Jan 16, 2016

Saturday Snapshots: National Tulip Day

While the northern part of The Netherlands is dealing with freezing temperatures and happily skating on ice covered roads, tulip season gets officially underway in Amsterdam.
Don't get me wrong, it's cold in Amsterdam as well, but that didn't stop an estimated 100,000 people from converging on what is in essence a pop-up tulip garden set up by Dutch tulip growers on Dam Square to pick their own tulip. It's a little like a preview of spring in Holland, almost like Groundhog Day, but with flowers instead of rodents.  

Jan 12, 2016

Family Fun in a 4x4:A Day in Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum's red sand, and mountainous terrain.
While in Jordan, my family and I made sure that Wadi Rum was on the agenda for an exciting adventure in the stunning desert located miles from 70 Petra and 186 miles from Jordan’s capital, Amman. Known as the Valley of the Moon due to its lunar-like landscape, Wadi Rum has been used by filmmakers for films set on Mars, such as Red Planet, The Last Days on Mars and The Martian. We skipped the Lunar Roving Vehicle, and instead, escorted by a guide from Captain’s Desert Camp*, explored the reddish sand and mountainous terrain of this scenic desert valley in a 4x4.

Jan 1, 2016

Burn, Baby, Burn: New Year's in The Netherlands

I kicked off the 1st with the first of many firsts I intend to mark off in 2016. Despite living in Holland for 17 years, this was the first New Year's I've spent here. Notoriously riotous, people who have experienced New Year's in The Netherlands liken it to a war zone. The locals become virtual pyromaniacs, disregarding the law allowing fireworks to be legally set off from 10am on December 31st to 2am on January 1st, and starting days earlier, and going until days after, the designated time. 

Dec 28, 2015

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime in London

Christmas in London is nothing less than magical. While London is delightful no matter the season, it is even more so when it’s wrapped in festive decorations and lights, all merry and bright. Though I do love the quaint and traditional European Christmas markets, I’m a bright-lights-big-city kinda girl, so along with holidays spent in New York City and Paris, Christmas in London ranks as one of my most memorable, full of all the fun, festive activities you’d expect to find in Europe’s biggest metropolis.

Dec 5, 2015

Cathedrals, Gnomes and Chocolate at Cologne's Christmas Markets

Since the Germans are the masters of the Christmas markets universe, I decided to go to Germany again (I’ve been to Aachen, Berlin and Dusseldorf in the past) for my annual Christmas market pilgrimage. This year I chose to explore the Christmas market in Cologne, a pretty city that sits on Germany’s Rhine River, and an easy drive (which I did on the way there) or bus or train ride (which I did on the way back) from my home in Holland.

Nov 16, 2015

Christmas Market Round-Up

Tis the season! And if you’re traveling in Europe, nothing gets you into the holiday spirit in like a Christmas market. These markets, which originated in Germany, can now be found in many cities throughout Europe. I’ve been to several over the years, and fancy myself an expert. Here are my picks for the some of the best Christmas markets for festive, holiday fun.

Nov 2, 2015

Running the World: Amari Watergate Charity Midnight Run, Bangkok

The purpose of my recent trip to Thailand was to attend a conference. However, since I’m all about “traveling the world, and running it, too”, I always look to see if a race is happening while I’m at that destination and try to turn the travel into a runcation. Luckily for me, the Amari Watergate Charity MidnightRun coincided with my time in Bangkok, providing another opportunity and excuse to run the world.

Oct 4, 2015

Running the World: Marathon du Médoc

Marathon du Médoc in Bordeaux
Veni, vidi, vici, vini. I came, I saw, I conquered, I wined. That pretty much sums up my experience with the Marathon du Médoc, the latest destination conquered on my quest to run the world.

As someone whose shtict is running, travel and wine, Marathon du Médoc had long been on my radar, and Winerist*, the website that provides the world’s best wine and travel experiences, provided me with the opportunity.

Aug 30, 2015

My Experience Aboard the Wine Train

Currently there is a controversy swirling around the Napa Valley Wine Train that has piqued my interest. A book club made up of mostly African-American women, including an 83 year-old grandmother, was escorted from the train after a noise complaint was made against them. Wine Train officials say that passengers are removed once a month on average, however the group felt singled out because of their race. Members took to social media to relay the events, and since then, the story has been shared by millions more under the hashtag #laughingwhileblack.

Jul 28, 2015

Getting A Taste of Livermore Valley

Image via www.collinsteam.net
Just 45 miles (70 kilometers) east of San Francisco in California’s Bay Area sits Livermore Valley. Quaint and unassuming, the region often thought of as northern California’s “other” wine country, is in actuality its original one. Missionaries from the nearby San Jose Mission, founded in 1797, planted vineyards, thus making Livermore Valley California’s oldest wine region. It was Livermore’s wine industry, which dates back to the mid-19th century, along with its prime location resulting in it becoming a popular stopping point for prospectors traveling between San Francisco and Sacramento during the heady gold rush days, that put this city on the map.