Shanghai Part I: Overnight to Xi’an & The Terra-Cotta Warriors

Shanghai Part I: Overnight to Xi’an & The Terra-Cotta Warriors

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in China | No Comments

It’s a two-hour flight from coastal Shanghai to Xi’an, the capital of China’s Shaanxi Province. With plans to be docked in Shanghai Harbor for three days, my husband and I had enough time for an overnight trip to see Xi’an’s famous Terra-Cotta Warriors and still do some sightseeing in Shanghai. The Crystal Symphony’s excursion to […]

Notes from Home: The Extroverted Traveler

Notes from Home: The Extroverted Traveler

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in England, Notes from Home | No Comments

“Extroverts have more fun.” ~Rick Steves Travel writer Rick Steves tucks a page of wisdom in the introduction section of his guide books. He calls it his “Back Door Travel Philosophy,” his thoughts on the value of travel and how it impacts our lives. But it’s paragraph five that I think is the real gem: […]

Stranded in Santorini: My Big Fat Greek Lesson

Stranded in Santorini: My Big Fat Greek Lesson

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Greece | 2 Comments

The tour was a gift from our travel agent. A day in Santorini with a well-known guide, someone who was passionate about Greece and – as a bonus – was a photographer. “He has shown some very famous people around the island,” our agent had said, “and he will take wonderful pictures of your family. […]

You’ve Got Mail: Post Offices Around the World

You’ve Got Mail: Post Offices Around the World

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Monaco | No Comments

“Send me a postcard, drop me a line Stating point of view. Indicate precisely what you mean to say. Yours sincerely, wasting away.” ~Paul McCartney, When I’m Sixty-Four My great-grandparents ran the post office in a small Minnesota town in the early 1900s. I never had a chance to meet them or see where they […]

Notes from Home: Spinning Videotaped Memories into DVDs

Notes from Home: Spinning Videotaped Memories into DVDs

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in California, Notes from Home | No Comments

We bought our first video camera in 1989 when our son was born. It was one of those large Sony Camcorders that required a steady hand, and it was magical. From family milestones to treasured vacations, our video camera served us well. We graduated to smaller versions over the years, but all of those cameras […]

Baseball Behind-the-Scenes: A Tour of Petco Park

Baseball Behind-the-Scenes: A Tour of Petco Park

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in California | No Comments

I thought there would be grass. This was baseball, after all, and even though it was February, it never occurred to me that the green fields of San Diego’s Petco Park would be replaced with mounds of…dirt. What I didn’t know was that on the weekend of our tour the park had been transformed into […]

Special Access Tours: Going Beyond the Velvet Ropes

Special Access Tours: Going Beyond the Velvet Ropes

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in England, Italy | No Comments

Whenever I see the words “special access,” I get really excited. The promise of minimal crowds, a small group and a peek into a world beyond the typical tour is almost always worth the price of admission. Sometimes billed as skip the lines, early access, late admission or even secret access, these tours offer the […]