China Trip Report – What we learned, what we wish we had known, and why we’d go again. Three Cities, Two Weeks, and One Amazing Trip!
After accepting an invitation from friends, my wife and I finally packed our bags this past October and travelled to China. We decided to visit three cities requiring multiple plane rides and a four hour journey by bullet train, that would have us seeing the Cliff-Notes version of China’s east coast. We’d start south in Guangzhou visiting our friends, then fly to Shanghai, and end our journey by taking the train north to Beijing. We saw a little bit of everything, collecting photos and memories all along the way to last a lifetime.
Envision Mexican history as a wild tide rushing in from the east, but not only heading west but north and south, too. Then, complicating matters, that tide retreats leaving spots of settlement, then rushes in again, spreading about only to repeat the process dozens of times. How does one logically explain such a country’s history or discern if these tides have even yet settled? Lake Chapala through the ages could have been a wild, sprawling, confusing book to match her nation’s history, but it’s not. Author Tony Burton managed to accomplish a great amount of order in this 500 year historical review.
Each year thousands of leaf peepers tumble into their cars and head north toward the mountains of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to be dazzled by fall foliage displays. Highways become clogged, restaurants are filled to overflowing, hotels are sold out and prices are at their max.
This year we have a smarter suggestion for you, instead of heading north, point your car toward central Massachusetts and discover the beauty of ancestral farms, hillsides awash with fall colors and small towns chock full of farm stands, art, music, history and artisan craft shops. Fall foliage is just as brilliant in this verdant region, but you’ll miss the annoying crowds.
Sometimes you come across an inn that is so delightful, you feel like you’d like to move right in. That’s exactly the experience we had at the 1837 Cobblestone Cottage Bed and Breakfast in up-state New York. Canaddaigua is both a town and a “finger” lake located just south of Rochester NY, about a five 1/2 hour drive from Boston straight out Rt 90 – the Mass Pike.
If you asked me why I was planning to travel through Thailand a year ago, I would have spouted off some nonsense about the beauty of the earth, the people, and the spirituality of traveling alone and having a grand adventure. I had ideals and I was certain that I was an open-minded, easy-going individual, and that I would be welcomed into the fold. I thought I was rugged enough to withstand primitive accommodations, and that I could have an experience that I would remember forever. On my trip however, all of my misconceptions about myself went out the window; I had to reshape my own opinion of myself, and I learned a few things.
Let me share them.
I discovered New Caledonia when searching for a perfect honeymoon destination. It was the closest to the image of a perfect tropical paradise I had in my head. It is also heavily influenced by French culture, including cuisine and architecture, so discovering New Caledonia was like Paris, the city of love, only with heavenly beaches and turquoise seas. I could not have imagined a better combination, so that’s where we spent our honeymoon.
Naturally, I wanted to make sure we made the best of our experience there, and I’m sharing my tips and insights to help you do the same.
The Ramblas: the changing face of Barcelona’s most famous street.
I remember the first time I walked down the Ramblas well. It was February 1998 and Barcelona’s most famous street was full of tourists and locals alike. There were silver-painted human statues, stock still until a coin clattered into their collection boxes, buskers of varying degrees of talent, and card tricksters keeping a keen eye out for the first sign of the law. Whether taking a stroll, people watching, or on their way elsewhere, the street was bustling with activity as people went about their business.
What do we all do when planning a vacation? (Let us skip the tickets, hotel and packing part). Imagine these all are set and a day or two are left until the flight. Of course, we need a plan on what to see and where to go.
In the mood for magic and romance, I watched a million of videos of carnival and loving couples sailing in gondolas. I had made a nice plan (as I thought), packed all my fancy dresses and a few pairs of peeps. I thought I would fit the place perfectly. If I only knew how wrong I was!
Your guide to reaching the unforgettable Crown-of-the-Continent in Glacier National Park
I remember standing on a boardwalk atop a glacier. Besides the brown and gray weather-beaten boardwalk, the entire landscape was white. The sky was incredibly blue. A crowd of people lined the boardwalk, snapping pictures.
Limassol is the second largest city on the island of Cyprus. Stretching along the Mediterranean coast in southeastern Europe, it offers a wide range of activities and landmarks to visit. Limassol is a city on a mission. It has been one of the busiest port cities in the Mediterranean for quite a few centuries but it hasn’t always been a top-of-mind- vacation destination. This is rapidly changing of course, thanks to the dedicated effort of local authorities, citizens and the business community. A large-scale urban remodeling programme has endowed the city with a brand new marina and a beautiful beachfront park. These attractions complement the Old Port and the Medieval Castle, forming a metropolitan area worth exploring and photo shooting
During a tech conference, I was able to stay at the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, Connecticut for the weekend. I was expecting a pretty normal conference: most of my time spent at the event, without a lot of chances to get out of the venue and my hotel and enjoy the rest of my time in Stamford. The tourism opportunities, however, surprised me. As it turns out, there are a number of experiences you can only have in Connecticut. Here are our favorites:
What happens when you gather southern Florida’s preeminent environmental scientists, land managers, and tourism officials together and ask them to identify the areas most awe-inspiring natural attractions? You get a treasure trove of the most diverse and interesting nature experiences in southern Florida. Newly formed tour operator, Ecko Tours, a collaboration of the non-profit Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida, has crafted 5 exciting nature tours based on the recommendations of environmental experts.
Port Elizabeth: The Eastern Cape’s Unknown Jewel
Port Elizabeth on the Sunshine Coast of South Africa is often overshadowed by its far more popular sister, Cape Town. Called both the Friendly City and the Windy City, a lot of Port Elizabeth’s best attractions make it onto ‘Top 10’ lists, but the truly amazing gems are relatively well guarded secrets that most tourists stumble across by accident. And when a friend recently mentioned that they were planning a vacation there, I started browsing through old photos and made a list of my personal ‘Port Elizabeth Must Do’s’ which I’ll be sharing with you all.
Before I journeyed to Vietnam, the only places was familiar with here were Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi. I didn’t know that the country boasts lots of wonderful and really charming places. Being the ‘allergic-to-crowded-places’ person that I am, I did some research and looked for places in Vietnam that were not so crowded and not many tourists flock to. And lo and behold, Phu Quoc is one of the names that popped in the list.
See The Very Best of Atlanta in One Glorious Day!
Ask a native Atlanta resident about their favorite local restaurant, music venue, or distinguishable Atlanta characteristic, and you’ll get a torrent of answers. Atlanta is rich with Southern hospitality and history, delivered with a 21st century approach, and home to acclaimed shopping and dining destinations in distinctive neighborhood “pockets.”
Don’t Miss San Francico’s Most Popular Day Trip, Legendary Alcatraz Island
Surrounded by a sea of emotions, Alcatraz Island will have you experiencing the feeling of liberty as well as fearing the isolation of captivity in a single day trip. Both these terms are quite contrary to each other, yet both are omnipresent on a visit to Alcatraz. A unique day trip experience to be sure.
If you covet the vibrant flare of Miami Beach, but crave miles of uncrowded beachfront and tony accommodation, then you need to drop everything and plan a getaway to the Delray Sands Resort in trendy Delray Beach, Florida. This resort delivers the stylish appeal of Miami Beach at a fraction of the South Beach price tag. And Delray Beach delivers the cafe-society lifestyle savvy vacationers prize. Make no mistake, this is NOT your Grandpa’s Florida.
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to raft underneath one of the highest suspension bridges in the world? Have you and your friends been planning on taking a vacation and want something more exciting than just laying on the same old beach? Well, in terms of raw entertainment, rafting the Arkansas River in Colorado through Royal Gorge is the best distraction from the typical daily grind you and your friends may every experience.
Summer brings out the best of Maine and the new Inns-Along-The-Coast association of coastal inns makes it easy to go in search of Lobsters, Lighthouses and Blueberry Pie!
With inns in Kennebunkport, Rockland and Bar Harbor, (a 2 hour drive from each other) it’s a simple task to plan a great one week getaway. Best of all, InnsAlongTheCoast has crafted itinerary suggestions for Food Lovers, Outdoor Adventurers and Art and Culture enthusiasts.
Dances With Kangaroos – Epic Cycling Trails I’ve Traveled Down Under
Cycling is my passion and I have been into it since I was a child. My enthusiasm for this hobby only increased as the years passed. Cycling is keeping me fit and happy. I think that I couldn’t imagine my life without this fantastic hobby. Not to mention that I live in a perfect country for any cyclist.