Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

How About Some Shakespeare?!

May 27, 2017

ShakespeareDo you ever get that hankering to attend a Shakespeare play?  While there are numerous places throughout the country that offer the occasional play, the three best venues to do so in the United States include: the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), the Illinois Shakespeare Festival  (Bloomington/Normal, IL), and the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT).

If you can’t make it to one of these, there are several other festivals around . . . then check out this list of Shakespearean Theatre Companies to find a company near you.

My college offers a week-long trip to Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in late summer every year (hosted by our resident Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. John Mercer).  I’ve been dying to go along on this trip, but the timing for me just hasn’t worked out yet (it has recently conflicted with my regularly scheduled vacation to Michigan to visit family) . . . one of these years the timing and the stars will align to allow me to attend.

One Wish Each!

February 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  We are half way through the work week, so here is a bit of homeland security/TSA humor to help get us through today and a bit closer to the weekend.  Enjoy!

A New York fireman, an American mother of three, and a TSA supervisor are the only survivors of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. They all wash up on a desert island where, half drowned, the fireman spots a lamp in the sand. As soon as he touches it, a genie emerges in a cloud of smoke.

“I am the Genie of the Lamp,” he intones. “Because you have released me, I will grant you each one wish.”

The mother breaks into tears. “Oh, thank you, thank you!” she cries. “I just want to fly back home to my babies!”

“Very well,” says the genie, and a pontoon plane appears by the shore, its pilot beckoning to her. Happily she runs off and climbs aboard.

“All I want,” says the fireman, “is to return to my fire station in New York. People there rely on me to help them in times of trouble.”

“Very well,” intones the genie, and another plane pops out of nowhere to idle next to the first. The fireman runs out and climbs aboard.

“And what is your wish?” the genie asks the TSA supervisor.

“Get those people back here. They haven’t been properly searched!”

Source: unknown

Fun Fact Friday, Number Eleven!

February 17, 2017

It may be winter, but the country’s national parks are still open.  Here are the best National Parks to visit during the winter:

  • Everglades National Park (Florida)
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah)
  • Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)
  • Acadia National Park (Maine)
  • Saguaro National Park (Arizona)
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Colorado)
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (California)

Did you know that the National Park Service manages over 350 parks on 80 million acres of public land? (Real Fact #695)

Did you know that over half of the world’s geyser’s can be found in the Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #742)

Did you know that Manhattan Island was once home to as many different species as Yellowstone National Park? (Real Fact #684)


International Holidays for October!

October 5, 2016

Here is a listing of various holidays that occur in October from around the world.  Enjoy!

October 1 – National Day Holiday (China)
October 1 – National Day Holiday (Hong Kong)
October 2 – Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (India)
October 3 – Labor Day (Australia)
October 3 – Unity Day (Germany)
October 3 – start of Rosh Hashanah Holiday (Israel)
October 3 – Foundation Day (South Korea)
October 9 – Chung Yeung Festival Holiday (Hong Kong)
October 9 – Hangeul Day (South Korea)
October 10 – Cultural Diversity Day (Argentina)
October 10 – Family and Community Day (Australia)
October 10 – Thanksgiving Day (Canada)
October 10 – Fitness Day (Japan)
October 10 – Columbus Day (United States)
October 11 – Dussehra/Vijaya Dashami (India)
October 12 – Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil)
October 12 – Muharram (India)
October 12 – Yom Kippur (Israel)
October 12 – National Day (Spain)
October 16 – Bank Holiday, afternoon (Israel)
October 17 – First Day of Sukkot (Israel)
October 23 – start of Chulalongkorn Day Holiday (Thailand)
October 24 – Shemini Arzeret/Simhat Torah (Israel)
October 24 – Labor Day (New Zealand)
October 28 – Civil Servants’ Day (Brazil)
October 29 – Deepavali (Singapore)
October 30 – Diwali/Deepavali (India)
October 31 – Bank Holiday (Ireland)


99 Great Ways to Save (Part 2)!

September 10, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 2 will be the technology category (tips courtesy of Michael Calore [senior editor, Wired] and David Pogue [founder of Yahoo Tech and author, Pogue’s Basics]).

13. Don’t overpay for cables.
14. Don’t throw away money on inferior earbuds.
15. Get expert budget picks (,,
16. Know the best time to buy tech.
17. Don’t buy a 4K TV yet.
18. Book last-minute hotel rooms via your smartphone.
19. 911 always works.
20. Keep ink flowing (heat toner cartridge with hair dryer).
21. Free music “speaker” (put cell phone — speaker end — in mug).

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 22.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 1)!

September 3, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 1 will be the travel category (tips courtesy of Samantha Brown [AARP travel expert] and Rick Stevens [European guidebook author and TV travel show host]).

  1. Choose a destination based on its “restaurant week.”
  2. Be a house sitter (
  3. Last minute deals (app HotelTonight)
  4. Update your documents (valid passport for at least six months past travel).
  5. Don’t pay for pricey massages on the road.
  6. Travel with peanut butter (but, it counts as a carry-on liquid).
  7. Buy second-class train seats.
  8. Get cash overseas at ATMs.
  9. Check for last-minute deals at business hotels.
  10. Get your rental car in town (as opposed to the airport or train station).
  11. Use local cash.
  12. Go carless in urban centers.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 21-22

Time to Get Away?

August 13, 2016

Happy Friday!   Hey!  Summer is drawing to a close, have you had or have you scheduled your summer vacation?  There’s still time.  Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are “vacation-deprived.”  Here is an excellent (and startling) infographic (courtesy of to help illustrate this point.


TCFF 2016!

July 29, 2016

Happy Friday!  Well, movie fans, the Traverse City Film Festival is now in full swing with a few more days of film watching still on the schedule (things will wrap up on Sunday).   Another year of “just great movies” and I’ve been fortunate enough to experience sixteen movies over the five-day event!  So many movies . . . so little time.  I figured it out that if I was wanting to view a different movie in each and every time slot available, I’d end up seeing more than 30 different movies (and be totally brain dead for having tried).  The most movies I have scheduled for any one day: five (whew, that’s a lot of screen time.)  Needless to say, I will not be attempting to fill each and every day with this many movies.  But I will certainly get in a good share.  My final list of movies I’ll be seeing (plus the country):

  • Adult Life Skills (UK)
  • Certain Women (US)
  • Concerto: a Beethoven Journey (US)
  • Conspiracy of Faith (Denmark)
  • Equity (US)
  • Five Nights in Maine (US)
  • Folk Hero & Funny Guy (US)
  • Hell or High Water (US)
  • Here Alone (US)
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (New Zealand)
  • Infinitely Polar Bear (US)
  • Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • Marguerite (France)
  • My Blind Brother (US)
  • Viva (Ireland)
  • Welcome to Norway (Norway)

Hello Philadelphia!

June 11, 2016

AMORPhiladelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, and home to the iconic LOVE sculpture (created by Robert Indiana in 1976).  Well, knowing that I’d be traveling to Philadelphia later this year, when I ran across this AMOR sculpture in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden during a recent trip to Washington, DC, I just knew that I had to find a way to blog this in relation to my visit to Philadelphia.  So, here you go.  Enjoy!  Love to live and live to love!


A Pleasant Day in DC!

April 25, 2016

Washington DC has a lot of things to offer: museums, art galleries, history, culture, fine dining, and the list can go on.  The last few times I have found myself in the District of Columbia it has been for business and I didn’t have time to do much sightseeing.  This trip I managed to fit in a few sights. Unfortunately, my timing was a bit off — I was too late to experience the cherry blossoms, and I was a couple of weeks too early for National Police Week (celebrated during the week of May 15th).  But I did manage to pay a visit to the National Law Enforcement Memorial first thing in the morning where I paid my respects  to all of the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  The rest of the morning was spent in the National Museum of the American Indian followed by an afternoon at the National Gallery of Art.  All in all, a most pleasant day in DC.