Why You Should Hire a Tour Guide When You Travel: Part One

Cape Town's colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood

“Is it okay if I take a few minutes and give you a little background about South African history? It’s not something most American schools teach.” That’s how Garth introduced himself and I bristled a bit. South Africa. I know about South Africa. There’s apartheid, Oscar Pistorius, the Sugar Man, and the Lion King. Heck. I participated in a sit-in during the 80’s to protest my college’s investments in South Africa, an effort that was abandoned after a few hours because I needed to get back to my apartment to host a party.

Okay.

I know nothing about South Africa.

But I hoped my guided tour of Cape Town would change that sad fact. Continue reading

Rovos Rail: Climb Aboard and Travel Back in Time

_DSC0083Remember pop-up books? I loved them as a kid. You’d be reading along, then you turn the page, and SURPRISE! – a fantastic 3-D illustration of a scene would spring up.

That’s what it felt like to be sitting in the balcony car at the end of the passenger train as we click-clacked our way through South Africa’s Great Karoo, sipping chilled cocktails. But I wasn’t in a children’s storybook; my pop-up was straight out of an Agatha Christie novel. All that was missing was a chalk body outline on the floor and Inspector Hercule Poirot. Continue reading

Bucket List Travel Ideas for 2016

2016 resolutions might require bucket list travel ideas.I found last year’s list of resolutions pinned behind an expired Bed, Bath, and Beyond 20% off coupon. I resolve to pay more attention to my resolutions this year. What’s on your list? Want to travel more? If you need some bucket list travel ideas for 2016, then I suggest visiting a Travel Show this winter. It’s a great way to take the take the first step towards planning your next vacation, pick up some tips from travel pros, explore different cuisines, or to simply daydream for a few hours.

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Suitcase Packing Tips: When Every Pound Counts

Two giraffes at sunset in South Africa, a trip that needs special suitcase packing tips.44 pounds? A soft-sided bag? With no wheels? I was speechless as I read the luggage restrictions for my upcoming bucket list trip to South Africa. I was going to have to teach my inner old dog some new tricks. Following are suitcase packing tips and products to help you travel lighter. Continue reading

Vitamins and Supplements: Manage Your Pills On the Road

It’s time to talk menopause. Men – you’re welcome to stay, but if this kind of conversation makes you uncomfortable, feel free to check out one of my posts about football instead. Last January I missed my period. It happened again in February and I sensed it was the beginning of the end. Rather than proceed with a year of living dangerously, I hightailed it over to a holistic medical center and met with the physicians and counselors to express my fear of a. hot flashes, b. getting fat, and c. cataclysmic mood swings. They reviewed my diet and exercise habits, did some blood and hormone workups, and recommended bioidentical hormones and vitamins and supplements.

One year later, I’m happy to report that I haven’t killed anyone. Continue reading