Somewhere in the world, the harvesting of grapes is happening. In the USA, just about every state has vineyards that make for a great opportunity to visit with friends and enjoy the tasting of wines, whether it’s Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel or Riesling. I personally lean more toward a robust, dry red. This is my third visit to the Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York to drink wine and enjoy the area’s rustic scenery and it never disappoints. Actually, there is more than just tasting wine that makes this region attractive for a long weekend visit with friends….
If you travel to Merida or through the Yucatan Peninsula, you learn quickly about the role of haciendas and their contributions to the world. The architecture of Mexican haciendas, along with the Mayan culture and Yucatan’s natural resources, is both captivating and wondrous. Their historical past in the early 1900s and restored beauty are unquestionably intriguing and worthy of a visit. Here’s why….
I arrived in Merida for the first time for a 10-day visit to connect with a friend and to venture on my own. Driving from the airport to my destination, you get to experience a hidden gem of an old colonial city that has been through its fair share of economic struggles and is slowly becoming a place that is timeless and exceptionally gifted. This is a seven-storytelling series on the magic of Merida, Mexico rated as one of the best cities to travel to in 2022.
In Merida, there are tours to reach many of the Yucatán cenotes within an hour’s drive. I had planned to go to at least two cenotes, although I only managed to get to one. My friend highly recommended the Hacienda Mucuyche Cenote, which did not disappoint. Mucuyche is one of the most developed cenotes for tourism, having everything from a gift shop to a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool with lockers and many other amenities. Frankly, done of that matters once you climb down and you come face to face with the mystery, magic and beauty of this natural pit or sinkhole formed from the collapse of limestone bedrocks. Once you are in the water, you are dazzled, even spellbound, by the colors and the sparkles of the cave and the water. Doing this one time is just not enough….
There are over 200 archaeological ruins throughout the Yucatán peninsula. In close proximity to the city of Merida, there are at least four Mayan ruins that you can do a day trip. The Mayapán ruins are less than an hour from Merida and are pretty impressive, as it was once considered the capital center of Mayan civilization in all of Yucatan. The ruins are quite extraordinary, allowing you to visualize what this community looked like in its heyday and to experience how Mayan culture persists to this day….
I recently came across an article about the Lakota Sioux tribe and immediately experienced a flashback of a group project that took us to a reservation in the Badlands National Park near Rapid City, South Dakota in 2019. Driving through the Badlands was a photographer’s dream, especially for an urban dweller. Meeting and learning so much from this American Native tribe was a phenomenal experience and one I would love to repeat. Here’s why….
Whether I am traveling domestically or internationally travel apps are part of my arsenal in enhancing my efficiency when planning any trip by car, train, or plane. We all have experienced how frustrating and stressful planning any trip can be. Today, there are travel apps for everything — whether you are booking a trip, in need of a travel guide or planner or basic utility needs such as a currency converter to language translators. Many of them are also free. Here is my top list of go-to travel apps I use when traveling that you may want to check out.
Good news for Cuba, President Joe Biden on June 1 of this year has finally gotten around to revoking a series of restrictions on flights to Cuba that were imposed by Donald Trump allowing US airlines to fly to all of Cuba’s airports. Unfortunately, this falls short of fully reinstating the Obama administration policies towards Cuba. A bit disappointing for folks who would like to travel freely to the island. I was fortunate to visit Havana, Cuba in 2017 when President Obama had lifted US restrictions, allowing travelers to independently travel to Cuba without being part of an authorized travel program….
Nothing beats spending a weekend holiday in Manhattan followed by pleasant weather and a long list of things to do over two days. The crowds were intense, although the same could be said of most beaches during the Memorial weekend. Best part was not having to get into your car or hop on the train to get back home after a long day of visiting the Met, watching a musical, dining and drinking. If you are looking to plan a short weekend getaway here is what we managed to do….
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