Nov 032014
 
Create Your Own Lantern Festival: A Beautiful Art Project

Travel makes me think of lights: glittering, romantic displays of lights like the ones I saw at holiday festivals in Italy, or night markets in Thailand.

“Why,” I’ve been wondering since returning to Boston after traveling around the world, “do gorgeous public light displays like that not exist back home?” This month I finally figured out the answer: The pretty lights are here, but I’ve been too lazy to find them!

I learned this lesson just a few weeks ago, one cold night in Boston. My baby was playing [...Read More!]

Oct 252014
 
Dogs in Costume?! The Cutest Fashion Show in Boston.

WOW. I just spent the afternoon at the eleventh annual Dog Fashion Show and Costume Parade in Boston, sporting an ear-to-ear grin, and snapping photos of the cutest costumed models imaginable.

Can you believe that this event has been going on for ELEVEN years, and I just learned about it? It takes place in Boston’s hip Jamaica Plain neighborhood, and proceeds from the small entry fee support a local shelter. Just observing like I did is free, [...Read More!]

Oct 052014
 
Visiting Niagara Falls, NY in Half an Hour with a Baby

“WHOA!” I yelled to my husband as we zipped down the highway from Boston to Ohio to visit family. “Do you realize that we’re just a few miles away from Niagara Falls?!”

“Yup,” said Colin. “You’ve never seen it before?”

“No, I’ve never seen it!” I replied breathlessly. “We HAVE to go, even if we only have half an hour before we need to get back on the road.”

Colin nodded as he took the exit [...Read More!]

Sep 072014
 
Did You Know This About Visiting the Taj Mahal in India?

Don’t slap me for procrastination, but I’m FINALLY writing about seeing the Taj Mahal during our 2012 India teacher tour. So without further ado, here are 12 things to know about visiting the Taj Mahal: the world’s most famous monument to love, built by emperor Shah Jahan in 1653 in memory of his wife.

1. Contraband. There are all sorts of items you are not allowed to take into the Taj Mahal. Study the sign above and see if you agree that some [...Read More!]

Aug 102014
 
Is it Safe to Visit El Yunque Rainforest, PR, with a Baby?

This is the article I wish I’d found before my husband, baby, and I traveled to Puerto Rico last month. In the weeks before our trip, I agonized: “Will El Yunque be safe for our cute little son?” The park is famous for being the only tropical rainforest in the United States National Forest System, but… is it dangerous? I pictured beasts, treacherous paths on slippery rocks, and pouring rain.

Thank goodness we decided to drive to El Yunque to [...Read More!]

Jul 252014
 
The Famous, Beautiful Forts of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

“Of course, you’ve GOT to see the forts in Old San Juan,” anyone will tell you when you ask what to do during travel through Puerto Rico. But why, exactly, are these forts so famous and popular?

The background you must understand is that Puerto Rico was incredibly important, geopolitically. The island was a vital strategic base from the 16th through 18th century as Spain battled with other European powers for colonial control of the region. Whoever held Puerto Rico controlled the [...Read More!]

Jul 162014
 
What an Amazing Oceanfront Hotel View, Puerto Rico!

I’ve always gazed up-up-upwards at the high-rise hotels dotting fashionable oceanfronts of the world, wondering, “What is it like to look down at this beach from such heights?” Happily, I just got the chance to see for myself during travel through San Juan, Puerto Rico.

When the receptionist at the San Juan Marriott told us our room was on the 19th floor, I became giddy with excitement. My first bird’s-eye view room ever! The [...Read More!]

Jul 112014
 
Must-See Colorful Buildings of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is a delight. Wander the centuries-old blue cobblestone streets, gaping at the brilliantly colored historic buildings. Did you know, however, that this treasure was nearly DESTROYED?

Old San Juan was settled by the Spanish in the early 1500s, and the conquistador, Ponce de Leon and his subsequent offspring lived in the city for centuries. By the late 1940s, however, Old San Juan had become decrepit, unsightly, and dangerous. Politicians called [...Read More!]

Jul 092014
 
A San Juan, Puerto Rico Resort Pool for Baby's First Swim

Hello from San Juan, Puerto Rico! This is our first big voyage as a family of THREE, and Puerto Rico is just as I hoped: Easy to travel to and through with a 7-month-old, but different enough from Boston to quench my ongoing ache for Latin America for a time.

Before diving into the sights of San Juan, however, let’s celebrate a momentous and hilarious occasion: Our baby had his first ever pool swim today, and [...Read More!]

Jun 292014
 
Monkeys, Imprisonment, and a Fall at Agra Fort, India

“This is where they say Shah Jahan, the man behind the Taj Mahal, was imprisoned BY HIS SON.”

Our India teacher tour guide paused dramatically, and our group gazed around Agra Fort, soaking in that shocking history.

Agra Fort in Uttar Prasdesh, India is really more of a giant walled city than a mere fort, and each corner of it has layers of history dating back as far as 1080 CE. It also has… MONKEYS! Upon entering the fort’s hulking red [...Read More!]