Secret Seattle Now Available

Secret Seattle: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure is almost ready to fly on the press. It is available for pre-order on Amazon (here) and from the publisher, Reedy Press, here. The official release date is September 15th, 2021, and shortly after that, it will be available directly from me and on the Secret Seattle website. This is my first book. I wrote it in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. What a crazy idea, as closure and lockdown policies seem to change almost daily. The secrets in this book were rewritten many times as beloved businesses went out of business or pivoted in ways that didn’t work for the book. And now that it’s set for release, it seems like things are changing rapidly once again. Although it was a crazy idea, I’m so very glad that […]

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Sail Into Fun: New Carnival Mardi Gras Ship [Review]

Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras pays homage to its first cruise ship, the TSS Mardi Gras which was launched in 1972 and retired in 1993. The new Mardi Gras is the first in the new Excel class ship with a passenger capacity of 5,282 passengers making it the largest cruise ship in the Carnival fleet.  I sailed on the first Mardi Gras voyage, a seven-day itinerary out of Port Canaveral (Orlando) with ports of call in San Juan in Puerto Rico, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, and Nassau in the Bahamas. We sailed with reduce capacity (70%). Walking on it had that new ship smell and made a favorable first impression. Come along for a look at the ship, her features and amenities, and this special debut sailing. The Ship The ship’s look features a distinct exterior design […]

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Paris Pantheon: Finding Where the Bodies Are Buried

Paris is known for its charming architectural attractions, rich history, bold romantic overtones, exquisite food, and more. On my first visit to France, I visited the Paris Pantheon, a neoclassical church in the Latin Quarter of Paris, and it quickly became one of my favorite places in the city. The Pantheon in Paris was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome and has a domed top similar to the one on Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. Although the Pantheon was originally an abbey, it now primarily serves as a burial place for famous French heroes, leaders, artists, and writers. The imposing structure is made of stone and marble supported by 22 Corinthian-inspired pillars. The building’s entrance is headlined by the inscription “AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE” (To great men, the grateful homeland). The interior of the building is decorated with sculptures […]

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The History of the Bikini: Fashion & War

For many women, the selection of the perfect bikini begins long before it’s time to hit the beach during vacation. It may very well be the first to-do item on a vacation preparation list. And for far too many women, there is no greater vacation angst than finding the right swimsuit – whether that’s a modern bikini, two-piece suit, or some other type of women’s swimwear. Learn about the history of the bikini. History of the Modern Day Bikini Archaeologists date the existence of a skimpy swimsuit back to 1600 BC., but the modern world was shocked by the debut of a new swimsuit made of mere inches of fabric. The bikini’s birthdate is considered to be July 5th, 1946. Two competing French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, are credited with creating a new style of swimwear and changing […]

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15 Soft Adventure Travel Ideas for Baby Boomers

Adventure travel is a hot travel niche these days, although perhaps for the Baby Boomer generation, it trends a little more to the soft adventure than the rugged. And often, those busy adventure days are followed by a nice glass of wine, a good meal, and a comfy bed. Baby boomers’ needs are simple – some active travel and adventure, right along with a little luxury travel, too. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy soft adventure tourism right now, whether you’re sticking close to home here in the United States or venturing further afield. 1. Ziplining A decade or so ago, the only place I knew where you could go zip lining was in the rainforest or in exotic destinations. Now it’s gone mainstream. You’ll find zipline adventures offered at all-inclusive resorts, tourist destinations, cruise ships, zoos, […]

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Celebrate World Whiskey Day

Take some grain, corn, rye or wheat will do, perhaps malted barley. Ferment in a still. Age in a wooden cask, oak works well, for various years. Then put into bottles. Voila – you have whisky. Or whiskey, if you prefer. As a general rule, it is spelled “whiskey”—with an e—in the United States and Ireland, and “whisky”—without an e—in Scotland, Japan, and Canada. An easy way to remember it is if the country has an “e” in it, so does whisk(e)y. A simple basic process is at the root of all whiskey making, from the rotgut in the backyard still to the smoothest Irish whiskey. However, the process of refining the smooth taste has evolved over generations and has often been passed from one master blender to another. Whiskey has become strictly regulated, with very specifically defined classes and types based […]

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Learn All About Washington State AVAs (Wine Regions)

Washington State wine is sold in all 50 US states as well as in over 40 countries around the world. Chances are, you’ve seen a Washington wine on a wine list pretty much anywhere you’ve traveled. Learn all about the Washington wine industry and the Washington State AVAs (wine regions) that produce these delicious and award-winning wines. Washington is the second-largest wine region in the United States, trailing California. (Oregon comes in third.) The climate creates a near-perfect environment for the acres of vines growing grapes for both red wine and white wine. Washington wines are solid performers at wine competitions, flashing their signature crisp acidity and fruit-forward flavors that win accolades in reputable wine competitions. Additionally, Washington is home to forward-thinking, sustainability-conscious vineyards and wineries. So let’s dig in and learn more about the Washington State AVAs . What are […]

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UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic District of Panama

Pristine waters, abundant wildlife, and sublime coastline. The beauty of Panama is matchless. Here you can experience a Pacific sunrise and an Atlantic sunset from the same spot. And while Panama City might be renowned globally for its star attraction, the canal, there is far more to see, do, and experience. Panama City has two sides – the modern, with its skyscraper banks and casinos, and the old town. The old town is referred to as the Historic District of Panama and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s become one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, also called Casco Viejo (Spanish for the old quarter), and feels like a lifetime away from the skyscraper banks and casinos.  The historic district spans only four avenues and is a UNESCO Site, officially titled Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo and Historic […]

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More Than 25 of the Best Books Set in Washington State

We’ve narrowed this reading list down to some of the best books set in Washington State. These books will help you better appreciate not only the notable locations in Washington State but also some of its smaller cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Those of us who live in Washington State tend to take our home state for granted. It’s the birthplace of global corporations like Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, UPS, Starbucks, and more. Washington State produces more than half of the nation’s apples. We have national parks, mountains, forests, water, with incredible bio-diversity. And the people who live here are richly diverse in background and culture. But wait – there’s more. Washington State makes regular appearances in books that make the best-selling and best-of lists. Seattle, the Olympic National Park, Puget Sound, and Mount Rainier are just some of the locales that appear […]

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Planning Your Perfect Trip to Ireland: Easy Tips & Tricks

Start planning your perfect trip to Ireland with these easy tips and tricks. These tried and true recommendations will help make your Ireland vacation full of adventure and memories. While our thoughts to turn Ireland in March because of St. Patrick’s Day, the Emerald Isle is a terrific vacation spot throughout the year. Whether you define Ireland as the Republic (an independent country) or as Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.), we have some tips and recommendations for planning your perfect trip to Ireland. So pour a cuppa (Irish Breakfast Tea, of course), grab some of those delicious shortbread cookies and start planning your perfect Ireland vacation. Are you excited to plan your Ireland vacation? Here are a few other things to keep in mind: The Republic of Ireland uses Euros as its currency, Northern Ireland uses British Pounds. There […]

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