There’s a castle. In Kenya. Just outside of Nakuru town, to be exact. When I think of castles, I think of Europe, not Africa, but in November, I saw it with my very own eyes. It belonged to Lord Egerton, someone I had never heard of. His story encapsulates true love and heartache like I’ve never heard before.
Maurice Egerton was born the fourth Baron Egerton in Cheshire. He was a keen photographer and aviator, even calling the Wright Brothers friends! After being granted some land and buying a further 21,000 acres from his pal Lord Delamere, he found himself a resident of the luscious Kenyan farmland in the 1920’s. He established a school, currently known as Egerton University, to teach young people about agriculture and farming.
The story gets crazy circa 1938 when he met a nice young lady that he fell in love with while on leave in England. Knowing a proposal was in the future, he took the lady (whose name no one really knows) to Kenya to see her future home. Apparently the four room structure wasn’t up to her standards. She exclaimed that she would not live in that chicken coop!
In an effort to … >> find out more...
I recently returned from a trip to Kenya where I got to go to the Equator. I’m sure we learned all about the Equator in school, but really my only recollection was that the Equator was the line on the globe that ran through the middle of our continent. When you see the Equator in person, there’s no visible line, but I assure you there’s an imaginary one. Let’s explore, together, life at the Equator. I promise you will find it fascinating.
Since I moved to the Southern Hemisphere, I’ve read about the gravitational pull and how it’s different than the Northern Hemisphere. It really is true that when you flush a toilet in the Southern Hemisphere, the water goes counter-clockwise rather than clockwise like it does in my home country of the USA.
I was fascinated by the simple science experiment that our friendly Equator guide did for us. Let me indulge you. Standing at the imaginary line Equator sign, we walked about ten meters toward the Northern Hemisphere. He poured water into a bowl with a hole, and we watched it swirl downward in a clockwise direction. We then walked ten meters on the other side of the … >> find out more...
I’m not a dreamer. I don’t mean I don’t have dreams while I sleep. I mean I don’t naturally sit and dream up things about my future. However, as a healthy exercise for the mind and soul, every so often, I sit and make myself dream. Recently I did this around travel destinations. I encourage you to do the same. Make a travel bucket list. If anything, your search on the web will be delightful eye candy to all the beautiful places in the world!
My travel bucket list consists of…
1. Bali. My husband and I both have a fascination with Bali. The beauty of it simply takes my breath away. A bungalow right on the beach? Yes, please.
photo credit: The sunset@kuta beach via photopin (license)
2. Brazil. I have LOTS of Brazilian friends and I’ve yet to step foot on the South American continent. I think it’s high time to see what all the fuss is about. A vacation in Rio, perhaps?
photo credit: Blue Hour in Rio de Janeiro via photopin (license)
3. Ireland. I’ve been to Ireland, but it was a short visit. Our “tourist” day was misty and cloudy, so we didn’t get to … >> find out more...
I have never taken the time for a girls’ weekend with friends. I’ve done girls’ night out, lunches, breakfasts, and day outings, but never an extended period of time, with just my girlfriends. I’ve been married for 14 years, come this October. Those of you that have had girls’ weekends, bravo!
The truth is, life is so busy, it’s difficult to find the time. With our family, we treasure travel time, and each weekend together, and work to maximize our moments together. With family as our primary priority, fun extras like a girls’ weekend, tend to get pushed further down our list. I was thrilled to participate when Choice Hotels said they want to get people out there, into one of their 5,000 locations across the US, and connect face-to-face. You can do the same. Remember to sign up for a free membership with Choice Privileges and start earning points, and perks, with your stays.
So being forced to get out of our routine, and get together with my friends from middle school days, was invigorating. Most of us hadn’t had a girls weekend, since we’d been married, and the trip to Napa was the first for a couple of my friends … >> find out more...
As a family we really enjoyed downtown Boston. While we adore San Francisco, and New York, we love Boston because of how clean and open the city feels. The North End of Boston with the ocean breezes is absolutely lovely. While San Francisco can feel overwhelming and crowded, and New York can feel stifling and slightly smelly, we didn’t find that in Boston. Granted, we weren’t in Boston during the winter, I don’t think we would’ve survived if we tried winter on the East Coast.
Walk around the North End and enjoy the breezes. You’ll also find Paul Revere’s house. In fact, find and follow the Freedom Trail. Look for the red bricks, or grab a visitor’s guide at the visitor center at the Boston Common. Everyone was telling me to do the trail, but I had no idea where to start. Going to the visitor center is super helpful.
While you’re in Boston Common, look for the “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture, which is one of Boston’s most famous attractions. The statues are of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings. The sculpture is based on the 1942 Caldecott Medal winning picture book by Robert McCloskey.
The … >> find out more...
This summer we had the unique opportunity to spend two months in the Boston, Massachusetts area. While there we tried to squeeze as much out of our time on the East Coast as possible.
Our first weekend exploration adventure began in a quaint town just 30 minutes from where we were staying in Andover, MA. If you’re driving from Boston, it’s only 50 minutes. Newburyport is absolutely darling. If you’re looking for boutique shops, homemade ice cream, gelato, strolling down streets and great eats to enjoy a breezy day, Newburyport is it. Our family are official fans of Newburyport and Plum Island, MA.
Best of British is a quaint little shop filled with everything an Anglophile like me would want to browse. They also have a selection of loose leaf teas. We brought three different flavors home with us.
Village Silversmith is filled with all things silver, crystals, fossilized gifts, and gemstones, along with many more fascinating finds that my daughters loved.
Pawsitively Best Friends is a darling shop for pet lovers. They have so many cute signs, gifts, and supplies for the discerning pet friend. We also noticed that many of the shops, not just the pet shops, had … >> find out more...
We spent last Christmas in Durban, because that’s what you do here in S. Africa. You spend Christmas at the beach. It’s hotter than hot that time of year, and the only respite you can find is in your toes touching that cool water. Durban resides along the Indian Ocean making it more popular in my book than Cape Town which borders the arctic waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
There’s loads of touristy things you can do in Zulu nation, but if I had my choice, I would take my tourist hat off and spend my time doing two things.
1. Going to the beach. In my opinion, the best beach spots are found just outside the city. Aptly named the Dolphin Coast, Ballito is the best with its beautiful beaches and cafés. It’s perfect for families, but even if you’re not in that season of life yet, Ballito offers a peace and tranquility that the big city lacks. Get up at sunrise and watch the dolphins ride the waves of the surfers. Who wouldn’t like that?
2. Eating a good curry, like all the time. I’ve heard it said that every person in India has a cousin either in … >> find out more...
Maui is my favorite Hawaiian island. Frankly my dear, I would not be opposed to retiring on the island of Maui. I already envision myself at sunset, strolling along the shore with my husband, with the water lapping at our toes. I glance around the area and smile as I see my daughters, with their children enjoying the last rays of the sun. I can feel the warm breeze, and hear the comforting crush of the waves, and I feel at peace.
When I saw that Trip Advisor had named Maui number two in the world, of the top 10 islands for 2015, I was pleased, but not surprised. I raised a shaka sign, and smiled.
In April, our family of four went home to Maui for about ten days. I say home, because as soon as my feet touch the ground in Hawaii, and I breathe in, I’m home. In all our travels, there isn’t another place that has felt like that to me.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands, and the third most populated, following O’ahu and the Big Island. For us the Big Island is wild, and arid. O’ahu is busy, … >> find out more...
Dublin! Have you ever been there? I have. For a day. Seriously. We were in Ireland visiting friends, and we had one day as a family to explore. Cliffs or Dublin? We chose Dublin, because the hazy, rainy day would have blocked any beautiful views of the cliffs. I guess we’ll have to go back someday.
First bit of helpful information you will receive today…how to get there. Since we were already in England, we opted to rent a car and take the ferry over to Dublin. It was such a fun experience for my kids! We took the StenaLine which was fantastic. There was plenty to keep the kids entertained.
I found Dublin to be a quaint little city. It lacked that hustle and bustle which was just fine with me. My husband was happy because there were so many people that looked like him…red hair, freckles, and fair skin!
When you only have a day, you have to plan wisely. Of course, we didn’t do everything we wanted (another reason to go back), but I’d say we covered a fair bit to etch a memory. Here’s what we did and my take on the experience.
1. Visited Trinity … >> find out more...