Category Archives: Travel photos

Beautiful Bellagio Conservatory

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I love flowers & I love Gardens…indoor or outdoors! This is one of the best displays I’ve seen on the West Coast.
This beautiful display is in the Bellagio Hotel Conservatory in Las Vegas. It’s on my daytime “day time to do” list each time I visit! It’s never the same display twice! They change the display through the seasons and also have exhibitions as well.

When everything is moving so quickly in the fast paced city, it’s a real treat to step into the conservatory and feel the tranquility around you.

Click HERE for the Bellagio’s calendar of events for the conservatory.

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A Pirate’s lookout in Laguna Beach!?

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Laguna Beach is crammed with tourists most of the year. It’s nice to be local enough to know where the “off the beaten path” beaches are to escape the crowds. THIS one is really fun & definitely hard to find if you are not a local! If you find it, welcome to Victoria Beach!

Don’t be too shocked to see what looks like a pirates lookout on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the tide pools! I’ve been to many, many beaches but never one that creates such a dramatic backdrop for imaginary playtime! I had heard that it belonged to the house that sits above it, that one of the previous owners used to hide coins in and around it for children to find. I also read in THIS blog, that Bette Midler is on the list of people who have owned the home and castle tower at one time.

I stayed in a beach house on this beach for a long weekend with my family a few years back and it was one of our most memorable “stay cations”! Close enough to town but remote enough to be hidden!

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Click HERE for more information on how to find this beach & castle!

Vegas Lights!

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One of the best ways to see the lights of Vegas is from the top of the Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris Hotel. I like to time the visit with dusk so that you get the “FULL experience” of sunset over the mountain ranges combined with the lights. It’s also an amazing spot to watch the Bellagio dancing water fountain show, which is literally right beneath you.

Click HERE for ticket prices, hours of operation, & information on everything offered at the Eiffel Tower Las Vegas!

48 hours of fun in San Francisco!

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sf2I’m back from my whirlwind girl’s weekend in San Francisco! I’m still on a “weekend high”, that’s how much fun it was!  This shot was taken just steps from our hotel as we wandered over to our first “meal stop” of the weekend, an Irish pub, for excellent bowls of Butternut squash soup washed down with a tasty beer!

Click here for restuarant details! It was reasonable, great ambiance, centrally located, & the staff was friendly too.

Up close in Big Sur!

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I’ve lived in California since I was 10 yrs. old.  I’ve seen ALOT of amazing things and people in this state! However, this one experience really trumps the others!

On our way back to LA from Monterey, we decided to take HWY 1 back. If you’ve ever traveled it, you know it can be exhilerating and nauseating at the same time!  On this day however, it was incredible.  Each corner filled with a new view of the pacific and the coast.

As the road straightened out before us, just north of the Hurst Castle area, we stumbled upon this beach. What an amazing sight, the whole beach was covered with these seals! The best part was that only a slight burm and a rope separated us from this lively creatures! The beach had volunteer docents who shared their knowledge of the migration of the seals and their habits on shore. All of it for FREE!!

Elephant Seals

Elephants in Kenya

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A few years ago, a good friend of mine was taken on quite a vacation by her in-laws. They invited their adult children, their spouses & grandchildren on an African Safari over Christmas time. They visited several countries, did a few safari’s, mingled with the Masi, & had the family vacation of a lifetime.  The pictures she shared with me were truly amazing! This is just one of many & was taken in Kenya.

click here to see one of the lodges they stayed at.

There are so many beautiful places to see on this planet & Africa is just one of many on my list! It’s prioritizing the list that brings me anxiety! How to choose what’s next is always  when the boxing gloves come off at my house, the art of compromise comes into full play! Africa will have to wait a little longer since next year’s trip to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary has been booked! We will be Europe bound, not quite as wild as seeing Elephants at play in their natural habitats but still full of culture & adventures for those seeking it.

Picture is worth a 1000 words!

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looks like harmless fun!

As soon as I saw this beautiful picture, I was flooded with childhood memories from Germany. I lived there for my first 10 yrs. & one of the events I looked forward to most as a child was the day the traveling carnival came to town!

I thought it was such an exciting life to roam from city to city & set up “home” for two weeks at a time. The carnivals were filled with gypsies & they didn’t seem to mind 8 yr. old girls lingering around and watching the rides go up. My sister & I spent hours petting horses & getting excited about opening day!

The big swing was always my favorite ride hands down. I would ride it each day as if the occasion was the first! Always exhilerating with just the right amount of butterflies in my belly!

Fast forward 11 years. I was on a student EF tour of Europe. I had just celebrated my 19th b-day the night before in Prague.
The next day, I was quite hung over & was laying low. Our tour stopped in Vienna. Much to my delight, we found a carnival that had the large swing ride I had such fond memories of as a child. Naturally, I wanted to ride it & forgot all about my fragile state. My friends & I hopped on! BIG mistake!

The ride was everything I wanted it to be when it was going forward! The ride operator however, decided that he wanted to put the ride in reverse and extend our experience by another 10 minutes! To my complete & utter horror, my childhood memories of my favorite carnival ride were tarnished by the hangover that now raged for release from my body!

How I managed to hold on & not vomit all over the city of Vienna, I will never know! I did make it off the ride looking very very green & with the most quesy stomach ever! I left my friends, managed to make my way back to our hotel & did not resurface from my room for the next 48 hours!

It’s taken years for me to be able to look at a swing without feeling nauseated immediately! I’ve managed to hold on to the childhood memory instead of my more reckless young adult memory!

Which way to Paradise!?

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10 days of pure heaven is how best to describe my time on Cayman Island. This shot was taken at Rum Point, which is where we stayed. Grand Cayman is worth more than a one day cruise destination. If you do stop there on a cruise, make every effort to hire a driver or rent a car to drive to the more remote side of the Island where Rum Point is located. It is so worth it!  Seven Mile Beach, near the cruise harbor is beautiful too but will be  crowded with “cruise day trippers”. Only the more adventurous will go further out!

Fall beauty

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This is for my friend Natalie, who will be travelling to New York soon with her mom & daughter! Hopefully, she’ll have some great views like this! My version of fall In So Cal looks nothing like this!