Month: July 2014

ST JOHN, US VIRGIN ISLANDS

One.Checked.Bag

IMG_9263IMG_9412Beaches, Ruins, protected Parks and a wide array of domestic and exotic animals make up St. John-a resort destination in the Caribbean. The majority of the island is protected by the government which restricts the amount of development on the island to preserve the Virgin Island National Park. Some of the best beaches are located on this small island that makes up part of the US Virgin Islands along with St. Thomas and St. Croix.

STAY
Lodging options are extremely limited in St. John. Unless you prefer staying in your standard resort at roughly $3-400/night, your only option is for villa or condo rentals which have a minimum of 1 week stay. This is probably the biggest downside to the Virgin Islands in my opinion since our preference is typically a hotel and not staying in one place for more than 3 days. If you are into staying put, there…

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Now Jade | Riviera Maya – Mexico

World In One Bite

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One of the best things about Mexico is the long list of vacation destinations to choose from. That hotel zone in Cancun is a major one and is definitely a busy strip.  But let’s not disregard the slightly secluded resorts just outside of the zone.  In Riviera Maya and Tulum, for instance, there’s quite a few…and in my opinion – they appear to be a lot appealing than the ones in the hotel zone, if you’re the type who would not mind being about half an hour away from all the action.  Personally, I prefer the resorts that add a great deal to value, tranquility, ambiance, and appeal.

In 2013, I was fortunate enough to travel to Mexico for the first time.  We stayed at the Now Jade resort in Riviera Maya.  Talk about some major R&R! Throughout our stay, we’ve experienced a wide array of “all-inclusive” amenities: from gourmet dining (yes, unlimited…

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When is the best time to visit Baja California Sur? Part 1

Wish Getaways

 

Cabo Pulmo

The southern state of the peninsula, Baja California Sur can be divided into three weather regions, the Pacific coastal region, the inland region and the Sea of Cortez region. This is of course a generalization, because like the northern state of Baja California, there are dozens of micro-climates within each region.

For example, the mountainous region in the southern part of the state, including the pueblos of El Triunfo, San Bartolo and Santiago, remain slightly cooler in summer than the rest of the inland region of the peninsula. The higher altitudes can also receive as much as 4 times the amount of rain as the lower plains of the desert in the form of summer thunderstorms.

Baja California Sur looks to the south for the majority of its yearly rainfall. Although a few winter storms make it further south than Guerrero Negro, the state only gets a…

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Comment: Proud of Belfast Pride

EILE Magazine

The big screen outside Belfast City Hall, with a crowd beginning to gather ahead of Belfast Pride's screening of 'Mamma Mia' The big screen outside Belfast City Hall, with a crowd beginning to gather ahead of Belfast Pride’s screening of ‘Mamma Mia’

Scott De Buitléir writes from Belfast about its LGBT community sticking together, despite the bad weather

Taking a break from the weekend’s to-do list, I found myself wandering around central Belfast on an overcast and heavy Sunday afternoon with a friend. The previous Friday saw the official launch of Belfast Pride, and rainbow flags are now dotted around the city.

As we wandered up to Donegall Square, my friend and I were pleasantly surprised to see the festival’s flags flying in front of Belfast City Hall. Inside City Hall’s grounds were three food stalls, while deck chairs were dotted around the grass in front of the large outdoor screen that had been erected for the London 2012 Olympics. Then, we saw the notice: Belfast Pride were showing Mamma Mia on the…

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Glencolumbcille

Les photos de Suzanne & Pierre

Notre deuxième journée dans le comté de Donegal s’est passée sous le signe des nuages, de la pluie et de la brume. La brume est particulièrement frustrante car on sait qu’elle nous cache de beaux paysages même si parfois cela donne de belles occasions pour la photographie.

Nous sommes partis de Killybegs vers le nord pour ensuite emprunter la route panoramique de Glengesh Pass et ainsi nous retrouver dans la région de Glencolumbcille où nous avons encore une fois découvert de jolies plages et de belles falaises. Nous avons terminé la journée en faisant un détour par Slieve League pour nous rendre compte que les falaises avaient complètement disparu derrière un épais banc de brouillard.

Les photos qui suivent manquent un peu de contraste, mais vous aurez l’avantage de rester bien au sec pour admirer les paysages…

Our second day in Donegal County was under the sign of clouds, rain and fog. The fog was particularly…

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Lost in Northern Ireland

Lost Among Latitudes

We wasted no time getting from Dublin to the north of Ireland. Some may censure our speedy trip to Dublin, arguing that one day does not provide ample time to see all of the things Dublin has to offer. Indeed, a second day in Ireland’s capital city might have been needed, especially since our lack of sleep found us nodding off at the genealogy center in the National Library (and the first edition of Dracula lay waiting for me at a museum north of the Liffey, aka not on our route). But to be fair, we managed to squeeze in Trinity College, the National Library, the Guinness storehouse, three pubs, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in about 12 hours in the city, so I’m pretty impressed.

It was a cloudless, sunny day when we hit the road for Bangor, a few hours’ drive from Dublin. Kacey had flaunted her map-reading skills…

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Ireland, Funghi The Dolphin

Have Bag, Will Travel

Funghi Dingle Bay Dolphin

In a previous post I told the story of taking a boat ride to see Funghi the Dingle Bay Dolphin.  Unfortunately I wasn’t in a good position to take pictures so gave up quickly and just watched the show.

My friend Richard however found himself in prime position to capture the performance and these are a couple of shots that he took on the day.

Richard is a really good photographer and I think you might be interested in visiting his site to see some more of his wildlife and landscapes:

http://www.youtube.com/user/adamspics

Funghi Dingle Bay Dolphin

From photography to art and this is a picture that my granddaughter drew for me after I told her the story of Funghi:

Molly's Dolphin Picture

As far as I know she doesn’t have her own website just yet!

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Weekends away in England: Lake District and Cambridge

Around the World in 80 Elephants

20140728-001328-808152.jpgBeing a London girl born and bred, to my shame there are large parts of this country that I’ve never explored: travelling to me means leaving the rainy island behind and exploring places with different languages, different cultures, different climates. However, being based in London for a summer doing an internship Monday-Friday has given me an excellent chance to visit in my weekends some bits of the country previously unexplored. This has made me realise that England would probably be a great place to come to as a tourist – most of the cities (even the smaller ones) have lots of interesting things to do and see, and much as we like to complain about the train system, it’s actually pretty easy to get around the country by rail, and not even that expensive if you buy tickets in advance – my return ticket this weekend cost me only about £10.

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