no traveling for me in January; so, I’ll just have to settle for virtual travel. If you’re in the same boat, or sled (much more winterish), check out these photos and websites to cure that winter wanderlust.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

St. Moritz

St. Moritz, Switzerland; photo courtesy of

Seriously. Isn’t that absolutely stunning?

Little villages nestled among forests. Trees with boughs sagging under the weight of fresh-fallen snow. Are you kidding me? That’s where I would love to be right now.

I’ve never been to St. Moritz. I’ve been to the Lake Lucerne and Mt. Titlis areas, but never the iconic St. Moritz. When I go (notice the optimism), I would love to go during the snowy months. I’ll take what I can get, but seriously – what could be better?
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Travel juice… a must have!

The more I travel, whether for a day or for days, the more I realize that a portable battery charger is as indispensable as my toothbrush. 

I recently* spent 4 days in Sonora, California. Lovely area, but horrible cell phone service. My battery drained 5% within minutes of unplugging my phone. No joke, but when using Google Maps for navigation, with my phone plugged in and charging to the car’s USB, my battery still lost power – it couldn’t even maintain juice!

If you haven’t already bought one, invest $10-30 in a portable charger pack that you can carry in your purse or bag and stay juiced up.

How do you choose? Price and mAh. What’s mAh? The amount of power stored in the pack. Look at the battery in your cell phone or tablet (or Google your phone’s mAh) to find out how much power (in mAh) you typically have. If your phone takes 2000 mAh to charge, for example, a 3000 mAh portable pack will charge your phone, in theory, 1.5 times.  Continue reading