Christmas at Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

Tuesday Deal Day: Holiday Getaway at Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco

The double Five-Star Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco invites guests to enjoy all that the City by the Bay has to offer this holiday season. From a festive family vacation to a romantic getaway, the hotel is pleased to offer travelers of all ages the ultimate holiday escape. Festive Family Fun Package From the renowned Ferry […]

Recommended Thanksgiving Reading

AAA projects that 46.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest travel rate since 2007. I’ll be traveling just slightly more miles than that, and I’m loading up my Kindle Paperwhite with good reading to take along on the journey. I’m always keeping lists of things […]

new years eve times square

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York City’s Five Boroughs

Ringing in the New Year in New York City is a bucket list item for many people. The annual ball drop in Times Square, as well as other celebrations throughout Manhattan, plus events in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, makes New York City an ideal spot to ring in 2015. For a visitor, […]

Acropolis in Athens

Tourism Economics: As Explained by a Greek Cab Driver

I learned a lot about the impact of Greece’s tourism economy from my cab driver. This isn’t trickle down economics. This is real. This is personal. Enjoy the story and photo essay here.

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Instagram Highlights

I’ve really fallen in love with Instagram (you are following me on Instagram, aren’t you?), and I’ve discovered lot of great photography. From the beautiful landscape photos to the perfect meal, from the urban cityscapes to fascinating profiles, from interesting architecture to relaxing beaches, I appreciate it all. These interesting IG accounts challenge me to be better every single day.

Here are my top IG photos from last month (December 2014). I thank you for supporting my efforts to share my photos.

The first photo was from a river cruise out of Belgium. It was my first trip to the country, and the sights and sounds – and food – delighted and enchanted me.

Cathedral of our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium.

A photo posted by Mary Jo Manzanares (@travelingwithmj) on

I am Croatian by maternal lineage, and the country has fascinated me as far back as when it was consider Yugoslavia. I didn’t have the chance to visit the “old country” until I was an adult, and I wish I had contacts with my family. The few days I spent there were all to brief, but it’s okay, I know I’ll return.

A visit to Salt Lake City, Utah, left me with plenty of time to visit Temple Square and to take in the Christmas lights around the Temple. Another photo of the Temple lights was also popular.

Another photo from the Christmas light display at the temple in Salt Lake City

A photo posted by Mary Jo Manzanares (@travelingwithmj) on

New York City is one of those places that grows on you. Go ahead, call out Times Square for being touristy and not worth a visit. But I make sure to stop off there every couple of visits. It’s just like you see it in the movies (or television), full of lights and life, teeming with people and activity. I understand why people dislike it, but I love it there. 

I want to be a part of it, New York, New York. Times Square at night. A photo posted by Mary Jo Manzanares (@travelingwithmj) on


I first visited Ireland for a TBEX site visit. One of the places we toured was Powerscourt Gardens. The grounds were impressive (if only I could recreate a small portion of them at home), and I’d recommend it as a day trip if you’re visiting Dublin.

Powerscourt Garden near Dublin.

A photo posted by Mary Jo Manzanares (@travelingwithmj) on

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Wedgwood at The Langham

Tea is the second most popular drink in the world, the first is water, and while here in the United […]