Of all the fantastic things to do in Ellicottville, the Griffis Sculpture Park was my favourite. Here's why.
Participation in the press trip that brought me to Ellicottville was part of the Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX) conference. This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through said link, we'll be paid a small commission and we thank you for your support.
Hugging a trio of giant metallic mushrooms? It's all in a day's work when you're hanging out in Ellicottville, New York. This village of a few hundred people in western New York state is full of surprises! It's a lesson I first learned when I had a wild "anti-adventure" moment while riding on a mountain coaster. And it was reinforced when I visited the Griffis Sculpture Park, an interactive art and nature experience that is unlike anything else in the United States. It didn't take long before it wasy my favourite of all the things to do in Ellicottville and I suspect most visitors would likely agree.
In the Tuscan hill town of Volterra, a small museum safeguards the legacy of a lost global powerhouse, the Etruscans.
If you were hanging around Europe sometime between 700 and 500 BC, you'd know that everyone who was anyone was Etruscan. They were the final word in all things commerce, trade, politics, art, and architecture, dominating life in what is now modern day Tuscany, Umbria, and Latium. Heck, before the Etruscans rolled into town, Rome was little more than a sewer filled settlement. The Greeks wanted to be as cool as them and everyone else wanted to kill them. Their growth, power, and influence was immeasurable, unstoppable. Until suddenly it wasn't.
And now all that's left of them is a dusty museum in Volterra.
As soon as we visited Volterra, we knew we had found one of the best villages in Tuscany. Here's why we love it.
See those happy, happy grins!? That's us, minutes after checking into our Volterra hotel room and discovering we had our own secret terrace. Swoon! We were fresh off the bus but we already knew that Volterra was one of the best villages in Tuscany.
Tuscany is a region in central Italy. It's famous for its spectacular regional capital city, Florence, as well as having one of the best food scenes in the world. Some of the world's finest olive oil, wine, cheese, cured meats, and pasta are produced here. And much of it is produced in and around small hill top villages which were once mighty fortress cities - that is, until the Florentines starting throwing their weight around!
With plenty of time and no real travel restrictions, we were spoiled with choice about where to go in Tuscany. We didn't want to spread ourselves too thin and decided to concentrate on just a couple villages. On paper, Volterra checked many of our travel boxes. It was picturesque, affordable, and small enough to explore on foot. And it didn't hurt that Volterra was renowned for its alabaster art. But until we arrived, we hadn't known that we not only made the right choice - we made the perfect choice! Arriving in Volterra was one of those take-your-breath-away moments, giving us absolutely everything we could have ever dreamed of for a sweet Tuscan getaway.
But what exactly about it made us declare Voterra to be one of the best villages in Tuscany? Here are some of the many reasons we fell in love, along with some practical tips for planning your own trip.
Changi Airport's free Singapore tour is famous. But is it more trouble than it's worth? Here's what you need to know before you go.
I love layovers and I love great deals - and everyone knows it! As such, the free Singapore tour out of Changi Airport has been on my radar for a long time. During our first visit to Singapore in 2013, our lengthy overnight layover of nearly 24 hours called for a hotel and some independent time exploring. But during our recent 2018 trip, our layover was closer to 12 hours - just the right amount of time to enjoy the free Singapore tour and explore the city a bit. What could be better?
Turns out, there's a catch to this story. Or rather, there are several. We soon learned the hard way that there are a lot of important rules that are rarely mentioned. If you're planning a layover in Singapore and keen to take in the free Singapore sightseeing tour, here's what you should know before you finalize your plans.
Can you find a bargain in Perth? You bet! Here are the best free things to do in Perth - plus a few frugal meal suggestions too.
Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Let's chat travel and economics for a moment, shall we? On some prosaic, theoretical level, I understand why many a price tag in Australia comes with sticker shock. For one thing, the cost of taxes and tips are included in the price you pay. Furthermore, I appreciate that Australia is an island - a lot of things are imported here and that means that costs are passed along. And of course, Australia also has a very high standard of living. The elevated cost of everyday items reflects the fact that the country has a correspondingly high minimum wage.
But you know what? All these sensible and logical explanations don't count for much when you're staring down $20 museum admissions and $50 bills for basic, boring lunches. Australia is an expensive travel destination. There's just no getting around it. And prices in Perth, the most isolated city not just in Australia but in fact the entire world, can sometimes feel like highway robbery. Rather appropriate, for a former penal colony settlement.
With a tight budget and a week to spend in Perth, I was determined to make our money go the distance. These are the best frugal and free things to do in Perth, with a focus on the city center. (Don't you worry - I'll be working on a list of the best free things to do in Fremantle and other nearby communities soon!)
Join us as we eat our way through the Eternal City on the best food tour Rome has to offer - and learn some important lessons about Italian cuisine along the way.
We were granted media passes to LivItaly's Rome food tour at no cost and we thank them for their support. All research, writing, and opinions are our own. Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Are you ready for a culinary lesson, straight from the best food tour Rome has to offer? Here goes! There are three important things you should know when it comes to buying olive oil. First, always knock a year off the suggested 'best before' date. Freshness really matters when it comes to olive oil. Next, you should store it far away from your stove. While it might be convenient to have it nearby while cooking, proximity to heat can affect the quality of the oil over time. Finally, know that you usually get what you pay for. It's impossible to get a high quality olive oil for $7 a liter. Single source, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, a foundation of Italian cooking, is well worth paying a premium for.
If you're suddenly craving a loaf of crusty bread and a saucer of pungent oil for dipping, you aren't alone. It's delicious! So would it surprise you to learn that I didn't once try olive oil during our LivItaly small group Rome food tour? Everything I learned about olive oil came from a conversation with our tour guide, Dario, over glasses of wine and a platter of local cured meat, cheese, bread, and honey.
I'm not exactly sure how we got on the topic of olive oil but once we started asking questions, we couldn't stop. And we soon learned that the mark of a great food tour is that you're so busy chatting you scarcely notice the food at all, no matter how delicious it is. Within minutes, we weren't studious culinary scholars. We were noshing with a new friend and it felt like old times.
Read on to learn more about the wine, food, and conversations that flowed!
Most travelers focus on "the best". Here's why the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok will always be number one to me.
We were granted media passes to the The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist class at no cost and we thank them for their support. All research, writing, and opinions are our own. Note that some links in this post may be affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
Every traveler dreams of superlatives - and I'm no exception. I've been to Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on earth, as well as Perth, Australia, the most isolated city in the world. I've also made it to Bagan, Myanmar, home to the largest concentration of religious structures in the world - and even to Nackawic, New Brunswick, site of the world's largest axe! After all, who doesn't love seeing the biggest, largest, highest, and best when they travel?
Therefore, you might be a bit surprised when I tell you that I fell in love with the SECOND best pad Thai in Bangkok - and I couldn't be happier that I did.
What exactly makes the pad Thai created by The Market Experience very nearly the finest in all of Bangkok, save but one? We'll get to that shortly! First, you need to build up to the moment, which is exactly what we did when we had the privilege of joining The Market Experience's Thai Cooking With A Twist cooking class and market tour.
As long time readers know, Ryan and I adore cooking classes and market tours. And it's not just because we're obsessed with great food! Nothing can compete with the delectable combination of culture and community, along with the chance to chat with locals, see their work- and even say hello to their cats! With Chef Kwang and company owner Simon encouraging us, we had the most immersive and delicious experience imaginable - and it was one that included the city's second-best pad Thai! Suffice it to say, there's nothing like it in all of Bangkok.
To begin, take a step into the Yodipman Flower Market with us.
It's time to make memories, not mountains of clutter
This article has been sponsored by a proud supporter of TurnipseedTravel and we thank them for their support.
Did I ever tell you about the first time Ryan and I saw a Cirque du Soleil performance? We were in the 4th row to see “KÀ” in Las Vegas and the entire experience was nothing short of spectacular from beginning to end. We were so enthralled with the performance that we easily forgot that it WAS a performance. During the middle of one particularly daring trapeze act, I was so exhilarated and terrified that I squealed aloud, convinced that the artist was going to fall!
Our fantastically great tickets were all thanks to a generous Christmas treat of gift certificates to a ticket booking office. Hey, this was a while ago - ticket offices used to be a big thing! The gift not only allowed us to boldly pick an activity we normally would have dismissed due to its higher price point - we could also enjoy it in style, with terrific seats. And it meshed perfectly with our philosophy to celebrate holidays and special occasions with gifts that create memories, not clutter.
I’ve since realized that it’s easy to say you want to give experiences, not objects. But so often people are stumped about what exactly ‘giving an experience’ means. Let’s face it - sometimes “experience” doesn’t exactly mean something that the recipient REALLY wants. Coupons for car washes and back rubs, anyone? And can anything really replicate the feeling of opening a beautifully wrapped gift, tingling with anticipation about what could be inside?
You know what? Tinggly can. Nobody knows the art of gorgeous travel experience gifts better. Here are three reasons why I love Tinggly.
Do you dream of walking on the wild side? A rhinoceros safari walk in Zambia is for you!
Some links within this blog post are affiliate links, which means we are paid a small commission should you make a purchase.
When is it good manners to snort, grunt, and guzzle your food with no regard to your company? Only when you're a wild rhinoceros and your guests are part of a walking safari! This walk on the wild side definitely stands out as one of the most unique and exciting things we've ever done.
A walking rhinoceros safari can only be experienced in Livingstone, Zambia, at Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. "Mosi-oa-Tunya" translates to "the smoke which thunders" in reference to the power of Victoria Falls. And during our visit, it wasn't just the water which was thundering. Between our beating hearts and the stomping of feet and hooves, there was a lot going on during our morning with the rhinos.
Posts by Location
Posts by Date