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Adventure and Travel

Walking The Cotswolds, Part 2

Adventure and Travel

(This post is part 2 of of a series, Walking The Cotswolds – part 1 can be found here)

Before I continue my earlier post about our walking holiday in the Cotswolds, I thought It would be a good idea to talk about equipment you’ll need for a cross country walking tour.

Because the Cotswolds Walks company booked our rooms and arranged for luggage transfers from one hotel to the next, we did not have to carry heavy backpacks. This made our walks easier and much more fun. However, as we were walking an average of eight miles per day, we did need some equipment for safety and comfort.

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3 Days In Paris: My Time In The City Of Lights

Adventure and Travel
3 days in paris

As I explained in my last post about shopping for fabrics and fiber, my Paris itinerary was far too ambitious for a 3-day visit. I knew that even before we arrived.

But the way I see it, no one has ever died from a surfeit of aspiration. And so, before we left home, I decided to make a very long list of all the things I wanted to do, see, and buy during my time there and simply do as much as I could.

All things considered, we ticked quite a few things off the list.

We started off with a sunset boat tour on the Seine with Bateaux Mouches. It was definitely touristy but this turned out to be one of our favorite activities while in Paris and gave me a good overview of the history and geography of the city, as well as some stunning photo ops!

They offer dinner and champagne cruises but we just went with the basic tour, which was quite reasonable, and saved our money for dinner at one of the city’s many lovely cafes. (We never had a disappointing meal while in Paris; it’s reputation for gastronomic excellence is well-deserved.)

 

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Walking The Cotswolds, Part 1

Adventure and Travel
walking cotswold way

Many people have a travel bucket list. Taking a walking holiday in the Cotswolds has long been at the top of mine. 

In 1968, the Cotswolds was designated An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That makes it the second largest protected landscape in England. Encompassing more than 750 square miles in south central and south west England, the Cotswolds is home to picturesque villages that could have been plucked out a fairy tale and mile upon mile of bucolic, unspoiled scenery. It is also home to the Cotswolds Way, a 102-mile National Trail that goes from Bath to Chipping Campden.

A thriving tourist industry has sprung up around people who want to walk the entire length of Cotswolds Way, with tour companies that book walkers into B&Bs and transfer luggage from one village to the next along the route. Though taking a hundred-mile hike and staying a rustic little B&Bs along the way sounded like heaven to me, the same couldn’t necessarily be said of my husband. 

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Downton Abbey In Real Life: A Visit To Highclere Castle

Adventure and Travel
highclere castle downton abbey

Our two magical weeks of European travel are now at a close. All that’s left now are incredible memories and a lot of laundry. (SO much laundry…)

I already shared a bit about our adventures is Paris and have another post in the pipeline with plans for at least one or two posts on the second leg of our tour, our walking holiday in the glorious Cotswolds region of England.

But since the Downton Abbey movie premiers next week for United States audiences and many of us are counting the days until September 20th , I thought I’d write about the final, capstone event of our trip today. That’s right, I’m talking about our visit to Highclere Castle, aka the REAL Downton Abbey.

downtown abbey

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Fabric and Textile Shopping in Paris

Adventure and Travel
fabric shopping in Paris

My itinerary was too ambitious. I knew that even before we left. Three days simply wasn’t enough to see all the many, many must-see sights and attractions of Paris, or acquire all the many delightful and oh-so-French items on my shopping list.

But I made the list just the same. A little aspiration never hurt anybody, oui?

Those shopping aspirations included perfume, macarons, chocolate, lingerie, fabric and craft items and, if possible, six grandchild-sized berets in assorted colors. I hoped to visit at least three shops in each category so I could share my discoveries with you.

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Glamping Gear: Upgraded Camping Supplies For Your Next Adventure

Adventure and Travel
glamping gear

So you’ve already decided that glamping is your style. But now you need the glamping gear and you don’t know where to start. It should be no surprise that Marie is here with thoughts, opinions and suggestions.

I’ve long loved the idea of camping more than I’ve actually loved the camping. The great outdoors really is great. And a steaming cup of coffee on a chilly morning as you gaze at the canopy of trees – that is perfection. But a questionable night’s sleep on uneven ground? That’s something I could do without. And skipping a shower just makes me worry I’m easier for the bears to smell, which makes sleeping even more difficult.

Earlier this year, I marked a big item off my bucket list and took my mother on a girls-only glamping trip! Let me tell you, I couldn’t believe how much more I loved nature with just one or two creature comforts.

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Best Tamale Pie Recipe for Your Next Campout

Adventure and Travel, Food for Grownups

For me, half the fun of camping is the cooking.

Now, I’m not talking about heating up something on the stovetop or in the microwave of a motorhome or trailer.  I mean real campfire cooking, out of doors and over an open flame, like the pioneers did it.

Okay, well. Maybe not quite like the pioneers.  You’re not going to find any salt pork, hardtack, or squirrel on my campfire menu. As I explained in my earlier post I don’t camp, I glamp.  And when I glamp, food is the star of the show.

My carefully planned and executed menus feature delicious dishes made from fresh, flavorful ingredients, served on real dishes with real silverware, a tablecloth, flowers, and candles. Think of it as rustic chic – emphasis on chic.

But the rustic part applies too. When I’m glamping, I can’t cook quite the same way I would at home. I need to make some concessions for the limitations of storage space, equipment, and refrigeration (or lack of it).  That’s why, when it comes to campfire cooking, one-pot meals are definitely the way to go!

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Roughing It, Sort Of. Genius Hacks for Easy Gourmet Glamping!

Adventure and Travel

Taking my mother camping was high on my list of goals for 2019. In fact, I’d been eyeing this goal of mine in my Living Well Spending Less planner for months.

I know it might sound funny that something as straightforward as camping required so much goal setting and advance planning to accomplish but my mom is 86. Camping with her involves more than just loading up the car with sleeping bags, a tent, and a bag of trail mix; a few creature comforts are required.

Besides, while we both love the great outdoors, at this stage of life neither Mom or I are really interested in roughing it. Glamping is more our style. Much more. continue reading

SOMETIMES IT’S GOOD TO BE LOST

Adventure and Travel, Grow in Wisdom
getting lost
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In case you hadn’t picked up on it by now, I am a planner.

I love a good to-do list and am utterly devoted to my schedule.  Seeing my Living Well Planner with my daily tasks time-blocked and color-coded, fills me with the satisfaction and the comfort of feeling in control of my circumstances. People frequently ask how I’m able to get so much done. Organization is my secret weapon, making a plan and sticking to it.

Take my workout routine. Even when I’m traveling, I block out time in my schedule for exercise.  It’s a good plan when it works, and sometimes even when it doesn’t.

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Where to Eat in Kona

Adventure and Travel
where to eat in Kona

Have you ever noticed how much of those travel programs on television are devoted to eating? At first glance, it seems kind of strange. But it makes more sense when you think about the fact that whether we’re at home or on the road, most of us eat three times a day.    

Eating at home doesn’t require much more effort than opening the refrigerator. When you’re traveling, figuring out where to eat is tougher.  It forces you to make choices. It requires thought, and effort, and research.  Lots and lots of research. 

Fortunately, this type of research happens to be one of my favorite parts of travel. continue reading