About PJ

Meandering Trail Media is a multimedia company focusing on world-wide travel photography and publishing. PJ Adams, Meandering Trail Media's primary author, is a psychotherapist and best selling author who splits her time between California and Europe. Follow her on Twitter @PJAdams10Facebook, and YouTube.

For more information on Meandering Trail Media OR to schedule an interview or book signing, contact: Info@pjadamsbooks.com OR John Birkhead, PR Director, john.birkhead@pjadamsbooks.com,  +1 (760) 707-2577, Fax +1 949-258-8693.

See our professional photographs on Shutterstock: 

See our France books trailer HERE.

See the Intoxicating Greater Paris: Loire book trailer HERE. 

 

See the Intoxicating Southern France book trailer HERE 

See the Intoxicating Paris book trailer HERE     

         

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    PJ Adams

    PJ Adams is a psychotherapist and author in California.

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    Sunday
    Aug052018

    Dating Don'ts 101

    PJ Adams's book 99 Coffee Dates is about dating persistence. Miranda has to date plenty of frogs (like the couple pictured on the left) until she finally identifies her one and only. You too can cut the process of finding the right partner if you heed a few key ideas in your own dating adventure.

    #1. Remember Pareto's 80/20 Rule. Your date must deliver 80% of the time on what he/she says and does, commits to, and follows through on. If his or her track record is poor, don't waste any more time with the person.

    #2. Heed Red Flags. Chances are your gut will register red flags about someone before your brain does. Don't ignore gut signals and make excuses from your forgiving brain. Fish or cut bait fast, especially when dating.

    #3. Bend But Don't Break. You want to find someone who's about 80-85% compatible with you. If you have a lower percentage than that you are fooling yourself or pretending you like someone when you just want not to be alone. Pretending only gets you a pretend relationship. Be willing to say goodbye to one person in order to be ready to say hello to someone who's a better fit.

    #4. Tell the Truth. Many of us fib with new people because we want to be liked in order to be loved. But if you don't love yourself enough not to fib or embellish your attributes and accomplishments, you are a walking mass of untruths. Tell the truth to yourself first, and then it will flow naturally to everyone else you meet. Walk the talk, walk YOUR walk.

    #5. Post Real Photos. If you look like Blake Lively or Kerry Washington in your retouched online photo, don't be surprised when your date is aghast when the real you shows up looking like YOU. Certainly put on a good face but be real. Your date will get to know the real you soon enough anyway.  

    #6. Look for Real Photos from Other People. If Mr. or Ms. Wonderful shows up looking nothing like their on-line profile, ask yourself this: If he/she lies about this, what else will they lie about? If you ignore their first lie, they will feel perfectly free to go on lying to you. So don't be fooled. 

    #7. See Online Dating as Advertising. In today's online world, there's nothing wrong with recognizing that electronically you may have to advertise yourself. But don't fool yourself into thinking the ways you charm your mother will charm anyone else. Package yourself--but be original if you can. Study other people's profiles and find something unique or interesting that makes you unique if you can.

    #8. Look for Cracks Early on--It will Save you Heartache Later. Potential dates who downplay their partner’s addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or anything else major are a BIG RED FLAG. It takes several years to get over addictive behavior so anyone who says they're fresh out of rehab or they've been sober for only a few months or weeks is not good material for dating.

    #9. Avoid Serial Break-Up Artists. Take a dating history--and don't be afraid to do it. People who share they've had multiple, broken marriages and relationships WITHOUT any self-growth or counseling in between, will repeat the same dysfunctions with you. Relationships take maturity--and it takes quite a while for some of us to grow up.

    #10. Don't Be Afraid to Say It's Not a Fit. Some of us are so grateful to even have a date, we drag out relations with incompatible partners for much longer than makes sense. Let go and move on. Being single is often a sign of mature, self-reliance and a lack of co-dependence. Take your time. Choose wisely. And hopefully your new relationships will look more like the couple on the right.

    Sunday
    Jul222018

    99 Coffee Dates Debuts

    99 Coffee Dates is the Laguna Beach story of a woman, a man, a beach, a mermaid, and a steaming mug of coffee. Actually, quite a few cups of coffee since it takes a lot of Joe to find the Joe who’s right.

    Miranda Wells, single girl and coffee lover, starts the 99 Coffee Dates Project with high hopes. But will she find a dream guy among the 99 individuals on her spreadsheet? Or will serendipity play a hand in this dating adventure based on a true story? 

    This book is based on a true story. It’s the story of a woman who actually sat down to 400 coffee dates with 400 individual men over a three-year period about twenty-five years ago. She dated twenty-three of these fellows. She narrowed it down to twelve. And finally, she married one. As far as I know, they’re still married to this day. 

    The individuals profiled in this book are based on real people or composites of real people PJ Adams has known, counseled, or researched over the course of doing twenty years of couple and individual therapy. (All identities have been changed.) Dating today is complex. Relationships aren’t necessarily any easier. It is in relationships that we grow into our true selves, however. 

    In PJ's work with couples, the one theoretical orientation that applies in almost every instance is the pioneering work of Dr. Harville Hendrix. His couples’ work is based on the psychodynamic theory of Imago. Imago (Image) is the idea that we ignore other potential mates and are attracted to mates who trigger both the positive and negative parts of ourselves, especially from early childhood. As we work through our projected Imago issues with them, we come into a conscious integration of ourselves and our relationships. We evolve a conscious relationship and we find abiding love. 

    Enjoy PJ's new book! And be sure to write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to share your thoughts. 

    Friday
    May182018

    Seine River Cruise + Champagne and Loire

    Uniworld's new ship, the Joie de Vivre, ferried us in April, 2018 from Paris to Rouen and back again in style. Along the way we eyed the beauties of Giverny, dined at the oldest restaurant in France in Rouen, visited the Normandy Beaches of Utah and Omaha plus the American Cemetery, and popped into Versailles for a behind-the-scenes tour of the royal apartments.

    Post cruise, we circumvented the newest train strike ("striking is our national sport" the locals whispered) and drove to Amboise to revisit my favorite castles. Amazingly, we were the first visitors to Château d'Azay-le-Rideau and since I knew it well AND had written a book about it, I got tasked to open the doors to the various apartments for the rest of the tourists when the guides forgot to do it! Later, we dropped by Villandry and Chenonceau. We visited my favorite restaurant in the Loire, L'Etape Gourmande, for a sumptuous repast.

    Rouen proved to be a fantastic new French locale for me. We toured the ancient town and lunched at La Couronne, founded in 1345, which is the oldest inn in France. Our meal for eight was beyond imagination and yes I was served a cheese tray with 25, I repeat, 25 choices. If you are lactose intolerant, skip this course.

    There was not a dry eye in our group as we toured the sobering Normandy Beaches and American Cemetery. I had two uncles who landed here--and luckily came home in one piece to welcome me when I was born decades later.

    But as I wandered through the cemetery, I saw thousands of their fellow soldiers who did not return home. Our group left roses and said prayers at as many of the gravesites as we could. We thank these brave lads who gave their lives in the name of peace.

    After frustrations with the train system in France (as I write in my books, always have a back plan or two) I drove our party out to Amboise from Paris along the A10 (one of the easiest freeways in France.) Loire was as beautiful as ever and I sigh a little sigh every time I see Chenonceau, the castle of the ladies, as she sits peacefully atop the Cher River. 

    In Champagne, our party of three sipped the bubbly for two days and toured small and large houses including Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger, as well as some smaller vintners in Epernay. Everytime I visit Reims, with its grand cathedral, I like it more.

    BTW, Reims was nearly flattened in WWII due to air strikes. But there are many preserved buildings and of course the cathedral where most of the kings of France have been crowned are still standing. I could see the cathedral from my hotel room, with the moon shining over it like a star.

    I plan to write a book about Champagne France one day when I have a moment. This trip, I returned with even more piles of research--and a few bottles of bubbly. I have to do research, after all!

    One more thing, our photography now appears on Shutterstock. So if you would like to access our hundreds of full color photographs for your own use, access Shutterstock and look for MeanderingTrailMedia. Happy Traveling!

    Saturday
    Dec092017

    AMA Waterways Christmas Cruise 2017

    The waves rippled gently against the bow of our elegant ship as we sailed from Hungary to Germany along the azure Danube. From my French-balconied AMA Serena cabin, Rachmaninoff played softly in the background. I couldn’t resist snapping image after image of the romantic countryside on this magical Danube voyage over seven days this November.

    I felt like I had entered a fantasy novel. In reality, I was sailing along in the flesh, feeling the wind on my face and a Christmas song in my heart! 

    AMA Waterways, my host for a week just before Christmas, is one of the premiere river cruise purveyors. Their routes across the globe include France, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Africa. For our journey, AMA delighted 19 of us from my local town in California who boarded the AMA Serena along with 100 or so others for a Christmas Markets cruise up the Danube. We added some extra excursions to pretty Budapest and grand Prague at either end of the cruise.

    We were all primarily English speakers. That is except for a delightful Puerto Rican group of 30 or so who were escaping hurricane devastation. Their spirited camaraderie contributed substantially to the festive spirit onboard.  

    If you haven’t taken a river cruise, you might be amazed at the lyrical way a floating hotel can provide the best in elegant cuisine, exhilarating off-boat excursions, and quirky on-board entertainment. But there’s a lot of work happening behind the scenes to make all this merriment a reality. 

    I discovered there are three key entities aboard a cruise ship that make a voyage like this possible. First is the Cruise Director. He or she manages all on-board and off-board activities for passengers.

    Our AMA Serena Cruise Director was a gregarious Brit named John Riley. He made sure our days and nights were filled with nightly entertainment and daily excursions to legendary locales like Budapest (goulash central), Vienna (home to Mozart and fine waltzes), and Salzburg (of Sound of Music fame). A fine master of ceremonies, John even orchestrated an on-board Christmas extravaganza that featured tree decorating, holiday entertainment by the crew, and a visit from Father Christmas himself.

    Observing John coordinate multiple walking guides in a half dozen towns for us guests who chose to participate, as well as oversee all aspects of the cruise from guest fly in to fly out, was truly amazing. I found AMA Waterways to be particularly accommodating to the needs of passengers who chose less activity for a variety of reasons, including disability or the simple desire to stay on board and enjoy the AMA Serena’s offerings.

    A second critical onboard group is helmed by the Hotel Manager. We were lucky to have Zoran Gajanovic, formerly of Viking and Disney cruises, who oversaw the accommodations, food and beverage service, and general hotel staff who provided impeccable service and delicious food and drink to us in several venues. 

    It is no small task to manage a cruise ship of this size. The AMA Serena herself is a spacious vessel, modeled on a classic ocean yacht. She has 84 suites and staterooms accommodating 160+ passengers. We had the run of the ship, which included the upper Sun Deck complete with heated pool and canopied loungers offering us unfettered views of the beautiful countryside. With the Sun Deck’s walking track and heated swimming pool, a fitness room, and a fleet of onboard bicycles to use on our own or on one of the many guided bike tours, we had everything we needed to work off those extra Christmas pounds. Some of us also took advantage of the massages, hair salon, and the onboard gift shop opportunities as well. 

    The third and perhaps most important element of the AMA Serena staff was Captain Henk Klos and his burly crew who guided us expertly from Hungary to Germany.

    Captain Henk, who told me he was actually born on a vessel in his native Amsterdam, helmed our ship from Budapest to Nuremberg in true nautical style. I was fascinated by the AMA Serena’s progress up the Danube and managed to take videos of the crew showing how they helm the ship as she progresses through a series of locks along the winding river. 

    But I haven’t mentioned food yet! The AMA Serena offered a variety of choices for our dining pleasure. These included La-Chaîne-des- Rôtisseurs-level international cuisine in the general dining areas, a multi-course Chef’s Table tasting menu at the rear of the ship, and continuous food and beverage service in the handsome main lounge areas.

    But I can’t forget about the Christmas Markets! The cruise featured a holiday theme centered around Christmas Markets enticing us across four countries. In Hungary, we sampled tasty Hungarian goulash and Gluhwein (mulled wine) that Budapest is famous for, as well as loaded up on pretty ornaments, knitwear, and holiday treats available at the markets. 

    In Salzburg, home to all things Sound of Music, and Vienna, the heartland of waltz, we enjoyed dozens of Christmas Markets with specialty foods including Vienna sausages, strudel, schnitzel, sauerkraut, and bake goods and cookies unique to the areas. During our stops in various German locales including Regensberg and Nuremberg, we enjoyed German nibbles like Würstchen (sausages), fondue, and Christmas Punch.

    Our final stop was Prague in the Czech Republic. This old/new city has sophisticated people, bustling commerce, and fascinating cuisine. It delighted us with its ancient enclaves, Jewish Quarter, palace, lovely Vltava River, and sophisticated shopping streets that rival the Champs Élysée in Paris.

    But we couldn’t stay on board forever—although many of us would have liked to. Our Christmas cruise drew to a close on a fine holiday note with Christmas songs sung by the crew, a festive Captain’s Gala, and even a visit from you-know-who who brought every last one of us a present (and a hug)! 

    Thus if you find yourself fantasizing about a river cruise somewhere on this big blue marble we live on—no matter what time of year it is—I can highly recommend AMA Waterways at https://www.amawaterways.com. They have a way of making dreams—and fantasies—come true.

    Happy Holidays! For videos of our cruise, click on the following links:

    AMA Waterways Budapest Illuminations Cruise 2017

    AMA Serena Navigates the Misty Danube

    AMA Serena in Lock @Hilpoltstein Germany

    AMA Serena Crew Sings Jingle Bells

    Thursday
    Jul272017

    Brit Bite #3: Adventures in Wonderful & Weird England

    Who Knew Shakespeare was Hip? William Shakespeare is not only the best-selling fiction author of all time (estimated 4 billion copies of work sold). He may also have the face and name that shows up in more product placements than Mickey Mouse. 

    Shakespeare’s birthplace, marriage home, and surrounding buildings are now a Disney-like compound in Stratford-Upon-Avon that could rival Legoland. Characters tell his story of birth, upbringing, marriage, creative genius, death, and ongoing presentation at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s digs just down the street on the Avon River. 

    But Shakespeare hasn’t lost his panache over time one bit. For example, Shakespeare is now LA-hip on a variety of clothing and jewelry products. And why not? His thinning hairline is rad. His moustache makes him kissably cool. And his Elizabethan-swagger is right in keeping with our Kardashian-flavored times.

    Shakespeare is also “into” modern-day bubbly wine, as well as whites and reds. He well knew the power of wine when he wrote, “Your lips are like wine and I want to get drunk.” Or “the wine cup is the little silver well, where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell.” (He probably sipped on a goblet or two as he penned his plays.)

    Shakespeare would probably love how his wine influence has effervesced over the centuries. He’s on vintages, corks, coasters, wine paraphernalia, wine clothing, wine hats, wine glasses, and even wine corks masquerading as thumb drives.

    In Stratford-Upon-Avon, they sell a nice variety of Shakespeare wines. Among them are a sparkling bubbly and a decent red. I can hear him now, in the back of the Garrick Inn, sipping a bit of red and whispering to his companions: “Yo. Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people.”

    And of course Shakespeare shows up in a myriad of other products like books, bookends, posters, busts, platters, drapes, pillows, rugs, wall hangings, games, toys, masks, Halloween costumes, coloring books, and even fishing rods just to name a few.

    Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg eat your heart out. You’ll never overtake this guy. (At least for a few hundred years.)