Dotting the picturesque Umbrian landscape between Rome and Florence, sit countless rustic towns and villages that are the stuff of postcards and oil paintings. Amongst these and reflecting its warm, golden-colored stone buildings, the hilltop town of Orvieto invites you to stroll through its quiet, cobbled streets for a much-needed respite from the hustle of busy Italian cities. But don’t let its secluded majesty deceive; this ancient setting offers Etruscan history, superb wines, delectable Italian cuisine, and boutique shopping, all poised to delight and soothe a traveler’s soul.Read More
Despite my multiple blog posts about other places, it is the UK, and London in particular, which truly has my heart. It offers this unbeatable blend of comfort with a big slice of adventure and just enough of a sprinkle of cultural differences, without having to learn a foreign language (Bonus!). If you are one who is a bit skeptical of embarking on a European excursion, then my recommendation is the U.K., and London, in particular. The following abbreviated list will definitely reward this decision with some unforgettable yet enriching cultural feasts when you have only 1-2 days to spend in England’s capital city.Read More
One of the most unique museum experiences in London, the former Cabinet War Rooms are now known as the Churchill War Rooms. An education for all ages allows you to walk through the subterranean, former British war offices (right under the City of London!) used by the dedicated men and women who served under Winston Churchill’s brave leadership during the Second World War. Don’t miss the additional, modern and mesmerizing exhibits in all their ‘super-tech’ glory. It is one of my favorite museums in London.Read More
I was overjoyed that I could actually plan a visit to the Spencer home, Althorp, where Diana once tap danced and passed the hours swimming and taking walks before being thrust into the spotlight at the tender age of 19. It was quite like a pilgrimage in a way, but also a way to pay my respects to a person whose Royal role was inspiring to me. There was something extra lovely about both the stunning interiors and the delightful exteriors of this gorgeous estate in Northamptonshire. I hope you enjoy this post, and three cheers for the Royal Wedding!Read More
For those of you who aren't sure how to book train transportation, this How-To Guide will help with the fear of the unknown. I chose to focus on Italy and its website, www.trenitalia.com, to help you understand the must-know vocabulary for this country in particular, before you book. Several extra tips are included.Read More
You never know what life will throw at you, whether it's years before a trip, or days. In this post, I have collected information to make travel comfortable and successful for those who have trouble with mobility, and I hope you will find it a useful introduction for the same purpose. If something happens to you or a member of your traveling group to inhibit their mobile capabilities prior to vacation, don't give up--there are solutions! Read more...Read More
While trip-planning, it's always been a bit mind-boggling to figure out which transport is offered to get from 'A' to 'B'? Here's a simple solution and a fantastic tool I've been using for years now...and it's completely Free! (No strings attached & no sign-ups required!) Read on:Read More
The Perfect Side Trip in France:
Nestled in the town of Amboise, France, a true Renaissance time capsule exists for all ages to discover and explore. The Clos Lucé is dedicated to all things Leonardo Da Vinci. But what was he doing in France?Read More
Trying to schedule seeing the most fabulous castles of the Loire Valley is tough...Is it possible to see them when you have limited time? If you only have approximately 2-3 hours for each, then the answer is YES! Just make sure you are prepared...Personally, I would rather see a place on my list, even if it's rushed, than forever regret skipping it.Read More
Once in awhile, you just have to toss the guidebook and force yourself to trust your gut. That is what I did with the Royal Chateau d’Amboise (Am ‘bwahzz). Not that seeing this was a real gamble; I believe this majestic former fortress-turned-castle is underrated, yet still survives in the shadow of its chateau-sisters. Other than a great view, I wasn’t sure what I would experience up on the ramparts, but I can say that everywhere you turn, a surprise seems to be waiting around the corner.Read More
Sometimes...okay, all the time, when planning for trips, I look for opportunities to visit places that have been on my radar for a long time. The Loire Valley has been enticing me for years to see its vineyards and several of its biggest treasures...Renaissance-Era Chateaus.
And I bet you’ve seen them in books or movies. They are iconic. The stuff of fairy tales with their magnificent, white structures, rounded towers (turrets), and graceful gray/blue roofs. They did not disappoint. If you are planning a trip to Paris, a side trip of architectural castle-glory is waiting for you in the Loire Valley. If you only have one day to spare, you could hop on an excursion tour from Paris. Or, spend the weekend in/around Amboise via various transport options, and take it all in slowly.Read More
The Sign Said ‘Cave’...so we stopped to take a look. It was France, after all.
This structure was something completely unexpected. So when we saw the sign, we decided to turn the car around, and have a closer look...Read More