Where Have You Been All My Life, Disney Springs?

What to see at Disney Springs include a hot air balloon for tethered rides.What to See at Disney Springs

I had no idea what to expect when I climbed the stairs to the pedestrian walkway leading to the entrance to Disney Springs.

And I’m glad I didn’t. Continue reading

Florida For Grownups: St. Pete-Part I

What’s there to do after you’ve ridden Dumbo, eaten breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and yucked it up at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue? If you’ve finally gotten “It’s a Small World” out of your head after 10 years of family vacations at the Magic Kingdom, it’s time to leave the kids at home and try another side of the Sunshine State.

St. Petersburg, on Florida’s west coast, is in the midst of a makeover and is still a relatively undiscovered city destination for tourists.  Developed during the original Sunshine State land boom in the ‘20’s, the city became a mecca for retirees, earning the less than flattering nickname, “God’s Waiting Room.”  It fell on harder times in later decades, known for high crime rates and poverty. Residents, business leaders and politicians united to mount a resurrection and it’s working. With world class beaches, great restaurants and interesting museums, St. Pete’s perfect for an adults-only extended weekend.

Photo courtesy of the City of St. Petersburg

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Munich Beer Hall Throwdown: Hofbrauhaus vs. Augustiner

He’d lost his Tyrolean hat at some point during the evening but didn’t seem to notice as he lay in my lap mumbling, “Bella. Bella.” Since I don’t speak German and his English was poor, he decided to throw out some Italian, the international language of love.

Steins of beer on a table in a Munich beer hall

Litre steins of beer, served up with warm pretzels at a Munich beer hall. Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC

Looking for an authentic beer hall experience in Munich? Try the Augustiner brewery for a chance to get up close and personal (maybe a bit too personal?) with the locals. Continue reading