Category Archives: Where we stayed

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.

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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

Quebec City’s Le 760 Honore Mercier Apartment 604: A Review

Hotels or vacation rentals, that is the question, isn’t it? Especially if you travel with a family, and not just by yourself.

We usually opt for vacation rentals – whole houses in rural areas, or apartments in the cities. Sometimes they are fantastic, sometimes not so much. Here’s our review of Le 760 Honoré-Mercier Apartments in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, where we stayed for four nights last May (2015).

Le 760 Honoré Mercier

The vacation rentals at Le 760 Honoré Mercier are located in a brand new building just a short walk to Old Quebec area, and a block away from Rue Saint-Jean with grocery stores, restaurants, and plenty other stores.

outside Le 760 Honoré Mercier
outside Le 760 Honoré Mercier

You can rent those straight from their website, but we found booking.com offered a better price.

Le 760 Honoré Mercier offers a variety of 1-, 2- and 3-room apartments, and they’re all complete apartments, with a full kitchen, bedroom, and dining- and living-room areas.

There is also a garage underneath the building, and when you check in, in addition to a card key to your apartment, you also get a key to enter the building. Only guests of the building can open the front door, even though there is a registration desk and concierge right at the front entrance.

When we visited Quebec City last May, we booked Le 760 Honoré-Mercier Avenue 604, which is advertised as a two-bedroom apartment for maximum 6 people.

Two bedrooms it does have, but I’m not sure how six people could sleep there comfortably, since the apartment only has two beds, and the sofa in the living room is not a sofa bed.

Luckily, our daughter was just small enough to fit on the sofa bed, but a larger child or a grown up definitely would not like it.

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect: Continue reading Quebec City’s Le 760 Honore Mercier Apartment 604: A Review

How I kidnapped my own kids to North Myrtle Beach

For April vacation this year, I needed to find someplace to the south to take the kids. Close enough from New England that it would be a reasonable drive, yet far enough south that we could think about swimming in outdoor pools. It had been a brutal winter!

Eventually I settled on going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to the Wyndham Ocean Boulevard.

Unfortunately, Jolanta couldn’t take time off this April, so it was just me and the kids. We packed our stuff in the car and off we went, without telling my wife where we’re going. The first time we called home, she accused me of kidnapping the kids. :)

Continue reading How I kidnapped my own kids to North Myrtle Beach

Clam Chowder from Scratch: An Ode to Vacation Rentals

Digging for clams is hard.

First you look for the “clam shows” – the air holes in the sand that show where a clam might be. Once you find a nice, big hole, you dig the wet, heavy sand around it, pushing your shovel as deep as you can. Then you bend, squat, or kneel to look through the pile of sand you just turned over, or plunge your hand in the hole feeling for clam shells. And then you stand up again, and move to dig in another place.

Dig. Squat. Stand up. Repeat.

my sister-in-law and I, digging for clams in St. Mary's Bay on Prince Edward Island, photo courtesy of my brother-in-law, Brian Sutton
my sister-in-law and I, digging for clams in St. Mary’s Bay on Prince Edward Island, photo courtesy of my brother-in-law, Brian Sutton

Continue reading Clam Chowder from Scratch: An Ode to Vacation Rentals

Apartamentos en Merida (Spain) – A Review

If our post “Roman Sights in Mérida, Spain” made you want to see this interesting city, you might be wondering where to stay while you’re there.

Even though we were stopping in Mérida for just one night, we still wanted to get a place bigger than just one hotel room, and luckily for us Apartamentos en Mérida, available through TripAdvisor, had a vacancy at that time and allowed us to stay just one night, even though in the summer they usually require a two-night stay.

The apartment is just a short walk from the Teatro and Anfiteatro Romano, and while it does not have a designated parking spot, we found parking on Calle Pizarro within the same block. Make sure you have a map or a GPS with you while you make your circles looking for a parking spot – most of the nearby streets are one way, and not all are in a square pattern.

Distance from Apartamentos Merida to Teatro and Anfiteatro Romano
Distance from Apartamentos Merida to Teatro and Anfiteatro Romano

Continue reading Apartamentos en Merida (Spain) – A Review