Winter Haven, FL, United States

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  • Lawyer, but a "good" one as I don't sue anyone.
  • Undergraduate Colleges: Univ of Florida; Univ of Sienna (...
  • From Born in Chicago, USA; lived in Florida since I was 8 years old.
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About Me


Travel to 100 countries - - I am at 91 to date!
[Plan to add FIVE in Southern Africa in 2015!]


My goal is to see this amazing world we live in, to experience all that it has to offer, and to meet as many people as possible!

I have traveled to all 50 US States, six continents, and 91 nations; my goal is to travel to 100 countries!

I have lived in Italy and England, but call Florida in the US home.

In 2007, I took my longest trip. It was a seven-week, seven-country journey of 20,000 miles across the South Pacific from Australia to Hawaii. I am an active traveler, and do not "vacation". I "travel". I like to see everything a place has to offer; I rarely just sit on a beach (well, I did in the South Pacific. . . but I also went 4WD-ing, snorkeling, kayaking, to museums, to national parks, ate exotic food. . . you get the idea).

At home, I do a radio program called "Lady Lawyer Live" that disseminates legal information to callers; the format is a live, call-in show.

I am very active with local charities and civic organizations. My most active involvements currently include Meals On Wheels supplying 4700 meals a month to shut-ins; raising funds for a handicapped children's playground; and Kiwanis (I am a life member).

I am a social drinker and non-smoker. I have a kitten named STAR (my 19-year old cat and bird recently passed away).


Live today like it is your last!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


***I was a CS Country Ambassador (USA from 6/17/08 to the end of that Ambassador program in February 2011)(my regional territory was Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Florida); prior to and following being a Country AMB, I volunteered as City Ambassador for Winter Haven, Florida [until the City AMB program was modified to a general AMB program by CS in August 2013].

***I MODERATE the "POLK COUNTY FLORIDA" CS Group and organize their monthly socials with CSers Doug Bohannon and Rich Garwood! The Group site contains links to restaurants, attractions and visitors bureaus for CENTRAL FLORIDA; so I encourage you to use it as a resource to plan time in this great part of Florida! Direct URL is:

***I also moderate the NYC-New Years Eve Group. I co-moderate the USA CS GROUP; US SOUTHERN AMBASSADORS GROUP; FLORIDA CS GROUP; FLORIDA KAYAKERS GROUP; CS EVENTS-SE USA; several Ambassador Groups and ORLANDO CS GROUP.

***I am one of the 'responsible' Ambassadors concerning couches in Peru, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Panama. Yeah, that's a big title for a small job ;-)

***I have served on two Working Committees: New Member Greeting, and Event Invitation Approvals. I have approved 111 events worldwide; it is so fun to see the creative event ideas that CSers come up with! As a New Member Greeter starting in 2008, I have welcomed over 2100 people to the CS Family!

***I enjoy trading travel information in CS online groups!

***I am actively seeking ways to creatively help other CS members. . . for instance, I organized a photography display in my city for a CSer living in Berlin, and a watercolor display for an CS artist friend from Stuart.

***I enjoy helping communities establish active CS groups and monthly events.

*** I have organized 116 CS events/activities -- in Polk County, Florida, USA; Tampa, Florida, USA; St Petersburg, Florida; Orlando, Florida, USA; Gatorland, Florida, USA; Vero Beach, Florida, USA; Manatee County, Florida, USA; Sarasota, Florida, USA; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Charleston, South Carolina, USA; York, England; London, England; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago de Chile; Arequipa, Peru; Bario Chino, Lima, Peru; Cartagena, Colombia; Lahore, Pakistan; Jaipur, India; Granada, Nicaragua; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Montanita, Ecuador; Cuenca, Ecuador; Singapore; Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia; Nelspruit, South Africa; Hermanus, South Africa; Flagstaff, Arizona.

Some of the More Unusual Events were:

[#99 and 104 Chalet Suzanne on 3/21/14 and 7/18/14]
[#100 International Pot Luck 4/13/14]
[#103 Moonrise Photo Shoot-LkWales 7/12/14]
[#106 Annual Grape Stomp 8/16/14]

***I am pleased to have met, traveled with, CS'd with, dined with or done a CS social with these 909 great people:

Three CSers in Edinburgh, Scotland (Erin~ my first host; Callum; Tabi~host);
One CSer from Paris (Bastien);
One French Canadian CSer (Anick);
One CSer in Manchester, England (Andreas);
Seven CSers in York, England;
One CSer in London (Gulen~host);
One Pennsylvania USA CSer (CollegiateGal ~ as guest)
Polk County/Central Florida CSers (Doug, Chris, Julie, Rich, Jonathan, John, Nora, Kelley, Frances, Aida, Gary, Allen, Jet, Gwen, Rosalind, Julia, Lucy, Tracy, Curt; a dozen at Aida/Alayne's Halloween Party 2011; Tannia, Dean, Tannia's daughter Ann, Dave T, Cathy, Phil, Ann, Kristin, Laura, Rosa, Rocky, Gena, John C., Richard C., Stefano, Aggie, Drew, Edward, Gordon, Philipp, Samuel, Roy, Craig, Patricia, Wendy, Roger, Shay, David, Maryna, Mindy, Isabel, Tiffany, Brendan, Jennie, Cory;
18 friends of the Polk County/Central Florida CSers, Doug R, Jim, Drew, Jena, April, David A.;
35 at the CS SOCIAL WITH SOMEONE FROM EVERY CONTINENT on December 7, 2007 held by the joint CS groups of Tampa and Polk County; I enjoyed all the US/UK/Australian/Brazilian/Indian/Greek CSers and frinds at Terra Sur and John's (John~host);
One CSer in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Valerie ~ host);
CS SOCIAL in Buenos Aires with 20 people from 10 COUNTRIES;
Three CSers in Santiago de Chile (Nicole {host}, Trent and Dana);
CS REGIONAL CENTRAL FLORIDA SOCIAL in Orlando with 48 people (Christian~host);
Sarasota CSers (Jeremy and David);
CSers on Two CS Kayaking trips on the Hillsborough River;
Two CSers in Ponce, Puerto Rico (Begona and Antonio~hosts);
One CSer in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Amy D.~host);
CSers at the two Bok Tower Picnics;
38 CSers in Ybor City (Alayne~host; surfed with Eric);
11 CSers at Laura's first big event at Quiet Waters park (Laura~host);
9 CSers for Indian Food in Orlando;
10 at the Wine Event in Winter Haven;
5 CSers and spouses in St Augustine ("Pirate" Conrad~ host);
29 at Hickory Hollow BBQ & Beer Bash (Mike D~host);
CSers at the Multi-Day (2 Day, 3 event) ART WEEKEND in St Pete, Florida (Dali Musuem, Ansel Adams Tour, Ceviche's Tapas Restaurant Celebration) (Paula/LadyPaula and Buddy~hosts);
Erik and Trees Libbrecht from Belgium during their Florida trip;
At the Two-Day BBQs north of Vero Beach, Florida (24 surfers at the first one; 16 surfers at the third one; Mi, Taka, Jean, many other great CSers; Marika in August 2010 kayaking weekend) (Ranger Terry~host);
One CSer in Jacksonville, Florida (Brock~host);
Eleven at Joe Pasta CS Happy Hour and touring in Charleston (Lee~host);
One CSer and a classic sailboat in Fernandina Beach, Florida (Robert and "Candide" ~host)
Two CSers in Santiago de Chile (Ale and Paul~hosts);
22 CSers at Galindo Restaurant representing 12 nations in Santiago de Chile;
1 CSer in La Serena, Chile (Gonzalo~host)
15 CSers at Istanbul Bar, Arequipa, Peru (Erick/Cecilia~host)[Fanny/Erickhosted me-NY NYE 2013]
10 CSers in Bario Chino, Lima, Peru (Christian~host)
25 CSers at PUB71 in Atlanta, Georgia (David~host)
1 CSer for lunch in Winter Haven, Florida, Ed;
5 in Colombia;
Two Ft Lauderdale trips ("Great Gear Party") (Lisa~host)
5 at "Little India" Restaurant in Denver;
2009 North American Camp Out in Colorado;
2 in Moab, Utah;
Central Asian CSers in Pakistan and India;
Nicaraguan CSers in Granada, Nicaragua;
Csers at Latin Dance Lesson, Sarasota, Florida - Peter and Justin (Rosalind~ host);
10 CSers in the Dominican Republic (Jota y Dina~hosts);
Alison from the UK;
In Ecuaodor (Ines~host);
Jason [HappyJ] of Orlando;
19 in Singapore (Kuni~host);
Arie's sister Beppy in Yogykarta, Java, Indonesia as host;
7 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia;
Filipa as Host in Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor);
ORLANDO/POLK CS EVENT at THE NILE with 38 CSers from four Continents (Jason/HAPPYJ~host);
THAI TEMPLE CS EVENT (Eric, Martin, Duane, Mike, Allison, Mary, Pat, Mary);
Judy as Host in BSB, Brunei;
Simon as Host in KK, Malaysian Borneo;
Jonathan as Host in Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippines;
Travel Buddies, Madi and Ashley, in the Philippines;
Japs and Maria as hosts in Manila;
Jose Miguel and Fernando in Colchester, England;
Salvo (Crazy Chef) as host in London;
Adriana as host in Celebration, Florida;
Cathy E as host in Eustis, Florida;
Steve F as host in Renton, Washington;
Tom R as host in Portland, Oregon;
Cecilia as host in McMinnville, Wine Country, Oregon;
Nancy as host in Gleneden Beach, Oregon;
Sheila as host in Olympic Peninsula, Washington;
Bardia as host in Vancouver, Canada;
Trudie as host in Nelspruit, South Africa;
Joanna & Maja-'car surf' hosts,Kruger Park, So. Africa;
Pieter as host near Sodwana Bay, South Africa;
Axel as host in Hermanus, South Africa;
Michael as host in Muizenburg/Cape Town, So. Africa;
Dave T as host in Winter Haven, Florida;
8 in NY State- Yvonne as host; Shirley as NYC host;
2 in Connecticut-Cecilia and Nick as host;
8 in Flagstaff, Arizona-Marguerite, Isaac and Catalina as host.;
Nancy and Brian as host in Florida;
Walt, Wendy, Leah as host in Florida;
Melissa (and Derek) as host in Vero Beach, Florida.;
Delvalene in Kimberley, South Africa.


Since I joined CS in July of 2007, I have become embroiled in it!

I have truly enjoyed my CS experiences in the US~Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, Colorado, Utah, NY, Washington and Oregon;
Chile; Argentina; Scotland; England; Peru; Colombia; Pakistan; India; Nicaragua; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Singapore; Indonesia; Timor-Leste (East Timor); Philippines; Brunei; Malaysian Borneo; Vancouver Canada; and South Africa!


****Travel is #1!!!****

Photography (landscape and travel photography in particular), travel writing, tantalizing conversation, history, art, jazz, reading, the law, gardening, hiking, kayaking, stargazing, movies, backgammon, performing arts, Asian food, fine dining, exotic cuisine, wine tastings, sightseeing, museums and being with friends.

Music, Movies, and Books

I just re-started "Three Cups of Tea" about girls' education in Pakistan. I am reading Steinbeck's books for the first time since college.

I read the WSJ daily, and two weekly newspapers.

I read "International Travel News" Magazine cover to cover on day of arrival (I write for them several times per year, but despite that it is The Most Amazing Magazine for intrepid travelers... you can get a free copy on their website).

Like many CSers, I regularly have one or two (or more) travel guidebooks on my coffee table... there are five there now, so this year will be a good one for travel!

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I cannot pick one thing as life is full of unique experiences, but I offer these amazing experiences that will affect me for the rest of my life:

Seeing Mount Everest; experiencing Iguazu Falls in South America; horseback riding in the Andes; being on a rumbling volcano; viewing the Pyramids for the first time from the top of a camel; holding a koala in Australia; digging out of mud ruts that were three feet deep while 4WD-ing in Bora Bora; kayaking around the Bay of Islands in New Zealand; climbing to the highest point on China's great wall; getting emotional at the Taj Mahal; seeing Everest's peak clearly; and being there when a friend needs me, even if it is 3 am.

Teach, Learn, Share

**I am a good amateur PHOTOGRAPHER. . . self-trained, but I have had four public showings of my work:
"Travel Photography from Every Continent" (35 mm);
"Southeastern Asian Panoramic Photography";
"Antelope Slot Canyon Nature Photography" (35 mm); &
"Local Color from South America -- Candid People Photographs in Traditional Clothing".
In November 2012, I received my first invitation to do a paid photography job (a family portrait)! My second paid job was May 2013 with a professional portrait for an executive.

I am currently negotiating an additional displays titled
"US National Park Photographs"; and
"Educating Hopefuls in Pakistan".

**I do some TRAVEL WRITING, as I love to share "how to" information about traveling.

In published travel articles, I have written items including:
"Pirates, Pleasures and The Panama Canal";
"Unique Panamanian Jewelry";
"Rome's Architectural Masterpiece";
"Volcano Surfing in Nicaragua"[ITN][additional publication at Oct. 2011];
"Salvadorian Surprises" [Feb. 2011];
"Ten Unique Accommodations in Indonesia" [Oct. 2011];
"Packing Your Third World Medical Kit for your Backpack" (with co-author
Douglas Re)[2012];
"Food and Beer Pairing in Estonia" [Nov. 2012];
"Report Card - Harwich, UK" [Dec. 2012];
"8 in 4 - Eight Things to do within the First Four Hours of A Cruise" [Dec. 2012];
"Zip Across The Dark Continent-African Flying Tips"[Uncommon Travelers
June 2015].

Pending publication are "Travel in SE Asia's Newest Country, Timor-Leste", "Travel Like a Local in Antigua" and "A Lawyer's Guide to Decoding Travel Brochures".

I have contributed comments to both LONELY PLANET "LONDON" and "DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI (2012)" guidebooks.

**I am working on my meditation skills, and want to LEARN more.

**I went to my first Latin Dance Lesson at a CS event and enjoyed it; need to learn more.

**I have been studying Spanish for a couple of years, but need to practice more. I am learning (trying to) some basic Setswana for an upcoming trip to Botswana in Africa.

(The link in my 'group' listing works better than this link).

>Couchsurfing Ambassadors
>Photography Aficionados of Orlando
>Southern Africa
>Events & OUtreach - Even Organizers
>Florida Kayakers
>Long Time Traveler
>Hard Core Travellers' Blog
>Amazing Race

What I Can Share with Hosts

TRAVEL STORIES from across the Globe is my specialty!

Countries I’ve Visited

American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Christmas Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Micronesia, Federated States of, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City State, Viet Nam, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S.

Countries I’ve Lived In

Italy, United Kingdom, United States

Old School Badges

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