Posts Tagged With: travel blogger

Winter in Europe

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful.” These song lyrics are never more true than when you are in Europe during the winter. While the temperatures are chilling and snow covers most of the ground, there is also no better time to travel to this continent. The scenery of the different countries is beautiful and you’ll leave with tears in your eyes, wanting to stay. Here are your top tips for planning your trip for winter in Europe.

Where to Go:

  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Hungary

When to Go: 

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

What to Pack:

  • Fleece Jacket
  • Insulated Coat
  • Warm Pants
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Wooly Socks
  • Winter Shoes
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7 Things to Know: Germany

Heading to Germany soon? Here are seven things to know before going.

  1. May through October is the high season, while December through March is the best time for skiing.
  2. Be on time. Punctuality is key in Germany.
  3. Waitstaff is only supposed to be tipped 5-10%
  4. Keep your hands out of your pockets when talking to someone.
  5. Be prepared for Germans to correct your behavior and are reserved with compliments.
  6. When finished eating, lay your fork and knife across the right side of your plate.
  7. Germans are very formal. Avoid shouting or chewing gum in public.


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Rio de Janiero 

The 2016 Summer Olympics is finally here! Tonight, the games officially kick off in Rio de Janiero with the Opening Ceremonies.
Rio de Janiero is known for it’s beauty, history, and lively attitude. The city’s name means “River of January” in Portuguese and is one of the largest in Brazil. Before we watch the Olympians go for the gold, let’s take a deeper look into Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

When to Go:

Best Weather: March – June and Sept. – Nov.

Rainforest: June – Nov.

Caranval: Feb. – March

Food to Try:

Feijoada Stew


Chrrasco Barbecue

Sights and Activites: 

Enjoy the party of Caranval

Climb up the Christ the Redeemer Statue

Take a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain

Relax on the beaches of Copacabana

Facts to Know:

Haggling is expected of street vendors.

At night, don’t travel in public transportation. The safest option is to call a taxi.

The crime rate is high in Rio de Janiero, keep valuable items, passports, and additional cash in a hotel safe. Traveling with fewer valuable items the better.

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Today’s Travel Tip

I absolutely LOVE this travel tip! Take it a step further and mail yourself the postcards home. That way, they will be waiting for you when you get back.

If you are looking for a budget friendly way, forget the mailing and just pack in your suitcase. 

Years after the trip, you’ll be happy you kept all the postcards and the memories. 

Happy Travels!  

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Simply Carolina

North Carolina and South Carolina are two of my favorite states. As a traveler and lover of history, I always like to learn about the places I’m visiting. For this week’s Simply Carolina, here are five quick facts about each state. Did you know the Carolinas originated as one colony?

North Carolina:

  1. State nicknames include the “Tarheel State” and the “Old North State.”
  2. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was founded in Winston-Salem.
  3. Babe Ruth hit his first home run in Fayetteville on March 7, 1914.
  4. North Carolina is the nation’s leader in furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production.
  5. The state’s motto is: Esse quam videri, meaning to be rather than to seem.

South Carolina:

  1. The state dance of South Carolina is the shag.
  2. The Palmetto state is leading the nation in peach production and shipper east of the Mississippi River.
  3. South Carolina entered the Union as the 8th state on May 23, 1788.
  4. The Civil War started at Fort Sumter.
  5. Duncan Park Baseball Stadium in Spartanburg is the oldest minor league stadium in the nation.

Don’t forget YOU can join in the Simply Carolina fun!

If you live in either state, I want to hear your stories, recipes, etc. about the Carolinas. Simply fill out the contact form on the contact tab at the top of my blog with your information and story

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My Travel To-Do List

We all have bucket lists. Lists of things we want to do before our last day on Earth. But, I don’t like calling them “bucket lists.” Sounds as if you are counting down the days. So, instead, lets call them “to-do lists.” My to-do lists consist of making memories, spending time with loved ones, and traveling. Here is my travel to-do list.

  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Go on a Route 66 road-trip
  • Visit and hike Machu Picchu
  • Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Camp under the Northern Lights
  • Visit Brazil during Carnival.
  • Dive through the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Walk across the Trift Bridge in the Swiss Alps
  • Swim in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
  • Kayak through Caddo Lake in Texas
  • Go on a hot-air balloon ride in Turkey
  • Go fly-fishing in Montana’s Glacier National Park
  • See the floating lanterns in Thailand
  • Watch the Changing of the Guards in London
  • See the Fairy Pools in Scotland
  • Tickle whales in Mexico
  • Walk the Great Wall of China
  • Helicopter over a volcano in Hawaii
  • Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Dreaming a little big, aren’t I? That’s the fun of it- dream and LIVE big!

What is on your travel to-do list?

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A Greek Classic: Baklava

One of my all-time favorite desserts is the Greek classic baklava. During the 10th grade, I completed a project called “Around the World in 80 Days.” Each student researched a country for 80 days and along with other parts, we had to make a food from that place. My country was Greece and I made baklava. Since then, not a year goes by where I don’t make this yummy food.

Here is how you can make this delicious dessert right in your own home.


  • 1 lb mixed nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 16 oz pkg phyllo dough
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a  9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix together cinnamon and nuts. Unroll phyllo and cut in half to fit the dish. Cover with a damp cloth, to keep from drying out.
  3. Place two sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the dish. Brush with butter. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture on top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, leaving about 6 unused sheets of phyllo left. Using a sharp knife, cut baklava (all the way through to the bottom of the dish) into four long rows, then nine times diagonally to make triangles.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  5. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir in honey and vanilla. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the baklava from the oven and immediately spoon the syrup over it.


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Winter Travel Tips

As we begin our holiday travels, it’s important to remember these important tips.

  1. Pack a winter travel safety kit for your car. Inside the kit include: a cell phone, ice scraper and brush, tow rope, cat litter for traction, blankets, flashlight, candle, matches, and a portable weather radio.
  2.  Slow down, especially in snowy conditions. Just because the speed limit is 70 doesn’t mean you have to go 70 mph in bad weather.
  3. If you are traveling by plane or train, plan ahead and get there early. During the holidays, airports and train stations are two of the busiest places and you need to allot more time than planned.
  4. Make frequent rest stops. Get out and stretch to improve your alertness during the winter hours.
  5. Know your route and keep track of weather conditions. Do your research before heading out the door. Trust me, it will save you lots of time and trouble.
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