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...

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...

THE COBBLED TOWN OF BEAUNE

I messed up...I thought we were on to Switzerland next, but we were heading to Beaune, France! First of all, I want to say something. When I began planning this trip, I was most hesitant about visiting Paris because of all of the negative comments from EVERYBODY about...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

VENICE – WEAVING MY WAY THROUGH THE CANALS

Venice is such a beautiful maze of a city (and I'm not exaggerating the word "maze"). Honestly, two nights there was not enough time for me to explore the city although, considering how lost we all constantly were, perhaps we did see the entire town and we just didn't...

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....

BARCELONA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

I remembered that I needed more toothpaste while I was walking back to my hotel to grab my luggage before heading to the train station. I saw a farmacia along the way and stepped inside. I saw the boxes of oral care products along the back wall. Seeing that they were...

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...

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...

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...

MADRID – THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL

After lunch at La Buha, I only had a few hours to see what I could of Madrid on foot because I was attending an event that evening.  I decided to return to Catedral de la Almudena, or Almudena Cathedral, which is located directly across from the Royal Palace of...

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...

ROME AND THE VATICAN CITY

Buon giorno! We were at the Monterosso train platform to meet Sandro for our last drive together to Rome! As it turned out, our hotel in Rome was located on the third floor (uh, that is the fourth floor) of a building, the bottom floor being a church! One of the tour...

HIKING FROM LAUTERBRUNNEN TO GRINDELWALD

One of the things we had all experienced since arriving in Paris, and perhaps those of us who had arrived several days before, was rain. Every. Single. Day. At first, I thought it was charming but, geez, after a while, let up already! By the time I had arrived in...

THE ANTWERP CENTRAL TRAIN STATION

I wanted to add a couple more images of Delft taken on my one full day there. The elderly woman in the picture above could not have timed her turn onto the street any more perfectly for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by my visit with my Delft host, Lara. We got...

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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