Category Archives: Wanderlust

Iceland: Land of Enchantment (Part II)

For Part I of our Iceland adventures, click here.

If you read my previous entry about Iceland, in which I waxed rhapsodic about the gorgeous waterfalls we encountered during our travels, I might have given you the impression that the country was conjured up by fairies to seduce humans into thinking their otherworldly realm truly does exist. Well, consider me seduced.

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Iceland: the Waterfall Edition (Part I)

“Not another waterfall!” Sophie moaned when I announced our sightseeing plans for the day. A mere three days into our Iceland vacation, we had already marveled at more waterfalls than one could reasonably expect to marvel at in a lifetime. They were all so beautiful and so different – it was impossible to become immune to them.  Unless your name is Sophie. While the waterfalls didn’t melt her heart, she often found the landscapes surrounding them full of surprises and hard to resist.

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Ma’a Salama, Morocco! (Part II)

For Part I of our Moroccan adventures in Rabat, Fez and Volubilis, click here

The Sahara awaited us. We climbed into our 4×4 vehicles and drove to our campsite near the frontier town of Merzouga. Soon after we left the paved road, we had our first encounter with the legendary landscape. It was not what I expected, however. We had entered the rocky desert (the “reg”). After another 45 minutes of driving, we finally found ourselves in the sandy desert (the “erg”) of the movies and guidebooks. The wind started to pick up as we spotted the magical dunes in the distance.

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What Paris Means to Me

As I watched the horrific November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris unfold from the safety and comfort of my home thousands of miles away across the vast Atlantic Ocean, I was overtaken by a profound sense of shock, sadness and loss.

Although we quickly received confirmation that our family was safe, we found out that my brother-in-law and youngest nephew, who is Chloe’s age, were in the audience watching the soccer match between France and Germany at the Stade de France that night.  They were oblivious to what was happening outside the stadium gates until after the game was over. It took them much longer than usual to get home, but they did make it home a few hours later, unlike the 130 people who died and scores of others who were wounded in the attacks.

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Home Again, in Paris

Do you have a special place that feels like home even though it is not your home? For me, that place is Paris. No matter that I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years. Every time I return, it’s as if I never left.

The time-traveling architecture, the omnipresent statuary, the distinct industrial perfume that wafts through the hallways of the métro, the strident cries of ambulance and police sirens, the colors and scents of the outdoor markets, the leisurely café life…these are all familiar and comforting to me. Like home.

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Chasing Time & Memories on Cape Cod

I breathed in the salt-infused air from our hotel on Cape Cod Bay, bidding farewell to summer from North Truro, a couple of miles outside of Provincetown. The glorious week with our extended family went by all too quickly.

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When Photos Do the Writing

Although we don’t live in New York, we’ve been in a decidedly New York State of mind this summer. After a glorious stay in Lake Placid, it was time for our annual visit to Ithaca, the place my aunt and uncle have called home for decades. My mom has taken the girls there every year since they were toddlers. For the past couple of years I’ve joined them. This year, for the first time in a very long time, my husband also came for a few days.

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Rest & Relaxation in Lake Placid

Last summer, I wrote about quenching one’s thirst for wanderlust locally – and the importance of reminding ourselves that we don’t necessarily have to travel thousands of miles to feel like we’ve been transported far away from home.

This summer, in keeping with our avoid-air-travel-at-all-costs vacation theme, our trips won’t take us more than a few hours by car from our humble abode.  We’ve finally realized that while the world offers much beauty to discover, sometimes it’s nice to explore the treasures in our backyards – which I’ve broadly defined as destinations within a 4-6 hour driving radius from our house.

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The True Magic of Disney (It’s Not What You Think)

For six days, my family and I happily succumbed to the Walt Disney World brainwashing machine. Actually, the inculcation started well before we arrived at Disney – it began the day I booked, continued with email and snail mail missives in the weeks leading up to the trip and didn’t end until we stepped off the Magical Express bus (not to be confused with the Hogwarts Express train) at the Orlando airport to catch our flight home.

As fun as our voluntary subjugation was, however, the best part of the vacation for me had nothing to do with Disney or Goofy or Winnie the Pooh or princesses and everything to do with an impromptu self-imposed social media ban.  More on that later. First, some reflections on the land of Mickey.

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