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...
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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...
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VENICE – WEAVING MY WAY THROUGH THE CANALS

Venice is such a beautiful maze of a city (and I’m not exaggerating the word “maze”). Honestly, two nights there was not enough time for me to explore the city although, considering how lost we all constantly were, perhaps we did see the entire town...
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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...
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BRUGES – MARKT AND LOVELY CANALS

I am sitting here in my twin bed (what?!?) in my Paris hotel room in the early evening of Day 8 writing about Day 4 in Bruges! I would write more if I only had the time and energy, but I am hitting the ground running every morning and crawling into bed at night from...
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BANGKOK MARKETS AND WAT PHO

Do you know how both nervous and excited I was to meet my tour buddies for the first time? You never really know if you are going to mesh with the group but I have to tell you, we all hit it off immediately from the moment we said our first hellos. I was thrilled!...
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THE ANTWERP CENTRAL TRAIN STATION

I wanted to add a couple more images of Delft taken on my one full day there. The elderly woman in the picture above could not have timed her turn onto the street any more perfectly for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by my visit with my Delft host, Lara. We got...
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VERSAILLES – THE CHATEAU AND MARIE ANTOINETTE’S HAMLET

I set out very early with Sue and Kathy, two sisters from the tour, to Versailles. We were a little intimidated by the Metro and Rer C train, but together we made it easily to Versailles with the other early birds. I could tell that it was going to be a wonderful day...
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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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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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MADRID – THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL

After lunch at La Buha, I only had a few hours to see what I could of Madrid on foot because I was attending an event that evening.  I decided to return to Catedral de la Almudena, or Almudena Cathedral, which is located directly across from the Royal Palace of...
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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...
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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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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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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...
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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...
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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...
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