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Archive for 'Travel'

Snapshots of Auckland

Shelley is busy with edits, so here are some photos of places she’s visited during the last two weekends.

Sky Tower

This is the Sky Tower, taken from the Auckland Domain.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

This is the Auckland War Memorial Museum. I came across some people practicing playing their bag pipes. This shot is also taken from the Auckland Domain.

Marina and Paratai Drive

My brother-in-law has purchased a new boat, and we went to check it out. This is the view of the marina from his boat. The houses at the top of the hill are on Paratai Drive. This is the most expensive and exclusive real estate in Auckland with views over the harbor and Rangitoto Island.

Don’t forget – The Scarlet Woman tour continues at Amberkatze’s Book Blog. I’m talking about both Scarlet Woman and leopards and giving away a download from the Middlemarch Mates series.

Lost & Wandering

Wanderlust I’m visiting Nikki Duncan’s blog today where I’m talking about traveling and books. There’s a download of Wanderlust up for grabs. Comment on my post and you’re in the draw.

I’m also doing a guest spot at The Romance Studio Blue about a particular weakness of mine–my total lack of a sense of direction. Just ask my husband. :grin:

Coolin’ Off

Camera Critters

One of the animals Mr. Munro most wanted to see during our last trip to the US was a bull moose. We came across this one while driving in the Grand Teton area. It was a hot day and he was ambling down the small waterway, ignoring all the tourists taking photos of him.

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To see more animal photographs visit Camera Critters.

Travel Ready Packing

Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right—Anytime, Anywhere
by Julie Ann Martin
Publisher: Argo & Cole Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-9791186-1-6
Publication Date: 1 Jan, 2010
Website: www.travelreadypacking.com
Amazon link: Travel-Ready Packing: Pack Light, Dress Right – Anytime, Anywhere

Any of my friends or family or people who visit my website knows how much I enjoy traveling and exploring different parts of the world. Since my marriage, my husband and I have spent months in Africa, America, Europe, Central America, India, Asia and Australia. Sometimes we traveled with our backpacks, and at other times, we went more up market. You’d think with all my experience in traveling that packing would be a breeze. Not so. It’s one thing that remains a bit of a trial for me, so when I saw that Ms. Martin’s publisher was offering Travel-Ready Packing for review, I grabbed the chance to learn from an expert.

Travel-Ready Packing has an intro which discusses things such as culture in different countries, fabric types and types of climate. The next part of the book is split into sections for each country or region of the world. Each of these sections gives the temperatures for different months of the year, a list of recommended clothing for both males and females, the risk of danger at the destination, recommended colors to wear and how casual or formal the dress-code is in the country being visited. There are also sections for business travelers and those who travel to adventure destinations, multi-climate packing and also a list for expatriate packing. At the rear of the book there’s a world map, which makes it a simple matter to find the country you’re visiting and look up the corresponding page reference. In fact the book covers everything I could think of from clothes to bags to accessories.

When I decided to “test” the book and relive my trip to Africa, the packing list was spot-on—exactly what I should have taken for my trip. It was also very accurate for my recent trips to Samoa and Phuket, Thailand. The only gap I could see was for a cruising holiday, but I think the lists for the South Pacific, which is where my cruise holiday is taking place, will do the trick nicely. I found the book easy to use, very readable, and as I mentioned very accurate with the suggested packing lists. No more back-breaking suitcases for me!

I recommend this book for anyone who intends to travel for work or pleasure. And romance writers, if you’re heading to a conference and you’re not sure what to pack, this is the book for you.

Shelley Munro

You can see from above that I’m all sorted with my packing now since I have this book to refer to. How do you approach packing for a trip or a holiday? Are you a good packer or do you forget half the things you need?

I’m doing a guest spot at The Rainbow Studio (part of the Romance Studio) and talking about reality shows and Fallen Idol. Here’s the link to my post at The Rainbow Studio.

Savoring the Sun

Camera Critters

This photo of sunbathing sea lions was taken at Pier 39 in San Francisco last year when hubby and I attended the Romance Writers of America conference.

SeaLions

To see other animal photos visit Camera Critters.

I’m On Strike!

Camera Critters

This photo was taken at Bear Country in South Dakota, USA. Mr. Munro and I loved watching the bears because some of them were real characters. This one wasn’t letting any traffic past.

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To see more photos visit Camera Critters.

Stand Tall

Camera Critters

Today’s critter is a Pronghorn, and this photo was taken at Custer State Park, South Dakota, USA.

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To view more Camera Critters follow this link.

Mesa Verde National Park

Camera Critters

My husband and I always find the squirrels fascinating when we visit the US or other places that have them. We took this shot at Mesa Verde in Southwest Colorado. I’ve also included a photo of some of the ruins since this is why people visit this National Park. It really is an amazing place.

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Mesa Verde, USA

To visit other Camera Critters go here.

Cruisin’ The High Seas

Thursday Thirteen

The Munro house is full of cruise brochures and guidebooks at the moment, so it’s probably not surprising that my mind drifted to cruises when I was wondering what topic to choose for my TT this week.

Thirteen Things About Cruises and Cruising

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1. Cruising is a real growth area in the travel industry with more than 30 new ships scheduled for delivery before December 2012.

2. There’s a tendency for larger resort-style ships with low cost fares but many of the items onboard are no longer included and must be paid for at the time of use e.g. coffee, spas, internet.

3. Emphasis on many cruises is on healthy eating and spas.

4. These days there’s more concern for the environment and carbon-neutral ships.

5. Modern ships have built in stabilizers so seasickness isn’t such a big problem.

6. More than 16 million people take an ocean/sea cruise each year.

7. Cruising isn’t just for old people any longer. Some cruises cater to singles or for those with young children. There are gay cruises and special theme cruises such as for romance writers.

8. Food, accommodation and most of the travel component is included in your fare so that makes cruising very affordable.

9. Class distinctions are no longer part of cruising. These days people who go on cruises choose their grade of accommodation with cabins being cheaper than the suites.

10. Ships come in different sizes: boutique (50 – 200 pax), small (200 – 500 pax), mid-size (500 – 1200 pax) and large (1200 – 4000 pax). Choose according to your like or dislike of crowds!!

11. Cruising is one of the safest methods of travel.

12. Some of the incidentals such as shore excursions, drinks etc can add up to a substantial amount if you’re not careful.

13. There’s a different destination every day yet passengers only need to unpack once.

SOURCE: Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2008, Douglas Ward, Berlitz.

Have you been cruising before? If not would you like to? If you’ve cruised before where did you go and what was your favorite part of the cruise?

Seeing Stripes

Camera Critters

These are both older photos taken during our overland trip through Africa. They’re scanned, hence the black around the edge of the photos.

Zebra

Zebra and Wildebeest in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

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Zebra, Zimbabwe.

To visit other Camera Critters go here.