Category Archives: Nature

Most Romantic Places in the USA

With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought I’d ask my fellow travel bloggers for their nominations for the most romantic place they’ve seen during their trips around the world.

I’ve received so many replies, I’ve decided to split the submissions into groups.

Below are the nominations for the most romantic places in the USA, starting with mine. If you haven’t been there yet, I hope you’ll get to see all of them some day.

(Posts on romantic places in other locations coming up soon.)

Boston Harbor Islands

Boston from the public ferry running between Boston Long Wharf North and the Boston Harbor Islands
Boston from the public ferry running between Boston Long Wharf North and the Boston Harbor Islands

Boston, Massachusetts, with its Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston Public Garden, Boston Common, the Emerald Necklace, and the Charles River is full of beautiful romantic spots, but the one I like the most is the Georges Island, one of Boston Harbor Islands, which offers great views of Boston right across the harbor.

Continue reading Most Romantic Places in the USA

#ThrowbackThursday: Our Travels (with Kids) 10 and 5 Years Ago

I’m lazy today and don’t want to write much :) so I thought I’d share some of our photos from our travels ten and five years ago. Sometimes it’s really fun to go down the memory lane!

2006 February – Rabka, Poland

During February vacation in 2006 I took my son to Poland to spend some time with my parents. We went to Rabka, Poland, a small town popular with families because of its salt works (it’s a spa town).

My son had fun going sledding with my Dad:

Dziadek (Grandfather) and Wnuczek (grandson) having fun on the sled being pulled by the sleigh in Rabka, Poland, in 2006
Dziadek (Grandfather) and Wnuczek (grandson) having fun on the sled being pulled by the sleigh in Rabka, Poland, in 2006

Continue reading #ThrowbackThursday: Our Travels (with Kids) 10 and 5 Years Ago

Tips for a Fun December Weekend in Boston

Every December the Boston Ballet stages a production of The Nutcracker at the Boston Opera House. I know it’s a tradition for some families to see the performance every year, but I wasn’t sure whether taking my daughter to see it made sense, because I was afraid she wasn’t mature enough to sit through the two-hour performance.

I was wrong.

This past December 2015, we were lucky to win two tickets to The Nutcracker through a WBUR raffle. (WBUR is a local National Public Radio station, my favorite station that I listen to every day.)

Continue reading Tips for a Fun December Weekend in Boston

Taking the Cross Sound Ferry = #betterthandriving (much better)

Would you choose spend four to five hours driving to save a thousand dollars on airfare?

We did that a couple of times, when it turned out that flights to Europe from the JKF Airport were much cheaper than those from Boston’s Logan Airport, the airport closest to where we live.

The JFK Airport in New York City is “just” a couple hundred miles away from Boston, which means an about four-hour drive without traffic.

The crucial word here is “traffic,” though.

One time when we were coming back from Europe the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the traffic between New York City and Boston was so bad, it took close to seven hours to get back home. We were completely exhausted when we got back home.

That trip from hell was one of the reasons we decided to try the Cross Sound Ferry after coming back from this year’s vacation in Europe.

Turns out traveling by ferry is a much more pleasant way to travel, even if it doesn’t save a whole lot of time. Continue reading Taking the Cross Sound Ferry = #betterthandriving (much better)

Animals in the Gun Tower: Haus des Meeres in Vienna

The shape of the building that houses Haus des Meeres (House of the Sea) in Vienna, Austria, looks like an odd choice for an aquarium and a zoo – a rectangular box of concrete with a tent-like green house on one side, no windows on the other three sides, and circular platforms sticking out on all sides from the roof deck.

Haus des Meeres from the outside
Haus des Meeres from the outside

That’s because the building was repurposed – it was originally an anti-aircraft and gun tower during WWII, with a radar that could be lowered into the concrete tower and protected. The round platforms on all four sides on the roof deck was where the aircraft guns stood.

The idea of turning the building into an aquarium came about in the 1960s, and now the top deck offers great views of Vienna and the surrounding hills, and the 4,000 square meters, or 43,000 square feet of floor space inside house aquaria, terraria, and an aviary. Continue reading Animals in the Gun Tower: Haus des Meeres in Vienna

Dolphin Cruise on the Sea Thunder in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

For April vacation this year we needed something fun and kid friendly, and when it comes to the kids, especially our daughter, the thought of dolphins is never too far from the tip of the tongue.  We were spending the week at a resort in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and there are a number of options available.  We chose a ride on the Sea Thunder.

How to get to the Sea Thunder

Getting there wasn’t too difficult – it’s a short drive from the beach, less than ten minutes from our resort.

Be careful if you’re using Google Maps, though – it will send you to the wrong location.

Sea Thunder is at the Harbourgate Marina, directly behind the Harbourgate Resort, and the dock for the Sea Thunder is almost directly under the Rt. 17 bridge.

Google Maps will put you on a residential street on the other side of Rt. 17.

Instead, you should go down Little River Neck Road, and go past the entrance for the resort (even though the sign does say “Harbourgate Resort & Marina”). The turn for the Marina parking lot is just before you go under Rt. 17.

Do NOT turn down Sea Mountain Hwy, or you may end up stuck in traffic while an interesting drawbridge (which is actually a swivel bridge) lets the boating traffic pass in front of you.

location of the dock for the Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises
location of the dock for the Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises

Continue reading Dolphin Cruise on the Sea Thunder in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina