Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Year's Eve Events in London

London UK this new Year's Eve? Check this list of the top five London attractions.

New Years Eve Events In London  

The Top Five Websites for Discount Vacation Packages

Looking for a great deal on a vacation package? Here are five Websites that come highly recommended.

Websites For Discount Vacation Packages

Happy Travels,
JoyceThe Travel and Vacation Discount GuideThe Travel and Vacation Discount Guide

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hot Deals in International Real Estate

Looking for a great deal on a property overseas? Look no further than here.

Hot Deals

Nos vemos pronto,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Business Ideas for Ex-Pats in Mexico

Thinking about taking early retirement? Want to leave the rat race behind and enjoy the thrills of living in a foreign country?

Then you might consider opening a business in Mexico. Check out this Article from International Living.   One ex-pat's story in colonial Mexico

Nos vemos pronto,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Traveling safely with your Dog

When traveling in your car with your dog, you want your best friend to remain as safe and comfortable as possible.

Here are three articles to help you and your dog to reach your destination with safety and comfort.

Special thanks to writer Puppy Fashionista. (Who can resist a pen-name like that!)

If traveling to your next vacation destination via car, take your dog with you. Most will love the trip and meeting new people. You will love not having to pay expensive boarding fees. Follow these directions to safely travel with dogs in a car.

If you're taking your dogs on vacation, using dog travel crates is the safest way to travel. They will protect him from taking a flying leap if you must suddenly slam on your breaks or get in an accident. Follow the directions below so you and your favorite fur friend will have a safe and relaxing trip.
When traveling with dogs, always make sure that they are safe inside a travel crate or safety harness. They will make sure they are kept safe in case you must suddenly stop or are in an accident. The safety harness is best for dogs who like to look out the window, are comfortable sitting or lying in relatively the same spot for at least two hours at a time, or when there is not enough room in the vehicle for a travel crate.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Live Abroad, Retire Abroad

Live abroad. Retire abroad.

Many online sources exist for those who want to live the life of an ex-pat, but Live Abroad, Retire Abroad is the best blog I have found on the subject.

The blog, by eHow writer NB Contributor , includes excellent links to sources necessary to those searching for a life on foreign shores.

Before packing your bags, be sure to check out Live Abroad, Retire Abroad and its sister link on the same subject. Live Abroad, Retire Abroad   More on Living and Retiring Abroad

 Happy Trails, Joyce

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Celebrity Infinity: Singers "On Tap"

After a dip in the pool, enjoy finger-snapping music
Do you like '50s music with great vocal harmonies and a finger-snapping beat? Then you may want to book a cruise with Celebrity Infinity and enjoy the musical stylings of the Lehigh University all-male singing group, On Tap.

Through early 2011, On Tap will be featured on the cruise ship Celebrity Infinity. The Panama Canal, Mexico, Florida, Argentina and Uruquay are just some of the ships destinations where you can catch an earful of music to take you back down memory lane. Here is more by Lehigh University writer Kurt Pfitzer.

Lehigh University: On Tap

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice: Lovin' Those Long Days

Today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The above photo shows celebrants gathering at England's famous Stonehenge as the first rays of the sun shine upon them. It's officially summer.

I have always been a weather junkie and have enjoyed following the changing seasons wherever I have lived or traveled. I currently live in the southeastern Pennsylvania community where I was born and raised. Today's sunrise was 5:31am; sunset is at 8:35 pm. Tonight after dinner, I will enjoy sitting on my back porch to watch the fireflies and listen to the bullfrogs "dribbet" down by the pond.

In the early ' 70s I lived in Fairbanks, Alaska where I attended the University of Alaska. Believe me, you haven't lived until you've visited the Land of the Midnight Sun for the summer solstice activities in late June. Twenty-four hours of continuous daylight! In this blog I have posted articles on vacation ideas above the Arctic Circle; the locales include Alaska, Canada and Finland's Lapland region. To find them quickly, type "arctic vacation" in the search box on this page.  

Graduate school took me to the University of Arizona in Tucson. Fortunately for Arizona's desert dwellers, the state does not change to daylight savings time. In Tucson, the sun rose at 5:17am and will set at 7:33 pm -- when it's 103-degrees in the shade, who needs extra sunlight?!

Wherever you find yourself today, enjoy the extra daylight. And if you're reading this from South Africa or New Zealand -- well, you're out of luck!!

As I said in the beginning, I'm a weather junkie. To read my article "How to Teach Children about the Four Seasons of the Year," please click on the following link. Thanks!
How to Teach Children about the Four Seasons 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Support Gulf Coast Tourism

The travel industry in the Gulf States can use all our help. Not all the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are knee-deep in oil. As one Gulf state governor put it, come on down, rent a condo and enjoy a round of golf.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Study Spanish in Merida, Mexico

Spanish is the native language of more than 332 million people around the globe. For me,  to perfect the Spanish language as spoken in Mexico has been a lifelong dream -- a goal to which I am inching closer.

Purists may argue that the Castilian accent as spoken in the Spanish cities of Salamanca and Madrid is the true mother tongue; they claim  that  Iberian Spanish is to Mexican Spanish what  BBC English is to standard American English. To that I say beauty lies within the ear of the listener, and this listener prefers the musical flow of Mexican Spanish to the ' "th"-heavy' accent of Spain.

So, where in Mexico should one go to learn Spanish? I suggest the city of Merida, capital of the state of Yucatan. And the school I recommend is The Spanish Institute of Merida. (you will find the link to the school is at the end of this post.)

Merida is a colonial city, perhaps the oldest in the Americas, and is considered the safest city in Mexico -- a point the U.S. State Department failed to mention in their April, 2010 warning against travel to Mexico. The Spanish in Merida is considered pure and lacks the heavy regional accents found in other Mexican locales.

My husband, Kurt, and I recently attended simerida for two weeks of one-on-one instruction. I can not say enough good things about the experience. Here's a quick overview of a typical day:

1. Wake up in my private, air-conditioned room with its en-suite bathroom. Eat a hearty, Mexican-Caribbean breakfast prepared by the mother of my host family. Chat in Spanish with my host mother.

2. Walk to the bus stop to meet Kurt and take the fifteen-minute ride to the school. (We chose to stay with different families.)

3. Enjoy four hours of one-on-one language study with mi maestra (my teacher). Sometimes we'd walk to a nearby cafe to practice conversation skills over a cup of coffee. By the second day of classes, my teacher had my learning style figured out -- I'm a visual learner and she accurately pinpointed my strengths and weaknesses.  And in one sentence she described the bedeviling Subjunctive Mode in  a way that cleared a lifetime of cobwebs from my head -- I now crave every chance I get to practice the subjunctive. (In a nutshell, a subjunctive verb is used when doubt or uncertainty exisits within a sentence. Since the subjunctive is rarely used in English, its common use in Spanish poses a learning challenge.)

4. Break for lunch with our fellow students and "headmaster" for lack of a better word; the conversation was maintained in Spanish and the topics fascinating. Most meals were taken at Don Pepe's, an authentic Yucatecan restaurant located within the actual home of  Don Pepe.  As I chowed down, I  could see within a roped-off area Don Pepe's living room, complete with sofa and TV.

5. A two-hour, one-on-one conversation with my guia, or guide, whose job was to correct my spoken Spanish as we visited museums and any other places of interest within walking distance of the school.

6. A return trip on the city bus and a refreshing swim before more fun and enlightening conversations in Spanish with members of our host families.
spanish institute of merida

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Kurt and I just returned from a fabulous two weeks in Merida, the charming colonial city on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Here is an overview.

The charming and magical city of Merida is located in the state of Yucatan, about 177 km (110 mi) from Campeche and 320 km (198 mi) from Cancun. Thanks to its tropical climate and cool winds that blow in from the nearby coast, temperatures range between 28º and 35º C (82º and 95º F) throughout most of the year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Get to Sanibel Island

Florida's Sanibel Island is known as the sea shell capital of the world. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, this delightful island is a pleasure to visit and easy to get to. Jade Dragon will explain how in a few easy steps.

Happy travels,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anthony's Study Guides

Travel is not always just a physical journey --many travelers are moved spiritually as they travel the globe.

Today I am honored to introduce my readers to a Web site created by a fellow writing friend at

Happy travels, Anthony Delgado. And as the Spanish would say, vaya con Dios.

Nos vemos pronto,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Merida, Mexico Vacation

It's official, ladies and gentlemen. Kurt and I will be visiting Merida for the last two weeks of April. According to a good friend, here is a top-ten list of  must-see locations:

1. Chichen Itza: a full day excursion to the most famous Mayan
archaeological zone is a must do.
2. Uxmal: the second most famous Mayan zone, and we think the most beautiful.
3. Merida Mercado: you haven’t immersed until you’ve been here.
4. Hacienda Temozon: go early, have breakfast, learn about the history
of the haciendas in Yucatan.
5. Izamal: the yellow city built on Mayan ruins and home to the
important Mayan prophet Itzam’na.
6. Celestun: biological reserve on the Gulf of Mexico, with a boat
ride through mangroves to see the flamingos. End the day with a plate
of ceviche.
7. Castro Pacheco murals: in the Governor’s Palace on the main plaza.
8. Merida House and Garden Tour: you’ll be amazed at what you find
inside these old colonial homes.
9. Weekend in Tulum: our favorite piece of Caribbean paradise and the
location of the third most important Mayan archaeological zone.
10: Gran Plaza: just a big shopping mall, but a good way to see hip
Yucatecos behaving like Norte Americanos. It helps you ease back into
the modern world before your return to the States. Buy a t-shirt at
Mayan Xic and drop crumbs on it at Kukis.

Nos vemos pronto, Joyce

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mayan Ruins: A Perspective from the Past

I recently stumbled upon a fifty-year old guide to the Mayan ruins. When purchased, it cost twenty pesos.

No matter the date nor the price, I learned a few interesting tidbits. I knew the Mayans inhabited the Yucatan and Guatemala, but did not realize ruins of their civilization could also be found in the Mexican states of  Tabasco and Chiapas, as well as modern-day Belize. (When the book was published, Belize was still known as British Honduras.)

Even more fascinating to the modern reader is the view of wildlife back in 1959. The ability to purchase alligator belts, shoes and other accessories was mentioned often. When discussing the island of Cozumel, readers were told how they could hunt for deer and jaguars in the island's "hinterland."

The book is "Maya Cities: Official Guide I.N.A.H." by Roman Pina Chan, translated by Dr. Pablo Martinez del Rio.

One can only wonder what the author and translator would make of today's bustling resorts of Cancun and Cozumel.

Happy trails,