nav-left cat-right
cat-right
Just Added

Readers Comments

If you’d like to share something related to any of my blogs, just click on the contact button at the very top of the website and send along your message.

Signs of Autumn

From FS in San Diego
Autumn is a good excuse to make a Julian apple pie run.

From LA in the Bay area
I know it is Fall when I can wear a scarf outside and not feel weird about it.

From an old-timer in Florida
When it snows here then the summer is over.

See Chicago

KS in San Diego laughed about Chicago wanting to charge to take a picture of The Bean.
“When my husband and I were in St. Petersburg, Russia, a few years back, we were required to buy a permit and pin it to our shirt if we wanted to take photos inside the basilica. Well, you know how some Americans are – there were a couple of men on the tour bus sitting behind us who said they weren’t going to pay. Once inside, and without the permit, they took a picture. The last we saw of them, two burly Russian guards were escorting them out of the basilica. Made me chuckle – the permit was only about $1 or so — served them right (wish I had snapped their photo being escorted out!).”

Just Added

New Additions to You Said

I love hearing from val’s road readers. Be sure to subscribe and new updates will automatically be sent to your email address.

German Faux Pas from CS in CA When I was still living back in Germany many years ago, my home town was Nuremberg. Our neighbor city Fuerth used to have many US military camps. One day, I took the train from Nuremberg to downtown Fuerth, which is about 5 or 6 train stops away. At the first stop, an American soldier sitting next to me asked ‘Is this Fuerth?’. Which unfortunately sounded to my German ears like ‘is this first?’. So I answered ‘Yes, that’s first’, very proud of myself to help a stranger out. The guy jumped out of the train – and found himself nowhere close to where he wanted to go…. As soon as I saw the confused look on the poor guy’s face, standing in the middle of nowhere, I realized my mistake, but it was too late, the train was already moving again…. I was so embarrassed and so sorry…

Faux Pas Spanish Style From PM in NC
When Brian was in the Air Force, he was stationed in Toledo, Spain for 3 years. There wasn’t a lot of English spoken in Spain at that time, so the Air Force assigned a language specialist to the squadrons. Brian had a Sergeant who was from Mexico and obviously spoke good Mexican Spanish. When this fellow first arrived, they went out to eat. The Sergeant ordered ” 4 Tortillas” and when the waiter tried to warn him about it, he was adamant “I want 4 tortillas!” Most people in the US now know what a Mexican tortilla is, but they don’t know that a Spanish Tortilla is a POTATO OMLETTE. So this Mexican guy who thought he knew Spanish….got 4 BIG potato omelets! We still laugh about this one!

Living without Costco from BW in OR
You know, I can relate to your Mish Mosh about living without a Costco card, and all the withdrawal associated with that…..I’m happy to report I am finally living without Goldfish crackers! But I still stop and look at them in the store, which conjures up memories of happy little faces, crumbs in the car, and how those Goldfish went everywhere with us. It’s very emotional.

Miami Story from ms in CA
Wow, loved the Miami story. Heartbreak, struggling for life, complete exhaustion, revitalization, emotions, then memories via pickles for life. Good job!

Just Added

What You Said

Thanks to everyone who took the emotional journey with me in the chapter “The Miami Incident.” If you haven’t read it yet, it is under the TraVal button now. Below are some excerpts on what You Said.

Fights for Her Life too! from am in CA
I loved this chapter!! Sorry I didn’t comment on your Italy chapter – just got too busy but I did enjoy it. This Miami story is fabulous – poignant, relatable, compelling, entertaining. I can’t tell if one reason I like it so much is that it gives me insight into who you are – but I imagine if I didn’t know you at all, it would still have the same enjoyment level. Like you, I also had a near-death experience but mine was caused by a medical procedure so I wasn’t conscious enough to have seen the slide show. I certainly fought for my life though – a couple people who were present told me I was like the Incredible Hulk. Your comment about your Mom not understanding the importance of taking that pill every day is both sad and powerful. There are lots of things in the story that many people will be able to relate to.

Gasping for Breath from cs in CA
What a gripping and inspiring story, the Miami Beach Incident. I was gasping for breath while I read it.

Sympathy for Mother from pm in NC
Beautiful story about your experiences. I have a lot of sympathy with the story of your mother, as I was 17 when my mother died, and felt that she had deserted us, even though I knew that was irrational. My mother had died of cancer and did all she could to stay alive. Your story is very touching and you are quite a writer.

Thoughts for Japan from hl in CA
I read and re-read this story. It made me think about what is currently going on in Japan. People who they found after 9 days of being under rubble when others died instantly or perhaps gave up. It also made me think of my own mortality. I often wonder if I were to be diagnosed with a life threatening disease if I would have the guts or perserverance to fight. Then I think of course I would, I have a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters, two grandchildren and wonderful friends. I want to see them grow up. Well most of my friends and I think, my husband, have grown up :). It would be the love of life and all that there is still in front of me that would keep me alive. Thank you for your story.

Didn’t Expect It from cd in CA
I was expecting something light, but this really moved me. I think it is a powerful piece of writing because, although describing something profound, your style is very understated. I am glad I read it.

Heartfelt from hh in MD
This is a cool blog. I am most impressed. I like the way you write – it’s very direct and straight from the heart!

Glued to the Screen from jd in KY
I thoroughly enjoyed your new addition to your book. The “Miami Incident” kept me glued to the screen. I have also had “near death experience” and think you have captured it perfectly. New word for you : Copernican moment.

Wiping Away Tears from ml in CA
Well, the writing is lovely… so glad you’ve taken this up. Still wiping tears after reading Miami 5 minutes ago… I never knew this about you… and your roots. No wonder you are such a strong yet compassionate woman. Beautifully told story; near-death experiences are so fascinating. Also, your discussion of words is really fun… and valium… perfect analogy for your writing…

Captivating-Compelling-Captured me! From jp in CA

Another Jar of Hearts Fan by kt in CA
I love Jar of Hearts and heard it first on Sirius radio listening to my grandson’s station. When he gets here after school, he goes straight to his computer and plays the song for me, how sweet is that? Keep up the good work on valsroad!! I like the Miami chapter…

More about that Mom by sh from CA
What a powerful experience. I’d be interested to read more about the mother piece of this.

Posted on March 13, 2011
Has Costco Issues from ms in CA
As a writer myself, I must say I love your style. My favorite piece on val’sroad is the list of reasons to give up Costco. Having more free space in one’s closet and hurried to eat the fresh produce before it goes bad were ones I could relate. Enjoy your travels. We are returning to Italia later this year, so I enjoyed your Italia story and photos. Is it Araivederci?!

Misadventures in Milan from dg in CO
Your story was perfect! I loved reading about your misadventures in Milan. The moment you realized you weren’t going to see the painting will probably be more memorable than if you had seen the painting.

Blast to Travel With from jc in TX
Wow – you would be a blast to travel with! I really enjoyed your Milan story.
Keep the travel stories coming – maybe someday we’ll meet on our travels!

The Luge Made the List from hf in CA
Thanks for including me in the journey! I love it all and glad that “luge” made the list. I’m not giving up on the dream of actually having a luge at some point in our lives! Maybe you, me & a bottle of hypnotique – do they still sell that stuff? xoxo, H

Heartfelt Feelings from de in NH
You are an amazing woman. You have the courage to see beyond. You have the heart to help heal. You have the imagination to bring it all together. I am gifted to have you in my life and this site will impact and fulfill many lives. Thank you for all that you do and I am so happy that finally, my shining star, that you are doing something for yourself and for all of us. Thank you.

Been There by cc from CA
I love it…enjoyed reading your article on Milan…having been there, I could relate! You write beautifully and I look forward to reading more about your travels and adventures.

Gypsy Crossed her Path by cd from CA
Your experiences in Milan reminded me of some of ours in Rome……..while waiting to enter St. Peter’s at the Vatican, I had an encounter with a young woman pickpocket who wore a cloth sling across her chest. It was supposed to look like she had a baby there, when in fact, it was a place to stash the stolen goods! She had her hand inside my purse when I elbowed her in the chest and she took off. I had a moment of feeling guilty…..I mean, what if I were mistaken and she WASN’T trying to rob me? But then I came to my senses when I recalled that there really was no other reason for her hand to be well inside my purse!

No One Was a Loser by jc from CA
This was a nice story and in spite of being lost and without advance purchase tickets, no one was really a loser. The day spent in visiting Milan and enjoying the city and people made it a memorable day.

Reserve Tickets? by kh from VA
I loved the Milan adventure………so beautifully written. I would never think you had to reserve tickets in advance. What a fun and informative travel story….

Early Feedback on valsroad

Walked down the Road by ph from CA
Hey Val, your blog is really neat, I just got back from a Walk down Val’s road and really enjoyed it…

Choking on the Photos by em from CA
I haven’t had a chance to spend quality time reading your road, however, I do have to say I almost choked when I saw the “nature” images on your blog. So uncharacteristic of you! Looking forward to reading more….

Inspiring a busy mom by bw from WA
How fun! I’ve always wanted to do that…I “write” in my head all the time. I’m going to write a book too. It’s called, “Yes, I Do Have Eyes in the Back of My Head,” a journey through the many eyes of a triplet mom. I figure I have all sorts of sage advice to share, like how to hold 3 infants who are simultaneously projectile vomiting…….but my journey will peak when they are simultaneously driving cars, after which I will truly be ready to go somewhere and write…I sometimes dream of pausing to regenerate a few brain cells. But wait, it won’t be happening anytime soon, because I’m about to become a grandparent… You go girl! I’ll check in with valsroad from time to time.

You Did It! by bb from TX
Looks great – can’t wait to see what goes up NEXT!! Didn’t think you’d ever actually do it!! So cool!