Exotic Orchids in Quito Botanic Garden, Ecuador

orange spider orchids

My recent visit to the Galapagos Islands allowed for a couple of free days in Ecuador's Capital city, Quito, which proved to be an adventure in itself. Not to tarnish the idea of what was otherwise a very interesting historic colonial city, safety for a single white female with a nice camera quickly became my biggest concern, culminating with some guy trying to steal my phone—he didn't succeed because luckily I was bigger than Read More

Galapagos Highlights: Mosquera Island

marina iguana tongue

Much to my thrill, I've recently returned from Ecuador where I had the opportunity to photograph a Galapagos Wildlife Adventure Cruise. I screeched when heard I would be going because the Galapagos archipelago (21 islands in total) is considered one of the most famous destinations in the world for wildlife viewing, with a variety of plant and animal species that exist nowhere else on Earth. With an itinerary covering the Read More

Where to Stay in Bangkok

where to stay in Bangkok Thailand

Are you looking for a hotel in Bangkok but find yourself swimming in options? I have good news! There are some beautiful hotels for a fraction of what they would cost in most countries, and they are safe and centrally located. While I typically prefer boutique-style hotels with local charm, Bangkok is filled with unique circumstances and for me that boils down to where would I feel most safe and comfortable. Having visited Read More

Florence’s Historic Oltrarno Neighborhood, Away from the Crowds

fruit baskets Florence market

What I like sharing most on this travel blog is authentic travel experiences and it's something I really work hard to bring to you. The thing is, when you or I visit someplace far from home we want to feel what it's like to live there, smell the smells, drink the wines, hear the music and really try to appreciate what is so unique about each place... I know that's how I prefer to travel. Florence, Italy often gets a bad rap Read More

Vermont Farming: Fresh Maple Butter

Vermont_pig farm

Perfectly ripe local blueberries alongside a piece of warm toast with fresh maple butter on it... this is my Vermont breakfast today. It is a dream come true for Marisa Mauro, the woman behind Vermont's Ploughgate Creamery whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently. Marisa has a knack for crafting flavors that people love, a skill bourne from her decade-long career in artisan cheese-making. The cultured butter she produces is Read More

Reflections of Venice

dcp-2017120119041

Artistic expression has always inspired me, and the new digital eBook Reflections of Venice, Art and Beauty in the Water by David C Phillips is a recent example. David is a longtime friend and professional photographer, and his new book takes you with him on his quest to capture a unique view of Venice, Italy deep within it's reflections. It seems appropriate to share it here with my friends who enjoy seeing a unique view of Read More

Best Time to Visit the Carlsbad Flower Fields

peach ranunculus_flower full bloom

"Visiting The Carlsbad Flower Fields early in the bloom season instead of at 'peak bloom' made for a far more memorable experience." Each year in Southern California I look forward to the fifty acres of ranunculus flowers reminiscent of the Land of Oz. In fact, the Carlsbad Flower Fields is home to one of the largest flower displays in the world drawing more than 160,000 visitors in their eight-week bloom season. Like many Read More

Venice, Italy Tourism: Did You Miss the Boat?

Venice_cruise_ship_San_Marco

  If Venice, Italy is a destination on your bucket list then this is for you. While satellite information has shown that Venice is sinking 1-2mm per year, it is actually the highest-ever numbers in tourism that have become the most pressing issue today. It is a valid concern that overcrowding could (and has) led to deterioration and pollution of historic and fragile sites in Venice such as the Rialto Bridge and Read More

Doing Some Living At The Valley of Fire, A Las Vegas Detour

valley of fire at sunset

"You did some living today!" said my Aunt Evelyn after a day trip to Nevada's Valley of Fire. These words from her have been a gift and I hope you'll remember them, too. Evelyn is a 93-year-old woman who is anything but forgettable. Her heritage is French and at times I wonder if that could explain her feisty personality. She's had a lifelong goal to see every state in America collecting charms from each as she visited, Read More

Flower Fields in Santa Barbara

flower field in lompoc

Flower fields are the stuff of my daydreams and so I seek them out almost everywhere I go. Wild or commercially grown, I don't discriminate. If you're like me you could be destined for Santa Barbara, California where the Lompoc valley has numerous privately-owned fields of flowers including Larkspur, Delphinium, Bells of Ireland, Queen Anne's Lace, Stock, and Sweet Peas. The bloom season is from April to the end of September Read More