Archive | June, 2014

Road Trip, a Flashback, a Game of Hide and Seek, and a Kia Soul

20 Jun

I remember seeing the first hamster Kia Soul commercial – you know the one before they turned into gansta hamsters – the one where you really just couldn’t help but bop along. This one….

For a long time, every time we saw a Kia Soul on the road we did the “hamster fingers” tapping on the door panel. Silly but I felt compelled.

A couple weeks ago, my friend and oh so talented writer Lois from Midlife at the Oasis, and I went on a press trip to Long Beach and Lois got a Kia Soul for us to test out! How totally fun! Lois had to make a stop on the way out of town so, the plan was for me to get dropped me off at the door and text when I got there so I could find the car. I saw this, as we drove into the parking lot….


We are both at that age where we forget and lose stuff, like cars in parking lots and that, my friends, was not going to be an issue with this brightly colored beauty. My usual, “Holy crap where did we park” panic vanished and was replaced by the comforting thought that we would be able to find this car anywhere.

In brain health style, I made a game that will help you understand. Find and click on the Kia!

The Kia Soul handled like a dream. We talked, we laughed, and we sang along to Lois’ wonderfully eclectic iPod as we zipped effortlessly in and out of lanes.
I love road trips – they create a space where you have no choice but to connect with the person you are with. Who doesn’t love a captive audience, right? One of my favorite parts of this road trip and the Kia Soul was the oh so comfortable seats. Age, for me, carries with it a few aches and physical issues that make sitting for long stretches a bit challenging if the chair is not right. Just like Baby Bear’s bed, the seats in this Kia Soul were not too hard, not too soft but just right!

Off we go, drumming our hamster fingers on the door panel.

smaller kia photo


Zooming Out Tuesday Big Reveal: Details in the Hotel Maya

17 Jun

Oh the beautiful things we found in the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, CA.  From the moment we walked in the front door there was an authentic warm and welcoming feeling that ran through every room, outdoor living area, and restaurant / bar.

Now let’s zoom out and reveal the bigger picture of each of these cool features from yesterday’s puzzles.




The last two BOTH came out of this one.  First see the detail on the top and then, look to far right for the pillow on the edge beyond the smiling happy people :)!

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Lois and I both look forward to coming back to this beautiful place!


Zooming in on the Tiny Details of Travel

16 Jun

My friend Lois and I went on a press trip to Long Beach a few weeks ago. The Long Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau showed us the sites, feed us intellectually, provided some adventure, and stuffed us to the gills with amazing food in beautiful settings.

This trip fit right into the brain healthy aspects of travel! Long Beach is full of things to learn, active lifestyle choices, and even a few  purposeful / citizen science activities — all of which I plan to talk about but  today is puzzle day.

Our first stop, The Hotel Maya, was one of our absolute favorites. It was so nice to be in a place where the people, the appetizers, the scenery, the rooms, and the cabanas were about as pleasant and comfortable as life gets!  This easy atmosphere allowed us to do what we do best — enjoy the moment and laugh, just a bit :)!

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Let’s look at some of the tiny details we found in, The Hotel Maya, and focus on the little things that made it great!   All of the following are tiny pieces of things we found on the property.  Can you guess what they are?

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What impeccable attention to detail!  Come back tomorrow to zoom out to see how these beautiful details fit oh so well!

Game of the Week: Find the Difference in Cozy Places to stay

4 Jun

Challenging your brain is sometimes easier when you travel or explore new places close to home.  Think about this:

  •  Everything is new when you set out to explore. Novel things make you stretch your thinking in different directions.
  • Traveling allows you to activate those sensory pathways to get a fuller picture of the experience. When you try to take in and get a handle on the whole experience, you activate so much more of your brain.
  • You also might be more likely to pay attention to the things that make you “feel” when you set out to explore than in your everyday life — all in the name of understanding a place, its culture, its people, its rhythms.

Two types of puzzles today — each letting you focus on different processes and examine the details in the scene — and two types of exploring.

The first puzzle is from a recent trip to Long Beach. We went on an Urban Harbor Tour with Harbor Breeze Cruises and explored the many sides of this beautiful harbor and got a great view of the Queen Mary from the water!  Find the one photo that is different!

Long beach patrol boat static


The next two puzzles are Find the Difference puzzles.  Find the 5 differences in these 2 scenes from Bed & Breakfasts in San Diego.  Can you feel the peace and quiet?


Horton Grand Hotel


Elsbree Bed and Breakfast

Zooming Out: Restaurants in Long Beach, What a Treat!

3 Jun

The big reveal….
The first 2 zoomed in photos were taken at The Boat House on the Bay, a steak and seafood restaurant perched on the edge of Alamitos Bay. We enjoyed a breath taking view as we ate… you guessed it….

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…and this heavenly plate of sea bass and veggies….



The next two photos were taken at The Attic on Broadway, a funky little place with eclectic decor and mismatched cups and plates that just felt like home!  This photo was of a selection from the extensive Bloody Mary Bar!  Yes, that is a rib and a cornichon!

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Now the really crazy– crazy delicious — dish from The Attic… Mac ‘n Cheetos.  Sounds odd to put spicy Cheetos on top of a bowl of creamy mac ‘n cheese packed with bacon but oh my, my, my…it worked so well!

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Before last week, I did not know that Long Beach was really a foodie heaven but it is!  Look for more food photos from restaurants in Long Beach in more puzzles coming both here and in the Games section of the site!



Zooming In on the Smallest Details

2 Jun

Today’s zooming in puzzles are all food items!

I spent 4 days in beautiful Long Beach, CA  as part of the Beach With Benefits campaign and ate my way through the town! I was so pleasantly surprised by the number of wonderful restaurants and creative food items served. More on Long Beach and the cool stuff to see, learn, do, and eat later but today, can you identify the subject of these zoomed in photos?

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Check back tomorrow to find out not just what these are but where to find them!!!

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