Sunday Stories for May 17th, 2015

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok, ThailandTemple of Dawn, Bangkok, ThailandTemple of Dawn, Bangkok, Thailand

I haven’t done a Sunday Stories round up for awhile as I’ve been busy with travel. That means I have less time to peruse my interests online as well as less time to sit down and share what interested me. The round up today covers several weeks of reading. I hope you’ll find something you like.


Heidelberg, Germany

Etiquette 101: Your Guide to Tipping in 50 Countries

Tipping can be confusing enough at home, but even moreso on the road. While it’s easy to throw extra money around, we need to pay attention to what that says about imposing our norms on other cultures. This guide is a nice reference.

You just had a five-star meal in Qatar, or went scuba diving in beautiful Bohol in the Philippines. Well, lucky you! But how do you express your appreciation for the service you received? Tipping rules vary by country, by region, and by scenario—here’s what you need to know.

Yum! a hedonistic retreat for the discerning foodie

Five star luxury and a foodie weekend? Yes please.

The Bodnant Welsh Food Centre makes a destination of the small rural area, offering not just accommodations, but also a restaurant, a variety of stores, including a bakery and butcher shop, and lessons for visitors in cooking with the local fare.

How To Make Citronella Candles

Mosquitos love me, and I have to worry about what I’m wearing (long pants and sleeves) whenever I’m outside. I’ve been an ugly mess of “skeeter” bites all too often. While this recipe for citronella candles won’t cure all the situations, it certainly should help for dinners out on the deck or evenings spent outside. I’m going to try it.

Pulled up a chair to a mouthwatering outdoor meal, only to realize that you are on the menu? As fun as it can be to flail your arms and smack yourself repeatedly to rid yourself of mosquitos, no-see-ums, and other biting insects, it can also be nice to take a deep breath, sip on your watermelon agua fresca, and just be.

glass of prosecco

Glass of Prosecco, Italy’s bubbly

170-Year-Old Champagne Recovered (and Tasted) From a Baltic Shipwreck

Although not described in glowing terms at first (animal notes, wet hair, cheesy), champagne apparently holds up will for 170 years.

Initially, the experts described the Baltic wines with words such as “animal notes,” “wet hair” and “cheesy.” However, after the wine was swirled a bit in the glass, providing some much needed oxygen, it took on a whole new character. Once it had a chance to breathe, the champagne was described as “grilled, spicy, smoky, and leathery” accompanied by fruity and floral notes, according to the paper.

5 Ways to Gift Wine Like a Pro

Wine make a great gift, I often gift it myself and I love to receive it. These tips make sure your wine if a hit, not a miss. I knew most of them, but had never considered taking a magnum instead of a bottle. Very impressive!

Well, the type of wine you bring to the table is more noticeable than you think. Lettie Teague, wine columnist at The Wall Street Journal and author of Wine in Words, says that while some wines will always be more gratefully received than others, there are some tips to follow that will make the inevitable in-store scramble less intimidating.

It’s Wine O’Clock! European Travel Inspiration-One Glass at a Time

Ya gotta love someone who sees the world through a wine glass. And photographs in that way, too.

One of the best parts of traveling and exploring new areas is when you stop running around and take the time to enjoy your surroundings.  Sometimes you just need to sit still!

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok, Thailand

Temple of Dawn, Bangkok, Thailand

The 16 Best Street-Food Cities in the World, Ranked

Street food? Heck yeah! Line me up and I’m ready to try it all.

And while basically every major city in Southeast Asia had a shot at being #1, read on to find out whether the city that serves tacos, dumplings, or grilled cow udders is the king of the street-food world.

10 Undersung National Parks

Sometimes it’s worth straying from the beaten path, and these National Parks look like they’re worth straying for.

America’s National Park System is composed of more than 450 natural, historical, and cultural areas spread across the United States and its far-flung territories. Though Yellowstone deserves all the attention it gets, here are ten lesser-known park properties that are calling out for a visit.

Read original article here: 10 Undersung National Parks

The King of Cheeses

Ahhhh, Parmigiano-Reggiano, how I love thee. Grated on salad, shaved onto pasta, or nibbled with a glass of red wine. Turns out all is not well in cheese-land, though.

The Italians have never been shy when it comes to claiming culinary superiority, so it’s not surprising that they casually refer to Parmigiano-Reggiano, those massive wheels of aged cow’s milk cheese produced in central Italy, as “the undisputed king of cheeses”.


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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