The Search for Taiyaki in Seattle 0 (0)

Where to Find Taiyaki in Seattle Bean Fish Food Truck

I learned about the Japanese fish-shaped waffles from my daughter who loves Japanese sweets. But when our go-to Seattle taiyaki place disappeared, a search ensued to find out where to get the best taiyaki in Seattle.

One Trekking Pole or Two? Inquiring Minds Want to Know! 5 (1)

One or Two Trekking Poles Why use trekking poles

My husband and I were arguing about the merits of one trekking pole vs. two. So what is the right answer? I did my own subjective research. Here are some of the reasons to use poles at all and the advantages of using one or two poles.

A Day in Arashiyama 5 (1)

Arashiyama Kyoto Rilakkuma Bamboo Forest

When you think of the Arashiyama area of Kyoto, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Sagano Bamboo Forest. But there’s so much more to do in this beautiful area of Kyoto. Plan to spend at least a day here — here are some of the many things to do to make the most of your day in the area.

Hiking Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve 0 (0)

Stump House Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve Trail Maps

Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve is one of my favorite Kitsap County day hikes, and great for kids (at least kids who will tolerate the uphill trek back from the beach). While you’re there, visit the Stump House which (legend has it) was a hideout for an outlaw in the 1800s and would have been my clubhouse as a kid if it had been in my neighborhood.

Ten Zen: Temples in Kyoto 0 (0)

Zen Temples Kyoto Kinkakuji

While I was visiting a temple in Kyoto, I heard someone repeating “this is the heart of Zen.” Kyoto is, at least, the center of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism and there were far more temples than I could visit during my time there. Here are ten that I visited from the highly touristed to the more remote.

Kayaking Obstruction Island 0 (0)

Kayaking Obstruction Island Easy Orcas Island Kayaking and Safe Kayaking in the San Juan Islands

Obstruction Island just off the southeast part of Orcas Island is a good place for beginner-intermediate kayakers to paddle without being carried away by currents. Here’s more about this satisfying island circumnavigation paddle.

Going Ghibli: Visiting the Ghibli Museum 0 (0)

How to Buy Tickets to Ghibli Museum

Visiting the whimsical Ghibli Museum is a must-do in Tokyo if you’re a fan of the animation of Hayao Miyazaki. But getting tickets can be a bit challenging and confusing for foreign visitors. Here’s what you need to know about the museum, including getting tickets and getting there.

The Magical House of MinaLima Harry Potter Gallery in London 0 (0)

House of MinaLima a Harry Potter gallery in London

Budding wizards (or muggle Harry Potter fans) probably already know about this London gallery. But if not, read on. MinaLima designed all the graphics for the Wizarding World of JK Rowling films. The gallery is an amazing collection of art, and Harry Potter ephemera.

14 Things to do in York, UK 0 (0)

The York Shambles

York is a charming medieval walled city filled with history — but there’s much to do here, as well, for the train lover, the chocolate lover, the ghost whisperer, or the pub crawler. Here are some of the best things to do in York, UK, along with a resource list.

King by King: The Choir Screen at York Minster 5 (2)

York Minster Kings Screen York Minster Choir Screen

The Kings’ Screen (the choir screen separating the choir from the nave) at York Minster Cathedral features fifteen kings ranging from William the Conqueror to Henry IV. Let’s take it king by king! Here’s a brief photo guide to the kings from left to right.

Near-City Escapes: Romantic Waterfront Retreats Near Seattle 0 (0)

seattle romantic getaways seattle waterfront retreats near seattle vrbo Seattle houseboats seattle houseboats for rent

If you’re a city dweller who needs a brief escape but doesn’t have the time for an extended getaway, it’s possible to find little waterfront hideaways near Seattle that can allow you to get away from it all without getting too far away from it all. We stayed at this small cabin on Meydenbauer Bay in Medina (graciously loaned to us for an overnight). Read on about this cabin as well as some other near-city hideaways to add to my escape list from cabins to Seattle houseboats that you can rent.

Going Victorian in Port Townsend 0 (0)

Tintype taken at the Port Townsend Victorian Festival

If you want to explore times of yore (sorry about the rhyme), head to Port Townsend for their annual Victorian Festival. We did in 2018 and encountered many a thing, including frightening(ly beautiful) ball gowns, tintype photography, and ghost stories.

In the Trees: Your PNW Treehouse Bucket List 0 (0)

Pacific Northwest Treehouses Luna

We visited the Nelson Treehouse Company’s B&B Treehouse point, along with a couple of other in-the-tree locations (the Forest House, Free Spirit Spheres, and — at least in spirit — the treehouse at Doe Bay) in the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a lowdown on getting high (up in the trees at least) along with a listing of other treehouses in the PNW you can rent.

A Brief Guide to Visiting Stonehenge 0 (0)

Visiting Stonehenge

I won’t be seeing the Rolling Stones in Seattle this spring, but I DID finally get to visit the original STANDING stones last spring. Here are some highlights on my journey and some tips for visiting Stonehenge.

Blake Island Kayaking and Camping 0 (0)

Cheryl in Kayak

You can only get to Blake Island in Washington State by boat (or seaplane, it turns out). It’s a fun kayaking adventure from Seattle or Kitsap County. Here’s more about kayaking and camping on Blake Island.

Three Washington State Spots to Soothe Your Hobbit Soul 5 (1)

The Hobbit House at the Brothers Greenhouses Washington State Hobbit Houses

Pining for the Shire? Here are a few places to visit to quell your hobbity cravings in Washington State without visiting Middle Earth (or at least New Zealand).

A Few Venice Travel Tips for the First-Timer 0 (0)

View from San Giorgio in Venice Venice Trip Planning

Tourists outnumber residents in Venice, leading to CNN recently naming it as a destination to avoid in 2018. But if you plan to go anyway, here are some Venice travel tips for the first-timer. Not what to see or where to eat but some general advance planning advice such as when to go, how to get around, areas to stay in, accessibility, and how to hire a gondola when you do get there.

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