1. Travel Cubes.

Travel cubes fit nicely in my carry-on suitcase

http://amzn.to/2rHWUUa  I love travel cubes are one of the best travel products because they allow me to plan ahead and pack some essentials. This is not easy for me as I tend to do things at the last minute. I have been using Eagle Creek size medium for several years and they still look new. I pack my essentials like undergarments, pajamas, allergy pillow covers, and toiletries a week ahead in one cube. Beachwear, towel, and sunscreen for warm weather in another. For colder weather gloves, thermals, sweaters, and jackets ( unless I wear it during travel)  A few days ahead I roll my shirts for easy viewing in another cube. I usually try to pack dresses and pants as flat as possible on top of the cubes to avoid wrinkling.

When I arrive at my destination I hang up the dresses and pants. I place the packing cubes in drawers without the need to take everything out. It keeps my things clean and organized.

2)The Demi Hugger.    http://amzn.to/2rIbXNw  It allows me to carry additional items on my rolling suitcase. I usually use a large bag or purse to hold things I can not be without: medications, a large scarf if the plane gets cold, a change of clothes, snacks, a cell phone, and a tablet. You can use a  carry-on suitcase with a large bag (that fits under the seat) secured on top with the Demi Hugger. Eliminate the need to check luggage which saves you time and money. Oops! I almost forgot to tell you that I fold or roll my Demi Hugger and use it as a back or neck rest when flying.

3) Sanitizing Hand Wipes and Disinfectant Wipes. Wipe the tray table on the plane and remote control and light switches at the hotel. Studies have shown the remote and light switches to be the dirtiest things in a hotel room.

23 Jun 2012   New Study Reveals Most Contaminated Areas of Hotel Rooms Gotta Dettol that remote control first

I am a procrastinator, are you? Packing the night before a trip was stressful. Not anymore, thanks to Packing cubes.  I pack most items a week or two before traveling. My clothes are clean organized and ready to go. There is ample time to refill prescriptions before travel.

Although I still do a final check the night before.  I stress less by packing a week or two ahead of time.

Unpacking is so easy. Simply place the packing cubes in a drawer, on a shelf, or leave them in my suitcase. It is easy to find what you’re looking for.

I have had my eagle creek packing cubes for years, and love them. https://amzn.to/3c5X3su




The Big Moose Inn is a hidden gem. Make sure to look for the sign on the opposite side of the road, easy to miss. It is a simple,quaint, cozy and nicely furnished Inn with a Restaurant, Tavern, and great waterfront location. Unfortunately for us the Tavern and Restaurant were not yet open on weekdays, the menu sure looked good. Luckily were able to experience the Continental breakfast. No, it was not cereal, packaged crescent rolls, and donuts.

The best continental breakfast I have ever had. I was pleasantly surprised with the included Continental Breakfast. No, it was not cereal, packaged crescent rolls and donuts. You had a choice of homemade muffins, coffee cake and granola. Yogurt, berries, hard boiled eggs, cereal, toast, English muffins coffee tea or juice were all available. They were pleasantly served by the owner, Susan Mayer. Yes, you could get them all.

We enjoyed the beautiful view from our room and restaurant. Although the weather was a bit dreary we even went kayaking on the lake. The room was appropriately furnished with a lovely stained glass window.

Hosts Mark and Susan Mayer were pleasant and accommodating. We enjoyed our informative conversations where we learned a lot about the area. If the weather had been better it would have been an outstanding two day get away. It was a pleasant experience in spite of the weather. Great mini  vacation.

I would definitely recommend The Big Moose Inn.  www.bigmooseinn.com

Natalie from Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown Travel & Lifestyle Blog recently reviewed the Demi Hugger on her website. The full article can be found here and there is also a giveaway available!

“I think it should be a rule that, when you have kids, you grow at least one more arm for every kid you bring into the family.

Yes, you’d probably look ridiculous with those octopus-like appendages, but let’s be honest: as a parent, you already have barf in your hair and a mysterious stain on your pants, you can’t remember where you put your keys (again), and there’s likely a small human clinging to some part of you. So, ridiculous basically becomes a relative term.

Until the human race figures out that whole additional arms thing, parents are left to struggle on their own terms, navigating small humans who love to pretend that they are hard of hearing. While I adore traveling with my little Cosmos Mariners, it can be stressful to juggle the holding of small hands, the pushing of suitcases, and the organizing of carry-ons.

In a never ending effort to find ways to make family travel easier, I am willing to try anything once. Sometimes, I come across a product that is okay, but doesn’t rock my world. But, other times, I luck up and discover something that automatically shoots to the how-did-I-live-without-this list.

Enter the Demi Hugger. This small, unassuming rectangle of fabric is quite deceiving, but, now that I’ve had the chance to play with it, I know it’s going to be adding to our list of essential travel items.”

Read the full article and enter the giveaway here!

You must see the #Falaknuma #Palace when visiting #Hyderabad #India. In Urdu Falaknuma means “Like the Sky” or “Mirror of the Sky”.   The castle sits on 32 #amazingly #beautiful and super well maintained acres. Imagine spending the night in a palace and being treated like royalty. You can actually stay here at this luxurious Palace with  5 star accommodations. A travelers treasure.

My husband and I were lucky enough to get dinner reservations on short notice. Reservations for dinner including a tour of the palace is required. The security is tight, bring your passport. Security meets you at the gate and check your name for reservations. You are then escorted onto the palace grounds in a golf cart, what fun.

Try to be early so you have a chance to enjoy the meticulously maintained pathways and verandas. I could not believe how beautiful the views were. The picture does not do it justice. 

For dinner you have the choice between traditional Hyderabad fare and Italian. We chose Italian. That’s right Italian, we had been eating the local food all week and it was a nice change. Now about the food, it was amazing.  Before our multi course dinner the chef sent out a tiny appetizer. It was so good I wanted more. My husband said it was not proper to ask, I asked anyway. We were rewarded with a second serving and a visit from the chef who was thrilled I liked it so much. See our picture with the chef: Hooray for asking for more and complimenting the chef’s creation. I had a fancy ravioli that was delicious. Who thought we would find such great Italian food in India.

It was a lovely evening of great food, special treats, drinks, and ambiance.

    I give the Palace and restaurant 5 stars.

To learn more about the architecture and history of the Falaknuma Palace go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falaknuma_Palace

I Felt Like a Millionaire
where my husband attended a 2 day conference . We both toured the Hyderabad area for 4 days. The hotel offered full day dedicated drivers at a fixed rate that we used throughout the week.

Danzil,our driver, spoke excellent English and offered recommendations on the local area.He also knew where to park and drove smoothly through extremely crowded streets.  It was inexpensive and very comforting to have a secure car/driver waiting for you at every stop. (In the US, would a driver wait for more than 2 hours while you went to a Castle or Palace for touring or dinner?). At the advice of the hotel staff I chose to have Danzil accompany me on my search for fabric, a suitcase to carry home our treasures, and yes more beautiful pearl jewelry. He Knew all the best places to shop.

The many hotel attendees were fantastic and cordial in meeting our every need as well as the restaurant staff who were outstanding in service. The hotel even had an amazing Thai Restaurant as well as one that catered to local cuisine and a poolside grill.

We were pleasantly surprised by a small cake welcoming us and a surprise happy anniversary cake, flowers and balloons shortly after I mentioned it to one of the staff. We would definitely recommend this Hyderabad hotel to others and come back next time to Hyderabad.

Happy Travels



I was very excited to have the opportunity to travel to India, but there was much to do before the visit.

Preparing for your visit to India

•Travelers PASSPORT MUST be VALID for 6 months beyond your stay in India.
• Visit your travel clinic for vaccine and medication requirements and suggestions.
• Arrange your accommodations  before the Visa application. Visa application requests this information.
• Apply for a Visa early enough to ensure approval before your trip.(Unfortunately I cut it little too close and was getting nervous ) . I used Travisa to make the process easier and faster.
• Purchase an airline ticket
• Make sure you have an adequate supply of prescription medications as well as over the counter medications. Pack them in your carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost.

What should I wear?  I wanted my clothing to be respectful of the culture.

• Advice from my Indian friend, Neelam, along with posts I found online were most valuable in planning my wardrobe. Bloggers who gave me good advice for what to wear in India.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/163044448986264962/ Bloglovin’

Thank You

In Summary the best Clothing choices:
• No shorts, short dresses, and show no cleavage. Basically nothing revealing or sexy.
• I went with: Capri pants with long shirts. The traditional Indian Kurtis, borrowed from Neelam, with leggings or jeans. Kurtis are a long cotton shirt with side slits, very comfortable and pretty. I bought a couple more while in India. Most of the women I saw in Hyderabad wore Saris, even on motor bikes, or Kurtis. I was glad Neelam encouraged me to borrow a couple of hers, otherwise I would have felt out of place.
• Scarfs and shawls are very practical for covering up and adding color to your wardrobe.
• Comfortable shoes, sneakers and sandals are a must. I would not recommend high heels as the sidewalks are broken in many spots.

Getting to Hyderabad India from Boston requires a lot of fly time.

We flew tourist class on Qatar Airways.
The first flight from Boston to Doha was about 12 hours. The plane was very comfortable and equipped with a TV monitor for movies and games at every seat. Headphones, pillows and blankets were also provided at no extra cost. They served 3 meals along with drinks and snacks. No need for the snacks I had packed. The second flight from Doha to Hyderabad was 4 hours long in a smaller plane but still comfortable. The amenities were similar Great flying experience.

We arrived in Hyderabad at 2:30 AM. I’m glad we arranged for a car to take us to the hotel, Vivanta by Taj, https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/begumpet-hyderabad/ . Luckily we had arranged and paid for that day’s stay and did not have to wait for an afternoon check in. We immediately went to sleep.
A great hotel and services throughout our stay.

Ever try to balance a lot of stuff on top of your suitcase or fling all those bags over your shoulder while rolling your suitcase through the airport only to have them crash in a heap across the floor? Not anymore thanks to the Demi Hugger!

The Demi Hugger travel strap is great travel companion and the best travel invention since the rolling suitcase. It’s a soft stretchable strap that easily attaches to the handle of your suitcase and securely hugs your bags, coats, pillows, or other additional items, making travel a cinch. Best of all, the Demi Hugger is lightweight, soft, removable, and can be used both vertically and horizontally; it works without metal or hard plastic hooks and clamps. 

The Demi Hugger is the must-have travel accessory for 2016. Demi Hugger will help you travel with ease this year.


We spent a week at Bentley Brook resort at the foot of the mountain at Jiminy Peak Mountain resort.  It is a beautiful area with a lot to do besides skiing. I must say that the skiing and snowboarding are great and the mountain views are beautiful. As a new skier in my 50s.with limited abilities, I still enjoyed some skiing. I enjoyed other activities as well. My family was much braver and more skilled than I and enjoyed the tougher runs.

There is more than skiing in the Berkshires . Check it out:


Here are my favorite pictures.


Don’t stop here . Keep going there is more to see.

Skiing, snowboarding and Box races:                  IMG_0212-2IMG_0958IMG_0075  IMG_0071

Snowshoeing is one of my favorite things to do. It is great exercise and you can really enjoy the views:

IMG_0014_0201 IMG_1084 IMG_0944 IMG_0031_0218 IMG_1075 IMG_1081

Relaxing, wine tasting and, crafting:

2015 03 20_4418 2015 03 20_4417 IMG_0882 2016 02 13_3221



IMG_1046 IMG_1045 IMG_1015 IMG_1014 IMG_1000

I hope you enjoy visiting the Berkshires as much as me.I will travel there again next month. It is a wonderful vacation.

LUV Demi 

Posted Oct 16, 2015
Credit: Billerica MinuteMan

Billerica Demetra pictureDemetra Papas, a Billerica resident and former English-as-a-second-language teacher, created a way to make traveling easier.

Papas is the inventor of the Demi Hugger, a neoprene strap that attaches to the handle of a suitcase to keep items in place. The invention can hug a variety of items including purses, backpacks and teddy bears.

Papas started developing the Demi Hugger three years ago after having shoulder pains from carrying around a heavy purse and suitcase.  “My shoulder would hurt, and I tried to balance my bag on my suitcase, and it never worked out well,” Papas said.

Papas experimented with a variety of fabrics and designs before finding the right match. Although the fabric is made overseas, Papas uses a manufacturer in western Massachusetts because “it is important to [her] that it be made in the U.S.”

Papas is a certified seller on Amazon and Etsy and has a design patent and two other patents pending. Papas has received support from the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Billerica Alliance, Merrimack Valley Small Business Bureau and Entrepreneurship for All, where she won third place in a pitch contest.