Tips for an Amazing African Safari

(Courtesy of Conde Nast)

  • Make sure you talk to someone, preferably on the phone, who has been on the safari you are looking at before booking.  If using a booking agent, make sure they have been to places they are recommending.  Choose your guide carefully as they will make or break the experience
  • Find out about altitudes before you go.  Some can take you up in higher altitudes and you don't want to get altitude sickness.
  • Decide what wildlife you would like to see.  Different safaris see different animals, often varying by region.
  • Try to tip the same as the other tourists.
  • Make sure you are staying hydrated.  Dehydration is serious and you don't want it ruining your safari.  Also important is making sure you consume enough electrolytes to balance what you lose.  Sports drinks are recommended.
  • Always shake your shoes out in the morning before you put them on.
  • Carry wet wipes for dust; and hemorrhoid cream for bug bites.
  • Make sure binoculars are the first thing you pack, preferably with image stabilization.  The more magnification, the heavier and more costly the binoculars will be.
  • Take advantage of communal dining.  This will give you a chance to talk with guides and learn more.
  • Gaze at the stars at night.  I guarantee you will get a view like you have never seen.

Fall Foliage in Vermont

Vermont is a foliage mecca.  Yellow, orange, red, and a whole host of other colors provide beautiful vistas all over the state from the middle of September to the middle of October--with upstate peaking earlier.  So where should you go to see amazing foliage views?  Read on to see.

Brattleboro

Wantastiquet Mountain Trail is amazing to walk and see vibrant colors.

Grafton

Not only can you see the leaves change colors here, you can wander around amidst historical building.  You can also tap some syrup at Plummer's Sugar House.

Jeffersonville

ArborTrek Canopy Adventures offer zip-lining through the leaves and admire foliage from a new perspective.  If you are scared of heights, you can see the leaves from on the water with Vermont Canoe and Kayak.  This area also offers pretty drives.

(Courtesy of Pleasant Valley Group Realtors)

Montgomery

Montgomery is home to seven covered bridges, more than any other place in Vermont.  This is a great area to enjoy the leaves on a bike ride.  Or if you want a way to see them that is less physically rigorous, enjoy Jay Peak Resort's aerial tram.

Montpelier

Enjoy walking around this smaller town and seeing the colorful leaves.

Stowe

Wander the streets and mountain paths to see the fall foliage in all its glory.  And Stowe has other attractions to enjoy as well.  Make sure you stop by the Ben & Jerry's factory for ice cream; and stay in The Trapp Family Lodge while brushing up on your Sound of Music history.

Windsor

The "Birthplace of Vermont" offers Harpoon Brewery to enjoy after driving around to see the leaves changing.  Also head over the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge to New Hampshire to see the home of August Saint-Gaudens, the creator of the Lincoln sculpture in the Lincoln Memorial.

Vergennes

View the leaves on the shores of Lake Champlain or at Shelburne Orchards (where you can also enjoy fresh apples).  I recommend staying in Basin Harbor Club's cottages.

Woodstock

Taftsville Covered Bridge is a great place to see vibrant leaves.  There are also easy paths, that cut through meadows or let travelers walk along carriage roads, as well as more rigorous paths along the Appalachian Trail.  There are several B&B's here; and don't forget to visit Billings Farm and Museum for their ice cream.

Mad River Valley

Explore the leaves on slopes while wandering Vermont's Long Trail, which runs along peaks.  Sugarbush Soaring offers gliders to enjoy views of the foliage from the air.  West Hill House B&B is a charming place to stay.

Manchester

The leaves can be seen by biking, hiking, and riding trails that go through the woods of the nearby Green Mountains.  Don't miss touring Hildene Estate, built by Robert Todd Lincoln.

Middlebury

Enjoy the view of the leaves while staying at the B&B: Inn on the Green.  Here you can overlook Middlebury's green.

It is best to book far in advance where this is Vermont's busiest season...with the amazing views of the fall foliage it is easy to see why!

Let me know if you travel to any of these locations.

Marianne

My Favorite Things to do in Disney World

I am back again and talking about the happiest and most magical place on Earth...Disney World!

(Courtesy of Disney)

There are so many fun things to do in Disney World but today I am popping in to talk about my 10 favorite things to do when there.

  1. See the Indiana Jones show.  I love to watch this show when I go.
  2. Watch the fireworks at night.  This may come as a surprise with all there is to do there but for someone whose birthday is on the 4th of July, well I love to watch fireworks.  (At Christmastime it is fun to see the fireworks with lit up trees in the foreground.)
  3. Go watch the Lion King show.  The dancers, and the performance in general, are amazing.
  4. Go on Everest Ride.  It is quite the roller coaster but I love this ride.
  5. Eat my way through Epcot.  All the countries and all the good food...enough said!
  6. After a near food coma, I love to go on Soarin'.  The ride is so relaxing and calm after eating so much.  And it smells so good with the ocean smells and smell of orange trees.
  7. Go on classic rides like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.  These rides have been around for a long time and take most people back to past times.
  8. Especially if it is summertime and hot out, I love to go on Splash Mountain.  It is a great way to cool down.
  9. Watch It Is Tough To Be A Bug.  The putrid smell of the spray, the water spray, and the illusion of things crawling at your feet is so fun.
  10. Last, but certainly not least, visit characters such as Goofy, and definitely Mickey.  It wouldn't be a trip to Disney World without visiting Mickey!

I recommend getting a tour guide to be able to skip to the front of even Fast Pass lines.

My Bucket List for Greece

Hello again!

I don't know if you know anything about Greece, beyond the fact that it is comprised of several islands, but there is so much to see in a location that has mythological, archeological, historic, artistic, and philosophic influences.  So are you planning your trip to Greece and wondering what you should do there?  Well keep reading to find out what is on my bucket list for when I finally go to Greece.

  • Visit Santorini.  The architecture here, with the white buildings with blue rooftops is amazing!!!  With buildings that contrast so well with the sea, it is no wonder people flock to Santorini to enjoy a view whose formations was aided by the help of a volcano.

(Courtesy of USA Today)

  • Tour the Acropolis.  The Acropolis used to be the site of the famous statue of Athena, goddess of Athens.  The columns and the glittering marble of the Parthenon are a sight to behold.
  • Climb Mount Olympus.  If Greek mythology fascinates you then you won't want to miss coming here.  Mythology asserts that Zeus' throne was here, and this is also where Hades ruled in the Underworld.  Few places are as steeped in mythology as Mount Olympus is.
  • Visit Lake Plastira.  Lake Plastira is surrounded by trees and offers activities such as, rafting, canoeing, hiking, and horse rides.
  • Wander around the Acropolis Museum.  The museum is known for its cafe and terrace that overlooks the Acropolis.
  • Tour Epidaurus Theater.  This theater is dedicated to the god of medicine, Asclepius.
  • Visit the Delphi.  People used to travel here to pay homage to Apollo, god of healing, music, prophecy, and light.  Today there are temples and ancient ruins.
  • Hike the Samaria Gorge.  This site is on the island of Crete and is a stunning site to behold.
  • Spelunking at Melissani Cave.
  • Head to Hephaestus Temple.  This temple is dedicated to Hephaestus, god of fire, and Athena, goddess of pottery and other crafts.
  • Visit Corinth Canal.  Here you can go on the Zulu Bungy Jump to see the canal in all its majesty.
  • Travel to the monasteries of Meteora.  These monasteries are atop of rock formations.
  • Take in the history when you visit Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
  • See the sites in ancient Corinth.
  • Visit Phaestos and enjoy the stunning vistas it has to offer.
  • Travel to Ancient Mycenae.  This location is famous due to Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey.  Sites to see in the area include Agamemnon Palace, Lion Gate, the Great Court, and the royal cemetery.
  • Learn more about the Holocaust at Museum Of The Kalavryta Holocaust.  This is the only Holocaust museum in Greece; it honors those who were victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.
  • Travel to Mount Athos.  20 monasteries can be seen on its slopes; but the monasteries can only be visited by men.
  • Visit the Palace of Malia.
  • Enjoy Balos Beach.  Spend some time surfing here or explore the many lagoons that open up to jet blue water where fish can be seen.  Sunbathing is also a popular past time here.
  • Go to Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil.
  • Wander around the Museum of Contemporary Art.  In a country so full of ancient history, it is fun to see more modern works.
  • Enjoy time sunbathing at Psarou Beach.  This beach, in Mykonos, is one of the most famous, and has many restaurants along the beach.
  • Visit the Vergina Royal Tombs Museum.  Phillip II tomb is here, as well as items he was buried with.
  • Hike Corfu Trail.  The landscape and views along this trail are breathtaking.