Category archives: Travel

Out And About In Seattle

Big cities don’t thrill me, but Seattle, Washington, has many fun and out-of-the-ordinary things to do, beautiful scenery, friendly people, good food . . . I could go on.

During a recent trip, we spent a few days in Seattle, sightseeing and catching up with an old friend. Though it was typical weather for the US Northwest—with gray skies, occasional mist, and one day of actual rain—we made the most of our time there. And once again, we arrived back at our hotel one evening wondering why we thought we could pack so much into a day—at our ages. (more…)

Just Off The Beaten Path: Santa Rosalía, BCS, Mexico

The American at the border crossing in Tijuana said of Santa Rosalía, “That’s a dirty little town.” Since that was our stated destination, the man’s assertion seemed quite rude. But we handled his affront well enough. And, yes, one might think so, if you are—as most do—driving straight through Santa Rosalía en route to somewhere else, somewhere better known to the average tourist who spends his or her time elsewhere in southern Baja.

Santa Rosalia from Las Casitas, to the south

Treasures Abound in Southern Baja (more…)

Lessons Learned in Rome

Vatican City

This is the third, and final, post in our When in Rome series.

Early access is best. Make reservations online ahead of time if you can. Go for the “no line” opinion. We have been to several World Heritage sites and other places frequented by the masses. And we don’t like crowds or missing out on what we came to see because of those crowds. Therefore, we usually seek out passes with the early access option (Chichen Itza, for example). They don’t cost more. You just have to be willing to get up and to leave early in the morning, sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m. (more…)

Out and About in Rome

Vittorio Emanuele II Monument

This is the second post in our When in Rome series.

Our first full day in Rome, we loosely followed the Heart of Rome walking tour suggested by Rick Steves, visiting the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Pietra, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and the Bruno Statue in Campo de’ Fiori. Steves is the travel expert on Europe seen on PBS. We found a copy of his travel book for Rome in our apartment, and off we went. (more…)

Pickpockets – Put Them Out of Business

On a busy afternoon metro ride in Rome, Italy, a friend of mine had his wallet stolen from one of the pockets on his cargo shorts. You know the kind. The pocket down low on the leg, secured with a small patch of Velcro. The robbery happened when my friend was exiting a carriage, and he has played the event back in his mind enough times to know exactly when the theft occurred. There was a young (more…)

Announcing Camino Route Report – Via De La Plata 2016

Camino de Santiago

During the fall months of October and November 2016, Grandpa hit the trail for thirty-three days of walking the Via de la Plata in western Spain. Daily accounts of that journey to find history, peace, and new friends are now available on the blog site. Either follow the links in this post, or select Camino de Santiago here, or from the blog’s main menu.

The Vía de la Plata (Silver Way)

Starting in Sevilla (Seville), is 1000 kilometers from Sevilla traveling through (more…)

La Dolce Vita: Living the Good Life While Touring Northern and Central Italy

Photo credits: All images by Brien Crothers

Continued from the Options When Two Is Four or More series about the advantages of using the Internet when securing lodging for a tour of Italy

Areas of Italy We Visited and the Places We Rented

Rome (Roma, in Italian) is a big, noisy, busy city with hundreds of things to see and do. Ancient history is everywhere. Just walk in any direction near the older parts of the city, and you will see amazing sights, learn a lot about the era of the Roman Empire, and enjoy unique cultural experiences beyond any of your expectations.

Getting around is easy on the metro and bus systems. They were always packed when we needed to use them. Be ever vigilant with your belongings.

Our rented place was in a nice neighborhood—secure, clean, roomy, and adequately equipped, appointed, and stocked. There were stores, mini shops, a bakery, and lots of dining options nearby. Our host, Andrea, met us there at street level as planned, took us up to the fourth floor, explained everything (the location of laundry facilities, amenities in the kitchen, dining options in the neighborhood, etc.) and left us the keys. Easy peasy. (more…)

Options When Two Is Four Or More

Photo credits: All images by Brien Crothers

Following my adventures on the John Muir Trail (JMT), I headed to Europe for another trip of a lifetime. I’d like to spend a few posts sharing about some of the lodgings we stayed in and the cost savings we found on the way.

It all started one evening around our breakfast nook table with two laptops, some snacks, and a bottle of wine. (more…)

How to Properly Train for Your World Travel Adventures

Some of the world’s great sights (such as the ancient Mayan city of Coba on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico) include a fair amount of walking

Last week, in my latest installment on preparing for world travel, I encouraged you to check with your physician or, at a minimum, do a very honest self-assessment before starting a conditioning schedule to meet your adventure dreams. This week, I’d like to discuss progressive training, a method of gradually conditioning your body, to meet the demands of your travel destination. I will also provide you with a generic training plan. In future posts, I will discuss specific goals like hiking the John Muir Trail in California and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Though specific, the training methods for these locations can be modified to meet your needs. (more…)