Can’t Stop The Feeling #vacation #music

Like I said  in “All I Ask“, I’m answering questions I receive from time to time…this is question #4.

Dr. K.E. Garland, aka Kathy and I have a number of things in common, one of them being the love of vacationing. 

Kathy’s got a great book out, “The Unhappy Wife” that I would encourage you to get a copy of. Filled with many life lessons that also serve as “reminders” for others who have already dealt with similar challenges. The stories are more than read-worthy – they are group discussion-worthy.

Kathy asked me an easy but also hard question: What has been my favorite vacation?

If you follow my blog, you know that I love being anywhere near the ocean, preferably near the beach.

But I can’t say that I’ve had “a” favorite vacation.

I’ve had several “favorite” vacations for very different vacation-feeling-reasons like:

  • the time my cousins and I invited the cruise DJ to dinner with the sole purpose of supplying him with our playlists for the week. We had no shame and the poor guy didn’t stand a chance. We danced, laughed, and shut the cruise disco down each and every night;
  • my first solo vacation where I spent two weeks with a penthouse view of the ocean (a I’ll admit to using a smile), mainly bathing suits in my luggage and with “nothing” on my agenda. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, if I wanted to do it at all. No compromising and no competing interests. The simple pleasure of staying on the beach all day or in bed with the A/C cranked up watching Turner Classic movies and the Food Network because of the 40C degrees + outside…. It may sound boring to you but it was heaven to me;
  • “staycations” that get my “to-do” list handled – repairs, redecorating, trying out new recipes, going to the movies, hanging out at the bookstore or just puttering around in my own space is  “zen”. Again, boring for some but I’ve had some staycations that were more enjoyable than some “away” vacations .

Exotic destination vacations are great but a great vacation is really about the feeling you have inside and your state of mind.

What about you? What do you consider a great vacation?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.











#TravelTuesday: I Wear My Sunglasses At Light

I’m guilty.

The only time I wear sunglasses is when I’m on the beach and my reasons have nothing to do with the glare of the sun, UV rays and eye protection. Wearing sunglasses has everything to do with people watching.

I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way like the guy in this post. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious, perfectly sneaky way to observe people’s interactions, body language and conversations that are within earshot. And no one is really the wiser if you do it the right way.

Sunglasses on, nose in book and ears wide open.

The kind of “observing” that gets your imagination going, leads you to make up stories about the people you see and try to decipher the relationships between them…the stuff begs questions like:

How is it that this mother and daughter have matching plastic surgery?

Mother and daughter with matching plastic surgery All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What secrets are these two lovers keeping from each other?

What secrets are they keeping from each other? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What’s the story behind this woman’s back tattoo?

Why did she get that tattoo? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Who was sipping on this coconut before they abandoned it?

Whose coconut was this and how did it get here? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Yes, I am guilty of wearing my sunglasses to seek out ideas when I’m on the beach.

But as a writer, YOU are guilty too.

Whether it’s on the beach, while sitting in a coffeeshop, at the hair salon or on the train…

I know that you do it too because as writers, we observe, ponder, imagine and create tales.

The question is, “Who’s watching you?”

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.















#TravelTuesday: I’m Not In Kansas Anymore #travel

Photo credit: Here’s Kate via / CC BY-NC-SA

It’s always a rude awakening when I return to the real world after spending time in Puerto Rico or any place that is blessed with bright sun and gorgeous weather almost every day.

In hotter climates, I find the local people to be friendlier, more personable and laid-back than in my neck of the woods. Maybe it’s because they know that they are living in paradise.

It’s normal to pass a stranger on the street who smiles and says good morning or hello. It’s also not out of the ordinary for someone to strike up a conversation with you on the street, city bus, or the beach. It’s just part of what they seem to do.

So it’s like splashing cold water in my face when I get back home, step into an elevator, say hello (after getting into that habit while I was away) and get silence – the kind of silence that is accompanied by an awkward look that makes me think that I’ve suddenly grown a third eye.

And that’s when I remember that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

To me, the hotter the weather, the friendlier the people…

That’s my perspective but maybe I’m biased because of the South American blood running through my veins.

What do you think about my theory about hot weather people being friendlier people?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.



#TravelTuesday: Stories Under The Sun #beach #vacation

Carolina Beach, Puerto Rico ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

It boggles my mind when I hear people say that they don’t like the beach or vacationing.

What?! Who are these people?! 😉

If you happen to be one of those people, you may want to skip the next few #TravelTuesdays.

Not only will I likely post random vacation photos from my IG, I’ll probably post a few of my “vacation stories”.

In the meantime, close your eyes and don’t look at this video I posted last year… 🙂

Image and video content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.




Iguanas Can Run Fast

Continuation from It Pays To Be Honest.

People are right when they say “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”.

I have done too much napping, reading and simply being lazy in this hammock. It is only day #2 hanging out between the pool and the beach and I have mastered the art of getting in and out of a hammock without looking like a clumsy idiot (I literally fell out yesterday but no one saw me).

I have nowhere to go, especially since I have snacks and am people watching. That’s when I notice a medium-sized iguana making its way from underneath a set of beach chairs. I have been around iguanas before so I’m not afraid. But at the same token, I don’t like the idea of it being anywhere near the snacks in my beach bag. I know that is what it is probably looking for. People on vacation often feed them and they get very used to it. I grab my bag and throw it up at my feet in the hammock.

An excited mother and adult daughter see it and quickly approach, oohing and aahing all the way.

“What pretty colors,” the mother says.

“Yeah, look at its tail,” the daughter adds.

“What is it doing here? Are you lost?” the mother says, putting on a “baby” voice.

This exchange goes on as they take out their cells and start to take pictures of it and with it. The adult daughter keeps her distance but the mother gets in real close and personal. You know the type of people I’m talking about – very loud and making sure that all of the expensive brand name items they are wearing are visible and obvious. I notice these things because the $30 La Vie en Rose bathing suit I picked up at the last minute doesn’t look much different than the designer brand they are both wearing.

The mother is getting really close to the iguana. More than once, I have seen iguanas get annoyed and snap at people. I’m waiting to see if this will happen. It could lead to some free entertainment.

“Can I touch it? Will it bite?” the mother asks.

“I guess it’s okay. I’ve never heard of iguana attacks, Mother.”

The mother outstretches her hand to touch the iguana but stops when it turns its head to give her a once-over. The mother is having second thoughts.

“Do they bite?” I realize that the mother is talking to me. She must have noticed me staring.

Now, I have a decision to make.

Like I said, I’ve only seen iguanas “snap”, not bite. I can say it but the heat and sun have sapped my desire to make any kind of conversation with them and the pretentious vibes they were giving off.

I also have the option of simply saying, “I don’t know” and seeing what unfolds… (*idle hands*)


I decide to keep my good karma going and take the high road.

The mother turns to her daughter who is trying to take a selfie with the iguana now.

“You know what? I think that I have handbag made out of iguana. I wonder how many purses this iguana could make?”


The iguana starts to slowly but steadily slither towards the mother. For every step she takes backwards, the iguana goes forward as if following her lead.

I can’t help myself and my big mouth opens. “It seems to have taken a liking to you. But be careful. I’ve heard that iguanas can run fast and chase after people who invade their space.”

The mother and daughter take one look at me and then at each other before hightailing it back to where ever they came from, mumbling something about being hungry and needing to grab lunch.

I recognize the excuse to leave in a hurry.

The iguana keeps on its way and vanishes under another set of beach chairs.

I smirk to myself and realize that the guy lying two hammocks away is grinning and shaking his head at me, silently letting me know that he knows what I did. I smile at him and then close my eyes as I go in for another nap.

One of these days, I’ll have to google to see if iguanas really can run fast.

Postscript: After writing this post, I googled and Youtubed this. Surprise, surprise, not necessarily a little white lie!

Image and content ©2015 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.