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This is just not my year for travel. I am trying so hard and getting nowhere. Last week, I had the Carnival Imagination cancel my cruise in December and this morning the Carnival Panorama canceled my Mexican Riviera cruise in October. I still have a repositioning cruise in January scheduled, but the word out is that's it's getting cancelled. So, so far my cruise in April-the 25 night on MSC Cruises is the only sure thing. I can't wait to get back to the "old normal"-enough of this "new normal"!

But this is not going to stop me from traveling! I'm going to CA next week to see a friend and the Dude Ranch in September. I guess I will have to take it one month at a time now.


Cooking Fool-One of the things I am doing is keeping busy cooking and trying new recipes. Yesterday, I tried making keto onion rings with crushed pork rinds as the coating. They turned out strange looking, but tasted good-but, it's back to the drawing board with that recipe-way too messy to make. I will keep you updated on the new recipe.

In the meanwhile, I wanted thousand island dressing to eat with the onion rings with and I needed it to be keto approved. Well, I found the best recipe ever. In fact, it was so good, I had a salad too with the dressing on it as well. Try it, you will like it.



The best ever mushroom soup. It makes 6 big bowl servings, about 2 net carbs per serving. This is so rich though, I can only eat a small cup at a time. Try it, you'll like it. Who makes soup in the middle of summer-me! I can eat soup anytime of year.


1/4 cup butter

12 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tbsp fresh thyme (if using dry thyme, only 1 tsp)

4 cups chicken broth

3 ounces cream cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic &thyme. Cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid about 7 minutes. Add chicken broth and cream cheese to the pan, and cook until the cream cheese melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add heavy cream. Simmer for 15 minutes.


My new Air Fryer-Farberware

This is my new Air Fryer I told you about. Just a small one to start-to see if I like it. And I do like it. I made the strange onion rings in it yesterday. My first experiment with it though was making bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers, stuffed with cheese-but I focused so much on a new bacon wrapping technique, that I placed the jalapeno peppers cheese side down and all of the cheese drained out. So instead, I just had bacon wrapped jalapenos-which were still very good-minus the cheese. This air fryer is so easy to clean and use.

Today, I am making lemon pepper chicken wings for lunch in the air fryer. More about those later.


The Spirit of Scotland-August 2021

In my last blog, I told you about my trip to Scotland planned for next August 2021. The first stop will be in Glasgow for 2 nights-one night to recover from the long airline flight and the next day to do some sightseeing.

While I'm deciding on the things I want to do while in Scotland, this link will give you an idea of 13 free things to do in Glasgow.

This link is of other things to do in Glasgow, probably not free, but may be included in my schedule:

The hotel is still up in the air for Glasgow. I am trying to secure reservations at the Grand Central Hotel, right next to the Glasgow Central Station. A very glamorous hotel opened in 1883. But they must be used by all the US tour operators, because they are already filled up for August 2021. I have hopes though.

I will have to pack in as much as I can on this 2nd day, because the next day I leave on the train for Dundee, Scotland.

So far, I have one person interested in doing this trip with me. Limited to 12, send me an email to if you are interested.


My life as a flight attendant-It used to be a glamorous life, but not so much anymore. Now, the pretty woman has to wear a mask and no one can tell whether you're smiling or not. Plus, I am now the mask police. With passengers constantly tattling on other passengers if their mask is not in place.

The hotels that we stay in are very nice hotels, many luxury, but we are the only people in these hotels at this time, because no one is traveling. This means, no restaurants, no bars open.

We have quarantines in many cities, where you cannot leave the hotel and walk around the city.

I start a 6-month leave of absence September 1st and I can't wait. It probably won't last 6 months, but I will take off whatever time I can and hopefully travel or try new recipes or lose weight or develop new hobbies.


More fun ideas to add to your bucket list of things to do:


Budapest is one of my bucket list cities to go to:

Budapest has a lot to offer tourists. From beautiful architecture to delicious grub, Hungary's capital is a gem which one needs to uncover

Zoey Molnar April 27 , 2018 08 Min Read

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a very interesting place. One should always put the city on the list of places to visit when travelling to Eastern Europe. Berlin, Munich and Prague are usually the top choices when visiting the other side of the continent but you'll be surprised how beautiful Budapest is. And, there is so much to do! Don't believe it?  Maybe these will change your mind: Take in the Danube The banks of the Danube, classified as an UNESCO World Heritage site, are lined with stunning architecture like the Országház Parliament building and the Buda Castle. Whether admiring its famous bridges or cruising the river itself on an evening boat tour, the Danube rivals the Seine in both beauty and bustle. If you want to combine sightseeing with exploring, the BKK ferry from south Buda to north Pest is the way to go. You can stop off at any of the ferry’s eight terminals for a better look, or to sample the city’s shopping and cuisine.  Get pampered The use of communal and medicinal bathhouses in Budapest dates back to Roman times, taking advantage of the city’s plentiful thermal springs to become a part of daily life. Although no Roman-era bathing structures survive today, plenty of Turkish ones dot the city, including the Király Baths built during the Ottoman Empire. The most famous of the Turkish bathhouses is the 16th century Rudas Baths, where you can experience the opulence of empires past as well as modern additions like a rooftop pool and Finnish sauna. For truly palatial pools, though, you must visit Szechenyi Baths in District IX.  Shop ‘til you drop The city center of Pest is where you’ll find the best shopping districts, including Váci utca, Fashion Street, and Andrássy Avenue. Think of Andrássy as the Bahnhofstrasse of Hungary — this is where you’ll find your Louis Vuitton and Roberto Cavalli — while Fashion Street is more like London’s Oxford area. There, you can shop at Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, and Lacoste. Váci utca (that’s utca for street) is actually the most famous of the three, and makes for a full-day excursion with its many shops and cafes. It runs from Vörösmarty Square in the heart of downtown all the way to Központi Vásárcsarnok, the largest indoor market in Budapest. 


Next time

Valerie Brown


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