I call my husband, Jay, and I Ricky and Lucy. Essentially because he calls me a Lucy and that makes him Ricky by default.

At some point earlier in the year I made the decision that we would take ourselves on a concert tour. Now, Ricky’s a great guitar player and all but me, I’m no singer. My claim to music fame is playing a mean air guitar and I do it proudly, and typically while wearing a fantastic pair of beer goggles. So, this tour would have to include performances by other bands and we’d stick to being fans.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to purchase all of the tickets. Sure, we bought some of them, and sure it costs money to travel, but we hit a few strokes of luck and also with proper planning it worked out quite well .

We bought the cheapest Gun N Roses/Chris Stapleton  tickets we could get for Nashville, TN., which is about 3.5 hrs away from where we live. We enough Hilton points for a free room a bit far away from the show itself, but we used Uber and paid quite a bit for it due to survive charges at a peak time. However, the room was free and once we got to the very top of the stadium we were given tickets ( if we wanted them) to go all the way back down to the lower section on the side. It was a side view and wasn’t a fantastic view of everyone on the stage, but it was a much better view than what I started off with! Fantastic show by the way!!

It just so happened that Ticketmaster settled a thirteen years lawsuit with fans over extra fees when purchasing tickets. Seriously, sign into your Ticketmaster accounts and see if you have any free codes. I had two free codes. Each code is good for two lawn seat tickets at one of their many LiveNation owned pavilions.

Not only did I have two codes but, one of my sisters had eighteen codes and gave me four of hers. I decided to share in the wealth. I chose the shows we wanted and got at least one more set of tickets to each show. I went into my Facebook and invited anyone who was willing to split a room and gas to the location of the show and I’d give them tickets. Friends of course, not compete strangers.

We went as far as Bristow, VA., seven hrs from home to see Def Leppard/REO Speedwagon. Ricky had a meeting and had to cancel on this one so it tuned into a big girl’s trip. We had a blast! Another great show.

Ten days later, Ricky and I made that same trip to see Black Sabbath:The End tour. Another amazing show!!

The next week we headed off to Charlotte, NC., three hours from home to see Rick Springfield/Night Ranger/ The Romantics. This time we took advantage of staying with Ricky’s brother and famiky who not only lives thirty minutes from the venue, but also dropped us off and we only had to Uber back late that night. This was another show where we found ourselves a spot on the back of the lawn when this time, the radio station approached us with two free upgraded tickets to a real seats about fifteen rows back. We’re  two for two on the seat upgrades! This time we shared an Uber with someone who split the cost of the ride.

Now, long before the free tickets came along, we purchased tickets for that same Charlotte location  to see Heart/Joan Jett/Cheap Trick. We invited friends, we bought lawn seats in a four pack (did you know you could do that?), and therefore we got a discount and each ticket ended up being $11.25.

When the free tickets came along, more friends got tickets to the same show and we reserved a two bedroom, two bathroom room at Homewood Suites mi uses from the show. We now had nine people splitting the cost of a room that had four double beds and a sleeper sofa. But guess what? The hotel overbooked and our room was no longer available when we arrived. Now they had a room with one King bed and two doubles, so they provided that of course, and at no extra charge to us, they gave us the connecting suite with another King bedroom, kitchen, living area with sleeper sofa.We now had three bedrooms, two living areas with two sleeper sofas, two kitchens, and three bathrooms. I’d say that worked out very well in our favor!

In between our tour shows, my mother, sister, teenage daughter, and myself had been golding onto Maroon 5 tickets that we had purchased last Christmas as a gift to ourselves. We held onto them for about ten months and finally it was showtime. Again, great shows all around. Ricky skipped this one as well.

He also skipped the last minute Bret Michaels concert that was nearby and Momma and me took advantage of that one. Momma is seventy-four years old and she loves his show. She fell in love with him after watching him on The Apprentice lol. Even though we already have tickets to see him in November at the Casino about an hour away, we saw this one as well.

Our free tickets ended with the Heart show back in Charlotte, but our upcoming Bret show is a birthday present for my bff and if you haven’t guessed it by now, we’re all splitting the cost of the room. Approximately  $34 each. I can dig it!

Ricky ended the Summer tour with a minor, outpatient surgery yesterday to have a Lipoma removed from his back. As you can see in the photos, he made even that fun!

If you’re not super picky you can definitely see what you want and go where you want to go on a budget.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our tour story as much as we’ve enjoyed living it 😊 😎🤘🎸🎤🎙🎶. Rock on!

Happy Travelin’



I assure you, you have not lived until you’ve traveled from place to place attending mostly Rock N Roll concerts with your  70 plus mother in tow (it’super fun!), but let me REALLY, REALLY ASSURE YOU, that you have not lived until your mother’s pants fall down at the airport while waiting to check your  luggage.


For starters we can all take comfort in knowing what a trooper and a great sport my seventy-four year old mother is. I always say I live the life of Lucy and she is clearly where I get my Lucy-ish lifestyle from.

Several hours before this photo was taken in San Diego, California, we waited at the curb-side luggage check outside in the pre-dawn hours at the airport in Knoxville, TN. where my mother, my daughter, and myself, were also waiting for my husband to park the car.

I suppose the three of us were hanging out checking our phones when I heard a yelp from my mother and my name called out by her somehow at the same time. When I turned my head to look her way, my mother’s pants were around her ankles and she was bending over with her bottom facing toward, not away from, but toward the groups of people being dropped off and exiting cars. Keep in mind, had she been facing the other direction she would’ve only shown myself and my daughter her bottom but no, not her lucky day apparently.

The backstory to this particular pair of pants is that they were my pants. She had spent the night with me the night before flying due to our early flight and was still wearing what she had worked in, and had forgotten the pants she had planned to fly in. I told her how comfortable she would be in these pants and loaned them to her.

When I ran over to help grab my mother’s pants off the ground and pulled them up, something wasn’t quite right. Not only were the three of us laughing with tears streaming down our faces because of the situation thus far, I had to tell her that she had the pants on backwards. The front/side pockets were in the back, and the back pockets were in the front, which also contributed to them not fitting properly in the back to begin with.

At this point we were left with no other option than to tie her sweater around her waist tightly to use as a belt of sorts. That, and lie down on the sidewalk and laugh until I cried of course. My teenage daughter was laughing but she couldn’t even look at us. My mother had tears streaming down her face and couldn’t even speak from laughing. Fortunately, my husband missed the entire episode!

Eventually we were able to get our luggage checked and get her inside to the restroom and at least turn the pants around. All she could say when she was finally able to speak again was, “They felt like they fit fine.”

Enjoy! Happy Travelin’ 🙂




Salt Lake City Public Library

If you’ve ever seen a more beautiful library then I’d like to see it, too!

I’m sharing the link to my other blog with my trip to the Salt Lake City Public Library that showed up in my memories today. I guess this makes me a cross-blogger?? I can’t be everywhere at one time, except all over the Internet. http://www.barrelassin.com

Happy Travelin’ 🙂



Celebrating In Hawaii 

We recently celebrated my mom’s 74th birthday in Hawaii. Here’s  some quick tips on how we made that happen:

Her birthday is in June. On Black Friday, we logged onto Alaska Airlines website and booked a trip with a $100 deposit per person( we opted for the  $65 per person as well for trip insurance since the trip was seven months away and this would allow us a refund if anything came up during that time to prevent us from goung.) So, $165 per person on the day of booking. Alaska Air has vacation packages that allow you to create your vacation, book it, and make payments of however much you want, when you want, as long as the vacation is paid in full 30 days before the vacation start date. So, we made mom a calendar for Christmas that included photos of her past vacations. She loved it. When she reached the last page, there was a photo shopped picture of her in Hawaii, telling her that she would be going for her birthday in June. Now she loved it even better!!

We’re not rich people so there was a twist to this gift. Hawaii was somewhere she has always wanted to go. We knew she would be more than willing to pay her part of the trip. So essentially, her gift was that we were finally willing to fork out the money and pay for ourselves to go with her, because that’s what she wanted. She would never go unless we went. “Merry Christmas, Mom. You’re now in debt for your part of the trip.”Lol. 

The other catch was the fact that Alaska Air didn’t fly out of where we live, and even the closest airports nearest to us had a much higher package price. With a little bit of pre-planning that could be fixed. We were willing to drive to an airport just 3 hours away, and take flights to Portland, Oregon using points and some money to fly with Southwest Airlines. 

Once in Portland, we used Hilton points that we had saved between us and stayed in an Embassy Suites at the airport. Free happy hour and breakfast, and then a free shuttle to the airport to fly with Alaska to Honolulu, Hawaii. Once we were back in Portland, we stayed again for free using points at Embassy Suites, then took the free shuttle back to the airport and flew Southwest back to the airport three hours from home, then we drove home. 

It sounds like a lot, and can be daunting at times. But if you’re willing to think outside the box and do some serious planning, you can do it, too. 

For reference, booking on Black Friday or Cyber Monday saved us about $75 off the package. Our trip was about  $5,300 for 4 people. 

The trip included:

2 semi ocean view rooms on the North Shore of Oahu at th e super amazing Turtle Bay Resort.( We had to pay a $38.00 per day resort fee upon checkout payable directly to the resort only.)

Roundtrip  airfare for 4 adults. ( 4 people was considered some sort of group rate for flying.)

1 convertible rental car for all 5 days. (Other cars are cheaper, and the convertibles do not hold luggage for 4 adults. Be sure to consider that.)

Trip insurance.

A deluxe seating luau about an hour away from the resort. You can see a smaller luau at the resort (Turtle Bay on certain nights) for free and save about $500.00. 

Aside from the package, we purchased 3 day Oahu Go Passes from smartdestinations.com, and used it to see the sites cheaper, and with a 3 day or more pass, you can choose one premium attraction. We chose the Dolphin Encounter. But you have to schedule it in advance. Be sure to read about each attraction and the rules before you purchase the pass. There are also other luaus included with the GoPass.

We used our 3 day passes for:

 Pearl Harbour, Dole Pineapple Plantation, Waimea Falls entry; we hiked the short hike to the falls and we’re given  life jackets to swim under the falls. The Ocean Voyage tour at Kualoah Ranch, and of course the dolphin encounter at Sealife Park. 

If you’re willing to put in the man hours, it’s worth all of the pre-planning. You don’t have time for unexpected issues when only in Hawaii for 5 days!

We splurged on birthday dinner at 53 By the Sea. 

Be aware that the North Shore is a good distance away from some of these places, others are not too far. You can choose a hotel right in Honolulu or on Waikiki Beach also and take public transportation and save the cost of the rental car as well. 

Happy travelin’ 😊

How To Be Nice To Housekeeping.

If you’ve ever been the one cleaning up after guests in any type of vacation or overnight property then you already know what a difference five minutes can make during your day.

I, personally, have always tried to clean up after myself in a hotel before leaving. Even as a teenager back in the days when we’d rent rooms for parties! I’d be the one walking around trying to make the place presentable for the housekeeper. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “that’s the maid’s job.” In my opinion, the “maid” is not my personal maid. The maid works for the hotel, and typically hotels do not pay a tremendous amount of money to the maid.

It’s the smallest of things that you can do before checking out to make housekeeping’s day a little brighter, and take some of the backache out of it for them.

1) When I can, especially if it’s just a one night stay, I only use one trash can, rather than one tissue or  beverage bottle in every can.

2) I place every single towel and washcloth in the bathtub or shower.

3) Before placing that one last towel or cloth in the tub, I use it to quickly wipe the hair off and out of the sink. Cleaning hair for a maid can take a lot of time and walking into a bathroom covered in hair does not make for a great day.

4) A lot of hotels do not use bags in the trash cans anymore. If I’m in one that still uses them, I take them out and tie them by the door so that they can grab them on the way out. If they don’t use bags and I need to use more than one can, I try to keep my garbage in the bag it came in and placed in the can, and sometimes I even place the can by the inside of the door. This saves housekeeping from all the walking back and forth with cans. They can empty it into their bag upon entering and then put the can where it goes.

5) Unless you’re really going to use it instead of piling it up in a basket with a thousand other bottles, don’t take the extra soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotions. Leaving the unopened ones where they belong allows the housekeeper to not spend all of her time counting and replacing them for the next guests.

6) If you’re not running out in a hurry, take the sheets and cases off and pile them in the center of the bed. The housekeeper can grab them up and take them out swiftly. 

7) I usually give a quick swipe with my hand or a cloth or tissue to any crumbs left by me on the tabkes, dressers, or nightstands. Takes 2 seconds.

8) Put all of those stupid clothing tags from the clothes toy just bought on your vacation in the trash. Picking up tags all over the room before using the vacuum can be a bummer.

9) Don’t take the pen and pad, someone has to replace it. Put all the remotes back in front of the TV. You don’t like to hunt it down to change the station, and neither does the maid!

10) Open the curtains. Walking into the bright light of day automatically feels better than walking into the dark, gloomy room to clean after a complete stranger. And if you can swing it, leave a tip. I don’t always leave a tip, but when I do, I like to leave a note thanking them for their kindness during my stay.

 So many people will take the time to write out a long list of what is wrong with the property, usually in cabin rentals. Save it for the company if you insist on leaving a maintenance list. Tell the maid to have a nice day.

Be nice. Nobody aspires to be a housekeeper when they grow up. It’s a very difficult job but someone has to do it. Imagine if everything was done when you walked into a room but you still had to vacuum every single room and make the bed from start to finish. That would be plenty tiring enough without adding the hairy mess to the party.

Simply put: don’t be a dick 😉 .

Happy Travelin’

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