Hotels & Lodging Restaurants Travel: best seafood Digby Pines ferry to Canada Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel Inverary Resort Liscombe Lodge MacKinnon-Cann Inn maritime vacation Nova Scotia Nova Star
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I’m high on Nova Scotia. Really. I recently spent seven days and seven nights in this Maritime province of Canada and I’m busting to tell the whole world about it. Really.
If you follow this blog, you know that I’m a big storyteller. And I can’t wait to share my travels in Nova Scotia with you. For now though, I’ll keep the words to a minimum and let my pictures tell the story. Hopefully they will be enough to entice you to begin pondering a trip to this charming destination. Spring, summer and fall rank as the best times to go although I’d love to see this endearing land beneath a blanket of snow as fierce gale winds blow in from the Atlantic.
Tours Travel: attractions Bahamas brew pub Bahamas live music Nassau nightlife Nassau pirate art pirate culture pirate history pirate life sightseeing Nassau The Bahamas
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“Ahoy! Pass me pint a grog, matey.”
“Aye, aye, lemme go fetch it for ya on yer poopdeck.”
“Arrr. Go smartly or you’ll be tossed to sea!”
How’d I do? Were you able to conjure up a few images of snaggletoothed buccaneers, peg-legged tyrants or exotic parrots? How about that grog? Could you taste a frosty drink upon your lips?
You can learn about the rich history of pirates and sip a sweet pint of brew at Pirate Republic Brewing Company, a recently-opened establishment sure to become one of the most interesting places of interest in Nassau, The Bahamas.
“Nassau was a haven for some of the more notorious pirates that landed in the area in the 1700s,” says Susan Holowesko Larson, CEO of Pirate Republic Brewing, or PRB. “They practically settled here because The Bahamas were very close to the major shipping lanes of the day,” she continues. “Also our topography–comprised of tiny islands and shallow reefs–made it possible to hide ships and escape from authorities.”
Discover this huge part of Bahamian history and hear tall tales of unsavory characters such as Blackbeard and Calico Jack during one of PRB’s mid afternoon tours, conducted almost daily. Within crow’s nest view of the cruise terminal on Woodes Rogers Walk, the visit also showcases the dramatic Pirate Art of Antonius Roberts and a pint of beer from PRB, the first and only craft brewery in The Bahamas.
France French Life Paris Travel Writing & Books: A Tour of the Heart beautiful images Champs-Elysées France Out and About in Paris Paris Paris finish Tour de France travel information
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There are two days–both in July–when you want to be on the Champs-Elysées in Paris: today, July 14 and the last day of the Tour de France bike race which typically occurs the third Sunday in July. On both these occasions, you can witness magnificent displays of color and might on one of the world’s most beautiful avenues in one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The parade has already passed by today, but mark your calendar for Sunday, July 26 when the Tour zooms into Paree.
How do you keep up with what’s happening in and around Paris? Where do you find your daily dose of alluring images of this top travel destination? The website/blog Out and About in Paris is your answer to this and beaucoup plus! In addition to reading their blog posts, plug yourself into their social media and you’ll be gloriously showered with all that you know and love about the City of Light. The oh-so dynamic and très internationale Mary Kay Bosshart is the driving force behind all that is Out and About in Paris. Honestly, I don’t know how she keeps up with her reporting and postings but she does with great enthusiasm and panache.
Hotels & Lodging Outdoor Adventures Restaurants The Outer Banks Travel: #AffordableTravel #BeachVacations #CapeHatterasNationalSeashore #OuterBanks #SummertimeFun
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I recently spent a week at the beach with my boyfriend, Steve. We were on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX), one of the most alluring surf side destinations in the world, and a spot he has been frequenting for almost three decades.
Steve’s an avid beach enthusiast and I love the fact that he can just as easily appreciate lounging in a sun-baked dune as catching a ten-foot wave in the surf. Depending on the season and the weather patterns, you can find big swells in the waters off of Nags Head, Rodanthe, Hatteras, Frisco, and a slew of other OBX surf spots revered by surfers and beach aficionados from around the world.
The Outer Banks Travel: beach life summer vacations The Beach The Outer Banks
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Having just returned from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my mind and senses remain awash with the transformative powers of the beach.
Warm sand in my toes, the fun and freedom of walking barefoot, the thunderous sound of the surf, the gentle surging of water as each wave becomes absorbed into the sand, sea foam, myriad shells, sea breeze whipping through my hair, the tingling of my skin as I emerge from a chilly dip in the surf, endless stretches of reflexology, the entertainment provided by scurrying sandpipers, crabs and other birds and creatures new to my world, the searing heat of the sun, the chill of the ocean air, the smell of sunscreen, the taste of salt on my lips after an ocean swim, the vastness of the empty length of sand and water before me, the ever-changing interplay of every shade of blue, beige, red, yellow and green cast from the sea, sand and sky, the busyness of beach activities such as surf fishing, kite boarding, sand castle building, beer drinking or just lolling around reading a book or doing nothing but relaxing, sleeping or soaking up the scene, the infinite array of beach toys, paraphernalia, carts, coolers, chairs, towels and toys that serve as the accessories to a day at the beach, the Crayola-crayon colors of all this cheery garb and the bathing suits folks have donned, the parade of shapes and body types I can’t help checking out, the sky, the cacophony of gulls’ cries mixed with children’s laughter and adults’ friendly salutations, the charms and jumbles of the lucky-to-live-here surf side houses that line the beach, open-air beach showers, the emptiness that becomes my mind within a few minutes of stepping onto such a swath of shoreline, the occasional whiff of salt air, the letting go of the tension I carry within my body–yes, this is some of what I love about the beach.
Food & Wine France French Life Paris Travel: Belgian Friends Belgian Friendship Cassandra Moonen Clarins Entertaining France French Friends French Friendship French Life Stéphane de Bourgies Victoria Wolff Wolff & Descourtis
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I’m big at counting my blessings year round. As challenging as life can be, I try as much as possible to pause and feel truly grateful for all that I have in my life.
There’s so much for which to be grateful, especially when it comes to love. There’s nothing like feeling love and appreciation. There’s nothing like feeling valued. There’s nothing like feeling your heart swell with love–day after day after day.
I was blessed with an outpouring of love during my recent trip to Europe when friends in France went out of their way to meet with me for coffee, organize special dinners, include me in on Sunday lunches and chat with me at great length over leisurely breakfasts and afternoon teas. My friends in Antwerp entertained me all weekend long. And throughout every encounter, I felt a connectedness with my European friends that made it feel as though I had just seen them the week before. (It had, in fact, been many years.)
France French Life French Provinces Paris Romance & Relationships Travel Writing & Books: Hotel du Palais Biarritz Hotel Le Miramar Biarritz Hotel Les Hortensias lodging Biarritz lodging Guéthary lodging Hossegor surf capital of Europe surfing south of France tourism Basque Country tourism Landes travel France travel Paris Villa Catarie
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How silly of me to think that I could work in a few blog posts while traveling through France during these past few weeks! Really.
That was my intention but I’m afraid I failed mercifully at the task. Instead, I was busy experiencing life in France rather than taking time to write about it sur place. Sure, I took tons of notes and I will be churning out stories from this trip–both here at my blog and in updates of my guidebooks–in the months to come. (I’m also doing a downloadable guide for A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, so the information will serve there, too.)
Being Green Food & Wine French Life Travel: Bag It French coffee hotel coffee Keurig single-use coffee makers
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I’m practically on the eve of departing for a big trip to France and I’m excited about many things: the flakey croissants that taste far superior to most sold in the U.S., the fabulous runny unpasteurized cheeses you can’t find stateside (unless smuggled in), slightly chilled red wines such as a good Fleury, rich French stews such as a daube Provençal or a boeuf aux carottes, a savory couscous, the perfect omelet–well, you get the picture. As much as I love France for its beauty and the French for their joie de vivre, I guess I am most looking forward to their food and drink.
Coffee and tea rank tops on that list, too. I’m more of a tea drinker and the French do tea–in my humble opinion–as well as the English. By mid-morning I love a good coffee, whether it’s a creamy café au lait or an espresso ladened with lots of sugar. Yes, the French do it right at home, in restaurants, cafés and hotels. It has been a while since I was in France but last time I checked, they still hadn’t adapted the American tradition of having a coffee pot in hotel rooms. Mais non, their approach was always far more civilized and if you wanted a coffee or tea–even in small, modest hotels–they’d bring it to you. And it would be delicious, served on a little tray accompanied with cold or hot milk and often un petit pot of hot water.
For breakfast, they always gladly delivered your hot beverages to your room–with or without a basket of pâtisseries, something that is tout à fait normale, or common practice. Having breakfast in bed always has been more the norm in France than not. I’m praying that this tradition has been upheld.
If I enter a hotel room–not to mention more than one or two–and find those stupid personal coffee makers à la Keurig, I think I’ll have a fit. Who ever was so stupid to invent those devices? I had a huge experience with them on a ten-day trip this summer where they were proudly displayed at every coffee station inside and out of the rooms. I can’t tell you the aggravation I had getting them to work properly–they didn’t half the time. And if they worked, often the coffee was cold. I had a few excellent cups of coffee and tea from them but none was worth the aggravation. I even had to call housekeeping a couple of times to help out and they ended up scratching their heads.