Vacation: About the Architecture

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling on vacation....starting with places I have actually visited before...and looking into fun things to do, places to stay, and, of course, souvenirs!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to vacation!

If you missed my previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours
Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation has been to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, in which I virtually arrived at the Port of Southampton, did some sightseeing and found a place to stay.

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I have recently started a new job, so I don't have quite as much time to write extensive blog posts as I've have in the past. What I've chosen to do, instead, is to share cool, vacation and travel-related stuff I notice on my partners' websites.

Because I haven't necessarily purchased everything I write about, this blog post is not always going to be about my personal experiences.

What I will do for you, is share the things I feel may be particularly interesting, helpful or fun for a vacation, based on what I am most attracted to at the time I write.

Last week's blog post was about visiting Windsor castle; a place I honestly haven't visited in person, unlike Stonehenge which I have. An obvious difference between the two places is that one is a monument from the past, and the other an historic residence which provides regal shelter in the present day. If Stonehenge is archaeology, Windsor castle is architecture.

Memories of places I've visited in the past are often stronger than experiences, souvenirs, entertainment or gastronomy; despite that all these things are highly marketed to tourists.

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As a student of a Royal music conservatory overseas, the ambiance of the historic conservatory building is something I still remember with crystal clarity.

To this day, I recall climbing six flights of stairs, rising to the pinnacle of the structure for private lessons, because the elevators were reserved for professors.

Music and the ambiance of architecture are an exceptionally pleasant combination. I like to believe this blend was the reason I was given a choice to transform from aspiring musician to aspiring architect.

At the moment, I'm enjoying a couple of online courses I want to share with you today. These are MOOCS or Massive Online Open Courses that may have a little, or a lot, to do with the architecture.

The first course is about starchitect Mario Botta; a European architect whose ideas are shared in videos and text. The MOOC is provided in the English language at the FutureLearn platform. In subtitled videos, the architect speaks poetically with respect to topics of historic structures, strong geometric forms, and a love for warm materials like brick.

Despite my appreciation for architecture, and my training as an architect, I am not a technically minded person. With the exception of a fascination with the inner mechanical workings of acoustic pianos, when I fell in love with the beauty of fine architecture my heart was already full of music, the art of writing poetry, and theatrical performance.

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How many people are lucky enough to discover the perfect math professor in college, after struggling with the topic for about twelve years in school? I don't know the answer to this question. I only know that, had I relied on pre-college math skills to get me into architecture school, it would have been a huge joke.

My high school geometry teacher, a divorced man with a chip on his shoulder, taught at a pace just a little too fast for me to follow. I used to dread being called to the board to prove theorems, which made me feel like a lost attorney in a courtroom full of amused basketball jocks. As I recall, "I'll bet you a dollar to a donut" was one of his favorite phrases.

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Bet a dollar? sure. I'd bet every guy in that class would be laughing hysterically if they knew I were accepted into architecture school. If it wasn't for college math classes, I'd probably be laughing at myself too.

Those old ghosts linger sometimes. If only there were a way to prove to myself, let alone a class from the past, that I can understand high school level geometry. And there is. Thanks, Goddess, someone is looking out for people like me.

I found it on an internet search. Introduction to Geometry, offered through edX platform. This is a really nice geometry course, taught with lots of interactive graphics, and maybe a gazillion short lessons. You really can take it at your own pace. And, believe it or not, it's fun.

I personally recommend both of these courses for anyone who appreciates architecture. And, yes, you can do either or both courses from a hotel room with internet access and a computer. I wouldn't wait too long, though, because I'm not sure how long these courses will be available.

That's it for this blog post. See ya next week!

Comments, anyone?




To be continued...



Resources

Introduction to Geometry | edX
www . edx . org/course/introduction-geometry-schoolyourself-geometryx-1

Mario Botta: To Be an Architect - Online Course
www . futurelearn . com/courses/mario-botta-architect

Vacation: Let's go to London and Tour Windsor Castle!

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling on vacation....starting with places I have actually visited before...and looking into fun things to do, places to stay, and, of course, souvenirs!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to vacation!

If you missed my previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours
Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation has been to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, in which I virtually arrived at the Port of Southampton, did some sightseeing and found a place to stay.

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I have recently started a new job, so I don't have quite as much time to write extensive blog posts as I've have in the past. What I've chosen to do, instead, is to share cool, vacation and travel-related stuff I notice on my partners' websites.

Because I haven't necessarily purchased everything I write about, this blog post is not always going to be about my personal experiences.

What I will do for you, is share the things I feel may be particularly interesting, helpful or fun for a vacation, based on what I am most attracted to at the time I write.

This post is about leaving Southampton and moving to London, in the next phase of my virtual journey around the UK with my dogs.

A look at the Agoda website brings up plenty of dog-friendly accommodations in London, which is also a high energy, central location in the UK. I can type London in the search box, enter the dates I may plan to visit, and press the search button. I'm taken to a page full of a bunch of different accommodations available for the location and dates I entered. From there, I gaze down along the left side bar, where I may select from a nice choice of options.

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I want pet friendly accommodations, so I scroll down to Property facilities and click the Show more button with a downward facing arrowhead.

From there I check the box for Pets allowed. The screen refreshes to reflect my selection. In my example search, there are over 100 pet friendly properties in London.

There is also a section called Property types where I can select apartments or hotels. In today's search, I also see several hostels and one bed and breakfast.

In my youth, when I traveled throughout the UK with my parents, my family enjoyed staying at castles, and also at bed and breakfasts, both of which were much friendlier than hotels. Guests from different parties would often sit together for the morning meal, family-style, around a big dining room table.

Often the bed and breakfasts, back in those days anyway, were run by a family and breakfast menus were not as extensive as restaurant menus. But times have changed, and as Veganism becomes more and more popular, I expect menus will be adjusted to include Vegan meals.

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After booking the lodgings we'll be staying at in our virtual vacation extension to London, I'll be packing up to leave Vegan- and dog-friendly Southampton. I'll see about getting a rental car that I can drop off in London, after I check into new place where I would enjoy staying with my two small dogs.

According to online search, small dogs may be taken around town on The Tube, London's underground rail transit, so I may not need a car once I get in town. Travel rules, reportedly, require pets to be carried on train escalators, which is pretty easy because they are both small and get along well with each other in a shared carrier. After settling in, I can explore any dog-friendly parks, pubs and restaurants that are easily accessible via the underground.

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One of the first places I want to visit in London will be Windsor castle, which I believe is the official residence of the Queen. Windsor has been in the news lately and is reported to be open for tours daily.

I've experienced travelling on the Tube before, and visited castles in the past, but at the time Windsor was not on the itinerary for whatever reason. Windsor Castle would be a most exciting place to visit for a few hours, although I certainly wouldn't want to live there. The idea of having strangers show up where I live, snooping around my stuff every day kind of gives me the creeps. Good thing I'm not royalty, I guess...

As anyone following recent media may know, royalty do own dogs. As a castle guest, however, I would expect this may be one excursion where my dogs will have to stay at the hotel or apartment for the day. I'll be meeting and mingling with everyone else on the tour, gawking at the sights like a typical tourist.

Comments, please?




To be continued...



Resources

Historic UK: Heritage accommodation in castles, cottages and historic hotels
www . historic-uk . com

The rules about taking your dog on public transport - Saga
www.saga . co . uk/magazine/motoring/cars/using/2016/taking-dog-on-public-transport

Vacation: Working Remotely Online

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling on vacation....starting with places I have actually visited before...and looking into fun things to do, places to stay, and, of course, souvenirs!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to vacation!

If you missed my previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours
Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation has been to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, in which I virtually arrived at the Port of Southampton, did some sightseeing and found a place to stay.

I have recently started a new job, so I don't have quite as much time to write extensive blog posts as I've have in the past. What I've chosen to do, instead, is to share cool, vacation and travel-related stuff I notice on my partners' websites.

Because I haven't necessarily purchased everything I write about, this blog post is not always going to be about my personal experiences. What I will do for you, is share the things I feel may be particularly interesting, helpful or fun for a vacation, based on what I am most attracted to at the time I write.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
This post is about living a travelling lifestyle that literally supports itself, working from a hotel room for a few hours a day and enjoying a vacation too.

Everyone knows that too much of a good thing can be, well you know. Tours with guides are fun at first. Absorbing foreign fascinating history though, in my opinion, is best done with a little down time in between. And how better to spend that down time than working at a job that can be done from a hotel room?

There are tons of blogs about how to make money online. I'm not going into the topic of how to make money online because, not being an expert on the topic, I'd just be wasting time. I'm sure everyone has seen ads about "work from home" so you can spend more time with family, go on vacation, and buy expensive stuff you don't need. This isn't about that. I honestly don't know how to make the kind of living working from home that would support an extravagant lifestyle.

What I have discovered, though, since my last post is some nice ambient audio from Brain Sync, one my advertising partners whose website claims that just 30 minutes a day will bring outstanding results. Does the audio actually work? It's too soon to tell.

According to BrainSync FAQ, If you are working with a particular goal, such as weight loss or attracting wealth, we recommend that you listen to those once a day for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Since I've had the full audio for less than a week, it will be at least May before I can give the full report on the purchased program.

For a link to the freebie version I've tested out for the full six weeks, take a look at my last blog post:

Vacation: Restful Sleep After a Day of Exciting Exploration

I wrote that post while I was window shopping around at the BrainSync website. I was not offered any discounts or freebies that aren't available to the public before making a purchase, even though I'm a partner. My shopping experience was pretty much the same as anyone else who tried out the freebie and liked it. At the time I definitely wanted to pay for the full version of the freebie program, and noticed a 4 for 3 mp3 special.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
Anyone who loves a sale will understand how this complicates a simple shopping experience. Instead of just buying what I've tried and liked, I had the chance to get more to like at a nice price.

This took awhile because the founder of Brain Sync, Kelly Howell, has been producing this type of audio for literally decades. She has a lot of material to choose from, and it's pretty easy to cross check reviews online. Most of the reviews I've noticed for Kelly Howell and Brain Sync are very positive, across the board. So the rest of this post is about which products I chose to acquire, and how I like them so far.

If you haven't guessed already, I did actually go for the 4 for 3 mp3 downloads. There's also a 3 for 2 special with cd format, but then I would have to wait for the cds to come in the mail. I prefer same-day access, and I also like getting to choose one more audio in mp3 format for the same price as the cds.

The freebie product, the one I wanted to upgrade, is The Secret Universal Mind Meditation. It has Kelly's soothing voice and lots of affirmations that feel reassuring enough to have in the background as I go to sleep.

I also got The Secret Universal Mind Meditation II, which is supposed to work together with the original version. The download for version II includes a music track as well as a guided meditation. Both audios have scientific sounding waves with Greek names like Delta. Version II has both Delta and Theta waves which, according to Brain Sync, are good for falling asleep.

Brain Sync also mentions three other waves, with the names Gamma, Beta and Alpha. According the website, these waves are more for waking hours. My goal, then, as a shopper, was to find audio I'd like to have on during the day, ideally when I'm working from home.

An easy choice, which I felt might do everything all-in-one, is Brain Power. This is the only audio that has all five of the waves mentioned on it. Brain Power has plenty of good reviews, and is advertised to improve memory and concentration, “Big Picture” thinking, perception, and clarity of thought. Fine with me.

So now for the last audio, the fourth of the 4 for 3 special. This last audio was the most challenging to select, for a few reasons. With so many options to choose from, ranging from love, fitness and success, to wealth, spiritual growth and creativity, it wasn't obvious where to start.

After a short time out from window shopping, I decided to work with Maslow's classic 20th century needs theory, which places fundamental needs on a more basic level than emotional desires or aspirations for self actualization.

The most fundamental need I have, and which many bloggers have, is financial. Just how do I make money to support my lifestyle? My choice, then, would be success or wealth. In many ways, I already feel successful. I have access to the internet, a computer, a website, and other things. I also feel prosperous, which seems related to success as well.

In my opinion, a person who doesn't have a lot of money can feel successful in non-financial ways, and may also experience prosperity. Who cannot look into the night sky and see the stars? Who does not enjoy the change of weather in spring?

In the purest sense, many of us prosper in so many non-financial ways. So, narrowing this down, my most basic need isn't success. Nor is it prosperity. My most basic need, at a most basic level, is money. Money can't buy love, and money can't buy happiness, but without enough money it's hard to be happy and difficult to place a value on love.

Money, in the absence of success or prosperity, is merely wealth. It's not necessarily the wealth of a highly successful or prosperous person, although that would be nice too. In my opinion, wealth is directly tied to finances, and the success or prosperity that is represented by money itself...cash, a reliable paycheck and money in the bank.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats

I've narrowed down the topic, and now to select the product. This is where the going gets tough. I still have four choices:

The Secret of Attracting Wealth and Attract Wealth both have plenty of great reviews. They both use Theta waves, which might be effective for relaxation after work.
Attract Wealth While You Sleep sounds good, yet I don't see any reviews for it anywhere online.
Attract Wealth While You Work sounds great! Again, though, no reviews...

After thinking about this for awhile, I decided that someone needs to be the first person to review a product. Since I'm basically getting it for free on a 4 for 3 deal, maybe that first reviewer should be me. Someone's got to do it. It's only fair. I've received reviews, and although I'd like a lot more reviews than I do, if there were no first reviewer I wouldn't have a single review to my name.

Every person, every product, every service has to start somewhere. With Brain Sync, it's not like I'm in uncharted territory. Most of the product line has good to excellent reviews already. I chose Attract Wealth While You Work.

When I work I want to get paid for doing it. I can do lots of work (prosperity) and I can be published online (success). But the bottom line is, am I getting paid for what I do (wealth)? Isn't wealth the reason why people work? Isn't it true that people work to attract wealth?

On the other hand, people don't usually get paid for relaxing and sleeping, even though that sounds enticing. Sometimes I do see unexpected e-deposits appear overnight into my bank account, but that is based on work I've done in the past, and it honestly doesn't happen as often as I'd like. And, besides, my evening hours are already allocated to falling asleep with both of The Universal Mind Meditations. I don't want to complicate things.

Finally, after exhausting myself window shopping at Brain Sync, I made my purchase. The mp3s took awhile to download, maybe because the files aren't zipped. My four mp3 selections each had up to 60 minutes of audio for listening, pdf and/or audio instructions and a cover graphic, all as separate download files. I created separate file folders for each of the four packages while I was downloading, before reading the instructions, to have it all organized.

After the downloads were completely finished and filed, I read the instructions. Then I created three playlists: one to play before I start work, another to create ambiance while I'm working, and one for when I sleep. This is the way I've decided to use the audio, and not necessarily exactly how the instructions suggest. I don't have the time or patience to use headphones. Instead, I want to use the audio as background music rather than as relaxation sessions.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
At the moment, I'm looping the playlists to repeat throughout the evening, which is how I listened to the freebie over the last six weeks.

I'm also looping the day playlist and adjusting audio levels based on my tasking. I like having the audio super low when I'm on the phone, instead of turning it completely off. When I'm writing or doing tasks that don't require audio communication, the sound level gets turned up.

So far I'm enjoying the ambient sounds during the day, and I don't notice the subliminal messaging at all. Sometimes, maybe because of the waves used, I find the audio distracting and just turn it off. As background sounds, the ambiance is pleasant and non-intrusive, with slowly shifting musical textures and nature effects. My plan is to continue using the playlists every evening, and during the day when I'm working.

After about six weeks of ambient sounds and music, I may write another blog post about my Brain Sync audio experiences. Maybe sometime around the beginning of summer.




To be continued...



Resources

Brain Sync | The Leader in Brainwave Technology
www . brainsync.com/about-us/about-brain-sync . html

Frequently Asked Questions
www . brainsync.com/faq

Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia
en . wikipedia . org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

Vacation: Restful Sleep After a Day of Exciting Exploration

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling on vacation....starting with places I have actually visited before...and looking into fun things to do, places to stay, and, of course, souvenirs!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to vacation!

If you missed my previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours
Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation has been to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, in which I virtually arrived at the Port of Southampton, did some sightseeing and found a place to stay.

I have recently started a new job, so I don't have quite as much time to write extensive blog posts as I've have in the past. What I've chosen to do, instead, is to share cool, vacation and travel-related stuff I notice on my partners' websites.

Because I haven't necessarily purchased everything I write about, this blog post is not always going to be about my personal experiences. What I will do for you, is share the things I feel may be particularly interesting, helpful or fun for a vacation, based on what I am most attracted to at the time I write.

Advertisement
Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
This post is about meditation, rest and sleep. Getting to sleep in a strange place can be a challenge, especially after an exciting day of sightseeing. To get the most out of each day, I feel it's important to try and get a good night's rest in the evenings.

Over the past six weeks, I've drifted off to sleep listening to The Secret Universal Mind Meditation by Kelly Howell. It is available at YouTube, and also offered in two different versions through Brain Sync website. Brain Sync sells these and other helpful audios in mp3 and cd formats.

A sample of the meditation from YouTube is included with this blog post, and if you'd like to try the longer version I've been using, it may be found here ( youtu . be/6tF14GnCJqk ). I feel my sleep has been restful, and I've been in a better mood than usual during the day. Maybe it's the meditation, maybe it's a synchronicitous coincidence, or maybe I've just been a little more mindful than usual.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
So this post is not just about my wonderful partners. It's also about a "freebie" at YouTube, which I thank Kelly Howell for sharing as a video, and I also thank Nicole Guillaume of Guiding Echoes for sharing with followers like me who signed up for her ebook and emails.

Nicole, by the way, has one of the nicest Goddess Fortuna meditations I've found online. Her Create Abundance with Goddess Fortuna - A Guided Meditation may be found here ( youtu . be/KOfSfw_wgGU ). Again, a freebie, and the reason I checked out Nicole's Guiding Echoes and signed up for her ebook and email newsletter.

Nicole, Kelly and I all have our own businesses to run, and as I'm writing this post I'm also window shopping at Brain Sync's website. Nicole recommended The Secret to Attracting Love, and that one does look nice. I definitely want to be sure I'm comfortable with using the audio while I'm asleep. However there are a few more I'd like to try, especially with Brain Sync's buy 3 get one free promotion. (hover over the Audio Store tab, drop down and hover over Gifts and Specials, and then slide over to CD or MP3 Special Savings to the right)

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats

I'm no expert at brain waves, and I'm noticing that Brain Sync's audio offerings are linked to different types of brain waves like Alpha, Delta, Theta, etc. Some audio includes subliminal messages, and some doesn't. Also, some of the meditations can be done anytime or while sleeping. Other meditations require wearing headphones, which doesn't interest me at all. If this can't be done while I'm asleep, I doubt I'll want to take up extra time during the day. I definitely don't want the obligation of researching or investing in equipment like headphones.

It appears to be that the BrainSync recommends selecting one thing to improve at a time, and to work on that one thing for at least six weeks. So I need to choose just one thing. Do I really want love more than anything else right now? Or does something else interest me? Whatever I choose to work on first, this means I might drift off to sleep listening one new meditation in the evening for the next six weeks, just as I've done with the The Secret Universal Mind Meditation over the past six weeks.

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Brain Sync | Kelly Howell | Guided Meditation | Binaural Beats
After that, I may return to The Secret Universal Mind Meditation, take a rest, or continue with another audio.

So to clarify, the Brain Sync website seems to suggest absorbing one topic over at least a six week period, and not to make a playlist of different meditations on different topics, nor to shift topics around from week to week. I'm not sure why, because I don't see it explained at the website. Maybe brain waves prefer repeated vibrations. Maybe keeping things simple makes for more restful sleep. Who knows?

Anyway, if the freebie meditation is relaxing for you, maybe you will consider listening to it for the next six weeks. Be sure to leave a nice comment at YouTube thanking Kelly for making the meditation available for us, and please remember to come back to my website when you're ready to make a purchase so you can go through my affiliate links.

I hope you sleep soundly, have wonderful dreams, and wake up refreshed, happy and ready to start a new day!

Comments, please?




To be continued...



Resources

Guiding Echoes | Discover the wisdom of your soul
guidingechoes . com

Vacation Exploring Roman Britain: Design of a Spiritual Place

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling on vacation....starting with places I have actually visited before...in this post: England!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to England

If you missed my previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours
Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation has been to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, in which I virtually arrived at the Port of Southampton, did some sightseeing and found a place to stay.

In my actual visit to England, which happened as a family vacation years ago when I was in my teens, my parents chose to visit many different places. Because one of my parents was born in the UK, our focus was connecting with and meeting our extended family members. We also visited historic castles, churches, and went sightseeing What fascinated me at the time was the tremendous spiritual energies of history that could be felt in an almost tangible way, unlike anything I had previously experienced in the USA.
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In recent years, people from around the world have shared their opinions and answers to practically every question imaginable on the internet. I have discovered online what British people have known for centuries:

The tremendously rich spiritual history of the UK is influenced not only by the native religions, but also by having been part of the ancient Roman Empire.

Although the beautiful statues of Roman antiquity rarely appear so far from their source as England, inscriptions to Roman deities may be found in places like the baths of Roman forts. Ancient Roman British temples and foundations have been found at a few different archaeological sites in the UK.

Inspired by the idea of vacationing in England and exploring what remains of that Roman Britain place of Empire in ages past, I recently awoke from a dream and began my day inspired with a new idea. The idea is a theory of design that might incorporate ancient and contemporary spirituality in the same place, with the architectural design and layout of a temple site. The design theory is based on two things:

Contemporary interpretations of some ancient Roman religious decrees hold that neither animal sacrifices, nor statues of the deities, were deemed appropriate for Pagan Roman religious worship during the reign of the Roman King Numa. This interpretation, accepted by numerous contemporaries, confirms an early expression of humane and vegan offerings to the divine. These vegan offerings may be ethically emulated for educational dramatization and historic reenactments of Pagan religious holidays, or for rituals held at spiritual sites.

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I have also been inspired by reading a recent book by internationally renowned British voice coach and author Stewart Pearce, whose writing has greatly influenced my feelings about integrating ancient and contemporary New Age style spirituality. The book is The Angels of Atlantis. The book contains illustrations of cards which are available as separate items. I do not own the cards, although the images are lovely.

The book is quite amazing, and describes relationships between archangels, Atlantis, locations on earth, the heavens, and a theory that the names ascribed to deities of the ancient Egyptian and Greek mythological spiritualities were actually the names of Atlantean priests and priestesses of angelic energies.

The energies I feeling emanating from a piece of pink Himalayan rock salt have also been a strong influence. The rock salt, in the form of a tea candle holder, rests in an arched wall niche in my home. Beside the rock salt, and sharing the same niche, are a small replica statue of a Roman Goddess and a flower vase made of a seven day candle with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe wrapped around it. Of these three objects, my sensual impression is that the rock salt feels stronger energetically.

It is possible that the divine, having always been associated with the unknown and the unknowable and in current practice often referred to as being "of the heavens", may have been the result of extraterrestrial energies felt on earth. I'm not saying that aliens arrived on space ships or anything like that. However; the energies of the sky and the stars have been an enormous inspiration to people from times long before recorded human history. These energies may been among the unknowable divine that ancients worshiped.

These energies, which we may know as angelic in contemporary practice, were honored in groves, stone circles, and so forth...both in human-created and naturally created spaces. Early temples, so to speak. The temples may have had a presiding priest or priestess. However; as time went on, people had more things to do than preside as a priest(ess) over a temple space. And so, images of the priests/priestesses may have been created to appear to serve the space, when human priests were absent.

Because the images may have represented priests/priestesses who could "put in a good word" with the angelic, extraterrestrial, heavenly, unknowable divine, people may have left presents or offerings near the statues. Not as divine offerings, but as offerings to the priest or priestess. Over time, the statues may have became conflated with divine energies, and at that point people might leave offerings for statues which were, perhaps, never intended to represent the divine. Only to represent the presiding, yet absent, priests/priestesses.

And because ancient "deities" had very human traits and foibles, it stands to reason that those whom we refer to as ancient deities may, in fact, have been human beings who acted as priests/priestesses.

Outlandish stories arose about the priests/priestesses and their powers, perhaps because of peoples' desire to believe in the impossible...and perhaps, as it is in the present, it's kind of fun. Disneyland indeed has its ancient precedents. Maybe Venus was an exceptionally beautiful and charming priestess of the angelic energies. Maybe Mars was a warrior for his "main profession", that is when he wasn't serving as a priest. And so on...

And again, before carving rock was invented by humans, the most ancient icons of worship would not have been statues representing the divine as human. Instead, the earliest focal points of worship would probably have come from nature. Inspiration may have come from trees, animals, rocks; for example a large black meteorite that fell from heaven to earth was highly regarded as divine.

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So, with this theory in mind, it is very possible to construct a new style of temple which includes Pagan statues of Mars, Venus, Jupiter and so on...as part of the design, yet not as the main focal point of worship, which could be a natural grove, the heavens, rocks, or what have you.

So, the temple design becomes, perhaps, an entry point which is promenade or column-lined path, in which the path is formed of statues relegated to the priests and priestesses from our shared ancestral history, as an experience of ancestral reverence rather than as a focal point of worship (aka statues of ancient deities, and also perhaps revered priests and priestesses throughout the ages all displayed within the same context).

Then the promenade or path leads to the sacred space, which does NOT have statues within it. The space could instead celebrate the miracles of the natural world. The place may be a grove, a circle of rocks, one big rock, or another type of natural area which is sacred for reasons that were created by divine energies rather than by human hands.

If an external space is not available, the sacred space might be a lavishly decorated room within a larger building, perhaps to include natural rocks, plants, a water feature, an atrium and/or skylights for example...the sacred space, again, being designed without statues or human images within it. Statues and imagery, when desired, may appear leading to the space, as a part of the pathway of experience within a larger space, and as a remembrance for our shared ancestral human heritage.
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This is my vision, perhaps, for a temple which attempts to combine concepts expressed in some contemporary worship systems, such as the idea of avoiding iconic images within a divine worship system, or that angels and deities exist as divine energy and not as created sculptures or images, while (whilst?) giving a nod to the images we human beings enjoy creating, sharing and experiencing, which represent a collective, human, ancestral past we share together.

Comments, please?



To be continued...



Resources

BBC - Ancient History in depth: an overview of Roman Britain
www . bbc . co . uk/history/ancient/romans/questions_01.shtml#five

Roman sites | English Heritage
www . english-heritage . org . uk/visit/places/roman/

Exceptionally rare Roman statue unearthed in City of London building site - Telegraph
www . telegraph . co . uk/news/earth/environment/archaeology/10411832/Exceptionally-rare-Roman-statue-unearthed-in-City-of-London-building-site.html

Falling Stars and Black Stone: Humanity's Worship of Meteorites | Ancient Origins
www . ancient-origins . net/unexplained-phenomena/falling-stars-and-black-stone-humanity-s-worship-meteorites-001901

Numa tradition - Nova Roma
www . novaroma . org/nr/Numa_tradition

On sacrifices, a guide for practicioners of the Religion Romana
www . societasviaromana . net/Collegium_Religionis/sacrifices.php

Stretching, Exercise and Relaxation While Travelling

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling....today will be a very short post about a relaxing stretch program that can be done from a private room.

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to STRETCHING



After a day of travelling, or when waking up in a room away from home, it's nice to have a familiar routine for stretching. I thought it might be nice for this series of blog posts to share a program I actually use. I find it's very helpful for relaxing in a sensuous, feminine way, and for limbering up the spine for other physical activities.

Lots of people enjoy being physically active. I imagine many of my neighbors grew up in families that encouraged playing competitive sports. We have bike riders, golfers, tennis players, swimmers and who knows what else. For some people, vigorous, strenuous and continual movement is second nature.

When I was a kid, Dad provided personal lessons in how to swing a British cricket bat and the best ways to throw a punch while wearing boxing gloves. Swimming and ballet classes were supported by Mom, who was a dance instructor in her youth. My parents both encouraged competition in the arts and getting good grades in school.
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When I was in college, I gravitated toward noncompetitive fitness like dance classes and weight training. After graduation, it was easy to work out in health clubs, with aerobic dance classes, weights and equipment. The ambiance of being a member of a group of exercisers is energizing, and I like the idea of being fit.

Movement is part of nature and community, and I often prefer to take a slower pace than some of the more athletic types. Whether it's walking the dogs, or enjoying a pleasant day as a sort of nature meditation.

Sometimes, too, I like to exercise in private. It's more convenient for me, and healthier for the environment than sitting in a car and driving to a fitness club. Fortunately, online video workouts and social networking groups make it easy to exercise in private while being part of a group too.

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With so many exercise programs available on the internet, sometimes it's hard to choose. Many fitness "gurus" have tons of free videos to try out before getting a paid program. I have worked with several different fitness-from-home programs, and each has its own strong points.

Earlier this year I got bored with yoga poses and repetitive motion exercise. I missed the artistry, and intellectual challenge that comes from learning new dance movements, but I don't have the kind of dedication that ballet/jazz/modern dance classes require. I decided to check out belly dance videos.

And then I found Coco Berlin. Like most contemporary fitness instructors, she has a lot of free videos available. She also has an extensive free course in belly dance, with a paid upgrade option. Social networking is available for Coco's updates, and for students to connect with ourselves.

Coco's style of teaching is friendly and patient. She favors comfortable ways to learn movement. Her voice is gently touched with a German accent, in a pleasant way that sounds almost musical to the ears. Her personal style is genuine and honest, sensual and sexy at the same time.

Despite wanting to learn belly dance quickly, it soon became clear that it would require more confidence. Although some movements are easier than they look, many are not. I wasn't sure I was ready to invest in the belly dance course right away.

Fortunately, Coco Berlin offers a sensuous dance workout, which is a less expensive option for beginners. After a few weeks of doing the exercises I felt my confidence increasing. As it turned out, Coco's sensuous dance workout was a really nice introduction the sensual aspects of exercise, and to some of the supporting muscles for belly dance.

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The sensuous dance course does not require an internet connection, except for the initial download. It may be ordered as a cd set, as a set of digital downloads, or both cds and downloads. I opted for both versions, so I could share the cd with Mom, and work with the digital downloads on my laptop.

The program package includes videos, audio versions of the workout videos, and pdf handouts about anatomy specifics featured for the workout. Coco includes a five-minute workout, a longer dance workout, sensuous tips and instructions, and a helpful wake-up-and-get-out-of bed stretch routine to start my day.
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Coco Berlin, an acclaimed belly dancer and instructor who travels, appears to have thought of everything I need to stretch, limber up, get ready for my day, and wind down afterwards while travelling.

Highly recommended.


To be continued...

Let's Visit Stonehenge Part V Southampton UK: Vegan and Pet Friendly

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling....starting with a place I have actually visited before: STONEHENGE!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to STONEHENGE

If you missed my previous posts about my dream vacation, here are the links:
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation is to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, ending up with actually visiting Stonehenge, returning to Port of Southampton, and preparing for the return home. So now it's time to consider whether I really want to go home, or whether I might actually want to stay awhile longer, if my Visas are good for it.

Since I brought my dogs with me (no easy task, given the strict UK regulations about pets) I obviously want to us to be able to hang out together. And, if the dogs are approved to leave the ship with their pet visas, the first thing I will want is a place to stay overnight.
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My first idea was to drive all the way to London. It's a big city, centrally located, with lots of contemporary amenities and lots of things to do. A place like London would probably have a good selection of pet friendly hotels and, turns out, it does.

What surprised me, after all the strict pet travel regulations, is how pet friendly England appears to be when my pet is safely with me.

Online search, from my location in Southern California, for pet friendly accommodations near Port of Southampton UK turned up a number of options. London is definitely not alone in the pet friendly hotel business.

After I've got my pet-friendly reservation, hopefully near a nice park where I may walk my dogs, I'll need to think about food for me and my dogs. This is more complicated than it sounds because of my nutritional choices. About ten years ago I slowly started converting to Vegan eating. This was not necessarily for my personal health or beauty, although those are both reasons some people swear by plant-based diets. It's actually because I just want to be kind to animals.

I first started to modify my diet as a pescetarian, which is a vegetarian that eats fish sometimes. I rationalized that fish probably live more of a normal life than most farm animals. They get to swim around with other fish and a fairly normal life, while they grow up to a fair size before that final, fateful last day in the water. I also switched my dogs diet over to a salmon-based dry dog food. They they really liked it.

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Over the past few years, I've participated in several massive online open courses that opened my eyes to the plight of dairy cows, chickens and other farm animals (MOOCs, which are sponsored by international universities). Knowledge and facts were what helped me make strong dietary decisions.

Giving up dairy products like cheese, yogurt and ice cream, was really difficult for me. Along with eggs, dairy products are included in the recipes for practically every baked good and comfort food imaginable. Aisles and aisles of most grocery stores are filled with merchandise and foods that don't qualify as animal-friendly. Food shopping is a tough call for vegans.

These days, the only non-vegan food I keep in my kitchen are eggs from pasture-raised chickens, which I mostly get from local farmers at the farmers market who promise me that they treat their chickens good. Aside from these pasture-raised eggs, everything I buy for the kitchen is vegan these days.

My dogs moved over to a similarly vegan diet too, with a combination of dry vegan dog food and recipes from Dr. Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, which is also my go-to guide for basic pet health care and maintenance at home.

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The secret behind Dr. Pitcairn's whole food pet nutrition is a home-made supplement powder that's included in the book's recipes. The authors call the supplement a healthy powder, and it includes a variety of different nutritional supplement powders in specific proportions.

According to Compassionate Circle website, pre-measured vegan pet supplements made by their company are designed to go with Dr. Pitcairn's recipes. The website also states that some of the supplement advice has changed since the book's first printing, and that the most recent edition of the book has more vegan and vegetarian recipes than ever. (4th edition, printed in 2017, as of the writing of this blog post)

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Compassionate Circle website includes Veggie Pets as their UK-based international re-seller for their vegan pet supplements. Veggie Pets delivers vegan pet food and supplements packages throughout the UK, which will be convenient for my vacation overseas. I'll probably contact the hotel where I booked my room, and see how to address a shipment sent for delivery to me when I get there. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to take dog food off the ship and through customs.

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According to Veggie Pets, the UK has quite a few choices in brands for vegan pet food, including Benevo, from Havant in Hampshire. Veggie Pets will also ship V-Dog, which is made in California. I can also order Benevo dog foods through ebay's UK site, if I prefer.

It might be a good idea to let the dogs try out Benevo and V-Dog at home before our vacation. I can add it into their regular food slowly, so I can see how they adjust to the different brands and if they like them both equally.

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V-Dog I can easily order from ebay, although it's quite a bit more expensive than the stuff they usually eat. I might have to order Benevo from Veggie Pet. It might have to be shipped from the UK to USA if I want to try it at home.

I might also want to order some vegan snacks ahead of time for me too, and have that sent to my room so the dogs aren't the only ones munching out in the hotel room. It might take a day or so get used to being back on steady, dry land again, after going with the flow of wave motion in the ocean liner for a week. I'm not sure I'll be up to grocery shopping that first day off the ship. If my room has access to a kitchen with a refrigerator, I will definitely want to go shopping later.
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Happy Cow is one of the better known websites for free vegan searches. If I want to help support the website, I can help Happy Cow with the expenses by making purchases at their affiliate shop for books and Happy Cow swag. People are encouraged to contact the website with new vegan-friendly restaurants and stores or ones that aren't already included in their database.

According to Happy Cow, Southampton UK is home to Rice Up Wholefoods, a five-star, all-vegan grocery store. Imagine shopping for food, with only animal friendly products on every aisle. This dream vacation is getting better and better.

The Rice Up website also has a page of links, including a global, UK-based company that makes cups and cutlery from plants, and The Art House, a vegan cafe in Southampton that displays affordable artwork by local artists. Why was I thinking of going to London? Southampton seems like a pretty nice place to hang out near the beach with my dogs. Sort of like California, but a little chillier.


To be continued...



Resources

A Reviews of Cat & Dog-Friendly Hotel Booking Websites | Spot Cool Stuff: Travel
travel . spotcoolstuff . com/websites/dog-cat/pet-friendly-hotel-booking-engines

Find Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants Near Me - Happy Cow
www . happycow . net

Rice Up Wholefoods Cooperative Ltd
www . riceup . co . uk

VeggiePets.com
www . veggiepets . com

Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part IV Port of Southampton UK: Cars and Tours

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling....starting with a place I have actually visited before: STONEHENGE!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!

Now...back to STONEHENGE

If you missed my previous posts about my dream vacation, here are the links:
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals


As you know if you read my previous articles, my dream vacation is to take my dogs for a walk at Stonehenge. Because I live in California, this scenario has taken quite a bit of strategy on my part to find a way to get to the destination. The strategies were covered in my previous blog posts, ending up with being on an ocean liner. So now it's time to really think about what it would be like arriving on an ocean liner, at a port in England with my dogs.

The last time I visited England it was summertime and I was in my teens. My dad had landed a job in Europe, and touring Europe and Britain was one of the last memories I have of family vacations from my youth. It was more than mere coincidence that we visited England in the summertime. It was strategic planning. One of my parents is from England, and my family was very much aware that harsh regional winter weather exists abundantly throughout the UK.

What I didn't expect, as a teenager who had grown accustomed to packing clothes in layers, was just how cold England can be at any time of the year. In June, while wearing a classic light tan blazer, I felt a little chilly and uncomfortable, even in broad daylight.

It's hard for me to imagine just how cold England is in winter. For this vacation, I'll probably just leave winter to some dark corner of my imagination. Instead, I'll travel during the summer months. Maybe I should pack a couple of sweaters, some boots and a pair of thick socks, just in case it's a little chilly the day I'm there. Yes, you read that correctly. I have one day. It's because, to the best of my knowledge, the ship usually only has a one day layover in Southampton.

Even though I'd prefer to be in England during the warmest months of the year, I might avoid visiting Stonehenge during the summer solstice. This solstice happens sometime in the second half of June, and what with the celebrations that happen at Stonehenge for this event, I expect that there would probably be a lot of tourist traffic at that time. Tourist traffic could slow me down. Definitely, I'll need to be super efficient with my day so my dogs and I will be back on board the ship in time for departure.

I also want to avoid taking a lot of time disembarking with my dogs at Southampton. Both the ship and the UK have very stringent regulations about pet paperwork, vaccinations, health and even pet visas. See my previous posts for more about pet regulations.

Something I'd like to have more clarification on, is exactly what happens when taking ship-approved USA-boarded pets off the ship in England. Are the pets given instant approval, based on paperwork done in advance, or are there more hurdles to clear at the port? Hopefully, the cruise line can answer this question in advance.

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I'd like to imagine that that taking the dogs off the ship is relatively simple and easy. In this scenario, I would arrange to have a rental car at the port, and then drive from Southampton port to Stonehenge and back. Travelling may take a little over an hour each way. Or it may be as long as 1-1/2 hours each way. I'll estimate three hours total for driving.

I would like to have about an hour or so to walk my dogs around the area. I don't plan to actually take them inside the monument, because I'm pretty sure dogs aren't allowed on the tours. See my previous posts for more about dogs and Stonehenge. My dogs are pretty small, and we usually don't really cover a lot of ground quickly. Walking around outside, on the public grounds, without actually approaching the monument tour area is fine with us. We may discretely absorb the ambiance from a distance.

If everything goes smoothly, the entire visit can be accomplished in four hours, giving us plenty of time to get back on board the ship. My dogs will be super happy to return to their familiar kennels, after having an exciting adventure walking around the mysterious, ancient monument with me. And as for me, I'll be basking in the glow of a successful adventure.

That was the "perfect day" scene. Now I need a backup plan in case it's not that easy to take my dogs off the ship at Southampton port. What if there is more paperwork for the dogs, long lines, additional required clearances for the dogs and that sort of thing after we actually get to the port in England? What if, in fact, it's not that easy to get my dogs in a rental car and drive to Stonehenge for a walk? What if some regulation requires me to be separated from my dogs? I don't want them out of my sight in a foreign country, not even for a few moments.

Although it's not an ideal vacation, it might be better, by the time I get to England, to let my dogs hang out at the ship's kennels while I go sight seeing without them. It might be fun to be with a group of people on a tour of Stonehenge.
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Without the dogs in tow, I may let a professional tour guide do the driving, someone who's experienced at getting tourists back to their ships on time. Relaxing my personal responsibilities, my friends, would be a great vacation for me.

After a week at sea, the dogs would already be used to staying in the kennels on board. No worries about separation anxiety. The kennel attendants would be already be friends with my dogs. They would have a regular day together, with all their regular meals and play time as usual. Who knows? They might not even miss me. They might not enjoy all the hassle of going to a new place, a place they may only visit once in their little lives. At least they would be safe, and well cared for. I wouldn't have to worry about them. It would probably be okay.

Of course, after coming back from that Stonehenge tour, I would probably want to check up on my dogs first thing. I would like to have a chance to do this before changing clothes, and before socializing on the return journey to USA. When my little friends smell all those wonderful, mysterious Stonehenge scents on my boots, I'm pretty sure they would both be just as excited and happy as if we'd gone on the whole Stonehenge adventure together.

Who knows what kind of dreams they might have that evening, and from what time in history? Dogs have such great sensory perceptions. They sense more than we do, and they seem to do it with far less sensory input than we people need.

At this point, after an exciting day at Stonehenge, my dream vacation comes to an end. I've visited Stonehenge and returned to the ship on time. Either I've taken my dogs with me, or I've reconnected with them later in the day at their kennel doggie cabins.

Either way, the dogs and I would be safely aboard the friendly ocean liner and ready for another enjoyable week at sea as we return to the USA. All too soon we will arrive, once again, at the port in New York City. From there we will rent another car and finally, after driving back thousands of miles across the country from this grand journey, we'll arrive back home. And from home, it will be back to regular life in California. The dream adventure of a lifetime is complete.

Or is it? What would happen if I decided to stay in England for awhile with my dogs? Maybe I could have a longer vacation, or maybe there's a overseas job in my future. If my dogs are welcome, my Visa is good, and it's affordable for me, it might be fun to stay on for a few more months. I wonder, though, where would we stay? How many friends would we make? What sort of nice, interesting, exciting and magical adventures might be in store for us?

To be continued...



Resources

Drive to Stonehenge and Southampton Review of Golden Tours, London, England - Trip Advisor
www . tripadvisor . com/ShowUserReviews-g186338-d663796-r241295287-Golden_Tours-London_England.html#REVIEWS

Michelin route planner and maps, traffic news, weather forecast, restaurants and hotel booking
 www . viamichelin . co . uk

Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part III Cross Country: Cars and Crystals

This is part of a new series of blog posts about travelling....starting with a place I have actually visited before: STONEHENGE!

A quick note before we begin:

Please remember to come back and click through the advertising banners and links you see in my blog posts when you choose to make a purchase. That's how I get credit or money to help support my blog. You will also find banner links of my affiliate advertising partners at the right side bar for your convenience. (scroll down) The shops and services I select to partner with generally have good to excellent online reviews. Although I haven't made personal purchases with all of my partners yet, when I do I'll share my honest opinions with you.

If you have an experience you'd like to share or a suggestion to make, post a comment below, and come back to my website often. I'll be posting more material soon!
Now...back to STONEHENGE

If you missed my previous posts about my dream vacation, here are the links:
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part I Ocean Liner to the UK: Pet Friendly
Let's Go to Stonehenge! Part II Cruises: Pets and MOOCs


As you know if you read my previous articles, there is only one ship that I can take for my trip to England if I'm bringing a pet; the Queen Mary II by Cunard. What I may not have mentioned is that there is only one USA port where I can board, and it's in New York city. I live in California, which is not only on the opposite coast, it's also on a different ocean. I can't just hop onto a boat and travel across the Atlantic, because my coast is Pacific. So how do I get to the Atlantic ocean and NYC?

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Since this is a dream vacation, my dream might be to sail around South America and, from there, up the east coast to New York. In this scenario, I would be travelling the oceans from California in a counter-clockwise direction (or anti-clockwise as they say in the UK). This would probably work great in a dream...my reality, though, is I'm not experienced in sailing a boat and there don't seem to be any cruises that work this route with pets on board.

I could fly, perhaps, and that would be quickest. But, as I mentioned in my first post, I don't like the idea of flying with pets. I'm not sure it's good for them, and airports are not my favorite places when I'm with pets. If I were to ask my dogs, I'm pretty sure both of them would give airport travel a less than enthusiastic response. But a road trip? Now we're talking. Most dogs love riding in cars, and mine are definitely no exception.
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I've traveled across country, with a pet dog as copilot, in a past life adventure I'll always remember. This was from a time, way back in history, in the olden days before cell phones.

We traveled the ubiquitous I-10 that traverses the southern part of our beautiful country using a customized map and tour guides from the local auto club. Those were the days my friends.

Nowadays, finding and booking a pet-friendly hotel is pretty simple. In my experience with cross country travel, it can be easier and more cost effective to look for inexpensive lodging through a recognized pet-friendly chain like La Quinta, Red Roof Inn, or even Motel 6.

My historic cross country trip took about a week of full-time driving in a fairly straight line. A drive from Southern California to New York City, on a diagonal line, might take a little more time. Lets say, a week and a half, or three weeks for a round trip as an estimate.

I don't want to worry about where to park when I get on the ship, so I'm going to opt for a rental car. Besides, it's nice not to put the extra mileage on my own car.

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Although most rental cars are traditionally gas fueled, if I can find a good electric car I might give it a try. Charging stations are popping up everywhere. For this little adventure, maybe I'd like to try something new, save on costs and help keep the air cleaner at the same time.

Okay, so let's take a look at how much time I'm going to need for this one-day walk with my dogs at Stonehenge. It's going to be about week and a half (each way) to drive between my location in California and New York City, so that part is three weeks, right? Seven days (each way) from NYC to Southampton, England is two more weeks. So the minimum amount of time I need to do this vacation is five weeks. Just over a month. That is one long vacation, by any measure.

Being as this is a dream vacation, I'm not going to go into the costs. A more realistic mindset would be needed for that, and why wake up from dreamland? It's becoming clear, though, I will want more than a vague dream before I finalize my plans for this vacation. I might also want a little bit of British magic.
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Sage GoddessAccording to gemology expert, Dr. Athena Perrakis of Sage Goddess, rare bluestones from Preseli, Wales were chosen by the ancients when they planned the monumental structure of Stonehenge.

As luck would have it, sample sizes of Preseli bluestones are sometimes available in small quantities at Sage Goddess.

I haven't ordered from Sage Goddess website yet, and having personally experienced spiritual online rituals given by Athena, I feel comfortable with her level of energy and attention. I also like her add-on options, like a custom anointing blend and wire wrapping for crystals to be worn as a pendant.

At the time of the writing of this blog post, Sage Goddess was unfortunately out of stock of the Preseli bluestones. Just in case they are out of stock for awhile, I found a couple of other shops I might want to choose from for my crystal of English magic.

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Exquisite Crystals
I haven't shopped at Exquisite Crystals yet, a website which has a little bit more of a size selection for their tumbled Preseli bluestones, with a choice of small, medium or large stones, ranging from 1/4" to 1".

Exquisite Crystals has good online reviews, and specializes in crystals.

Although I don't see an option for having crystals anointed or wire-wrapped, Exquisite Crystals sells incense and smudging materials separately. I may choose to pass my own crystals through scented smoke after receiving them.

And of course there's good old ebay, one of my personal favorite shopping sites to browse. I can find just about anything at ebay, including crystals, crystal jewelry, anointing blends, incense and so much more.

A small selection of Preseli bluestones is very likely to be found listed at ebay. There's always some risk involved with shopping at ebay, of course, because there are so many amateur vendors. I feel it's a good idea to always check the vendor's reputation from their customers' reviews and star ratings before I order anything.

I also like to take a look at the other things the vendor is selling, to see if they specialize in crystals, metaphysical, and the quality of most of the items, or if they have an offsite website where I can check them out easier.
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Even though it may be safer to choose a more obviously commercial vender, many amateur sellers are also very pleasant to shop with, although less predictable. Some have an interestingly eclectic variety of listings, and occasionally surprise with a personal note on a nice card or an unadvertised gift or gift bag.

Sometimes, when a great investment is planned with care, I may choose to risk a much lesser amount in the acquisition of something small that adds to the mystery and mystique of this adventure within a dream, and the dream within this adventure of a lifetime.

To be continued...



Resources

4 Tips for Traveling in ... Your Electric Car | Department of Energy
energy . gov/eere/articles/4-tips-traveling-your-electric-car

How Long Does it Take to Charge an Electric Car? | Pod Point
pod-point . com/landing-pages/how-long-does-it-take-to-charge-an-electric-car

26 Budget Hotel Chains that are Dog-Friendly
barkpost . com/26-hotel-chains-that-are-dog-friendly

Have dog, will travel: Top pet-friendly hotel chains
www . usatoday . com/story/travel/hotels/2014/09/03/pet-dog-friendly-hotel/14972079