Category Archive: Uncategorized

10 Essentials for Summer Travel

No doubt about it – we are traveling in a post-pandemic world differently than we did before. Some of the changes are small. We’ve needed to replace items, update a few things, and plan for multiple contingencies because things just aren’t going according to plan. The first trip of this year, I did such a poor job of packing, that I had stop by a Target store to buy all sorts of things I missed. It’s gotten better. We’ve made the conscious choice (and budget decision) to fly business class on long-haul international flights. While it’s certainly more comfortable, and I love a comfortable pod and lie-flat seat, there are other practical reasons for the decision. If something is going to go wrong, business class passengers have a priority for checked bags, rebooking in the event of a cancellation or […]

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Alaska Inside Passage Cruise: Onboard Hollard America’s Koningsdam

Alaska is one of the most diverse landscapes in the United States. It has expansive mountain ranges, broad diversity of wildlife and marine life, a long-standing cultural heritage, and some of the best seafood around. It is also one of the most remote and elusive states. For many travelers wanting to visit all 50 states, Alaska is the last one to get checked off. Accessing Alaska is not easy, it’s not drivable much of the year from the contiguous US, and some areas have limited access by air. All of this goes into making Alaska a fascinating destination to visit and why an Alaska inside passage cruise is a popular way to see the last frontier. We embarked on a 7-day Inside Passage Alaska cruise with Holland America cruise line on their Koningsdam ship. While I’ve visited Alaska hundreds of […]

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How to Make Limonana, Tasty Mint Lemonade

Jordan has a very hot and dry climate, so a cool and refreshing drink is just what you need after a long day of exploring. One of the most refreshing drinks I found while I was visiting Jordan was mint lemonade, or Limonana, a traditional drink found throughout the Middle East. The name originates from the word “limon” which means lemon in Arabic and Hebrew and “nana” which means mint. Apparently, the drink became more well-known in the 90s after an advertising campaign promoted it in Israel, but it has been a popular sip across the Middle East for far longer. You can find it everywhere in Jordan – in restaurants, bottled in convenience stores, served fresh at juice stands, everywhere. I visited Jordan as part of a paid partnership project with Globus Journeys. Saying yes to the Jordan Escape tour was easy-peasy. […]

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20 Fascinating Museums in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. and you can bet there are plenty of museums that highlight its fascinating and sometimes sketchy past. The historic downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places and is where you’ll find most of the restaurants, attractions, and shopping. It combines European flair with a spectacular bayfront to create a walkable downtown that makes history a priority. The city boasts a number of impressive museums, including some fascinating niche collections. For a recent visit, I dug into some research on the museums in St. Augustine, was able to visit a few of them, and have the rest queued up for a return visit. If you’re visiting Florida and you’re keen to learn more about the country’s history, you’ll want to plan a visit to St. Augustine. And while you’re […]

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History Travel: Discover These Favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) was founded in 1945 with the goal of promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences, and culture. Its headquarters are located in Paris, France, with dozens of regional offices around the world. UNESCO supports many projects and has lots of meetings and conferences, but the initiative likely the most familiar to travelers is the designation of World Heritage Sites. The World Heritage program designates sites that reflect the importance of preserving the cultural and natural heritage of the world. As of July 2021, there are 1,154 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (897 cultural, 218 natural, and 39 mixed properties), spanning 167 countries. With 58, Italy has the most on the list. Every year, new sites are considered for listing. The process starts with countries creating a Tentative List […]

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Visit Sunnylands, Rancho Mirage, California

The greater Palm Springs area has been a popular vacation spot for Hollywood movie stars and California’s elite society for decades, and it’s no surprise why. Its natural hot springs, 5-star resorts, 90+ golf courses in the surrounding area, and year-round sunny weather. This perfect vacation spot has evolved from a playground for the rich and famous into a year-round destination for everyone. But let’s take a little time to explore that old-world Palm Spring era with a stop at Sunnylands in Palm Springs. History of Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage Sunnylands is the former estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg and was built as their winter retreat in Rancho Mirage, California.  Walter and Leonore built a vacation home in the Palm Springs area, like many others, but they wanted their home to be more than just floors and walls. They […]

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Jordan Travel Tips: 9 Things I Didn’t Know Until I Got There

Before every vacation, I love researching places and learning about all the destinations, their history, and the attractions. I try to find a book or two about or set in the destination (I start this process as soon as the trip is booked so that I have lots of time before I arrive on-site). I start reading guides and blog posts from my cadre of trusted sites. I set up a Pinterest board to keep track of the things I deem important, the photos that capture my attention, and I compile information that would make a data nerd proud. Without proper preparation and some research, you could find yourself in difficult situations or end up missing some hidden gems. So it’s smart to do it. But no matter how much research I do, I love the serendipity that happens while […]

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Visiting Mount Nebo, Jordan 

Mount Nebo is a lesser-known, but still a very important historical landmark in Jordan. The mountain has a major biblical significance to the people of Jordan and Israel as the religious site is said to be the place where Moses looked towards The Promised Land before he died upon the mountain top. Mount Nebo is an important stop on a visit to Jordan and I was glad to see it on my itinerary. With views overlooking the Dead Sea, Jeremiah, and even Jerusalem, this important historical site is also an area of outstanding natural beauty. Though today the mountain peak is a tourist attraction with an admission fee, the religious connections are felt by most who visit here. It is a popular pilgrimage site for many religious devotees, and even though I don’t consider myself a religious person, I couldn’t […]

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A Tasting Guide to Sicilian Wines

Some of the finest wines in the world come from Italy. These Italian wines are often associated with refreshing tastes, are wonderfully complementary with food, and evoke warm Mediterranean memories. I can’t help but think back to past visits to Italy every time I’m sipping an Italian wine. We’re heading back to Italy soon, and I can’t wait to discover new favorites. The country is full of delicious wines – from large producers to smaller local wines – but one wine area that is too often overlooked is the wines of Sicily. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and its warm climate and fertile soils make it a perfect place for native grapes and wine cultivation. According to Sicilian wine history, Sicily is also the first Italian region to study Oenology – the study of wine tasting. […]

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13 INCREDIBLE Places to Celebrate the Spring Equinox

The spring equinox is the time of year when the sun lies directly above the equator, meaning that the length of day and night are equal. It is also referred to by other names, such as Ostara equinox and the vernal equinox. The Spring Equinox falls on different days each year, although it is usually around the same time. In 2022, it lands on March 20th in the Northern Hemisphere and September 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It marks the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere and the beginning of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The confusion between spring and fall with the hemispheres is why it’s sometimes easier to just refer to it as the vernal equinox (even though vernal means spring, it sometimes sounds less confusing). For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have held spring equinox celebrations. Spring […]

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