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Travel

Yosemite

We finally made it to Yosemite. I am not sure why we waited so long but we made it nonetheless. Last June we made reservations so that we could stay on the valley floor. If you don’t stay on the valley floor the closest accomodations are almost an hour away. There are really only four […]

Cuba – Havana Cars

The embargo froze (to a large degree) the state of transportation in Cuba. There are also a couple of oddities.  While we saw a smattering of newer cars across the island, the number of cars still running and in good shape from the fifties is amazing. Many are used as taxis or are available for […]

Cuba – Havana

Our last stop in Cuba was Havana. Almost as old as Santiago de Cuba, Havana was founded in 1519. There are preparations everywhere for the 500th anniversary, which will be celebrated this fall. It is the largest city, with over 2.1 million residents. It is a study of contrasts with most of the great architecture […]

Cuba – Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos is a quirky city. Founded by the French as a holiday town, it has had many masters through the years and the architecture reflects it. There are a number of local streets that now house artisans selling their wares.  The Cienfuegos Botanical Garden, founded by an American sugar planter named Atkins, started as a center […]

Cuba – Santiago de Cuba

We were pleased to learn of a Cuba immersion cruise. Cuba has been a bucket list trip for a long time. I was hopeful that we’d be able to spend some time there when things opened up a couple of years ago, but unfortunately things were clamped down again in 2017 with the new administration. […]

Venice – Days 8, 9 & 10

What to say. We had relatively low expectations for Venice. We’d heard comments like “too dark,” “too smelly,” and “too dirty.” We experienced none of the above. In fact we’d return to Venice in a heartbeat.   We have visited a number of cities in the Baltic area who try to lay claim to being […]

Modena – Day 8

On our way across Italy from Liguria to Venice we stopped in the outskirts of Modena. We visited a balsamic vinegar producer (an acetaia). Acetaia Paltrinieri has been in the business since 1845. We have long been balsamic fans and our interest has grown in recent years as we’ve watched our friends at the Terraces […]

Porto Venere and the Cinque Terre – Days 6, 7 and 8

We pulled into Porto Venere just in time for the golden hour of light (the last hour or two before sunset or sunrise is ideal for photography). The warmth of the light is wonderful. The next morning we were scheduled to take a ferry to the towns of Cinque Terre. Unfortunately they were cancelled due to high winds. […]

Lucca – Day 6

As we headed towards Liguria and the Cinque Terre we stopped for a couple of hours in Lucca. It is known for a couple of things – among them the very well preserved walls that date back to the eleventh century, the church San Michele in Foro, built before 795 and rebuilt in 1070, and […]

Firenze – Days 4-6 (part 2)

There are other things wonderful about Firenze, including d’Uffizi and the Galleria dell’Accademia with Michelangelo’s David. Not to mention the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio (with the crazy crowds) and the fun streets scenes (was this a BYOB party/parade).  We also experienced an Italian cooking class, complete with student participation (the cooking AND the eating part). We […]