The Best Advice? Getting Lost in Venice

My daughter is in Venice with friends, their latest stop on an 18-day tour of Europe. I'm jealous, so I'm going to live vicariously through her and reminisce about our trip in 2013. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have gone to this magical water city once. At the risk of this special place being …

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Weekend Wander: Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

We set out for a long weekend wander through our extended backyard last weekend, with no set plans other than to explore a region of our state we've haven't spent nearly enough time in — the Olympic Peninsula. Home to a national park, miles of rugged coastline, forests, lakes, waterfalls, and enough hiking trails to …

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A Weekend Getaway from Tokyo (Part Two): Snow Monkeys, Ryokan and Shibu Onsen

On the second day of our visit to see the famous snow monkeys of Jigokudani, we awoke to a winter wonderland outside the ryokan, the traditional Japanese inn, we were staying in. Snow had fallen in a thick layer overnight and falling lightly, but expected to taper completely by mid-to-late morning. We donned our fresh …

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Guide to Visiting a Ryokan: Ten Tips From a First Time Visitor

Onsen, kaiseki, futons, yukutas, tatami, and toilet shoes? What, you may ask? We did. These are all essential and wonderful parts of a ryokan experience, a traditional Japanese inn. We stayed in one for two nights during our recent visit to Japan and it was easily one of the highlights of our trip. While we …

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A Weekend Getaway from Tokyo (Part One): A Bullet Train, Snow Monkeys, and a Ryokan

When my husband asked if I wanted to tag along on a last-minute business trip to Tokyo this month, I initially said no. Despite having some flexibility in my own work schedule and enough reward miles to pay for most of the flight,  January is a cold month for travel and our budget had just …

Continue reading A Weekend Getaway from Tokyo (Part One): A Bullet Train, Snow Monkeys, and a Ryokan