This post is being written at thirty thousand feet somewhere over the middle of the country. This week I have been as far from the Atlantic ICW as I’ve been in over a year. Las Vegas. Not my favorite town, but I survived. It was market week there and since we are staying in Mississippi until middle February I decided to tag along with Katie and Dana from our Ocean Springs store and actually work a little.

I suppose everyone should see Vegas once in their lives. It’s like no other place. Wealthy developers have recreated every environment imaginable there, but none of it is real. Everywhere you look is a fake and plastic, larger -than-life world separated from the fake and plastic world next door by walled walkways and escalators. You can’t escape the smoke or the noise. Everyone working there looks tired. Everyone playing there looks tired. I guess that’s why as I sit on this plane I’m tired. We worked hard, played hard, walked a lot, and slept not much.

But…there is a lot of energy in the market at these shows! I never get tired of that part. The hunt for the new, hot find is always on your mind as you walk the floor with the music pulsing and the beautiful people moving about. Now this being my forty first year in the business I have seen pretty much everything. It’s getting a bit telling of my age ( and believe me there is nothing like walking a Vegas show to make you feel your age), when I see something come around again and reappear as a hot fashion trend for the third time! Even Katie and Dana were seeing looks that they wore in high school re-emerging for the younger generation to call its own. You’ve got to love this business!! We do!

Chinese New Year…the year of the Pig!

Roosters!

Now the last weekend in January we ventured down to Naples to spend three nights in the home of high school friends, the Gieb’s. Four couples, the guys who have been friends since grade school and the four of us wives enjoyed catching up and hanging out. Since we had cut across Florida through Lake Okeechobee north of there on our trek in Pelican we never got that far down the west coast. It was fun to see the area. It was even more fun to spend time with old friends. We laughed until our faces hurt, danced like we were at the prom, and swapped stories like it was our jobs! Every time Jay had a tale to tell he’d jump up and say” I get really jazzed about this…!” If you have ever met Jay Gieb you will know he spends his life being jazzed and his energy and enthusiasm for everything he does is truly infectious! It was an amazing weekend. Thanks for the hospitality!

Sundown drinks at Naples beach

Bob and Melissa Riley

The boys!

Mike and Katie Kahler

Jay and Ann Gieb

The ladies at sunset

Purple green and gold are popping up along the Gulf Coast these recent weeks and our annual Gautier Men’s Club Mardi Gras Ball was held last Saturday night. It’s always a great time to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Mike and I put on our dancing shoes and our finery and joined the party. Celebrating its fortieth year as a club they invited the past royalty to promenade out in the spotlight once more. It was fun! Though first in line at breakfast and paying the price the next day we were glad that we went.

Gautier Men’s Club 2019 ball

So this week we are preparing to return to the low country after the Celebration of Life for our friends Johnny and Teresa Nelson. We carry their memories with us as we get back on board to continue our adventure. Certainly their passing so soon to the next life shows us how important it is to grasp at the opportunities to live as large as we can, while we can. That’s what we set out to do on Day One and that’s what we continue to do as this year unfolds. Friendships and memories are cherished gifts that are always welcomed aboard.

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