Author: Brenda Holland

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I have wanted to visit this prominent city in Mexico for a long time. We left the Arizona February snow to find 80 degree days even at 6,000 plus feet of elevation. This is old world colonial Mexico, cobblestone streets, caballeros, and fresh fruit vendors. Staying in the old town is walkable and it feels safe. My favorite thing about this visit to San Miguel de Allende (SMA) was our vacation rental house. I was in heaven. It was a walled compound with a tranquil courtyard of birds, blooming bougainvillea, and a fountain. The outdoor living area with a...

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Russia on a Russian River Cruise Line

This is our second trip to Russia for a river cruise. Last time in 2009 we went on Viking River Cruises. For this trip we went with friends and decided to go on a 5-star Russian line. Our ship was called Volga Dream. Compared to several other river cruises we’ve done, this ship was a little dated. The cabins were small and the deck was an open walkway, so people were always walking past your window. The dining room had one obstructed window and the rest were small portholes. This is not good when every evening you are missing...

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A Week of Extremes: Rafting the Colorado

I’ve always considered myself somewhat outdoorsy, and the idea of 7 days on the Colorado river— rafting, hiking, and camping– made me a little nervous. I like camping and hiking, but rafting–not really.  I will tell you things I loved, and the things I found challenging.   What I loved— Living literally outdoors for a week, no tent, sleeping under the wide open full-moon sky. No showers, no bathrooms, matted sticky sandy hair, it all felt so primitive. I loved the idea of knowing we were so far from civilization. Your world truly revolves around the sun (up at...

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Travel Ireland: Why it’s not your grandparents’ trip

I have to admit that when we first started talking about a trip to Ireland, I wasn’t that excited… it just seemed so old-school. Maybe a little too tame and mellow? Well it was, and that is the beauty of it. I personally get a little tired of touring ruins, cathedrals, and cute little towns full of souvenir shops. On this trip I was looking for more than that and I was surprised at how much I loved it. The best way to visit Ireland is by driving yourself or hiring a private guide/driver. We went with another couple,...

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What I learned from my first Holland America cruise

I am always excited each time I try a new or different cruise line. In November 2017 my husband and I took a 10-day cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Panama and back. We have sailed on several different lines, but this was our first with Holland America (HAL). As far as ships go, it’s extremely similar to other large ships of its class. I will give my list of the good and not so good from this particular voyage. And I will also list a couple of ship tips I have learned. Good: This is the first time we...

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