Costa Rican Yoga Retreat: Blue Osa Retreat & Spa Beach Resort

Have you ever wanted an escape? A place you can go to relax, unwind, and forget about life for a while. I found that at the Cosa Rican Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Retreat & Spa Beach Resort. At Blue Osa, they offer tailor-made experiences for just you, your group, or even for leaders of a retreat/group. Their smart luxurious packages include yoga, spa therapies outside

2020-11-29T13:54:15-07:00

Old City Jerusalem: Israel And The Dance of Death

There is no place on earth more important to the religions of the world than Jerusalem the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made up of several key sites to many religions, such as the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall for the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the Christians and the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque for the Muslims. People from all these religions come

2019-08-20T22:53:55-07:00

Kohls Makeup: Kohl Eyeliner (كحل‎) and the Evil Eye (عين الحسود‎)

Many women in the Middle East are known for their exotic beauty. Almost all of them looked beautiful to me! Actually, it was difficult to figure out if they were beautiful or not, based strictly on their eyes.  However, it is understandable that they would use any form of Kohl eyeliner to deepen the mystery about their eyes. They also use Khol (كحل‎) Eyeliner with excellent precision.

2020-08-11T19:24:50-07:00

Things to Do in Regensburg Germany If You Only Have a Day

Regensburg, Germany is a Bavarian medieval city along the Danube River in southeast Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town. It also has a famous 12th-century Stone Bridge that has 16 arches that cross the Danube River to the old town center. Located in the south of Germany, Regensburg is a popular day trip from Munich. An atmospheric and charming town,

2020-01-23T19:16:22-07:00

Exploring Champagne Houses in Reims And The Nearby Region

The Champagne region of France is like no other wine region in the world. The nearest vineyards are only an hour from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG) on the fast TGV train to Reims. Reims is a perfect justification for a tour of the Champagne Houses in Reims, but don’t forget to walk around the city and enjoy its Gothic Cathedral, a UNESCO world

2020-11-21T23:33:41-07:00

Dive into Dominican Culture at Casas del XVI

For Dominican culture, food, drinks, and plenty of things to do, look beyond the beach resorts and head to the colonial city of Santo Domingo... while beautiful beach resorts may be the Dominican Republic’s calling card, there are plenty of other riches to be found on the island. Dominican Republic Culture I had wandered these streets before and knew that a return trip was inevitable.

2019-09-26T13:13:23-07:00

Quinta Mazatlán – Tex-Mex Culture Wrapped into One

Quinta Mazatlan I am a diehard about Spanish/Mexican architecture, interior design, music, language, and dance, so when I took one peek inside the Ann Maddox Moore room at Quinta Mazatlán, I was immediately enamored with her collection. This assortment, which is only a part of her personal collection, was of cultural Mexican craftsmanship that she had collected on her many trips to Mexico. This is

2020-07-13T16:23:52-07:00

These Boots Are Made For Walking: El Paso, Texas

It was my good fortune to take a tour of the Lucchese Bootmaker facility in El Paso. You are probably thinking I would see how handcrafted boots are made from start to finish.  And you are right.  But I walked away from there with some insights into life that can be a meaningful byproduct of traveling. As these boots are made for walking. Read on

2018-11-27T12:14:34-07:00

Les Baux, France and the Carrieres de Lumieres

Entering the old stone quarry, I had no idea what to expect. The guide from the luxury Viking River Cruise ship only said to bring a sweater, as it can get cold inside (and he wanted to surprise us!). Little did I know it would be one of the highlights of my southern France tour onboard the Viking River Cruise. The entrance was through the

2020-07-09T20:37:37-07:00

Chicken on the Run Near Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once. - Chris Rose To really understand what a Chicken Run is, you must understand the cultural significance of the above statement. Zydeco music was playing by a live band in the back of a parade-like

2019-08-25T17:09:08-07:00

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

I recently was on a trip to Lake Charles, Lousiana for Mardi Gras where I encountered the making of a King Cake! "A what, I asked?" Being from the South, you would think I would have heard of all the desserts out there but never had I heard those words before. There are some words related to food that we eat knowing nothing more than it tastes delicious!

2019-08-18T19:08:01-07:00

Venice – Behind the Mask

  I’m a collector of masks. On display in my home are over 30 masks carefully carted back as my treasures from visits to faraway lands. So naturally, heading to Venice, I was keen on picking up a few Venice masks to add to my collection. I timed my visit to be there during the last three days of the Carnival of Venice so as

2020-07-13T16:46:39-07:00

Quotes on Patriotism: Republic Day in Istanbul, Turkey

  The flag of Istanbul, Turkey Quotes on Patriotism: Republic Day in Istanbul While I was in Istanbul, it was a national holiday known as Republic Day, and the flags of Turkey were out in full force. It was the best display of patriotism I have ever encountered. The flags of Istanbul, Turkey  There was a religious holiday going on as well,

2020-06-27T12:21:27-07:00

Myanmar’s Water Dwellers of Inle Lake

Travelers to Myanmar are there to explore the thousands of pagodas and temples that characterize this country (formerly known as Burma).  That’s a given.  But not to be missed is the surreal watery world of Inle Lake, famous for its natural beauty, glassy waters, and inhabited by Inthas, the native lake-dwellers known as Myanmar' Water Dwellers of Inle Lake. Photo by Donnie Sexton

2021-01-12T14:45:44-07:00

Mystical Myanmar Pagoda Photo!

That was my mantra when I stepped off the plane in Yangon, Myanmar. To be honest, I had googled a few images from this Southeast Asia destination to get a sense of what kind of photos I could come home with. Since I was traveling with a group of photographers on a trek. The awe-inspiring photo had to be a shot of hot air balloons

2021-01-12T14:57:26-07:00

The Color Block Favelas of Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  I think back in my mind as I traveled to Indonesia, and it races to the morning when I had a chance to escape the stunningly refurbished and luxury 1918 Phoenix Hotel in all its glory. Color-Block Favelas of Yogyakarta, Indonesia I walked only about five blocks from the hotel when I had to get a police escort in order to actually cross the

2021-01-02T20:39:26-07:00

Travel to Indonesia to learn the Art of Batik

  I noticed the wrinkles in his face as he stood mute, lips tightly pressed against each other with the skin on his neck muscles taut. He was a thin man, like the ones I typically see when I travel to Indonesia. He was demonstrating one part of the process of the art form of Batik, in the third world workshop facility. I am dripping

2019-08-20T18:17:25-07:00

Wanderings Through Istanbul, Turkey

Wanderings Through Istanbul, Turkey It is an early weekday morning as I stare out the window of my yellow taxi passing a multitude of red and blue celebration flags. No matter how often I visit exotic Istanbul, Turkey, I always feel like there is something majestic and mysterious about it. Something wafting in the air that makes this place different than all the rest. Maybe

2020-06-27T12:20:16-07:00

Behind the Scenes: Cancun Xcaret’s Espectacular

One by one, they would climb the 17 dingy white stairs to the tiny crowded, dimly-lit room. They needed to get out of the sweltering heat and were dressed in the brightest blues, vibrant yellows, and heart-stopping red colors. Never have I seen such a stunningly beautiful group of women with matching beads and flowers in their hair. The men came too, fewer, but they

2020-12-11T00:22:38-07:00

Postcards to a Little Boy : Holocaust Memorial

  As I enter the Holocaust Memorial, an Israel Museum in Jerusalem, I am overwhelmed with it as a space. The Israel Museum has a well-thought-out architecture that leads you down the path of the Jews during the holocaust, which is a horrific time in our world’s history. The triangular-shaped Holocaust Memorial is made of cold-to-the-touch, gray concrete and takes you literally on a path

2020-07-16T18:31:14-07:00

I’ve Got the French Blues!

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” — Vincent Van Gogh I’ve Got The French Blues! I dream in color, vivid dreams of French Blue that swirl around in my head. Imagine an artist’s brush, dipping first in the dark tones of blue and then in the lighter ones and smearing them onto a canvas. I look deeply at the details of the

2020-08-15T09:18:12-07:00

Journey Through Champagne France

  Renoir House, Champagne, France Take Journey through Champagne France I found that in only a quick jaunt from Paris, in the Champagne France region that borders Burgundy, there lies a tiny slice of heaven known as Essoyes. According to Jean Renoir, "There is no other place like it in the whole wide world. There I spent the best years of my childhood."And

2020-07-11T19:05:37-07:00

Traveling to Avila – The Walled City of Spain

The Most Charming Walled City in Spain Are you a fan of walled cities? If you are, then you should head to Avila, Spain in the Castilla y Leon (Castles and Lions) province of Spain. Located just about an hour and a half drive from the Madrid Bajaras airport, it’s a city waiting to be discovered. This walled city is also known as the “City of Knights” which

2020-07-13T13:26:22-07:00

Carnival – Enchanting Creatures Lurking in the Black Forest

Carnival in the Black Forest of Germany (Part 1 link) Carnival - Enchanting creatures lurking in the Black Forest Snap, Whip, Crack! The parade has begun with over 4000 “fools” who have gathered at the entrance to the old Black Gate and make their way down the parade route. The characters of the Black Forest begin to come alive as they perform a

2019-07-26T16:38:57-07:00

Bollenhut – The Traditional German Hat from the Black Forest

  Black Forest, Germany (Schluvchsee) Have you heard of Black Forest, Germany’s traditional Bollenhut Hat? I hadn’t either until my first visit there. Once you see it, you will be very curious about it, as it is quite unusual. Black Forest, Germany’s Traditional Bollenhut Hat People all over the world who have been to the Black Forest know the hat as

2019-08-20T13:08:54-07:00

Kitschy Florida Roadside Attractions: St Augustine, FL

As the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine is rich in history, architecture, and charm, yet it still has those kitschy Florida roadside attractions that Florida is so famous for. With places like Flagler College (yes, a college can be a tourist attraction!) to Castillo de San Marcos Fort, it is a city worth exploring. It just wouldn’t be America if it wasn’t

2020-08-13T19:03:23-07:00

Spa Break for Two!

All of us have felt like we’ve lost control over our lives at some point. Last year, USA Today reported that 35% of Americans feel their lives have become more stressful than the previous year. Whether it’s from work, relationships, or changing family life, taking some time away from your cares is a tonic for us all, and if you’re looking to give yourself some real self-care, a

2020-04-17T16:05:47-07:00

A Traditional Farmhouse: Liminka, Finland

By Cacinda Maloney How on earth can I write a story about Finland without the mention of a sauna experience?  I don’t believe I can and this time will be no exception. I dove into the culture and history of the Finnish sauna on my last trip to Helsinki that you can read about here.  The immersion into the culture of a Finnish sauna is

2018-11-27T12:35:40-07:00

Maakalla Island: Finding Peace in Western Finland

  Maakalla Island, Finland There was a quiet stillness unlike anything I had experienced before. I knew that Maakalla Island of Western Finland was remote, but the eeriness I felt upon stepping off the boat gave me a bit of a shiver. Stepping onto Maakalla Island, Finland It was mid-August and so the weather was picture-perfect for today, as soon, no

2018-11-27T12:35:47-07:00

Walking to Sweden: Finland’s Kvarken Archipelago

  Vaasa, Finland map Vaasa - Gateway to the West Arriving in Vaasa, Finland, I was ready for an adventure and Finland does not disappoint. Vaasa is the gateway to the western side of the country.  This is where the narrowest part of the Gulf of Bothnia is connected to Finland by their longest bridge, the Replot, in the Baltic Sea. The

2020-07-27T09:34:02-07:00

Food, Friendship and Wine: LeMarche Region, Italy

  Academia del Padlòt at Palazzo Donati kitchen Homemade, handmade pasta Coradella – lamb’s liver with garlic Deep in the caverns of a palatial kitchen, we sang and laughed, as we tasted the flavorful homemade food, high in the hills of Mercatello sul Metauro, Italy.  I heard the sounds of many languages, laughter, and songs, as I popped fava

2020-01-24T11:30:07-07:00

Luxury Tuscany, Italy: A Journey for the Soul

Luxury Tuscany, Italy:  A Journey for the Soul Montestigliano is a place for the soul, a place of rest, a place of comfort. It is not just a trip you take, but a journey that takes you. A journey to see how others live, how life functions, not in your own country; but in a completely different way of life. Here, there is life like

2020-08-03T19:08:12-07:00

Deep into the Secret Lair of Siena’s Contrade System

The Palio - Tensions in the crowd grow wild as one by one the horses appear with their barebacked jockeys on the track and take to the line. The church has already blessed these horses and their riders prior to their arrival.  It is the peak of the social calendar, a horserace that completes 3 laps around the town center in Siena, Italy. The Palio  

2019-08-02T18:47:26-07:00

Killarney National Park, Ireland – Life As It Once Was

I am a city girl, even though I grew up in a small town, I have been living the city life now longer and officially have adapted to large city living; although I do appreciate the beauty and simple life of the country. Ireland Countryside So imagine my surprise on a recent trip to Ireland when I was taken aback by remnants of

2020-06-21T15:19:04-07:00
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