February 8, 2016

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Pagodas in Myanmar. Here. There. Everywhere!

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If you approached me at a party or coffee shop and casually asked what was the overriding impression of my recent trip to Myanmar (formerly Burma), I would say without a doubt. The Pagodas. So exotic. So prolific. So remote. So unlike my Midwestern experience. Gold. Gold.  And more Gold.   Cone shaped. Decorated. Shining along […]

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January 25, 2016

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Saying “Mingalaba” in Myanmar

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“Mingalaba” I say and smile at the small child whose face is streaked with the traditional paste like face paint call Thanaka. I’m rewarded with a genuine and happy grin—the kind that extends from depths of eyes to wiggle of toes. He’s thrilled to hear me say hello in  his language. I’m meandering with the Belmond […]

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January 18, 2016

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Hill Country Highlights

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I’m trying to pull together a theme for Ringing in the New Year in Texas post. We shared the holiday with long time friends  the Hill Country of Texas near Austin.   What a fun part of the world to see, even if we weren’t there in March when the Blue Bonnets  are in bloom.  I hear […]

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January 11, 2016

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THE GRANDE DAME: THE Mandarin Oriental Hotel, BANGKOK

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  Our car pulled up in front of the elegant Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok in the middle of the night.  Groggy from some some 24 hours of traveling I appreciated the serene elegance, the smiling staff in traditional Thai attire bowing and welcoming us, the unspoken message that every need will be cared for. It […]

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January 4, 2016

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Musings on Travel

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  I wish I could come up with something brilliant to say about traveling. People always ask me why I want to go where I want to go. Can’t always answer. 2015 was a big year for travel for me. Costa Rica. Bhutan, Paris. Tallinn, Estonia, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Iceland and Myanmar with a weekends […]

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December 31, 2015

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Happy New Year

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  Note: I wrote this essay many years ago for the Grand Rapids Press guest editorial column and got lots of great feedback so I repost here on DesignDesignations.org  sometimes for a New Year’s post.  Enjoy.   When the big bell in Kyoto rings on New Years Eve, it gongs to erase the 108 worldly […]

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December 21, 2015

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Don’t miss the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel or RH in the Gold Coast

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    Going to Chicago?   Don’t miss the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel or RH in the Gold Coast. People who follow DesignDestinations.org know I go to Chicago periodically and love writing about and taking photos of fun things to do and see in the Windy City. I’ve done blogs about:  The Wit Hotel.  A […]

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December 14, 2015

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Iceland: Like Driving through pages of a Geography Book

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    “Driving through Iceland is like driving through the pages of a geography book.” This was a comment made by the Photographer/teacher of the Wild Photography Holiday trip I went on recently in this stunningly beautiful and isolated island between Greenland and Europe. Niall Benvie was right. As we made our way from Reykjavik […]

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December 7, 2015

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Take the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland

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The Golden Circle is a “must-do” for anyone going to Iceland. It’s an hour out of Reykjavik and a nice balance for those pub crawls that most people indulge in when they visit this cold and lively city on a volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. So, what is it? The Golden […]

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November 30, 2015

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New York, New York: Four Museums in Four Days

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I rather “over did” the Museum thing in NYC not too long ago. Four Museums in Four days. After spending ten days in Iceland (which I loved) I needed the bit of urban culture. A fix, if you will. NYC is a great spot for Museums—more than eighty three in a very small space. Let me […]

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