ZARAGOZA – A STUDY OF CONTRASTS

After my fun last evening eating dinner in Madrid with several of my VaughanTown friends, I headed out to the Madrid Atocha train station early the next morning with my buddy, Pat (from VaughanTown) to catch separate trains. I was on my way to Zaragoza! I must say...
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BRUGES – MARKT AND LOVELY CANALS

I am sitting here in my twin bed (what?!?) in my Paris hotel room in the early evening of Day 8 writing about Day 4 in Bruges! I would write more if I only had the time and energy, but I am hitting the ground running every morning and crawling into bed at night from...
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MUNICH – CONTRASTING OKTOBERFEST WITH DACHAU

I wanted to love Munich. Really! But perhaps it was due to a time constraint that I didn't see this lovely city as thoroughly as I should have that caused me to love it less than the other wondrous cities that I had just visited on this trip. Could I have slaughtered...
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VAUGHANTOWN IN TRUJILLO, SPAIN

Unless I'm mistaken, I believe that all of the Anglos in VaughanTown Trujillo walked with the Spaniards to Plaza Mayor every day during our one-to-one sessions.  Because of our hour-long time constraints, they were always short walks, but we made the most of our time,...
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TUSCANY – SIENA, SAN GIMIGNANO, AND PISA

I woke up fat(ter) and happy the following morning after my scrumptious dinner with Marco, Rosanna, and their family. But this was a new day, and an early one to boot, because I had a twelve-hour day tour planned through Tuscany! Marco knew I had to be at the train...
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BARCELONA – SAGRADA FAMILIA AND FLAMENCO

I woke up before sunrise in Barcelona because I had reserved the earliest time slot to tour Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. You'll be happy to know that there is no need to wake up that early to stand in line for the earliest reservation. I quickly discovered that as soon as...
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BANGKOK – DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET

Monic, our private tour guide, arrived at our hotel with a driver before 7:00 a.m. to take Carolyn, Efren, and me on a tour of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Old Bangkok, and Chinatown. Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak is about a 1-1/2 hour drive, but the time flew by...
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BANGKOK – THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

I arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport early in the morning. I was thankful to be wide awake after an 18-hour flight because I wanted to explore Bangkok during the day and I had paid for a tour that evening. I wasn't thrilled, however, when I was approached by an...
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FLORENCE – MY PERFECT MEAL

When I had arrived back at the house at approximately 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., I was expecting to find Rosanna preparing dinner like the guy I photographed from a restaurant kitchen window while I was heading back to Rosanna and Marco's home. I arrived to discover that the...
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A DAY TRIP TO DELFT

I woke up before sunrise in Amsterdam, many hours before my 10:00 a.m. tour of the Anne Frank house. I wanted to spend as much time as I could exploring the city because I was leaving by train to Delft after the tour.  I hadn't even left yet and I was already...
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BRUSSELS – A DRIZZLY DAY AT GRAND PLACE

Charm 'n Bruges is an aptly-named bed and breakfast inn. I loved to wander through the courtyard and the breakfast room to see the beautiful vignettes. The jars of Côte d'Or were milk and dark chocolate spreads. The jams were outstanding. Thank goodness this was a...
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DRENCHED IN FLORENCE

As I was packing my luggage for my train ride to Florence the following morning, I checked my train ticket, only to discover that my train wasn't leaving until 9:20 a.m.! I had told everyone that I wasn't going to see them for breakfast because I thought my train was...
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THE GRANDEUR OF PARIS

I headed out for Brussels Midi train station early in the morning for Paris after my fabulous one night's stay in Brussels. I wish I had been able to stay longer because I missed seeing much of the city due my not being able to tear myself away from the Grand Place...
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EUROPE – AT LONG LAST

Good morning, sunshine! After what turned out for me to be a fitful night's sleep from waking up at every half hour, and waking up with a sore jaw (man, I must have been more apprehensive about traveling alone than I thought!), Steve and I arrived at the airport and...
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VAUGHANTOWN – MAKING NEW FRIENDS IN SPAIN

I rushed back to my hotel from Madrid Centre to freshen up for the first event of what I knew would be a week of fun. Let me give you some background information first.... I met a lovely couple at a travel show in February of 2014. They told me that they had recently...
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BRUSSELS – A GRAND PLACE EVENING CELEBRATION

I heard an orchestra playing, followed by a smaller band.   I was in Brussels, heading towards Grand Place.  I had to take a look! But when I saw this only to be followed by this and then this. I have to say that I completely lost it.  I videoed, but unfortunately...
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BANGKOK MARKETS AND WAT PHO

Do you know how both nervous and excited I was to meet my tour buddies for the first time? You never really know if you are going to mesh with the group but I have to tell you, we all hit it off immediately from the moment we said our first hellos. I was thrilled!...
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DISCOVERING MADRID

You know you're going to have a wonderful trip when you discover a double rainbow outside of your airplane window. The flights from Los Angeles to Madrid were relatively uneventful, save for the thunder and lightning rainstorm at Dulles, which delayed our flight due...
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EXPLORING CINQUE TERRE

I was among those who were sad to leave Venice, but I already know that I will return some day. However, we were on to our next adventure! We were heading to the Cinque Terre area, specifically Monterosso al Mare. Cinque Terre is considered to be the Italian Riviera....
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VERSAILLES – THE CHATEAU AND MARIE ANTOINETTE’S HAMLET

I set out very early with Sue and Kathy, two sisters from the tour, to Versailles. We were a little intimidated by the Metro and Rer C train, but together we made it easily to Versailles with the other early birds. I could tell that it was going to be a wonderful day...
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