10 Ways to Know You’re in Florida

By | September 21st, 2016|North America, Travel Tales|

Most states and regions have sights, sounds and experiences that are unique to them, including Florida.  Here are 10 ways to know you're in Florida: Bartenders serve beer named Florida Cracker. A house painted pink with white trim is not rare, and can actually look good. Hunker Down is not only an action one does when a hurricane approaches, but is also the name of a bar. Everyone has at least three umbrellas in their [...]

Top o’ Vail

By | August 29th, 2016|North America, Travel Tales|

When a good friend needs to take a day or two off and have an adventure, I'm happy to oblige. Twist my arm, let's go somewhere cool! And so the adventure begins. Nancy and I quickly decide to visit Vail, Colorado and after some quick online research, we book a room and head west on I-70. But of course we have to explore en route. We stop at Herman's Gulch (Exit 218) and hike for [...]

Half Way to Everest

By | August 19th, 2016|North America, Travel Tales|

I like oxygen. Whether it is simple easy breathing at sea level or sucking air while hiking a couple of miles higher, I like oxygen . On my "want-to-do" list for the last couple of years has been to successfully climb a 14er (a 14,000+ foot high mountain),  and I am delighted to have a friend say she will join me on this adventure.  Even though I [...]

Vivid Sydney

By | June 24th, 2016|Australia, Travel Tales|

One iconic view of Sydney, Australia is of the harbour (Aussie spelling) which includes the Sydney skyline, Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, and the docks where the ships and ferries arrive and depart at all hours of the day.  It's spectacular.  I once heard it is the largest natural harbour in the world, in part because of the dozens of coves and bays curving in and out creating the longer waterfront. As a former resident [...]

Our Amazing Race

By | November 13th, 2015|North America, Travel Tales|

When you’re planning your next snow skiing adventure with your family or group of friends, consider putting together an Amazing Ski Race, aka A Super Fun Way to Spend a Day Having a Scavenger Hunt Spanning Five Mountains in 22 Degree Weather.  Yep. Our Orlando Ski Club (yes, Florida has snow ski clubs) group gathered around a fireplace one evening while Dale, our trip leader, explained the details and rules of our upcoming amazing race. [...]

Bribery in Mozambique

By | September 1st, 2015|Africa, Travel Tales|

It was my lucky day when I saw I was the only person in line at the visa application counter at the Mozambican border crossing. Other border crossings and immigration procedures that I’ve endured have lasted up to four hours, but this one looked easy. I smiled, said “bom dia” (good morning), and handed my passport to Mariacelia, the immigration official. She gestured for me to take a seat in the blue vinyl chair and [...]

3-2-1-Liftoff

By | July 10th, 2015|North America, Travel Tales|

No matter how many times I hear "3-2-1-liftoff" it is always exciting (and suspenseful)  to witness a missile launch.  Just a few days ago tourists and locals had gathered at 4th Street South in Cocoa Beach to watch the newest SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and my family and I were among them.  Liftoff was scheduled for 10:21 a.m. and the launch window was brief.  If the missile failed to launch, the second opportunity would not [...]

Cool Kathmandu

By | May 20th, 2015|Asia, Travel Tales|

My first memory of the word Kathmandu came from a Bob Segar song playing on the radio in 1977.  “I think I’m goin’ to Kat-man-du”  he shouted, I mean sang….I couldn’t have known then that one day I actually would visit Kathmandu many times during a month-long visit to Nepal. Thamel is a touristy area in Kathmandu, and brick, dirt, and broken pavement form the streets.  The streets seem the right width to handle one-way [...]

Broken Bhaktapur

By | April 28th, 2015|Asia, Travel Tales|

When I first walked into Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, it was as if I was stepping back in time and into a wholly different world. Paved in worn reddish-brown brick, the large public square was bounded by Hindu temples, historic statues, and brick buildings with dozens of potted plants lining the roofs.   What was most striking was the shape of the roof-line of the temples; the architecture was ancient and awesome. I write “was” because after this [...]

On Being Aunt

By | March 26th, 2015|And Stuff, North America|

Years ago I dubbed myself Luckiest Aunt in the World, and Charlie (10) and David (6) are two of the reasons why. I’ve just wrapped up a tiring and rewarding nine-day trip where I was charged with taking care of these two bright and active children. My cousin and her husband were planning an extended trip, and I was the lucky one to receive the invitation to help out. As Aunt Donna, I would be [...]