India & Nepal
After a few Pandemic related delays, I made it to India and Nepal. My primary interests were visiting the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers in the wild. I traveled on a Tauck escorted tour itinerary of Northern India that gave me the bonus of several days in Nepal. Wildlife safaris, a favorite of mine, were included in both countries. Of course, there were also many interesting historical and cultural experiences, as well. We even had a Mt Everest flightseeing trip and a lecture by a Sherpa guide.
Traveling in that part of the world has its challenges and Tauck lived up to their reputation by making everything the best it could be. If you have been hesitating, don’t!
Singapore and Indonesia
To finish up my list of “need to visit” countries in Southeast Asia, I spent two weeks on a tour of Singapore and Indonesia. Staying in Singapore at the historic Raffles Hotel and ordering a (virgin) Singapore Sling was on my bucket list – so “Check!” In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, we visited the famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan Temples before moving on to Bali. For me one highlight was staying on Flores Island and taking a day trip by boat to Rinca Island and Komodo National Park for a walking safari where we were within 20 feet of the rare, prehistoric looking, giant Komodo Dragons. What an experience!
Indonesia is a country of many islands, areas, and varying cultures. There is something for everyone. Consider putting it on your list of places to visit.
I have been to these cities many times, but this time the trip was for my 2 grandchildren’s high school graduation gift. One wanted London and one wanted Paris. We flew into London first and stayed 4 days and 3 nights. Sightseeing included Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Thames River cruise. A ride on the London Eye soaring above the Thames on the highest observation wheel in Europe was awesome. We visited the Crown Jewels under armed guard in the Tower of London. These gems are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by the monarch for important national ceremonies. If, like my grandson, shopping is on your mind, go to Harrods. We shopped then ended our time in London with an awesome British tea.
The second part of the trip began with taking the Eurostar train through the Eurotunnel to Paris, one of my favorite cities. It travels at a speed of 100 miles per hour in the tunnel and outside up to 186 miles per hour! We stayed there for 4 days and 3 nights, again using the hop on/hop off buses. Sightseeing included a panoramic drive featuring the famous Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and a Seine River cruise with views of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral and an excursion to the magnificent Palace of Versailles. The highlight for my granddaughter was visiting the Louvre with its world-famous artworks such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Free time was spent relaxing in sidewalk cafes, browsing the world-class boutiques in various shopping areas and people watching. To end the trip, we stopped at the Angelina teahouse for the “world-renowned” incredible thick hot chocolate with a piece of cake made of chestnut cream. Now I see why the line was so long! Many memories were made.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City
“And just like, that” my bucket list got shorter! I have wanted to do this for a long time and If you don’t need to be home for the holidays, this trip is awesome. Flew into New York the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and began the adventure. We stayed at a boutique hotel near Macy’s which was perfect. We did a hop on/hop off bus tour around Manhattan which was the way to go. We went to see where the balloons were inflated. The viewing area path winds around the American Museum of Natural History. Awesome but be prepared for lots of walking. We got up early Thanksgiving Day for the parade. It was packed but again so fun. To get in the Christmas spirit that afternoon, we went to The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes, an annual musical holiday stage show presented at Radio City Music Hall. The 90-minute spectacle features more than 140 performers. Of course, on Black Friday, we hit the stores for deals. That evening we went to Times Square for entertainment and on to see a theater show. On the last day of our weekend, we ended at the magnificent Plaza Hotel in the Palm Court for holiday tea. It is located right next to NBC studios and the famous ice rink in Rockefeller center. A weekend to remember for sure!