My Life as a Traveler

Life’s a Beach, Remember?

Last full day in Miami. George is done with meetings, but Morgan is feeling a little puckish, and neither of them want to get out to do anything. We have a 4pm checkout (the benefits of Platinum Preferred). Hmmmm….. what to do? Let me look out the window — oh yeah, the beach! I’m going to invest twenty of my hard-earned dollars and buy myself and chair and an umbrella on the sand and park it.

Before you can say “where’s your swimsuit?” I am on the sand, requesting the nice young man who just got there to set up my chaise and shade tout suite. Now, this is not what I can normally do at the beach;  the boys just don’t groove on lying around outside. George is working in the room and Morgan is on YouTube or Facebook – heck, you can do that at home! But me, I’m in paradise.

I do feel somewhat interested in more than a trashy novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and so I bring my self-defense talk and my memory book. Yes, I can be productive even in paradise. I read through the talk some and attempt to break it down into reasonable bits to memorize. Then the ocean calls. Read and practice talk, swim in ocean. That’s my regimen.

Let me tell you a bit about my memory book and it’s author. Ron White was a speaker in LEAP camp last month. He is the USA Memory Champion. He can memorize 167 random numbers in the order given, in 5 minutes. He can memorize the order of a shuffled deck of cards in a minute and a half. He had us able to memorize the US Presidents in order in about 15 minutes. He is amazing.

What he does is use familiar places, pictures, and action to help you remember stuff. Try this: pick a room in your house and 5 locations or points in your room. I use my bedroom: 1. chaise sofa 2. nightstand 3. bed 4. dresser 5 George’s messy chair. Then make a picture of the thing you want to memorize, link it to the point in the room, and add action. So, for the presidents, I imagine a washing machine (Washington) on my bedroom chaise, rumbling around and overflowing with suds, cleaning my sofa (which really needs it!). There is a dam (Adams) made of books on my nightstand holding all the water back, about to break. There is a chef cooking while jumping up and down on my bed with the sun shining a light down on him (chef+sun=Jefferson). I picture a huge bottle of pills spilling over the things on my dresser (medicine=Madison), and a man rowing, not sitting in a boat, but in George’s messy chair, clothes trailing in the water (man+row=Monroe).  Now go through those pictures in your mind, but in your own rooms, and you’ve got the first five presidents memorized. Fun, huh?

For memorizing more stuff, use other rooms in your house (always 5 points per room), or points in your neighborhood or town that you pass by, or parts of your body. Create the picture and add the action, then review.  So, for my talk, I imagine the 5 parts of the first section in my living room. A story book open on the sofa with the letters spilling out (start with a story), a bunch of numbers fighting to see who will sit in George’s corner chair (statistics), a rapper on my tv (Right, Ability, and Power to protect yourself), 3 letter P’s bouncing over the 3 arches in my house (3 P’s of Protection), and someone sitting on my coffee table/ottoman on their knees with hands clasped making a big promise (what I promise to tell you in my talk). Not bad, huh? And it was all done laying on the beach and floating in the ocean. Love it! Look up Ron White at The book’s an easy read and he has 30 days of exercises on how to memorize lists, names, numbers… anything!

Morgan comes down and takes a dip, but he doesn’t stay to lounge. When it’s 2:30, I pack up my “work” and head on up to the room, take a shower, and finish packing. We check out at 4pm, but we’re not going home until tomorrow. Tonight we’re just moving to another Sheraton closer to the airport. This gets us another stay (toward the 25 times we have to check in to a Sheraton over the year to maintain Platinum Preferred status), allows us to return the rental car tonight instead of tomorrow, which means we can sleep in just a hair longer before we go to the airport for our 8am flight. It’s all part of a very well-thought-out plan.

The last thing we do after we check into the hotel but before we return the car is to drive to the concierge’s recommended restaurant, Tijuana Taxi. Spiced mahimahi fajitas and happy hour margaritas. You can’t go wrong.

Back to normalcy tomorrow, but for now, life’s a beach, remember?

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