Victoria, Australia, 2002

Melbourne Melbourne (pronounced somewhere between Mel-Ben and Mel-Bun in American) was meant to be a short stop that turned into a ten-day stay. My hosts were another YMCA Camp Kern friend, Steve Hepworth, and his lovely parents. Stephen still remains one of my most beloved friends due to his unfiltered, honest and wildly funny personality. At the time of my visit we had just completed … Continue reading Victoria, Australia, 2002

Working Holiday in Western Australia, 2001

Perth My first two weeks in Perth (pronounced more like Pear-th in American) were spent acclimating to Australian culture. I was lucky to have local guides in my friend Louise and her (then boyfriend, now husband) Louis. From Louise’s house I spent each morning scouring the newspaper for both a job and a room to rent. I became the world’s worst bartender at Steve’s Hotel … Continue reading Working Holiday in Western Australia, 2001

El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto RIco, July 2021

The El Yunque Rainforest is the only tropical rainforest on US lands, and being there was like being in another world.  Coqui frogs were the most vocal animals that we heard (males are the only ones that call and they are even more active at night.) The tree snails’ shells were the size of our palms. We were most struck by how deeply we were able … Continue reading El Yunque Rainforest, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, July 2021

The Hyatt Grand Regency is on the western side of a peninsula on the coast of Rio Grande. Because it’s right at the end, we could see the sunset and sunrise from opposite ends of the beach. The mountains of the El Yunque rainforest make up the southern backdrop. The large property is spread out with smaller two-story buildings, and we had a ground level … Continue reading Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico, July 2021

Vieques, Puerto Rico, July 2021

It can be hard to get to Vieques, but so very worth the trouble. We knew that the journey might be difficult in advance, and expected delays and stress at the ferry terminal at Ceiba. (We could have opted for a flight from San Juan, or a puddle jumper from Ceiba, but we chose the much more affordable $7 each way option.) The transportation authority just … Continue reading Vieques, Puerto Rico, July 2021

Old San Juan, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Old San Juan dates back to the 16th Century and some of the buildings that remain are over 500 years old, and the two original Forts, the Castillo San Felipe del Morro and the fortified walls still surround this section of the city. Old San Juan would be roughly a 15-minute drive from the airport, but we arrived on an extremely busy Saturday night, and … Continue reading Old San Juan, Puerto RIco, July 2021

Granada, Spain 2011

Our trip to Spain in 2011 was an adventure of mishaps, starting with realizing we didn’t have a charger for the new camera we had purchased for the trip. Many of our “better” photos by our halfway point in Granada were taken as quickly as possible to conserve battery, while others were with an early generation iPhone. The selfie had not yet come into full … Continue reading Granada, Spain 2011

Cancun, Mexico, Spring Break 2000

The year was 2000. The internet had just progressed from dial-up to broadband. Cell phones weren’t widespread. My rural Ohio alma mater, Muskingum College, still had a card catalogue in the library. So, it was at the beginning of the digital age that twenty Muskies booked a spring break trip to Cancun with estudenttravel.com. We paid for our trip, and were told we would receive … Continue reading Cancun, Mexico, Spring Break 2000

SYDNEY TO PERTH, Australia 2001

Remember the movie Crocodile Dundee? My 2001 four-month “Working Holiday” in Australia was in some ways the same story, in reverse. The lead as a small-town girl from Ohio who had only experienced large cities on a tour group’s detailed itinerary. I had only flown twice, once to Florida, and once to Cancun, Mexico, back when it only required a birth certificate. So, when I … Continue reading SYDNEY TO PERTH, Australia 2001

Barcelona, Spain, 2011

Muskies in Spain We capped off our Spain trip with Barcelona, which included a reunion with two of my fellow Muskingum University Alumnus/XAN Sorority Sisters, Mandy and Kiersten. Mandy joined us from Ohio and Kiersten from London, where she was living at the time. It was their first time meeting Alex, and he humored our catching up on many years since we had been together … Continue reading Barcelona, Spain, 2011