May 312015
 
Why an Ireland Travel Plan Should Include Westport

Ireland has countless cute towns, so the fact that Westport in County Mayo was voted the best place to live in the entire country in 2012 holds major clout. Besides being deliciously livable, Westport is also an excellent place to visit, given its wide variety of historic, natural, and doggone charming attractions.

To begin to understand why people adore Westport, one must first look at the geography. Westport is nestled between mountains and an ocean inlet, providing [...Read More!]

May 272015
 
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey: Astounding Details

Istanbul, Turkey’s famous Blue Mosque is hypnotic. You could stare for hours at each swirl of decoration on its 141-foot domes, and at each glint of color on its 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, imagining the work that went into every intricacy… feeling the energy and spirit of the structure.

During my glorious week in Turkey this month thanks to Turkish Airlines, the Blue Mosque was at the top of my list of places to see. I was [...Read More!]

May 192015
 
A Fun Weekend Getaway with Family in Mystic, CT

Even before we arrived, my family knew that Mystic, Connecticut was the right mini-vacation spot because of the way people spoke of it. “I used to love going to Mystic as a child,” person after person sighed when we told them of our upcoming trip. “It’s such a charming little place!” Mystic has many fans, and we soon learned why.

Mystic is a New England seaport village with just 4,205 inhabitants and 3.4 square miles. In fact, it is not an actual [...Read More!]

May 172015
 
This Ireland Castle Hotel Made Us Smile and Laugh

I have never stayed anywhere that has as much character as Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in County Galway, Ireland. What a hoot that hotel is! It was a highlight of our Ireland road trip, and its colors and cast of characters would fit perfectly into a Wes Anderson movie.

Want an illustration of how well the hotel pairs luxury with quirk? As the well-dressed porter ushered us into the lobby, what should we see [...Read More!]

May 112015
 
Beautiful Istanbul, Turkey at Night by Boat and Rooftop

“Why are you going to Turkey?” sneered the saleswoman I was chatting up in the store in the week before my trip. “There’s not much there, plus it’s really dangerous, and also oppressive to women.”

“Ms. Marshall!” yelled one of my seventh grade students when he learned I would be taking the next four days off of teaching to fly to Istanbul, “Don’t go. It’s a war zone over there!”

Readers, let me assure [...Read More!]