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Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Mush! Dog Sledding Mendenhall Glacier #travel

JuneauDogSledding

This was my trip highlight. We flew by helicopter to the top of the Mendenhall glacier and then went sledding. Amazing! Absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to do it again. This is hubby saying hello to one of the sled dogs.

Lavender Farm, Mt Cook #travel #NewZealand

There is a lavender farm on the main highway to Aoraki Mt Cook, and we stopped to check it out.

Lavender

Lavender

You could walk between the rows and the scent was beautiful. I’m a fan of the lavender scent. It makes me happy.

The owners had placed chairs between the rows for visitors to pose for photos.

Lavender

This is me sitting in the middle of the lavender field. All I could hear was the buzz of the bees as they collected pollen. Such a peaceful place.

There was a tiny shop there where I purchased some lavender soap plus some lavender and strawberry chocolate. The chocolate (delicious and different) is long gone but I have the soap, which I look forward to using.

Do you like lavender?

Burano, the Colorful Venetian Island

During our visit to Venice we caught the vaporetto (waterbus) to nearby islands Murano and Burano. Murano is well known for glassmaking while Burano is famous for lace.

My favorite of the two was Burano with its colorful buildings.

Burano Buildings

Some of the buildings alongside the canal.

Burano

Laundry Day

And it’s laundry day…

Burano

A local on the canal.

Mask Stall

Colorful masks ready for carnivale…

Now tell me – if you could paint your house any color you wanted, which color would you choose? I vote for pink Smile

The Famous Fairlie Pie, New Zealand #travel

Last weekend, hubby and I set off on a three-day adventure and flew south to Christchurch. I was very excited to learn we’d drive through the small town of Fairlie on the way to our final destination of Tekapo. Excited, because Fairlie has a famous bakery that produces excellent and delicious, award-winning pies.

Fairlie Bakehouse, New Zealand

I said to hubby, “We must visit.”

And being the perfect husband he said, “All right.”

According to our local news, the queues have been out the door all summer since now tourists, as well as locals, are in on the secret. We climbed from our rental car prepared to wait for our turn to order.

The line wasn’t too bad, but then came the first stumbling block.

They didn’t have any vegetarian pies.

“Never mind,” I said. “You have a pie.” I scanned the other offerings. Nothing vegetarian and I didn’t feel like a cake, even though they looked delicious.

You know how it is when you set your mind on something and only that will do? That was my mind set. I wanted a pie.

Hubby chose a pork and apple pie. He ate it with relish and proceeded to tell me how delicious it tasted.

Fairlie Pork Pie

I drank my coffee. Very good coffee, but not a pie!

Hubby said, “We’ll visit on the way back. The girl said they’d most likely have vegetarian pies then.”

Fast forward to Monday…

We drove through Fairlie, parked and joined the line.

The next stumbling block. No vegetarian pies on the menu today either.

“I’ll have coffee,” I said. Talk about disappointed…

Hubby chose the Venison and Cranberry pie this time.

Fairlie Second Pie

We dined in this time. Hubby cutting his pie.

Fairlie Venison Pie

The venison and cranberry filling revealed…

Fairlie Happy

And this…this is a Fairlie Happy Pie Face.

I think I must be the only person in New Zealand who hasn’t worn this face.

Me…I’m not so impressed with Fairlie pies and the Fairlie Bakehouse, although they do have great coffee.

Venice, the Romantic Destination #Travel

In a walk down memory lane, and because I’m planning to use a Venetian setting in an upcoming book, I was looking at some of the photos we took during our visit. Venice is a romantic city, and my favorite thing to do whenever I have a chance to visit is to wander and explore all the tiny back streets. Getting lost is part of the fun, although if I’m with hubby we’re seldom lost. He has an excellent inner GPS.

Here are a few photos of Venice:

St Marco Square

This is a view of the Doge’s Palace and the entrance to St Mark’s Square taken from the cruise ship as we arrived at Venice.

Venice Market

Regular visitors already know how much hubby and I love markets. These hot peppers caught my attention because they look like bunches of flowers. The market in Venice is amazing.

Bride and Groom, Venice

This bride and groom were having their wedding photos taken, just off St Mark’s Square. What did I tell you? Romantic.

Doge's Palace and Bridge of Sighs

This is a view of the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palazzo with the prison. This photo was taken from the cruise ship. During our visit, we did a tour of the Doge’s Palace, which we pre-booked. Along with the palatial rooms, we saw the secret rooms where the “worker bees” hung out. We stepped through an ornate door from the palace proper into plan rooms that were very simply furnished. Photos weren’t allowed, but it was still very interesting, the contrasts between the two halves amazing. It was like stepping into another world. We also walked across the Bridge of Sighs and saw Casanova’s cell—the one from which he escaped. I highly recommend this tour, if you ever visit Venice.

Canal Traffic

The canal traffic was constant. Small ferries, barges loaded with cargo, baggage boats heading to hotels, gondolas, ambulance and fire boats. It’s amazing sitting at a cafe and watching the world pass by…

Canal traffic

More canal traffic.

Palazzos

The canal view of some of the old palazzos and gardens. Some of them are beautiful and I can only imagine what they look like inside. Maybe next visit…

Looking through the photos again has given me some great ideas for my story. I can’t wait to get writing.

Have you visited Venice?

Dawn at the Taj Mahal

20070617094730_tajmahal

This is a much younger me sitting in front of the Taj Mahal in India. The Taj Mahal is the perfect place for a romance writer to visit since it is a symbol of love. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

It was freezing when we visited, but it was worth it since there weren’t many tourists around. The marble mausoleum looks different, depending on the time of day, and we also visited at sunset. A truly beautiful place and very inspirational.

What is the most romantic place you have visited?

Breakfast at Twenty 8 Acres, Sydney

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It is an easy meal for a vegetarian, yet there is plenty for the meat lover too.

During our recent trip to Sydney, we checked Trip Adviser while flying over (Air New Zealand has a cool in-flight app) and came across a cafe called Twenty 8 Acres. They specialized in breakfast and lunch, and we decided to try them out since the reviews were excellent.

When we arrived, the restaurant was packed—a good sign. We waited ten minutes before securing a table. The owner/cook is Irish and the breakfast menu had an Irish flavor.

Mr Munro went straight for the full Irish Breakfast while I decided to try the Botanist and we ordered a pot of Irish Breakfast tea. The owner, with his Irish accent, was charming and efficient, a trait possessed by the rest of the wait staff. The service was excellent.

The meals were delicious. Mr Munro enjoyed his breakfast of black and white pudding, sausages, eggs, beans, potatoes and toast immensely. Mine, which was greens with poached eggs, avocado and toast, was enjoyable but there was a bit much kale for my liking. I hadn’t tried kale before, despite its current popularity, and to be honest, it’s not a vegetable I’ll ever want to have on a desert island!

Irish Breakfast

Hubby’s Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast Happy Hubby

A happy hubby.

Botanic Breakfast

My The Botanist breakfast with eggs, greens, avocado and seeds.

I’d be happy to visit Twenty 8 Acres again, but I’d try something else on the menu since I’m not a kale fan. Other offerings include fruit and cereal, eggs done in numerous ways. The full menu is here.

The seating area isn’t large, so I’d suggest going early, since Twenty 8 Acres is very popular with the locals for breakfast. They also do lunch. The rating on Trip Adviser is well-deserved, and I certainly recommend this restaurant.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Shopping in the Market

20070821232838_batering in zim

This photo was taken back in 1997, I think, and this is my younger self attempting to buy avocadoes in a village market somewhere in Zimbabwe. The avocadoes were really good, and I still remember how tasty they were. I have a determined look on my face as I attempt to bargain, but they were cheap. I remember that too. I enjoy bargaining, but it is always a relief to return home and look at the prices in our shops.

Do you like bargaining for goods? Or do you prefer your purchases to be marked with the price?

PS – this photo was scanned, hence the black area around the outside.

Beautiful Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake

This is Crater Lake National Park in Oregon and one of my favorite spots. The color of the lake is just gorgeous—a deep blue. The lake is actually an old volcano caldera and you can drive around to view the lake and the crater from different spots.

Mr Munro and I dined at the lodge here and had a berry cobbler for dessert. I have fond memories of that cobbler. Yum!

Cycling in Zimbabwe

Biking in Zimbabwe

It’s the younger me again, and this time, I’m biking in Zimbabwe, not far from Victoria Falls. Hubby and I had been to visit a crocodile farm. The T-shirt I’m wearing was purchased in Victoria Falls, and it lasted for about 20 years. I was very sad when I had to throw it into the rag bag. As you can see, there isn’t much traffic. I have fond memories of Victoria Falls and would love to visit again one day.