Santorini: Between the Sea and the Cosmos

Traditionally known in Greek as Thira (or Thera in Classic Greek), this island, which is part of a caldera born from a massive volcanic eruption 3600 years ago, didn’t get its more commonly known of Santorini until about eight centuries ago. Conquered and dominated over the millennia by Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, the Latin Empire,…

Read More

The Allure of the Ligurian Sea

The Ligurian Sea—the liquid azure arm of the Mediterranean caressing the northwestern rocky coastline of bella Italia. Its reach extends from the French/Italian border southeastward towards La Spezia, Pisa, and Livorno and forms a triangle to the northern tip of Corsica. Just north of La Spezia are a string of little towns collectively known as…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

New York, NY Part 5: Through the Eyes of an Artist

Looking for an opportunity to take a family trip, Rick’s niece Nicolina became one of our inspirations. Having moved to New York about 10 years ago, Nicolina has lived the life of a struggling artist in one of the world’s cultural and artistic capitals. To get by the first year, she worked at several restaurants,…

Read More

Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 2 The How-To)

In my previous blog post, I wrote: Whether you’re away on vacation or just living like a local on “staycation”, whether it’s your virgin visit or you know the place like a pro, find alternate ways to enjoy the place you’re visiting.  You have the opportunity and the choice to do something beyond the ordinary,…

Read More

Making the Best out of Being Where You Are (part 1 — The Paris Staycation)

Summertime in Paris can sometimes be a real grind for American tourists.  It’s the pinnacle of high season when the majority of families coordinate their kids’ vacation with time off from work.  If going with the flow isn’t your strong suit, the energy can be unbearably crushing.  Most museums can be inundated with tourists from…

Read More