On covering former First Lady Laura Bush

In light of yesterday's patriotic mood in honor of Memorial Day, I thought today would be an ideal time to share my experience covering the conversation between Laura Bush, Barbara Pierce Bush and Soledad O'Brien at the AARP Life@50+ event in Boston a few weeks ago.

Life@50+ Laura Bush presentation

As a guest...

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Photo finish: Farewell

When good times turn out way bigger than you first expected, that's when you know you're on a roll! —Stephen Richards

The Life@50+ National Event concludes tomorrow, and what a good time we've had. I'm so grateful for all I've learned — and laughed about — in the past couple of days with these folks... plus a few other people not pictured.

AARP Member Advantages bloggers

Our primary...

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3 things I learned this week: The good, the not-so-good and the 'Breaking Bad'

Good Thing No. 1:

It was announced this week that Allegiant is once again offering flights from my place to (near) my grandsons' place. Twice a week. For pretty darn cheap prices, even figuring in the cost of paying to lug my Grandma Bag with me when I visit.

grandma and grandsonsThat's great news considering my third grandson will be born in June and I'll be visiting soon after his birth. Also great news because that...

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On books, dogs, cars and the benefits of age

Yesterday was a jam-packed day at the Life@50+ Expo. My day started bright and early as I volunteered with 700 or so other Expo attendees for the Community Day of Service, kicked off by James "JB" Brown, Dan Marino and Pepper Schwartz.

Several Atlanta-area organizations were on the slate for us to help out. As promoting literacy has long been a cause near and dear to my heart, it was quite fitting that my service project turned out to be helping sort books for Books for Africa, whose mission is to "collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to students of all ages in Africa. Our goal: to end the book famine in Africa."

Community Day of Service 

My day ended with cars and dogs — in the Exhibit Hall. Now, I'm no car enthusiast, but how could these vehicles not catch one's eye?

display autos 

pit bullI am a dog enthusiast, though, and one serendipitous moment among the masses was running into pit bull companion dogs and their trainers as I was leaving the hall.

I was tired and I just wanted to hop on the shuttle and head back to the hotel. Instead, these precious pits lured me into a presentation from UnitedHealthcare on the many ways dogs play an active role in keeping humans healthy. Because I own a pit bull-pointer mix and have first-hand knowledge of the bad rap the sweet dogs get (because of irresponsible owners), I was delighted to see pit bulls as the companion dog models for the talk.

bit bulls 

And in between the books and the cars and dogs, my day was filled with the primary reason for my attendance at the Life@50+ Expo: to learn about all the great offerings from AARPDiscounts.com.

There are far too many discounts and benefits AARP members get for their $16/year membership fee for me to list them all here. Besides, there's an entire AARPDiscounts.com website dedicated to disseminating that information... and in a far fancier manner than what I can offer. There are a few I learned about, though, that I thought might be of particular interest to my Grandma's Briefs friends, including:

Michaels — Save 10% at Michaels Stores on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday.

1-800Flowers.com — Save 20% off or $20 off $79.99 or more.


The UPS Store — Members receive 15% off eligible products and services and 5% off domestic and international UPS shipping services. (Great news for long-distance grandmas shipping gifts for the holidays.)

Movies Unlimited — The long-time video retailer offers rare, classic movies and hard-to-find TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray. As an AARP member, you get an extra 10% off Movies Unlimited’s already reduced prices.

Live Nation Concerts — Get four concert tickets for the price of three.

Ancestry.com — Get free shipping on the results of the $99 DNA test that will reveal your ethnic roots. Enter coupon code AARPDNA13 (expires Oct. 31, 2013).

The AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia — All kinds of deals and specials. All kinds. Click and see.

Norwegian Cruise Line — Through Nov. 1, 2013, get up to $250 to spend on board fleetwide; up to $500 to spend on board when you book a Cruisetour; or a special $100 offer on our newest ship, Norwegian Getaway. Also enjoy up to $1000 in Air Credits; 50% reduced deposit; up to $100 off select sailings. Plus, when it comes to cruising, you can't cruise any cooler than on a Peter Max-bedecked vessel:

Peter Max vessels 

Getting older definitely has more benefits than I was previously led to believe.

Disclosure: My trip to the Life@50+ Expo was sponsored by AARP Member Advantages, though that takes away from the authenticity of my opinions above not one whit.

Today's question:

What was the highlight of your week?

Cheers to #LifeAt50 and GRAND Social No. 72

Welcome to a new week!

I'm excited about this week as I have a super agenda lined up: I head to Atlanta on Wednesday to attend the Life@50+ National Event and Expo as a guest of AARP Member Advantages. I'm so honored to have been chosen to attend the Expo along with some top-notch bloggers I've admired from afar and will now get to connect with in person.

The Life@50+ Expo schedule is jam-packed with wide-ranging educational and entertaining offerings. Sessions focus on making the most of life's second — and third and fourth — act we boomers and beyond are in, sessions such as Get Packing! Experience the Travel Effect; Life Lessons on Faith, Forgiveness and Grace; The Secrets of Extremely Happy Couples; Balancing Work and Caregiving; and many, many more.

Also on the schedule — which delights a movie fan such as myself — are several Movies For Grownups offerings. One I definitely plan to see while at the Expo is Middleton starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga. Take a look:


What's especially cool about getting to see the movie at the Expo is that Andy Garcia will be at the showing — in person. I just might be brave enough to ask for an autograph, maybe even a photo with the star. C'mon... it could happen, right?

Andy Garcia isn't the only celebrity I'll have a chance to meet, though, as the other dozen or so bloggers in the AARP Member Advantages group and I are scheduled for an exclusive meet-and-greet with Dan Marino, James "JB" Brown and Pepper Schwartz. Plus, Whoopie Goldberg and Tyler Perry kick-off the event,  while others leading or participating in Expo sessions include Jane Pauley, Diana Nyad, Samantha Brown, Martina Navratilova and many others. I'm fairly confident I won't get up close and personal with those beyond the meet-and-greet — unless, that is, they participate alongside me in the Community Day of Service Thursday morning. One can hope, right?

If you'll be at the Life@50+ Expo, let me know — I'd love to meet you there. And be sure to follow Grandma's Briefs on Facebook and Twitter as I'll post updates and photos now and then while in Atlanta.

Cheers to #LifeAt50 (the official hashtag of the Expo).

And cheers, too, to GRAND Social No. 72. Thank you joining me!

link party

How it works:

  • All grandparent bloggers are invited to add a link. You don't have to blog specifically about grandparenting, just be a grandparent who blogs.
  • To link up a post, copy the direct URL to the specific post — new or old — that you want to share, not the link to your blog's home page. Then click the blue button marked with "Add your link" below and follow the directions.
  • You can add up to three posts, but no duplicates, contests, giveaways, or Etsy sites, please.
  • Adding a mention such as This post linked to the GRAND Social to your linked posts is appreciated. Or, you can post the GRAND Social button anywhere on your page using the following code:


<a rel="nofollow" href="/" target="blank"><img src="http://grandmasbriefs.squarespace.com/storage/GRANDsocialbutton.jpg " alt="Grandma’sBriefs.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>


  • The GRAND Social linky is open for new posts through Wednesday evening, so please come back to see those added after your first visit.

  • If you're not a blogger, you have the pleasure of being a reader. Bloggers who link up would be honored to have one and all — other bloggers as well as readers — visit, read and, if so moved, comment, even if just a "Hey, stopping by from the GRAND Social."