Ladycations LLC: Take a Vacation, Save Humanity

Those of you who have been following Ladycations (thank you so much!) know how passionate I am about traveling and exploring. We women are natural caretakers, but we often neglect to care for ourselves. We get lost in our routines, attending to everyone else’s needs and desires first, often running ourselves into exhaustion and burnout. Taking a step back, getting a break from the day-to-day routine, afforded me the distance necessary to separate my authentic, genuine self, my own dreams and passions and goals, from the role I play as mom, daughter, sister, friend, and worker. My Ladycations leave me emotionally and mentally detoxed and ready to tackle life with a renewed spirit and sense of purpose. Prioritizing these experiences has enriched my life immeasurably, and made me a better mom, daughter, sister, friend, and worker. It’s the ultimate form of self-care.

The other piece of travel that brings me joy, and is perhaps now more important than ever, is simply stepping out of our bubbles for a little while. We all live in one. Whether it’s a mom bubble, or a political bubble, an internet bubble, we’re all limited by the same thing: our own perspective. It’s easy to sit behind our computer screens or smart phones and think we know everything about everything, mistaking information for knowledge. We pass judgement, we pick sides, we surround ourselves with people and ideas that reinforce our preconceived opinions, and avoid anything that makes us uncomfortable. Technology has provided a lot of advantages, but it’s leaving us all at a disadvantage when we replace actual human experience with cyber-experience.

Traveling to new places forces us out of our comfort zones, out of those bubbles that keep us ignorant, and often challenges our way of thinking or viewing the world. It opens our minds and our hearts to new possibilities; broadens perspective by putting us in unfamiliar, new places; and gives us a sense of the wider, global community to which we all belong. Personal growth doesn’t stop just cause we’re adults (or it sure as hell shouldn’t), and growth doesn’t happen in stagnation. If we all took more vacations, caring for ourselves and our world just that little bit more, we’d create a wiser, kinder, more cohesive people. Taking that vacation you’ve been putting off could literally save humanity, sister.

Most of us push travel off, viewing it as a luxury as opposed to a necessity. If a several-year global pandemic taught me anything (alright, it actually taught me a lot of things) it’s that travel is necessary. It’s good for our mental health, our spiritual health, and that makes it good for our physical health. The question shouldn’t be, “Can I afford to take a vacation?” it should be, “Can I afford not to?” The answer is no, you cannot.

Obviously, not everyone has the time or desire to spend hours researching and planning a vacation. I find it fun, others would rather have a root canal. While I can’t solve the world’s problems, and I can’t make the responsibilities and obligations weighing you down disappear, I can plan the hell out of a vacation! And with that, the announcement: Ladycations LLC, the sister to Ladycations, will open on April 17th as a full service independent travel agency in the Avoya Travel Network! I’ve been studying and learning how best to serve my amazing future clients and am so excited to start helping all you badass women explore our amazing world! Travel, my sisters, travel!

Don’t have time to plan? I got you. Want to travel, but don’t know where to begin? That’s my jam. Just need someone to handle the logistics? Yep, on it. Want to ensure you’re getting the best deal and exclusive travel perks? You’ve come to the right place! Whatever kind of trip you’re dreaming of taking, Ladycations has you covered. A wellness retreat, a tropical resort, a wilderness adventure, a cruise, a road trip, from solo travel to group trips, extended vacations and sabbaticals to weekend getaways, you name it! I will cultivate a custom itinerary and take care of all the arrangements to give you an experience focused on your passions, your goals, your dreams, so all you’ll have to pack your bags.

Need dinner reservations? Tickets to a show? Hiking suggestions? Yep, Ladycations LLC does that, too. When you plan your trip with Ladycations you’ll receive personalized service and recommendations, and know that every moment of your trip was carefully created just for you. You work your tail off taking care of everyone all year. Let Ladycations take care of you. Let’s start planning your dream getaway today!

Ladycations LLC is an independent travel agency in the Avoya Travel Network, a member of the American Society of Travel Advisors and the Cruise Line International Association. I have obtained TAP certification with The Travel Institute, a Master’s from Norwegian Cruise Line University, achieved Commodore Rank from Princess Cruise Line Academy specializing in Alaskan and European Cruises! Click here or go to if you’d like more information on available services, or to request a consultation. In the meantime, where are you dreaming of going? What’s your ideal Ladycation? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Grand Canyon: Going Over THE Hill to Turn Over The Hill

The day after my 40th birthday was going to be amazing. I’d traveled all the way from Cleveland to the Grand Canyon to turn 40 the right way: literally going “over the hill” at my favorite “hill” in the world. Having that adventure awaiting made getting out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn a little bit easier.

I was only slightly hung over when I woke up in the morning, which was surprising considering the astronomical amount of vodka and wine I’d had the night before. Between that and the fact that I was now in my 40’s, I sort of expected to wake up feeling like death (combating a killer headache, needing to vomit, questioning my life choices). What a pleasant surprise to only feel sort of shitty! 40 wasn’t looking too bad.IMG_4845.JPG

We had a big breakfast at a kitschy diner in Williams before we headed towards the National Park. I was so excited by the time we finally got there that I felt closer to 4 than 40. I was practically skipping across the parking lot, unable to fully contain myself, when I got out of the car. As we approached the rim, the magnitude and majesty of the Grand Canyon came into view. My breath caught in my throat and my heart skipped a beat; it was even more beautiful than I’d remembered. The enormity of the Grand Canyon is stupefying. It can’t be fully captured in photographs. There’s just no way to appreciate this tremendously massive place without seeing it for yourself. It’s impossible not to feel small when you’re staring out at a landscape so spectacular. I can’t emphasize enough how amazing it is, it’s awe inspiring.

the Grand Canyon National park

Since Mary had never seen it before, I was almost as excited to see her reaction as I was to see it again for myself. She has such an energetic personality. I’m not sure if it’s her youth (she’s only 25), her seemingly endless optimism, or if she’s just more full of life than most people, but Mary has this incredible ability to make every situation fun, to turn the most mundane task into an adventure. Add to that the fact that she’s easily impressed, and I couldn’t wait to see her face when she saw the it for the first time.

Mary enjoying her first trip to the Grand Canyon

There’s something interesting, and quite lovely, that happens to people when they’re at the Grand Canyon. It’s as if everyone understands its natural sanctity, knows it’s a place to be revered and respected. Everyone gets a little quiet, like they’re in church. So, instead of freaking out, Mary, like so many others, was speechless; but her expression spoke volumes.

After admiring the view, we walked towards the gift shop and purchased some prickly pear margarita mix before heading to the Bright Angel trailhead. Although we weren’t looking to get any serious mileage in, as we wanted to be fresh for our ten mile trek the following day, we did want to get our legs warmed up. We only hiked about 3/4 of a mile before deciding we were ready for lunch, taking a few pictures, and hiking back up to the top.IMG_4890.JPG

We got our over-priced hot dogs at the Visitor’s Center soda fountain and enjoyed the sunshine as we ate. There were plenty of other tourists roaming around, but despite the number of people, the area is so open that it never felt crowded. I’m sure that’s not always the case (especially in the summer months), but I was pleased that, on this particular day, it wasn’t too packed.

After finishing our lunch we decided to try out another trail on the South Rim, the South Kaibab trail. We moved our car and parked along the main drive, near the shuttle bus access road that leads to the trailhead, and began walking. IMG_4945.JPG

Though I’d done some serious backpacking in Washington only a couple months earlier, I wasn’t sure how well I’d fare on the switchbacks in the Canyon. Going uphill for that long, at that elevation, was intimidating. I didn’t want to hike too far down the trail and wear myself out for the next day’s big hike.IMG_4977.JPG

We hiked down to Ooh Aah Point which, as the name suggests, has one hell of a view. It’s a great spot to stop, catch your breath, and really appreciate your surroundings. Mark, however, being the Pro Grand Canyon Hiker that he is, wanted to get a few more miles in, so he kept going while Mary and I had a snack and smoke break at Ooh Aah. We chatted with some Australian tourists, drinking in their every word with those beautiful accents, and admired the breathtaking view, while we waited for Mark to return.IMG_4987

Once it was time to hike back up, I got serious. I took a long drink of water, a deep breath, and up we went. I’m not sure how far I’d gone when I realized I wasn’t struggling, but there was a moment when I thought, “I should be out of breath by now,” but I wasn’t. That’s when I really started to feel empowered. All the hard work I’d put in: running, yoga, new eating habits; a complete lifestyle change, had paid off. Mary wasn’t quite as in love with the uphill trek, and was going a bit slower. I was so grateful to Mark for staying with her so I could keep pushing. I couldn’t stop smiling! I was having the time of my life.South Kaibab Trail

Getting to the top was a wonderful feeling. It made me more confident for the big hike in a few days. I was still a little nervous about a ten mile hike out of the canyon, but I knew I could do it. And even better, I knew it would test my limits, push me. I do love a challenge.

We went to refill our water, but were greeted by an elk who’d decided his thirst trumped ours. He was going to town on the leaky spigot, and was not about to move aside for some dumb, thirsty humans. We were sitting at a picnic table waiting out our long legged friend, when we were approached by a chatty teenager. I was instantly annoyed. He seemed to have either undiagnosed or untreated ADHD. He was all over the place, just being around him made me anxious.


The kid explained he was on a road trip with some friends from college, and that they’d wanted to hike further than he did, so he was waiting for them to come back. He wondered if he could hang out with us for a while. After he explained his situation, I kinda felt like an ass for being irritated by his very presence. This poor kid was alone, with no way of contacting his friends, and he was starting to freak out a little. I think he just wanted to be around a grownup. However, he was also very awkward and annoying, and I just wanted him to go away.

We planned on watching the sunset, but it was starting to cool down and we’d left our hoodies in the car. Although we felt bad leaving Mark alone with our new, chatty, young friend, Mary and I set off to return the trekking poles and retrieve some warmer clothes . . . and smoke a bowl, cause that kid, and all his nervous energy, was stressing us the hell out.

Thirsty elk at grand canyon national park
Thirsty Elk

Walking along the access road seemed to be taking forever, so we decided to take a shortcut by cutting through the forest. We thought we had a pretty good sense of where the car was parked, so we took a diagonal path, and were feeling like a couple of trailblazing badasses, when we started to notice all the snake holes in the ground. Like, everywhere. Dozens of them–and we were in rattlesnake country. I thought I was going to completely lose my shit. We took off running like we were being chased by a swarm of angry bees, no longer caring where our car was, just wanting to get the hell out of there. We must’ve looked like a couple of lunatics, but I was not about to ruin what was left of my trip with a snakebite. Hell. No.

We emerged from the woods nowhere near our car. I’m not sure if that was due to our panic-stricken dash after realizing we’d wandered into downtown Snakeville, or if we just had no idea where we were going to begin with, but we had a bit more walking to do before reaching warm clothes and cannabis.

enjoying the view at grand canyon national park

We stuck to the road on the way back to the rim (learning from one’s mistakes is so adulty, I was already good at being 40), and found Mark playing cards with Boy Awkward when we arrived. I had the thought, if we’re stuck with this kid for sunset, with him prattling on like that, when I just wanna find some freaking zen, I’m throwing his ass over the edge of this canyon. Obviously, I wouldn’t actually do that, but I was beyond relieved when his friends finally emerged from the trail, and we were off the hook (and no one would be arrested for murder: bonus).IMG_5122

The sunset was as breathtakingly beautiful as I imagined it would be. We sat and watched the shadows float over the canyons, as the sun sank below the horizon, setting the whole world aglow. It was so peaceful I felt like I could almost hear the sun going down, as if it was whispering goodnight. IMG_5120

With the sun went the heat. The temperature was dropping and we were chilly even in our hoodies. We walked back to our car, stopping so I could take pictures about a dozen times, along the access road as the crescent moon rose in the sky before us.

Once back in Williams, we hit up the Route 66 Diner (so. freaking. delicious.) with Mark’s newly arrived friend Peter, before heading back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep. Morning would be upon us before we knew it, and with it came the big day: Hiking to Supai!IMG_5196

Thank you for stopping by! Be sure to come back for LadycationSunday when our Arizona adventure continues!

Follow Ladycations to stay up to date on the latest trips, tips, and tales. Stay chill and keep hiking, my friends.