My favorite months in Italy are May & September.  If you have an opportunity to visit any other month of year, I recommend you seize the moment.  The moment for me came in November.  My agenda was to revisit Rome and an overnight trip to Assisi.  I only had eight nights.  That’s rather short for me.  I generally always stay two weeks in Europe.  I decide eight will have to do and I shall be utterly grateful for them all.

I have visited a lot of the usual tourist attractions so for this trip, I decided let’s try to visit some places off the radar plus whatever I happen to stumble upon while roaming.  I did not think this fellow would be one of them.  We gazed at each other a long long time.  Love at first sight.


My Buddy


Let’s see what is going on in Rome & Assisi


Read the rest of this entry »

Never really planned on a hot summer Florida trip.  Originally I was supposed to be on an Alaska cruise with my dear friend Brenda.  She had to cancel so with that I needed to use the airline ticket that I had purchased to Vancouver.  Where to go?  Since I hope to one day move to Florida, I thought why not go during the hottest month, see how it is, can you handle it ?  South Beach is always a fun place so a plan was put in motion.  I get a wonderful email alert that airfare from Baltimore is going on sale for $97 round-trip.  I call my mom and ask if she would like to come for a week.  I booked us at the Posh Hostel and it’s coed.  Mom says that’s okay by her, my friend Kelly says I can come too so she gets booked than my friends Vivian & Marnie decide they can come four nights during the stay.  My friend Pat lives in South Beach so that’s another one added to our little summer soiree.  Hostel link:    It says open to any free spirited traveler.  Well that’s me!  Think I am going to fit in here nicely.  Oh, I am also going to visit Key West.  I have never been but my sisters and quite a few friends love it tremendously so it is about time for me to investigate what all the fuss is about.

Miami2015 050

my Mom

Miami2015 061


Miami2015 162


Miami2015 160

me and Marnie

Kelly the cheap date

Kelly the cheap date

Did I mention it is Tarzan hot in South Beach?  It is. No matter we will sweat and have fun, if we can’t get the fun part going we still will indeed sweat!

The Posh Hostel has a free shuttle. (later I will do a review)  I came in on the day that the shuttle only comes every two hours and wouldn’t you know it I arrive about 15 minutes after it has left!  Okay should I get taxi or suck it up?   I decide to wait.  I had cowboy boots on and I truly wanted to take them off and throw them.   Those buggers didn’t touch my feet the rest of the trip.  What was I thinking?

I finally make it to the hostel, check-in and begin to explore.  I’ve stayed in a lot of hostels and this place is surely one of the best!   You get a free-shuttle to & from the airport, a free happy hour (HOUR) all you can drink each day next door at the Whitelaw Lounge plus breakfast, nothing fancy but enough to start your day. There is also a gorgeous rooftop pool.    It really is posh!   The price FANTASTIC and if you don’t believe me start researching the cost of hotels.  I am a budget traveler.

My first bed is on top and I have a British guy under me, actually I had two British men!  One on top, one below.  (ha ha get your mind out of the gutter)

Miami2015 022

our pool

soon to become favorite hangout spot

soon to become favorite hangout spot

another lounge alongside the hostel

another lounge alongside the hostel

Miami2015 069

perfect size

6th sense....I see NAKED people.

6th sense….I see NAKED people.

nice sink area for one of the bathrooms

nice sink area for one of the bathrooms

Miami2015 074

where I bedded the British guy (kidding)....

where I bedded the British guy (kidding)….

the lovely kitchen to cook in

the lovely kitchen to cook in

common area for tv viewing

common area for tv viewing

your dirty mind!

your dirty mind!

We have lucked out!  I’ve never been to Argentina nor Brazil but they came to us.  Our hostel had a lot of visitors from these areas.  Beautiful FUN people with hearts of gold and a passion for life. Each night at the happy hour was a blast.  Actually they started the happy hour at the hostel first than we moved on the the Whitelaw Lounge.  FUN, FUN & more FUN!  We also met people from US as well.  All great gals!

Argentina and Brazil is definitely on my list now!

South Beach is a free-spirited place, you see all kinds of people all kinds of things.  It’s the salt & pepper that make South Beach unique.


Pat invited us for a cookout at her condo.  Her pool area had just been renovated and was now open.  It was a gorgeous!  Who did we run into there visiting her friends?  The manager of Posh!   Small world indeed. We had a very nice time and a sunset to die for, thank you very much Pat!

Scenes from the day….

august2015 026

watched while frolicking in the pool :)

august2015 008

our picnic Pat setup, really was lovely!

august2015 028

fire in the sky

august2015 013

one of our views

august2015 012


august2015 016

the views just calm your spirit

august2015 021

sun is saying night night

august2015 022

pretty !

august2015 024 august2015 025 august2015 030 august2015 031 august2015 032 august2015 007

august2015 033

the end of the sky show :)

Villa Vizcaya & Gardens

Most of my travel is about chasing art & history.  I love culture.  A beach vacation is something I rarely get but do enjoy once in awhile.  The culture bug in me needed a fix so we decided on Villa Vizcaya & Gardens.  Not the kind of place you ever expect to find in Miami.  Pat has visited several times and helped us with the transportation there which was a bus and train.  It was pretty darn easy so if you don’t have a rental car you can still visit this villa.  This mansion belonged to James Deering.  Villa Vizcaya looks like a palace straight out of Italy.  It has the original antiques and furniture.  You may have seen Villa Vizcaya in settings for movies but didn’t realize it.  Tony Rome, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Any Given Sunday, Bad Boys II, Airport 77, Haunts of the Very Rich, The Money Pit and Iron Man 3.  The music video for The Cover Girls “Promise Me”  was filmed at Vizcay.  There was also a music video by New Edition filmed there as well.

I would love to see it here at night I bet it is absolutely gorgeous.  What a home!  You could not take pictures inside the house or I would have a lot more.  Do visit the cafe!  We had some fantastic Sangria and the food was good as well.

Scenes from the day….

Miami2015 039

see how it looks like a ship?

Miami2015 031 Miami2015 032 Miami2015 033 Miami2015 035 Miami2015 036 Miami2015 038 Miami2015 041 Miami2015 042 Miami2015 043 Miami2015 044 Miami2015 045 Miami2015 046 Miami2015 047 Miami2015 048 Miami2015 054 Miami2015 055 Miami2015 056 Miami2015 065

Miami2015 057 Miami2015 058 Miami2015 061 Miami2015 062 Miami2015 063 Miami2015 066

While at the hostel, I meet a young German who I think is 20 years old.  It was kind of funny he could drink in Germany but couldn’t in America.  He was having a hard wrapping his mind around that rule.  We had discussions about young people binge drinking once they are able.  For him, it is not like that and getting drunk is never the purpose.  He was staying one night at the hostel before heading to another destination when his parents arrived from Germany the next day.  He wanted to hang out with us so we went to the beach.  A hurricane may be coming and the previous storms have brought tons of seaweed.  I had my chair in the water and each time a wave left me I was filled with green twigs and berries!  You had to go out a good distance to get past the seaweed.  That was my last beach.

Later we head to happy hour, Monica the beautiful girl from Brazil and the rest of the gals took the German guy under their wing.

Happy Hour = Happy :)

Scenes from happy….

Miami2015 028

gorgeous girls with my Mom

Miami2015 168

Nathan on left, the bartender

Miami2015 173

Whitelaw Lounge (next to hostel)


the beautiful Monica


Monica and the gang with Mom


happy days :)

. Miami2015 026 Miami2015 155 Miami2015 161 Miami2015 162 Miami2015 163 Miami2015 164 Miami2015 165 Miami2015 167 Miami2015 169 Miami2015 170 Miami2015 171 Miami2015 257 Miami2015 259 Miami2015 261 Miami2015 262 Miami2015 263 Miami2015 264 monica2

Another activity we did in South Beach was to attend the drag queen show at The Palace.  What a hoot!  My mom had already left to go home and I really wish I could have taken her to this show.  The photos speak for themselves!

scenes from the drag queen show at the Palace….

Miami2015 178 Miami2015 182 Miami2015 190 Miami2015 201 Miami2015 204 Miami2015 205 Miami2015 209 Miami2015 213 Miami2015 216 Miami2015 217

Key West

I had three nights booked for Key West.  Monica had rented a car for the day and drove to Key West and when she got back to the hostel she showed me her photos.  Now I was really excited to go because the photos were gorgeous!   We booked a bus to get us there and back and we stayed at Angelina’s Guest House which was TERRIFIC!  I highly recommend this place.  The owners were wonderful.

I’m here to tell you it was hotter in Key West than in South Beach.  Much hotter if you can imagine.  A lady on the bus did warn us!  She was right!  Now with three days I believe we packed in a nice mixture of seeing things, bar life and Margarittaville.

Key West is closer to Cuba than Miami.  (I am truly yearning to visit Cuba one day)   It’s tropical, the houses are beautiful and the people are very friendly.  You hear people visit and decide to stay for life.  I get that now.  It’s very laid back and moves on it’s own terms.  That is a winning lifestyle if you ask me.  Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffet are some of the famous people who made homes here.    ONE HUMAN FAMILY is the motto of the community.

august2015 223

So here is a glimpse of my trip to Key West.  Next time I will stay a week.

Ernest Hemingway House –  do go !!!

I loved the six-toed cats, the house and the gardens. I like the kitten house that is a replica of the home.  Very cool !

august2015 164

the kitten house

august2015 145

fountain for the cats

august2015 091 august2015 094 august2015 095 august2015 097 august2015 098 august2015 099 august2015 100 august2015 101 august2015 103 august2015 104 august2015 105 august2015 107 august2015 108 august2015 109 august2015 110 august2015 111 august2015 112 august2015 113 august2015 114 august2015 115 august2015 116 august2015 117 august2015 118 august2015 119 august2015 121 august2015 122 august2015 123 august2015 124 august2015 125 august2015 126 august2015 127 august2015 128 august2015 129 august2015 130 august2015 131 august2015 132 august2015 133 august2015 135 august2015 136 august2015 137 august2015 138 august2015 139 august2015 140 august2015 142 august2015 143 august2015 144 august2015 146 august2015 147 august2015 149 august2015 151 august2015 152 august2015 155 august2015 156 august2015 158 august2015 159 august2015 160 august2015 161 august2015 162 august2015 163 august2015 165 august2015 166 august2015 168 august2015 169 august2015 170

The Harry S. Truman Little White House was a neat activity.  I went here alone and had a GREAT guide. President Truman spent about a 100+ days at this house.   It has the furniture and look of the times when he was here.  Welcome to the 1950’s!  You could not take picture inside.  This is all I could get from the outside.

Little White House

august2015 175 august2015 177 august2015 178 august2015 179

I think the Mallory Square sunset is worth trying once.  Next time I will bring my own chair.  I think Kelly & Pat were shopping when I went here.

august2015 062 august2015 063 august2015 064 august2015 065 august2015 068 august2015 073 august2015 075 august2015 077 august2015 079 august2015 085

The star of Key West is the rooster.   Chickens are indeed everywhere and I personally love them.  I ate with them, drank with them and walked with them.  There are people who want the chickens gone but I am with the “if you don’t like it than leave” group.

Here are some photos of my buddies:

august2015 038 august2015 051 august2015 052 august2015 056 august2015 186 august2015 187

Miami2015 094 Miami2015 101 Miami2015 111 Miami2015 113

Now where would we be without the Key West Nightlife (or Day Life) ?

People like to party!

Miami2015 097 Miami2015 122 Miami2015 128 Miami2015 135 Miami2015 137 Miami2015 138 Miami2015 143 Miami2015 144 august2015 048 august2015 049 august2015 050 august2015 055 august2015 238 august2015 240 august2015 244 august2015 246 august2015 250 august2015 251

Walk, walk and walk more and take in the sights and people.

Walking scenes….

august2015 059 august2015 183 august2015 184 august2015 189 august2015 191 august2015 193 august2015 194 august2015 196 august2015 201 august2015 202 august2015 205 august2015 206 august2015 207 august2015 209 august2015 210 august2015 211 august2015 212 august2015 219 august2015 222 august2015 232

Miami2015 090 Miami2015 116 Miami2015 145 Miami2015 151 Miami2015 152

I spent a good bit of time at the B&B as well.  Lovely tranquil setting.  Much ado about nothing.

Miami2015 088 Miami2015 131 Miami2015 132 Miami2015 133 Miami2015 134

august2015 036 august2015 039 august2015 040 august2015 088 august2015 090 august2015 255 august2015 256

Also important–get your tourist photo at this spot :)  The line moved quick.  It’s all in good fun!

august2015 227 august2015 228 august2015 230 august2015 231

.Y’all come Back Now Ya Hear?

The End


My FL Key West Hotel review – Angelina Guest House

My hostel in South Beach, Miami FL

this was on my old blog….needs to be on my new one :)  Leaving snowy Maryland while I’m California dreaming :)

san diego 049

that’s me in there ready to land

san diego 010

ewww ewww and more ewww

san diego 034 san diego 055 san diego 056 san diego 065 san diego 066 san diego 067 san diego 068 san diego 072 san diego 073

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m home now after a delightful trip to Spain.  My stay included Madrid, Malaga & Cordoba.  I did a day trip to Ronda.  Next time, I will base all my stay in Malaga.  Awesome people, places and food!!!  There’s lots to see and do there.  Even with a week’s stay I have many more items still on my list.  My report is under construction.  I am going to be very busy the next few weeks but will get to this project as soon as I can.   Here’s a sneak preview.  I’ve got lots more to add.  I miss Spain.

























Read the rest of this entry »

We love castles, we love tiara’s, we love villages with old warm charm, cold beer, wine, music, vineyards and adventures. Germany was going to fit the bill nicely for us girls. We like grumpy people who we make smile. We like happy people who already smile. We got lost, we got found, we danced and were sung to by older German men. We were scolded. (mild infraction regarding touching something on display) We rode boats, horse carriages, cable cars, buses, trains and we made friends. We ate & drank everything! We had one flasher but that’s for later. Now a lot of that above is really a reminder list of what I need to write about for this report. Germany gave it all to us and more. First stop – Rudesheim My first tip – pronounced Ru des hime , at first we thought it was like “shine.” This part of the trip includes three Maryland girls (me, Kelly & Vivian) Ellen from New York and Kathleen from Ireland. We moved around far more than usual on this vacation because there was a lot we wanted to and accomplish. At times it was grueling but I’d do it over again.

GermanyPartone 058 GermanyPartone 168 GermanyPartone 013 GermanyPartone 021 GermanyPartone 061 GermanyPartone 127 GermanyPartone 159 GermanyPartone 162 GermanyPartone 172 GermanyPartone 179

Day One –  after the long plane ride and a train here it was a matter of find the hotel, eat and rest. Day Two – GREAT DAY ! We start our Rudesheim exploration with the Ring & Romantic ticket.  This gets you a chairlift to the Germania monument, cable car to Assmannshausen town and a riverboat tour.  If that’s not enough there is a bonus, a deer sanctuary plus you get to feed them!  Oh and did I tell you the chairlift goes over vineyards?  It does!  Coolest thing ever! You want to get over jetlag? You get this ticket! Scenes from the day: oh and Ellen laid an egg and Kelly had to run with an omelette !!!



GermanyPartone 060 GermanyPartone 068 GermanyPartone 069 GermanyPartone 070 GermanyPartone 071 GermanyPartone 078 GermanyPartone 079 GermanyPartone 082 GermanyPartone 084 GermanyPartone 087 GermanyPartone 092 GermanyPartone 099 GermanyPartone 105 GermanyPartone 107 GermanyPartone 109   GermanyPartone 119 GermanyPartone 122 GermanyPartone 124 GermanyPartone 130 GermanyPartone 143 GermanyPartone 145 GermanyPartone 147 GermanyPartone 150 GermanyPartone 151 GermanyPartone 153 GermanyPartone 154 GermanyPartone 157 GermanyPartone 158 GermanyPartone 159 GermanyPartone 160 GermanyPartone 164 GermanyPartone 165 GermanyPartone 167 GermanyPartone 174 GermanyPartone 178 GermanyPartone 182 GermanyPartone 184 GermanyPartone 185 GermanyPartone 186 GermanyPartone 188

Funniest thing ever is when that egg fell out of Ellen’s bag at the restaurant.  I’m going to stick to the story that she laid it though right in that town we nicknamed Assman.  We did indeed run with Kelly’s omelette!  The food came too late at another place and the boat was pulling up and we had to “Runnnnn Forest” with the omelette.  It was delicious.   When I go back to Rudesheim I am going to do this ticket again.  The photos speak for themselves. Our evening leads to merriment! Read the rest of this entry »

Sensational Sicily….first glimpse:

Uploads from j3dnight:

Hawaii Trip Report 2013 * Aloha :)

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Travel

Oahu, Kauai, & Maui

Oahu segment:

Just what the doctor ordered, Hawaii. But he didn’t order it I did it with miles and after much stress at work which started affecting my health I arrived limping. Not really limping as in leg injury but in mind and spirit. Can you fix me Hawaii? The answer….yes we can and Hawaii does. When you start feeling a bit too warm she gives you a breeze, too dry a rain shower than sun. When you need a sign you get a rainbow.

hawaiidisk22013 224

Read the rest of this entry »


Image  —  Posted: September 30, 2013 in Travel
Tags: ,


Image  —  Posted: September 30, 2013 in Travel
Tags: ,