Friday, January 30, 2009

Foto Friday - Call Girl Lessons in Vegas, baby!

As a new fun item to carry us into weekends, I've added a new "Foto Friday" addition. Each week, I'll highlight photos that remind me of vacation and getting away! :)

The photo shown is from a night out on the town with girlfriends in Las Vegas, when one of the traveling Divas, spotted out what she thought was a "real" Vegas call girl. Turns out the woman WAS a call girl, took a liking to my friend and gave us a few....well, let's just call them lessons. Definitely a highlight of the night! LOL
Have a fun getaway photo to share?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Location Spotlight - Nassau, Bahamas

This year, my traveling crew is headed to sunny Nassau, Bahamas! Why Bahamas, you ask? Because of the sun, the beaches, and most of all, the fun!

Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is prized for its historic presence, giving tourists a peek into the 18th century Island. Visitors can visit Victorian mansions, cathedrals and Queen Quarters as well as shop international crafts, perfumes and other luxury items. Now, I’m told that Downtown along Bay Street is bustling with wall-to-wall boutiques, restaurants and clubs - sounds fit for a Diva!

During our previous getaways, we’ve tried our hand at gambling and various sporting adventures (assuming you can call horse-back riding and ATV adventures a sport), and the Bahamas offers both! Crystal Palace Casino is just a skip away and there’s plenty of water sports available, like snorkeling, kayaking and more. Now, I’m not much of a water gal myself, but hey, vacation often brings out an adventurous side in the Divas, so there’s no telling what our weekend getaway will hold ;)

Mostly, our getaway is highly anticipated because of the downtime - Time away from the pressures of the office and family demands. Many of us are spread across the States, so relaxing together along the golden sands of Cable Beach, laying by the pool bar, and catching up on gossip is most likely the way we’ll spend the majority of our time. The countdown officially begins….

Visited Nassau and have tips for a fabulous getaway? Please comment and share!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Girl's Night In - The Traveling Vineyard

With the recession looming, hopping on a first class flight may be a bit of a stretch. While we're all suffering the effects of the Big "R", that's certainly no reason not to gather up a few girlfriends for a fabulous Girl's Night In!

This week's Girl's Night In is hosted by Eryn Cadoff with The Traveling Vineyard. Imagine it: Saturday night + fab friends + appetizers + In Home Wine Tasting = Fun Girl's Night In! When you host a Traveling Vineyard tasting, Eryn will bring the Tasting Room to your living room with five full bottles of wine for you and your friends to enjoy! Your group will get to experience a variety of wines, accessories and a tasting lesson that will make you feel like you're at a world-famous winery (from the comfort of your living room ;). Oh and as a special bonus, Eryn brings all the glasses, so you won't have to worry about the stress of cleaning dishes! For an added twist, put all of your names in a hat to pull for a mystery hostess, who'll earn discounts and shipping deals!

Learn more about The Traveling Vineyard at Eryn's website: Not in the DC Metro area? No problem, simply contact Eryn and she'll put in contact with a local consultant in your area.

Go ahead, Uncork the Possibilities!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obam's Inauguration Travel: Yet Even More Activities

The Inauguration buzz in DC is building – the next few days will be amazing! If you are still working to lock down plans, here are a few more resources to check out!

I’ll be on Twitter over the weekend, constantly updating readers on my whereabouts. Don’t forget to follow my adventures there:

Also, if you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow @CarFreeJan20 for up-to-date travel information getting in and around DC during Inauguration weekend.

If you missed them, check out our prior Inauguration posts:
Budget-friendly events
Schedule and Activities
Balls and Parties

Parties, Balls, and more fun!

ColorofChange and MoveOn and, with a bunch of our allies, are organizing more than 3,000 inaugural parties across the country on Tuesday night. You can find a party near you (or host your own) at:

African American Church Inaugural Ball
The nation's religious leaders representing historic denominations and churches across the country have joined to celebrate the most historic moment in American U.S. history--the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama. The African American Church Inaugural Ball will be held Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 6 pm at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

For more information on the African American Church Inaugural Ball visit

Sound of Change Inauguration Film Festival
Hujambo Public Relations Network proudly announces the highly anticipated, "Sound of Change Inauguration Film Festival" sponsored by Building Communities and Families (BCF) and Press Forward Media. BCF will celebrate the historic 2009 Presidential Inauguration by presenting several high impact thought-provoking films that depict dynamic 'social change' through innovative filmmaking. All movies were selected based on their progressive content, the power of their message, and how they have impacted the way films are now directed.

Festival Schedule
January 18, 2009 Artomosphere Café, Maryland, 12 noon until
January 19, 2009 Maya Angelou Charter School, 11 am until
January 19, 2009 Sankofa Café, 5-9pm
For more information or for a complete film schedule and specific times go to or our website, Limited Pre-sale tickets can be brought online at:

All Pro & All Stars Inaugural Celebration
NFL's Clinton PORTIS & NBA's Antawn JAMISON Co-Chair The "ALL PRO & ALL STARS" Inaugural Celebration - "The HOPE Meets PROSPERITY Gala" at UNION STATION
Hosted By The Lifestyle Specialist Kenny Burns

50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.
9pm - 4am
Attire is Semi-Formal, Dressed to Impress

Purchase tickets online at

Celebrate the Inauguration of our 44th President Barack Obama with All Pro Running Back Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins, All Star Power Forward Antawn Jamison of the Washington Wizards and DC/LA/NYC/ATL Superstar Kenny Burns. Join them, their teammates and their famous out of town guests at this historic landmark for this historic occasion.

Welcome to DC Gala
WELCOME to DC -- an Inaugural Gala Celebration featuring the music, culture and cuisine of the Nation's Capitol @ The Historic Bohemian Caverns.

Enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers and a special LIVE musical tribute to DC native Marvin Gaye hosted by DC Music Icon Chuck Brown and featuring live performances by: The Tony Rich Project, N'Dambi, Russell Taylor, Sam James and other special guests!

A limited number of tickets are available at $75. Get yours today at

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Plan A Girlfriend Getaway Vacation

Years ago, my best girlfriends and I all turned 30 in the same year. We’d talked about going on a major 30th blowout celebration trip - packing our bags, leaving the husbands, kids and work behind, and just going. Destination Anywhere. Yet, somehow Year 30 came and went, and without our celebration blowout. We let life, kids, jobs and drama get in the way of our “free” and fun time, and let our dream trip pass us by.

Luckily, the vision never died and a few years later, we decided to breathe life into our getaway. Have you been stuck in a rut, unable to REALLY connect with your girlfriends? Stop the excuses and start planning your own 2009 getaway! Planning can be simple and I’ve added a few suggestions based on my experiences below:
  • Determine who your Core Divas are. Core Divas are the girlfriends whose opinions will be used to create the vacation details, the ones that are definitely down for the trip. This isn’t to say that you won’t invite others to attend your vacation getaway; it simply keeps the opinions down to those with the original vision. During the initial planning stages, it’s also important to know if it’s “allowed” for Core Divas to invite more travelers, once the trip details are confirmed.

  • From the Core group, choose the Contact Diva. The Contact Diva should be the person that is great with detail, has patience and gets along with everyone in the group. If you don’t have one “lead”, then I strongly suggest delegating responsibilities among the Core Divas, so that none of the planning falls through the cracks.

  • I’ve found that the very best way to determine where and when to go, as well as how much to spend on your vacation is to survey your Core Divas. I actually use a survey site, Survey Monkey, to gather the responses. It may seem formal to gather responses, but I like the confidentiality and Survey Monkey tracks the percentages of individual majority rules ;) I include questions such as: "What’s Most Important in a Getaway, Package Price Range for airfare/accommodations, Date Ranges, Trip Location and Desired Activities (i.e. spa, tours, water sports, shopping, etc.)"

  • Core Divas surveyed and key details determined? Now it’s time to call your favorite Travel Agent with the details! Travel Agents can a great value and resource, especially with planning group trips. I also love working with agents because they are able to find packages that allow for payment plans, so your group doesn’t have to worrying about footing the full package price upfront. The Contact Diva is also a key player here, as it’s much easier for a travel agent to communicate details with one contact person, rather than the entire group of travelers.

  • **As a side note: if you set up a payment plan with your Travel Agent, it’s SO much easier to have your Travel Agent use one form of payment, rather that several from all of the group members. I highly recommend setting up a PayPal account for the group payments and using the associated PayPay MasterCard for the payments to your Travel Agent. Your Travel Agent should be able to assist you with keeping track of payments from the group.

  • Once all the details are in place, Get Excited!! I actually create a flyer to send everyone the trip details and to create more excitement. Don’t forget key details such as: When, How Much (include payment plan schedule, if app), Where, and Hotel websites. Also, include the Contact Diva’s contact info if travelers outside of the Core group will be invited.

  • Add Bells and Whistles. Other perks I add to my getaways to make them fun for the traveling divas:

    · Monthly emails with traveling tips, fun info about the vacation destination, and fashion news.
    · Swag Bags with traveling essentials. My girlfriends LOVE receiving a “La Diva Loca” trip package, days before we depart. Trip packages can include a novelty from the location you are headed, Peek-A Boob Strips, and a customized party CD. The key is being creative and fun!
    · Group t-shirts. I’m not talking about your standard, cheesy screen-print tee. Check out Sparkle Plenty, for a fun, Swarovski crystal t-shirt, designed with your group in mind!
My girlfriends and I have made our trip an annual adventure and it’s something that’s highly anticipated every year! Stop making excuses, grab a girlfriend or two, and start planning your own girlfriend getaway!

Have more fabulous tips to add? Please feel free to comment and share!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama's Inauguration Travel: Budget Friendly Events

A little over a week away and the DC Metro area is all a-buzz with the much anticipated hype of Obama's upcoming Inauguration. My home has now become Inauguration Central, quickly turning into the ultimate La Diva Loca sleepover, with family and friends coming to crash. With so many people, I started searching for budget-friendly activities so we can share in the historic events, without being cash crunched.....and voila! Came across 44 Free & Affordable Experiences, plus way more budget friendly happenings during Inauguration weekend.

Also, Check out prior helpful hints here:
Getting to DC
Schedule and Activities
Balls and Parties


SCLC Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Prayer Breakfast

Monday, January 19, 2009
Ticket Cost $25.00 (Limited Seating)

SCLC will host its MLK Unity Prayer Breakfast at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel located at 480 L’Enfant Plaza at 9:30 AM in Washington, DC. This event will be a historic prelude to the first African-American President Barack Obama being sworn into office as the 44th President of the United States. This event will also serve as a platform to recognize and pay tribute to many of the organizations and individuals that participated in the 1963 March on Washington. Ironically, this event will be held on the same day that our nation honors and recognizes Martin L. King, Jr.

Kennedy Center Event

The Kennedy Center and Georgetown University present Let Freedom Ring! featuring Aretha Franklin, Nuttin' But Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Mistress of Ceremonies Andrea Roanein a Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, January 19, 2009, 6 p.m., Concert Hall

The program, part of the free daily performance series on the Millennium Stage, features the Queen of Soul and 1994 Kennedy Center Honoree Aretha Franklin, hip hop violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz, and the Let Freedom Ring Choir with Music Director Rev. Nolan Williams Jr. Andrea Roane from WUSA Channel 9 hosts as Mistress of Ceremonies. Marian Wright Edelman, the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, will be recognized with the 2009 John Thompson "Legacy of a Dream" award.

Free tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed one (1) per person in line on Monday, January 19, 2009, in front of the Concert Hall, beginning at 4 p.m.
Note: There is no free parking when attending or picking up tickets for free events.

Smithsonian Institution Events

National Museum of American History
Renewing America’s Promise” is the overall theme of free public programs and exhibitions related to the Presidency and First Ladies. Music, gallery talks, book signings and actors portraying presidents and first ladies will be presented in the museum Saturday, Jan. 17, through Monday, Jan. 19.

First Ladies at the Smithsonian” showcases objects from the nearly century-old collection and displays 14 gowns, including those worn by Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jacqueline Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and Laura Bush. (Three are inaugural gowns worn by Helen Taft, Rosalynn Carter and Laura Bush.) The gallery’s central exhibit features paintings, jewelry, china, personal possessions and other objects from the Smithsonian’s unique first ladies’ collection. A section of the exhibition focuses on the contributions of America’s first ladies and the ways in which they have influenced the most powerful office in the country.

Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Honor of Your Company Is Requested: President Lincoln’s Inaugural Ball” celebrates President Lincoln’s second inaugural ball, held March 6, 1865, in the historic building that is now the museum’s home. The ball took place as Lincoln’s second term began, when the Civil War was in its final stages, and only six weeks before Lincoln was assassinated. The exhibition features ephemera from the inaugural ball, including the invitation and menu, as well as engravings illustrating the night’s events.

National Portrait Gallery
The latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery is a recent donation—the original artwork for Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster designed by Shepard Fairey. This portrait became the central portrait image for the campaign and was distributed as a limited edition print and as a free download. It will be on view by inauguration day on the Portrait Gallery’s first floor.

Public Programs
Renewing America’s Promise”—Saturday, Jan. 17-Monday, Jan. 19 Actors and actresses portraying American presidents and first ladies will perform throughout the museum. In addition, there will be gallery talks, music, book signings and interpreters to help visitors appreciate the exhibits. Special programs will focus on Martin Luther King Jr. with speeches and other related programming. National Museum of American History (special hours Jan. 20: 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Out of Many: A Multicultural Festival of Music, Dance and Story”—Saturday, Jan. 17-Monday, Jan. 19 Performances each day will feature music, dancing and storytelling from many cultural traditions, including those of American Indians. On inauguration day, there will be Native American drums to honor the new president. National Museum of the American Indian

Wishing Tree—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 In the outdoor sculpture garden, visitors will be invited to write messages for the future and add them to Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Celebrate!—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will present artists’ workshops for children and their families as well as performances and stories of Asian and Asian American celebration traditions.

Jubilee: An African American Celebration”—Sunday, Jan. 18-Tuesday, Jan. 20 The Anacostia Community Museum will present musical performance, readings and presentations in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition also titled “Jubilee.” (The Anacostia Museum is located in southeast Washington, D.C.)

In celebration of President-elect Obama’s Inauguration, the Smithsonian will feature exhibitions and public programs related to the presidency from Saturday, Jan. 17, through Tuesday, Jan. 20. The museums and programs are free and open to the public every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., including Inauguration Day. On Jan. 20, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Castle will open early at 8 a.m.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

La Diva Loca - Year in Review 2008

Welcome to 2009 Divas!

2008 is dead and gone but the memories of amazing travel adventures and girlfriend get-togethers still lives on.

During the past year, I had the pleasure of planning another awesome La Diva Loca getaway with friends to Los Cabos, Mexico:

Experienced the grandeur of the Las Vegas' Bellagio with hubby and visited Austin, Texas for the first time. I've had the incredible opportunity of visiting London not once:

but twice, the second time dragging my Mom along with me ;)

And even participated in a few "mini" girlfriend getaways along the way ;)

Despite its challenges, 2008 brought peace, Change and wisdom to learn to prioritize my time so I can spend more time with family and friends. Although I wish I had a crystal ball to look into where 2009 will take me, I know I'll be surrounded by good company, great girlfriends and love. Where will you go in 2009?

Happy New Year!