The Prettiest Town in Ireland

My celebration of Patrick’s Day continues with a week-long series of posts. Adare, in County Limerick, is said to be the prettiest town in Ireland. Given this moniker, we couldn’t resist a visit.  We fit it into our itinerary after our stay near the Ring of Kerry and on our way to Dromoland Castle. Adare … Read more

St. Patrick Drove the Gluten Out of Ireland

Ok not really, but it makes a nice story. This post is part of my weeklong celebration of Ireland in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. You’ve probably heard that we Americans make St. Patty’s Day into something it isn’t in Ireland and in fact, corned beef and cabbage is nowhere to be found on Irish … Read more

What To Do When Your Travel Plans Go Awry

One of the highlights of our stay on Oahu was going to be a visit to the Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on US soil. And then Hawaiian nationalists stormed the palace and took over the grounds, holding it hostage for several days while we were there. We signed up for an excursion to … Read more

An Irish Country House in the Burren

When you plan a trip to Ireland you soon learn there are a wide variety of accommodations to choose from, and often it’s hard to evaluate them if you’re used to US chain hotels. During our stay in Ireland we stayed in a US chain hotel (the Radisson Blu in Dublin), a castle (Dromoland Castle), … Read more

The Tiny Gem of Bayeux, France

Excellent food, luxurious accommodations, a World Heritage attraction and a walkable town make Bayeux, France a must-see on your visit to Normandy. I’d never heard of Bayeux until I began planning for our trip to France.  But the more I read, the more it was clear it was not to be missed. The Hotel We … Read more

Monet Makes Me Cry

Claude Monet talks to me. Yeah, I know that sounds weird. He doesn’t exactly appear to me in dreams, but he has a draw I can’t resist. Meeting Claude Claude and I first met up when I was a teenager, visiting a traveling exhibit of his paintings in San Francisco. Despite all the teen stuff … Read more

Blarney Castle

Kissing the Blarney Stone was one of my bucket list items. When we visited Ireland, I had to go. How could I not? Read the story of what it was like and why you should go in my new piece at

Up, Up and Away

Last year, I bought my husband a gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride ($245 per person) over Letchworth State Park in Wyoming County, NY as his Christmas gift.  We finally went for our ride on a recent beautiful fall weekend with Balloons Over Letchworth. This was our first hot air balloon ride and … Read more

Versailles: A Rude Motor Vehicle Story

Versailles was on my list of top sites in France. We spent several nights in Paris and then drove east to Normandy. Versailles is roughly a half hour outside of Paris, conveniently located exactly on the way to Normandy. [It’s possible to see Versailles during a stay in Paris, however. You can take the train … Read more

9 Reasons to Skip the Louvre in Paris

The Louvre was high on our list of things to do in Paris. I was looking forward to seeing the glass pyramid and the Mona Lisa, with a few other things. If you’ve seen or read The Da Vinci Code you’ve already imagined yourself there. It’s a must-see. Or is it? Although I don’t regret … Read more