Going Through the Panama Canal

Pros and Cons of Cruising / Photos: Panama Canal Cruise with Princess Cruises

There is no right way to travel.

This is what I tell people who reflexively condemn cruising as not “true travel.” It may not be the ideal method for many experienced travelers, but for others, from families to older folks, it’s a very appropriate and convenient means of seeing the world.

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Streetcar in New Orleans

New Orleans on a Budget – Free Guides, Cheap Eats & Live Music

New Orleans is arguably the most unique city in the United States.

Settled by the French, ceded to the Spanish, turned back over to the French and eventually sold by Napoleon to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, one can get a sense of the city’s diverse background from the change in management alone. Add upon this the culture brought over by the enslaved Africans and the influence of the Native Americans and Caribbeans, and you’ve got Creole, a stew of diverse ingredients not unlike the city’s beloved gumbo.

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View from the Top of the Campanile, Florence Duomo

More Photos From Florence, Empoli & Tips for Climbing the Duomo

Florence, I just can’t quit you. After an adventure in Northern Italy, Austria and Slovenia, I found myself in my favorite Italian city for the second time last year. I had already posted on many of my favorite places in Florence in my previous posts, yet, until this trip, I still hadn’t ascended the Duomo or the Campanile, nor had I been inside the Battistero. These are perhaps the most touristy of tourist things to do in the city, undoubtedly the “top attractions in Florence” (there’s a lil’ sum’n sum’n for the Google keyword crawlers #transparency).

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Triple Bridge (Tromostovje) in Ljubljana

Ljubljana in the Heart of Slovenia – What to See, Eat, Do

How to build my perfect European town.

Add to one part old world history a dash of chic modernity. Let it age into a unique culture. Drizzle in a beautiful river and sprinkle with romantic night lights. Top with an epic castle. Keep cool with comfortable weather and serve at reasonable prices.

Order up: Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

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View of Lake Bled from Ojstrica

Five Experiences You Can’t Miss in Bled, Slovenia

Imagine a beautiful, small town surrounding a lake. The water is pristine and the trees surrounding it are a vibrant green. High above sits a majestic castle overlooking the scene with a quiet grandeur. At the center of the lake is an island, and on this island is a church with a bell that grants wishes…

Sound like a fairy tale?

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Drava River in Villach, Austria and the Heiligenkreuz Kirche

Brezel, Beers and Bridges in Villach, Austria

It started to rain a day after I arrived in Villach, a small town in Austria near the Italian border. Having just arrived from a very muggy Udine, I was more than happy to spend some wet moments in the brisk chill. As many of you know, the music you choose on a trip can stay with you forever. On this stop, I opted for Radiohead’s most recent album, A Moon Shaped Pool. Listen to “Glass Eyes” and note the travel-centric lyrics as you look at the photos below to experience Villach as I did.

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Couple at Castello di Miramare near Trieste

Tips for Visiting the Castello di Miramare from Trieste & Photos

The Castello di Miramare is one of the highlights for anyone visiting Trieste. The historic building (more a “mansion” than a “castle”) includes a museum and an expansive park and marine reserve located around it. It can easily be a full-day affair if one decides to enjoy the premises slowly. It’s so lovely, I chose to visit it twice on two separate trips to Trieste within the year. (For more info on what to do in the city, check out my past post on top attractions in Trieste.)

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Honolulu City Lights 2016 at Honolulu Hale

Christmas in Paradise – Honolulu City Lights 2016

Taking a break from procrastinating on my posts for Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Aruba, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico (ugh), I present to you, in the meantime, the holiday magic of the Honolulu City Lights, an annual tradition on Oahu (where I’m from). It all takes place at Honolulu Hale (city hall) where a big Christmas tree is lit out front, and decoration and wreath contests are held within. So enjoy these photos with warm thoughts, wherever you are, while listening to the classic Hawaiian song inspired by the event.

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