Oct 10, 2019

The Emerald Isle of America, Beaver Island, Michigan!

IRELAND is a popular country that gets lots of visitors, including myself. However when you don't have the funds or time to visit Ireland you can check out places closer to home that just might have a bit of the Irish in them.

Over in the midwest state of Michigan is an island that rests on a freshwater Great Lake; Lake Michigan. The island is called Beaver Island (Emerald Isle of America). Ferries and planes depart daily from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. A ferry ride takes approximately two hours and a plane ride about 15 minutes. Weather conditions must be considered when visiting Beaver Island so the best time to visit is from the end of May to the end of October when the weather is most favorable.

In 1847 James Jesse Strang brought his small band of Mormons to Beaver Island  and in 1849
Saint James was established on the island. James Jessee Strang crowned himself King and was the only king every crowned in the United States. Today Saint James is a lively harbor town and the main  hub of the island. This is where you'll find everything from the chamber of commerce to lodging to restaurants.

When you land on Beaver Island with "Beaver Island Boat Company" you'll be right in lovely
Saint James Township  Just steps from the ferry is my favorite place to stay, Harbor View Motel.
Overlooking Saint James "harbor" this classic motel has views of Paradise Bay. It's within walking distance of the public beach, community center, shops, restaurants, and the lighthouse. Two bedroom cottages and deluxe motel rooms with a homey atmosphere are offered for reasonable rates. There are grills, outdoor tables, games, and a lovely outdoor swimming pool on the premises. Request room #15 when booking your reservation at Harbor View Motel.

Biologists and nature lovers are drawn to the magnificent beauty of Beaver Island. Students and working professionals can take courses through Central Michigan University which has a biological station on Beaver Island. Courses such as Bird Diversity, Foundation of Ecology, and Freshwater Biology are offered during the summer months and enrollment keeps growing every summer.

Approximately 35% of Beaver Island is state forest land. The island is 13 miles long and 3 to 6 miles wide. Surrounded by the majestic Lake Michigan, there are dozens of idyllic spots to enjoy sand and beach. Inland lakes include Lake Geneserath,  Greenes Lake, Fox Lake, Font Lake, Egg Lake, Round Lake, and Barneys Lake. A good map will help you navigate around the "emerald isle" and find some real hidden gems.

It's an adventure just getting to and from "Beaver Island" because the only two modes of transportation are via airplane of ferry. Fresh Air Aviation and Island Airways offer daily flights. The 15 to 20 minute flight has a few departures from Charlevoix to Beaver Island and from Beaver Island to Charlevoix. The ferry run by Beaver Island Boat Company takes approximately two hours each way and has the most departures during the busy summer months.

If you enjoy camping, the campgrounds here will really connect you with nature. Saint James Township Campground and Bill Wagner Peanine Township Campground offer rustic campsites. There are no showers or electricity, just pit toilets and hand pumps. The cost for a campsite is $10.00 per night. If camping is too rugged, Beaver Island has plenty of Airbnb rentals in private homes.

The enchanting Beaver Island has plenty of things to do even if it is small. Whether you wish to bicycle, walk, or drive around the island you'll find hidden treasures at every corner. Beaver Island is a one of a kind place; here you can still keep your car and house unlocked, friendly locals will give you a complimentary ride, strangers will greet you with a smile and hello. Time goes by slower on Beaver Island. It's uncrowded and there's no traffic jams or loud sirens either. Pristine wilderness, an idyllic harbor village, historic homes, fishing boats, and glorious beaches make Beaver Island a true emerald isle gem.

Churches:

Beaver Island Christian Church
Holy Cross Catholic Church
St. James Episcopal Church


Museums:

Beaver Island Toy Museum
Beaver Island Historical Society
Beaver Island Marine Museum


Places to Stay:

Beaver Island Lodge is nestled in the woods on Lake Michigan. The 13 room lodge has plenty of comforts including an on site restaurant serving award winning food. A ten minute to 15 minute walk from the ferry.

Harbor View Motel has an ideal location and rooms are cozy and sparkling clean. An outdoor swimming pool is open from June until Labor Day.

Lazy K Farms Bed and Breakfast is a 60 acre horse farm located about two miles from the harbor.
Owners Bill and Andy will make you feel right at home. A bountiful breakfast is served in the morning.

Shops and Restaurants:

The Blue Pearl is a ladies shop specializing in clothing. A lovely shop.

Grilled Cheese Food Truck is right across from the ferry dock. Amazing grilled cheese sandwiches and mac & cheese made by the owner.

Island Treasures Resale Shop has lots of merchandise at good prices.

Dalwhinnie Bakery & Deli serves breakfast and lunch. It's cozy inside and the staff is friendly.
Here you'll get great food like the Irish Skillet and Veggie Haystack for breakfast and burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas for lunch. Mouth watering bakery items are also available from opening to close.

McDonough's Market is a full service grocery store catered to locals and tourists.

Power's Do it Best Hardware is the islands convenience store offering lots of important products under one roof.

Shamrock Bar & Restaurants is where you'll find the locals sitting at the bar having a beer and meal.
There's a fireplace inside to enjoy on colder days and live entertainment.

Island Highlights:

Beaver Island and St. James Lighthouse

Beaver Island Community Center

Donegal Bay

Mt. Pisgah Sand Dune

Spectacular Sunrise and Sunsets









Sep 11, 2019

Kenya is Calling!

KENYA

The African continent is huge, 54 countries make up this diverse continent. It would take a very long time to truly experience each country in Africa but it can be done. Where's a good place to begin your African journey? Why not KENYA? 

Bordering the Indian Ocean coastline, this East Africa country encompasses lakelands, mountain highlands, savannah, and the Great Rift Valley. In Kenya you can observe a lot of wildlife; cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, and zebra are a few of the exotic animals that make Kenya home.

Nairobi is Kenya's capital. Referred to as the Green City in the sun, this city has sprawling buildings,a lively music scene, plenty of markets and shops, and it's good starting point for a famous tour of a safari. An African safari can cost anywhere from $125.00 to $1.500 per person per night. There are safaris to suit every budget and Kenya is often one of the more popular countries in Africa to visit.

KENYA HIGHLIGHTS:

Kenya Railways: Take a legendary train ride through the African bush.

Meru National Park is the inspiration for the film Born Free about Elsa, the lioness.

Mount Kenya is African's second highest peak. The summit trails aren't overcrowded and a trek can take up to five days to the summit.

The Kenya coast has glorious beaches, colored waters, powder sugar sand, and lots of coral reef. The resort areas of Diani and Malindi are some of the best in Kenya.

Lake Nakaru in the Great Rift Valley has over 240 birds species.

Masai Mara National Reserve is known for the Great Migration of animals. It's a spectacular experience to watch the animals thunder across the open plains and cross the Mara River.


Kenyan Stewed Beef:

500 grams of beef cubes
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons, fresh garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
salt/pepper to taste

Heat a large pot on medium heat, add the oil and onions, cook until soft, next add the garlic,
and spices. Stir constantly to avoid sticking. Put the 500 grams of beef in the pot. Cook until fragrant, then add tomatoes and water.

Bring to a slight boil, turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

www.africatravelresource.com

BOOK YOUR TRIP TO KENYA.....because KENYA is calling and so is Cheetah!




                           GIRAFFE FACTS:

Giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth. Their legs measure at about 6 feet. They spend most of their life standing up. They sleep standing up and even give birth standing up. Giraffes only need 5 to 30 minutes of sleep in a 24 hour period.

Giraffes drink water every few days. Because a giraffes neck is too short to reach the ground, giraffes need to kneel to reach the ground for a drink of water. Giraffes get their source of water from all the plants they eat.

Giraffes can run up to 35 miles an hour over short distances. Giraffes are not silent, they do make flute like sounds and hiss and snort but their sounds cannot be heard by human hearing.

KENYA IS CALLING!










Sep 3, 2019

Harbor Springs, a Norman Rockwell setting!

We live in such a high tech fast paced environment these days that finding a Norman Rockwell setting in 2019 seems like it can only be found in a classic old film......so we think. Tucked in the northwest corner of the state of Michigan is a resort town that's adorable, clean, and safe. It's the kind of placewhere you can leave your bicycle unlocked and it will still be there an hour later. Here you can pop into a shop and be called by first name, you'll find friendly lifeguards at the town beach and plenty of water to drink from the natural springs, it's easy to walk around from place to place and  there's a cookie shop in Harbor Springs that's been voted one of the best in America. Whether you're a child or adult a few days or weeks in this perfect summer town will put a smile on your face. In fact you might want to stay permanently. Idyllic Harbor Springs is in a class of it's own. From a private members only dining club to an area historic society this is the kind of resort town where you can have a first rate tennis match, marvel at beautiful works of art, and drink the best made martini.



Lakes rule in this region and there's no shortage of boating and swimming spots. A local favorite is Zorn Park, artesian springs make the lake cool and refreshing.  Zorn Park beach has lifeguards and a swimming raft. On the other side of town canines have their own swimming beach known as Zoll Street Beach. Your fido will enjoy the sandy beach and so will you.

Thorne Swift Nature Preserve is tucked away along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Here you can hike the sand dunes and explore the 30 acres. 




Desserts galore. If you have a sweet tooth you'll please your palate at a number of places. Johans Pastry Shop bakes their bagels, cakes, cookies, coffee cakes, donuts and other guilty pleasures daily. Award winning Tom's Mom's Cookies are amazing. Step inside this small quaint shop for incredible tasting cookies. Tom's Mom's Cookies ships their cookies nationwide and this famous cookie shop has been featured on the Food Network, Rachael Ray, and Today show.

Tunnel of Trees is a lovely tree lined road called M-119. This scenic road is one of the best in the state. It will take you to another popular attraction known as Pond Hill Farm.

Pond Hill Farm is unique. There's plenty to do here. There's a farm store, livestock barn, a cafe, and winery. You can take a short hike through the woods, enjoy a hayride and meet some animals, Beer, wine, and delicious food are all made on the premises. Don't forget to try the legendary Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It's one of the best in the Midwest.

Skateboarders are impressed with the outdoor skate rink located at 740 East Main Street. Beautiful views of the water while you skateboard.

As you walk the friendly sidewalks and notice the spring water fountains that will quench your thirst you'll marvel at the beauty all around you. Harbor Springs is an authentic resort town that welcomes all who want to enjoy its beauty. There's no shortage of  water here, whether you wish to swim in the spring fed lake or drink the pure spring water Harbor Springs will win your heart with its charm.



                                            Colonial Inn, Harbor Springs
Accommodations:

Colonial Inn is a personal favorite of mine. This historic inn beckons with its charm, spacious grounds, and luxury rooms with balconies and patio. Enjoy the fitness center, indoor spa, and swimming pool. A bountiful breakfast can be enjoyed in the breakfast room or on the porch. Lake Michigan is just steps away. Highly recommended, a stay here will brighten your summer days.

Where to Eat: 

New York Restaurant is always busy because the atmosphere and food is wonderful. Located inside a historic former hotel customers enjoy meals made from local ingredients.

Small Batch Bakery, Cafe, & Catering, a cozy cafe with mouth-watering dishes, and desserts. It's the kind of place you'll always want to eat at again and again.

Sam Graces Cafe makes their breads and pastries from scratch. Come here for good breakfast and lunch entrees or for the brick oven pizza.

Gurney's Bottle Shop has been around since 1972. There's a large selection of beer, wine, and liquor.
The sandwiches here are a favorite of locals and tourists. You can build sandwiches the way you like them!

Turkey's Cafe & Pizzeria; this pink colored building on Main Street can't be missed. Fantastic pizza and salads.

Willow is known for Modern American cuisine. Unique dishes from farm to table.

Spotlight on Tom's Mom's Cookies: There's a reason these irresistible cookies have been featured on Food Network, Rachael Ray. and Family Circle magazine.When you walk inside this quaint shop you'll want to try all the delicious cookies loved by adults and kids of all ages.  Located at 1523, 267 S Spring Road, Harbor Springs, don't be surprised if there's a line during busy summer days.
                                              
                                         Tom's Mom's Cookies is loved by adults and kids


When you arrive in HARBOR SPRINGS you can feel the idyllic small town atmosphere. It's beautiful, clean, and safe. It's the kind of place where you can feel carefree for a day, week, or a month. Those that summer here are truly blessed. A "Norman Rockwell" setting and the perfect town to spend your summer. HARBOR SPRINGS is a special kind of place where life seems more simple and unhurried.






Aug 16, 2019

CHINA, the GREAT!



China is full of extraordinary wonders, one being the creation of chopsticks. Thanks to the Chinese, other Asian countries enjoy eating their food with chopsticks. Chopsticks became 2 sticks of the same length in the Shang Dynasty 16th-11th century BC.Chopsticks are held with the dominant hand between thumb and fingers. The Chinese discovered centuries ago that using two sticks was better for reaching into pots full of hot water. 

CHINA, People's Republic of China is considered an ancient civilization. It was established in 221 BC. The Chinese calendar is the oldest in the world. With a population of 1.386 billion, China is the most populated country in the world. The Chinese language consists of 40,000 characters. China has many wonders to see from the Forbidden City in Beijing to the Great Wall to the highest mountain in the world called Mount Everest which stands at 29,000 feet. FORBIDDEN CITY; is a palace complex in central Beijing. It's the former imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of Qing Dynasty.


PANDA: One of the most famous residents in China is the panda bear. Native to central China, the panda has black and white fur. Males can weigh up to 160 kg and females 100 to 115 kg. Panda's are good swimmers.

Where to Find Panda's in CHINA:
panda.org.cn


________________________________________________________________________
THE GREAT WALL is 21,19618 km and was built by over 6 different dynasties.
It is the longest man made structure in the world.
________________________________________________________________________






China is the largest producer of tea; green, oolong, white, and jasmine are some of the most popular. Legend has it that emperor Shen Nong discovered tea leaves in 2737 B.C.E.






DIM SUM "touch the heart" is Cantonese and refers to small bite sized dishes that are served in bamboo steamer baskets and served with tea.
What started in CHINA is now popular in many other parts of the world.



Aug 1, 2019

Summering at the most BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN AMERICA!

Stress Be Gone....it;s "Summer Time" and this is the time to take advantage of some lazy summer days where the days are warm and long, the ice cream cones taste so good and the beach is the place to be night and day. Brighten your summer days in the northwest corner of Michigan and enjoy the SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE! Water, Water, Water, Everywhere....no salt or sharks either.


Made in Traverse City, MI
                                         Great Lakes Potato Chips are the very best.                                


M I C H I G A N     





Even though I was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in the suburb of Dearborn, I couldn't wait to leave the state. All good things seemed to happen in other states for me like California, New York, and Vermont. However there came a time when II had to move my mother from Dearborn to Traverse City because she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my brother wanted her in a place of natural beauty. I was only supposed to stay in the Traverse City area for a few months but as I started to discover all the majestic places in Northwest Michigan I soon realized that I had found "paradise." During the summer you can't beat hanging out in places like Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, Leland, Mackinac Island, Northport, Petoskey, Traverse City and dozens of other cities,  towns and villages. Each has it's own attributes and charm.

One place in particular that stands out is the "SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE." This pristine natural wilderness was voted by "GOOD MORNING AMERICA"as the most beautiful place in America.Tourism has grown rapidly in the past few years and you can't blame people for coming here to take in all the wonders. I can get to "SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE in about an hour and my favorite way to arrive is on the Bata Bus.

I can't help but praise BATA; Bay Area Transportation Authority. It's an amazing bus company that gets residents and visitors around safely and at low prices. BATA offers Bayline, City Loops, Village Loops, and Link service. You can get to some wonderful places like Empire and Glen Arbor. This morning I took the free shuttle bus from Woodland Creek to the downtown Hall Street station and transferred to bus 11 which took me directly to Glen Arbor for only $3.00. (What a deal). There are bicycle racks on BATA buses and lots of people take advantage of this since bicycle trails seem to appear in lots of places.

SUGGESTIONS FOR YOUR VISIT TO "AMERICA'S MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE"

Take the morning bus (Route 11)  from Hall Street station in downtown Traverse City to Glen Arbor. It takes just under an hour to get to Glen Arbor. Bring along your bicycle Otherwise driving your own car will allow you to explore more places.

GLEN ARBOR ATTRATIONS:


                                                   
                                               

BICYCLE RENTALS:

M 22 Glen Arbor is an outstanding bicycle shop that rents bicycles. Staff is friendly and helpful.

BICYCLE TRAIL:

Don't miss the wonderful Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail a 27.4 mile trail that meanders past the famous sand dunes.

CANOE AND KAYAK RENTALS:

Crystal River Outfitters is very popular and always draws crowds. Enjoy paddling the majestic river by canoe and kayak for as long as you choose.

COFFEE SHOPS:



Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company; begin your day with a cup of coffee. The baristas will prepare your choice of coffee drink. Pastries of all kinds are available too. Indoor and Outdoor Seating.


CAFES AND RESTAURANTS

Art's Tavern is a cozy pub with an outdoor patio popular in the summer months. Beers on tap available. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Boonedocks has an all American menu featuring burgers, fish, salads, sandwiches, and steaks. Customers enjoy the outdoor deck for drinks and food. 

Dune Dogs offers Chicago style hot dogs and this place has lots of loyal customers. It's a food truck and once you place your order you can sit at one of the picnic tables.

Riverfront Deli and Pizza is my personal favorite. Handmade sandwiches, soups, and quiche. Outstanding desserts and pizza too. Cozy seating indoors and out.

FAMOUS DUNE CLIMB: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (Between Empire and Glen Arbor)



Inside the SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE. This famous attraction offers plenty of pure and wind blown sand for your climb up. Spectacular views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan.
Note that this climb can be strenuous. 

SHOPS TO EXPLORE:

Becky Thatcher Designs are exquisite. Lovely jewelry that's eye catching. Choose from bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings, watches, and more.

Cherry Republic brings in the crowds. Terrific samples of their products and lots of items to choose from that make great gifts.

Cottage Book Shop is adorable inside and they have an array of books for sale. Pick up a book here and read it at one of the beautiful beaches in the area.

The Exchange and Flee is owned by a French couple and they carry lots of gorgeous clothings and other items like French soaps and perfumes.

Glen Arbor Wines is an awesome place to buy bottles of local wines and wine by the glass.
You can play outdoor games like bocce outdoors and enjoy your wine in the lovely setting.

Synchronicity Art Gallery features close to 100 works by talented Michigan artists.

PLACES TO STAY:

The Homestead is 2.6 miles from the village of Glen Arbor. It's a luxury resort surrounded by lush woods. Lots of activities here and a lovely Lake Michigan beach all add to the charm and glamour.

Thyme Inn is a restored farmhouse in the heart of Glen Arbor. Peaceful surroundings. Chef made breakfast, cooking school, afternoon tea and pastries, cozy rooms, and a lovely porch with plenty of places to sit.

Sylvan Inn in an 1861 clapboard home right on Western Avenue. 13 traditional rooms with antique furnishings. Breakfast buffet. Garden, terrace, and a wraparound porch too.

GLEN HAVEN:   

                                         
_____________________________________________________________________
GLEN HAVEN is a restored small port village on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan. Here you can enjoy the Lake Michigan beach, and a restored Blacksmith shop and General Store with items for purchase. An excellent place to spend a few hours.

____________________________________________________________________

EMPIRE:   
                                          Welcome to EMPIRE

Empire is one of the most beautiful beach towns on earth. It's as if time stood still here. Nothing flashy here. Just a few unpretentious shops and restaurants. If you're looking for a Norman Rockwell setting where life is simple you've found it in EMPIRE.

WHAT TO ENJOY IN EMPIRE:



                                                     Empire is simply gorgeous 

Empire Bluff Trail can't be missed. This trail in Empire leads to a high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The tail is 1.5 miles long.

North Bar Lake just outside Empire is spectacular. It's part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake  Shore.Swimming here is the ultimate.


Lake Michigan Beach Park in Empire is one of the best in the state. You've got Lake Michigan on one side and the small South Bar Lake on the other. Both offer sandy beaches with picnic tables. Both lakes are excellent for paddle boarding. Stunning sunsets.

Grocer's Daughter has delightful chocolates all made on the premises. A chocolate lover's haven for top quality chocolates.

Tiffany's Cafe has the best coffee drinks, desserts, and ice cream. Quaint setting and a kind staff.

For out of this world submarine sandwiches visit Shipwreck Cafe. You can eat indoors or outdoors or better yet eat your sandwich at Lake Michigan Beach Park.


                                           Shipwreck Cafe subs are awesome!
                                       

Fill your summer days with magic in Empire. Farm stands, hiking trails, boating, swimming, bicycle trails, and lots of open space is what you'll find in EMPIRE.

So.....there you have it. So much to see and do in "AMERICA"S MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE."





Jul 2, 2019

Traveling Through Strawberry Fields!


Bright, red, plump strawberries are filled with antioxidants and vitamins and they taste terrific.Yearning for some strawberries? Strawberries are loved throughout the world and these magical berries can be used in everything from cake to ice cream to smoothies. Picking strawberries is something to add to your bucket list this summer. Find a strawberry farm near your home and start picking strawberries for a fun filled strawberry summer!

Today I took a drive through the verdant countryside passing by farm after farm and was I ever excited when I spotted a few strawberry farms. One strawberry farm in particular won my heart with its market full of treats; chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry donuts and strawberry pies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream, strawberry jam and strawberry beer. What delightful choices.It inspired me to sit in several strawberry patches and pick "strawberries, strawberries, and more
strawberries. What a farm! Loved the strawberry fields.

It's summer in many parts of the world so why
not spend a vacation day strawberry picking?
Strawberry picking is a great way to connect with nature and get some stress
relief. What's your favorite strawberry recipe? Wishing you a summer filled with strawberry love.

STRAWBERRY FACTS:

Strawberries were found in Rome in 234  BC.

Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the Spring!

Strawberries are the only fruit which have seeds on the outside.

Strawberries are members of the rose family.

Strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges.

You can find a museum dedicated to strawberries in Belgium.



                                                         
                                             Homemade Fresh Strawberry Pie


FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE RECIPE:

1 pie crust (homemade or store bought)

3 pints of fresh strawberries

1 cup cane sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

1/2 cup water

whip cream

Bake pie crust and let it cool completely.

Crush or slice 2 cups of strawberries. In a saucepan mix cornstarch, sugar, and water, add the two cups of strawberries and allow the mixture to thicken on your stovetop. Cool the mixture. Place remaining one cup of strawberries whole or sliced on the pie crust. Pour cooked strawberry mixture on top. Refrigerate until set, about 3 to 4 hours. 

Before serving top each pie slice with whip cream.


                                           
                                        Brighten your day with strawberry ice cream!





















Jun 11, 2019

AUSTRIA, Beauty & Peace


                                         

                                   


AUSTRIA
www.austria.info/us

Everyone has a favorite place on this earth, for me that place is AUSTRIA.  I wish I could be in AUSTRIA this very minute listening to the sounds of cow bells, cuckoo birds, and goats yodeling in the verdant Alps. As I approach yet another birthday tomorrow I've made it a point to keep studying German and purchase a one way airline ticket to Vienna so that I can be back in my beloved Austria.

                                               A Viennese confection since 1898

Austria is a small country but inside this alpine country is some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. A good place to arrive first is Vienna, a grand city that wins the hearts of visitors around the world. From imperial palaces to cozy coffeehouses serving famous Linzer torte, Vienna is filled with excitement. Whether you're admiring the Danube River, dancing the waltz, or listening to a symphony, Vienna will stimulate you with it's unending culture and lovely architecture



                                                Freshly baked Austrian bread rolls
                                     

Salzburg, is where I love spending time. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg and his legend lives on and on; truly a master of music and speaking of music, the American made film "The Sound of Music" has daily tours that shouldn't be missed. So much to see and do in Salzburg and it's very close to those glorious ALPS.


                                          Famous "Mozart" is from Salzburg

I could spend weeks, months, years in Austria. I was fortunate to work in this amazing country for two summers but it just wasn't long enough, not for someone who loves Austria so dearly. It's the Alps that bring me the most joy. Perfect picture postcard towns and villages with church steeples and magical bells that can be heard throughout the day. The scent of bread, rolls, and pastries at an authentic Austrian Bakeri, can't be beat. Miles of endless trails to hike and crisp clear lakes that are filled with pure water. Cow bells ringing and goats wandering through the mountains, fragrant edelweiss flowers, timely trains meandering from town to city with their horns blowing, streams, and waterfalls galore. A private accommodation known as a "pension" is the ultimate place to stay. It's homey, quaint, and oh so Austrian.

Authentic Apfel Strudel

                                                 
If you like culture, fragrant colorful flower boxes, grand safe cities, idyllic villages with towering mountains, lush valleys and streams, peacefulness, outdoor activities, friendly people, and a slower pace of life, Austria could be for you. Top notch bakeries & cafes, fresh air, perfect ski slopes and hiking trails, comfortable trains to take you through the countryside or to the city. No need for a car here, most buses and trains will take you to your desired destination. AUSTRIA, truly one of the best countries in the world!


                               
                        The Austrian Alps with my beloved cow friends!

The Emerald Isle of America, Beaver Island, Michigan!

IRELAND is a popular country that gets lots of visitors, including myself. However when you don't have the funds or time to visit Irelan...