Caribbean · Culture · Tourist · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Cuba: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Rick Steves and I have been getting so many requests regarding the logistics of our Cuba trip. And with travel restrictions slowly easing for Americans, we know more and more people will soon be heading to our neighbor in the Caribbean. With that in mind, Rick has asked me to create a nitty gritty list… Continue reading Cuba: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Caribbean · Tourist · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

In Cuba, Mi Casa Es Su Casa…Really

For Americans traveling to Cuba, finding a place to stay can feel stressful. With few hotels and high demand, most resort to staying in a casa particular—a privately run B&B. But even that can prove difficult if you don’t know the ropes. Read about my family’s experience to help save yourself time and tension when you book your own Cuban… Continue reading In Cuba, Mi Casa Es Su Casa…Really

Caribbean · Culture · Education · History · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Weary from 14 hours of travel (in the middle seat of three different airplanes from Seattle to Mexico City to Havana), my body longed for a simple bed to sleep in, but my mind was awhirl with anticipation of a trip of a lifetime. Rick, his son Andy, his daughter Jackie, and I were Cuba-bound,… Continue reading Bienvenido a Havana: Cuba at First Glance

Americas · Architecture · Art · Tourist · USA

Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

One of my favorite “side gigs” as a Rick Steves’ guide is promoting our tours at the Travel & Adventure Show every winter. This 2-day event happens in a different major city almost every weekend from January to March. Thousands flock to the city’s convention center, which is jammed aisle after aisle with travel booths… Continue reading Chicago: Travel Shows, Tours, and a Birthday

Adventure · Caribbean · Culture · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

St. Kitts: Lessons in History, Emancipation, Culture Shock, and Women’s Lib–Part II

As we finished our mini-bus tour of the island of St. Kitts, our local guide informed us that it was the final day of the Carnival celebration– it started at Christmas, and that there would be a huge parade through the center of town, Basseterre. While confused about the timing (this was January 2nd after… Continue reading St. Kitts: Lessons in History, Emancipation, Culture Shock, and Women’s Lib–Part II

Adventure · Americas · Caribbean · Cruises · Culture · Food · History · Latin America · Politics · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 2: From Boricua to Mofongo

After Tarzan-ing through Puerto Rico’s tropical forest, we freshened up on the ship and headed back out into the city of San Juan. We opted out of a ship excursion because we craved an authentic feel for the place. But we’d already discovered that the guidebooks we bought were lacking in any real content, context,… Continue reading 12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 2: From Boricua to Mofongo

Adventure · Americas · Caribbean · Cruises · Entertainment · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Tips & Skills

12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 1: Welcome to the Jungle

Sunscreen: check. Bathing suit: check. Eager-beaver attitude: check. Our first port was calling our name, and I, for one, was ready to hit the beach and take in a year’s supply of Vitamin D in the form of Caribbean afternoon sunshine. As we packed our day bags with our necessary gear, a husky Italian voice… Continue reading 12 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico Part 1: Welcome to the Jungle