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!]

Jun 092014
 
My Favorite Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For the first time in my life, I found an art exhibit so enthralling that I returned TWICE to see it. In fact, I have plans to go back a third time. Ooh, the “Quilts and Color” exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts makes me happy! Its rainbow blasts are a perfect match for baby, too, as wee ones adore patterns.

What I find particularly moving about these quilts is not just their beauty, however: it’s the history [...Read More!]

Jun 012014
 
Surprises in India at Keoladeo National Bird Sanctuary

Let me be blunt about the first surprise of Keoladeo National Park and Bird Sanctuary in India: On the day we went, the air was so cloudy that we could have seen further by sticking our heads into bowls of oatmeal. Look how ghostly the birds appear in the next photo…

We had to squint and crane our fog-fluffy heads forward, asking: “Is that a bird, or a tree?” and, “Is that [...Read More!]

May 262014
 
Don't Miss Boston's Arboretum in Spring: Flower Heaven!

No visit to Boston in our glorious springtime is complete without strolling through the Arnold Arboretum. This sprawling, lush park was established in 1872, and is owned by Harvard University. Just hop off the Orange Line train at the Forest Hills “T” stop, and you’re there!

Skip along with me, now, as we ogle the rainbow colors of May in the Arboretum.

Gorgeous, eh? So which of these blooms would you most yearn to take [...Read More!]

May 112014
 
The Most Fun Thing on Martha's Vineyard: Alpaca Farm!

The most hilarious and fun activity we did during our Martha’s Vineyard vacation had nothing to do with a beach, or a seafood stall, nor anything you would even remotely associate with a New England island. No… the best activity of all was visiting an ALPACA FARM!

When a friend told me to track down “Island Alpaca” on the Vineyard, I thought she was pulling my leg. One associates alpacas with South America, not [...Read More!]

Apr 282014
 
Martha's Vineyard's Gingerbread Cottages Are So Cool!

“Lillie, do NOT leave Martha’s Vineyard without tracking down the Gingerbread Houses!” typed one of my readers on my Facebook wall.

“Gingerbread Houses?” I muttered to myself. “What the heck is this woman talking about?”

A few minutes of Internet sleuthing later (during which time my baby spit up all over my husband’s shirt) revealed that a major tourist attraction of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts is a cluster of fairy-like wooden houses in the [...Read More!]

Apr 062014
 
The Hidden Danger of a Famous Tourist Attraction

Some dangers are so surprising, they become funny. Let’s see if you can guess this one, spotted during my teacher tour in India last year. The scene takes place at the Jama Masjid mosque in the town of Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, the city most famous for housing the Taj Mahal.

The Jama Masjid mosque is gorgeous and giant, and was completed in 1575… over 430 years ago! So what’s the danger here? [...Read More!]