In the first two hours of our first game drive in the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, we saw ostriches, zebras, a variety of gazelle, giraffes, cape buffalo, wilderbeests, a female lion and her juvenile cub, and my favorite, elephants. I would have been content after just this experience, but we still had ten more days of game viewing in Kenya and Tanzania. Could it really get much better?
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Our first African safari – a dream come true. My husband and I had been planning this trip for over a year and had included all of our wish list items. The only optional excursion offered on our tour was a hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. We decided to opt in for this activity, though I was very apprehensive going into it. I have a huge fear of heights and I was not sure if I would be able to handle the ride without getting a bad case of vertigo. I was really torn, because this would be a once in a lifetime activity and there was no turning back once it started.
Continue reading “This is Africa: A Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Maasai Mara”
We started our first full day in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve with an early morning hot air balloon ride over the grasslands, floating softly over the landscape as the sun rose behind us. We looked down on these wilderbeests as they strutted along, their bodies half covered by the tall grasses that covered the landscape from horizon to horizon.
Such and amazing and memorable experience in an amazing location.
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Despite being surrounded by busy city streets, the walled Lan Su Chinese Garden is a peaceful oasis in the Old Town Chinatown section of Portland, Oregon. The garden is designed along the lines of a classical Chinese garden found in Suzhou, Portland’s sister city in China. About 90% of the plants in the garden are native to China, though they all came from gardens and nurseries in Oregon. The garden is only the size of a city block, but with its many paths, garden rooms and garden structures, it feels much bigger. Escape here for a few hours of calm and quiet with a cup of tea and almond cookies after a busy day of sightseeing.
Please note that my stay in Portland was hosted by Travel Portland. All content and opinions are my own.
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Whenever I page through gardening magazines, the gardens that always catch my eye are invariable located in the Pacific Northwest of the US. With a mild climate and good soil, it is not surprising that Washington, Oregon and northern California boast wonderful gardens.
Continue reading “A Spring Day in Portland, OR Gardens”
Barns and quilts. Both of these represent unique aspects of America’s traditional farming heritage. Today, old barns and old quilts are lovingly preserved as a link to a slowly disappearing lifestyle. What better way to foster awareness of America’s legacy and history than a Quilt Barn (or Barn Quilt) Trail through the rural landscape.
Continue reading “Legacy, History and Community Connect on The Tualatin Valley Quilt Barn Trail”
I followed the Quilt Barn Trail in Tualatin Valley, Oregon, and discovered great places to eat global, drink local, play with Mother Nature and love my stay in a fun and quirky lodge. You do not have to be a quilter to experience and enjoy this destination that is barely 30 minutes west of Portland, OR.
Continue reading “Discovering a Patchwork of Experiences on the Tualatin Valley Quilt Barn Trail”
You’ll see Whirling Dervish performances advertised throughout Istanbul, offering an evening of entertainment. But for an authentic experience, I chose to attend a true Mevlevi religious ritual at the Galata Dervish Monastery.
Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Whirling to Reach God”
A hamam, or Turkish bath is a unique experience to Turkey. I wanted to try it on my first visit to Istanbul, but to do so, I would have to set aside my inhibitions about being seen naked by strangers. Could I do that?
Continue reading “Bathing Like a Sultan – Overcoming Inhibitions in a Traditional Turkish Bath”
Street art may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of art in Istanbul. But on my recent visit, I discovered some great examples in the area of Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city. Searching out the street art was also a great way to explore this less touristy part of Istanbul.
Continue reading “Finding Cool Street Art in Istanbul”