I arrived to Norway in the middle of winter, snow was on the ground and and the weather was bitter cold, with temperatures in the 20s — quite chilly for this California girl. The temperatures were perfectly fine in the cozy confines of the Hurtigruten ship that I was cruising on for the week, but posed a chilling problem with the outdoor excursions everyday.
You could hear the dogs before you could see them. As they began to pick up the sound of our footsteps the barks got even louder. It was a welcome like no other I had ever received - a beautiful, howling chorus.
Arriving at the Xochimilco canals was like seeing an explosion of Skittle colors — a rainbow piñata of boats. Rows and rows of trajineras (gondolas) waiting for hundred of passengers which would no doubt be arriving shortly.
On an average day in Monaco, women walk the streets in their spiked high heels, form fitting dresses and carrying designer Louis Vuitton bags. You can smell the perfume as it lingers well after they pass. The men, when not in their name-brand suits, wear linen pants paired with a crisp button up shirt that looks freshly pressed.
Most folks don’t realize, mostly because my husband and I own an Italian restaurant in Northern California, that I am actually only of half Italian decent. My other half is full-on Polish. Being surrounded by ravioli, bruschetta and tiramisu while growing up had left me lost when it came to my knowledge of Polish cuisine.
Traveling to Guatemala was turning out to be quite the adventure. First, there was a painfully steep hike up the active Pacaya volcano where we roasted marshmallows on the fiery lava rock and now we were about to spend a sunny afternoon Sailfishing on a boat in the Pacific Ocean.
Myth has it that high above the valley of Romania, in the principality of Transylvania, lies a castle that was once occupied by count Dracula himself. Though you actually will find the gothic Bran Castle near the town of Brasov, which has long been linked to this ancient vampire, Dracula probably won't be there when you arrive.
Millions have flocked to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the gift of eloquence. It is said that by bending over backwards while holding on to an iron railing and giving this legendary stone a smooch, you'll never be at a loss for words.
Just like skiing and mountaineering is a part of the culture of the Swiss Alps, volcano hiking is huge chunk of the culture in Guatemala. The country has 37 officially named volcanoes, three of which that are still active. It is not uncommon to be driving by one of these and seeing a puff of smoke pop out from its peak.
With the endless food selections, colorful cocktails flowing and the luxury of locking up your wallet for a week, what's not to love about an all-inclusive resort? It is a perfect travel vacay for someone that doesn't want to overthink lengthy itineraries, worry about booking reservations or whipping out a credit card for every little thing.