Lake Las Vegas, Nevada

Recently, I attended a conference for Vector Marketing in Lake Las Vegas. When you think of Vegas you think of the lights, casinos and late nights. Lake Las Vegas is an oasis about 30 minutes from the airport. Most people are surprised I didn’t even step foot onto the strip in Vegas. Instead I decided to enjoy the beauty around the lake. Loved the sunrise and walk exploring the areas around the lake. 

In 14 years of travel…..

I have never had this happen.

On Monday I got an email from American Airlines that I was upgraded to First Class for my flight to Los Angeles. I was so excited. It’s the end of the upgrade policy with USAIR that I am used to, so I didn’t have to use my upgrade coupons for the upgrade.  Also, it’s rare for me to get the cross country upgrades.

An hour later (48 hours before the flight) I got an email, text and notification on my account that the flight had been cancelled. So, I called the 800 number and was put on the next flight. No upgrade (I know, first world problems), but I got an exit row!

During this whole thing I thought it was strange that my TripIt Pro app didn’t update that the flight was cancelled. I even tweeted that they were have technology issues. They consistently tell me about flight changes before I get them from the airlines.

Yesterday, I got the email to check-in for the re-scheduled flight and I wasn’t able too. Again, strange! This morning I got to the airport and couldn’t check-in at the kiosk. Again, strange! When I got to the agent I found out my original PHL-LAX flight was never cancelled. The Tel Aviv to PHL leg was cancelled. I am on the second flight I was moved too.

It was a “Travel with Laughter” moment! I asked myself, why wasn’t I supposed to be on the first flight? I may never know the reason.

This sounds like a computer glitch in the final stages of the merger. I have never received notification that a flight was cancelled and it really wasn’t.


Sunday in Doylestown!

It has been a great summer. Doylestown is starting a heatwave, which is coming with humidity. So,early this morning I went for a great walk around town! Here are some pictures. There a few Little Free Libraries that have popped up in Doylestown. I love the concept- take a book and leave a book. After my walk, I had a great brunch with some friends. I love days like today.


All photos are the property of Travel with Laughter. Written permission must be received to use any of these photos.


Colorado National Monument

While I was in Grand Junction with my parents in May, we went to Colorado National Monument. Prior to visiting Grand Junction, I had never heard of the Monument. It’s an easy park to navigate and drive through. Because of the awesome elevation and descent on the road, there were lots of cyclists on the road. It is a beautiful drive and lots of areas to pull off and take pictures.

If you would like to purchase any of these pictures, go to my photography website.

These photos are the property of Travel with Laughter. Written consent must be received from Helen Brown to use elsewhere.


Arches National Park- Utah

The beauty of Arches National Park didn’t disappoint. There is something about the red rocks that draw me to them. I love traveling to the National Parks and nothing beats the ones in the western states. The ones in Utah are particularly amazing and Utah is one of the states that I could see myself living. It is like Colorado, so much to do outside. No, I am not planning on moving anywhere :)! On previous trips to Utah, I have visited Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. It’s fun to look at my “old” blogs and the style I was using at that time. There are over 2,000 arches in the park. We weren’t able to get that close to that many. When I did get close to one in the beach area, I had my 70-200m lens. It was in a confined area, so I wasn’t able to get back far enough for any good shots. It was definitely a #TravelWithLaughter moment.

If you would like to purchase any of these photos, please visit my photography website!

These photos are property of Travel with Laughter and written consent must be received to use elsewhere.


Great Customer Service Marriott!

I LOVE good customer service! This story didn’t happen to me, but to my sister. It is all that much better that it is her vs. me. Here is why….. I am a Marriott Gold Lifetime member, which I didn’t even know existed till I got the card in the mail. My sister has NO status with Marriott. She is on a work trip and her flight home got cancelled. After checking with the airline, she realized there were no flights to get her home today. Since she is flying back tomorrow, it was a trip back to the hotel she just checked out of earlier. When she checked in she was speaking with one of the managers and told them about her flight getting cancelled. I am impressed with what the management team did! They sent her a cheese plate! They didn’t have to do that, but as we all know cancelled flights aren’t fun- even for the seasoned traveler. Good thing my sister knows about #TravelWithLaughter!

GREAT JOB to the Marriott Team! You did things today the Marriott way!

Update: Now that my sister has checked out of the hotel, I will tell you that this was the Birmingham, AL Marriott. If you follow my blog, you will know that for safety reasons I don’t post till after I have left somewhere.



Drive to Arches National Park, Utah

Most people don’t realize how much I love National Parks. The reason why that surprises most people is I don’t like camping. My idea of camping is Marriott! Hahaha. America really is beautiful and one of my favorite things to do with my parents is visit them. Nothing beats the National Parks in the Western part of the US. Utah is absolutely beautiful. My parents aren’t up to hiking so we these pictures were taken from the pull-off areas along the road. We were staying in Grand Junction, CO and it is very close to Utah. Since we have started visiting the parks, my mom has taken up photography. It is so cute to see her taking pictures. She is getting good!

We drove to Moab from Grand Junction via Route 191. It is a very scenic route and to fully enjoy, it needs to be taken slowly. There aren’t any rest areas or places for snacks/water, so be prepared. Depending on how many times you stop for photos will dictate how long the drive is for you.

If there are any of the photos you would like to purchase, you can go to my website.

All photos are the property of Travel With Laughter and written consent must be given for any other use than this blog.


Rifle Falls- Rifle, Colorado

On a trip to Grand Junction, CO, with my parents, we made a rest stop in Rifle, CO. I spoke with the tourism office and found out that there was a waterfall a little north of the town. We decided to go and explore. It was beautiful weather and a nice little walk from the parking area. This is one of those times as a photographer I wish I had a tripod with me. My dad had mentioned there was a restaurant in Rifle that all the servers carried a six shooter. We didn’t search it out, but it was the restaurant I found for us to eat. It’s called Shooter’s Grill and the food was good. As a “city girl” I felt out of the place, but you know my motto “Travel with Laughter.”

To purchase any of these photos, please go to my website.

All photos are the property of “Travel with Laughter.” Permission to use must be done in writing by Helen.


Philadelphia As A Tourist!

In March, my friend Norma and her family visited Philadelphia over their spring break. They are from Texas, so the cold weather wasn’t too bad for them for a week. They were visiting a number of cities in the Northeast. Philadelphia was their last stop and I met them in the city to show them the sites! It was so much fun being a tourist in Philadelphia. I need to do this more!  

We visited The Rocky statue, had a cheesesteak tasting (Geno’s and Pat’s), visited Independence Hall, saw the Liberty Bell and finished with a great dinner! It was a fun day exploring the birthplace of America, so I thought it appropriate that I posted this blog on July 4th. While we visited Independence Hall, we had a special treat. We got to see the second floor and it was my first time seeing the second floor.

To view more photos from our day, visit my photography website!

All photos are the property of Travel with Laughter and must receive written permission from Helen for use.


Where do you learn leadership?

Leadership is all around us when we are open to learning. In the summer of 1991, I started working for Vector Marketing. Who would have thought answering that ad in the newspaper would lead to my careers. I never thought that I would working here 24 years later. When I started as a sales representative for Cutco, I was not the superstar. I did develop into a pretty good sales rep and that is because we have a great program in place that teaches reps how to improve. During my career with Vector, I have learned from many different leaders.

Since 2001, I have worked in our Campus Recruiting Department. My current role is to lead the Campus Recruiting Department with recruiting on campus along with our local office managers. About 10 years ago I met Sam Ratcliffe. He is the career center director at Virginia Military Academy. I met Sam at an Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE) conference. Have you ever met someone and just know you have lots to learn from them. Sam is one of the people when you speak with, you are the only person in the room. That is an amazing skill to have and one that I find myself working to improve. For the past year, Sam has been the President of National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Sam is one of the best leaders I have seen in action. He has learned how to use his skills and lead. “Everyone loves Sam” and that is one of the things that I took away from the NACE conference this year. So, I decided to ask some of his colleagues what they love about Sam:

“He is broad thinking, strategic, listens and guides collaboratively, and is oh so humble.” -Donna Cassell Ratcliffe

“His eloquence no matter what the situation- he can make ordering lunch sound better than anyone. Second is his incredibly kind and generous heart. He always asks how you are.” -Marie Artim

“His mentorship and support of women and individuals of color has been tremendous. he has been a sponsor, mentor and friend launching careers for a number of professionals in the industry. I can name a good long list.” -Adrienne Alberts

“When Sam really starts laughing, the whole room laughs with him. The man knows how to give a bear hug! Sam’s leadership style never screams “look at me”…but his observations always get our full attention.” -David Ong

“He is one of the most genuine persons I know. He remembers people, who they are, what they care about and he genuinely acknowledges his friends and colleagues along the way. He is a visionary, while always remembers how the past informs our future.” -Norma Guerra Gaier

I have been blessed over the past 24 years with Vector to learn from all different types of leaders both in Vector and the professional organizations I am a member! I am a constant student of learning from others.

What would one of my blogs be without photos. Here are some that I took while at EACE conference in Pittsburgh.


All photos are the property of Travel with Laughter. Can’t be used without the written consent of Helen Brown.


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