Sunday Stories for February 2nd, 2014

Happy SuperBowl Sunday!

It’s a big football day for fans around the world, but for those of here in the Seattle area (as well as Denver, but let’s not talk about them right now) it’s a super special opportunity to watch the Seahawks in a the game of a lifetime. Happy viewing!

Before you do, though, or instead of (for the non-fans), here are some quick reads worth a bit of your time. Please click through and give them a read, leave a comment, and let them know you appreciate their work.

spa treatment tables

Massage In China – 10 Tips And What To Avoid

I love me a good massage, and I’ve been fortunate to have them in spots around the world. Despite the similarities, there are always a few little quirky differences, either in treatment styles or etiquette, and it’s always nice to have an insider give you tips to make the most of your massage experience. I think you’ll find these tips for massages in China very helpful.

Like many Asian countries it is quite easy to find a massage in China. Yet often synonymous with the sex industry how do you distinguish the good non-sexual massage parlours from the seedy ones?

Souvenirs from Around the World

I’ve always collected things from my travels, although what that something is has changed over the years. Currently, I like bringing home coffee cups (they may take up room in my luggage, but using them every day at home brings back memories that make it worth the space), art (molas from Panama, blown glass from Venice, etc.), and food stuff (whiskey from Ireland, chocolates from Belgium, etc.). It’s just one more way of prolonging the joy of my travels once I’m back to the every day world. What sourvenirs do you bring home?

I’m always curious as to what others buy to help them remember their journey when they come back home. I figured I would share some of my favorite souvenirs from around the world! And, of course, I’d love to hear about yours!

Gold Glitter Social Media Icons

If you have a website, blog, or other online site, you likely have icons linking to your social media accounts. If you’re feeling like they’re drab and boring, take a looks at these glittering ones, complete with the free code to install them. Perhaps all that glitters really is gold.

Happy Friday! I’ve created five gold and glittering Social Media Icons just for you today!

Covered gondolas in front of homes in Venice Italy

Tips for Surviving Acqua Alta in Venice

Venice often gets a bad rap, but I love it there. One of the chief concerns is the flooding that occasionally happens, emphasis on occasionally, but what’s the real scoop about what’s happening with it.

Acqua Alta, which literally translates to high water, typically occurs in the winter months in Venice. Due to a combination of the amounts of rain northern Italy receives in winter, strong southerly winds, the tides, and even the movement of the sea, Venice is at risk for flooding when the water rises in the Venetian Lagoon. So what does that mean for tourists visiting La Serenissima?

Product Review: The Scrubba Washbag

While I’m pretty good at packing mix and match clothing that I can wear numerous times, sometimes doing laundry on the road is inevitable. I try to keep it to a minimum, underwear and socks primarily, with the occasional shirt or shorts thrown in for good measure. I use the sink and make it work just fine, but this portable washboard sounds fascinating for longer trips when I might need to do laundry more often. What do you think?

When we first heard about the Scrubba, we were a bit surprised by the simple genius of it. At its essence, the Scrubba is a portable washboard. A small and lightweight bag, it easily compresses to fit into the tiniest of nooks in your backpack. Once opened, the Scrubba bag is large enough for a couple of shirts and shorts, or one to two pairs of jeans. On the inside of the bag are washing nodules (the washboard) that do all the scrubbing for you.

glass of prosecco

Prosecco with Darjeeling tea and mint sorbet

If you are a regular reader, you already know how much I enjoy a great glass of Prosecco, Italy’s value alternative to champagne. I found this fun way to jazz it up a bit with a tea and mint sorbet. Very festive, perfect for a Sunday brunch.

I personally don’t understand the attraction of Champagne when a decent Italian Prosecco is just as good and much cheaper. We love the stuff, and like to jazz it up every now and them with a bit of Campari and vermouth (Negroni sbagliato) or turn it into a palate cleanser with a dollop of sweet minty sorbet.

Etosha National Park and Erindi Private Game Reserve, Namibia

A safari in Africa has been on my dream list for years (and years), but until I make there, I can experience the wildlife and the food of Africa vicariously through my pal, Andrew.

My Namibian adventure would come to a close on a high note! We were headed north from Damaraland to Namibia’s Etosha National Park, the countries wildgame crown jewel where visitors enjoy the thrill of coming face to face with elephant, lion and meandering giraffe.

Double Your Pinterest Followers In Five Minutes Per Day

Pinterest may be the darling of social media right now, but it’s not all food, fashion, and fun. There’s serious business being done and Pinterest is a part of that business mix. Is your business on Pinterest yet? Should you be?

For brands, bloggers, and publishers, Pinterest continues to offer the potential to generate leads, drive traffic to sites and build overall social presence. Is it here to stay? Count on it. More and more research is showing the power of Pinterest as it expands its offerings.



Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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