Sunday Stories for November 3rd, 2013

Sunday Stories for November 3rd, 2013Sunday Stories for November 3rd, 2013

It’s been a busy, busy week with lots of projects coming to completion and a few just falling into place. I had thought that I’d be sticking pretty close to home until the first of the year, but sometimes opportunities come up that seem tailored made and you have to grab them.

In just a little over a week’s time, I’ll be off to Thailand and Malaysia for 11 days, visiting Bangkok, Phuket, Penang, Ipoh, and Kuala Lumpur. I’ll be traveling with two other travel blogger friends, Cacinda Maloney from Points and Travel and Mike Hinshaw from Nomadic Texan, and a couple of other writers, on the food and spa theme adventure. We’ll be tasting the food of the area, taking a couple of cooking classes, and enjoying the spa treatments famous in this part of the world. Throw is some sightseeing and shopping and it’s shaping up to be just the kind of trip that’s tailored made for us value luxury travelers.

For now, though, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some enjoyable Sunday reading.

beer sampling

10 Breweries well worth visiting! Kona Brewery, Moab Brewery, Red Frog Pub and more!

One of the fun parts of traveling is enjoying local food and drink, and it’s hard to argue with that choice when it includes tasting the local beers. Here’s one interpretation of some favorites. Have you tried any of them? Agree or disagree? Or, perhaps, just suggest some of your own.

We have a hard time passing a brewery in our travels and have an extensive growler collection to prove it.  We have visited breweries from Glacier brewery in Alaska to Banks Brewery in Barbados! We love them for their atmosphere, good food and great beer. Our top 10 list was hard to decide upon but definitely enjoyed each and every one. There are some really good breweries out there but these are our favorites.

Northern India: The Good, the Great and The Ugly

India has never been on my bucket list. I mean, I want to want to visit it – if that makes sense – because of its rich history and culture, but it’s not anything I’m actively seek out or planning. It seems that everyone I know, every when booking a luxury option, has had health issues. Now, I’m a pretty sensible traveler; I don’t shy away from a food challenge, but signing on for the infamous Delhi Belly is not my idea of a good time. Jodi’s look at India has me re-thinking it. I’m not rushing out to plan anything yet, but it’s no longer a destination off the table.

Before I left for India, those who had been said the same thing to me: it will be a place that you love and you hate, that you will find chaotic and dizzying and that will leave its imprint on you for years to come. With many years of travel under my belt, I was curious about India’s effects.

A Fake Wallet Can Save Your Traveling Butt

I’ve never thought much about this idea. I take reasonable precautions to keep my valuable safe (and I try not to travel with too many valuables to start with), but I’ve never thought about faking out a mugger. Well, actually, I try not to think about muggers at all. What do you think – is this a precaution you’d take?

The point of having a fake wallet is so you can give a mugger something and still escape with most of your belongings (and your well-being) intact.

interior of airplane

The Ghosts Of Flight 401

I’ve never been on an aircraft or flight that I thought was haunted. Plenty of friends swear to eerie onboard happenings, though, so it’s impossible to swear it off out of hand. What do you think? Reality? Or just a spooky story?

Ever been onboard an aircraft, alone in the galley in the middle of the night? Ever felt like you’re being watched? Like someone else is there with you? Well normally there is; a passenger wanting another free drink, or something else to eat. But sometimes, there is no passenger, no other crew member……..nothing but a ghostly chill and a fleeting shadow.

America’s Mood Map: An Interactive Guide to the United States of Attitude

A fun little quiz (c’mon we all like to see how we stack up against our friends) that tries to match up our personality and temperament with the ideal state to live in. While there’s real science behind the project, this online version is just a mini version of the full project. It said my perfect state to live in is Florida. And anyone who knows me well knows that is just so very, very wrong. It’s still fun, though, so let me know in the comments which one is your “perfect” state.

Now a multinational team of researchers led by psychologist and American expat Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has sought to draw the regional lines more clearly, literally mapping the American mood, with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament.

Live In Art: Eucalyptus Vapor Rub: Recipe

Not only is eucalyptus effective in relieving a cough, but it’s also something I use to help relieve the congestion and headache brought on by allergies. I like the idea of making my own.

Eucalyptus oil can be effective in relieving a cough. The oil helps increase oxygen flow and break up that nasty chest congestion. You can include the essential oil in stream treatments or in chest rubs, applied topically with a carrier oil or salve.

glass of prosecco

Wine Wednesday: The Prosecco Road

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve no doubt seen a message that mentions Prosecco, the bubbly white wine of Italy that is my go-to sparkling wine. Like champagne, there are a variety of different taste options (and I recommend you explore the range to see what you like), but what I like about it is that there are great choices at very affordable, every day, prices. So this story made me super excited!

Just an hour’s drive north of Venice and a mere 30 minutes drive from our home in Italy, the Prosecco Road runs for nearly 20 miles from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene. The breathtaking wine region is full of small terraced vineyards planted on steep slopes almost exclusively dedicated to grapes for Italy’s famed sparkling wine. You won’t find any massive producers here. Small family-run wineries producing the light and crisp Italian bubbly line the Prosecco Road. 

Dave Hax’s best tips on packing quickly

I think I’m a pretty good packer, making the most of luggage space whether I opt to carry on or check my bag. But this tip on the “ninja-fold” blew me away. I had to watch the video a couple of times and then give it a try. It worked the very first time, although not in the record land speed in the video, it’s only takes me a couple seconds more. This is now my go-to folding option, whether I’m packing or just putting clothes away at home. Give it a try!

For short sleeve shirts and t-shirts, use the ninja-fold to package it up with some special Japanese style in two seconds flat.

Read original article here: Dave Hax’s best tips on packing quickly


Have you made any of these slips?

Here in the United States, we speak the same language as our ye old predecessors in Great Britain, but we don’t always speak it the same way.

DIY: Homemade Polaroid Coasters

If you’re looking for handmade Christmas ideas, this is a fun one. I have tons of great photos from my travels and turning them into fun coasters seems like a fun idea. I’ll need to spend some time playing with filters to create the theme look that will tie them together, but this is a fun cold weather project. And hey, if you have kids – or are in charge of helping kids create holiday gifts – this looks like a kid friendly do-it-yourself ideas as well.

This fun craft I’ve been trying to do for a few months, and once I got started, it took a few trial-and-errors, several weeks, and many, many hours of painting-and-drying to get everything finally finished. I’m going to share my process and some tips and tricks with you that I learned along the way.





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.

3 Responses to “Sunday Stories for November 3rd, 2013”

  1. November 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Thank you for including my fake wallet post, Mary Jo. I hope you (and your readers) enjoy it. 🙂

  2. November 4, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    Thanks for the inclusion! The ninja fold messed with my head first time I saw it, but now I use it for t-shirts all the time.

    • November 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      It totally messed with me, too. I kept saying no way, no way. But I watched the video, pausing here and they to make sure I got it, and then tried it. Success the first time out – and you know, it’s wasn’t as complicated as it seemed. Great hack!

Leave a Reply

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, […]

Introducing the Travel Reading List Challenge

Today I’m excited to announce the first of a couple of new projects that I’m launching for 2018 – the […]

2017: A Year of Travel in Review

While 2016 was a big year for international travel, 2017 represented a year spent enjoying destinations and activities closer to […]