Reflect

Are Memories Becoming a Thing of the Past? – Resort Girls

November 27, 2018
Palmetto Bluff

In today’s “insta-age”, has it become just too easy to turn to the new – pieces, places and faces? The instant gratification found in our social media feeds fill our minds, every moment of every day with flashes of the present that quickly become memories of the past.
But what happens to those images from our past? In these fast-paced days, there is little time to REFLECT – on snapshots of days gone by.

Our smartphones now hold most memories in instant and constant flashes of daily life. With limited memory space, unless downloaded, these images can be easily erased. And even with the remaining photographs taking up space, it takes some time to get back to those earlier memories…which are generally only one or two years past.

So how can we keep those memories dear from over the years? Maybe we should bring back the good old-fashioned photo albums and scrapbooks. These books are the storytellers of a family’s past and they are passed down through families to teach the newer generations how their relatives lived and loved.
These albums used to sit on tabletops or were placed on family book shelves. They sat just waiting to be opened to tell of days gone by. That was their purpose, to keep traditions alive and to thrive for future generations.

They opened minds both young and old to stories of days of old. These moments, both joyous and even trying at times, made up part of who we are. They should be cherished and appreciated. Life is about loving, living, crying and even dying. It is about meeting new faces and remembering the old ones.

Let’s not make haste or waste what took place in our days of past.
Let’s respect those who stood by us.
Let’s respect those who raised us.
Let’s respect those who mentored us.
Let’s respect those who loved us.
Let’s cherish those who held us.
Let’s honor those who supported us.
Let’s honor those who challenged us.
Let’s even remember those who left us.
Let’s praise those who taught us to worship.

Let’s just remember….

So maybe this year for the holiday season, give an old-fashioned scrapbook to someone you love – or make one to pass on to your family. Download and print those iPhone photos and take some time to include those saved a few years back.

Put them in a beautiful binder as a meaningful reminder of days gone past. This keepsake can now sit on a tabletop or take a prominent place on the family bookshelf. And when the days grow colder, you can pull out this binder as a reminder of those warm sunny days of past. Share the stories behind the pictures with your friends and family members. Or, you can just indulge in personal reflection of how these moments in time made you laugh, love and even sometimes cry.

I play music when I write, and a song playing in the background right now seems so appropriate for this topic, it’s “The Story in Your Eyes” by the Moody Blues.

Look back and reflect on the story in your eyes, Resort Girls and Guys. It tells us who we are and where we came from and even helps us on where we are going….
Relax, Reflect and Recharge!

Reflect

The Leaves of a Resort Girl Life

November 5, 2018

A quote by one of my favorite personal development gurus, Jim Rohn, says:

Success is a Journey not a Destination

This seemed to be a theme this week in my reading – if you think you reach success and then stop – you will also put the brakes on your personal growth. Growth must always be a part of our life, even as we advance in age.

As I have officially arrived in the Fall season of my life, the leaves of life are starting to turn.

Like the Fall leaves, my true colors are starting to emerge. It took years to grow into who I am. Maybe that is what life is all about…growing into a beautiful person of many ideas, thoughts and – ultimately –wisdom.

We are so green and growing in our youth, just like the Spring blossoms. Then, we are bright and sunny during our adult years. Our souls are shining with new ideas and the thrill of discovery. We are like the burning rays of a hot summer day…setting the world on fire.

Then we reach the Fall years, when this growing turns our souls into their true beauty. We have become a mixture of colors influenced by all the loves, careers, cares and dares of our younger years.

Our souls are almost there…to the winter of our lives where we are wiped clean, like the first winter snow. Our minds and even hair turn to the purest of white…we are ready for eternal life.

I plan to appreciate the seasons of my life and not fight them. I will make the best of each season.
This is my season to appreciate what wisdom the world has given me and keep building and growing towards the peaceful Winter rest that is given to us.

We leave this world as we came, naked like the winter trees and with minds reborn just like a newborn.

That is my hope in life.

Resort Girl

Reflect

Should Motels Make a Comeback?

October 22, 2018

During a recent stay in Florida, I came upon an exhibit called “Historic Hotels and Motels” at the Winter Park Historical Museum. The museum was on a street my feet used to walk many times – as it was in my hometown.
As a native Floridian, born in Miami and growing up in Orlando Florida, my youthful days were spent amongst the palm trees, lakes and shores. And many times, I stayed in the famous hotels and motels that were showcased in this exhibit.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a motel as “a roadside hotel designed primarily for motorists, typically having the rooms arranged in a low building directly outside.”


We don’t see too many motels in these modern days. We are greeted upon arrival at a hotel by the valet, and are deprived of the privilege of pulling directly up to our room. At a motel, unloading your bags was easy, and if you forgot something in the car, you didn’t need to walk very far to retrieve it.

As the exhibit stated, many individuals – not corporations – ran these motels and even hotels – and they were entrepreneurs. And each year, folks packed in the car and drove near and far to pull up to that motel door. They knew the owners, they knew many of the other families staying, they loved this little slice of paradise.

These motels also featured the unit air conditioner. The exhibit had a typical room with the unit air conditioner, Matisse bedspread and funky sun mirror. Personally, I loved the humming sound of the unit air conditioner. We now pay money for apps that replicate that same peaceful sound, but the app does not have the cool air attached.

Air-conditioning was a new luxury to travelers in the South, as many of the beach resorts of old did not have this modern amenity. And in the end, they were demolished to make room for newer hotels and motels.

But…let’s not forget the unforgettable pool parties of past. They were amazing back then at many motels and hotels. And the Langford in Winter Park was one of the hippest places to stay – and even live. Many folks found it a way of life to reside at these hotels, or escape into oblivion. The exhibit revealed that many notable figures used it as an escape and hideout for days or weeks at a time.
But, as a photographer, my eyes went to a black and white photo of one of those infamous pool parties. I just pictured sitting there in my linen dress with short gloves and hair in an up-do, just watching the amazing, over-the-top entertainment.

The photo depicted a once in a lifetime pool party taking place. First, there was a pool filled with lovely women who were synchronized swimmers, with heads adorned with stylish rubber swim caps. Next to the swimmers, a couple was water skiing – how they pulled that off puzzled me. But, to my surprise there were also ice-skaters! A small ice rink was perched high above the pool. It was amazing; and I wondered just how you can have both warm pool water and cool ice surfaces.

Oh, I so wanted to have been at that hip pool party scene!

Then you have the wonderful motel pool family parties. Pools were filled with colorful umbrellas and plenty of poolside lounges and chairs. Parents got to mingle and take a rest while their kids played with the rest of the kids visiting for the summer. The wide-rimmed glasses, the martinis, the beach balls, the flipping of burgers near the tennis courts, all within walking distance from your motel room – how hip and fun!

I, for one, remember diving off many a motel spring board. Do we even have diving boards anymore? Waterslides are now a standard feature in many pools, but diving boards could be pretty scary – especially the high ones, which could prove painful when you belly flopped!

But those hip pool days are a thing of the past, replaced by more sophisticated pool landscapes.
On our own beautiful island, two of the original motels were the Sea Crest on Forest Beach and the William Hilton Inn. From what I have gathered after reading stories of the past and recollections on the internet, the Sea Crest was created for stranded individuals who just let the day of playing on the beach get away from them – and they needed a place to rest their weary heads.

But the William Hilton Inn was a hip modern motel of the 1960s. I discovered an old postcard on eBay featuring an image of the hotel with the caption, “Looking in from the Atlantic Ocean – features two pools, putting green, badminton, tennis, golf, dancing, oyster roasts – and free island tours.” Now that sounds like an exciting place to visit!

The Langford Hotel, the original Sea Crest and the William Hilton Inn have all been torn down and replaced by more modern inns and hotels. However, memories of all these motel parties and events remain in the hearts and minds of those lucky souls who were part of the in-crowd during those retro motel/hotel days.
A good oyster roast, round of golf, and dip in the pool never go out of style. Maybe the times were a bit hipper back then. The owners were entrepreneurs, not corporations. Most notably, the parties were amazing, and the time spent on the beach was fun-filled and memorable.
As the billboards in front of the motels many times read, “Wish you Were Here”, I so enjoyed reading all of them as we traveled down the road to our motel. And do miss (and wish) some of those old hotel and motels were still around town.

And I wondered, with Airbnb and retro trailers gaining popularity…maybe some of those old roadside motels might make a comeback.

I drive along many southern back roads. These now closed-down “motels” have beautiful settings, inviting me to imagine the days gone by. One such motel still has one room available and an older gentleman – maybe the old proprietor- sits in his metal chair and just watches the cars go by. There is something soothing about just watching the cars go by, many times in the middle of nowhere. Maybe it’s time to get that pool up and running again and add a great BBQ.

Who knew that just chilling with a few folks who came year after year to enjoy that pool, that BBQ and maybe even some cool entertainment could have been so appealing.
And then again, are we not going back to that again with the new lodgings such as Airbnb…owners who welcome you as their personal guests.

Maybe the roadside “motel” just might make a comeback….

Relax, Reflect and Recharge

Reflect

What Are the Dreams in Your Eyes, Resort Girl?

March 29, 2018

“It’s as if as you read my thoughts! You appear to understand so much about this, like you wrote the guide on it or something,” Resort Girl Chelsea commented. She went on to say, “I think that you just can do with a few more pictures to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is an excellent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.”

So, in response to Chelsea’s suggestion, I decided to share a personal story on how this Resort Girl’s wide-eyed “what” dreams came true.

In my late twenties, my relationship and career consumed my life. As a young woman with big dreams in her eyes, I knew it was not where my destiny was. I was living in a small, basement apartment, with a 9 to 5 job in a finance field where, back then, very few woman advanced.

As I plugged away day and night in my tiny dark cube, hitting the calculator keys for hours, I realized this was not the right place for me. 9 to 5 life did not suit my energetic and creative personality. I had studied for a business finance degree and always been good in math, so therefore it was just the chosen path for my first careers. But I struggled daily, I had little passion and, thus, I had limited success.

THEN…. one night I had this vision – a dream life picture! I was dancing in a beautiful European square, in a formal dress, with the moonlight shining above and music playing throughout the crisp air.

This resort girl had a dream… I wanted to see and experience the world!

RG-Has-Dream

And there was my personal Resort Girl first “where” and “what.” What I wanted my dream life to be. Each night when I went back to my little dark and stark apartment, that glorious and grand vision appeared in my head. It gave my soul the light it needed to keep shining.

I traded in my truck for a used VW bug convertible – the wind in my hair inspired my dreams.

Of course, I am a dreamer and a bit odd, so my creative mind tends to get away from me at times! Thus, this Resort Girl has learned the hard way to keep her visions real and down to earth. So, I next enrolled in a Master’s program in Finance, but took international finance courses. The firm offered to pay for some of my studies, as long as they related to the business. Fortunately, there was enough international subject matter to satisfy me.

At night, I would leave those cold calculator keys and go learn about the bright, big world and how it worked. Even at my young age, I knew education was the avenue to success and to a better life. Learning is an excellent way to live in words and lessons before actually living or doing something. The books, internet and the experts you encountered along the way give you inspiration and ideas to bring your plan to life.

But, that first Resort Girl vision started me on the “what” of what I wanted for my Perfect life plan. Very soon after enrolling, I met my partner in life and business for the next two decades. He was an international finance professor, and we went on to start a successful small business in corporate training (I had also learned at the time that this Resort Girl had to work for herself.)

And, it is how I built my dream Resort Girl life… to experience the world.

As most of our clients were Fortune 500 and international firms, we traveled around the world, at times even in a private corporate jet. I remember one trip, when we visited 11 countries in 16 days for a firm. If you are on an international path, they keep you going forward to save airfare. While it’s not ideal for your ear drums, it is good for your wide, dreaming RG eyes.

Pre-9/11, and also during pre-recession years, international travel was so much more relaxing and carefree . The events we spoke at were always held in top-notch resorts and were designed to train and honor the hard work of all of their their dedicated associates and partners. My partner and I got to tag along and experience some breath-taking places—and, best of all, much of it was paid for, so we would add a quick vacay at end of them! We worked long hours and took many risks to get there, but we made it.

This Resort Girl got her “what.” I did get to dance on that European street in my formal dress – several times over.

But success brings change… and people change… and sometimes, so does your life.

So now, as a single woman again, I am on my next vision… Resort Girl Worldwide:

…Resort Girl, a lifestyle brand, enchants the adventurous woman who dreams of far-away places, relaxing but recharging experiences, and words of wisdom to reflect upon. The Resort Girl…the new “it” girl…is a woman who is on an ongoing journey, exploring her physical and mental abilities while enjoying and living gracefully with nature.

What are the dreams in your eyes, Resort Girls? Tell us how you are discovering and exploring your “what.”

Reflect

Can you Spring Anew Resort Girls and Guys?

October 28, 2017

Can you start anew?
Can you make another dream come true?
You can…by keeping a positive view
I believe it is true
That you
Can always
Spring anew!
Like the seasons do
Like the trees do
Like the seedlings too
If and only if
YOU
Believe it is true
Can you renew?
Can you develop into a new
And better
You?
It is up to you and only
You
Cast away the negatives
Say no, not me
I am still able and free
To be
Young and healthy
Say
My body thrives
My mind still dives
Into new adventures
Always venturing
Keep dreaming away
Every day
Break…
Rise and shine
With only hopeful thoughts in mind
It is only when we give up
That our souls grow old
We are to leave this world as children
Life to the end can be filled with fun
Run, Run, Run
From those who categorize you
By the number of your years
It is just their fears…
Each year
Is filled with beauty beyond compare
Do not compare
Them to old
Like the seasons
Each year builds a new
YOU
Never give into reasons
You are told
Why you cannot be bold
While your soul
Always stays dreaming!

Resort Girl and Guys

by Resort Girl

Reflect

Resort Girls and Guys Surf the Swell…Knowing All Will Be Well

September 12, 2017
THayesmountainwaves

As the Waves in the Ocean Rise
Resort Girls and Guys Surf the Swell
Riding out the Turbulent Tides with Pride in their State
Remaining Courageous in the Rough Seas
Knowing the Skies and their Lives will Shine Bright!

Honoring all those brave Resort Girls and Guys whose lives have been impacted by the recent Hurricanes

Resort Girl

Painting by Toby Hayes, Winter Park Florida