The Saga of a Runaway Sourdough Bread in San Francisco

San Francisco's sourdough bread at Boudin Bakery

I love San Francisco sourdough bread. While we can get sourdough bread in New Zealand, it is just not the same. Unlike most bread recipes that use commercial yeast, sourdough bread relies on wild yeast and the acid that is produced from the bacteria and  lactobacilli in it. If you think about sourdough bread, or analyse it for too long, you […]

A Funny Coffee Mug is My Weekend Inspiration

My Favorite coffee mug

Friends know my opinion – hubby makes the best coffee in town. Every morning and most afternoons, when we are home in New Zealand, we stop what we are doing and enjoy a cafe latte. Like most couples, we each have our favorite coffee mug. Mine was a gift from one of my teens. It’s […]

Can an International Airport Forget to Turn on Runway Lights?

Virgin Samoa at Faleolo Airport in Apia, Samoa with no runway lights in the background

Now, we all know I am not a rocket scientist, but even I know that when a large plane is approaching at night, the airport should turn on the runway lights.  Trusting those in charge, I generally don’t worry when I fly. Our landing in Samoa started a new chapter for us, best told as […]

Trapped in the Park – Our Latest New Zealand Adventure

trapped in the park

Are you wondering how we got trapped in the park? One of the many great things about living in New Zealand is the stunning hiking opportunities.  The local regional park near our home is no exception.  Nearly two years ago a predator-free fence was built, the  non-indigenous mammals roaming around the park were poisoned, and […]

No Thanks New Zealand, You Can Keep Your Emergency Marmite Tube

marmite tube

“What is this?” I had to ask when I saw the small Marmite tube on our counter. I now live in New Zealand, so of course I do know what Marmite is. Some call it an iconic New Zealand treat, others a nutritious and delicious spread, while the less creative folks just call it a […]

A Day In Vancouver – We Saw The Highlights

vancouver totem pole park

Today I fell in love and made it to second base. Not at the same time. First came the love – with Vancouver. As for getting to second base, that happened at the airport. It wasn’t even TSA, who has a reputation for feeling up female travelers. No, it was in Canada. I emptied my […]

Russian Security Is Serious – Learn From Our Mistakes

russian security

Russian Security Is Serious.  Here is your chance to learn from our mistakes.  Today’s travel tip: When in Russia, don’t go through security gates unless you know how it works, and what is on the other side. Fortunately, our airport encounters with Russian security were without incident. I really wish I had  filmed our encounter […]

Police Pockets Are for Payoffs (AtoZ Travel Tips)

Oil Libya

Police pockets are for payoffs, and there is no hiding it in Morocco. As we drove through the interior we frequently came upon road blocks.  Our tale is best shared in a short story I recently took 2nd place for in a writing contest.  The rules: maximum 250 words  starting “I laughed silently” Dad Knows […]

How To Be A Good House Guest (AtoZ Travel Tips)

how to be a good house guest

Are you wondering why I would include “How to be a good house guest” amongst my travel tips?  Simple – If your a bit of a wanderer and you  follow my travel tips, you will at one point or another, find yourself invited to stay with a stranger as a  house guest. Don’t leave this […]

Greek Gods Get Respect – Know the Cultural Rules Before You Go

Greek Gods get respect

Greek Gods get respect – at least that’s what we found out rather quickly at the Agora in Athens. Visualize this:  A lovely day exploring ancient Greece in Athens. We arrive at the Agora and walk through the main building, snapping photos like so many travelers do. We are traveling with teens, but for today, […]

Bribes Often Work: Ask To Use An ATM If You Need More Cash

blatant request for bribes

Bribes were a way of life growing up in Chicago a long time ago so I am not sure why I was so shocked by blatant requests for bribes in other countries. Visualize this: We have rented an apartment on Wenceslas Square, in a fun part of Prague (Czech Republic).  We have just driven in from […]

Stunning Russell New Zealand, Once the Hell Hole of the Pacific

Hell Hole of the pacific

We opted to take a passenger ferry from Paihia to Russell New Zealand as a day trip while we traveled around the top of the Island. It’s quick, comfortable, and I love being out on the water. On our last visit we opted for the car ferry, however it’s a small town that can easily be walked, […]

Polite Police? Does It Have Another Meaning in Belgium?

Funny Police Picture in Brussels

Sometimes the best thing about not speaking the language when we travel is my self appointed free-range translation.  So, my question – are these two officers, in fact “Polite” Police or does “Politie” have a different meaning? Polite Police? Photo © Rhonda Albom 2012 What do you think is really going on in this photo.  […]

Our Hammam Experience – Something I Will Never Forget

hammam in morocco

Whenever possible we participate in the local traditions and Morocco was no exception as evidenced by the multiple carpets we have purchased. Today the girls and I tried hammam, a traditional Moroccan bath.  And when I say “traditional” I really mean it.  We had to choose between the one aimed at tourists, and the public […]

Night Photo of Sacre Coeur Against a Black Sky in Paris France

night photo of sacre coeur

I am almost embarrassed to admit that we had so much trouble finding Sacre Coeur.  After all it is on Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. Officially, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, but more commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris. Our […]

Istanbul’s Key Sites and a Carpet Shopping Story

Istanbul Turkey

We had a long cruise ship port stop scheduled for Istanbul, Turkey and planned to tackle it without a guide. We knew the city highlights, and even had downloaded a self guided city tour.  The only free city tour I could find was in the evening and the timing just wasn’t going to work out for […]

Mykonos Greece – Windmills, Waves, and Whitewashed Walls

Greek islands

The contrast of the stark whitewashed buildings against a deep blue sky and turquoise sea caught my attention as we sailed into the port of Mykonos. This Greek island is a sharp contrast from the capital city of Athens. Mykonos offers a peaceful, relaxing bit of Greece. It was one of nine ports as we cruised the Mediterranean […]

Locked out of the Medieval Walled City of Obidos Portugal

Obidos Portugal

After leaving Evora, we spend the afternoon in Sintra before driving up the narrow, windy, cliff edge, dirt road that leads to the city of Obidos. Up until this point we had loved every moment of our time in Portugal. Now the road was a bit nerve wracking but the problem was staring us in the face. The gates to the city […]

When Our Car Failed on the Southern Mediterranean Coast of Spain

Benalmedina Beach

I will be the first to admit, we could hardly call it “stranded” when our car broke down on the Southern Mediterranean Coast of Spain. When you are stranded in a beach town, life isn’t that bad. The hotel reception agent took pity on us and upgraded us to the 10th floor, with straight on […]

An Embarrassing Market Day Story from Palamos Spain

my tits are too big

It’s Tuesday, big market day in Palamos. Living in Northern Spain we tend to go the a market everyday. Six days per week it is only fresh fruit and vegetables, but on Tuesday, big market day, you can get it all.  There are booths for clothes, shoes, towels, kitchen supplies, toys, music, and so much more. […]

Hospital and Police in Berlin and Prague: Not our Best Days

Wenceslas Square

Hospital and police . . . let’s start at the beginning. After three days of increasing sickness and sleep, I decided it was time to seek medical attention. I am pretty sure my reality was altered by my illness, but this is how I remember it all: After being assigned a bed in the emergency […]

Entering the Sultanate of Oman – An Amusing Delay at Immigration

oman bridge

We arrived in the Sultanate of Oman and the crowd split between returning residents and a queue to pay for your entry visa. We followed the foreigners, purchased our 10 day visitor visas and went on to immigration. When we reached the front hubby handed the officer our passports, and we patiently waited as they […]

Sausage Inspection – Bringing Our Own Food To Fiji Was a Bad Idea

Fiji Sunset over Coconut Trees

Our Fiji holiday was great, but bringing our own food was not our best plan as evident by the sausage inspection at the airport. We were in Fiji for 30 minutes when we had our first drama. It didn’t’ start out that way. Actually our detailed planning and execution were done to prevent just such […]