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Wish You Were Here / Holiday Travel / Shopping Travel / Vermont Travel / Burlington Travel / Travel Snapshots / → All Tags
With the University of Vermont just up the hill and the shores of Lake Champlain on its western edge, Burlington is a city to spend some time with anytime of the year. Sure the nearby mountains and ski slopes are pretty darn enticing during the winter, but we find plenty of charm, character, and cuisine right within the boundaries of The Queen City.
This weekend is when they’re flipping the switch on all the holiday lights and decorations at the Church Street Marketplace. This pedestrian mall features plenty of local shops, restaurants, and other places to poke and peruse, and there’s some national chains on hand as well for when you just need something from Starbucks or Macy’s. The local retailers are a great place to cash in your American Express Shop Small promotion this weekend, as there’s plenty of spots to support Small Business Saturday.
Travel Snapshot / Hawaii Travel / Kauai Travel / Maui Travel / Big Island Travel / Oahu Travel / Wish You Were Here / → All Tags
Last time we were in Hawaii, we had several life-changing epiphanies. And what visitor to the islands doesn't? Open up the windows and feel the breeze and take a drink out to the balcony at sunset, and before you know it you're wondering why you don't do this more often. Then all of a sudden you can't stop listening to Jimmy Buffett. We've seen it a million times.
Travel Snapshot / Chile Travel / Atacama Desert Travel / Adventure Travel / Only in South America / LAN / CJC / Wish You Were Here / → All Tags
A sand dune and the "amphitheater" rock formation at Valle de La Luna
Any attempt to describe the wild terrain of Chile's Atacama Desert is an exercise in futility. To friends, we've likened this "driest place in the world" to the desert in Arizona or southern Utah, but we must admit the Atacama is actually quite indescribable. Forgive the oft-used idiom, but it has to be seen to be believed.
Flying into El Loa Airport (CJC) in Calama, the snow peaks of the jagged Andes fall away and the landscape transitions to a rusty palette of parched volcanic earth. You'll wonder: "what in the world have I gotten myself into?" The striated cliffs, towering dunes, and salt lagoon oases don't resemble anything that should be in this world. Mars maybe, but surely not Earth.
You know you've traveled to a special place when every photo you snap on a smartphone is, in itself, a mini masterpiece. This is the phenomenon we're currently experiencing in Cornwall, the southwesternmost region of Britain.
Once marketed as "the Italy of England," Cornwall is only 4 hours by train from London's Paddington Station. We purchased a 40 GBP ticket on First Great Western railways and, after passing through Exeter and Plymouth, alighted at Bodmin Parkway only a short drive away from the surfing beach at Polzeath, the sailing harbour of Rock, and the mom & pop shops of Wadebridge. Last night, we ate fish & chips on a cliff just after a misty rain had slicked the path.
Wish You Were Here / Wyoming Travel / Yellowstone National Park / Wilderness Travel / National Park Travel / Travel Snapshot / → All Tags
The summer travel season may be just about over, but that can't stop us from getting out of dodge to bask in the wide open spaces of the wild, wild west. Typically travelers think of heading south, to a Caribbean island or Mexican resort, for some seclusion and relaxation, but why not WY? To be more specific, we've found all this and more just outside Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
This adventure involves nature, scenic vistas, clean fresh air, and the absence of anything that has to do with a city; fine by us! While not technically considered 'Big Sky Country' (that's Montana), we aren't too far from the state line and the skies are pretty ginormous.
Step off the plane at Memphis International Airport and, while you're still in the jetbridge, before even entering the terminal proper, the tangy sweet smell of BBQ sauce assaults your olfactory. There's no escaping the scent; Memphis' airport is home to no fewer than three barbecue restaurantstwo locations of Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ, and one Corky's BBQ.
Upon landing from our Delta flight in from Atlanta (another airport that smells of yummy eats), we made a bee-line for the Interstate BBQ and their BBQ pulled pork sandwich and then played the tourist with some browsing in the airport's dedicated Elvis souvenir shop. Oh, and what was playing over the airport's sound system? Elvis' greatest hits, naturally.
Wish you were here!
Wish You Were Here / Thailand Travel / Chiang Mai Travel / CNX / Festival Travel / Songkran / → All Tags
Earlier this week we shared what we were packing in our suitcase all to make our Songkran trip to Thailand a whole lot easier. Well, we've finally made it up the Northern city of Chiang Mai to use it all.
We're in the city to kick up our heels and celebrate the Thai New Year, "Songkran," which begins today on this side of the world. For the next three days we will be touring temples and soaking in the heat while dodging plenty buckets of water in a futile attempt to stay (somewhat) dry during all the "water play,"
So far we've just been working on getting our bearings, but we do have our artillery for tomorrow; a giant super-soaker gun purchased from the street market.
New York has its Staten Island Ferry, Venice the Vaporetto and Bangkok the Chao Phraya River Bus, but no city ferry line seems quite as regal as that of Istanbul.
Last night, we hopped a Vapur (the name for these old ferries) for the first time, traveling from the docks at Eminönü near the Spice Market to about 25 minutes up the Bosphorus to Ortaköy, a neighborhood just before the towering Bosphorus Bridge. Though a private water taxi charges 120 Lira ($67 USD) for a one-way ride between these points, sharing the ferry means a far budget friendlier cost of only 3 Lira ($1.67) each way.
Island Travel / Wish You Were Here / St. Maarten Travel / Caribbean Travel / Plane Spotting / SXM / → All Tags
Tease! A group of guys in town from a cruise ship pose before an American flight from MIA zips into SXM
A huge hello from the Dutch/French Caribbean island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, perhaps better known as aviation geek paradise. Taking a little of our own sage advice, we pounced on one of the 80% off JetBlue #NYCFlightWeek airfare specials released last week, to find ourselves now transported 3.5 flying hours south of New York City. It may be 34 degrees on the East Coast, but it's 84 where we standwhich just happens to be right underneath arriving aircraft, at the famous planespotting destination of Maho Beach.
Joining us on Maho Beach? Oh, just about 1,000 others on this extremely busy day. We'd say about 90% are here for the adrenaline rush of having a Boeing 747 charge you straight-on, only to zoom some 100 feet overhead as it lands at the island's Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).
Cruise Travel / Ships / Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Reflection / Wish You Were Here / Travel Snapshot / Art Travel / Art Basel Miami Beach / → All Tags
Ahoy! If you're hanging out in Florida and are anywhere near the coast from Miami on up to West Palm Beach, break out a pair of binoculars to spot us. Just look for a white sliver on the horizon, that'll actually be the ginormous white Celebrity Cruises ship Celebrity Reflection. We promise to wave back.
There's no ultimate destination other than a return to Miami for the start of the Art Basel festival of contemporary art. You see, this is a preview cruisethe ship's maiden US voyage. It's a bit like an airport practice run, when terminals invite people to come simulate operations so, on opening day, the kinks have been well worked out. We would say we're "kicking the tires" of the Reflection but, well, it's a boat with a massive hull...and a multi-million modern art collection with 6,059 original pieces from the likes of Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Christo, Marina Abramovic, Richard Prince and Robert Rauschenberg.
Germany Travel / Friedrichshafen Travel / Wish You Were Here / Dornier / Zeppelin / Aviation / Museum Travel / → All Tags
The skies are gray. The building is gray. The airships are gray. Waitairships?! Yeah, we just said airships.
It's in the 40s here in Friedrichshafen, Germany, but we've taken this detour to the southern edge of the country for a few reasons that don't care what the weather forecast says.
For one, it's the birthplace of the Zeppelin airship, way back when Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin decided to get in the balloon business. Perhaps you're most familiar with the Hindenburg (cue "oh the humanity") as that was a Zeppelin craft, though technology means they're built far safer and better these days. At the Zeppelin Halle near Friedrichshafen-Bodensee Airport, the dirigibles still take passengers up on the same route over Lake Constance as the Count's 1900 maiden flight. In town, there's that Zeppelin Museum we've previously written about.
Wish You Were Here / Travel Snapshot / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Surfers Paradise / Beach Travel / Surfing Travel / Nature Travel / → All Tags
The mercury is beginning to drop and autumn is right around the corner. At the same time, things are doing the opposite and heating up Down Under. Soon, the sun will be shining with the southern summer in Australia
We come to you now from the Gold Coast of said continent. The name of the specific city: Surfers Paradise. With beach after beach as far as the eye can see, we understand why it's considered the playground for the nation. Sun, sand and surf are some of the more popular attractions for the region, but nature walks, wineries and paragliding are all part of the fun.