Jun 222015
 
The Most Amazing Building in the World May Be in Turkey

My heart is thumping with awe as I arrange the photos for this article. Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey is so astounding that it has captivated humans for nearly 1,500 years… and it may just captivate YOU through this screen!

Just as it would be painful to stand in one corner of a room while a chocolate cake sat alluringly across the carpet, it is nearly impossible to focus on any other aspect of [...Read More!]

Jun 162015
 
Limerick, Ireland: We Didn't Expect How Great It Is!

Our time in Limerick was infuriating. Why? During our Ireland road trip, we only allotted one day to tour the city, and I ached the whole time for more time to explore! The city has SO much more to offer than we realized, from arts, to nightlife, to historic castles. Let’s take a peek at lovely Limerick, shall we?

One of the most beloved tourist attractions in Limerick is King John’s Castle, which towers above [...Read More!]

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 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!]

Apr 232015
 
Times Square, New York City in the Middle of the Night

It was midnight, I was walking alone through Times Square, New York, and all was right with the world.

What brought me there this week? My husband, baby, and I have been traveling in Manhattan for vacation, and on Sunday, I was afforded a solo night out to meet up with my travel blog mentor. When dinner was over, I decided to walk the 50 blocks back to where we were staying.

You can guess where [...Read More!]

Apr 152015
 
Ireland's Most Unexpected Best Tourist Attraction

Sometimes the best tourist attractions are the ones you least expect. My husband, baby, and I were on day three of our Ireland road trip, and as our car rumbled up the path from Clifden to the Connemara Heritage and History Centre of Ireland, I tried to figure out what the heck this “Centre” even was.

“I think this is some guy’s house or something?” I muttered to my husband, Colin, shuffling through print-outs [...Read More!]

Apr 082015
 
Ireland's Kylemore Abbey: Surprising Beauty and History

Ireland is a country of castles. In fact, the Emerald Isle has so many castles that on each day of our Ireland road trip, we saw no fewer than two castles per day, just chilling by the side of the road. Many of these castles date back to the 1400s!

As our car chugged towards the turrets of famed Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway, medieval tales bounced through my head. Little did I [...Read More!]

Mar 232015
 
Where in Ireland to Find the World's Best Rainbows

Before we left for our week-long travels in Ireland, our downstairs neighbor demanded we bring back a gift: at least one pot o’ gold from the end of a classic Irish rainbow. Little did I know how easy it would be to find those rainbows in Ireland! (The gold, not so much.)

Why does Ireland have so many rainbows? Because it has a lot of rain! Then sun. Then rain. Then sun. [...Read More!]