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Being a Tourist

Watermen of Morocco

The music, smells and sights of the main square in Marrakesh, Morocco were overwhelming all of my senses. We had just left the shadows of the souks, the narrow lanes chock full of stalls serving the daily needs of the locals and tourists alike. I wondered what would overwhelm tourists to America?

Discovering Love in Barcelona

Gaudi's Rooftop Guards of La Pedrera in Barcelona

I found an old love in Barcelona. I stumbled upon him with my 7-year-old daughter. It was our Mommy Daughter Day, one of those days when my husband and I split up and each take a daughter to explore. She suggested we return to Le Pedrera and brave the line.

Carnival of Cities

Public Art in San Francisco by Kirsten Alana

Join me on an around the world tour with a Carnival of Cities. Top travel bloggers share their favorite places and attractions from various cities, from public art in San Francisco to viking ships in Norway.

How to Navigate the Visa Process

Visa and Passport

Knowing these typical requirements and the time and money involved before you determine your destination and decide when to leave can be very helpful. Read on, and be prepared.

Top Three Travel Secrets

Romeo and Juliet at The Globe Theatre

A good travel secret for me is one that gives me a strong sense of place. I want to feel like a local and have a glimpse of what life is like for them in their corner of the world. Read on to find three of my unexpected favorites.

Kid-Friendly City Hotels

Riad Maison Do in Marrakesh, Morocco

Look for rooms with nooks and crannies so you and the kids can have your own space. Our daughters have relaxed and played in walk-in closets, bathrooms and the extra deep space created between windows and curtains.

Paella

Best Paella Ever

This was the best paella ever in a year of sampling many in Spain. It was made from scratch by a local fisherman for a long Spanish lunch with new friends.

Time Off Clock Time

Clock Time

This was what our year in Spain meant to me. Time with my daughters, time with my husband. Time off the clock. We were hesitating to call our year abroad a sabbatical, as my husband would still be working some, and I intended to commit to my writing, but the idea of sabbath time, or at least more flexible time, sounded appealing.

Picture Javea, Spain

First Picture of Javea Spain

For eight months, my family called Javea, Spain home. Near Valencia, Javea is a wonderful combination of beach and port town, surrounded by mountains and a countryside of oranges and olives. See some of our pictures here.

Spain’s El Gordo Lottery

Ticket for El Gordo Spanish Christmas Lottery

The man at the folding table was there each morning in front of the bar as I walked past on my way to Spanish class. At first I paid him little attention, but as he was faithfully there each day, I eventually noticed that he was selling lottery tickets. The window advertised, “Jugamos con el numero 34802.”

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