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A Travel Angel at the Vatican: Exploring the Papal City-State with the Wife of a Swiss Guard

So often when I travel, I feel like the universe conspires in my favor. Perhaps I’m inclined to be more open to adventure and opportunities that come my way, or maybe, because I seek those moments, I recognize them more readily. Or perhaps there truly is a divine hand at work that guides me towards people and circumstances that stretch and shape me for the better. Whatever the reason, in that chapel and in that moment, I knew precisely how fortunate I was, and I was grateful.

Architecture · Art · Culture · Destinations · Europe · Family-friendly · Food · History · Italy · Religion · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

Rome by the Dozen: 12 Images of The Eternal City

Anyone who’s ever been to Rome knows that it’s impossible to contain all of its magnificence in a handful of photos, but that doesn’t stop most travelers from trying. There are (quite literally) millennia of things to see, explore, taste, and experience in this city that was once the center of the largest empire in… Continue reading Rome by the Dozen: 12 Images of The Eternal City

Adventure · Education · Entertainment · Germany · Logistics · packing · Planes · Religion · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

Confession time: I’m a last-minute packer, sometimes finishing up just hours before a flight. Fortunately, I pack so often that I’ve got my incomprehensible-to-most system down pat. On most trips, procrastination serves as stimulus to “get ‘er done.” Rare is it that something needed is forgotten at home. I get to the airport with sufficient… Continue reading A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Germany

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How to Find Great Values in Venice

Centuries-old former palaces crackle and peel away in the thick, briny air. Bottom floors of old merchants’ warehouses sit empty and still cling half-heartedly to their romantic patina of a time long past, slowly but beautifully decaying under the Venetian heat, humidity, and rising waters. As I glide down the canal on a slow vaporetto,… Continue reading How to Find Great Values in Venice

Architecture · Culture · Europe · Germany · History · Politics · Religion · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Best of Europe: On the Rhine

For 21 days, Rick and I are tour members on one of his own tours: The Best of Europe. We’re trying to combine vacation with quality control and research.  And it’s going great! Join us as we traipse from the Netherlands to Germany, Austria to Italy, and Switzerland to France with a terrific tour guide,… Continue reading Best of Europe: On the Rhine

Adventure · Art · Culture · Europe · History · Politics · Religion · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

The Best of Europe: The Netherlands

For 21 days, Rick and I are tour members on one of his own tours: the Best of Europe. We’re trying to combine vacation with quality control and research. And it’s going great! Join us as we traipse from the Netherlands to Germany, Austria to Italy, and Switzerland to France with a terrific tour guide and… Continue reading The Best of Europe: The Netherlands

Adventure · Architecture · Art · Culture · Europe · History · Iceland · Religion · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Iceland Iceland Baby

What do you do in Iceland when you only have two days to visit?  Lots, that’s what. Instead of flying directly from St. Petersburg to Seattle, my partner Rick Steves and I decided to take advantage of spending some time (for the first time) in Iceland.  We hoped to break up our jet lag and… Continue reading Iceland Iceland Baby