Page 15 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

When you board the plane your mind instantly starts wandering; you can almost feel the warmth of the tropical winds, high humidity and imagine the wonder of diving along a coral wall looking into the deep blue abyss around you. Your journey to the islands starts as you relax, unwind and leave the day to day behind you. You grab a brief moment to think about the fact that you fled the cold Pittsburh winter to stare at the clear turquoise waters, scuba dive, relax and read. Sitting on the tarmack waiting to for the plane to be de-iced, we are in search of a few days without phones, beepers and blackberries. For the uninformed we want to let you know that only 11 days before we left for the islands, Pittsburgh was hit with 21 ... read more
Turquoise Waters are Amazing
Grand Turk Sunset
A Quiet Pier

North America » United States » Florida » Keys » Key West November 26th 2009

You step off the plane, down the steps and onto the tarmac and experience the sweet sensation of mega-humidity. You’re still technically in the States, but any resemblance to the mainland ends the minute you find yourself in a van where the taxi driver rides along with his companion and co-pilot which just happens to be a talking parrot named Mango. Welcome to the Conch Republic, the end of the road, the southernmost point of the continental United States and home to a bunch of folk who were smart enough to realize that what goes on in the rest of the country just isn’t that important to them as they have more on their mind than just a house with a white picket fence in the burbs, two kids, the PTA and bowling night. Welcome to ... read more
I'm not kidding around here!
The official beer of Key West
Classical music in Key West

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels September 21st 2009

……and chocolate….and mussels? Of course you did and we are happy to report that they are each quite kind to the palate. Our travels in Belgium took us to Brugge, Gent and Brussels; we had hoped to see Antwerp but that will be saved for a future trip as we ran out of time. What we learned while in Belgium is that they have focused their talents and have become world class producers of beer and fine chocolates. They are the BEST!!!! Seriously, there can be no debate here. The beers and chocolates that we tasted were beyond compare. One of our goals while in Belgium was to taste as many of those splendid Belgian ales as possible….and we did. I’m sure all of you would be proud of our efforts. Our good friend Sandy ... read more
St. Barnadus and Brugge Zot
Dave drinking Belgium Beer
Westmalle trappist

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Bayeux September 16th 2009

Leaving Paris was not easy, but nonetheless part of the plan. We had entered this marvelous city under the cover of clouds and rain and would leave it the same way. Fortunately for us all the days in between were warm and sunny. Our last hotel was directly across from the train station that would deliver us to our next destination. We boarded the nearly empty train which left promptly on time and deposited us in Evereux only one hour later. From there we rented a car and began the next chapter of our journey….to Giverny; for the home and gardens of Monet and then to Bayeux, near the area where the D-Day assault began. Giverny was a delight to say the least. Our one night stay there found us in a beautiful bed and breakfast ... read more
Are you an artist?
Monet's Lily Pond
Giverny- our B&B

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris September 11th 2009

It is dusk, we are in Paris, the city of lights, love, romance and fashion…we find ourselves sitting in a French café watching the world walk by. Traveling rejuvenates our soul so we had to come. Life is not about the number of years that you live but the amount of life you experience in those years. We have come to live, share and experience the beauty that Paris has to offer. You have to love a country that produces 7 to 8 million bottles of wine each year. You also must love a country that makes as many cheeses as France and 56 of them are classified, protected, and regulated under French law!! And….. we must not forget those incredible croissants. We have always known or thought that the French were proud of their pastries ... read more
A Few French Cheeses
A Nice French Meal
Every meal is an experience

North America » Canada » Ontario » Niagara Falls May 28th 2009

The fact of the matter is that you can just sit there for hours just staring at them; first the American Falls with the good sized boulders constantly bombarded with the cold water of the Niagara River, then just to the right, the Canadian Falls or “Horseshoe Falls” as they are known, which majestically tumble into the same river with the constant company of the Maid of the Mist tourist boats. Sure, this is a well crafted tourist destination, with all the major hotel chains, the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood, multiple casinos and even an indoor water park which we’re sure impresses the many kids who burn off energy going down the multiple slides into the heavily chlorinated water, not to mention the parents who have successfully found a way to tire out the little ... read more
Canadian Horseshoe Falls
Sheraton Falls View
A Wild and Crazy Guy

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island March 27th 2009

Hello again dear friends, We are writing to you from the warm and sunny beaches of Florida, Sanibel Island more specifically. This missive will start you off with a short history lesson. Dave and I met in September of 1992 and began dating in December- by March of 1993 things were serious and we decided to take our first vacation together. Later I learned that Dave was a bit worried because he had spent most of his time with me at work and wasn’t sure I knew how to relax. In Sanibel he saw the real me and was pleased. As you may have guessed by now our first trip was spent on Sanibel Island. We have returned here to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Wow, 15 years and it has flown by. We’ve been in ... read more
The Great Blue Heron
Tropical Winds Hotel
Romantic Sanibel Sunset

North America » United States » Washington » Sequim July 9th 2008

Lazy days and Lovely Lavender in Sequim, Washington One of our favorite cities in the world is Seattle, Washington. One of the beauties of living there is that it is the jumping off point for so many adventures. We lived in the area for seven years. We miss it and have been reminiscing about one our favorite day trips. One of those is the annual trek to the Olympic Peninsula to the tiny town of Sequim, which hosts the largest annual lavender festival in the United States and known as the “Lavender Capitol” of North America. For us, attending the Lavender Festival was an annual event so last summer we flew to Seattle to spend time with good friends and attend the Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington even though we had moved east of the Mississippi. ... read more
Beautiful farms
Mt. Rainier

Asia May 25th 2008

We landed on the tarmac at SeaTac airport and it was over. Just like that. We found it hard to believe that it could have gone by that quickly. It seemed like Sandy and Jerry had just dropped us off at the airport for an 18 hour voyage to Singapore that would be the start of our grand adventure. The trip was awesome in so many ways it’s hard to know where to begin. To try and describe all that we have seen, learned and experienced would require several weeks and we still couldn’t hope to really scratch the surface of it all. It was exciting, captivating, stunningly beautiful, breathtaking, marvelous, a little scary at times (sorry Mom), and absolutely wonderful. We have described it before as a graduate course in world studies without the exams. ... read more
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
Sydney Opera House
Pacific Highway Drive

North America » United States » Maine March 27th 2008

Packed like sardines in a large tin can, the airport shuttle carried us to the Amsterdam airport, where we attempted to check in at the airline kiosk. To our surprise, we were not assigned seats next to one another. The prospect of sitting apart for over 8 hours was not very appealing, so we made inquiries at the luggage drop. We explained that we had around the world tickets on a single reservation number and couldn’t understand why did not have seats next to one another. The lady was quite friendly and said she would note this on the computer and that we should speak to the person at the gate. When we finally arrived at the gate, we were prepared to explain all of this, but the lady had already taken care of the tickets ... read more
Dinner time!
A walk in the woods
Rick and Esther

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