starship - VT

starship VT

starship - VT

Although I have many and varied interests, travel is never far from my thoughts. I love reading and writing about travel. I never travel without a camera (or two) and a travel journal. While some view travel purely as a vacation and time for relaxation, I more often view it as an ongoing education -- a book with chapters I can't wait to read. At present, my wanderlust shows no signs of weakening. Every new passport stamp tells a story.

My very long time travel motto is taken from Michael Palin: "Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected for the rest of my life."







North America » United States » Texas » Dallas July 12th 2021

April, 2019 -- In retrospect, it was a mistake not to devote an extra day to see Waco on this Texas trip. The day we spent exploring the ‘new face’ of Waco was pretty much a whirlwind tour – plenty to see and do to fill up a day, but one day is not enough time to get a real feel for this city. In fact, in hindsight, a lot more time was needed to see and get a feel for Texas as a whole. I would have liked to see New Braunfels and Grapevine; and, though it would have been way off our north-south-north course, I would have liked to have seen Odessa for personal reasons but it was too far west. So, the last full day in Texas began with a drive back to ... read more
The Sixth Floor Museum - once the Texas School Book Depository
Presidential Motorcade photo from the Sixth Floor Museum

North America » United States » Texas » Waco April 12th 2021

Our time in Fredericksburg had swiftly come to an end. The final morning began with a slow drive through the flower-covered hills and roadsides of the Willow City Loop which were fairly bursting with Texas Bluebonnets and red Indian Paintbrush with lots of other flowers making an appearance in this riot of color which this area is well known for. I could have stayed a bit longer in the Texas Hill Country as there was a lot more to see -- a few good museums, historic buildings, and some popular parks with interesting features including the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Old Tunnel State Park to name only two. These are located within the city limits or a short distance from Fredericksburg. The remainder of our morning schedule called for driving on to the city ... read more
1st Street Cemetery

North America » United States » Texas » Fredericksburg March 18th 2021

Taking a trip ‘out west’ to see the great state of Texas had been on my wish list for some time, but visiting there had always been overlooked in favor of an international destination until April, 2019 when the time seemed right to see the “Lone Star” state. Planning an itinerary for places and sites we both were interested in seeing was actually pretty easy. Texas is the 2nd largest state in the nation covering almost 270,000 square miles of territory, and just mentioning its name conjures up images of its legendary geographical attributes and independent minded people. It is a state blessed with a variety of geographical features, and it is famous as the setting of more than a few very profound moments in American history. With only a week to visit, we focused on ... read more

North America » United States January 18th 2021

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a year like no other in many ways. Filled with extraordinary challenges and roller-coaster highs and lows, the global COVID-19/ coronavirus pandemic has changed life for nearly all of us in innumerable ways. Restrictions on activities and lock downs imposed by governments took many forms. For months the issued restrictions on normal daily life were far reaching and imposed serious hardships on many -- from people losing their loved ones, to loss of social contact, to people losing their businesses and livelihoods. For some this resulted in feelings of hopelessness, loss of control and depression -- these mental health issues are finally being recognized by the healthcare professionals but how are they being handled? During the earliest period of shutdowns, only essential businesses and medically-related venues were ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca October 27th 2020

Saturday, October 19th Day 14 -- Our final day in sun-kissed Essaouira – the perfect weather here had been a wonderful gift which we had taken for granted. Regrettably, this day we will have little or no time to breathe in the fresh sea breezes or walk the charming, narrow lanes of its colorful medina. While I could easily have enjoyed more time in Essaouira, I also enjoy the anticipation that each day brings us more new discoveries and today to a much different city -- the city we'd only garnered a fleeting glimpse of before beginning our journey in Morocco 2 weeks earlier. We were truly coming full circle in the city of Casablanca. With our luggage packed and readied for pick up, we made our way down to the restaurant, The Fondouk, for our ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 13th 2020

On Thursday, October 17th, we arrived in the coastal city of Essaouira from the vibrant city of Marrakesh. As much as I enjoyed that great city, and even earlier visiting the red sand desert climes of the Sahara, I could't wait to be near the ocean again. Visiting Essaouira and reveling along her Atlantic shores is a panacea for anyone who, like me, cannot resist the siren call of the sea. Surprisingly, the strong draw I always feel for being near the ocean was nearly eclipsed by the charms of Essaouira’s terra firma. I knew then I would be forever under the spell of Essaouira. It combined all the features I find most interesting about any town – geographical beauty, history, architecture, culture, and most definitely a friendly disposition. Essaouira had all of these. Its medina, ... read more


Yesterday our excursion exploring some of the Ourika Valley had begun early and ended late. We welcomed a somewhat later wake up call on Day 12 (Thursday, October 17, 2019) -- the only problem was the wake up call never came, or did we sleep through it? We’ll never know but we were glad that we had set our own phone alarm just for situations like this. We had to scramble to do some last minute packing to make sure our luggage got placed outside of our hotel room for pickup before breakfast. Thankfully we had taken our showers the night before so we felt reasonably presentable for the day! We enjoyed our last breakfast at Hotel Opera Plaza’s La Rossini Restaurant where we managed to have time for omelets, fruit and coffee which was plenty ... read more


Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Day 11. We could have easily spent our second full day in Marrakesh discovering new sites in the “Red City” or spending more time at our favorite places seen the previous day. But the possibilities of going farther afield to see new sights and gather more experiences won out as usual when I have a choice. In this case a travel video I had seen enticed me to opt for a day excursion into the Ourika Valley. Beginning the day with an early wake up call and light breakfast, we were on the road by 8 am headed to our day’s destination. Traveling south and once more crossing the Plain of Haouz, our route backtracked some of the roads we had taken only days before when we were leaving the High ... read more


Good weather followed us every day so far, and Day 10 of our Moroccan adventure was no different although on this day the humidity could be keenly felt. An ambitious agenda was planned for our first full day in Marrakesh which is not surprising considering how much there is to see and do here. As mentioned in my preceding blog, the noise from the heavily congested roundabout traffic circle next to our hotel could have ruined a good night’s sleep, but didn’t thanks to the two pairs of heavy sliding doors leading to our balcony so our room was quiet. We were joined at breakfast in the Le Rossini International Restaurant by another member of our group. A buffet-style breakfast is served here each morning and included a variety of salads, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit and ... read more
Bahia Palace

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 29th 2020

Marrakesh --- just the name conjures up images of the exotic. A colorful tapestry weaving together not only the old and the new, but an intoxicating blend of cultural influences derived from the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Marrakesh has been called the “Jewel of Morocco” and it certainly seems to live up to its title. Marrakesh was one of the four ancient Imperial cities, once a celebrated capital that lies only 150 miles from the present-day capital of Rabat. Today this sprawling 4th largest city in Morocco seems to be growing in all directions. Founded around 1070 AD by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, a cousin to the then reigning Berber Almorovid king, Marrakesh was once a very important stop and trade center on caravan routes crisscrossing the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. It was at ... read more




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