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 · 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

Adventure · Architecture · Art · Europe · History · Italy · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Best of Europe: There’s No Place Like Rome

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 Best of Europe: There’s No Place Like Rome

Adventure · Architecture · Art · Culture · Europe · Food · History · Italy · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

The Best of Europe: Florence

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: Florence

Architecture · Europe · History · Italy · The Great Outdoors · Tourist · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Best of Europe: The Charm of Venice

If you’ve been to Venice and haven’t been allured by its charm, you did it wrong. Too often people day-trip or cruise into Venice, stick to only the touristy sections (namely the area encompassing Rialto and Piazza San Marco), and never get beyond their comfort zone to allow themselves to discover the true magic of… Continue reading Best of Europe: The Charm of Venice

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

Adventure · Architecture · Art · Cruises · Culture · Destinations · Europe · History · Russia · The Great Outdoors · Travel Philosophy · Travel Tips & Skills

Cultural Eye-candy in St. Petersburg

“Dobryy den’,” I said to the Dorothy Hamill-coiffed customs agent.  I was eager to practice the little Russian I knew.  She must not have heard me because she didn’t respond to my greeting.  “Dobryy den’,” I repeated, this time with a smile.  Maybe I was pronouncing it wrong.  The third time I wished her good… Continue reading Cultural Eye-candy in St. Petersburg