Lost Luggage… Until We Meet Again

lost luggageI was really looking forward to going back home to Chicago for Christmas and New Year’s. After living in San Francisco for several months, I was very much in need of some hometown love.  Plus, I had a staggering amount of loose ends to wrap up after dropping everything and moving in September.

The trip was exhausting, as expected, but I ultimately left Chicago feeling relieved.  It’s true, I didn’t get one full night of sleep, and I didn’t get to spend enough time with friends or family. However, my huge “things to do list” was tackled and slayed.  That alone was a tremendous weight off of my shoulders.  Despite being sleep deprived and run-down after weeks of non-stop work, I was definitely returning to California with a more optimistic mindset.  Unfortunately, my new-found optimism was slightly derailed once the airline LOST MY LUGGAGE!

I had an early morning flight back to the west coast on Sunday. When I arrived, I soon discovered not all of my luggage arrived with me.  In fact, one of my bags was never even loaded onto the plane.  After spending time in the Southwest Baggage Claim office, I was assured my bag was still in Chicago and would be on the next direct flight out, set to arrive around 11pm.  Additionally, for a fee of $25.00, my bag would be delivered to my home shortly afterwards, between midnight and 4am.  I was warned that the delivery person would call me to confirm the delivery, and if I did not answer the call, the delivery would not take place.  So, after staying up all night finishing last minute projects, and not resting on my flight, I would now be staying up another night waiting on my missing bag.

It was a struggle staying awake for a 2nd straight night, but I did it. Unfortunately, I received no call, and no bag was delivered.  I called to check on the delivery, but the Baggage Office was closed and no one would be there until morning.  By now, I was loopy from no sleep and a zombie at work, but I was excited to finally reach someone at the airport, who said my bag was located and would be to me in 4-6 hours.  FINALLY!  I’d have my bag and I could get some rest.

4-6 hours came and went and still no bag.  I was told the delivery folks were severely backed up, so I stayed up yet another night, certain my bag would arrive.  Plus, I was way too afraid to go to sleep for fear of missing that call.  Remember, I was warned… miss that call, no bag.  Bottom line…  I stayed up all night for a 3rd night and still NO FREAKING BAG!! WTF??!!

At this point, I was delirious and struggling to make sense on-air at work.  In the meantime, I received an email from the airline that said delivery driver Carlos had my bag and would drop it off by 4pm, unless traffic, weather, or something else delayed the delivery.  By now, I’m half-crazy from no sleep and upset that the airline had me “twisting in the wind” for days.

I’m happy to say, my bag arrived by 2pm, and because it was sooooooo late (3 days), I did not have to pay the $25 delivery fee.  How nice of them. (sarcasm)  Here’s a secret… at that point, there was no way in hell I was going to pay that damn fee!

I can sort of laugh about this crazy experience, now that I’ve had some sleep, but I truly sympathize with folks who have to deal with never ever getting their luggage returned.  I feel your pain.  A couple of folks asked me, what in the world was so important in that bag. There was vital paperwork and some other things, but I’m especially happy that I have all the tasty snacks I brought back from Chicago.  I can’t find them here in The Bay, and a little bit of home goes a long way in keeping the spirits up.  You know I love my snacks!  ;)

Why I Went Into the Woods

yocollageCamping, hiking, backpacking, climbing & exploring the great outdoors definitely isn’t for everyone, but it absolutely is for me! When I moved to California a little over 2 months ago, these activities were on my MUST DO list.

The overwhelming desire to spend as much time as possible in the vast wonder that is “America the Beautiful” started 2 years ago, after going on a magical 2 week trip with my mother and aunt, touring some of our most awe inspiring National Parks. I spent time enjoying the magnificence of so many natural wonders, including the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Mesa Verde, the Grand Tetons, Monument Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, & Yellowstone National Park. After that trip, I knew I wanted a life that included spending as much time as possible in places that had the same unmatched glory. Already a pretty accomplished endurance athlete, I also knew I wanted to take on the new challenge of adventure racing in that environment.

So, shortly after I returned home to Chicago, I got a part-time job at The North Face store and began to learn more about outdoor specific activities and sports. I loved it! I took in as much information as possible about all the different gear, technology, techniques, etc. I also started amassing my own collection of hiking & exploring gear.

Fast forward… I now live in California, & after just 2 months here, I went to Yosemite National Park to spend quality time in the woods. My first trip was a short one, but it was enough to take me right back to the much needed peace & calm I felt 2 years ago on my first trip into the wild. My coworker loved the idea of my adventure & I invited her to join in. Hi Freska! Everyone deserves a little wilderness healing.

It rained, hailed & the temperature got down to freezing, but I was in heaven, completely unplugged from the world with no cell phone service, no computers or tv. It was my chance to destress, decompress, & just be. I was bundled up, snuggled in a sleeping bag, in a tent, with my food safely in the bear food locker just outside… and it was perfect. I did have some trouble getting my bonfire started, but now I have it down for my next trip. I’m more than ready.

Despite the bonfire issues, I still managed to grill a pizza & make several cups of tea. Go me! :)

Never stop exploring!

New City, New Beginnings & Happy Birthday to Me!

ggbridgeIt’s been a crazy few months, but here’s a quick recap. Since late August, I left my family, friends, home & jobs in Chicago, completed my 5th IRONMAN triathlon & relocated to San Francisco to do morning radio with my best friend from college. (city #5 on my radio career tour) To say the least, I’ve been pretty busy. So far, It’s been a blast. Everyday, I still think about how wonderfully encouraging & supportive all my friends, family, colleagues & listeners were when I broke the news & how everyone continues to be. I’m extremely thankful for that.

It’s been quite the adjustment, but little things like, my new city’s baseball team winning the World Series, visiting Facebook headquarters, going stand-up paddle boarding in the Pacific Ocean, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, & Oprah coming to town, & taking in all of the iconic SF sights have definitely eased the transition.

On this eve of my birthday, I’m reflecting on the road I’ve traveled thus far & thinking about all the new & exciting things I have planned for the new year. Stay tuned… things are bound to get pretty interesting. Thanks for joining me on my journey. xo :)



R&B Artist Tank Discusses New Album Before Huge Release Party (Audio)


Tank is super fun! He’s such a down to earth guy & truly a hustler. I’ve seen him more times over my career than any other recording artist, because he works so hard at promoting his music. Check out our chat about his new album, “Stronger,” & everything else he has going on.


Is This All a Big Scam??

home depotI recently sat with myself and thought about the hundreds of surveys I’ve filled out over the years. You see those surveys at the bottom of your shopping receipts. Well, I’m the schmuck that fills out the survey at the bottom of those receipts for each and every single shopping trip I take. It’s actually quite depressing to think of how much time I’ve spent doing this, because I’ve never won anything! Home Depot, Target, Walgreens, Jewel, etc. Filling out these receipt surveys is a steady routine I have had for nearly 10 years, and now I’m starting to feel a bit scammed. I’ve never known anyone or even heard of anyone winning any of these $5,000 shopping sprees to Home Depot, $3,000 monthly cash prizes to Walgreens, $500 weekly gift cards to Target, etc. So, I’m sure I must be getting scammed.

These companies are getting all my valuable information in the form of honest answers about their company and I keep coming up with the big, fat goose egg. I’m realizing, I could have been doing so many things with that extra time over the last decade. These last 10 years have been my “prime of my life,” “enjoy your youth” years, and I’ve been on a damn computer filling out stupid receipt surveys. I have easily wasted at least a good 2 weeks of my life if you add up all of the time. I can’t get that damn time back. At least with the lottery, you hear of people winning. So what the hell, Home Depot, Target, Walgreens, Jewel, etc. What gives? Is this your clever plan to get free market research? You crafty bastards… you got me good!

If these companies have stolen your precious moments of youth too, and you feel my pain, let’s rise up and demand we hear about all of these supposed weekly and monthly winners… if they really do exist as these companies claim. But, here’s my dilemma. Do I just throw in the towel, cold turkey, and give up all hope of winning, because I think I’ve been duped all these years? Or do I hang in there on faith that my persistence has to pay off one of these days, since I’ve already committed so much of my valuable time. Decisions, decisions.

Cherry & Feta Quinoa Salad


I just found this super yummy, Summer salad. It’s great warm from the stove, at room temperature, or even slightly chilled, as an on-the-go, healthy lunch treat. This versatile salad can even shape-shift using any other fruit that looks great. Feel free to swap the cherries for strawberries, blackberries, or nectarines. Watch the video to see how it’s done. Enjoy!!



2 cups Quinoa

2 cups Cherries

1/2 lb Feta Cheese

1/4 cup Almonds

1/2 cup Flat Leaf Parsley


4 tsp Olive Oil

3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

3 tbsp Shallots

Juice From Cherries


Trey Songz Visits Soul 106.3 to Discuss Very Personal New Album (Audio)

trey songz n alexx

Trey Songz & I had fun when he dropped in to discuss his new album, Trigga. Trey explains exactly why he’s single & plans to stay that way for a while. Listen in.




Coming Soon: Hot, Old Men!!! (Video)


I can’t remember the last time I looked forward to a movie this much!! Check out the latest trailer with Sly Stallone and the rest of the fellas in “The Expendables 3!” Keep the action coming!!

Singer/Reality TV Star Tamar Braxton Stops by Soul 106.3 to Chat (Audio)

tamar n alexx 2

Tamar & I always have fun when she drops in. She came to get me up to speed on her current tour, the premiere dates for the next seasons of her 2 reality shows, & her upcoming syndicated talk show. We had a great convo, as usual!! Feel free to eavesdrop!  http://www.soul1063radio.com/pages/18743403.php?pid=406785