Pacific Northwest Islands

Wild dolphins playing beside us

This summer we travelled from home without flying. A rare event for us particularly given our home town of Vancouver is far from everywhere. Fortunately it is also in a beautiful part of the world that we often overlook. We made new discoveries in our own backyard as we ventured to the Discovery Islands and stayed on one called Sonora. It is accessible by helicopter or boat. We took a ferry to Vancouver Island, spent a night in Parksville, drove 150/+km north and took a 75-minute water taxi past Quadra, Maurelle and Stuart Islands before reaching our destination.  On the way we had the fortune of seeing Orca whales. We watched one breach and I was thrilled to have experienced it, but wished I had been able to capture a photo of it to share the moment.

Hiking on Sonora Island

Sonora describes itself as an eco-adventure travel destination in a luxury wilderness resort. It is beautiful. It had impeccable service and first-rate food. While there we hiked, ate like kings, swam, relaxed and boated out to see incredible animals in the wild including dolphins, black bears, seals, and hundreds of eagles in a feeding frenzy plucking fish out of the ocean in the narrow passages between the islands when the tides changed. The region is picturesque and the stay was remarkable. I didn’t even know this place existed until recently and I hope to squeeze in a return visit sometime in the not too distant future.

A black bear on the shores of the Bute Inlet

From Sonora we returned to Parksville on Vancouver Island for another night. We stayed here again to split up our travel time before heading to Tofino and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Parksville is quaint. It is essentially a retirement village where life is slow and easy. It is blessed with a beautiful bay and board walk and the Beach Club we stayed at had idyllic views looking over the water while offering us a pool and a self-catered apartment where we could tend to simple needs, such as laundry. It is a family friendly place to go to relax.

Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet

We returned to Tofino after a long absence. I really like it here and despite not being into surfing I take great satisfaction in watching the waves lap against the shore while being surrounded by lush green rainforest. We stayed at the iconic Wickanninish and while it is a great spot we probably would have benefited from a more self-contained place somewhere nearby instead. Primarily because it wasn’t as child friendly as we had hoped, particularly in the restaurant. We spent three-nights here and our highlights included hiking the big-tree trail on Meres island. Some of the trees here are estimated to be 1000 to 1500 years old! We also meandered through the rainforest near the Wick and did the lighthouse loop of the Wild Pacific Trail. Our best meals were an unexpectedly awesome lunch at a new place called Wolf in Fog, a laid-back dinner of fish and chips at the marina in Ucluelet, and on our anniversary we had Dungeness crab served to us on Chesterman Beach.

Admiring the view in Parksville

Upon leaving we returned to Parksville for yet another night before ferrying back to the mainland and our home in Vancouver.

A few weeks later we crossed the border to the USA for a short visit to Lummi Island (part of the San Juan Islands). Here we were joined by my parents and we stayed at The Willows Inn where Leanne and I indulged in an 18-course farm-to-table meal while the grandparents played with their grandson. The restaurant is the main draw here and for good reason. The chef is renowned and has worked in some of the best restaurants in the world. Our meal was unique, delicious and fun.

Duffy Lake Road

This summer I also managed to do a motorcycle ride that has been on my bucket list. It is on the Duffy Lake Road north of Whistler and it is a rider’s paradise. It is one of the most beautiful roads I have ridden on. In my efforts to visit far-away places I often forget all the amazing places around where we live.

We have now been parents for over a year. Travelling is different, but very enjoyable. It has been a lot of fun having our son on our latest adventures.

Saint-Martin to Barbados

Resort in Saint-Martin

We flew to Sint Maarten and landed on their famous runway that begins where one of the tourist beaches ends. On arrival we took transportation across to the French owned half of the island, Saint-Martin. We stayed in an impressive resort at Anse Marcel. It combined beautiful grounds with amazing pools a stunning beach and decadent French food. If/when we come back to this amazing island I would happily stay in the same place. It was fun to have our 6-month old sharing loungers with us and taking in the surroundings. When we left we crossed back to Sint Maarten to explore lively Philipsburg with its attractive boardwalk. From there we boarded a small luxury boat that takes a mere 200 people and visits small yachting harbours around the Caribbean.

The boat was beautiful and despite having a lower-berth room with no balcony it was still an awesome size with a large living/lounging/dining area. They rarely ever get children on board let alone babies. It caused some consternation with a few of the guests on arrival, concerned they would be listening to a crying child on their voyage. Luckily our son was an angel and did not cry the entire trip. By the end he had many staff and fellow passengers fawning over him and asking if they could hold him. We were very proud parents and this voyage was the most precious trip I had taken to date.

White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

Our first stop was in the British Virgin Islands. We tendered to Jost Van Dyke where we followed a road over a hill to popular White Bay (no dock here) to get a Painkiller cocktail from the Soggy Dollar Bar and enjoy the soft white sand while admiring the beauty of the surroundings. The entire region is picturesque and we had a perfect evening passing by numerous islands while having cocktails and watching the sunset.

View fromLe Toiny, St. Barthelemy

The following day we arrived at St. Barthelemy. It is a territory of France and is off-limits to large cruise ships. To make the most of our stay here I prearranged for a rental car with a car seat and booked in for lunch on the opposite side of the island at a well-known restaurant called Le Gaiac. Our time in St. Barths was easily the highlight of the entire trip. It was so much fun to explore it independently. From the hills to the remarkably varied beaches, the entire island is stunning. We hope to return. It is not surprising that it is such a popular spot for the rich and famous.

Next up was St Kitts where we took a gimmicky tourist train that circumnavigated the island. There was some nice scenery but it was painfully slow, poorly narrated, and not particularly fun. In hindsight we should have organized transportation to the beaches and restaurants that looked towards Nevis.

We had quiet days in both St Lucia and Guadeloupe. In St Lucia we unfortunately docked in Castries rather than Soufriere in the beautiful section further south. Having been here before, and given we were with our baby, and there was a Dengue Fever warning, we ended up staying around the port and lounged on the boat. In Guadeloupe I tendered to the tiny village on Terre-de-Haut so I could wander around it. It was cute but not very exciting.

Mayreau, Grenadines

Our final stop before reaching Barbados was in the Grenadines where we visited a beach on the remote island of Mayreau. Here the crew from the boat held a huge barbeque for the guests and brought us drinks while we played in the sand and sea. We had great fortune to meet a local with a son the same age as ours while we were there and overall we had a perfect beach day.

We had to disembark early in the morning when we arrived in Barbados. We went from Bridgetown to the middle of the west coast where we stayed for a few days. We watched the sunsets, lounged in and around the pools, and swam in the ocean. On one of the days we arranged for a private tour of the island and we were greeted by a large, soft-spoken man with a very nice car. The car seat was already prepared to take our baby and he drove us to the major and minor sights of this little country. This was our second visit to Barbados but it was our first time staying there overnight. There is a lot to like about it.

Watching the sunset in Barbados

It always amuses me how often we’d hear, “you know he is too young to remember this trip.” I do not relate to this way of thinking. Why would that stop a parent from travelling? At this stage the trip is about us without a doubt, but regardless I don’t think it is a bad thing to be giving him broad exposure to different people, climates, and accommodation even this early in life. We are getting new experiences while spending quality time with him and he is thrilled to be getting oodles of attention from mom and dad while we are on holiday.

This family trip to the Caribbean meant an incredible amount to me. It really made up for lacklustre visits to the region in the past. We discovered new places we love and now look forward to the next time we return.


Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island

It wasn’t until six-months following the birth of our first child that we did our first international travel. We took a prop-plane to Seattle where we spent the night before flying the next morning to Miami.

Miami was sunny, warm and a pleasant change from February weather back home. Having explored Miami in the past we simply spent two nights and days there. We casually strolled along the waterfront walkways and the highlight of our stay was simply a nice dinner at restaurant called ToroToro. We thought our son would sleep during our meal but he ended up being great company with us at the table.

We took a modest, mid-sized cruise ship on a compact trip through three ports of the Bahamas. Our room was tiny, particularly with the pack-n-play, but the staff was very friendly to our little guy. The ship was decent and we appreciated the opportunity to upgrade out of the buffet meals to getting to dine in some of their international restaurants. We also took advantage of the playroom for our son.

A locals market in Freeport

Our first stop was in the Berry Islands to a private area owned by the cruise line. It is certainly not a spot for any cultural experiences, but it had an attractive beach and it was fun to let our son play in the sand. The next day we visited Nassau. Here we wandered through the city with its colourful buildings before taking a passenger ferry over to Paradise Island to visit its shops and beautiful beaches. And lastly we went to Freeport where I hired a driver to give me a tour of the area. When we returned to Miami we went straight to the airport where we had great fortune in catching an early flight out, making it so we didn’t have to spend half-the-day waiting for our booked flight.

Outside of the joy in being on our first family trip as new parents, our Bahamas encounter was little more than a low-cost, no-effort vacation. It really emphasized the difference to me of the travel that I love, which involves subjecting yourself to new experiences and challenges, and having an effort free vacation. Vacations can be a great escape when you are craving one, but they do not feed my travel addiction.


Father and Son

In the summer of 2013 we had an amazing life-altering experience, we became parents. Our son was born at home in Vancouver in his to-be bedroom exactly on his estimated delivery date and after only 5-hours of labour. I was in the bed lying next to Leanne while our two wonderful midwives (accompanied by our lovely doula) assisted in a smooth, and incredible delivery. I was fortunate to hold my son on my chest shortly after his mother did. I was also able to feel part of the process by being the one to cut his umbilical cord. Leanne was a birthing goddess and delivered quietly and quickly. It is a night I will never forget.

Mother and Son

More than eighty-percent of the earth’s population will go through their own experience of becoming a parent at some point in their lives and it is pretty incredible to think of how we all share this ridiculously crazy life event. Having been childfree through my twenties and most of my thirties I used to resent the comment from parents, “only a parent can understand.” However, I observed their lives of changing diapers and sleepless nights that later transitioned into catering to the needs of their kids by chauffeuring them around and sitting through their activities. From the outside looking in it appeared burdensome and not at all appealing. Now that I’m a parent, I can honestly say they were right and now I get it.

There is no love more intense than that of a parent towards their child. The sheer joy and pleasure my son brings me through his smiles, laughter and simple discovery of the world while figuring out how to do simple tasks is astounding. Every parental struggle and every menial task is paid off in spades with the profound fulfillment I get from being a dad.

I loved what I was able to see and do while exploring the world as an unencumbered traveller through my early adult life. I also couldn’t be happier that I am now a parent. I look forward to continuing to explore this beautiful planet as a family.


A paradise resort in the Maldives

We wanted a beach vacation in paradise and the Maldives delivered. The seaplane to the Baa Atoll from Male offered views of many of the awesome resorts and azure waters the Maldives is famous for. Our stay was the stuff dreams are made of. We had a villa on stilts over a stunning lagoon. The villa itself was as nice as you could hope for and it was connected to a perfect garden island with the softest white sand. The pools were picture perfect. And the service…. wow. They referred to us by name during our entire stay and bent over backwards to make sure we were happy.

Leanne lounging at our villa

One night they organized a private dinner for us out on the best part of the beach. We dined barefoot and had an excellent meal. In fact all our meals here were delicious. They have three separate restaurants and an overwater lounge/bar. The spa was also amazing (voted best in the Maldives last year). We went snorkeling and I went diving while here. I even tried yoga for the first time as the sun rose.  We loved the bicycles they provided to get around and found all sorts of areas on the island to enjoy our time. I also managed to get a massive adrenaline rush by taking out a wave runner with a local guiding me and going full throttle through mixed ocean conditions around four other islands. I couldn’t stop smiling for hours after I returned. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Spa Island in the Maldives

We split our time in the Maldives between two resorts. Fortunately the first resort is where we spent most of the trip. The second resort was closer to Male and was chosen to make it easy for our morning flight out. This island could have been paradise for some, but just couldn’t live up to the perfection of the first place. Here we stayed on the beach instead and had a private plunge pool where we ended up spending most of our time. It was great watching the sunsets, and simply relaxing.

Our Maldives trip was incredible and ranks right up there with Bora Bora and the Seychelles as true places of paradise.


Burj Kahlifa, the tallest building in the world

Our first stay in Dubai was in the Jumeirah Beach neighborhood. This is a popular area home to many western expats. The main street is busy at night and is filled with foreigners eating out at the many (and mostly low quality) food chains along the street. There was construction blocking access to the beach on the other side and generally I wasn’t that impressed with the area. We did however venture out from here. We visited the mega malls Dubai is famous for. The elegant Mall of The Emirates was impressive with its famous indoor ski-area. I went inside, saw the emperor penguins and took the chair lift up to survey the skiing. As a novelty, this place is great for those from the desert, but as a ski choice it offers very little. We took the Dubai metro from there to the Dubai Mall which is the largest in the world. This one is also famous for its aquarium. Aquariums seem to be a big deal here with enormous impressive tanks at this mall, in the lobby of the Burj Al Arab, and at the Palm Atlantis Hotel.

Ski Dubai, indoor ski hill

The highlight of our first visit to Dubai was visiting the world’s tallest building, the Burj Kahlifa. This magnificent piece of architecture is flanked by fountains very reminiscent of the ones in Las Vegas at the Bellagio, although the ones in Dubai are supposedly bigger. We couldn’t get the advanced entry time we wanted and bit the bullet and paid for immediate access which bypasses the queue those with timed entries still need to endure. The view from the 124th floor only disappointed due to the sandy haze limiting the extent to how far we could see. It was still impressive and made the high-rises around Dubai look miniature. Following our visit to the top we watched the fountains below and ate at a nearby quality Thai restaurant.

Leanne in the Dubai Aquarium

When we returned to Dubai after the Maldives we stayed in a much better location. We stayed in a villa in the Madinat Jumeirah. This arabian resort provides an elegant manicured world. It is modern, clean and the architecture is impressive with a recreated souk (market), beautiful pools, the best beaches in Dubai and man-made canals connecting the sections of the resort together with complementary boats. It is connected with the iconic Burj Al Arab – considered the most luxurious hotel in the world, as well as the Wild Wadi Waterpark.

We took advantage of what the resort had to offer including spending part of the day in Wild Wadi. It was busy though and the lazy river was packed. They did a nice job with their steepest water slides and it is fun to do the tube rides that propel you up to the top with water jets before sliding back down to the pools.  We also splurged on an amazing dinner at the top of the Burj Al Arab. I packed a sports-jacket on our trip specifically for this occasion. This hotel became an obsession for me. I loved looking at it from every angle, loved going inside it and getting to eat on the top floor, and took a crazy amount of photos of it. Fortunately it was regularly in view all around the resort.

Our one escape from all the resort had to offer was to take a sight-seeing helicopter flight from the Palm Atlantis. This hotel is modeled on the famous one in the Bahamas on Paradise Island. We took the monorail out the Palm Jumeirah and it really is hard to believe that this whole land section with its many beaches was made by people and engineering ingenuity. Not being a guest at the Atlantis limits what you have access to. We visited the aquarium there and the big tank is certainly impressive, but overall we did not like the Atlantis. Since our helicopter flight left from the opposite end of the facilities we were lucky enough to be allowed through the grounds and saw all that it offered from close up. It offers a lot, but it all felt tacky and paled in comparison to where we were staying.

The World (archipelago)

The helicopter flight itself offered a great perspective of what has been built in Dubai. We flew over the human-built archipelago called “The World” which after what must have an outrageous cost to construct only has a single building on it with no one willing to invest into it. The helicopter flight felt as though we were high in the air, but we were only as high as the observation deck at the Burj Kahlifa. It is incredible what has been built in Dubai.



Paris was both the start and the end of our little spring getaway. It really is an incredible city and there is so much to explore and enjoy here. We first visited it together in 2005, again in 2008 and now in 2013.

Leanne’s sister, Melissa, was in town with our niece and nephew while her boyfriend was in Frankfurt for work. Paris is a perfect city for young ones. You never have to go far to find a park with a playground and carousels are located nearby most major tourist attractions. We picked a hotel near the apartment Melissa was renting around Bastille. Our arrival day consisted of visiting, going to a playground close by, and having lunch in a café before Leanne and I retired to the hotel to recover from the overnight flight.

Quartier latin, Paris

The next day we went exploring and did reasonably well with a three and one year old in tow. To make life easy and to make it fun for the kids we relied on the open-top, hop-on hop-off, double-decker buses to get around. We visited the usual must-dos: Cathédrale de Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and La Tour Eiffel. We had lunch at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte for their steak with the magical green sauce that keeps people coming back. The staff was great with the kids and they in turn were excellent and ate well with this special treat.

The weather wasn’t cooperating at the Eiffel Tower and we decided to navigate the metro back to the neighborhood we were staying in.

Michael in the Palais Garnier

The following day we visited a different section of the city, driving past the Moulin Rouge and going to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and wandering through the neighborhood of Montmartre. That evening Leanne and I went for dinner on our own at an excellent restaurant near where we stayed called L’Ebauchoir. A big highlight of visiting France is the incredible food and this non-touristy bistro did not disappoint.

The next day we made our way to the Latin Quarter and spent an afternoon in the Jardin du Luxembourg enjoying a café in the park and letting the kids play in the large playground there. The day after that we walked through le Marais neighborhood having some treats along the way. A really nice part of the walk was on the way back on top of the old city wall now turned into a gardened pathway. The weather was starting to turn and we made it to half-a-block away from our hotel when the rain started and came down in a torrential downpour that flooded the streets with rivers of water. We hid under shelter while it passed. We were amazed at the intensity of it. That evening Leanne and I flew to Dubai.

Leanne and Michael at le Musée Rodin

Two weeks later we returned to Paris. This time we were on our own and we stayed near the Parc Monceau. Having no urgency to see any touristy sights we took our time wandering through this part of the city and its many parks. We had two full days in town before flying back to North America. One of the highlights was visiting a couple of old mansions that house some of the original furniture and some amazing art collections. We wandered through the extravagant Palais Garnier. We had macarons from Pierre Herme. We also went to the Musée Rodin and Musée de l’Orangerie. We had a phenomenal lunch at Le 114 Faubourg where we had a view that let us look down to the kitchen below and watch the head chef, a true artist, plate everything to perfection. It was a true culinary delight and we finished the whole trip off with dinner on our final night at a Michelan Star restaurant Le Chiberta.

France, UAE and Maldives 2013

We are currently travelling and have spent the last while relaxing in the Maldives. To and from this Indian Ocean Paradise we stayed (and will be staying again) in both Dubai and Paris. I intend to journal our experiences by writing about them here on our blog in the near future.

Summer and Fall 2012

This isn’t my photo of Vancouver, but it does show off our new home if you know where to look.

It has been six-months since posting the last update. The only travel we have done has been regional with visits to Whistler, Victoria, Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas. Our biggest life change since the last update has been the purchase of what will be our new home. It is in a neighborhood we love and it overlooks the water at the same location where we have stopped on many walks over our years together to relax and enjoy the view. While we love the location we weren’t fond of the apartment itself, so we gutted it and have been in the long (often frustrating) process of renovating it. As our first major renovation, it has been quite a learning experience but the end is finally in sight and we should be living there before the end of the year.

Leanne’s photo of Michael Paddle Boarding on False Creek

Vancouver had a long, sunny summer and it was great to be around to enjoy it. We had some great entertainment come through town and enjoyed seeing artists including The Black Keys, Jack White, Florence & the Machine, Beirut, Franz Ferdinand, Metric, Fiona Apple, Metallica, Janes Addiction, Keane, Garbage, The Shins, and Jerry Seinfeld. We most recently went for a day of TED talks at TEDx Vancouver. Many thanks to Heather for getting us into this invitation only event. We also tried paddle boarding for the first time on False Creek and I spent a long day sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River with my brother. We eat out often with friends and have discovered some new favorites in Vancouver that I highly recommend including: Wildebeest, Fable, La Pentola della Quercia, Minami, Fat Dragon BBQ, Grub, La Parisienne and The Union. We also indulged at the good but pricey Hawksworth and Le Crocodile. I feel very fortunate to live in a city that has so many great restaurants.

The best car I’ve ever driven. The Ferrari 458 Italia.

In Whistler we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary and visited with old friends. We dined at Alta Bistro and indulged in massages and enjoyed the pool at the Four Seasons where we stayed. In Seattle we stayed downtown and our highlights included seeing Regina Spektor at the Paramount, eating at Tavolata in BellTown and wandering around Pike Place. In Victoria I had an excellent dinner with a good friend at Ulla and brilliant drinks at the Venetto Tapas Lounge. Las Vegas was the biggest rush for me though. I’ve been there numerous times and always get something new out of it. Hanging-out with a well connected acquaintance who also happens to be a really great guy always makes for an exceptional visit. Spending time with cool locals and having VIP access to hot spots like Marquee at Aria, Hyde at Bellagio, 1-Oak, and others on their busy nights leads to a lot of sleep depravation and a lot of fun. The best part of the trip though was going to a closed road track and pushing some of the world’s best supercars to their limits. I drove a Porsche Carrera, Aston Martin Vantage S, Audi R8 V10, and a new Ferrari 458 Italia (a $300K rocket of a car). The track features a number of bends, s-curves, a straightaway and a hairpin. When doing laps around it you are able to push the cars hard and you have a professional driver in the passenger seat guiding you how to drive the cars better and faster. 21 laps later, I left on a massive adrenaline high.

We have a big and exciting trip tentatively planned at the end of winter, but we still need a few things to come-together to make it happen. One way or another we will be venturing off somewhere new in 2013.



This is my forth visit to Venice in the past 12 years. When we were in Lake Como we were talking with an American and when she heard Venice was our next stop she said, “I have one word for it, overrated.” I wholeheartedly disagree.  Perhaps I might understand someone feeling this way if they were visiting from a cruise ship on a day trip and were only visiting the major tourist attractions during high-season. But the wonder that is Venice is away from the crowds in this utterly unique city of the world. There is nowhere like it. Things we take for granted with vehicles, they have found a way to make work with boats. On our first evening while we were taking the boat down the Grand Canal the boat stopped and let an ambulance boat pass by. Venice may not meet the pristine romantic vision some people expect, there is grit to it. It has an edge and that is part of what I like about it. I feel it is a must see for any traveler. I just hope they do it on their own, and explore the areas where the crowds don’t gather.

Murano looking back at Venice

Upon arrival at our hotel Papadopoli, which is in a very convenient location, we received a complimentary room upgrade which provided canal views and a large balcony. We were off to a good start. After settling in we wandered along Venice’s alleyways and bridges eventually reaching St. Mark’s Square. It was getting late and the hordes of tourists had already left so it was a perfect time to be there.  From there we took a vaporetto down the Grand Canal for the views before going for dinner by our hotel.


The next day Leanne and I made our way to Murano, the glass-blowing island, as an intermediate stop to the further away island of Burano. I have avoided Murano in previous visits and this was a mistake. I really enjoyed visiting the island and seeing its many glass works. I particularly liked the outdoor glass sculptures currently on display. After a pleasant visit we continued on to the island of Burano. Burano is very interesting and a world away from the chaos of Venice. The village prides itself on appearance. Every building is brightly colored. There is no graffiti and clearly little to no crime. Families hang their clothes to dry on lines out on the streets, bikes are left unattended and not locked up. It is very idyllic and easy to photograph, although every photo I took seemed to have someone’s laundry in it. We had a fantastic lunch on the island. I had a mix of fresh seafood and wine. In the afternoon we made our way back (about 40 minutes by boat) to Venice. We walked through the bustle of Venice enjoying some gelato on the way. In the evening we met with Doug and Carol and ventured out to find somewhere for dinner. We found a tiny place tucked in an alley with great atmosphere, but as typical with Venice, it had mediocre food, and that is definitely praising it more than it deserves.

the beaches of Lido

On our last full day in Venice we wandered through the maze doing our best to stay off the marked thoroughfares. We stopped by the Pizanni Mansion, another Bond movie scene. It is now a music conservatory and we listened to them practicing inside. After this I tried to get a Bellini from Harry’s Bar (where it originated) only to get kicked out for not having long pants. It was a hot sunny day and we were there midday. I was amused that although I had a button up shirt and nice shorts, I might have offended the backpackers in there in their dirty t-shirts and cargo pants. Sometimes rules need to be dropped. We left to the island of Giudecca for lunch. We found a phenomenal place called “Il figli delle stele”. I cannot recommend it enough. It was the best meal I’ve ever found in Venice and one of my favorite meals of the past month. We had a long meal there enjoying the views across the water of Venice. In the afternoon we went to the island of Lido. We wandered along its modern streets and roads with vehicles out to the beaches on the Adriatic Sea. It was popular spot, although the beach did not have very nice sand. When we finished in Lido we made the long boat trip back to our hotel in Venice. In the evening we found a nice restaurant that fortunately had good food. We capped off our Italy visit with drinks in the hotel lounge before calling it a night.

the 'peeps, you know the 'fam

This morning, April 29, 2012, we are flying from Venice to Amsterdam and connecting for our flight home. I would like to thank to Carol and Doug for being great travelling companions. We accomplished a lot in a short period of time and saw many impressive wonders together. It was a great trip, and one I won’t forget. It was a trip filled with many highlights. While some of these were a repeat for me, I was more than happy to see them again. I particularly loved my first visits to these incredible places: Taormina, Ravello and the Amalfi Coast, San Marino, Portofino, and our perfect stay in Umbria.