Stuff Her Stocking with an Adventure!

Stuff Her Stocking with an Adventure!

1Travel by boatTurtle!Bungalow

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for something extra special with which to woo her this holiday season? A trip to “Tahiti” should do the trick! (Bora Bora, to be exact.) If you love Hawaii, imagine all of its exotic romance and adventure minus the overwhelming tourism.

 

Need a perfect place to stay? Le Meridien Bora Bora, nestled on an islet and surrounded by an exquisitely-hued turquoise lagoon, is a dream-come-true destination. Once landed in Bora Bora, you taxi by boat for 20 scrumptious minutes to your elegant home away from home. There, you will find white sandy beaches, an abundance of coconut trees and giant leafy tropical plants. There is lagoon swimming and snorkeling, decadent food, private spa for two, over water, glass-bottomed bungalows, melodic greetings of “Ia Ora Na”, walking paths, and an underwater chapel. Of course, you can find many variations of these luxuries throughout all of French Polynesia’s hotels. (Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tikehau, etc.)

Turtle Rescue 1So, what sets Le Meridien apart from the rest of Bora Bora’s gorgeous choices? Along with its alluring romantic vibe, it is also the home of Bora Bora Turtle Center. In addition, Le Meridien has a fully-staffed Ecological Center with informative, hands-on lectures about sea life via their Touch Pool, Museum, & Educational Aquariums. They aim to help visitors participate in saving and protecting coral reefs, turtles, and more.

My partner and I fell in love with this place. It not only caters to the romantic, but also the animal lover and environmentalist in both of us. We spent an afternoon swimming with rescued turtles in their sanctuary. Our guide was a strict, but kind marine biologist, who half-jokingly threatened harm upon us if we touched any of “her” creatures. Rest assured, we did not. We did, however, capture some gorgeous photos & videos!

Le Meridien Bora Bora’s website boasts that it is “the preferred protection of marine turtles in French Polynesia”. We had first-hand experience of this great respect when the French Navy arrived just as we were heading to the dock. They released 17 captured turtles used as “pets”, and brought 3 malnourished young turtles to the awaiting staff for immediate care. Clearly, Le Meridien Bora Bora is the place to be rescued (in so many ways). But, don’t take my word for it. See for yourself! #StockingStuffer

Double Dip Tips: Feed two love birds with one seed, & set the getaway dates for the week of Valentine’s. REALLY surprise her with an extra “secret getaway” by taking a quick puddle-jumper to the remote pink-sand island of Tikehau for some of the BEST snorkeling & diving around! Need proof? Keep checking my Facebook Page for some Tikehau action coming SOON! (hint hint – New Year’s first Tuesday!)

For more on what the Islands of Tahiti have to offer, go to: www.tahititourism.com

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Dear Portland,

Dear Portland,

Dear Portland

I know we’ve only just met, but I felt compelled to tell you that… I like you. I’m sure you hear this all of the time, but you’re gorgeous. I knew you were cool the moment I arrived and the only available car to rent was a Subaru. (And, only because all of the Prius were booked). I feel like I’ve met a kindred spirit. I don’t mean to be so forward, but your bicycle-friendly streets & bridges had me longing to explore your mountainous terrain. What a breath of fresh air you are! Literally.

Oh, how I like you. Let me count the ways…

Portlandia

You are sexy.
With a statue depicting a woman of strength and grace, perched upon the Portland building as a welcoming beacon, I must bow to you.

You make me laugh.
You gave us “Portlandia” the web series! I couldn’t resist driving by the “Feminist Bookstore”, In Other Words,  where many hilarious episodes have been filmed. I’m going to tell you a secret. Please keep this between us. I got a little fan-girlie over coming across the set of “Portlandia” while stopping by Laughing Planet for my new favorite Thai Bowl. I would cartwheel across St. John’s Bridge if I could work on this web series for even one episode.

You smell good.
So many coffee houses. So little time.
Coffee House-Five, Barista, Stumptown = Yes.
Your Rose Garden made me blush. So much beauty.
And, Forest Park, with over 5,000 acres of forest for hiking & biking & play. I got my Zen fix walking through the Japanese Garden. How many gardens do you have, anyway? I know Multnomah Falls isn’t exactly your territory, but it’s such an easy visit. I hiked a mile up for a spectacular view of the Gorge and was back to you in twenty minutes.

Rose Garden sniff

You taste good.
Your food was delicious. You knocked my knee socks off with Veritable Quandary. I can’t remember the last time I had such an exciting, exquisite meal. Loved the patio seating, too. Tasty n Alder had a sweet, family vibe. The large tables with tons of small plate options was a sure friend-maker. And, Peteunia’s gluten-free, sugar-free bakery. Need I say “yum”? A true success story of food cart to full store-front. Although, I’ve always heard of you as having vegetarian-friendly restaurants, I did notice that many of your menus boasted of bacon. You even had a new restaurant called “Lardo“, which seems to be all about consuming bovine, swine, & beer. Not really my thing, but I won’t hold it against you.

You are so gay.
Happy and righteous hipster lesbians (being walked by their dogs) sporting Icebreaker, knee-high socks, Doc Martens or clogs. You hosted this year’s Women’s Lesbian Softball “World Series”. Delta Park had five softball fields packed with us. What a treat!

Rose City Rollers 1

You’re feisty, diverse, and smart. You know how to play.
From Roller Derby to the Portland Art Museum to a demonstration on the front walk of City Hall, your city is full of spunk, politics, and forward-thinkers. While strolling your Pearl District with the best Stumptown coffee in hand after a fine breakfast at Kenny & Zukes, my heart nearly skipped a beat on the intersection of 11th and Burnside St. There, I stood between Icebreaker store and Powell’s books. Add to that a nearby bike shop with its own espresso bar (West End Bikes). Is there anything you haven’t thought of? I was impressed with the Rose City Rollers, btw. Those gals give good game. And a teammate named JK Rolling? Brilliant! Insane!

You’ve got personality. Multiple personalities, in fact.
I should tell you a little about myself to make clear what an impression you’ve made upon me. I’m an artsy, outdoorsy, get-gussied-up & act classy type. It doesn’t always mix well, but with you it was a breeze. I was also pleased to know that no matter where I bedded down, you managed to impress me with your dynamic character.
*Funky, musical, & hip with a touch of scandalous: McMenamins Crystal Hotel Resting at The Crystal
*Arsty, communal, & whimsical with a touch of eery: McMenamins Kennedy School
*Classy, upscale, intelligent, with a touch of modern: Hotel Modera
Please know that I don’t normally sleep around, but how can a gal really know her fit without a little experimentation?

I want more of you.
Rows of charming Tudor homes on Mississippi Ave. had me dreaming about a life with you. I promised myself that no matter how much I liked you I would not Uhaul it this time. But, I must admit I’m already planning my return. There is so much more of you to explore. I long to feel your fall & winter vibe. After all, I wouldn’t know you as Portland without a little rain, right?

Until we meet againThank you for the memories.
Your admirer,
~Traci

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Becoming Captain Snorkel~Diddie

Becoming Captain Snorkel~Diddie

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I distinctly remember the day my Aunt pushed me into a crashing wave on the shores of San Diego to “remedy” my intense fear of the ocean.  I was 4 years old, and my very young parents had just been divorced.  My mom took custody of my little sister and me, and joined the Airforce in her best effort to take care of us.  Unfortunately, it meant that I had to stay with my relatives while she endured boot camp.  Of course, I misunderstood and thought my mom had left me.  I was devastated and began to develop a fear of practically everything in the midst of this separation anxiety.

The ocean, in it’s mysterious, overwhelming power, terrified me. Needless to say, my Aunt’s push didn’t help.  It only led to my choking down what seemed like a gallon of salt water in between panic-stricken sobs that would later have my little face purple with broken blood vessels. I felt betrayed by my family and violated by the Mother Sea. Lost in my own abyss of hurt, I carried this insult with me for way too long.  It took many years of troubled living to sort out my messy pile of resentments. Like waves of the ocean, hard lessons would come crashing into my world as I chose to act from fear instead of love.  Miraculously, a breaking point occurred in 2000. My first step was made toward true healing as I entered sobriety.

I had a badass of a spiritual mentor who put me on a fast-track plan of brave actions.  She insisted that I learn how to swim- literally. Desperate to feel better, I followed her directions with vigor. Every day, for several months, I took to the shallow lane at the YMCA. To my surprise, I became a fairly decent swimmer. My inner mermaid was ignited!

In my second year of sobriety, a few close buds and I created our own mini-triathon. The Southeastern coast of North Carolina was fierce that afternoon, but I was determined to follow through. Something happens when you hit a tipping point.  I was done relinquishing my life to fear. I plunged into that water and sliced through the charging waves with all of my child-like might. Halfway through the swim, I nearly fainted as the chop kept tossing me around. My swim-mate grabbed hold of me, and we took it slowly, together, the rest of the way. Key word: together. My soul opened up to community – a new family of my own choosing, and I found that I never had to face my fears alone again.

Flash forward to my 11th year of sobriety as I snorkeled for the very first time on a Sweet trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  It couldn’t have been a *sweeter* experience. My Dear One witnessed my initial head-duck into the water as I squealed like a giddy little girl.  The reef was alive and dancing with spectacular color. I had never seen anything quite like it before. This was the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life. Since then, I’ve explored The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and just recently (& quite reluctantly) returned from 20 magical days on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  I am a changed woman. From a frightened little girl to Captain Snorkel~Diddie, my courage outweighs my fears today!

Feel free to peruse my photos, (taken by my brand new Coolpix underwater camera) and bare witness to the glorious sea-life of Hawai’i! If you need some help in planning YOUR snorkel adventure, I strongly suggest www.bigisland.org.

Captain Snorkel~Diddie

The big Island of Hawai'i is THE place to get your snorkel groove on! Check out bigisland.org to make your own snorkelicious adventure dreams come true!

210 Photos

Also, if you want more tips on some of the BEST of the Big Island experience, be sure to look for upcoming articles in Curve magazine!

Sweeties, be sure to hit up Babs, aka Ms. Bomb Diggity, to schedule a snorkel outing with me while in Cozumel.

Shout out to United Airlines! They have a brand new direct flight from Los Angeles, Ca to Hilo, Hawai’i.  Less time in the air & MORE magnificent time in the water.

NEXT WEEK: I’ll be posting Part Two of “Becoming Captain Snorkel~Diddie” with video footage & more lessons from the Mother Sea.  Stay tuned! xoxo, ~t

 

 

 

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In honor of Pride Month: a tele-summit for women who love women!

In honor of Pride Month: a tele-summit for women who love women!

 

Dearest T~bugs!

I have a special invitation for you to join me for a series of conversations with amazing women, like Kate Clinton, Merryn Johns, Shannon Wentworth and more, about living your best lesbian (and bi) life!

This eight day internet event is free to my T~bugs, so please sign up and enjoy hours of insightful, empowering conversations.

Enjoy your complimentary access to this event!

My conversation will air on Tuesday, June 26th at 4pm PST; however, I encourage you to listen to ALL of these wonderful women!

This event is special because it’s the first event designed for women who love women to show you how to rock your BEST self forward and live your BEST life.  It’s all about #GoodIsness!!!

 

Your lesbian experts are:

  • Kate Clinton — Lesbian icon and political humorist
  • Merryn Johns — Editor in Chief — Curve Magazine
  • Nicole Breedlove — CEO and President of OurSistaCircle. A social networking website for lesbians of color worldwide.
  • Pauline Miriam — Founder and CEO — Hot Flash Dance Parties, LLC
  • Liz Margolies, LCSW — Founder and Executive Director – National LGBT Cancer Network
  • Traci Dinwiddie — Actress, Yogini, African Drummer, Part-time Bad Ass and Full Time Fruit Cake
  • Shannon Wentworth — CEO and founding partner of Sweet, a lesbian travel company
  • Dr. Frankie Bashan — Founder and CEO of Little Gay Book – Matchmaker, Therapist and Dating Coach
  • Mimi Gonzalez — Cuban-Italian American and a professional comedian of almost twenty years
  • Carolyn Gage — lesbian feminist playwright, performer, director, and activist and Lambda Award winner
  • Kathy Belge — Activist, Journalist and Guide to all things Lesbian on About.com
  • Aliya Hallim-Byne — Founder of Wonder Women, Relationship Coach and Matchmaker.
  • DJ Jodi Dustin — Rocking New England with T-dances for women and their families
  • Poppy Champlin — Comedian, Improv Artist and a member of the Queer Queens of Comedy
  • Barb Elgin, MSW, LSCW — Relationship and Dating Coaching for Single Lesbians and Lesbian Couples, Founder and Host of Lesbian Love Talk Radio Show
This is your chance to learn more about how to get and stay healthy, improve your relationships, get started on creating that business you’ve been dreaming about, and learn how to be an effective community builder. This is also a great opportunity to energize yourself with positive, powerful female energy.

 
It’s time for you to live your most wild and precious life. Join us, and step into the life of your dreams.

Enjoy your complimentary access to this event!

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My First Trapeze Cabaret!

My First Trapeze Cabaret!

 

Training for this Cabaret felt much like falling in love…  It hurt sooooo good!  There were many mistakes, many gorgeous treasures found along the way as I fumbled into this mysterious & utterly magnetic craft.  I felt raw & emotional as I spent hours twisting & turning, hanging & nearly falling…  It was worth it.  It IS worth it.  I believe I may have found something to build upon for the rest of my life.

Thank you, Arnica!  Thank you, Epsom salts! Thank you, Nina Simone.  Without you, my training for this Cabaret would have come to a fast halt.  Most importantly~ Thank you, my Dear One.  You inspire me every day.  This piece, entitled “True Love”, is absolutely dedicated to you.  Yours, ~t

 

 

 

 

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Still in the closet after all these years…

Still in the closet after all these years…

 

Okay, I think it’s time I come out with this…

Some of you may have already known this about me, but I feel like it’s time for me to shout it from the rooftops. (or in cyber world, from my website.)

Here goes…

I am a Voice Actress!!!  Oooh, that felt good.  Ya know what else?  I love it.  I mean, really REALLY dig it.  No make up.  No costumes.  Just imagination and vocals.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  There is body.  If you take a moment and watch this little video, you’ll see just how much body it sometimes takes to create a MONSTER TRANSFORMATION (and in a teensy tiny closet, no less!) 😉

So happy to share my closet moment with you!

If you would like to check out some of my upcoming Voice work (***specifically on MAY 4, 2012), please like Shut Up! Cartoons! and then, go subscribe to Youtube/Shut Up! Cartoons! Then, watch “Zombies Vs. Ninjas”!  Then, LIKE that.  Then, comment on how much ya like it.  Then, tell ALL of your friends that they should do the exact same thing YOU did!  Then, I will be VOICE working a heck of a lot MORE.  Maybe even OUT of the closet!

Love,

~t

 

 

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#MoustacheMondayMania!!!

#MoustacheMondayMania!!!

 

So, I know some of you have been asking why #MoustacheMonday???!  I thought I’d take a moment to answer this question here on my little blog.  The answer is… why not?  I really dig rituals and especially enjoy a good laugh. Moustache Monday is a way for all of us to enjoy a community ritual and be as silly as we choose!

Speaking of silly, I thought I’d share a vid of my “Oscar night” Moustache Monday prep with you.  This was nabbed while I was digging into my recycling bin in search of my crushed Zevia cans of which I’d already disposed. Remember that one? “Red Carpet Rodeo”? I’ll proudly remind ya… 😉

Unfortunately for one of my neighbors, I was caught in the act while wearing my “costume” and in a very frisky mood. Watch the  vid below and see how my #MM persona spooks the bajobbers outa her!  Twas all good-natured humor, of course.  Some people get me, some don’t.  For those that do get me, my hat goes off to ya & my moustache goes ON!

Happy #MoustacheMonday, T~bugs!  May it be filled with hairy~lipped smiles all around!

Love, ~t

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Pearl Jam Seeps Into My Bones!

Pearl Jam Seeps Into My Bones!

 

We have an upcoming Cabaret show at my Circus school so, I took some time to practice my technique on the Trapeze bar in search of a performance.  I’d been attempting a few different variations of moves for about 30 minutes, taping each of my attempts to see what looked interesting.  Nothing was working.  I just couldn’t FEEL it. My body was bored with the repetition.  My heart was too.

I moved into the front studio and stepped up to a new bar thinking that a geographical change might help.  What I was not expecting was the perfect timing of an old, beloved Pearl Jam song to start playing on my last round.  Something happened!  I was inspired.  As you watch the vid below, you’ll see when the music starts to seep into my bones and technique falls away.  My body instinctively began to dance.  It was, by far, NOT perfect.  I made tons of mistakes; however, they became my little found treasures as I continued to explore the flow.  I was alive, and my mantra was “YES and…”!  You may also notice while watching this vid that as soon as someone came to grab their ipod from the music box, the party was quickly over. 😉


Each day I write a gratitude list to try and keep myself in a good, gracious state.  Music often makes top of my list.  This time, Pearl Jam got the gold gratitude star!

 

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Getting UnStrung: Lessons From a Rope

Getting UnStrung: Lessons From a Rope

It was a normal morning for me as I climbed 20 feet into the air on the rope in my Trapeze class.  I was trying a new technique in which one straddle pikes into the air and locks the opposite leg by hooking it onto the rope in order to pull the torso upright and continue the climb on the other side.  No problem.  Two more sets and I’m to the tippy top.  I got this…

Suddenly, I realize that I used the wrong leg to lock the rope and I’m 100% stuck in mid~air, tangled, with nothing to release me from the lock.  My coach is nearly 20 feet below me and gives me this look that says “UH OH!”… The grip from the tangled rope is getting tighter and tighter as I start to panic and quickly feel muscle exhaustion set in.  Did I also mention that I’m terribly afraid of heights?  I am terribly afraid of heights.  My first thought was “Oh GOD! I can’t do this!” My second thought; however, was…”You can do hard things!” In a flash, I muster every bit of strength I have in me to curl my torso toward the ceiling and pull myself upright and beyond until the rope loosens it’s seemingly deadly grip.  Once I got my trembling body safely on the ground, I had the biggest rush of gratitude along with a great analogy.

That challenging and terrifying moment was my growth spurt.  I didn’t initially think I had it in me to pull myself out of it, and yet, I did.  It could be compared to any challenge in my life.  I’m remembering so many times when I have been stopped in my tracks by an extremely difficult circumstance, and had to pull from a strength only given to me by reaching beyond my little self to the big SELF.  I like to call them spiritual sit-ups!  It’s that last and final heave of effort and practice of FAITH that really creates the breakthrough!  Here’s to more spiritual sit-ups & MANY more breakthoughs!  xoxo, ~t

BTW, here is what a “successful” straddle pike climb looks like!

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Shape Online features celebrities who have tried Trapeze! Guess who claims the 5th spot!

Shape Online features celebrities who have tried Trapeze! Guess who claims the 5th spot!

 

 

Photo by Jeff Fasano www.jefffasano.co

 

#MeLIKEY!!!

Big thanks to Shape Magazine Online for covering a super fun & empowering way to stay fit!

P.S. I forgive you for spelling my first name incorrectly. 😉  Love, ~Traci

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