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I’m Almost Back…

I haven’t been posting as much as I normally do because I have been sick with the flu for almost a week!  I’m starting to feel a lot better and should be back to my regular schedule soon.  Here is a similar representation to what I have been doing since last Saturday:

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Italy, A Love Story…

Looking for a book to inspire you to finally book that trip to Italy?  Try Italy, A Love Story.  Edited by Camille Cusumano, this collection of women-authored short stories will have you on a plane in no time!  Each of these stories is so descriptive and inspiring, I felt like I was experiencing each of Italy’s cities along with these women.

Even though I am an independent traveler, I like to book one tour in each destination that I visit.  If your itinerary to Italy takes you to Rome, I recommend Through Eternity.  This company is staffed by art historians and this allows them to offer a unique spin on their tours.  Their Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s tour was the highlight of my last trip to Rome and I have recommended it to over five people who have had the same response!  Try Through Eternity and let me know what you think!

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Why Facebook Stresses Me Out…

I know I normally write about travel, but I have a confession to make:  Facebook stresses me out.  The reason it stresses me out is that Facebook makes me feel like I am back in junior high school. Comparing who is “friends” with whom, deciding if I should confirm or ignore a friend request – I can’t keep up.  When I joined, I decided I would only confirm people who were actual friends or organizations that I belonged to so that I could write updates and post pictures that would be meaningful. I don’t really think that happens anymore.  It seems to me that some people are just trying to have the most number of “friends” that they can so they can tell everyone else.   Last night, I saw that one of my roommates from college had almost a thousand friends on Facebook!  Who are all of these people?  I’m going to keep with my system of confirming “friends” who are actual friends.  Even though it may look like I don’t have that many friends in cyberspace, I know I have friends in real life, where it counts.

C’est la Vie…

I will confess that I love to read travel essays.  I love when travelers write first-person accounts of their adventures.  One of my favorites is by Suzy Gershman, the author of the “Born to Shop” guides.  In C’est la Vie, the author discusses her journey of moving to Paris after the death of her husband.  The writing is fun, optimistic and perfect for a weekend read.  If you love Paris, you will love this book.

Paris is my favorite city in the world (so far!)  It is so magical.  If you are going to Paris, don’t forget about your Paris Museum Pass.  In my opinion, this is one of the best deals in the city.  It is worth it for the fact that Museum Pass holders do not have to wait in line!  Do you know how much time this can save?  Also, it can be used at many of the popular museums including the Louvre, d’Orsay and Rodin. For more information visit, Paris Museum Pass.

I never travel to Paris without buying this pass and you shouldn’t either!

A New Idea…

Today I was thinking about what has made me so passionate about travel.  I think it has to do with my love, and some would say, obsession with books.  I started reading at age 3 and haven’t stopped since.  When I was younger, I always loved to imagine the faraway settings in my books and pledged that I would visit some of these places when I “grew up.”  Well, I am a “grown up” now (I put that in quotes because I’m never sure what that really means 🙂 ) and I have planned some of my trips around destinations that I have read about in my books – whether they be mystery, travel essays, guidebooks, cookbooks or biographies.  The books make these destinations come alive.  Where will I go first?…

A little Lucca…

On my last trip to Italy, hubby and I started our trip in Lucca.  I have now christened Lucca as my favorite city in Italy.  The medieval city is such a contrast. It is surrounded by walls (called ramparts) that are filled with residents and visitors walking, running and biking on top.

 

Biking on the walls in Lucca...

Biking on the walls in Lucca...

 

The reason I say that Lucca is a contrast is because inside the walls, the city is filled with modern shops, excellent restaurants and hotels.  I found Lucca to be extremely charming and an excellent balance of big-city amenities and small-town character.  The easiest way to travel to Lucca directly from the U.S. is to fly to Pisa and then take a train – if you are already in Europe, the train or a low-cost airline is your best-bet.  Check out my hotel page for more information!  See you there!

Sound of Music…

No, this post is not about what you think.  It is about a fantastic YouTube video that makes me smile every time I see it.  After you watch it, you might think to yourself, “How is this related to travel?”  To me, hearing the song instantly brings to mind images of rolling Austrian hills and a twirling Julie Andrews.  Also, look at the faces of the people who are not participating in the dance?  They look so happy!  That’s what travel does to me, it makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy, too.