February 8, 2016


Pagodas in Myanmar. Here. There. Everywhere!

Version 2

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


Saying “Mingalaba” in Myanmar


“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


Hill Country Highlights


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


THE GRANDE DAME: THE Mandarin Oriental Hotel, BANGKOK


  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


Musings on Travel


  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


Happy New Year


  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


    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


Iceland: Like Driving through pages of a Geography Book


    “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


Take the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland


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


New York, New York: Four Museums in Four Days


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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