Sally Campbell

Len Sally

Sally Campbell

I'm a retired teacher who is still doing some part-time teaching and tutoring. After spending my entire life in Illinois, I am currently living in central Florida. I love to travel, and I hope to continue doing that for many years.

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam June 21st 2019

A few days before our departure, I flew to Peoria to visit with family ahead of the trip. On May 28, Jill and I took a Peoria Charter Coach to O'Hare Airport to board our Icelandair flight. Following a plane change in Reykjavik,we were bumped to First Class for the 3 hour flight to Amerstdam. Our hotel was very convenient to the train station, the main canal, and the tour busses; however, it was in the Red Light District! The hotel was very nice, but the neighborhood was a "happenin'" place. My introduction to Amsterdam was in the form of "Offbeat Amsterdam Red Light District Tour." This was pretty amazing! The streets were very busy with customers/gawkers/tourists, and the area had the smell of the coffee shops. They aren't selling coffee, but marijuana of all types. ... read more
Red Light District Sign

This was our last day of planned activities here in “The jungle on the beach”. Our muscles were sore and tired, but we had another day of hiking, so we sucked it up and attacked the Manuel Antonio National Park. First, we learned that the land used to be owned by a man named...Manuel Antonio. For many years the locals had a path across it to the best beach around. Manuel Antonio was fine with that, so the practice went on for many years. After he died, a French man purchased the property and he erected a fence and put up “Prohibido el paso” signs. The locals climbed the fence and crossed through his jungle to the beach. He built taller fences, and they continued to go over. When he added even more security, the locals ... read more
Hungry monkey
Monkey mid-jump
Howler monkey

It stormed all night, so I was very happy to wake up and realize that the sun was peeking through. This was our catamaran cruise day, and I certainly didn't want it to get rained out. We caught our van to the dock in Quepos, and boarded a large and apparently new catamaran. This boat had lots of extras...2 criss-crossing slides into the water, 2 hot tubs, and 2 stretched nets to lie on over the water. They served fresh fruit, crackers, and an open bar as we sailed out of the port and into the Pacific Ocean. We were hoping to see dolphins, but they must have had other plans for the day because they never did show up. After an hour or so, we dropped anchor in a sheltered cove and jumped in! The ... read more

This morning we left the cool mountain top of Monteverde to head to the lowlands and the beach. I managed to sit in the front seat for the hair-raising descent on the dirt road that leads down and around the mountain. I think I was better off not knowing that Juan Carlos, our driver, talks with his hands...taking both of them off the steering wheel at the same time. On the drive to Manuel Antonio, we made a monkey stop to see some howlers up in a tree. I've always been particularly amused by monkeys in the wild, so I continue to get excited about sightings. We made a pit stop further down the road, and we managed to see some black-striped iguanas. I'm accustomed to lizards in Florida, but these are big! Our guide assured ... read more
Black-striped Iguana
View from below Monteverde
Howler Monkeys

What a great day! The rain that we experienced the first few days stopped yesterday afternoon, and has not returned. Even though we are on a mountain, in a cloud forest, we had quite a bit of sun today. Still, there are water droplets in the air all of the time, and clouds move through regularly. Today was zip line day, and we were excited! I've done it before, but this was the best ever! There was a lot of uphill climbing between several of the lines, and I was the only one in the group over 40. I often had to stop to breathe, but the young guides were so helpful and supportive! Marshall was able to sprint up the slippery, steep walkways through the jungle. We had 16 different lines of all types. The ... read more
Chocolate Tour

When we woke up this morning, our muscles reminded us that we spent 2 hours on horseback yesterday! Whoa! It was time to leave this pretty resort, and move to our next destination. Our guide has a degree in biology, so he was the perfect one to take us on a nature walk at the base of the volcano. He shared lots of information about the regeneration of the flora and fauna since this area was covered by lava in 1968. We walked for an hour, seeing orchids, bromeliads, bamboo, and young trees. He pointed out many of the things that we would have missed on our own. Nature guides are so good at seeing things before anyone else, and he pointed out a coatimundi moving through the trees. It's a raccoon/monkey kind of an animal, ... read more

It rained all night, and when we woke this morning, it was still coming down. (We're in a rain forest). Apparently, nothing stops the locals from earning some tourist dollars, so we went horseback riding in the rain! Marshall had never been on a horse before, and it had been decades since I had ridden one, but we were ready to go! There were three honeymoon couples plus the two of us. I didn't feel old, did I? The caballeros matched us to the right horse, and we were off. Marshall got a really pretty gray one, and I got the biggest one (I wonder why?); it looked like an Arabian horse that we had when I was a kid. For the next hour, we rode through fields, across streams, and through the rain forest. Occasionally, ... read more
La Fortuna Waterfall
Ecothermale Hot Springs
Hot Springs After Sunset

This morning we boarded a bus for a drive around San Jose before leaving for La Fortuna at the base of the Arenal Volcano. There is one building that was built in the last century and made of sheets of metal. It was shipped to San Jose from Europe, but the blueprints weren't included. The metal plates were stored for a year when the "direction book" finally arrived. On our drive through the countryside, we saw acres of sugar cane, coffee, papayas, bananas, and lots of other crops that I didn't recognize. We drove through Costa Rica's beautiful mountains on narrow, twisting roads as we climbed higher. Since this is the rainy season, and we are in the tropics, it rained most of the afternoon. The clouds were so low, that the drive in the mountains ... read more
Lomas del Volcan
View from our front porch

Marshall and I had an uneventful flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. We were pleased with our hotel where we have a ninth floor room that has floor to ceiling windows overlooking this city of 2 million people. We went for a walk in hopes of finding some great local cuisine. Instead, we found Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, KFC, and a strip club. Back at the hotel restaurant, we had a lovely meal while watching the soccer coverage. Since Costa Rica is still in the competition, there are Costa Rican flags flying from cars and businesses; the excitement is running high! We had a "group meeting" of the 41 people on this tour and received our instructions for tomorrow. I prefer to orchestrate my trips and travel independently instead of riding a bus around ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich September 18th 2013

The Malaysian woman who was also staying at the B and B was flying back today, so we went to the airport together. She was a tiny little thing with a huge suitcase and a shopping bag that was twice the typical size. I had my backpack and suitcase. We were quite a sight getting on and off trams as we worked our way to the airport. When we arrived, we went our separate ways, and I checked out the the airport before boarding my 2:00 flight on IcelandAir. Here are some more tidbits I learned during this trip: Everyone under the age of 30 and many people over the age of 30 can speak enough English to communicate. They start learning it in Kindergarten. Nearly all of the music I heard was American with a ... read more

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