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... yumm! That's my breakfast today and it definitely sets the stage for a proper Vermont visit. It is a dream come true for Marisa Mauro, the woman behind Vermont's Ploughgate Creamery whom I had the pleasure of meeting. Marisa has a knack for crafting flavors that people love, a skill bourne from her decade-long career in artisan Read More

Reflections of Venice

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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

Burano, Italy: Venice’s Rainbow Island

Burano island, Venice

I hereby dub thee, "Rainbow Island". This famously picturesque Venetian island with its canals and brightly colored buildings is one of the most popular destinations for a day-trip from Venice, Italy. Back in the 16th century Burano's popularity grew with a thriving lace-making industry, a tradition which continues today thanks to a few dedicated families and their lace shops. These days though, some visitors come to follow Read More

Virginia Creeper Trail: A Popular Autumn Destination

Virginia_trail_in_fall

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but I stumbled into a one-day adventure at one of the prettiest trails in the country, the Virginia Creeper Trail. Travel forum contributors insist that this trail is one of the best you'll ever see, and it's just beautiful in autumn with different colored foliage in each part. Rich with local history it has received numerous regional and national accolades. Whether being used for Read More

Wild Mustangs of the Outer Banks, North Carolina

wild horses eating grass

Welcome to the Outer Banks, a 130-mile stretch of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. The beaches of Corolla here are home to one of the last remaining herds of Spanish Colonial Mustangs where they roam free in what is basically their 7,500-acre sanctuary. I joined a tour with Wild Horse Adventure Tours because they had been voted the #1 Tour Company in America by TripAdvisor and they invited me! They believe Read More