Cheers to Art

Last night I went to a place called Cheers to Art in Madeira, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.  Initially I heard about it through the wine meetup I belong to.  They had a private party there.  It’s a place to let your creativity flourish by drinking wine and painting a picture during a two hour class.  I auditioned earlier this week to work there.  They’re opening another location in Downtown Cincinnati and need people to set the room up, check people in upon arrival, tend the bar, clean-up, etc.  They also need people that can instruct a class.  After attending one of the classes, I believe I could do that, with a little more practice!  Either way…what fun!  To watch people create and have fun!

The owner was the instructor last night and I really like the way she made it so simple and fun!


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Tour Director School in San Francisco

Today is my first day back in Cincinnati from the two-week ITMI class I took in San Francisco, to become a Tour Director.  I go into more detail about what a Tour Director does in my other post entitled “What Makes Me Come Alive“.  I met a lot of very nice and very interesting people.  There were 27 of us taking the course ranging in age from 23 to 60 something.  We had class every day (no time off) and had quite a bit of homework.

For me the hardest part was the public speaking.  You’ve probably heard that there are more people afraid of public speaking than of dying.  We spoke a total of about 5-6 times ranging from a couple of minutes to 5-6 minutes each time.  We weren’t allowed to use notes, so it was difficult.  One of my topics was Black Americans in California.  We were on a motor coach (not a bus) a couple of times and in the classroom the remainder.

The last time I spoke in front of more than 5-10 people was in college in my 20’s and I remember being so nervous and shaken, that I’ve avoided it since.  I’m proud of myself for jumping so far out of my comfort zone!

I learned that it’s O.K. to not be perfect and to try to be myself!  My next step is to join Toastmasters and become really comfortable and well-spoken!  Anyway, here are some of the new friends and people I met…

We went on an overnight trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nat’l Parks and here is a photo of the class, along with the instructors!  I’ll have a separate post about these beautiful Parks.


This was in Sonoma…that’s Thyra (pronounced TEAR-RA) and me.  She’s from LA and a very cool and very smart person!!


This is Elise on the left and Daywee on the right.  I didn’t get to know Elise as well, but I really respect Daywee.  She’s got her stuff together and has a very bright future!  She’s from Indonesia and took some of us to an Indonesian Restaurant while we were in San Francisco and it was the best meal of my trip.


This is Lena…she was my roommate.  We were on opposite schedules…I would wake up between 4:30 and 6:00am and would turn just the bathroom light on to get ready in the morning.  Then go down to the lobby to do homework, or jog first.  We were able to make it work and she’s a sweetie and one of the smartest people I’ve met!!


This was taken at Fisherman’s Wharf.  From left to right…Thyra, Claxton (from Texas, former schoolteacher with a dry humor and good guy), Mary (she and I got to know each other on the overnight field trip because we were roommates)…really sweet and smart lady, and Bernard (French…that says it all…very charming and sweet)!!


This was one of the first photos I took…I love it…it’s Elliott (he’s loads of fun) and Sue (who I didn’t get to know as well as some others…but like everyone…very nice and friendly)!!


Here is the “cute couple”…Alyssa and Colton…they are both very smart and warm-hearted!  They’ll both be very successful in life!!


This photo turned out kind of weird, but this is JJ.  A few of us went out for sushi and it was his first time trying this cuisine.  He’s a cutie from Louisiana!


I’ve mentioned everyone that’s in this photo, but Ken (the big dude in the middle).  One of his topics was Sequoia trees and he touched my heart (just like many of the people did on the trip) when he gave his talk!  I’d like to mention everyone, but I only have so much time and space.

I’m looking forward to staying in touch with my classmates!!

What Makes Me Come Alive?

I’m very excited about my new career path–Tour Director!  A Tour Director accompanies people on organized tours around the world…rather it be for a week in Utah…or three weeks in New Zealand.  You make sure the tour clients get what they paid for. You represent the company in the field.  You prepare commentary and briefings that are well-organized, interesting, and relevant.  You know when to talk, what to talk about and when to be quiet.  You provide a balance of information and entertainment.  You know the answers to the most frequently asked questions on any tour.  Your priority is to meld the group together into a happy family of travelers. You help everyone become part of the group and have a good time.   It is your job to help people enjoy their vacation. You motivate people to stretch and grow and do things that they might not do without your suggestion. Encourage them to try new foods, learn a few words of a new language and participate in the customs or culture of a foreign land.  I’m a little nervous thinking of speaking to a group of 30 or 40 people for a week or two possibly about a Country I’ve never been to…but this is how we grow…step outside of our comfort zone!

I’ll be flying to San Francisco in October, for two weeks of training, to become certified.  I’ve spent thirty years of my life in an office or in one building and realize I was stifling myself!  I love adventure, variety, people, and the world!  We’ve all heard…

Do what you love, the money will follow!


What would you do for free?

I’m following their advice and also the advice of Howard Thurman

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”