Adventure · Destinations · Europe · France · Hiking · Italy · The Great Outdoors · transportation · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

Why Climb Every Mountain When You Can Take the Lift?

Oh, the Alps. Glorious. Majestic. Breathtaking. They’re the mountains of your dreams, every hiker’s delight, and a “must” destination for so many. For the past week and a half, Rick and I have been leading 26 tour members through the Alps from Austria to Italy to Germany and to Switzerland. And now we’ve arrived in… Continue reading Why Climb Every Mountain When You Can Take the Lift?

Adventure · Hiking · Italy · Logistics · The Great Outdoors · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Styles · Travel Tips & Skills

The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

I’m not what one would call an outdoorsy kind of person, and no one ever mistook me for a Birkenstock-wearing “granola girl,” but I sure do love hiking in the Alps. Our outdoor-loving and nature-respecting European counterparts make getting there so easy. From well-groomed trails and mountain huts to clear signage and industrial-strength cable lifts,… Continue reading The Dynamite Dolomites: Easy to Access, Easy to Love

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

Adventure · Culture · Latin America · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Adventures in Los Cabos

Tiny beads of sweat tickled my dusty brow. The grease accumulating in my hair could have fueled an SUV. The metallic grind of the engine drowned out all conversations on the jostling bus as we made our way from the airport to Cabo San Lucas. I had neglected to book a shuttle, and forking over… Continue reading Adventures in Los Cabos

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 · Caribbean · Cruises · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Planning · Travel Tips & Skills

In Search of a Perfect Cruise

My eyes felt like shriveled raisins, abandoned on the vine under the harsh glare of a seething sun. After having stared at my computer screen for so long, I couldn’t tell if my vision was going or if my haggard brain had simply stopped sending messages to my eyes about how to function. It was… Continue reading In Search of a Perfect Cruise

Adventure · Art · Culture · Europe · Food · Italy · Music · Religion · Tourist · transportation · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

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