INSIDE Dracula’s Castle

Romania’s Bran Castle, popularly known as Dracula’s Castle, is not particularly scary. I went there on a day trip from Bucharest when I visited Romania in 2010. Romania is still a relatively cheap destination and there are some hidden gems there, so put it on your radar for European travels. A wonderful day trip from… Continue reading INSIDE Dracula’s Castle

Japan’s Kawaii Culture

A culture of kawaii, or cute, has permeated Japanese culture for years, from Hello Kitty to little adorable bento boxes with food inside in the shape of animals. Some people say this culture of cute began as early as post WWII when in the aftermath nuclear destruction, people needed an escape mechanism to focus on… Continue reading Japan’s Kawaii Culture

Lotusland: Santa Barbara’s Secret Garden

Lotusland! sounds like an amusement park, right? Well, it’s actually one of the top 10 gardens in the world. Located in the exclusive Santa Barbara, CA neighborhood of Montecito, the story of its founding is as exotic as the plants it is home to. The gardens were the creation of Ganna Walska (1887-1984), a Polish… Continue reading Lotusland: Santa Barbara’s Secret Garden

A Visit to a Crafts Cooperative in India, Sunder Rang

The one and only time I have used a trip planner was for our trip to India. We used Mumbai Magic (they customize trips for all of India, not just Mumbai). One of my must haves for the trip was some time in a village, away from large cities. That is how we came to… Continue reading A Visit to a Crafts Cooperative in India, Sunder Rang

A Must Try: Milk Pudding from Yee Shun Dairy in Hong Kong

There is a lot of great food in Hong Kong, dim sum first and foremost, roast goose, Hong Kong milk tea, but while walking around the city we found Yee Shun Dairy after seeing their window of milk pudding bowls and decided to give it a try. We were so glad we did! I would… Continue reading A Must Try: Milk Pudding from Yee Shun Dairy in Hong Kong

A Visit to the Largest Antiques Store in Scotland (possibly the UK)!

I visited Georgian Antiques a few weeks ago. Located in the port area of Leith in northwest Edinburgh, it’s web site says it has 50,000 square feet of floor space. You don’t really understand how big that is until you go there. Their current building is an old Abbotts Choice whisky bond. Their web site… Continue reading A Visit to the Largest Antiques Store in Scotland (possibly the UK)!