The Blue Lagoon

by on Sep.03, 2018, under 2018, Iceland, Travel

The Blue Lagoon is the most relaxing place I have ever been. You need to purchase your tickets in advance because they only allow a set number of people in to avoid over crowding. We spent all day there and ate dinner as well. There are 3 restaurants and a cafe. We had reservations at Lava Restaurant. Everything was delightful.

The locals were really helpful in recommending places to visit too. We only stayed in Iceland for 3 days. At the time (October 2018) it was a really good deal to fly from Iceland to Germany, but now (May 2019) that WOW Airlines no longer exists, I am sorry to say that it is going to be more expense to fly to there. If you have never been to Iceland you must go to the Blue Lagoon at the very least.

The Blue Lagoon offers massages, mud masks, and drinks. I got a massage, but didn’t think it was as good as a “normal” one, but it was relaxing and different. During the massage you are floating in the lagoon with a wet towel on top of you so you keep warm and every so often the masseur dips you into the water. The first mask is free and you can purchase other ones at the mask stations. They provide you with hair conditioner the silica rich water will dry your hair. There is a bar there too, and I believe your first drink is free too.

If you plan on coming to the Blue Lagoon, get a waterproof camera like I did from Amazon. It isn’t the best camera but it’s $30 and takes pretty good pictures and video. I didn’t want to bring in my 70D Canon or phone. I would be so sad if I broke it. I did see some people trying to wrap their cameras up in plastic, but it didn’t look relaxing at all. I am super happy I have all those pictures and videos, but now I really want to go back!

I am a skincare addict.

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No Trees in Iceland, Just Licorice

by on Sep.02, 2018, under 2018, Iceland, Travel


There are actually trees in Iceland, but when you first land you are met with a strange landscape of volcanic rock and moss. It feels very alien. It is one of my favorite places we visited. I can’t wait to go back and see more of its world renown scenery. I am really sad that WOW airline’s business failed. The Iceland economy was booming 6 months ago. I was reading in Bloomberg today how their fishing season was bad this year too. If you have a chance to visit Iceland, go. It is such a beautiful place.

If you like black licorice, Iceland is the place for you. There is a lot of licorice there. I’ve never seen so much of it anywhere before. You have to try some chocolate covered licorice and a shot of there licorice liquor, Brennivín. Licorice is part of Iceland’s history, when the first Scandinavian settlers came to Iceland they needed more calories to survive the harsh conditions and salted fish with seaweed wasn’t enough. They couldn’t plant flowers for honey bees and wheat doesn’t grow in the volcanic soil. Licorice doesn’t flower and the roots are what make licorice. Licorice is also sweeter than sugar.

Iceland also offers puffin, horse and whale. We accidentally bought some horse sausage at the grocery store. Hrossakjöt means horse meat in Icelandic. Remember to read the labels and use Google Translate, it is a really helpful program.

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Before the fun begins

by on Sep.02, 2018, under 2018, Travel

June is my shih tzu poodle mix. Dutch got her for me on our 1st year anniversary. She is almost 11 years old! I adore her, and she is spoiled. When I need someone to watch her I usually have my family look after her. If I am going on a short term trip I suggest using a site called Rover. Not all sitters are the same, so make sure you read the reviews.

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Traveling Abroad

by on Sep.01, 2018, under 2014, Blog, Travel

Settling in at Reykjanesbær’s Library bistro/bar

I am one of those people who like to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. I like to know what is around me and most importantly, where the good food is.

Before we went overseas I watched lots of YouTube videos of what to expect and what to avoid. I researched how to use the local transportation and learned where the locals like to go. Before you make plans to travel I recommend you do plenty of research. Check out your local library, ask friends who have traveled and use the internet. Google is your friend!

The most important things I took away from my travels is to pack lite, know how the local transportation system works and plan your day doing at least one touristy thing. Don’t plan too much in one day so you don’t end up disappointed or too tired for the next day. I decided not to bring makeup with me. I brought my face wash (Creave), moisturizer (Shiseido day cream with SPF 15), night cream, which hazel and toner all in little 3 ounce travel bottles. I also brought a couple of face masks for bedtime. As for clothes, I tried to bring tops that would look nice with leggings. I could always layer up if it got to cold and anything else I needed I could just buy.

We planned our trip 6 months in advance. All of our rooms were planned and our transportation. When we are traveling within the United States we usually don’t plan out so far in advance. We just didn’t want to worry about where we were going to stay and focus more on what we were going to do. Planning ahead does save money and you can shop around more from home and read more reviews.

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Puget Sound

by on May.22, 2013, under 2013, Travel

Port Orchard, Washington

puget sound, Kitsap County, Michele Cosper, boats, sail boats, Port Orchard, Washington Port Orchard, Washington Michele Cosper

Port Orchard Washington, Puget Sound, Island

Howe Park, Port Orchard, Washington, Michele Cosper

Trails, camping, waterfront and pollution. Port Orchard is a beautiful place, but industry and ignorance is destroying the marine life. I grew up in the outskirts of Port Orchard, on Glenwood Road, away from the marina. I used to walk in the woods and sing to myself. I was 22 when I left for Las Vegas and I would return every year for a visit. In the end of 2012, Dutch and I decided to live in Port Orchard for a time. October is a cold month, and we had plenty of rainy days, but there is nothing like the life which encompasses you everywhere in Port Orchard. My dog, June loves it here. She has a particular fondness of the trees in our front yard. Every morning when I let June out, she jumps into the yard and hops in the trees.

After the winter months, the Puget Sound is exhilarating. But I would not dare to fish or swim. Over the past 30 years there has been a decline in forage fish, salmon, bottom fish,  porpoises, orcas and other aquatic life indigenous to the area.

What’s happened?

Progress. Industry. Lack of awareness.
Port Orchard, Washington, Oil Spill Response, Puget Sound14 million pounds of toxic chemicals enter the Puget Sound waters every year. I don’t know about you, but I want to be able to fish and dig up clam without worrying about the toxins entering my body.

It is not entirely industries fault. We need to take responsibility for the pollution we add to the environment by learning how to manage waste products.

More than 60% of water pollution comes from things like cars leaking oil, fertilizers, pesticides, failing septic tanks, pet waste and fuel spill from boats.

Chemical or synthetic fertilizer can wash into storm drains when it rains resulting in high levels of phosphorous and ammonia in our creeks, streams and lakes. The oil leaking from your car and the dog waste you decided not to clean up, also becomes washed into the local water ways which eventually flow to the Puget Sound.

Lawn Care

High level of phosphorous and ammonia can cause dead zones, algae blooms, and harm marine life. 

My brother, Richard has one of the most well groomed yards in Port Orchard. Every sunny day he is off work, he is riding lawn mower or tending his garden. Taking care of a yard as big as the one he has, is a passion. He is constantly learning about better ways to maintain his yard organically.

The first step in having a natural yard is to build a healthy soil. Use compost, mulch and apply organic fertilizers. Know which plants are right for your area. Water you yard smart and learn about pesticide alternative. Learn more about your lawn.

Howe Dog Park, Port Orchard Washington Port Orchard, Washington, Puget Sound, boats, Sail

Howe Dog Park, June, Dog, Port Orchard, WashintonThe Problem with Poop.

The first month Dutch and I moved into our new home we were greeting by several curious neighbors, some baring gifts from their recent harvest since it was October. One morning while I let June out into the yard to do her daily jump a neighbor with her two dogs and boyfriend came wandering over. One of the dogs was huge while the other about the size of my own dog. We indulged in small talk as the larger of the two dogs took a gigantic shit. I acted as though it wasn’t happening as the young lady held the leash and continued speaking of her current employment at the local Goodwill. I smiled and watched as her own boyfriend was edging up the hill with the smaller dog to leave.  Not only did she not pick up her dog’s defecation, the boyfriend had no interest in being at all chivalrous. In my front yard, right by the storm drain, they left the biggest monstrosity of doggie-doo-doo I had ever seen. Sigh. Needless to say, my courageous boyfriend took on the amazing feat and vanquished the mess.

I am shocked at the lack of courtesy some people have.

Port Orchard, Washington, Howe Dog Park, Poop, shih-poo

200 tons of pet waste is deposited in the Puget Sound EVERY DAY. Even when you leave it in your yard you still have raw sewage and bacteria entering the storm drains.  Did you know the as the poop ages in your yard, parasites become more infectious?  Not only are you helping the environment when you dispose of pet waste properly, but you are also keeping you and your pet healthy.

Protect the Puget Sound from pollution. Pollution from storm drain does not get treated. Don’t wash your car in the street, wash on grass and gravel or better yet, take your car to a car wash. Fix all your car’s leaks. Throw all of your garbage properly. Recycle all you can.

Unfortunately, pollution isn’t synonymous with the Puget Sound. Our oceans are being killed everyday. The next time you can do a little something to help the environment by practicing smart habits.Seattle, Washington, FerryPort Orchard, Washington, Sail boats Seattle, Bremerton, Washington, Ferry


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Port Orchard

by on Oct.05, 2010, under 2010, Travel

September 20th 2010

3 am was the start of our two day drive to Port Orchard, Washington. I packed too much for the trip, but I still managed to fit my 2 year old shipoo in front with me. June Bug, my shipoo was really frighten of the moving car. I had done my best during the past week to get her ready for this trip driving her to Starbucks’s and back. Ready or not we set off to Washington.

We traveled up the 101 toward the California and Oregon coast. When we finally reached California, I loved how the desert hills turn into the golden plains. Living in Las Vegas for almost ten years now, one forgets life beyond the desert.

The first night we planned to camp at Red Wood National Park. Map Quest had us traveling longer then the estimated time. We finally settled at a camp site an hour away from Red Wood.

In California filling up on gas, this was the view across the street

June got to stretch her legs and we quickly set up camp. It was 8 o’clock when we got to bed and we slept until 7 in the morning. Well rested, we continued our way through California.

The first time we had gone camping we lacked an air mattress, this time we were well prepared.

I love the  California mountains. I felt as if I was home.  My family used to drive through the mountains to pick black berries and aluminum cans.

It was really cold

The California coast is so beautiful! Dutch wanted to stop at one of the shoreline beaches to stick his feet in the freezing water. It was June first ocean experience. I thought I was going to lose her in the ocean. She chases a seagull into the water missing the first wave, but then almost got sucked in by the next. I ran to her like it was my life being taken away. June showed no fear. Heart pounding, barely breathing I fetched my June up rescuing her.

June right before she runs into the ocean after a seagull

Before we hit the coast we were in the mountains. We stopped during our decent to take this picture.

Into Oregon

There is no sales tax. I thought I would have enjoyed Oregon a lot more. It was a strange place. You can’t pump your gas and you can’t tip the gas attendant. Apparently  it is against the law to pump your own gas…

Yes it says Population 10,910

We got into to town late. The next day we took  my mom dad and sister to the Light House restaurant. My mom was dress pretty in a silver turtle neck. Cindy, my little sister looked wonderful. I had not really seen her in a long time. We are distance my sister and I, it is awkward for me to talk to her. I feel as though I am the one always trying to make polite conversations. I  love my sister, I just do not understand her. My mother is a delightful when she wants to be. My mom, Lisa hasn’t had the opportunity to experience the little things I take for granted, like going to a nice dinner. It can be a nightmare eating with her because she can be difficult, but its okay I understand. My Daddy, David is a passive easy going joker. My mom ended up not ordering anything and picking off of all of our plates :). We ate outside and enjoyed the view. Cindy saved us all and killed a bee.

After dinner at the Port Orchard Pier

I just love this picture

The last time I visited my brother was for my 29th birthday in 2009.  Aubree has grown so much since then. Her personality is really shining through!  Richard and Kelli are as happy as ever in their new home. Their home is truly a castle. A dream come true! I have to admit I am a little envious but mostly very proud of them.

Richard has two houses on his property. One used to be a garage, but was converted to a “mother-in-law” dwelling.  There is an old horse stable, another shed and a garden complete with corn and squash growing.

The main house

The “mother-in-law” dwelling


Dutch and I caught up with the family and met their brand new addition, Molly a dachshund shih tzu mix filled with lots of licks. I have never seen a happier puppy. June was a little jealous but got over it. They were soon chasing each other around the yard. Later on we stopped at Hi-Joy to check out the poker game. 7 card stud high-low roll your own, was the game being played. Dutch waited for a seat and played until he lost his 50 dollar buy-in. It was my fault, I gave him a time limit because I was exhausted. I didn’t play, I watched the folks and listened to their stories of how they got into poker. No one recognized Dutch, which was good, but everyone thought he must have been a noob since he wasn’t local. He is a two time World of Series of Poker Champion and has come in 3rd in stud high-low WSOP 2007   against Scotty Nguyen and Eli Elezra AND 4th place last year in the stud high-low mixed WSOP against Phil Ivey and Carlos Mortensen. He is really good. I have seen him play amazing poker. I think it is funny because one of the guys was trying to give him advice… we understand the guy was trying to be nice.  Que Sera, Sera we had fun and everyone at the game was really nice.

Hi-Joy Poker Room

Thursday the 24th after Miss Aubree Mai finished school we took her to the Port Orchard Pizza factory. Then we ventured off into the Goodwill and I found out Aubree does not like Hanna Montanan… I tried to buy her a purple guitar with  Miley Cyrus pictured on it but she rejected the idea real quick. I did find some treasure! Two packages of 1979-1980 first cover stamps! Just recently I rekindled my love for stamps collecting. Most of the stamps are worth a few bucks on ebay.

Pizza Factory Port Orchard, WA

Breakfast at the House of Pancakes before we hit the road to get to the Puyallup Fair

Don’t be late to do the Puyallup!

I woke up Bree at 7:30 and we were out of the house by 8 am. Hungry we decided to eat at the Pancake house across the street from Hi-joy bowling alley. I  ate too much and got sick. I was really thinking about the irony of it all as I was throwing up in the Pancake house bathroom. I wasn’t going to ruin my niece’s day at the fair. I managed to get back to our table and I was shocked at how ill I had become. I had never gotten sick from just eating… but then again I was eating fast. No matter we still headed out. We crossed the Tacoma Toll bridge and was on our way. Parking was 12 dollars. I walked off my sickness and was ready to go on some rides! Until… we calculated the cost of it all. Tickets were 75 cents each and rides were 6 tickets a ride. I wanted Aubree to have a good time so Dutch and I decide to ride one with her and give the rest of the tickets to her. We decide to ride the haunted house. Which was a HUGE mistake. 18 tickets later we looked at each other and laughed. The ride was so bad and short that we couldn’t do anything but laugh. We wanted to stand in front of the haunted house ride and take pictures of people’s disappointed faces as they were coming out of the ride.  Even the guy who ran the ride couldn’t look us in the eyes as we gave him our tickets. It was so bad! I felt hustled. In such disbelief of how bad the ride was I punished myself and swore I would not ride another ride at the Puyallup Fair. Aubree was a good sport though. She spent the rest of the tickets on some really cool rides.

They are waiting for me

Thank goodness the rides aren’t the only things to do. As the day got later the fair got packed. This was the last weekend of the Puyallup fair so it was expected. I found a great place to get scones and that made my day worth it. After our snack we walked around to see as many animals as we could. I wanted to get my monies worth! Poor Aubree… I told her a bunch of times to wear comfortable shoes.  I wore my hiking boots so I felt zero walking pain. I could see it in Aubree’s face, she was in pain but didn’t want to say anything. We found a spot which sold lamb skin fluffy shoes and got her a pair.


Port Orchard, Washington has the BEST dog park on Long Lake Drive! My niece took me, June and Molly to a wonderful dog park. Las Vegas has only a fenced in area where the dogs run around in. Port Orchard’s park is a huge area complete with trails in the woods! It is fenced in, and there is plenty of space. I was so impressed by it I made Dutch go with us again a few days later. From Mile Hill take a right on Long Lake Drive and it is the second road on the left. Easy to find. There is a membership of ten dollars. You do not have to join. The membership is to help maintain the park. If I lived it Port Orchard I would be a member for sure! Sure a wonderful place for puppies to play. There is not a separate area for big dogs and small dogs. It is an open area for all dogs. There are doggy bags spread out all over the park, but the bags are very thin… Be careful when picking up after your pup!

Long Lake Dog Park

Monday… The plan was to get up early and go to Seattle.

Port Orchard from the Foot Ferry

Eating lunch at Anthony’s

I do not remember what time we ended up getting up but it was later then I had wanted. I wanted to see my cousin who lives in Seattle. We took the Port Orchard foot ferry to Bremerton when I realized I had forgotten my phone. I will have to meet up with my relatives some other time. I was sad, but I also wanted to show Dutch around so it worked out. We rode the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle and got some great pictures. We decided to go to the EMP and SFM and found out they only stayed open until 5pm. We made it to the museum with an hour and a half to go through everything. We rushed but we got ‘er done. My idea was to walk to the EMP from the ferry terminal we got to about 5th street before we took the monorail. THANK GOODNESS. It would have taken us an hour to walk! My memory of Seattle isn’t what it used to be.

Seattle Ferry

Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum (EMP/SFM)

Cost $15 each and it get into both the music and Science fiction parts of the museum. We went through the Music experience first, played some music and looked at all of the instruments. The Science Fiction was a lot cooler in my opinion. I love SciFi.

The tree is from the movie “The fountain”

Dinner on the Docks

My dinner

I wanted French, Dutch wanted a view. The Fisherman’s restaurant is were we ended up and I was pleasantly surprised. We ate the local food and watched the sunset. The Seattle weather was prefect. I thought it was going to rain, but instead it was a hot and humid. We finished up dinner then caught the ferry back the Bremerton in time to catch the last foot ferry to Port Orchard for the evening. Lucky…

Looking out of the foot ferry

Dutch, June, Me, Aubree, Richard and Kelli

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Missouri in August s funny little story

by on Sep.05, 2010, under 2010, Travel

Columbia, Missouri 2010

Dutch and I had plan for this trip months in advance. We planned to stay a week and celebrate Dutch’s mother’s birthday. The flight from Las Vegas was fast. Did you know the Las Vegas airport has free internet access? It was a pleasant surprise, because like an old couple we arrived at the airport over two hours early. I sat and watch Futurama, and Dutch played Magic the online card game.

” I am bender, please insert girder.”

Our plan was to get a goodnight sleep visit Dutch’s mom and explore Missouri. Well, being it Dutch’s home town we had to go get drinks. One drink lead to another and we were wasted. Dutch was have an excellent day winning a prop bet here and there. He was very much up for the evening and the bar tender at 5th Down was really nice to us, hooking us up with some free shots. After testing our strength on a automated punching bag game and dodging a bar fight Dutch set up a after hour pool game. I was in charge of the jukebox. When we finally made it home thanks to our designated driver Chloe 🙂

What a fantastic day… until we realize all of our money was gone!. Upset and drunk we passed out.

The Next day…

My head ached and we both swore never to drink in excess again. We searched and searched. We called the bar just in case and we even watched the security video from last night, but there was nothing really to provide anything. I kept on seeing things on the video which looked like someone had pick pocketed him, but nothing was clear enough to accuse anyone. For about three hours we searched and thought of suspects. Ryan Tapen a friend of ours and also drinking with us was convinced we hid the money somewhere. Chloe said we were falling down all over the place, so we checked the yard. Nothing. We felt awful we wanted to fly back home to Vegas, but instead we slept all day.

After our horrible loss, and sleep we finally felt better to visit Dutch’s mom. I got up and picked out what I was going to wear. Dutch called his mother to make plans. I looked in my bag for a razor to shave my legs and found a hundred dollar bill… I follow the money in my bag and there it was! lol Did we hide it?

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Zion National Park 2010

by on Jul.31, 2010, under 2010, Travel

View Larger Map

We had a lot of preparation to do before the two and a half hour drive. Our plan was to leave at 2pm, but we didn’t have any camping gear and our shopping took longer then expected. We finally left at 7pm thinking we would be able to get to the camp site by 10pm. Unfortunately  halfway to Zion we remembered there was a time difference of one hour making our arrival 11pm-ish.

Our mission was to go camping and camping we did. As luck would have it we found a lovely campground which had late night check in. We had passed a bunch of hotels but we had our sights set on being out in the wilderness. Zion River Resort is a campground and RV site.  Not exactly what we had in mind but we could roast hot dogs, make s’mores and pitch a tent. The sites were close to each other but the restrooms and facilities were very clean and the employees there very nice. It was a bit pricey for the night but wroth it over all. The camp also had activities like a swimming pool, pool table and even a Monday adult poker night, paid showers and laundry room.  One could also take day trips on horseback or watch movies there too. We only stayed for the night and got up really early. We made a fire and breakfast then watched the sun come up. We arranged our stuff nicely in our car and we continued on our way to Zion.

Springdale is a lovely little town. Before entering Zion we had a coffee and looked around at some of the shops. As soon as we entered Zion we got a yearly pass to all of the National Parks. We then headed to the visitors center to plan our day. We soon found out we had to take the shuttle to get to the trails. The shuttle system is designed to keep traffic down. There is a scenic route you can drive your car through. It is about an hour drive so we skipped it this trip. Looking at our map we decided to go to the Emerald Pools lower, middle and upper trails.

The Choices of the Emerald Pools Trails:

Following the trail from the lodge we found ourselves needing to make a decision on the direction to hike, left or right. We went right and it was beautiful! Armed with SPF 50 and water we hiked until we reached the lower pools. A small waterfall greeted us and we walked under it. The mist from the fall was refreshing and encouraging.



After the winter months and after summer showers the water fall is bigger. Further up the path is the middle pools where the water falls from.

The picture above shows the edge of the middle pool where the water falls from.

Resting up before going to the middle pools.

The view beyond the steps. Here we are stepping on man made steps.



The middle pools.

The edge of the middle pools.

Dutch is pointing to where we need to go next for the upper pools.

It was a real tough hike to the upper pools. Zion was pretty busy and there were a bunch of kids hiking with their folks. Some were complaining about being tired. Once you reach the upper pools you can rest on the rocks. We found a nice comfortable spot in the shade.





Words can’t describe the beauty or the spiritual feeling you get when visiting this park. I can only say thank goodness it isn’t far from Las Vegas. On our way back down we passed some boys who took the left trail instead of the right trail. Going down we noticed the left trail would have been tougher and steeper.  Looking exhausted, the boys asked us if it was very far to the pools. We looked at each other then looked at the boys and told them it was worth it.

The hike was about six miles and took us about three hours. The pictures you see were taking by our Iphones 😀

Back to the lodge for Lunch! The lodge’s restaurant has some yummy food. Loved the salmon cakes! There was a place to get smoothies and frozen yogurt but we skipped it. Also the park features watering stations to refill your bottles.

We plan on visiting Zion National Park more often. The campgrounds within the park are on a first come first serve basis. The camping fee is only $16 a night, but there are no showers only restrooms. For more camping information in Zion go to, http://www.zion.national-park.com/camping.htm

You can bring your dogs but they can only go on one trail called Pa’rus Trail, located near the Zion Canyon Visitor center. There is a kennel near the park called Doggy Dude Ranch, for more information go to: http://www.doggyduderanch.com/

There is also a museum worth visiting inside the park. You don’t need to take the shuttle there you can drive. It is small, but informative. Learn about the culture which once inhabited the area. Pick up a National Park’s passport and collect stamps from each of the parks you visit in the future. We did and we love it. We only have one stamp… but not for long!

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Mom and Dad visit me in Las Vegas

by on Jun.20, 2010, under 2010, Las Vegas, Nevada, Travel

The Bellagio conservatory is a must see. Every season or when there is a special activity such as Chinese’s  New Year, the Bellagio’s horticultural staff creates a wonderland of botanical beauty.

It was really busy but we managed to take a few pictures.

Me and my dad looking off into the distance. We are admiring the giant butterfly on display…

After the visit to the garden we went around the corner to admire the yummy chocolate fountain.

David and Lisa are having a great time.

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