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Italian Island-Hopping in Ischia Italy

Posted by on Jul 22, 2017 | 0 comments

Italian Island-Hopping in Ischia Italy

New destinations often cross my radar thanks to a friend who has visited there. In the case of Ischia, it was a friend who is actually from there! My friend Sandra lives in Washington DC but spends several weeks each summer visiting family on the Italian island of Ischia.

I’ve heard her talk about the place for years and since it was virtually impossible to ferry from Procida to our next stop in Positano without going through Ischia, we decided to spend a night and get a good look at this photogenic Italian island for ourselves.

Known for its mineral-rich thermal waters, the volcanic island of Ischia is home to spa towns, beach resorts, gardens, vineyards and one very impressive castle built on a rock near the island in 474 BC.

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Pretty Procida: Italy’s Best-Kept Island Secret

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 | 2 comments

Pretty Procida: Italy’s Best-Kept Island Secret

After a fabulous 4-day road trip through Ireland it was time to move on to our next stop, Italy! The plan was to spend the first week along the Amalfi Coast before working our way up to Florence for our anniversary.

We flew from Dublin to Naples via Paris and made the most of a 10-hour (intentional) layover to take the train into the city and enjoy a perfect summer day in the French capital. The only down side of spending the day in Paris was that we didn’t arrive in Naples until nearly 11pm, meaning that we’d have to spend the night before taking the ferry to our first stop, the island of Procida Italy.

Procida has been on my radar since my well-traveled friend, Janice, visited several years ago sharing drool-worthy pictures on Facebook of pastel-colored homes cascading down a cliff to sparkling blue seas below. I immediately added Procida to my wish list and this seemed like the perfect place to start our Italian holiday.

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The 4-Day Irish Road Trip (& the Facts about Driving in Ireland)

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 | 0 comments

The 4-Day Irish Road Trip (& the Facts about Driving in Ireland)

Summer is finally here which means that it’s time for yet another summer adventure! This year, my husband Dave and I are headed back to Europe. With Dave working in Germany again in June, it was a great opportunity to leave a few weeks early and take the scenic route, stopping in two other countries on the way over – Ireland and Italy.

Italy will be our primary focus this month as we have assembled quite a long wish list of new Italian destinations to visit since getting married in Florence two years ago. But our Italian itinerary left approximately four days at the beginning of the trip to devote to another country. After a quick browse of airfares, Ireland immediately shot to the top of our list.

Can you see Ireland in just four days, you ask?

Of course not! But with the help of a rental car, you can see a lot.

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The Best of Bali: Nusa Lembongan

Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 | 0 comments

The Best of Bali: Nusa Lembongan

Bali is wonderful. I mean that, I really do.

The rice terraces of Ubud, the temples, the culture, the beautiful people…what’s not to love? I have visited the island twice before, on Round-the-World #5 and Round-the-World #9, and thoroughly enjoyed both trips.

But these days Bali is also known for endless traffic, mega-resorts, persistent hawkers and raucous nightlife. So when my husband and I visited recently, we went in search of a kinder, gentler Bali. A quieter, laid-back island with empty beaches, turquoise waters and the gentle Balinese spirit.

We found all of that and more just a 30-minute boat ride away on the neighboring island of Nusa Lembongan.

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Asia with Ease: A Cruise to Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 | 0 comments

Asia with Ease: A Cruise to Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand

It’s that time of year again! For a decade, I rang in each New Year with a trip around the world. But since Delta discontinued its award Round-the-World ticket in 2015, I’ve had to get a little more creative. For the past few years that’s meant a lengthy visit to Southeast Asia instead, one of my favorite parts of the world and a terrific place to escape the US winter.

Last year, my husband Dave and I enjoyed tranquil visits to the Thai islands of Koh Lanta and Koh Lipe and the awe-inspiring island of Palawan, Philippines. This year, we decided to mix things up a bit. We wanted to visit Vietnam and return to Thailand but I wasn’t keen on a repeat of my last visit to Vietnam (which involved a rather unpleasant 36 hour train ride).

So, I went in search of a more convenient and relaxed way to see the country and discovered that, lo and behold, cruise ships visit Vietnam these days. Yes, an Asia cruise, now that just might be the way to go!

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Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 | 4 comments

Summer in the San Juan Islands: A Travel Guide

Made up of more than 400 islands and rocky outcrops, the San Juan Islands straddle the border between the US and Canada. Just 80 miles north of Seattle, the islands are part of the US state of Washington. Best known for their resident pods of orca whales, the San Juan Islands are also home to the greatest concentration of Bald Eagles in the continental United States.

The islands are a terrific spot for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Full disclosure, San Juan Island was the site of my first vacation with my now husband and we consider it the place where we fell in love…so expect what follows to be a thorough San Juan Islands Travel Guide with perhaps a slight love-struck bias!

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Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

Posted by on May 11, 2016 | 2 comments

Bucket List…Waco? A Visit to the Magnolia Market Silos

I’m not usually one to geek-out over TV shows, after all, I spend a lot of my time out of the country without access to most US TV shows. But in the past year, during the process of selling my long-time “starter home” and buying a new house with my husband, I somehow developed a bit of an HGTV addiction. Of the many wonderful shows on HGTV, my favorite (and my husband’s too!) is Fixer Upper.

Set in Waco, Texas, the show stars talented married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines who help house-hunters find and renovate the home of their dreams. The show not only features Chip and Jo but also their adorable 4 children and many of the local artists and businesses they work with in the Waco area.

But the breakout star of the show has been Waco itself. Remarkably, during the past two seasons, this popular HGTV show has managed to put this sleepy central-Texas town on the map as a travel destination…and not just for Baylor football games. Of course, until recently, there wasn’t much of the show for Waco visitors to see, aside from Joanna’s small retail store.

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