Christmas Markets, decorated trees, sparkling lights and holiday concerts galore. On my recent trip to London I found the city wrapped up in all things Christmas. There is always a lot to do in London and this time of year, even more so. So after spending ten days getting into the holiday spirit, here is my list of festive things to do in London in December.
I’ve been fortunate to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park twice in the last few years. On my first visit I flew into and out of Jackson and did one big loop through the two parks. This time, as I was planning a Yellowstone road trip focusing primarily on photography, I decided to do a one way Salt Lake to Yellowstone itinerary, which I am sharing here.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit Yellowstone National Park a number of times in the last few years. A couple of times were in September, which I think is an ideal time to visit the park – the weather was pleasant and the park was not as crowded as it gets during the summer months. Mid to late September also has the added advantage of seeing the aspen and cottonwood trees turn gold. On my first trip to Yellowstone, I planned a 4 day Yellowstone itinerary which I am sharing here.
I have always felt that if you ever only take one cruise in your whole life, it should be to Alaska. It is a huge state with some of the least accessible national parks in the US, including the very popular Glacier Bay National Park which can only be visited by boat. The various ports of call and the many choices offered on Alaska cruise excursions provide opportunities to easily see more of this incredibly scenic state. Here are my Alaska cruise excursion tips based on the Alaska cruises I have taken in the last few years to help you plan your best Alaska trip possible.
I admit it-I have an obsession with all things made by master glass artist Dale Chihuly. I love the vibrant colors, the movement, and yes, the engineering and science that it takes to make his towering art installations. Throughout my travels, I go out of my way to see his work if it is on display nearby. So, when I was in London this summer, I made it a point to have a date with the Chihuly glass exhibit at Kew Gardens.
There are over 1000 years of history in this photo. The round church in the background is the Rotonda di San Lorenzo in the city of Mantua, Italy. This is the oldest church in this UNESCO designated city, built in the late 11th century, and still has some of the original frescoes visible inside. The red Vespa in the foreground is another classic Italian legacy, but only since the 1940’s.
On a recent visit to Marrakesh, I had the opportunity to experience a day trip to Essaoura from Marrakech, Morocco. I was surprised to find that this coastal town was so much more relaxed and laid back than Marrakech. Even with a short day in Essaouira, I discovered that its beach vibe felt more akin to being in the Caribbean than on the African coast.
Not all of the mosques in Istanbul are open to non Muslim visitors. But fortunately, the most beautiful and famous mosques in Istanbul around the historic core of the Sultanahmet area can be visited by tourists during the non prayer times of the day.
Miyajima, Japan is most famous for the photos of its floating torii gate. But this lovely little island offers up lots of gorgeous scenery, both man made and natural. Read on to find out about what to do in Miyajima as I spent a day exploring its photogenic treasures.
As a teenager, I learned about the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. As an adult many years later, I visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, and encountered present day Japanese teenagers learning their history in this living classroom for peace.
This story was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the 2018 North American Travel Journalists Association Competition in the Historical Travel-Online category.