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Kauai: The Garden Isle

Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaii Islands, and is the fourth largest of the islands, and is about a 100 miles from Oahu. Often referred to as the “Garden Isle,” Kauai is one of the wettest spot in the world, with an annual rainfall of 460 inches.  I’m most familiar with the town […]

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Take a Venetian Gondola Ride in Las Vegas

No, it’s not Venice.  It’s the Gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Okay, it’s a little touristy, and it’s definitely NOT Venice, but it’s still a bit of romantic fun away from the flashing lights and noise of the casinos.  You need to take a break from the fast paced action […]

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10 Tips for Saving on Your Vacation Food Budget

Meals are a big part of a vacation budget, but with a little planning and discipline, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Here are a few suggestions to help you eat well without breaking the bank: Avoid the mini-bar.  No matter how hungry you are for a late night snack, there’s nothing worth […]

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View Classic Corvettes at the National Corvette Museum

Begin, or renew, your love of the Corvette at the National Corvette Museum, as you gaze longingly at these classic sports cars that are an important piece of Americana and automobile history. Introduced in 1953, the Corvette became a favorite, and eventually a classic, and the museum attracts enthusiasts from all over the world.  Exhibits […]

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Blue Waters of Lake Mead

I’m spending a few days in Las Vegas, and over the weekend had an opportunity to go out to Lake Mead.  It was my very first visit there, and I was surprised at how beautiful the lake was, and how nice the surrounding area is.  The water and sky were blue, and the rocks all […]

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Shopping at Puerco Azul (Blue Pig)

If you’ve never found the comedic in art, Puerco Azul (Blue Pig) will set you straight. This whimsical art gallery in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, occupying both a house and its courtyard, is full of an eclectic mix of one-of-a-kind art.  The common denominator to it all is animals. Gallery owners Lee and Nancy Chapman traveled […]

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Gondola Rides on Lake Merritt

While it may not be the Grand Canal in Venice, you can experience an authentic Venetian Gondola ride on Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. Operating year round, Gondola Servizio offers private tours (meaning you are not thrown together with strangers) on a reservation only basis.  Come as a couple for a romantic sunset rid, or […]

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Kids Can Pass Travel Time With Rubberneckers

When you travel all the time, it becomes easy to take the whole process for granted.  Instead of being excited about heading off to the airport for a flight, you complain about having to go on “one more trip.” It’s easy to understand how you feel when you’re traveling for business, but when it’s finally […]

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Bishop Museum Explain the History & Culture of Hawaii

Honolulu’s Bishop Museum offers the natural and cultural history of Hawaii’s indigenous people.   Founded in 1889 by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last heir to Kamehameha I, you’ll find artifacts and exhibits representative of all the Pacific Islands. A couple of my favorite highlights are the Science on a Sphere exhibit and the Science Adventure […]

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Take a Ride on the Giant Dipper

Take a wild and rickety ride on one of the two remaining west coast oceanfront roller coasters, The Giant Dipper. Located in Belmont Park (Mission Boulevard and West Mission Bay Drive in San Diego), an old-style family amusement park, the Giant Dipper has been restored from its original 1925 condition, and now lurches riders through […]

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Talking About Viking Homeland Cruise on Amateur Traveler.

It’s only been a couple of weeks since we’ve returned from my 15-day, 8 country, Viking Homelands cruise on the […]

Weekend Getaway: Gig Harbor, Washington

The Pacific Northwest town of Gig Harbor, Washington, is located across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from Tacoma, and is about […]

New Countries New Map

On my Viking Homelands cruise with Viking Ocean, I visited FIVE new countries! I’ve never collected countries, just for the […]

Life Onboard the Viking Sea

The Viking Sea set sail from Stockholm on a 15 day Viking Homelands itinerary, visiting eight countries:  Sweden, Finland, Russia, […]