2016 Photo Highlights: 4 Continents, 9 Countries, Lots of Transition

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

In February, when both our girls said goodbye we wondered what our empty nest would be like. After 18 years of living, learning and travelling together as a homeschool family of four, would hubby and I have anything to talk about once the girls left? The answer is yes. We rose to the occasion, to […]

Dreaming in Color: Photos of New England Fall Foliage

Fall foliage reflection in Maine USA

Autumn in New England (USA) is a destination on every travel photographer’s bucket list. My last visit to see the fall foliage was far too long ago. Now, as spring settles into the southern hemisphere, I can dream about nature’s vivid colours on the other side of the world. New England hills are bursting with colour. The […]

Travel Bloggers Explore Utah: Home to Five USA National Parks

Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. Photo by Kevin Wagar

Utah is a photographer’s paradise located in the western United States. It is home to five US National Parks nicknamed the Mighty 5. They are Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. Utah’s winters boast the “Greatest Snow on Earth.” The more we learn about Utah, the more we want to visit. It’s an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts, […]

Explore Canadian and American Street Art with Top Travel Bloggers

The Lovejoy Columns can be considered American Street Art

I found it interesting that when I asked top travel bloggers to share photos of their favorite Canadian and American street art, nearly all sent photos of people. Is this a trend in North America, or simply a coincidence? I am a huge fan of street art, generally preferring the colourful and fun over the political, […]

Is the San Francisco CityPASS a Good Deal?

Cable Car rides are included in the San Francisco City Pass

I lived in San Francisco for 15 years and it is still one of my favorite cities. This is the first visit that we had a San Francisco CityPASS, and I enjoyed it. While I think most people get it for the museum entries, we loved the unlimited transportation on the cable car or the city bus. We took the […]

The Making of an Irish Coffee: Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco

Making an Irish Coffee at Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco

As I sipped my classic Irish Coffee while sitting at the bar of San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe, for just a moment I was transported back to a gentler time. Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista is a bit cliché, but it’s part of my history, my memories from living in this town that I love so […]

Giant Redwood Trees of California Put Life in Perspective

In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Oregon, USA

It’s a strange feeling, standing amongst the giant redwood trees of Northern California. They surround us with strength and power, towering over us so tall we can rarely see their upper branches. They provided a sharp contrast to the wide open coastal views we had been enjoying as we drove from Astoria along the Oregon Coast. Actually, […]

Tillamook: Let Me Take You Inside a Cheese Factory

Tillamook Cheese Factory tour, Tillamook Oregon USA

We knew the name Tillamook from the award winning cheeses we had purchased so many times when we lived in California. What we discovered was ice cream, creamy fudge, and cheese factory tour that blew our mind. Each day they make 171,000 pounds of cheese. Tillamook County is part of the Oregon coast. Its high rainfall, […]

Oregon Coast – A Photo Tour of Nature at its Best

Spouting Horn at Cook's Chasm in Cape Perpetua along the Oregon coast in the USA

Far away, yet right at home. It was an odd deja vu feeling as we drove down the spectacular Oregon coast. Nature’s best included cliff tops, blow holes, sea lions, and miles of wild beach. After 13 years living in New Zealand and traveling the world, I rarely feel completely at home, yet I did […]

Multnomah Falls: Another Reason to Fall in Love with Oregon

Multnomah Falls and Benson Foot bridge in Oregon

One look at Multnomah Falls and I knew why people fall in love with Oregon. It’s a short 30 mile drive east of Portland with easy parking and a short walk to this natural masterpiece on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. An Interesting Story from Wikipedia: On Labor Day in September 1995, a 400-ton boulder, loosened by erosion, fell […]

No Sleepless Seattle Nights at Hotel Monaco

Premium Queen Queen room at Hotel Monaco in Seattle

“We’re home, Randy.” We couldn’t resist speaking to the goldfish in our room each time we entered. Maybe it was because we felt at home at Hotel Monaco in Seattle. Like the old television show Cheers, “sometimes you need to go where everybody knows your name.” Of course that’s an exaggeration for a three night stay, but […]

Chihuly Garden and Glass, A Vibrant Must See in Seattle

Mille Fiori at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle Washington

Few places leave me silent and staring. Yet, the vivid colors and fluid shapes of the glass creations at Chihuly Garden and Glass somehow caught me off-guard. The artist, Dale Chihuly, offers, “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced.” For me, his quote is a better description to […]

Birds and Alligators of Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Florida

Anhinga and chicks at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach Florida

Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach Florida is home to interesting bird life, alligators, and colorful flora. As we walked along the boardwalk we saw it all. According to my mother-in-law, a frequent visitor, the day we visited exhibited the most abundant collection of nesting birds she had seen to date. According to the signage, “The […]

Highlights of Chicago in a Day

Picasso sculpture in Chicago Illinios

Chicago is one of my favorite cities to visit, as well as being my city of birth. Loaded with fascinating things to see and do, it is impossible to see all the highlights of Chicago in a day. Unfortunately, that was all we had last month, so we made some hard choices. Dividing the city […]

Chicago Architecture: Best Seen from the River

Chicago skyline as seen from a river tour

While Chicago hasn’t been my home for over 30 years, Chicago architecture still fascinates me. Considered the birthplace of the American skyscraper, Chicago’s eclectic architecture can best be enjoyed from the river. We chose a Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises. Even before we pulled away from the dock, our […]

Photo Tour of the Art Institute of Chicago

Bathers by a River by Henri Matisse

Walking through the Art Institute of Chicago, I find myself repeating the same expressions. It’s either “wow, that is really incredible,” or, “I know that piece,” or “I didn’t know that was here.” With over 300,000 works of art ranging from ancient and Byzantine to modern it covers the full gambit, with incredible masterpieces around every […]

Skydeck Chicago: I Walked Out on the Ledge – Would You?

Skydeck Chicago Ledge, professional shot

That first step out onto the Skydeck Chicago Ledge is a bit unnerving. The glass juts out over four feet from the 103 floor of the highest observation deck in the United States. At 1,353 feet up it’s surreal to look straight down. Our adventure actually started out on the ground level of the Willis Tower. I was […]

Planning Pacific Northwest Portion and Our USA Adventure

Muir Wood. Photo by Robert Couse-Baker.

We are busy planning a three part epic USA adventure, which starts in less than a month. Part 1 US Highlights:  Phoenix AZ, Chicago IL, West Palm Beach FL. Part 2 Panama Canal Cruise: Adding six countries so it’s actually much more than a USA Adventure. We have ports in Aruba, Columbia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Canada. Part […]

Venice or Vegas ~ Does the Venetian Hotel Look Like the Real Thing?

Venice in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel on the Strip

Venice or Vegas – can you tell them apart? Of course you can. Venice is a city in northeastern Italy most noted for its canals which separate and link its 118 small islands.  Las Vegas is a city in Nevada, USA famous for its “strip” of gambling casinos, nightlife and resort lifestyle. Neither of the […]

Memorial at Ground Zero in New York ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

The Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City

Our family visit to New York City was a mix of emotions.  For hubby, it was returning the city where he grew up, for me it was a first visit as a tourist having been only once before as a student mostly confined to a conference, and for the girls it was a new adventure.  […]

Hoover Dam, An Engineering Wonder ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Water Intake for Power Generation at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is a huge concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River at the border between Arizona and Nevada in the USA. It gave 1000’s of people work during the great depression. Construction starting in 1931.  The Dam was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We missed the tour as we […]

Photo: Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

fabulous las vegas

I am sure you have seen the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign before today, but just in case, here it is: Like many visitors to this bizarre town, we stopped to take a photo of this classic Las Vegas sign which has been standing since 1959, although I am fairly sure they moved it […]

Photos of the World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain

Worlds Largest Chocolate Fountain

To a chocoholic like me, an opportunity to see the World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain is irresistible. Even the 42C (107F) heat didn’t deter me from walking over to the Bellagio Hotel just to see it. We were in Las Vegas at the time. World’s Largest Chocolate Fountain A closer look: Are you wondering how I […]

Visitng Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace

We had all seen Caesars Palace in the movies and on TV. It’s a Las Vegas icon, and beautiful in person as it appears in the films, it  was a fun place to visit. Although, we had to keep movingas we walked through much of the main level as teens and younger children are not to […]

Shoot a Machine Gun and Get Alien Gas from Uranus in Arizona

Shoot a machine gun

Uranus Gas seemed to sneak up on us while we were looking for a place to shoot a machine gun in the Arizona Desert. It was a bizarre alien encounter, a cross between the macabre and an overpriced tacky tourist attraction. I probably should start at the beginning. We were driving through the Arizona desert enjoying […]