Camping at KOA campgrounds

KOA campgrounds – Anderson/Lake Hartwell

Through a series of unfortunate events and a frantic evening before Memorial day weekend where we had a fully packed car and were not sure if we would have a camping site, KOA came to our rescue. They were the only campground within a 3-hour radius with available camp sites. I have driven by the road that goes to KOA Anderson numerous times and did not know there was a campground there. It is about 5 minutes from Interstate 85, but we could not hear the road traffic. It is also about 5-10 minutes from grocery stores and Walmart. That was important when we needed to make a run to the store for additional supplies.

Before everything drastically changed, our plans included a lakefront lot, where we would to take the boat out on the lake sometime during our stay. We also planned to go fishing.

The KOA campground was close to the lake (driving distance not walking distance) but there were no lake front lots. Other than that, the KOA campground had everything we needed. They have sites for tents ranging from no electrical hook up to sites with electrical and water hook up. I am not in to the total rugged experience, so I need electricity and water.

Campsite Amenities included

Internet – the internet speed is not fast enough to do any major web surfing or movie streaming. I had not planned on using the internet anyway, so it was not an issue.

Indoor Showers and Bathrooms – very clean. I still wore my sandals in the shower because that is what you do in a campground bathroom. The bathrooms were centrally located so it was not a far walk from anywhere in the campground.

Pool – looked nice but there were a lot of kids playing in the pool. Opted to relax by the campfire at our lot and read instead.

Game room – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Basketball – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Playground – again I did not use because of all the kids.

Miniature golf – again I did not use because of all the kids.

It is not that I am against kids, but my idea of relaxing does not include being around them. Thankfully, since there were so many kid-friendly activities, they did not terrorize our campsite.

One little boy did approach me and ask me to be his girlfriend. So brazen! To which I replied, “No for 2 reasons. 1- I’m three times your age and 2- I’m married.” He shrugged his shoulders, laughed, and scampered off. I looked for his parents but did not see them. After that, I was determined to have no more interaction with kids during the weekend.

Overall, I had a fantastic time. We were there 3 days and I felt like that was not long enough. While I did read many books, I did not get to go to Lake Hartwell to put my kayak in the water or go fishing. Because of the reasons we had for choosing KOA, we are grateful that they had available sites. It saved our weekend. We will definitely stay at another KOA campground in the future.

Allegiant air – love or hate your discount airline

Discount airlines: we love to hate them

We love their low prices, but there are little things that add up and make me ask myself “is it worth it?”

With Allegiant Air there are some PROS

  • fly out of my preferred airport
  • nonstop flight
  • cheap flight tickets are usually between hundred and $150-$200
  • discounts if I pay with a debit card

Now for the CONS 

  • I have to pay for carry-on. If I prepay it is $10 per flight leg. At the airport it is $50 per flight leg. To save money, Nana and I paid for one checked bag instead.
  • Wheelchair service for handicap passengers is extremely poor. If you need wheelchair assistance, do not travel alone you will have lengthy wait times to board, get off the plane, and most importantly getting to the gate. This is because a short staffing. The person at the check-in counter is also probably the person loading the baggage on the plane and pushing the wheelchairs.
  • On plane beverages cost two dollars – juice, water, soda. The plus is that you get the whole can.
  • I have to pay for a seat assignment. If I was traveling solo this would not be a problem. Since my Nana was traveling with me, we had to pay for seats I did not want us to be split up on the plane. She is 91 years old. While she has a great deal of mobility, she still needs some assistance while traveling because she is legally blind.

I examine all the pros and cons and add up all the fees to compare with the other airlines Delta, United, US Air to see if the hassle is really worth it. Lately I’ve been putting up with the aggravation in exchange for the low ticket price. But this does not mean that I have to like it.

And if someone from Allegiant Air management is reading this, you have a ridiculous commercial. It is really annoying.

 

Slow Burn: read it for the hunky assassin


Slow Burn (Assassins Book 1) ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Leigh has a self-destructive lifestyle in which she is a promiscuous cocaine addict. This is her way of dealing with the fact that her father is a workaholic and does not pay attention to her.

Griffin is a former assassin who wants to protectively as pay brought to her deceased father. The people who killed Lee’s father are after her and Griffin promises to keep her safe.

Both Leigh and Griffin have been injected with an experimental top-secret serum that makes them almost invincible. The story focuses on their efforts to shut down the evil corruption so that they do not have to keep running for their lives.

Opinion

This would have been a one heart story if it was not for Griffin. Leigh was a total jerk of a person. I get that she had daddy issues. The inability to stop making bad decisions was frustrating. Was she trying to get herself killed or what? Assassins are after her to kill her and she is looking for lines of coke to blow. Ugh.

I finish the book, skimming over parts of it because I wanted to know how they took down the villainous company. I did have a soft spot for Griffin. He was so damaged emotionally from the abuse he suffered while in prison. It is rare that a book delves into the type of abuse that Griffin suffered. That is quite possibly one of the few good things that I have to say about this book.

Leigh was a self-absorbed, selfish, self-seeking person that did not appreciate someone like Griffin, even in his damaged state. She was petulant and immature for the majority of the book. If Griffin wasn’t as good as he was as a bodyguard, she would have been caught long before she was.

By the end of the book, Griffin was the only person I cared about. If his happiness meant being with Leigh, I was okay with that because I wanted him to be happy. However, Leigh was the type of character that I am not sure that she is dependable enough to take care of Griffin in the way that he needs. Even with the current ending, I am not sure it would be a happy ever after.

Overall, I am not sure how to word my recommendation for this book. On one hand, I think it is worth reading for Griffin’s story. On the other hand, Leigh was such an unlikable person. There you have it. If after reading this review you decide to read the book, you at least have been prepared for the aspects of Leigh’s personality that were less than stellar.

There was drug abuse, explicit language, and violence.

 

Revenge is best served from a hottie billionaire


The Tycoon’s Revenge: Baby for the Billionaire ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Derek and Jasmine have history. They were once so in love as teenagers that they were going to run off together. They did not and years later they meet under very different circumstances. Both are very jaded individuals who feel as if the other person betrayed them. While the attraction between them is still is very palpable, both are trying very hard to safeguard their hearts. Once all the secrets are revealed, both of them have to make the decision about their future.

Opinion

This is my type of story. Derek is a billionaire who does not forget where he came from and his humble beginnings. Jasmine grew up in a less than loving environment, but she does not allow that to taint her outlook on life.

Not much to say about this but that it is the typical alpha-billionaire-male-reunites-with-his-first-love story, but it works. I liked everything about the story. I especially like the interaction between the two of them. I like how they handled seeing each other once again. Even though Derek was intent on exacting revenge for the way that he thought Jasmine mistreated him, he was sensible and enough to examine the facts and make a decision that was best for the both of them.

The ending was very sweet. Not sappy, but tender.

Overall, The Tycoon’s Revenge is the type of story that I like to see from Melody Anne. She wrote one book (Surrender (Volume 1)- a FSOG knockoff) that almost put me off of her books altogether , and then I read this one. I am a fan once again.

 

Surprise billionaire in BBW romance


Make You Mine (A BBW Romance) (Fifty Shades of Romance (Curves)) – ♥♥♥

Synopsis:
Daryl works for a dating agency and it is her job to sign rich, single guys for mixers to meet single ladies. Tevin has an unassuming look about him but there are clues that he has money. Since he is good looking and rich, Daryl wants to sign him up with the agency. He agrees if she will agree to date him. That is not what she had in mind, but she does want to keep her job.

Opinion:
Daryl is a sweet girl that is in a catch-22 situation. She really likes Tevin and the more she gets to know him, the greater her feelings for him. But at the same time, she is thinking about her job. She needs him to sign up so that she can keep her job. Tevin outmaneuvered her into dating him. That was okay with me since he was a cutie.

If only all uber-rich guys could be as nice as him.

This is a cute novella. I like the fact that Daryl is a BBW who is not whiny about the fact that she is curvy. The love scenes are tame, not graphic. I previously read several books that were not so great, so I was not anticipating that I would like the book that much. Plus the title said “Fifty Shades of Romance” so I lower my expectations even more.

You ask “Why did I read it?”

I am addicted to reading, I guess. I wanted to occupy some time with mindless entertainment. Some people watch reality TV.
I read trashy romance novels. But I digress…

Since I had rock bottom expectations, I was delightfully surprised with this book. It was not trashy at all. The fact that I was expecting so little made the ending much sweeter. You know from the synopsis that the leading man is rich, but there is a surprise at the end that makes you want to say “Awwwww” and read the book all over again. I will not say anymore because I want you to buy Make You Mine (A BBW Romance) (Fifty Shades of Romance (Curves)) and read it yourself.

Overall, this short story is a great purchase when you have some free time.

Why Riu Palace Las Americas hotel in Cancun should be your next resort stay

If you are going to Cancun Mexico, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Hotel Riu Palace Las Americas. There are several different Riu locations in Cancun, but I think that Las Americas location is the best.

This is a 5-star hotel all inclusive resort. When we arrived, we received a fruity drink to welcome us. Then we went to our oceanfront room, which was fabulous. We quickly changed clothes and went to relax out by the beach.
The scenery and layout of the hotel was so beautiful. Some days I would get up early (and I am not usually an early riser) just to sit by the pool and enjoy the solitude.

When hubby and I wanted to do a little souvenir shopping, there were several shopping areas within walking distance from the hotel. There was a money exchange station and ATM across the street. We also like to go to Wal-mart in different countries which was a 15-minute taxi ride. It was a plus for us that the resort was centrally located.

Here are some of the amenities that I used quite frequently
Beachfront hotel – My tip: Request an oceanfront view room. It is so relaxing to go to sleep listening to the waves
Swimming pools with swim up bar, poolside bar, pool games (i.e. pool volleyball, pool basketball) – one pool has a chill vibe and the other pool has a party vibe. Of course the party vibe pool has the bar and games.
Jacuzzi, Sauna – My tip: You have to go through the Spa to take advantage of this. It is worth it especially after working out in the gym.
Renova Spa – Wonderful services! My tip: Negotiate a deal when you schedule your massage to receive a discount on whatever services you want.
24-hour room service – My tip: Waiting time is usually about 20-30 minutes. Even if you call 3:00 in the morning! Great service for me because when I am hungry in the middle of the night, I want to eat before I go to sleep. The food was good too! Sometimes the room service food can be sketchy. Not here. Some of the best nachos I had were through room service.
In room bar (with Rum, Tequila, Vodka on tap, beer and bottled water in fridge) – I might not drink all the time, but it is nice to know that it is available. My tip: Take a water with you every time you leave the room to make sure you stay hydrated. Request juice from housekeeping to mix with your liquor.

Restaurants (that I visited – another post will be dedicated to the food of Riu Palace )
Sakura – Japanese food (open for dinner only)
Los Arcos – Italian food
El Romero – Grill and Steakhouse
Don Roberto – Breakfast buffet – made-to-order omelets, chorizo, breakfast potatoes, fruit, breads, etc
Poolside Lunch – mouthwatering grilled chicken and ribs

Every time I go to a resort, I want to go canoeing or kayaking. I did not get to go this time because the water was too rough.

There were shows performed nightly. For example, one night there was a Michael Jackson cover songs show. The shows were not too cheesy and were very entertaining.
This location did not have a nightclub but there was one next door at their sister facility.

Overall, this was one of the best resorts I have visited. The quality of the facility was top of the line. We knew how much we paid and felt that we got our money’s worth. They know how to take care of their visitors and create a comfortable, relaxing environment. All the employees had smiling faces and looked like they enjoyed their jobs. That says a lot about the work environment. I am anxiously awaiting the next time I can visit this or another Riu location.

Places like this make me wish I was a travel agent so that I would get a commission for encouraging travelers to book their next vacation here.
Riu Palace Las Americas hotel
Boulevard Kukulkan Km 8.5
Mza 50 Lote 4 – Zona Hotelera
Cancun 77500 – Quintana Roo – Mexico
Tel (52) 998 891 4300

Safe in his arms Texas Ranger style


Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1) ♥ ♥ ♥

Synopsis

Mia is an abused wife running from a crazy ex-husband. Because of her testimony, he was sentenced to prison. He is supposed to be gone for a long while and she thinks she will be able to heal and rebuild her life. Unfortunately, Texas Ranger Alex has to tell her the bad news. Her peaceful life has now become a nightmare because her ex-husband has escaped prison.

When Alex first met Mia while helping to convict her ex-husband of her attempted murder, he could not deny that he was attracted to her. But considering the circumstances of how they met, he was good not to try to put the moves on a recently battered woman. Now that he sees her again, Alex knows that he has to do everything to protect her while trying to deny the attraction that is still present.

Opinion

This is a short story with a very clear villain determined to get his wife back under his power. Fortunately for Mia, she picked a hero instead of an abusive, cowardly zero to love the second time around.

The story is gritty and action-packed. Mia’s ex has money and is well-connected. These are things that make it more difficult for the authorities to catch him and end and his reign of terror over her.

While all of this is going on, she still has time to fall in love. Granted I’m glad she does, but I wonder if it is too soon after a trauma. Maybe all she needs is a good man who would treat her right with tenderness and care (for any feminists out there, no need to hear from your peanut gallery- you know what I meant). However, a small part of me wonders how much healing does an abused woman need? It can be just as dangerous to leave one relationship and get into another without fully recuperating.

I know this post is turning serious, but when romance stories mix elements like this into their plot line, I worried about the message it sends. I do not think emotionally damaged women who have been abused and terrorized by significant others should be quick to get into another relationship ( even if the guy is a super awesome, physically well-built, make-ya-wanna-moan man). Getting physical with the new guy can confuse the situation.

Okay off my soapbox now.

Overall, I liked Safe In His Arms well enough. I was thinking about it long after I finished reading it. For the book to spur such thought and reaction says a lot. Bravo to the author for that.

To buy Safe In His Arms (Manhunt Book 1)  on Amazon click any of the links in this post