2013 Year in Review: Oh, the places I went!

‘Tis the season for year-end lists! In the “business*” of blogging, year-end lists are a great way to contemplate the year that’s passed, while it’s still too cold** to think about next year’s travel plans. 2013 has been a pretty terrific year for me, travel-wise and life-wise – an amazing year filled with adventures and memorable life experiences.

Ever since I made the conscious decision to pursue a life of travel and interesting experiences, every year has just been getting better and better. As I approach 40 (and I’m coming up on it quickly since my birthday is in January), I spend a lot of time thinking and wondering if I’m living the life I want to be living. Without question, I am and 2013 was the perfect illustration of that.

2013 started out with some terrific road-tripping in Northern Nova Scotia, with the requisite maple syrup on snow. I also happened upon this magnificent herd of alpacas, the photo of which brought me joy throughout the year.

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Christmas in New York: traditions old and new

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the most wonderful place to spend it is New York City, thanks to countless movies and tv shows that show New York in its most festive, most Christmas-y light. Fun fact: I found Santa Claus at his day job with the NYPD:

NYPD Santa Claus New York Police Department

I’ve had a sampling of holiday season in New York when I visited around Thanksgiving a few years back, but nothing prepared me for the wonder and excitement of visiting at Christmas. I was only in town for a few days, but made the most of it by jamming in as many holiday traditions as I could find, both old and new.

New York City Christmas tree sidewalk

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Italy travel journal: Vernazza – picking a favourite Cinque Terre village

I spent a glorious five days on Italy’s Mediterranean Coast among the mind-meltingly beautiful villages of the Cinque Terre. The “Five Lands” – Riommagiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare – each have something special to offer. You will definitely find your favourite, and wonder why it took so long for you visit. I’ve already talked about the amazing hike through the villages during the wine harvest, now it’s time to see the best of the rest, my favourite village, Vernazza.

Vernazza Cinque Terre Continue reading

Friday photos round-up: Geometric

This week’s #FriFotos theme, “geometric,” was a fun one for me and I had a lot to contribute! Both Morocco and Spain are literally overflowing with examples of gorgeous structures, architecture and design that are visually stunning and technically complicated.

Barcelona, Spain: La Pedrera

It’s hard to miss any of Antoni Gaudi’s surreal masterpieces in Barcelona, but a stop at La Pedrera is mandatory (in my opinion) to see the marvelous roof with its whimsical chimneys.

Barcelona La Pedrera

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Friday photos: Sharks and Mirrors at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

When I visited New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009, visitors were expressly forbidden from taking photos of Damien Hirst’s “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” otherwise known as “the pickled shark.”

Sometimes, however, problems have built-in solutions. The pickled shark took on a more interesting dimension when viewed in the reflection of another nearby sculpture, a large, mirrored piece by Anish Kapoor simply called “Untitled.”

Mirrored shark

Mirrored shark


Are you guilty of museum rule breaking? Share with the class!