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Central and South America / Europe / Middle East / North America / Travel

Taking Stock of 2017:

Sunset in Civitavecchia, Italy (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

The Good, The Great, and the Bittersweet As I write my last post for 2017, it’s 26˚F outside. There’s no snow on the ground, but it’s bloody cold! I’m sitting in the comfy recliner in my warm office, wrapped in a cozy blanket, lap desk and laptop resting securely on my knees. In an odd […]

Europe / Travel / Travel Tips

Hardship and Hope at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum:

Powerful and Poignant Accounts of Leaving Home and How the World Has Benefitted. Ireland is like a savory and sweet stew, composed of multiple textures and complex flavors. Throughout the last 700 years, the stew has boiled over, sending its contents out into the world to influence the flavors of other nations and cultures. The […]

Europe / Travel

Travel Back in Time at the Wieliczka Salt Mine:  

Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

Preserving Poland’s Subterranean Treasures for Future Generations. As my fingers traced the mother’s face, her horror and anguish were transmitted straight to my heart through my fingertips. I was carefully exploring the figures in a salt carving depicting the Slaughter of the Innocents 300 feet below ground in the Chapel of St. Kinga. This was […]

Accommodation / Europe / Travel / Travel Tips

The Mespil Hotel in Dublin, Ireland:

Entrance to the Mespil Hotel in Dublin (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

A Comfortable Retreat for Business or Pleasure Immediately upon entering our room at the Mespil Hotel, we knew we were welcome. The greeting was hard to miss, coming in the form of a platter of dainty petit fours, and a chocolate, “Welcome,” written in flowing script directly on the plate’s surface. It was late afternoon […]

Accommodation / Europe / Food & Beverage / Travel / Travel Tips

Atlantic Crossing on Holland America’s Westerdam:

Diary of a Some-Time Cruisaholic and Her Cruise Shy Husband (Part 3. Going Below the Surface on the Westerdam) If you’ve read J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, you’ll remember how kid-pleasing food and pumpkin juice appeared directly on the tables in the dining hall at Hogwarts. You’ll also remember the elves working hard below the […]

Accommodation / Europe / Food & Beverage / Travel / Travel Tips

Atlantic Crossing on Holland America’s Westerdam:

Food Preparation in the Westerdam Galley (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

Diary of a Some-Time Cruisaholic and her Cruise Shy Husband (Part 2. Food and Fun) Ask anyone to talk about their experiences aboard a cruise ship, and the answer will boil down to two components: food and fun. In both these areas, Holland America Westerdam excelled. From a Gala Night dinner menu featuring jumbo shrimp […]

Accommodation / Europe / Food & Beverage / North America / Travel

Atlantic Crossing on Holland America’s Westerdam:

The Westerdam Docked in Cadiz

Diary of a Some-Time Cruisaholic and Her Cruise-Shy Husband (Part 1. Days 1-5 Aboard the Westerdam) Traveling by cruise ship means different things to different people. To some, it’s a haven for the lazy and shallow. To others, it’s the only way to go. For me, it’s something I would like to do more often, […]

Accommodation / Europe / Travel / Travel Tips

The Galaxy Hotel****, Krakow, Poland:

The Perfect Place to Relax and Recharge. Visiting Krakow and surrounding areas is nothing if not intense. Her past is at the same time dark and stained with blood and illuminated by courage and glory. Her present is vibrant and her future optimistic. Whether you are returning from a day imersing yourself in the horrors […]

Europe / Travel

Meet the Beautiful People of Ireland:

There Must be a Pot of Gold at the End of this Irish Rainbow (©simon@myeclecticimages.com)

They’ll Steal your Heart, and Fill you with Joy in Return They shine brighter than leprechaun gold, spread more warmth than fine Irish whiskey and are gentler than the lambs that dot the hillsides and fields of the Emerald Isle. Their unique combination of generosity, thoughtfulness and humor flow like mothers’ milk, nourishing your spirit, […]

Europe / Travel Tips

Leon Paris and the Gaudi Effect:

Exploring the Works of Barcelona’s Most Famous Architect and his Peers Following our first Barcelona walking tour with Leon Parris, Simon, Otto and I jumped at the opportunity to let this remarkable guide lead us through the city’s most famous architectural sites including a number of the notable Gaudi creations. Now, architecture is a subject […]