Terrific Telluride, Colorado Ski Vacation

Terrific Telluride, Colorado Ski Vacation

It’s been nearly two weeks since we returned from a wonderful, weeklong ski vacation in gorgeous Telluride, Colorado. telluride-colorado-ski-vacation-Debbee-slope

What a great trip! Visiting Telluride during the winter season offers world class skiing, off mountain adventures, and a charming town with a vibrant apres ski dining and entertainment scene.

Boasting 300 days of sunshine a year, Telluride has mountain terrain for all levels, and no long ski lift lines. There’s a free gondola with multiple stops to easily traverse the mountain; taking skiers and visitors to and from the historic valley town and alpine Mountain Village.

Telluride is also a repeat winner of the coveted Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Ski Resort in North America.

One awesome alpine experience and two great towns is Telluride’s “special sauce;” making it a wonderful ski vacation destination. Come take a virtual trip with me to enjoy gorgeous mountain scenery and terrain.

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Small Ship Cruise: Visiting Patmos, Greece

Small Ship Cruise: Visiting Patmos, Greece

Well, we finally got the first really big snowfall of the year. Not so bad really — about three inches overnight and another couple today. But, it’s really windy and cold. So, I’m back to working on pictures from our fabulous Greek vacation. Today, I’m revisiting Patmos, a small island in the Aegean Sea.

Windstar-sails-open

Patmos is a beautiful, somewhat secluded Greek Island with no airport. It’s tranquility and pristine beaches, makes it attractive to the rich and famous from all around the world.

Although reachable by ferry, few cruise ships anchor here — they’re just too big. And, the island simply can’t absorb the influx of thousands of visitors. During our visit, the masted Windstar was the only ship in the harbor.

Even though somewhat difficult to reach, Patmos is an important Christian pilgrimage destination. According to the Bible, John the Apostle had visions of the end of the world while in exile there. Those prophecies are detailed in the New Testament’s Book of Revelations.

And, talk about scary stuff and finding one’s religion! I’ll also share our experience of sheltering overnight in Patmos, during a rare, hurricane-like storm in the Mediterranean.

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Aegean Cruise: Visiting Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

Aegean Cruise: Visiting Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

Wildchills in the single digits, grey skies, and missing my Sweet Scottie Dog, have me feeling a little down in the dumps. So, to shake off the doldrums, I’m clicking my heels and returning to the Aegean cruise that took us to ancient Ephesus.

Ephesus-Turkey-museum-Artemis-statue

Ephesus was a port city whose well-preserved ruins are now in modern-day Turkey. The city was once considered the most important Greek city and trading center in the Mediterranean. Throughout history, Ephesus was ruled by many civilizations, including the Romans and Egyptians.

It was also a hotbed of early Christian evangelism.

Today, Ephesus remains both an important archaeological site and Christian pilgrimage destination. An UNESCO city, Ephesus is (was) also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis.

Come along as we visit the Home of Mary, Apostle St. John church, and explore the extensive ruins of Ephesus. Then, return in the evening for a candlelight dinner set beneath the dramatically floodlit Library of Celsus.

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Exploring Magnificent Machu Picchu, Part 3

Exploring Magnificent Machu Picchu, Part 3

When I last left you in Peru, Mr. Buzz and I were headed to the “Lost” City of the Inca, Machu Picchu.

peru-machu-picchu-day1-llama-Huayna-Picchu-mountain

As I explained in, Ingenious Inca Legacy of Peru Sacred Valley, hubby took the high and I the low route. While I traveled there via the tourist-friendly train that hugs the river valley, he went vertical — hiking the Andes.

Later that afternoon, we met high above the archeological site, as Mr. Buzz entered through the Sun Gate at the end of the Inca Trail. It’s the same route and entrance the Inca used hundreds of years ago.

That lofty perch afforded stunning views of the mountains all around us, and the ruins below. By then, it was late in the day and the site was nearly empty of tourists. That’s because most visitors are day-trippers from Cusco and had trains to catch.

Since we overnighted down in the valley, we were able to stay until closing time. As the sun continued to blaze hot,  the Andes cast long shadows across Machu PIcchu. We used the elevation to take pictures from high ridges and terraces above the citadel. On our return visit, we walked among the structures for an up close look at the Inca’s amazing architectural and agricultural achievements.

Join me now, as I take you along both routes to Machu Picchu. Then we’ll explore the iconic and mystical landscape and ruins over two days.

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Bird Bonding at the National Aviary

Bird Bonding at the National Aviary

Mr. Buzz and I have been trying to enjoy a local excursion once or twice a week this summer. Recently, we spent a wonderful afternoon at the National Aviary.

Blue-footed-boobie-shared

Pittsburgh is extremely fortunate to have both a world-class zoo and aviary. They are completely separate and located in different parts of the city. When the boys were small, we went often. Birthday parties were held there. Many times, visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins joined us.

While vacationing this past June in Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, we were awed by the diversity and beauty of nature and wildlife. In particular, was the experience of seeing so many rare and endangered birds; including the Andean Condor, Galapagos Penguin, and Blue-Footed Booby.

I get goosebumps and choked-up when I think about what an incredibly moving experience it was to see exotic birds up close, in their natural habitat.

Upon returning home, we realized it had been years since we’d visited the National Aviary — located right in Pittsburgh. Come see why so many birds of a feather flock here!

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Steamboat Springs Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival

Steamboat Springs Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival

Several weeks ago, my son and several friends met up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to attend it’s annual hot air balloon festival.

Steamboat-Springs-Colorado-Hot-Air-Balloon-Festival-hovering

Mr. Buzz and I enjoyed his photos so much, I thought you might enjoy seeing them too?

Years ago, when my mom was visiting, we attended a hot air balloon festival in downtown Pittsburgh. Part of the fun was walking around Point State Park, and watching the balloons inflate beforehand. We particularly liked the ones that took interesting shapes; like a giant Heinz ketchup bottle. Our favorite though, was an enormous polar bear, representing Isaly’s Klondike Bar. Did you know both Heinz ketchup and Klondike Bars originated in Pittsburgh?

Anyway, the balloons launched where the three rivers converge, rising dramatically over the city’s skyline. It was a beautiful summer evening and lots of fun. My old prints, however, are not blog worthy for sharing like my son’s.

How does the Fifth Dimension song go? Let’s go “…up, up and away…” in Steamboat’s annual hot air balloon festival.

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