Page 2 of KLPC Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin December 13th 2015

The notion that all Irishmen are drunkards isn't true, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy a few pints while singing a tune. In fact, much of the stereotype is propagated by college kids flocking to the capital city of Dublin to enjoy the bustling nightlife. Many come here expecting overflowed taps and lush greens, which the country certainly lives up to with its nickname, "the Emerald Isle," but there's more to this island than booze and grass. People forget that Ireland produced the foremost literary figures of the 20th century, including Nobel laureates W.B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, and Oscar Wilde. Its history as a Viking settlement in 988 A.D. instilled strong values and national pride into its people, helping them escape the Great Famine in the mid-1800s and gaining independence from the U.K. in 1922. ... read more
Connoisseur Tasting Experience
Pouring the Perfect Pint
Trinity College Old Library

North America » United States » Maryland » Ocean City August 21st 2015

Long in the tooth are the days of frolicking businessmen or prim and proper women on the shores of Ocean City. What started as a "Ladies' Resort to the Ocean" is now a doormat to hordes of Spring Breakers and Senior Week graduates looking for a memorable time, albeit short on the memory part. When entrepreneur Isaac Coffin built the first beach-front cottage in 1869 to receive paying customers, it was unlikely he foresaw what was to be: a sprawling metropolis with its heyday from the 1950s to 70s. This seaside town may no longer play among the ranks of Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket for Wall Street executives, and probably can't even compete with the less snooty OBX and Myrtle Beach, but it still packs a punch. Like its sister city, Virginia Beach, Ocean City caters ... read more
Fractured Prune
Julia's Cannoli
Phillip's Crab House

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen May 11th 2015

Scandinavians are known for their simplicity, not only in furniture design popularized by Ikea, but also in their way of life. In fact, these people have a state of mind the Danes call "hygge," which is best described as snuggling on the couch under a warm, cozy blanket and watching a good movie. It's about slowing down to smell the roses, so it's no surprise these folks were voted the world's happiest people. While Americans deem Denmark's socialist system as promoting laziness, the Danish view it as a communal responsibility to each other, whether it be paying higher taxes to support universal health care and social security, or volunteering their time to help the underprivileged. They see it as investing in the future by giving families with newborns 52 weeks of parental leave, whereas maternity leave ... read more
Rosenborg Slot

Europe » Iceland May 9th 2015

Iceland is a country of dichotomy. Ingolfr Arnarson, the island's first permanent settler in the 9th century, probably had a hard time naming this place because it was so bipolar; between the glaciers, volcanoes, grasslands, mountains, beaches, and yes, even ice, you'll encounter almost any conceivable biome here, so it really should have been called "Everythingland." While the geography may be unforgiving, one cannot deny the natural beauty of this rugged terrain, which is both a blessing and a curse. The arid landscape in the center of the island--dubbed the "Highlands"--is predominantly uninhabitable, forcing residents to take refuge along the coast. Despite the harsh conditions, these natural resources are also this nation's lifeline. The abundant geothermal and hydropower energy made this the largest electricity producer per capita in the world. The vast water supply is also ... read more
Blue Lagoon

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 22nd 2015

Long perceived as a "hipster" city, this preconception of Portland is in reality, not too far-fetched. That is, if hipster entails liberal politics, environmental consciousness, temperate climate, food carts, and fervor for beer and coffee. This city prides itself on being different, as evidenced by their slogan, "Keep Portland Weird," and if strange is good, then Portland is great. But as unique as this town is, other city governments around the country are taking note and following suit; renown for their dedication to public transportation, high walkability, and large bike-share program, Portland's city council is setting an example for running a sustainable town. Sustainability is also dependent on natural resources, which is quite abundant in the Pacific Northwest. As Seattle is flanked by Puget Sound and Lake Washington, Portland is also surrounded by water; the Willamette ... read more
Multnomah Falls
Blue Star Donut
Salt n' Straw

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver March 9th 2015

Few destinations in the world can boast the backdrop that Vancouver has. Even fewer can proclaim themselves as livable as Vancouver, which is the only city ranked in the "Top 10 Most Livable" list for 5 consecutive years, a testament to its commitment to sustainability and cleanliness. This quality of life comes at a price, however, for it is Canada's most expensive city; real estate here is the world's 6th most expensive (2nd in the Americas only to Los Angeles), and it's the 4th most densely packed municipality in North America (after NYC, San Francisco, and Mexico City). But while it may be suited for living, Vancouver also makes for a perfect escape from your hometown, which is unlikely to be sandwiched between gorgeous mountains, calm waters, and lush forests. Vancouver's original settlement was established in ... read more
Stanley Park
Lynn Canyon Park
View of Vancouver

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle March 7th 2015

Our friends bailed on us for this trip, but that didn't discourage Kristina and I from flying across the country to return to a city we were both familiar with and very fond of. The allure of Seattle drew us back for another taste of its food and natural setting, making this the first time we've ever repeated a destination. What isn't a surprise: Seattle is currently the fastest growing metropolitan area in America, attracting residents and visitors to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, whether for the first time or for life. The Emerald City is nestled between Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains to the west, with Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains to the east. It was settled in the mid-1800s, but exploded in size during the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska during the late ... read more
Pike Place Market
Kerry Park
Mount Baker

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto November 29th 2014

Home of Drake and Jim Carrey... that's the extent of a good description of Toronto. This ain't your picturesque Venice or exotic Bora Bora, and if you're looking for an unforgettable getaway, head in the opposite direction. It may be Canada's most populous city and economic capital, as well as one of the world's most liveable cities, but tourism is not this town's forte. Additionally, being Vancouver's ugly sister isn't easy, which is why Toronto bridges the gap by offering a bustling nightlife and great diversity, earning it the nickname, "City of Neighborhoods," whereby 49 percent of its residents are non-Canadians. Kristina and I had a five-hour layover during our flight home from Istanbul, which was sufficient time to scramble into the city and visit the downtown area. We exchanged money at the airport (our first ... read more
Toronto Skyline

Europe » Austria » Vienna November 25th 2014

Music may be Vienna's finest export, but no less important are its political sway as a United Nations headquarter, historical significance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and social prowess as the world's most livable city with the highest quality of life according to numerous publications. Its role as the Austro-Hungarian Empire's capital before WWI made Vienna the foremost city in the German-speaking world, while its occupation by the four powers post-WWII imparted American, English, Russian, and French influences. Furthermore, close proximity to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia helped turn Vienna-Prague-Budapest-Bratislava into the most popular itinerary for travelers in Eastern Europe today. In short, Vienna is a melting pot of cultures, although you wouldn't know walking down its streets. As you venture around the city, you'll also encounter erected monuments and humble... read more
Schonbrunn Palace
Cafe Sacher

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague November 24th 2014

Of the twenty cities on three continents that Kristina and I have visited together in the last two years--in addition to the scores of others we've traveled to separately--Prague is unquestionably our favorite. If fifth place was worth a medal, this town would give Phelps a run for his money; it ranks number five on both Tripadvisor's best destinations 2014 (after Istanbul, Rome, London, and Beijing) and the list of most visited cities in Europe (after Paris, London, Istanbul, and Rome). Contributing to this meteorologic rise in popularity was the fall of communism two decades ago, because before then, this city was left for dead amidst civil unrest, economic instability, and political turmoil. Give this town another twenty years and it may even surpass the "Big Three" in the number of visitors, but for now, it's ... read more
Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square
Mostecka in Mala Strana
Strahov Monastery Library

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