Flagstaff Arizona Attractions – Top 11 reasons to use Flagstaff as your base – Part 1

Route 66 Street mural a Flagstaff Arizona AttractionsFlagstaff Arizona attractions were some of the most memorable on our epic 4-month trip to the American Southwest.  Flagstaff Arizona is a gem of a city. What a lovely surprise, from Ponderosa pine forests, outdoor adventure, national monuments to iconic memorabilia! Flagstaff has it all, and it’s close to everything we wanted to see. Continue reading

Great Barrier Reef – To Visit or Not?

Great Barrier Reef

Hawksbill turtle image credit Sola HayakawaGreat Barrier Reef (GBR) is touted as a special place, and has been on my bucket list for a long time. The question remains – ‘Is it still the special place it once was, and worth a visit?’

Having just been there for 10 days this year (2017), I have a strong opinion about whether it is worth spending the time and money, or not. It is not strictly a ‘yes or no answer.’ Check out our experience and my recommendations… Continue reading

Exmouth Australia – Why is it our favorite Australia destination?

Vlaming Head Lighthouse Ningaloo Coast 360Exmouth Australia is the place to go if you love warm temperatures, the azure oceans, and expansive white beaches; it doesn’t get much better than the North West Cape of Western Australia. If you love snorkeling, diving, and swimming in calm seas, there is nothing like the gateway to the World Heritage Ningaloo Reef Marine Park in Exmouth Australia. Its proximity to the Coral Coast is a draw … Continue reading

Milford Sound – Scenery Photographers Dream About

Magical Milford Sound

Earl and Livingston mountains along Milford Road; road trip to Milford Sound with Fiordland ToursIn the pristine and scenic Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is New Zealand and its surrounding area’s most dramatic natural attraction. Its captivating scenery boasts:  Continue reading

Morocco – A Colorful Journey

Morocco – A Colorful Journey

Tile facade of Morocco buildingHave you ever wanted to immerse yourself in a non-western culture, something totally different, exotic, and colorful?  My friend Gail wanted to celebrate her birthday by experiencing a totally different environment from her norm.  After 2 months of research on Morocco, and with the help of hotel owner from Skoura named L’ma, Gail planned their own private experience.  Her own trip was less expensive than standard packages and just as nice.

This article takes you through the colorful two week tour that she and husband Mitch experienced, and what they loved about Morocco.

Morocco Travel – What was different? Continue reading

Canadian Bus Trip Vacation – Value & Experience

Canadian Bus Trip Starr ToursIn deciding what to do for summer vacation last year, friends Mark, Karen and their daughter, decided on a Canadian Bus Trip where they could relax, and let Starr, a local bus tour company, do the planning and driving. This post is a result of an interview with them that discusses the 6-day trip, and its pros and cons.

Selecting the Canadian Bus Trip – Quebec City and Montreal

MOverlook of Montreal from Mount Royalark’s friend had recently used Starr, and Mark liked the idea of having someone else do the driving (sounds good to me!).  Mark hadn’t been to Montreal and Quebec City so it sounded like a good choice. The Canadian Bus Trip description sounded inviting – “Explore the rich culture and Continue reading

Costa Rica Travel Agents and Accommodations

As you may recall from other posts, our home base in Costa Rica was in Guanacaste, on the Pacific Coast.  Based on Costa Rica Travel Agents and Accommodations available, we chose the Playa del Coco area, and stayed quite a long walk from town at Ocotal Beach Resort.  We chose Ocotal because of the reputation of its dive operation.

Dive Shop recommended by Costa Rica Travel Agent

It is located on a beautiful site overlooking the Pacific, and not far from town by taxi.     Unobstructed View from Costa Rica Hotel Accommodations

Since we planned to dive and brought all of our dive gear, it was more convenient to rent one place for the whole time in Costa Rica. Then we did day trips or overnights to other areas, like San Jose, Arenal, and Tamarindo.  Volcano AheadSome people may think it is crazy to pay for 2 rooms, but it is much easier for us to choose our base, travel from there and only pack what we need.  (See our separate post for More on Diving in Costa Rica.)

Booking Accommodtions + Tours

The Costa Rica Accommodations that we chose for this trip were booked through Continue reading

Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica & Ziplining

Land Adventures  in Costa Rica

Arenal volcano in Costa Rica in the cloudsArenal volcano in Costa RicaKnow that it rains more in the central part of the country, in the regions near the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde Cloud Forest – 2 choice locations.  We had wet weather in December around the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. You need a rain jacket.  The fog will often restrict the view of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica.  We lucked out and had the volcano come into view while it was erupting at sunset – yeah!

While the coast is warm, 80s & 90s degrees F, the Arenal and Monteverde are  Continue reading