Yes,  I’ve collected many mothers since I did not grow up with mine. So I know you don’t have to give birth to a child to be a “mom”. I just want to thank everyone who put children above your own wants and desires.

We call you Mom, aunty, momma, ma’am, step mom, foster mother, the one who raised me and many times Grandma.  My village of moms has become a group of friends that I love and depend on.  But let’s finish talking about my travels through the state’s and how it inspired me to travel abroad so often.

I hope most will find this trip down memory lane delightful. Like the memory of my first destination wedding…



Ok the destination may not be the bestest secret hideaway on earth but I was 10, and it was a great for me.   My dad’s cousin was getting married and my grandmother “made” him let me go.  I was so hype. I went shopping to pick out a new outfit, check.  I packed my bag all alone,  check.  And looking at the pictures of that outfit…not sure what I was thinking,  but it was fun.

Actually not very different from the destination weddings I go to today conceptually. Except I go out to see the town and spend a little bit more on the outfits… lol. Either way, you always remember your first,  right?

Boston water way



Another older cousin (who was much closer to my age) took me to my first festival without my parents in Philadelphia,  PA. Whooo, this was Greek Fest where a group of college fraternities and sororities and their alumni show their love for their organizations and each other. The vendors,  food and

Nooooooooooooooh, Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii’ve never ever ever in my teen-aged life,  seen so many cuties looking oh-so nice. Lol.

Another first for the books!

Benjamin Franklin-Parkway Philly

The point is…

There are many more stories in many other states.  Including my dad taking my dojo sisters and I to tournaments around the country.  I didn’t always win,  but I did get to beat up boys and take home trophies, lol.

The point is, the more you expose your kids to,  the greater their aspirations will be in their adult lives.  Traveling can happen within your city,  state,  or by putting 1 toe on the other side of any boundary.  Just start by getting out the front door!

Ladies (and Dad) thank you for getting me outside of my comfort zone,  because that’s the only place that inspires growth! And a special thanks to the two ladies at the top of the page.  Aunt Maryann and cousin Maryann. The only 1 missing is a picture of aunt Dotty. She  was always taking trips… around the city,  to other states… never waiting for anyone.  And for most of my life when ever I saw aunt Dotty, there was aunt Donna (New Jersey in part 1)…. Love my family!

Aunt Maryann & Cousin Maryann


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