Dec 182014
 
The White House Summit: All the Glamorous Parts!

Now that I’ve written about the purpose of the White House Travel Bloggers Summit, allow me to gush about its glamour. This post will cover the fashion, idols, beauty, and thrills of those remarkable 48 hours in DC. Get your eyes and heart ready, chum.

First, architecture! As you can tell from the fact that I have a giant category of my blog entitled “Sexy Architecture,” I swoon for pretty buildings… and the White House did not disappoint! [...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!]

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!]

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!]

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 242014
 
The Best Place to Stay on Martha's Vineyard?

Ahhh, what a difference a good vacation makes! In the five months since our baby was born, my husband and I had not left Boston together, and so it was high time. Scanning the map, we decided on Martha’s Vineyard: the famed island where New England relaxes, yet I (naughty Bostonian that I am) had never visited. But where to stay?

Some sleuthing revealed that one hotel’s name comes up again and again [...Read More!]

Mar 042014
 
Can You Believe the Size of This Hole in the Ground?

In the romantic Indian state of Rajasthan, in the dusty village of Abhaneri, there lies a massive hole in the ground. To be specific, this hole is called Chand Baori, and is one of the largest ancient step-wells in the world, plummeting down 100 feet to slurp water from the earth for the thirsty local population.

The well is around 1,200 years old (wowza!), constructed in 800 C.E. by King Chandra of the [...Read More!]

Feb 232014
 
New York Travels: My First Night Away From Baby

I was shaking with emotion as I boarded the train for New York. My bag cut into my shoulder, laden with the supplies I suddenly must lug as a new mother traveling without her baby for the first time.

I took my seat as the train slid out of Boston, and breathed as sigh of relief as the familiar feeling returned: My heart soaring up out of my body with the ecstasy [...Read More!]