Photo of the Day: 3 Ladies (Ubud, Indonesia)

Photos of the Day: Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia)

IMG_0360Peaceful.  Serene.  Breathtaking.  Those are just a few words to describe the beautiful southern Bali beach town known as Nusa Dua.  I am currently staying at the fabulous Conrad Bali for work but was able to sneak in a couple of vacation days to lounge around the pool and spend the mornings on the beach as the sun rises.

With its awesome beaches, magnificent sunrises, crashing surfs and delicious food…this exclusive enclave is a welcome haven for those seeking to relax and get away from it all.

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Photos of the Day: Oia (Santorini, Greece)

Some say that Oia is the prettiest village on the Greek island of Santorini…but honestly, I found it hard to choose!  The entire island is gorgeous.  From Fira to Imerovigli to Oia, the views are absolutely stunning.  The white buildings accented with blue paint are enhanced by the masterpiece of the caldera.

Photos of the Day: Imerovigli & Fira (Santorini)

I miss Santorini…the peaceful walks around the caldera, the amazing sunsets, the fragrant & colorful bouquets of flowers & plants that add a pop of color to the white facades…it’s the perfect place to relax & unwind. You can use up an entire memory card in one hour. Have you been to Santorini? If so, what was your favorite thing to do?  What other Greek Islands would you recommend to visit? I’m looking to book my next excursion 🙂

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Photos of the Day: Lake Bled (Slovenia)

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Lake Bled is a glacial lake in the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia, where it adjoins the town of Bled. We drove over from Trieste for the day. It’s such a wonderful little town! Very relaxing & picturesque.  It was also the first time I’d ever seen “horse meat” for sale!  I highly recommend taking a day or two to explore the town, Bled Castle and Bled Island!

Photos of the Day: Alexandria, Egypt

We arrived in Alexandria around 6am…just in time to see the sun rise. I could hardly sleep the night before in anticipation for what I’d get to see. The first thing I notice as we pull into port is that the water in the harbor is dirty and there are sunken ships (which were actually pretty cool).

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Alexandria is the capital where Cleopatra ruled from 51-30 BC. The city was named for Alexander the Great when he conquered Egypt from the Persians. The story of Cleopatra is fascinating. One thing I did not realize is that she was a descendant of Greeks (Ptolemy, who was a general of Alexander the Great). Cleo was highly educated (she spoke 8 languages) and hard core (she killed her sister to have the throne). A big thing back in the day was for sisters and brothers to marry each other and procreate to keep the royal bloodline going. Of course, this resulted in genetic deformities and poor health for the offspring (see the latest article on the DNA testing of King Tut) as well as a touch of the crazy. Anyway, Cleo was married off to her brother (Ptolemy XIII aka “P13”) but she was like, “this is gross and I’m out.” So, she ended up falling out with him and Julius Caesar had to resolve the conflict of who should rule Egypt. P13 thought he could outsmart his sister and keep her from using her charms to get Caesar to rule in her favor. But, he underestimated her. Where there is a will, there is a way. Cleo had herself rolled up in a carpet and was taken right past her brother’s guards in the palace to Caesar. She put her charms on, was granted the right to rule Egypt and made Caesar her first baby-daddy.

After Caesar was killed (“et tu, Brutus?” is one of my favorite lines), Cleo put her charms on Marc Antony and had 3 kids by him. Marc ended up living in Alexandria and boozing it up. When he was defeated by Octavian (Caesar’s heir to the Roman throne and his rival), he was told that Cleo was dead. So, he killed himself. Cleo actually wasn’t dead and when she found out Marc had committed suicide and she had lost the throne to Egypt, she killed herself by having a deadly snake, an asp, bite her. It’s so tragic. Her kids ended up being taken to Rome where the boys were killed so they wouldn’t pose a threat to Octavian but her daughter, Cleopatra Selene, was allowed to live and ended up becoming the Queen of Mauretania.

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Photos of the Day: Karnak Temple (Luxor/Thebes, Egypt)

20130223-180612.jpgI’ve been obsessed with visiting Karnak Temple ever since I saw The Mummy Returns.  When the opportunity arose to visit, I jumped at the chance!  This open-air museum is very interesting with its decaying temples & hieroglyphics.  Located in the ancient city of Thebes, this temple is said to be the largest ancient religious site in the world & second most visited site in Egypt…behind the Pyramids of Giza (source Wikipedia).  It was even more majestic than I had imagined.  At the heart of Karnak lies the Temple of Amun…king of the gods.  Karnak has everything…endless courts and halls, a sacred lake, statues of pharaohs, etc.  This was the highlight of my visit to Luxor.  It’s AMAZING!

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Interested in visiting Egypt?  Read my review here.

Photos of the Day: Life’s a Beach

It’s been less than a week and I’m already missing the beach.  Something about water calms me…it’s like an instant shot of happiness 🙂  Maybe I need to get an “ocean waves” app or something…but then I’m nervous that it will make me want to pee all the time.  Hmmm…I guess the next best thing to being there is staring at pictures!!!  As I started looking thru my online photo albums, I realized that I’ve been BEYOND BLESSED to visit so many amazing places!  And I’d like to share a few of them with you.  So, get your pretend swimsuit, a very real cocktail, sunglasses and let’s go!!!

Mimosas on the beach? Yes...please & thank you! (Cancun)

Mimosas on the beach? Yes…please & thank you! (Cancun)

A Hilton Head sunrise...best way to get your day started!

A Hilton Head sunrise…best way to get your day started!

(Santorini) A view of an infinity pool AND the Mediterranean Sea? Heaven!

(Santorini) A view of an infinity pool AND the Mediterranean Sea? Heaven!

The Norwegian fjords! While it was cold enough for Frosty the Snowman when I visited in March, it's absolutely breathtaking during the summer!

The Norwegian fjords! While it was cold enough for Frosty the Snowman when I visited in March, it’s absolutely breathtaking during the summer!

I know this may be a stretch...but I fell in love with this dam in the Scottish Highlands...and this was before I had any Scottish whiskey :) So serene & peaceful!

I know this may be a stretch…but I fell in love with this dam in the Scottish Highlands…and this was before I had any Scottish whiskey 🙂 So serene & peaceful!

The famous Santorini caldera sunset...

The famous Santorini caldera sunset…

The sunset over a lagoon in Cancun

The sunset over a lagoon in Cancun

Beautiful Lake Bled (Slovenia)

Beautiful Lake Bled (Slovenia)

The amazing Amalfi Coast in Positano, Italy!

The amazing Amalfi Coast in Positano, Italy!

The marina in Monte-Carlo

The marina in Monte-Carlo

Waves on rocks in Monte-Carlo

Waves on rocks in Monte-Carlo

Sunset over Chateau de Chillon

Sunset over Chateau de Chillon

Photo of the Day: It’s So Hard to Say Good-Bye

What an absolutely amazing week in Cancun! I was blessed to spend it with family & friends experiencing some amazing adventures. Waking up this morning to the now familiar sound of crashing ocean waves makes leaving bittersweet. So, as we bring this spectacular vacation to a close, we decided to eat our breakfast on the balcony and enjoy the sunrise one last time. Adios, Cancun!!!

Photos of the Day: Swimming with Dolphins

You know how you see your friend’s photo on Facebook where he/she is all hugged up on a dolphin and you think, “How cool! I wanna do that!”? But instead you are hugging your pillow whining about how you need a vacation…ok, maybe that was just me?!?!?!? I finally got the opportunity to “swim with the fishes (well, they were actually dolphins but I’ve been itching to use that line from The Godfather for a while…ha!). Our dolphins, Pablo & Lucas, were just like puppies! So cute, so friendly and addicted to treats! When you arrive to the pool, you are told that you can only wear a bathing suit (no jewelry, sunglasses, hair clips, etc.). I will go a step further and tell you not to wear hair pieces/wigs because sorry for you if that sucker comes off and your dolphin is now wearing a Bobbi Boss lacefront wig. Ha!

Once you get in the pool, you greet the dolphins by waving (and they turn on their sides to wave back…so freaking cute!). Then after you pet your dolphin,you swim out into the middle of the pool and wait for the dolphin to join you. The dolphin will swim around behind you then flip onto its tummy for you to grab its fins and off you go zooming towards the shallow end! So fun!! A little later, you get to “dance” and “kiss” your dolphin. I want a pet dolphin so bad…but i guess I’ll just have to content myself with trying to teach my dog how to wave his paw & pose for kisses. I’m pretty sure he’s going to give me the side-eye and sigh like “stop the madness, lady…and get me a treat while you’re up.”

Honestly, if you’ve ever debated on whether or not to swim with dolphins, I highly recommend you do it. They are so gentle and fun…and it will be an experience you will talk about for a long time!

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