Nikko Toshogu Shrine- Japan’s Most Lavish Shrine

When I hear a place described using the words “best” or “most”, I become skeptical of the claim. Sometimes I’m even disappointed upon visiting, since not every place warrants such high praise. However, that was not the case with Nikko Toshogu Shrine- it absolutely lives up to the hype of being called Japan’s most lavishly […]

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A Day Trip to Nikko, Japan

For our last day in Japan, we decided to ditch the hustle and bustle of modern Tokyo, and head to the forested area of Nikko for one last opportunity to experience the traditions, spirituality and natural beauty of Japan. Nikko is a Buddhist-Shinto religious centre, its shrines and temples scattered among the hilly woodlands. At […]

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Photo of the Week: Sake Barrels at Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine

As we travelled around Japan, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful sake barrels that were piled on top of each other at Shinto shrines. Called kazaridaru, these “decoration barrels” are physically empty, but hold immense spiritual significance. Sake (Japanese rice wine) has long been an important part of Japanese culture. Traditionally, sake is seen […]

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Photo of the Week: Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale

Bonnet House is place where you can go to feel miles away from Fort Lauderdale, without ever leaving the city. This colourful, plantation-style home is surrounded by lush, sub-tropical gardens, encompassing one of South Florida’s last examples of a native barrier island habitat. Bonnet House is filled with the unique art, and whimsical treasures, of […]

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Exploring Everglades National Park

Life. Diversity. Those are the two words that first come to mind when I think about Florida’s Everglades National Park. In just one park, you can enjoy an impressive variety of animals, plants and eco-systems. There’s freshwater sloughs, tropical hammocks, coastal lowlands, marl prairies, pineland, cypress, mangrove, marine and estuarine environments. The medley of life […]

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Himeji Castle- A National Treasure of Japan

“Ooh…it’s so elegant,” I exclaimed as we approached Himeji Castle, the largest castle in Japan. Its bright white walls, delicate decorations and grey roof tiles gleamed brightly, even through the light mist of a rainy spring morning. Himeji Castle, as we would soon find out, is a popular place. It survives as one of Japan’s […]

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The Haunting Beauty of Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

Sometimes the best way to get to know a city is to visit its cemetery. Stories of success, failure, love, betrayal, good and evil are safely kept there, as legends of the past. This holds true for Bonaventure Cemetery. Hundreds of years of Savannah’s history are buried here beneath the moss-draped branches of live oak […]

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Frank - May 16, 2016 - 1:06 am

I love these photos of Savannah – I always find those trees kind of eerie, maybe I’ve watched too many of those Southern mystery movies. But so dramatic…Savannah definitely a place I’d like to see one day.
Good price for the tour!

Frank (bbqboy)

Rhonda Krause - May 18, 2016 - 5:46 pm

Thank you! I can never get enough of those old oak trees- would love to have a yard full of them!

Beth Barsness - May 31, 2016 - 11:41 am

Hi Rhonda!
I just returned from my trip to Savannah (used your itinerary and suggestions as a base for my planning) and wanted to say THANK YOU for your recommendation to attend a tour by Shannon Scott. WOW, that was the highlight of the trip!! He is an amazing storyteller and knows so much! We also visited Wormsloe and overall enjoyed our weekend. Next time I would investigate SCAD more and attend some of the galleries and shows there.

Rhonda Krause - May 31, 2016 - 5:03 pm

Hi Beth! I’m happy to hear you had a great time in Savannah and enjoyed Shannon’s tour. He is fantastic! I’m always pleased when people enjoy our recommendations as much as we did, so thank you for your comment!

Photo of the Week: Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine

As a lover of historic architecture, I couldn’t pass through St. Augustine without stopping at Castillo de San Marcos. The fort is not only the oldest structure in St. Augustine (over 300 years), it’s also the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Castillo de San Marcos was built in 1695 by Spain to […]

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Tybee Island, Georgia- Photo Series

On the last of our 3 days in Savannah, we headed out to Tybee Island for the afternoon. Known as Savannah’s beach, Tybee Island is a short 20 minute drive from the city and was a great place to relax after a busy few days exploring the sights of Savannah. We walked down the shoreline, […]

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Frank - April 28, 2016 - 2:40 pm

Wonderful looking beach! Love the sand and sunsets.

Frank (bbqboy)

How to Spend 3 Days in Savannah- Our Itinerary

I’m trying to think of a way to describe Savannah without gushing superlatives, but it just can’t be done. Savannah is one of the most interesting, easy-going and attractive cities we’ve had the pleasure to visit. With 3 days in Savannah we had enough time to not only see the sights, but more importantly soak […]

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Vacation Coffee - May 11, 2016 - 9:16 pm

Rhonda, I’m so glad I asked for Savannah recommendations! This post is a great one to get started – really looking forward to trying a ghost tour and checking out Bonaventure and Wormsloe . . . and pretty much everything you wrote about. Your photos are absolutely stunning!! Thank you so much! I read all your other Savannah posts too. Can’t wait for the trip.

Richard Birecki - May 14, 2016 - 7:39 am

Wow Rhonda, great photos! had no idea Savannah was so pretty! check out my awesome travel blog @ http://www.RichTrek.com … cheers!

A Walk Around Munich- Photo Series

Of all the cities we visited during our 5 weeks in Europe, Munich had some of the most fascinating stories. We took part in two different themed walking tours- one was a general tour of the Old Town and the other was all about Hitler and the Third Reich. It was incredibly interesting to learn […]

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Frank - April 19, 2016 - 2:28 pm

Great photos! You actually got inside the Hofbrauhaus? I’ve wanted to get in there twice and both times there were huge lines and we just kind of said “screw it”. Looks like a good time.

Frank (bbqboy)

Rhonda Krause - April 19, 2016 - 4:08 pm

There was no line to get in, odd considering it was Oktoberfest. We must have been there early in the day. It’s not really my scene so we just walked in, used the washroom and walked out.

Photo of the Week: Ryozen Kannon, Kyoto

Ryozen Kannon is a temple honouring the Japanese soldiers and citizens who died during World War II. It’s located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto and features a huge concrete statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Kannon). The statue is impressive at 24 metres (80 feet) tall and 500 tonnes. Its beauty is […]

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Wormsloe Historic Site- Enjoying History and Nature in Savannah

Large, mossy oak trees as far as the eye can see. Rooted firmly in two strict rows, yet their branches are free, gently arching over the simple dirt road between them. This is what greets us upon arriving at the Wormsloe Historic Site. It’s a scene that always comes to mind when I envision The […]

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How to Spend 3 Days in Kyoto- Our Itinerary

A trip to Japan would not be complete without visiting Kyoto. It’s a city full of enchanting sites- geisha hurrying down dark streets, ancient temples rich with spiritual tradition, a natural beauty that is both appreciated and celebrated, especially during cherry blossom season. We spent 3 days in Kyoto and it was just enough time […]

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Anne Sutherland-Smith - April 1, 2016 - 1:28 am

Rhonda, thank you for sharing your lovely photos and itinerary for Kyoto. We also visited Kyoto back in September last year and would definitely agree that it is a ‘must visit’ part of Japan.

We were there in autumn so did not see the cherry blossoms, but we did see quite a few of the temples etc that you visited. you certainly criss-crossed the city with the places you visited! We tried to group together key sites and as a result we were able to use the bus system to get around relatively easily – but perhaps there were less people at that time of year…

Rhonda Krause - April 1, 2016 - 8:43 am

Ooh, I would love to go back in the fall! Yes, we did bounce around the city a bit, but it wasn’t too bad. We spent a lot of time walking through the Higashiyama district and once we got to Arashiyama, that was really walkable as well. The only places that were out on their own, too far to walk were Fushimi Inari, the Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and To-ji Temple.

Vivienne Litherland - May 24, 2016 - 8:57 pm

Rhonda, your photos and descriptions are amazing so ‘thankyou’. My appetite is whetted to return and see so many of these place we missed through lack of time. I love Kyoto and Japan. Your blog is brilliant and I will return to read in depth at another time. Thanks .. Vivienne

The Squares of Savannah

One of our favourite things to do in Savannah was simply walk around the historic district and visit the city’s beloved squares. Resting in the shade of giant oak trees, we’d talk to locals, enjoy the music of talented buskers and learn about Savannah’s history from the many monuments on display. Savannah’s historic district is […]

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Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine - March 29, 2016 - 7:53 am

This is exactly what I picture when I think of Savannah! I’ve actually just had family move into the area, so I’ll have to head down soon. It looks like my camera wouldn’t have a very tough time capturing beauty here. :) Thanks for the tour!

Rhonda Krause - March 29, 2016 - 9:09 am

Yes, you should definitely try and make a visit! We loved the city and surrounding area and would go back again in a heartbeat. And you’re right, there will be no trouble getting good pictures here. Savannah is very photogenic!

Jane - April 1, 2016 - 3:35 pm

Someone sent me your article because I live in Savannah. (I’m not a “native” though — moved here 10 years ago.) As a resident of downtown, I continually appreciate the beauty of the squares, being surrounded by trees (and interesting architecture) in the midst of a lovely and convenient urban center. We still benefit from Oglethorpe’s original layout.

Two notes: If you liked the oak canopy in Johnson Sq., then I hope you made it to Pulaski Square (on Barnard St. — not the same square that has the Pulaski monument, on Bull St.). Pulaski has a very consistent oak canopy but is more residential than Johnson Sq. Other thing: as you noted, monuments honoring a certain dude are not located in the square named after same dude(e.g. Oglethorpe statue is not in Oglethorpe Sq., Pulaski monument is not in Pulaski Sq.). The reason, I think, is that naming squares and erecting monuments happened at different times. Apparently it was desirable to place the statues, etc. in the central axis — i.e. the squares of Bull Street — regardless of whether a square on some other street was already named after the same figure being honored by the monument.

Thanks for your attention to Savannah.

Rhonda Krause - April 5, 2016 - 5:26 pm

Hi Jane! No, we didn’t make it Pulaski Square, unfortunately. We tried to visit as many squares as we could, but found ourselves spending a lot time just hanging out and enjoying them. They are so beautiful it would be a shame to just rush from square to square! That makes sense what you say about the naming of the squares. Still, it was kind of confusing for first-time visitors!

Devils Tower National Monument

Driving through the rolling hills of northeast Wyoming we pass by vast grasslands, quiet ranches, and small country towns. The scenery is peaceful, undisturbed, and my mind easily wanders to scenes of the Wild West. Lost in thought, I imagine the Sundance Kid causing havoc in these parts, stealing guns and horses, establishing his reputation […]

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Frank - March 27, 2016 - 10:36 am

Great! I would have guessed it was glaciers being dragged and leaving those marks…but I’m no geologist.
Awesome photos.
Frank (bbqboy)

Kyoto’s To-ji Temple- By Day and By Night

The rain was coming down hard during our visit to To-ji Temple, but not enough to conceal its simplistic beauty. Finding shelter under our umbrella, we dodged puddles as we walked down the gravel path. Pink-blossomed cherry trees lined its edge, leading the way to To-ji’s five storied pagoda, a symbol of Kyoto. As we […]

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Frank - March 10, 2016 - 12:30 am

I can never get over those trees. Amazing.
We’re actually planning to go to Japan later in the year and Kyoto is at the top of my list. Your blog has helped in convincing me:

Frank (bbqboy)

Rhonda Krause - March 13, 2016 - 11:26 am

That’s great news! I think Japan has taken top spot as my favourite country I’ve visited. I can never get it out of my head, a year after our visit. I’m sure you guys will have a wonderful time. Take me with you lol!

bohotraveller - March 19, 2016 - 5:59 pm

Awesome post .thevpink blossomed cherry trees are simply breathtaking

Photo of the Week: Upper Belvedere Palace, Vienna

The Belvedere was built in Vienna in the early 18th century as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Designed by one of Europe’s greatest Baroque architects, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, the complex consists of two Baroque Palaces known as the Lower and Upper Belevedere. The Upper Belvedere Palace (seen here) was completed in […]

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The Path of Philosophy- Kyoto’s Prettiest Cherry Blossom Walk

Kyoto is one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the cherry blossoms, so soon after arriving we eagerly headed off to one of the most popular sakura (cherry blossom) viewing spots– the Philosopher’s Path. The Path of Philosophy is a gorgeous place to go for a stroll when the cherry trees are in […]

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Frank - February 28, 2016 - 2:37 pm

Beautiful! Are they in bloom all year long or is there a specific season to see this?

Frank (bbqboy)

Rhonda Krause - February 28, 2016 - 6:19 pm

The cherry blossoms in Kyoto are usually in bloom late March/early April. A lot depends on the weather so timing your visit for full bloom can be tricky!