BARCELONA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

I remembered that I needed more toothpaste while I was walking back to my hotel to grab my luggage before heading to the train station. I saw a farmacia along the way and stepped inside. I saw the boxes of oral care products along the back wall. Seeing that they were...
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BARCELONA – SAGRADA FAMILIA AND FLAMENCO

I woke up before sunrise in Barcelona because I had reserved the earliest time slot to tour Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. You'll be happy to know that there is no need to wake up that early to stand in line for the earliest reservation. I quickly discovered that as soon as...
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PARIS – THE MAGNIFICENT NOTRE DAME

I woke up very early the next morning in Paris because I had paid for a "Skip the Line: Notre Dame" at 9:45 a.m. And I wanted to photograph a bit before the tour began. Back on to the 69 bus, I went, feeling smug in knowing how to ride a bus now. I jumped off at Pont...
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ROME AND THE VATICAN CITY

Buon giorno! We were at the Monterosso train platform to meet Sandro for our last drive together to Rome! As it turned out, our hotel in Rome was located on the third floor (uh, that is the fourth floor) of a building, the bottom floor being a church! One of the tour...
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BANGKOK – THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

I arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport early in the morning. I was thankful to be wide awake after an 18-hour flight because I wanted to explore Bangkok during the day and I had paid for a tour that evening. I wasn't thrilled, however, when I was approached by an...
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BRUSSELS – A DRIZZLY DAY AT GRAND PLACE

Charm 'n Bruges is an aptly-named bed and breakfast inn. I loved to wander through the courtyard and the breakfast room to see the beautiful vignettes. The jars of Côte d'Or were milk and dark chocolate spreads. The jams were outstanding. Thank goodness this was a...
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TUSCANY – SIENA, SAN GIMIGNANO, AND PISA

I woke up fat(ter) and happy the following morning after my scrumptious dinner with Marco, Rosanna, and their family. But this was a new day, and an early one to boot, because I had a twelve-hour day tour planned through Tuscany! Marco knew I had to be at the train...
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HIKING FROM LAUTERBRUNNEN TO GRINDELWALD

One of the things we had all experienced since arriving in Paris, and perhaps those of us who had arrived several days before, was rain. Every. Single. Day. At first, I thought it was charming but, geez, after a while, let up already! By the time I had arrived in...
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BRUGES – DISCOVERING HIDDEN TREASURES

Can we please start this blog off properly by posting something so decadent that it might only be found in Belgium? And, no, I didn't, buy these, but only because there was no room in my luggage! ;) I should have checked the price of these, for curiosity sake only!...
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MUNICH – CONTRASTING OKTOBERFEST WITH DACHAU

I wanted to love Munich. Really! But perhaps it was due to a time constraint that I didn't see this lovely city as thoroughly as I should have that caused me to love it less than the other wondrous cities that I had just visited on this trip. Could I have slaughtered...
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EUROPE – HOMEWARD BOUND

Have you ever done something knowing it's for the last time, and you've said to yourself, "This is the last time I'm ____"? That was my standard line to myself on my last evening before leaving for my flight home from Rome. Every sentence ended with the words "...in...
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ZARAGOZA – A STUDY OF CONTRASTS

After my fun last evening eating dinner in Madrid with several of my VaughanTown friends, I headed out to the Madrid Atocha train station early the next morning with my buddy, Pat (from VaughanTown) to catch separate trains. I was on my way to Zaragoza! I must say...
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EXPLORING CINQUE TERRE

I was among those who were sad to leave Venice, but I already know that I will return some day. However, we were on to our next adventure! We were heading to the Cinque Terre area, specifically Monterosso al Mare. Cinque Terre is considered to be the Italian Riviera....
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EUROPE – AT LONG LAST

Good morning, sunshine! After what turned out for me to be a fitful night's sleep from waking up at every half hour, and waking up with a sore jaw (man, I must have been more apprehensive about traveling alone than I thought!), Steve and I arrived at the airport and...
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VAUGHANTOWN – MAKING NEW FRIENDS IN SPAIN

I rushed back to my hotel from Madrid Centre to freshen up for the first event of what I knew would be a week of fun. Let me give you some background information first.... I met a lovely couple at a travel show in February of 2014. They told me that they had recently...
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BANGKOK – DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET

Monic, our private tour guide, arrived at our hotel with a driver before 7:00 a.m. to take Carolyn, Efren, and me on a tour of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Old Bangkok, and Chinatown. Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak is about a 1-1/2 hour drive, but the time flew by...
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DRENCHED IN FLORENCE

As I was packing my luggage for my train ride to Florence the following morning, I checked my train ticket, only to discover that my train wasn't leaving until 9:20 a.m.! I had told everyone that I wasn't going to see them for breakfast because I thought my train was...
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FLORENCE – MY PERFECT MEAL

When I had arrived back at the house at approximately 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., I was expecting to find Rosanna preparing dinner like the guy I photographed from a restaurant kitchen window while I was heading back to Rosanna and Marco's home. I arrived to discover that the...
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BRUSSELS – A GRAND PLACE EVENING CELEBRATION

I heard an orchestra playing, followed by a smaller band.   I was in Brussels, heading towards Grand Place.  I had to take a look! But when I saw this only to be followed by this and then this. I have to say that I completely lost it.  I videoed, but unfortunately...
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VENICE – GETTING LOST BY CHOICE

I thought I had my day all planned out knowing that I was going to explore Venice. I was looking forward to getting an early start after coming down from yesterday's high. The two sisters, Sue, and Kathy, were going to St. Mark's Basilica in the morning and I begged...
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