Blog Archives

Splendor in San Francisco: Visiting the Palace of Fine Arts

In the middle of San Francisco’s Walter S. Johnson Park, sits the Palace of Fine Arts, an easily recognizable piece of San Francisco architecture.  You’ve likely seen it in many photographs, with attractive shots both by day and by night, so you’ll want to make plans for visiting the in San Francisco, California. The Palace was designed as part of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, an event hosted by San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal.  It was also seen as an opportunity for to rise from the ashes of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire. A site was chosen in what is now known as the Marina District, and architect Bernard Maybeck designed the Roman-themed/Greek-styled Palace of Fine Arts.  Exposition exhibits are temporary and therefore made with collapsible materials, so the Palace was never built to last.  However, the […]

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Adventure & Luxury in the Galapagos

Adventure travel doesn’t have to mean roughing it, and there’s probably no better example than  Galapagos cruises, which mash up education, adventure, and luxury into vacations of a lifetime. The Galapagos Islands are located about 525 miles west of and are a volcanic archipelago hovering around the equator.  The islands are home to a national park, a whale sanctuary, and biological marine reserve, and are a part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The Galapagos are home to about 23,000 people and far more wildlife species. There are 18 main islands offering a variety of experiences and leisure activity:  swimming, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, and explore.  This is also an amazing spot for photographers with postcard-perfect island scenes as well as unique native life.  But a visit to the islands also offers far greater opportunities for viewing wildlife, flora and fauna, […]

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Karne Garibaldi: Good Food Fast in Guadalajara, Mexico

Fast food can be good food, and Karne Garibaldi (website is in Spanish) in Guadalajara, Mexico proves the point over and over again.  Whenever I’m in Guadalajara, you can bank on my having at least one meal at this casual restaurant whose claim to fame is the Guinness Book of Records (1996) entry for the fastest service.  They set the record at 13 1/2 seconds for a table of six. The service is so fast that before you’re even seated a group of waiters will arrive at your table bringing you appetizers to get started.  It’s a plate for of fresh, warm tortillas, served along with delicious grilled onions, refried beans with bits of corn in it (this Karne Garibaldi specialty is available for purchase by the can), and other condiments (chopped green onions, radishes) and salsa.  This is what […]

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Historical London: Visit 4 UNESCO Sites

Thinking about a vacation in historical can evoke a frenzy of thoughts about this major continental city that is the UK’s financial center, seat of politics, and hub for fashion, entertainment, and the arts. But don’t forget that London is an old city, steeped in culture and tradition.  In a city of hundreds (if not thousands) of wonderful historical sites, four have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.  They’re worth a look-see! Tower of London:  Located on the north bank of the Thames in central London, the Tower is actually a compound of multiple buildings – and a moat.  It’s currently the oldest British governmental building but has an impressive history as a fortress, palace, prison, and place of execution and torture.  Must see sites there today include the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the Ravens, and the Medieval […]

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10 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, good meal, and a comfy bed.  After all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting our adventure and a little luxury too. So what’s trending on the soft adventure landscape? Ziplining – A few years ago the only place I was hearing about ziplining was in the rainforest.  Now it’s gone mainstream, with zipline adventures offered at resorts, zoos, eco-lodges, urban areas, and more. Horseback riding –It’s not just a ride down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon anymore.   You can ride on the beach or in the hills or a park.  Take an early morning ride, or enjoy […]

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Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Today I have a guest post from a recent friend, Sue Henly.  Sue and I met at a travel event and charmed me with her Australian accent.  I think she’ll charm you with her writing as well. — In the soft grey light of early morning, we sit quietly on a bamboo mat, wicker baskets of sticky rice beside us, across from a shuttered colonial mansion heavy with bougainvillea.  Birds chatter in the flame trees until a gong sounds, momentarily startling them into silence. Around a corner, dozens of barefoot monks and novices appear in a swish of saffron, golden bowls hanging from orange shoulder straps.  Beside us, locals show us how to earn merit.  Men adorned with scarves over one shoulder as a mark of respect and kneeling women in traditional shawls put fistfuls of rice into the monks’ […]

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