But other times the job could be utterly draining. There were days when you had to do five or six trips up and down the river without a pause and all you wanted to do was sit down, eat your packed lunch and pretend there were no other human beings in the world. On Saturday afternoons in July almost every punt on the river went out and the majority were people hiring their own boat for the first time with no idea what they were doing. An idyllic English past time turned into the demolition rally with every idiot imaginable spinning in circles and crashing into my boat as I reached the punch line of my stories. I could just about forgive them a certain amount of ineptitude but when they started waving the pole around in the air like ninjas I’d really lose it. … [Read more...] about Punting in Cambridge
Female torturers in history
Let’s see where do I start? Well, first of all I arrived early morning from Paris into Amsterdam to meet up with our grand bella of all things travel, Ms. Fleace Weaver, Founder of BlackGirlTravel.com and the other four ladies of the Amsterdam leg of the Roman Holiday tour. As expected, Fleace walked into the hotel with energy and excitement. After all, I’ve stalked her site for months before deciding to take this trip. Watching all the videos and reading the testimonials had me geeked about trying a different kind of international trip, one filled with group laughter, friendships and no pIanning on my part. Let’s face it as a solo traveler sometimes you miss the camaraderie of partaking in cocktails and late night talks with the girls. True to her word about us hitting the ground running, Fleace only gave us a few minutes in our rooms to freshen up before taking off to explore our first day in Amsterdam. First stop was breakfast at Wego, one of her favorite spots for … [Read more...] about Amsterdam: Boats, Bikes and Balls…Oh My!
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his favorite wife who died during childbirth, and he wanted so desperately for it to be a unique masterpiece without an equal. To ensure it would be the one-and-only, the Emperor apparently severed the hands and gouged the eyes of the its craftsmen. It took approximately 20 years to build and around 20,000 workers to complete. There were also about 1000 elephants used to transport the materials. UNESCO has designated the Taj Mahal as a World Heritage Site and it is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The cost to build the Taj Mahal was about 35 million rupees, which would be about 1 million USD. In 1632 that would be an enormous amount of money to spend on a mausoleum. Around 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal each year. After the boat visit, we then had a 4 hour drive ahead of us to Delhi where we’d board a plane to the south. New post coming soon! … [Read more...] about Where To Go in India: Rajasthan & Agra Itinerary
A family trip to the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk is as classic as it gets. And what it may lack in hipster cred, it makes up for in reliable fun. If the kids are old enough, take them for a ride on the Big Dipper roller coaster. Afterward, go look for migrating whales, seals and otters at Natural Bridges at State Beach (if it’s late fall or winter you’ll spot monarch butterflies, too). … [Read more...] about Weekend getaways in Northern California for all families
I was due to be in London on a Saturday in October, I knew that the opportunities to see the Tower Poppies were running out. I checked to see if a friend of mine was free and if he would like to join me. Fortunately for me, he was free and keen to see the wonderful scene too. We decided to combine it with a visit to The Tower of London. I booked it all online and hoped that I wouldn’t be delayed. The journey into London was a tad arduous due to some weekend tube line closures, but I had allowed extra time and arrived at Tower Hill with time in hand. It had turned into a beautiful Autumnal day with bright blue skies. I wandered down towards 30 St Mary Axe, widely known as The Gherkin. I’d seen this building so many times from the sky on approach into Heathrow but I’ve never been up close before. I think it’s quite an incredible iconic building. Completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004. … [Read more...] about The Tower of London and the 100 year anniversary of the First World War