5 Ways To Save Big For Travel Abroad

I've always wanted to travel and see more of this big, beautiful world, but for many years traveling outside the United States seemed like just a dream, something other folks did but I would never be able to afford.   After I retired, Wanderlust really set in. The one place I had always wanted to visit more than any place else was Italy. With more free time on my hands, I started researching … [Read more...]




Tour the Museum of Style Icons in Ireland, Part II

On Monday we began a tour through the Museum of Style Icons, a museum owned by Newbridge Silverware in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. It was a wonderful, unexpected highlight during my trip to Ireland last year. In that previous post, I shared this pretty cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's.   That dress was displayed near several other dresses worn … [Read more...]




A Visit to the Newbridge Museum of Style Icons

Welcome to the 498th Metamorphosis Monday! I've been away the past few days visiting family. As I was thinking about what I might share with you today, I remembered a fascinating stop we made during my trip across Ireland last year. I think it was on the same day we visited Blarney Castle. As we were heading back to our manor home for the night, we stopped for a little shopping excursion inside the … [Read more...]




Genius Ideas To Make Travel A Lot Easier

Welcome to the 494th Metamorphosis Monday! I don't have a typical "Before and After" to share this week, so I thought I'd share some products that could definitely transform the way you travel, making your travels a lot easier. Recently Zenda left this comment below on this post: My 5 Essentials for Traveling Internationally. Susan, I wanted to thank you for recommending the anti-theft travel bag. I … [Read more...]




How I Avoided Air-Sickness During My Helicopter Tour, + 4 Products I Use & Love

Recently on THIS post, Linda left a comment asking about a product I had mentioned a few years ago--my battery storage/organizer. I purchased this organizer below after reading a news article about a guy who had been storing "dead" batteries in a bag in his garage until he could take them for recycling. Apparently, some of the batteries were not completely dead, so when the tips touched they sparked a fire … [Read more...]




Dining at Mama’s Fish House in Maui, Hawaii

Welcome to the 508th Tablescape Thursday! When I announced I was visiting Maui, one restaurant that was recommended to me over and over again was Mama's Fish House. Even after I got to Hawaii and started asking the locals for recommendations, Mama's Fish House was always one of the first places mentioned. During the helicopter tour I took over Maui last week, our pilot, Mike, who was continually … [Read more...]




The Lahaina Banyan Tree, Truly The Most Amazing Tree I’ve Ever Seen

When I mentioned in a post that I was heading off to Maui, Hawaii for a week, I received some wonderful suggestions of places to visit and things to see  and do while there. A couple of folks mentioned a special tree in the town of Lahaina called a Banyan tree. I had never heard of a Banyan tree before, but made a mental note to look for it if I ended up in the Lahaina area. Initially, I hadn't planned … [Read more...]




Back Home At Last & A Few Favorites from Hawaii

Welcome to the 490th Metamorphosis Monday! Well, this is a record for the latest Met Monday has ever posted. I've been flying all night and most of the day but I'm finally back home from Maui. The flights were great and uneventful, just very long. It's a long way from Georgia to Hawaii and back, especially when you go there via Seattle. It's a long way even when you don't go via Seattle. lol I don't … [Read more...]




Dress Shopping in Hawaii

Reminder: Today is the last day to get 40% off everything at Talbots. I purchased several shorts and pants yesterday, so it's a great time to check out their sale. You'll find the sale here: 40% off Sale. Don't forget to use the code Friends40 to get the discount. I almost never shop for clothes while I'm on vacation but this trip was the exception. I visited Whaler's Village and went a wee bit crazy! … [Read more...]




A Hawaiian Luau on the Island of Maui

Welcome to the 507th Tablescape Thursday! Last night I attended the Luau they host every Wednesday night at the resort where I'm staying in Maui. Every chair you see below was filled once the party got underway.   As we arrived we were greeted with a Mai Tai drink. Have you ever had a Mai Tai before? I had not. This one was very low on alcohol and super sweet. Not sure if they are always … [Read more...]




Would You Jump Off This Rock Into the Pacific Ocean?

My body is still on Atlanta time. I normally wake up around 3 AM each day, roll back over and try to go back to sleep, only to wake up again in an hour or two. My body just won't get the message that it's in the Hawaiian Time Zone now. lol Early this morning I looked out the window of my bedroom and noticed they were busy putting up tables on the lawn for tonight's Luau.   Here's how it … [Read more...]




Aloha!

Welcome to the 489 Metamorphosis Monday! I made it! This was the view from my side of the plane as we were flying into Maui. You can see the shadow of the plane which I thought was kinda cool. This evening I was reading more about Maui online. I find it fascinating how this island was formed! Wikipedia states: Maui's diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, … [Read more...]




Would you go to Maui, Hawaii Alone?

A friend called me last week to say he had a week in Maui planned, but couldn't go. He offered it to me at no charge. So all I'd be paying for is the flight, a rental car once there, and of course the usual expenses like meals, etc... I called two different friends to see if either would like to go. The room will sleep two since it also has a sofa sleeper. Neither could go due to prior commitments they … [Read more...]




Where I Find the Best Travel Deals & Some Amazing Deals Available Right Now

Recently I shared a post where I highlighted a few items I always take when I travel abroad. If you missed that post, you'll find it here: 5 Essentials for Traveling Internationally. I love the comments you leave on posts--always learn new things from you with each and every post. The interactions and discussions in the comments are wonderful, appreciate those so much. On that particular post linked … [Read more...]




My 5 Essentials for Traveling Internationally

It's that time of year when a lot of us are thinking more about vacation and travel. Recently, a friend and I scheduled a trip for fall. (Read more about that here: Pyramids, Mummies and Cruising the Nile.) When I travel, sometimes there's very little time to prepare if I've jumped on one of the "last-minute-travel-deals" that some travel companies offer, but in the case of the fall trip, there's plenty … [Read more...]




Pyramids, Mummies and Cruising the Nile River

Happy Weekend! It is absolutely gorgeous here, the kind of day that pulls you outdoors. I'll be heading outside for a hike this afternoon with my son, dil and grandsons. They have so many natural areas and parks here to enjoy, all perfect for hiking. I hope you are enjoying beautiful weather, be it spring or fall depending on where you live. Back in 2015 when I thought I was a year away from turning 60 … [Read more...]




Seeking A Dream-Like Experience

Thanks sooo much for all your input yesterday on my cushion dilemma on the porch. So many great ideas and suggestions! A few days ago, a couple I follow on Instagram posted a beautiful picture taken on Sea Island where they were vacationing. It was a beautiful alley of Oak trees and very similar to the iconic photo so often shared in magazines of Oak Alley Plantation. In the Instagram post, they … [Read more...]




Travel Insurance: Does It Work and Is It Actually Worth Purchasing?

When you travel, do you usually purchase trip insurance? I remember when I booked my very first trip out of the country in fall 2015, the travel company with whom I booked my trip recommended trip insurance.   I did purchase insurance, but not from them. I shopped around a bit and ended up going with a company that was recommended by the insurance/investment company with whom I insure my home … [Read more...]




A Safari, Travel-Inspired Bedroom Guaranteed to Delight Any Guest

Welcome to the 474th Metamorphosis Monday! Delphine enjoys traveling and has collected some wonderful memorabilia over the years. When she designed her guest room, she was inspired to decorate in a delightful travel/safari theme What a fabulous idea for a guest room since anyone lucky enough to sleep here would most likely love all things, travel.   For this travel-themed bedroom, Delphine … [Read more...]




Inside Ballynahinch Castle: Take a Tour of This Romantic Irish Castle

I've been dying to take you inside Ballynahinch Castle ever since I returned from Ireland, but it has taken a while to get through all the photos I took. Pictures could never do this beautiful castle justice, but at least they will give you a little idea of how magical it feels to stay there. In this post I'm sharing a mix of photos, some taken by me and some from the Ballynahinch Castle website. Those … [Read more...]




Hiking the Grounds of Beautiful Ballynahinch Castle, Galway, Ireland

Ireland is a magical, beautiful place. I would love to go back again someday. The tour I took last summer was a "Castle" tour, so in addition to touring Ireland during the day, the nights were just as magical because they were spent sleeping in fairy tale castles and manor homes along the way. I loved all the homes and castles we stayed in, but my favorite of all was Ballynahinch Castle located in a … [Read more...]




Test Results and 4,000 Missing Bags

Just a quick post to say Thank-you for all the well-wishes and all the helpful information you left in the comments of yesterday's post. I've heard from several folks who said they have also benefited from the information you shared. The Flight Home The flight home yesterday was brutal, only way to describe it. As soon as we got airborne it was much harder to breathe. I never watch movies on … [Read more...]




A Very Rough End to 2017

Welcome to the 466th Metamorphosis Monday! Happy New Year to you! As I write this from the Sheraton Hotel in the Charles de Gaulle airport, it's 5:00 AM here in Paris. Sounds glamorous...spending New Year's Eve in Paris, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not as wonderful as it sounds since I've never left the airport. One of these days I'm going to see more of France than just its airport! I had to miss … [Read more...]




Christmas in Cologne, Germany

Welcome to the 465th Metamorphosis Monday! Merry Christmas! Since Met Monday falls on Christmas Day this year, I'm putting this post up a bit early. I guess my Before and After this week is a travel one since I'm spending Christmas in a way I've never done before: floating down the Rhine River stopping every so often to visit the Christmas Markets and historic sites we find along the way. The … [Read more...]




Packing for The Netherlands, Germany & France at Christmastime

I've received a few comments asking if I would share what I will be wearing during my upcoming trip to Germany. I'll be packing the usual suspects: pants, sweaters, turtlenecks, scarves and boots, but I'm finding packing for this trip a lot more challenging. The problem is sweaters are really fat and fluffy, so they take up a lot of space. But I love sweaters so I'm determined to take several, even if I … [Read more...]




A Christmas Markets Trip Along the Rhine & Soup to Warm You On This Cold Day

I had a big decision to make today. So what did I do? I procrastinated and started cutting up vegetables, instead.   This is the best vegetable beef soup! It smells so insanely good while cooking...makes the whole house smell that way, too.  It's made from a recipe I found in an old Southern Living magazine, if I'm remembering correctly. I always change the recipe a bit by adding some stew … [Read more...]




A Special Delivery

This is turning into a busy week. My main desktop computer was rebuilt and got a brand new hard drive. I picked it up yesterday and it's wicked fast! So happy to have that done and to have my computer back! I'll be getting a quote this week on having part of my backyard fence rebuilt and the hall/basement staircase door is being replaced again on Friday. The deck cleaning, staining, and rail painting is … [Read more...]




A Tour of Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal, Ireland

Thanks so much for all your well-wishes over the last few days. I can't speak for all of Atlanta, but my immediate area seems to have fared quite well. Hurricane Irma was mostly a tropical storm when she arrived here, so though we got plenty of wind and rain and the lights flickered a few times, we never lost power. My biggest concern was that a tree would come down, but thankfully that did not … [Read more...]




Answering Your Questions & What I Brought Home From Ireland

It's 5:30 AM as I write this, I've been up since 3 AM. The previous two mornings, I awoke at 4 am. This pretty much happens every time I travel to Europe. I'm not sure when my body will get back on Georgia time, but for now I'm enjoying the peace and quiet you experience when you get up before the birds even open their eyes.   It's amazing all the stuff you can get done when you awaken at 4 … [Read more...]




Tour the Belleek Pottery Factory, Beautiful Pottery Still Hand-Crafted in Ireland

Welcome to the 466th Tablescape Thursday! While away in Ireland, I created a post sharing a few pics inside the Belleek Pottery Gift Shoppe located inside the Belleek Pottery Factory in County Fermanagh. If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Shopping in Belleek Pottery.   Today, I thought we would go back inside to tour the "factory." I put factory in quotes because it's not very … [Read more...]




How I Packed For Travel for Ireland in August

It feels so good to be back home! I got back in yesterday afternoon and after catching up on some email and doing a bit of unpacking, I was sound asleep by 8:30 PM. That was 1:30 AM, Ireland time and was as long as I could force myself to stay up. I awoke at 4:00 AM and spent the day unpacking, washing clothes and picking up/sorting mail/packages that were being held. I have some delicious books to share … [Read more...]




A Beautiful Bedroom in Ballynahinch Castle

Welcome to the 448th Metamorphosis Monday! It's very late as I type this, so again will keep the wording in this post brief. I'll be heading back home very soon and can't wait to share photos of the wonderful castles and manor homes we've stayed in during this trip across Ireland. In the meantime, for this week's Metamorphosis Monday I thought I'd share what has thus far, been my most favorite castle, … [Read more...]




Shopping in Belleek Pottery in Northern Ireland, A Dish-Lover’s Heaven!

Welcome to the 466th Tablescape Thursday! It's after midnight as I write this, so it's already Thursday here in Ireland. The days are wonderfully busy and full as we tour this beautiful country. It's everything that you said it would be in your comments on my previous posts about this scheduled trip. It's lush and green, and the people who live here are just as friendly as you described. I'm sure this … [Read more...]




Tour Historic Dunboyne Castle, A Beautiful Irish Castle

Welcome to the 447th Metamorphosis Monday! Good Morning! It's 7 AM here and I'm writing this on my second morning in Ireland. The first is a bit of a blur since I didn't sleep at all on the plane ride over. Rather than bore you with that, how about a tour of  the lovely castle where we stayed on our first night in Ireland. This is the older section of Dunboyne Castle. I'm not sure if they have actual … [Read more...]




A Peek Inside My “Personal Item”

Two weeks from now I'll be taking off for Ireland. (If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Luxury Travel to Ireland Without the Luxury Price.)   I purchased a Frye leather tote bag to use on this trip. When it arrived, I loved it so much, I purchased it in a second color called, Walnut. I love the contrast stitching on the "walnut" bag and the warm, rugged appearance of the "saddle" … [Read more...]




4 New Items I’ll Be Taking and Wearing When I Travel to Ireland

Can you believe it's already been a whole month since I first shared about the upcoming trip to Ireland for the Deluxe Irish Castles Tour. That trip is a just a month away now---hard to believe!   One of the fun things about travel is it gives you a good excuse to add a few new pieces to your wardrobe. Isn't that pretty much a requirement for any vacation! ;)   Ireland is known … [Read more...]




Luxury Travel to Ireland, Without the Luxury Price

Ever since I saw the movie, Waking Ned Divine, I've wanted to visit Ireland. Have you seen that movie? If you love comedies with endearing, quirky characters similar to those in Doc Martin, great scenery, beautiful Irish music and happy endings, you'll love it! It's one of my most favorite movies. After seeing Waking Ned Divine, Ireland immediately went on the bucket list. Getting my Ancestry DNA test … [Read more...]




Two Enjoyable, Yet Very Different Books: Wanderlust and Classic Style

This past weekend I did something I haven't done in a while, I curled up with a couple of new books and just vegged for a whole evening. The two books could not have been more different from each other, so it was like whiplash reading as I alternated between the two of them. I'm not sure what that says about me, that I would order and enjoy two such different books. lol   Wanderlust by … [Read more...]




Awesome Travel Deal & A Peek Inside My Summer Bag

Happy Friday! It's here! The wicker bag I ordered a few days ago came, so I'm sharing some pics of how it looks in person, as promised.   I took photos in a few different spots in the upstairs living room so you could get a better idea of the color in different lighting.   The leather top is a nice warm brown and I really like the bamboo handle.   The interior … [Read more...]




Morocco & Two Fascinating Tours: Fossil Tables & Beautiful Leather Jackets

When I was in Morocco, we visited some truly fascinating places. I wish I could have put you in my pocket before I left and taken you on every inch of this trip. At least I can share those parts that I think you'll find interesting or maybe even helpful. Whenever I do share something from my travels, I always ask myself, is this something I would find interesting or fascinating even if I didn't really … [Read more...]




5 Items I Always Take When Traveling Internationally

I discovered something new on this last international trip. I discovered that I much prefer taking the longer 8-9 hour flights during the daytime, instead of at night. This was the first trip I've been on where the longest flight took place during the day time. I always thought I'd be bored to death on a long flight, but I purchased the in-flight WiFi and that, along with some interesting reading, made the … [Read more...]




New Rules That Impacted My Flight Home From Paris

Happy Friday! Hope you've had a great week! I think my body is just about back on U.S. time. I'm actually able to keep my eyes open past 8 or 9 PM now, although I'm still waking up very early, usually by 5 AM. That's okay by me though; I'm loving the early morning hours. I thought I'd address one of the most common concerns and questions I received before I left for Morocco. Several folks voiced surprise … [Read more...]




Dining in Fez & Cooking in a Tagine

Welcome to the 445th Tablescape Thursday! I'm back home! Enjoyed my time in Morocco but there's definitely no place like home. When traveling, it seems like every time you turn around it's time to eat again, not that I'm complaining! Trying new foods is definitely one of the best parts of travel. On Saturday, March 18th, we explored Fez, a place our guide-book states is often considered "the world's … [Read more...]




Camping in the Sahara Desert, A Moroccan Adventure

Welcome to the 426th Metamorphosis Monday! It's Sunday evening in Marrakesh. As I type this, I find myself perched on a tiny stool in the corner of my hotel room. The hotel is lovely, but like all the hotels we've stayed in during out time here in Morocco, sans one, the concept of providing patrons with a proper desk, chair and WiFi fast enough to do anything other than access email and Facebook (and … [Read more...]




A Visit to the Souks

Welcome to the 444th Tablescape Thursday! The place we are staying here in the Sahara before we head out to our tented camp in the desert, has the absolute worst internet I've encountered the entire trip. So instead of trying to create a large post sharing one of the many dinners we've had on our trip, I thought I'd take you on a brief trip through the Fez Market, also known as the "Soucks" for this … [Read more...]




What I’m Packing For Travel During Shoulder Season

Welcome to the 424th Metamorphosis Monday! I had hoped to post photos of the hat rack I ordered back on February 25th, installed here in the office. Unfortunately, it still hasn't arrived. It's coming from Bulgaria and the last time I looked, it had finally made it to the U.S. and was in New York. So since I can't share that little before and after, I thought I'd share how I'm packing for my upcoming … [Read more...]




A New Travel Handbag & Tiffany Butterfly Glasses

See that chicken over there, the one running around without a head. It's name is Susan. ;) I'm sure that's how I've looked the last few days as I've been running errands and completing last-minute preparations for my trip to Morocco. I'm usually not a putter-offer, also known as a procrastinator. When I need to get something done, I usually get on it. But one thing I've been putting off for ages is … [Read more...]




The One Part of Travel I Always Dread and a New Tactic for Managing It

Email Update: I just noticed today that the company I use to send out emails for BNOTP, has been using the wrong return email address. It's been changed to the correct one which is [email protected] . So please add that address to your "approved contacts" or your email addresses. That will help to ensure that you'll receive email updates when a new post is up here on the blog. If you're one … [Read more...]




When You’re on Safari, It’s All About the Animals: Part II

Thanks so much for all the comments on Sunday's post where I shared many of the animals we saw during our safaris out into the Kenyan bush on a trip to Africa in the fall, 2015. In this second post, I'm sharing a few more of the beautiful and amazing creatures we saw during our many game drives. We came across so many groups/families of elephants while out on safari. There were always babies around so we … [Read more...]




Hat Drama & Decorating with Hats

Welcome to the 422nd Metamorphosis Monday! Did you know there's such a thing as hat drama? lol Okay, I'm being silly but I have had a bit of drama over the past year with finding and holding onto the right hat. Back in the fall of 2015 when I was planning a trip to Kenya, I did a lot of research about what I should take with me on the trip. One oft recommended item was a hat for sun protection. Since … [Read more...]




When You’re On Safari, It’s All About the Animals: Part I

In September 2015, I took a six day trip to Kenya. While there I stayed at the beautiful safari camp, Mahali Mzuri, where we took two game drives each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That trip was the first time I had ever traveled to another country and though it was brief, every single moment was filled with wonder and enchantment. It's All About the Animals I've blogged and shared … [Read more...]




How I Got Approved For Global Entry in 20 Days

When I booked a trip to Morocco recently, the agent who helped me asked if I had already applied for Global Entry. She was the second person to mention Global Entry to me that week. I took that has a sign and decided to apply.   I completed the application online on January 4, 2017 and today, just twenty days later, I received Global Entry Approval and a Global Entry number, aka, Known … [Read more...]




Awesome Deal on a Small Group Travel Adventure! Come With!

Snow and a "wintry mix" were predicted for our area starting around 4 PM today. The snow part doesn't scare folks around here that much, it's the phrase "wintry mix" that sends everyone into a panic. I really didn't want to do it, but I knew I had to make a trip to the grocery store. I never like shopping for groceries, snow or no snow, so shopping when the store is packed is something I avoid like the … [Read more...]




Gone With The Wind Museum: The Beautiful Dresses, Furniture & Collectible Memorabilia

Gone With Wind Museum Recently when a friend was in town, we visited the Gone With The Wind Museum in Marietta, Georgia. The museum opened in June 2002 inside a former cotton warehouse and carriage stable that dates back to 1875. Many of the collectibles found inside the museum belong to Dr. Christopher Sullivan, a physician from Akron, Ohio. Dr. Sullivan read the book, Gone With The Wind, and saw the … [Read more...]




The Week I Took a Staycation

Have you ever taken a Staycation? This past week I took my first and it was truly a lot of fun! From time to time I get e-mails from folks who are headed to the Atlanta area and are looking for ideas on what to do and where to go during their visit. I'll definitely be referring them to this post in the future. :)   FRIDAY My friend, Linda, flew in on Friday, September 30th, and we wasted … [Read more...]




Back to the Future Meets Harry Potter

This week I'm being a tourist in my own city. Have you ever done that when family or friends were visiting? Yesterday a friend and I visited the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. I've only been there once before and that was many years ago before it moved to its current location. It's HUGE now! We had a great time, it was almost like a visit to a mini-theme park, part museum, part Back to the … [Read more...]




A Tour of Daisy Room at Giraffe Manor & A Visitor to my Balcony

I'm finally going through all the photos I took on my visit to Giraffe Manor and I realized today that I had never given you a full tour of the beautiful room I stayed in while visiting the manor. This post has 20 photos in it that I've never shared from my visit. Each of the rooms in the manor is named after one of the Rothschild Giraffe who have either lived or are currently living on the property. … [Read more...]




Dining at Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor, One Could Get Used to This!

Welcome to the 418th Tablescape Thursday! I have a lovely friend coming to visit real soon who is super crafty. She creates beautiful cards and the most amazing scrapbooks/photo albums! You can see her beautiful work in these delightful, 3-D, handmade cards I've received this past year. Aren't they wonderful?! Each is such a treasure, I could never part with them!   This dear friend … [Read more...]




Video Walk Around Mahali Mzuri, Richard Branson’s Safari Camp in Kenya

Last fall when I was on safari in Kenya, I stayed in Richard Branson's safari camp, Mahali Mzuri. One afternoon after returning from a morning safari, I grabbed my camera and filmed a quick walkabout for you. I wanted to take you around the camp so you could get a feel for it, instead of just seeing it in photos. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get it uploaded, but I finally got that done … [Read more...]




Visit Port Isaac Where Doc Martin Was Filmed!

I'm in the planning stages of a trip I hope to take late next spring. I thought I'd share some of the details with you today in case it sounds like something you would be interested in. I've never traveled with this company but the comments I've seen online at TripAdvisor looked good. Of course, I highly recommend you do your own research before traveling with any company. The tours I'm looking at are … [Read more...]




On Safari: An African Safari-Themed Tablescape

Welcome to the 399th Tablescape Thursday! When I was on safari in Kenya last September, I stayed in romantic Giraffe Manor for one of  the nights I was there. Giraffe Manor, built in 1938 in the style of a Scottish Hunting Lodge, is truly like something out of a storybook. The Rothschild Giraffe is endangered and the good folks at Giraffe Manor are doing what they can to increase the population. Did … [Read more...]




A Ride Up-Down Monte Solaro & An Impromptu Performance

My main computer, the one I use every day, is currently at the computer doctor being worked on. While it's away, I thought I'd share a video I made back when I was visiting the Isle of Capri.   While visiting Capri, I did a little shopping inside Carthusia where I purchased two small bottles of perfume.   The island of Capri has two towns, Capri and Anacapri. One of the … [Read more...]




Decorating and Dressing in Blue & White

I'm a big fan of blue and white, just find it so beautiful. I've used a lot of that color in my guest room.     Well, no one does blue and white better than the Dutch! When I was touring this outdoor village that I shared in this post: Zuiderzee Museum, I got a wonderful surprise when I walked into one of the buildings there.   The entrance of the building and this room … [Read more...]




Take A Tour of a Historic Dutch Home on the Zuiderzee in Enkhuizen

Please note: If you see any political ads running anywhere on the blog, please ignore them. All political ads are supposed to be blocked, but a few are somehow getting through the filters. I have someone working on it, so hopefully they will get them stopped soon. Yesterday we visited the pharmacy in the Zuiderzee Village Museum in Enkhuizen. Today I'm taking you further into this fishing village and … [Read more...]




Whimsical & Just a Little Weird: The Strangest Thing I Saw in Holland

Whew, yesterday was a long day. It's pretty much a full-day endeavor getting back home from Europe. Thankfully the plane ride was a direct flight. Funny thing on the plane, my seat mate was a guy who was a dead ringer for Scott Kelly, the astronaut who just spent a full year in space on the International Space Station. If he hadn't had an accent (I think it was Dutch) I definitely would have believed it to … [Read more...]




A Canal Ride in Bruges, Belgium

Take a little ride with me through one of the many canals in Bruges, Belgium. Click on the photo below to ride, or click here: A Canal Ride in Bruges, Belgium.   … [Read more...]




Ferris Wheels and Windmills, A Visit to Amsterdam and Kinderdijk

Welcome to the 378th Metamorphosis Monday! Early Saturday morning, as I was flying into Amsterdam, I looked out the window of the plane and did a double take. Do you see them down there?   Lots and lots of windmills, smack dab in the middle of the ocean. How is that even possible, windmills in the middle of the ocean? I thought I'd see windmills on this trip, just had no idea I'd see … [Read more...]




Packing for The Netherlands & Going With a Go-Pro

Packing is definitely my least favorite thing about travel. It feels a bit overwhelming, trying to decide what to take to a far-a-way place you've never been, especially when the trip is occurring during the changing of the seasons. Per The Weather Chanel, the weather is going to be quite chilly during the time I'm away. I'm leaving sunny weather that's in 70's for a place where the high each day is in … [Read more...]




A Little Beach Time for Winter Weary Souls

Today I was going through photos I took while "Sailing With the Scotts" and I came across a video I should have included when I posted about visiting the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico. (If you missed that post a few days ago, you'll find it here: A Visit to the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum.   It's a video I filmed of the waves coming in. It was a gorgeous day and I figured we could all use a … [Read more...]




A Visit to the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Welcome to the 365th Metamorphosis Monday! Today's Before and After takes us on a trip back in time, all the way back to the 13th century. In November while "Sailing with the Scotts," I had the opportunity to visit Cozumel pictured below.   Once we docked in Cozumel, a big group of us took a ferry to the city of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.   In Playa del Carmen, it was the … [Read more...]




Dining in Italy and the Mystery of the Missing Bread Plates

Welcome to the 383rd Tablescape Thursday! That title of this post sounds a little like a Nancy Drew Mystery Story, doesn't it? lol For this week's Tablescape Thursday, I thought I'd share one of the dinners we were served while traveling in Italy. The tour/trip I took included some lunches and most dinners. Sometimes our lunches didn't include meat and just consisted of salad, a large bowl of pasta … [Read more...]




A Visit to Positano Italy, A Beautiful Hillside Town on the Amalfi Coast

Welcome to the 364th Metamorphosis Monday! Today's post is about the metamorphosis of a picturesque seaside village located in Italy on the Amalfi coast. Through the good and the bad it has survived, and today it's a bustling village where tourists flock from all over the world. Ever since I saw the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, I've wanted to visit Positano. I finally got my chance when I traveled to … [Read more...]




Hear the Beautiful Bells of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, Italy

Now that the holidays are behind us and I have a bit more time, I'm starting to go through all the photos I took while traveling this past fall to Africa, Italy and Mexico. I took a lot so it's taking a while to go through them and choose the best to share. I also shot a little video along the way so I'll be mixing those into each post as I share the beauty of these amazing places. I can't wait to share … [Read more...]




A Metamorphosis of the Animal Kind: Baby Elephants Playing and Feeding

Welcome to the 363rd Metamorphosis Monday! My metamorphosis this week is an unusual one, one of the animal kind. During my week long visit to Africa back in September for a photographic safari, on my last day there before my flight late that night, a guide took me to several fascinating places. I visited a bead factory where I didn't buy anything but was super tempted.   I toured the home … [Read more...]




Sailing With The Scotts: Sharing All The Details

Welcome to the 356th Metamorphosis Monday! For this week's Met Monday, I could share the wreaths I hung across the front of the house yesterday as my metamorphosis, but since Drew and Jonathan (the Scott Brothers) are the masters of Before and Afters, in honor of all their past makeovers, let's go "Sailing with the Scotts" this week instead.   This was the ship the Scott Brothers chartered … [Read more...]




A Double Rainbow Seen While Sailing With The Scotts

I'm back from the "Sailing with the Scotts" cruise and have some fun pics to share. I spent yesterday sorting and going through many of them...and doing this. Yep, it's that time again, time to bring out the wreaths. I'm going to spend the afternoon hanging them and can't wait to see them up. (See how I hang them in this post: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows )   Looking at that photo … [Read more...]




It’s Almost Time to Go Sailing With The Scotts!

Well, it's almost that time! Very soon I'll be heading down to Florida to hop on a big ol ship to go "Sailing with the Scotts." I'm not sure what type of wifi connection I'll have available during the trip, but whenever I do have one, I'll be sharing the fun with you on Instagram. If you're not already following on Instagram, you'll find BNOTP here: BNOTP on Instagram   Snapchat Anyone a … [Read more...]




Bringing Home A Bit of Tuscany To My Kitchen

Welcome to the 353rd Metamorphosis Monday! Almost every day sees some kind of metamorphosis in our homes right now with the holidays here. I absolutely love this time of year! Halloween has always been one of most favorite holidays because it's filled with so many smiles and so much laughter. I hope your Halloween was a lot of fun this year. I have a small Before and After to share in my kitchen. It's … [Read more...]




6 Pairs of Shoes That Kept Me Warm, Cozy and Comfortable in Italy

For several weeks before my trip to Italy, I checked the "extended" forecast for the Tuscany and Amalfi Coast region a couple of times a week. As the time drew closer to leave, I checked almost daily. Forecasts can often be wrong but the three-week extended forecast for the areas we were to be touring, was consistently showing chilly temps and cloudy days with lots of chances for rain. Ugh. Not what I … [Read more...]




Chills in Sorrento

Welcome to the 352nd Metamorphosis Monday! While we were staying in Sorrento, on afternoons or evenings when we were out touring or were just free to explore on our own, we would often walk the short distance to a nearby market area where we could shop and dine. About a block away from our hotel, there was a bridge that had to be crossed to reach the shopping/dining areas. We merrily crossed over it … [Read more...]




A 4-Course Meal With 2 Desserts!

Welcome to the 370th Tablescape Thursday! On Monday, October 19th, after spending the day in Positano, we had dinner in a beautiful restaurant on the way back to our hotel in Sorrento. We've been traveling all day today, en route from Sorrento to Rome (that's why my post is late going up) so the info I have about the restaurant we dined in is buried somewhere in my suitcase. When I get home, I'll share … [Read more...]




A Visit to Herculaneum, An Ancient City Buried for 1,700 Years

Grand Circle Travel included five free days into our 17 day tour of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. On those days we can head out on our own or, we can participate in one of the "optional" tours they offer. This past Saturday, I was tempted to skip the optional tour of Herculaneum (one of the cities left in ruin after Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD) since Pompeii was already a scheduled site for our trip. In … [Read more...]




Under The Tuscan Sun: My Visit To Bramasole

Greetings Dear Friends! I've just returned from a day touring Herculaneum, one of the cities buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. I can't wait to share the photos I took with you. I was so amazed to see how much they valued decorating and having a beautiful home and garden even back in 79 AD. I guess I thought they would be too busy coping with the daily needs of life (food, shelter, etc...) to … [Read more...]




Inside the Siena Cathedral and the Piccolomini Library, Italy

On Monday we visited Siena and this was the view we had overlooking the city as we walked down steps on our way to the Siena Cathedral.         The Siena Cathedral is a medieval church located in Siena, Italy. It was designed and completed between 1215 and 1263. It's built in the shape of a Latin cross with a dome and a bell tower.   Let's go … [Read more...]




A Visit to Radicofani & the Orcia Valley

Happy Friday! Do you have a fun weekend planned? It's late here, but before I turn in, I thought I'd share a few photos from today's excursions into the Tuscan countryside. Doesn't this photo scream Tuscany? Though it was pretty hazy out and not the greatest day for landscape photos, this one was pretty much a requirement when we happened upon it. Do you think the folks who live here planted all those … [Read more...]




When in Rome…

Welcome to the 368th Tablescape Thursday! As I type this, my laptop says it's 3:24 PM, but I know that's EST time back home in Georgia. The handy little "Dual Clock" widget on my phone informs me that it's actually 9:24 PM where my physical body finds itself...Rome, Italy. After traveling over 5,000 miles and crossing six time zones, I arrived early this morning just in time to catch this beautiful … [Read more...]




Dinner Under The Stars With a Spirited Performance By Maasai Warriors

Welcome to the 367th Tablescape Thursday! One afternoon while relaxing on the deck of my tent during my trip to Kenya...   ...this invitation was hand-delivered to my door. Ummm, what have they planned for us now?   Promptly at 19:00 hours, I made my way to the main tent where the Mahaliz Mzuri bar is located. Since it was now dark, I had to be escorted by one of the Maasai … [Read more...]




Answering Your Safari Travel Questions & What I Brought Back From Kenya

I've received a lot of questions via emails and comments about the recent trip I took to Africa. Today I thought I'd take time to answer some of those and to make this post a bit more fun so it's not just a bunch of words, I'm including pictures of the souvenirs I brought back, along with some of the little gifts I received during my stay at Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor. Please Note: The captions under … [Read more...]




Mahali Mzuri: An Unforgettable Stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Safari Camp in Kenya

Welcome to the 348th Metamorphosis Monday! What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "Going on safari?" For the next few minutes, erase all the pre-existing ideas, thoughts and concepts you have about what it's like to go on safari. If there's anything I've learned from my recent trip to Africa, it's that safari camps and safari experiences can all be completely different. No two safari camps or … [Read more...]




What Worked & What Didn’t On My First Trip Abroad

I've had so much fun sharing Kenya with you over this past week. Did you get a chance to see the 30+ pictures I shared on Instagram? Once I get a chance to go through all my photos, I'll create one big post sharing all the animals we saw on safari. I also have some additional video to share that I think you'll enjoy. We were very fortunate to catch the Wilderbeest and Zebra migration across the Mara River … [Read more...]