Category Archives: Travel

Passengers loading a jet

40 Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever

School has start­ed, and that’s when a lot of peo­ple pre­fer to trav­el… when the sum­mer vaca­tion­ers go home and it’s less crowd­ed out there.

I don’t trav­el all that fre­quent­ly, but I found these trav­el tips real­ly great. Some are com­mon sense, but oth­ers I would­n’t have known. For one, I like #20 since I tend to get motion sick, and I did­n’t know that the tur­bu­lence fac­tor dif­fers depend­ing on where you are in the plane. We sort of fig­ured out #22 last time we were on a trip and dri­ving from place to place with­out wifi or data turned on. #31 is cool. And #35! I use Pho­to­shop, but I had no idea about that one. There are some excel­lent tips here. See what you think.

Hiking Edwards Crossing, South Yuba River

Edward’s Crossing, South Yuba River

My daugh­ter moved to Egypt two years ago and had­n’t been back to vis­it since. But that changed this month. She was­n’t able to bring both kids — imag­ine two hyper kids on an 18-or-so-hour trip — but brought her youngest, Abdu. We trav­eled up to gold coun­try to see fam­i­ly and took the most amaz­ing hike. We even had my mom with us, who turns 80 in Octo­ber. It was a very spe­cial time spent togeth­er, for all of us.

Trea­sure time spent with loved ones. We can’t be with them all the time or always.



Isle sur la Sorgue

Isle sur la Sorgue

Catapault at Les Baux

Cat­a­pault at Les Baux

Cheese vendors

Cheese ven­dors

Taking a nap on the barge

Tak­ing a nap on the barge

Life in St. Remy

Life in St. Remy

Well, we did it. We went back to France this year. I think it’s start­ing to become an addic­tion.

We stayed in the south of France, main­ly Provence. I had­n’t real­ly been to this part of the world before, so it was a real adven­ture and we cov­ered a lot of ter­ri­to­ry. To the left is Isle sur la Sorgue, where they have a ‘bro­cante’ or flea mar­ket every Sun­day. The items for sale on one side of the riv­er are nice antiques, sil­ver­ware, linens and the like while the ven­dors on the oth­er side sell inex­pen­sive cloth­ing, bags, food, and basi­cal­ly cheap stuff.

One place I high­ly rec­om­mend if you’re ever in the area is Les Baux. Plan to spend most of the day explor­ing this his­toric site, then catch the Car­rières de Lumières after­ward in the near­by quar­ry. ‘Klimt and Vien­na’ and ‘Invis­i­bles Cities’ were play­ing when we were there.

We went to the out­door mar­kets in sev­er­al towns and they sell the most amaz­ing local fruits and veg­eta­bles, olives, soaps, hats, cloth­ing, and laven­der. The sights, smells, and sounds are so invit­ing. The French real­ly know how to live. They would gath­er around lit­tle tables at lunchtime for a glass of wine and share some food. Very friend­ly and warm.

Then there were the many cas­tles, vine­yards, laven­der fields, and roads with cir­cles just about every time you blink. And the food. Oh, the food… We stopped to get gas one after­noon and found a place serv­ing food. Real­ly good food. At a gas sta­tion. And espres­sos. Real­ly good espres­so, not your 7–11 crap. How great is that?

We were hap­py to be able to stay with some friends, which was the real high­light. We also stayed sev­er­al places that we found through Airbnb. It was an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet some new friends. We even stayed on a barge one night and met some real char­ac­ters who we hope will come vis­it us one day.

We made a road trip, which by Cal­i­for­nia stan­dards isn’t a big deal. It was only about three hours. We drove to Nice and met an online friend who has a music stu­dio he built there. It was great to final­ly meet up in per­son. The ocean off the coast of Nice is an amaz­ing shade of aqua. It was a windy day, and watch­ing those waves crash­ing and the palm trees blow­ing was a mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence.



Last week, I got back from my dream vaca­tion… 10 days in Paris. Of course longer would have been bet­ter. It seemed like I was just get­ting the hang of it about the time we had to pack our bags and come home. We rent­ed an apart­ment in Mont­martre with a kitchen so we would­n’t have to eat all our meals out. I found the rental on line and it turned out to be owned by some­one here in Cal­i­for­nia, and a very good choice. The own­er left all sorts of tips in a note­book, so we learned the lay of the land fair­ly quick­ly.

We went to the famous flea mar­ket, right in our gen­er­al neigh­bor­hood… the largest flea mar­ket in the world that cov­ers sev­er­al blocks; vis­it­ed some of the land­marks in Paris; toured the Museé D’Or­say and the Muse­um of Dec­o­ra­tive Arts; famil­iar­ized our­selves with the local shops that sold all dif­fer­ent kinds of food and wine; walked all around the area where we stayed, which includ­ed Sacre Coeur and crypt, Au Lapin Agile, Clos Mont­martre (the remain­ing vine­yard in Paris), and jazz venues; and checked out the Eif­fel Tow­er, vin­tage and thrift stores, the Tui­leries Gar­dens and Notre Dame.

Only decid­ing to go a month before­hand, sort of on a whim because of my boyfriend’s birth­day, we had our work cut out for us brush­ing up on our French. I got­ta tell ya though, one of the high­lights of the trip was walk­ing home one evening after going to the ‘phar­ma­cie’ and being asked for direc­tions. I was able to give them… in French, then Eng­lish, as I asked and she sound­ed as though she was from Eng­land.

I took rather a lot of pho­tos. Some have said I could sell some of them. That’s a thought… maybe I could start sav­ing for my next trip to Paris. {smile}