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GlamMa was Born To Travel

AFRICA :2013

My first attempt at an African Safari was when our children were 8 and 13....perfect ages for such an adventure. Our friend, Bruce was a living legend in the area of Egypt and Africa having been part of important archeological digs in Egypt which then led him to Africa and friends who owned land and ran safari adventures. We spent a month exploring the wonderful adventure before us....the learning adventure we would share with our children. Until reality set in. The cost of this adventure would be the equivent to our mortgage payments for six months... And we didn't have a savings account to dig into . Reality does hurt sometimes.

Fast forward 20 + years and the children still haven't been, and neither have we. But as my motto has become "If Not Now When" I decided we would set the table for taking the next generation .....our grandchildren. With that on mind Steve and I went to Africa to scope our next trip with them. We began in Cape Town, then traveled on to Kruger National Park, Botswana, and Victoria Falls. The trip was long!!! Atlanta to Johannesberg took 15 hours Then we had a layover and connection to Capetown. This trip will be tough on the kids but the reward may be greater than the pain. Pictures from our trip are below. ... click on full screen to see the book in detail.

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How Born To Shop Became GlamMa:

My co-author of the Born To Shop books, Suzy Gershman, and I met when we were young and single in NYC, moved at similar times to Los Angeles and became fast friends. On my birthday in 1984 while celebrating with two other girlfriends at The Bistro Garden restaurant in Beverly Hills we hatched a plan to write a shopping guide to France, Italy and London. The dollar was strong and we all knew where to find the best outlets for Gucci, YSL, Fendi and dozens of other top brands. The "outlet mall" of today didn't exist and factory outlets were truly outlets.

Much to all of our surprises, Bantam Books loved the idea and before we could say "charge it" we were on a plane. What we brought back , however, was a manuscript the size of "Gone With The Wind." Bantam still loved the idea and realized it could be a series. Two of our friends couldn't leave their careers and families and bowed out. Suzy and I continued through 13 titles (Born To Shop: France, Italy, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Scandinavia, Rio, Canada, Los Angeles, The Caribbean, Florida, New York, and England, Scotland and Wales.) and many revisions. Born To Shop London and France were in their fourth revision when I finally hung up my credit card and Suzy then took the series to Frommer's and continued to travel. Some of the book covers are on this page.
Bantam's initial press release explains it all :

And then there's my journalistic life. I was the Travel Editor of WQED Multimedia's Pittsburgh Magazine for six years and as such had the opportunity to interview fascinating celebs, travel to exotic locals and then write about it all. I also penned for the Trib Total Media group of newspapers and magazines.

So how did Born To Shop GlamGal morph to GlamMa?

Four years ago my daughter announced that she and her hubby were expecting .... Standing in her kitchen, with baby booties in hand, I shrieked with joy and then fear. I was too young to be a Grandmother.

My Grandmother baked apple pies, wore flowered housecoats and roll down hose. Her corset left crinkles in her otherwise baby soft skin and she waxed the whiskers from her chin with a concotion that smelled like a tar and vasoline martini. Grandma smoked unfiltered and drank in private. Her life was totally devoted to me, and I wouldn't be the woman I am today without her unfailing love and support.

I wear designer jeans, burn most everything I cook, am a health junkie, and have traveled the world in the course of my career. My children were raised with the assumption that they would come along for the ride. I am a Boomer.

Although I had always fantasized about being a Grandmother, this seemed too soon. I had trips planned, workouts to do, projects to finish. I didn't own a house dress or corset and would need to take cooking classes to learn the art of baking apple pies.

And then my daughter presented me with a 4D image of my granddaughter. Margaret Evans South, inutero, was a beauty. Her lips were full and luscious, her nose squished and adorable and she was smiling. Be still my heart.

Many of us in the boomer generation will be making this journey. As we have redefined women in the workplace and marriage equality, so we will redefine being grandparents. Goldie Hawn said it first and the Today Show confirmed it in their special report on April 23rd, the Boomer's have a new vision of Grandparenting. We are GlamMas.

But that's not the end of the story. Once I came to terms with becoming a GlamMa, I realized the Mommy game had changed. Eating oysters on the beach in Mexico and hang gliding (what I did pregnant) were no longer acceptable. C'est dommage. What is? I'm in the process of finding out and I'll let you know. Come along for the ride and give me your advice. I now have GlamBaby #2 Julia ...and the ride starts all over again.

My daughter and I are laughing and crying our way through the journey and recording every argument....I mean discussion....ahem negotiation in a journal soon to be book called She Said, She Said.

See my travels and GlamMa Journal at www.glamgal.typepad.com & glam-ma.blogspot.com

And email me to share your stories.
or jetwriter@gmail.com

P.S. The photos on this page are by either Robin DeNoma or Lynne Goldstein.

Pure Joy

I have a new line of GlamMa products perfect for celebrating with friends. Check them out at http://www.cafepress.com/GlamMaGear or for the jewelry line email me for details. glamgal.judith@gmail.com