I love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit many wonderful places. As I reminisced, I realized that it was not possible to put all of my top memories in one post. So, I started with the first things that came to mind and will add new posts over the next few months. I hope you enjoy!
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
I’ve visited Paris several times and love to wander around the building and check out the gargoyles. More about Notre Dame Cathedral
Gaudi in Barcelona
I love the shapes, textures, and colors in the buildings and structures. One of my favorites is Parc Guell. More about Parc Guell
Camps Bay, South Africa
Camps Bay has fabulous pure white sand and gorgeous blue-green water.
Orient Beach in St. Martin
This is a great spot for beach barhopping and people watching (alert – one section of the beach is nude). On a cruise stop, Michael and I spent the day strolling on the beach as we sipped guava berry pina coladas. We had a fabulous lunch at a beachside cafe. The cafe’s resident dog befriended us (probably to get a snack), which made us miss our dogs a bit less that day
Zambezi River in Zimbabwe
Michael and I went on a booze cruise near Victoria Falls (yes, they called it booze cruise there). It wasn’t really a booze cruise with scantily clad people going crazy, although there was a bar. We floated by hippos and saw an elephant cooling off by the riverbank. One of the coolest parts was chatting with the other travelers – there was a family from Africa and a couple from Amsterdam who we hung out with after the boat ride.
Mangroves in Costa Rica
The small boat meandered through large tributaries into narrow mangroves where we spotted monkeys, snakes, and sloths among lush tropical plants. Here’s an article I wrote about Costa Rica
Catacombs of Paris
In the 18th century, city officials dug up a local cemetery and moved the bones to underground catacombs. (Traveler tip – this is a popular destination and only a certain number of people can enter at the same time, so expect to wait in line for a while.) More about Paris Catacombs >
Bat Colony in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia
I visited in 1996 and was intrigued, but creeped-out by all of the beasties hanging in the trees. Since then, the colony has moved to a new location in the city, Yarra Park.
San Francisco, CA to Johannesburg, South Africa
Michael and I used frequent flyer miles for a first class flight on Virgin Atlantic Airways. The long flight was a breeze with in-flight spa services, flatbed seats and warm cozy bedding, comfy jammies, and a real bar complete with barstools. This is the way to travel!
Nelspruit, South Africa to Krueger National Park
Michael and I chartered a small plane in lieu of renting a car for a 3-hour drive. The outbound trip was delayed due to lightning so we hung out on the tarmac for a while (was that a good idea?). On the return flight, the pilot let Michael fly the plane for a while (he was a certified flight instructor). That was after we buzzed the lodge to wave goodbye to our new friends – I almost lost my breakfast (but it was kinda cool).
I don’t think I had a bad meal the entire time I was in Greece. There’s tasty yogurt with cereal and honey, Greek salad with the freshest ingredients, dolmades, mousaka… yum. Oh, and of course, ouzo.
Karolas in Manual Antonio, Costa Rica
Michael and I lingered over the freshest seafood platter ever with lobster, shrimp, ahi, and more; accompanied by rich coconut margaritas. Reviews of Karolas on Tripadvisor
I’m a big history buff, especially World War II. It was incredible to see the D-Day beaches, stroll though the American Cemetery, and visit the Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie.
Tower of London
If you can see past the crowds and touristy vibe, there is an incredible amount of history to discover.
Tower of London website
Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Puerto Rico
Explore living quarters, cooking areas, and lookout towers while you daydream about the days of exploration, conquest, and pirates. Castillo San Felipe del Morro website
Milles Garden in Stockholm, Sweden
The outdoor sculptures are whimsical and fun. Milles Garden website
Musée de l’Armée in Paris, France
Some may not be interested in looking at armor and weapons, but the craftsmanship is incredible. Many of the swords have elaborate carvings of animals and flowers, along with inlaid gold and gems.
Musée de l’Armée website
The top romantic experiences are not so much about the destinations themselves; they are about the circumstances surrounding the trips.
Vancouver, British Columbia
A few months after Michael and I started dating, we took our first trip together – to Vancouver. We stayed at the Wedgewood Hotel and checked out many cool sites: the aquarium, museum, and shops. While strolling along the waterfront, Michael snapped this photo of a rock.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Michael and I wanted a simple, stress-free destination wedding. So we went on a cruise and got married along the way in Shaw Park. After the ceremony we enjoyed a limo ride around the island before returning to the ship.
The Highlands in Scotland
I always fall asleep on long car rides, always. But not in Scotland… I was mesmerized by the lovely green hills that change shape and size at every turn. The cute little sheep that grazed nearby made me smile.
From intimate boutiques to department stores to wine shops, Paris is a shopper’s heaven. On one visit to the city, I made a plan of attach using Suzy Gershman’s book, Born to Shop Paris.
Traumerei in Stellenbosch South Africa
This small shop in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine country is packed floor to ceiling with tribal art and artifacts including masks, small statues, spears, wall art, jewelry, and more. Traumerei website (Note: at the time of this post, the website appears to have some technical problems.)
There was a spectacular view of the caldera from the patio of our own private windmill (yes, we stayed in a windmill). Millhouses website
Café del Mar in Ibiza, Spain
Each night a crowd gathers to hang out on the outdoor patio whilst sipping a cocktail (Café del Mar also produces awesome CDs. Cafe del Mar website
Kidwelly Castle in Wales
The castle sits on a hill overlooking the river. How fun it was to wander through passageways, climb towers, stroll the grounds and wonder about life in Medieval times. Kidwelly Castle website, Castle Wales has some awesome photos.
Claude Monet’s Home and Garden at Giverny, France
If you like Monet’s paintings, this is a must see. When you visit, you will understand what inspired him to create such beautiful paintings. Wander around the gardens past breathtaking flowers. Stroll on quaint footbridges over ponds filled with famous water lilies. Simply heavenly! Monet Garden website
Cahal Pech in San Ignacio, Belize
This Mayan ruin site near the border of Guatemala is a lot less crowded than sites in Mexico such as Tulum, which makes for a more relaxing experience. The site is 10 square miles and has 34 buildings, so there is plenty to explore. Cahal Pech website
The wildlife was just about everywhere: the Big Five and more in Krueger Park, penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town, monkeys meandering through the vineyards in Stellenboch.
Kruger Park website, Penguin Colony website, photos of my Africa trip
Kangaroo Island, Australia
Observe kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas, and seals in their natural environment. I recommend taking a 4-wheel drive jeep tour where you can go off-road. The tour I went on included an outdoor lunch of shrimp on the barbee. Kangaroo Island website
Stellenbosch, South Africa
This is a beautiful, relaxing area to visit wineries. You’ll find tasty wines, friendly peope, stunning views of Table Mountain, and wandering monkeys. Wineries: Neil Ellis, Vergelegen
Sonoma, Napa, Santa Barbara – wine tasting galore! Don’t miss The Hess Collection – they have a wonderful art gallery.