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UNESCO World Heritage Site: Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Mt. Tongariro, New Zealand

  Tongariro National Park, the oldest national park in New Zealand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed for it mix of cultural and natural importance. The park, located on the North Island, is home to three active volcanos:  Mt. Tongariro (for which the park was name, Mt. Ruapehu, and Mt. Ngauruhoe. Visiting Tongariro National […]

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Forever Fiji

Nadi Fiji

There is a mystique that surrounds the beautiful Fijian Islands.  In Fiji you really are blessed with some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world, so in the end, it’s all about Lomani and Demeni, Fijian words meaning pampered, cherished and cared for. Although you have to travel many miles to travel to get […]

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Fall in Bloom in Sydney

flower Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney

  It may be spring here at home, and a delight to watch the flowers turn from buds to bloom, but down under in Sydney Australia blooms of a different kind are on display.  The Royal Botanic Gardens are celebrating the arrival of fall with gardens full of begonias, hawthorn, eucalyptus and other fall blooms.  […]

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Australia’s Ahhhhh Factor

Kangaroo in Australia

Even well-traveled and jaded adults will succumb to what I call Australia’s “Ahhhhh” factor – the unusual, cute, and often cuddly-looking animals that you’re sure to find on the picture postcards from the smallest of our continents.  While there is much to see on holidays to Australia, seeing the animals always seem to be a […]

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New Zealand UNESCO World Heritage Sites

I became fascinated with UNESCO World Heritage sites a few years ago when I realized the incredible diversity in the type of places and things on the list.  Whenever I’m researching a new location, one of the first things I look for are the sites that are on the UNESCO list.  While it’s not the […]

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The States of Australia

Australia.  Land of kangaroos, sheep stations, koala, boomerang,  crocodile, wombat, dingo, shrimp on the barbie, sexy accents, and Waltzing Matilda.  Now that we have the stereotypes out of the way, what can you really expect when you decide on a vacation to the land down under. Let’s be real clear – Australia is a huge […]

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It’s My Blog Anniversary!

On March 17, 2006, I wrote my first blog post ever on my travel blog then named Flyaway Cafe. You […]

Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii: From Tragedy to Tourism

The ruins of Pompeii are a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The ruins of Pompeii have become one of Italy’s most visited sites. On August 24th, 79 A.D., erupted in a […]

You’ll Never Want to Leave: Hilton Union Square, San Francisco

It seems like everyone thinks about romance in February, but once Valentine’s Day passes, romance gets short shrift. One way […]

You’ll Never Want to Leave: Pantai Inn, La Jolla

For much of the northern hemisphere, January is winter and with it, the cold – often brutally cold – rain, […]