My Top Ten Places To Visit (10 – 6)

As you read this list, please keep in mind these are only the places I have visited. I have not yet been to Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon, Egypt, India, or many other places. As I do, this list may change

10. Sarasota Florida

With some of the finest beaches in the world, Sarasota ranks as one of my favorite place to visit. We have family there so we go a lot. People travel from all over the globe for Florida’s west coast beaches and I live in Florida so you might think that a great beach is not such a big deal but we are talking about white sand. They are just beautiful. But great beaches is not all Sarasota has to offer. If you like the circus then a visit to Ringling Art Museum is a must. For those of you who get a bit freaked out by the clowns, there is the Mote Marine Aquarium, G-Whizz, a hands on museum for the kids, or Sarasota Jungle Gardens. After a busy day  having fun or relaxing at the beach, take a walk around St Armands Circle and browse the high end stores or stop by Hemmingways for a cool drink or watch ice cream being made at Kilwins ice cream shop. Fabulous beaches, fun things to do and a great place to people watch makes Sarasota my number Ten

9. Yorkshire Dales. England

Vast moors with rivers, brooks, waterfalls, limestone walls that never end. Gorgeous little villages with roads almost too narrow for one mini cooper. Cottages with thatched rooves and tiny front doors. Wonderful little pubs with a roaring fire in the hearth serving a great pint of beer and a generous plate of fish & chips. Down to earth folk who will still tip their cap as they see you coming and scenery that will knock your socks off. All of this makes The Yorkshire Dales a “must visit” on your next trip to the UK and ranks number nine on my list

8. Lugano, Switzerland

I spent a year here back in the early 80s and I know I was going to love it from the train ride from Bern. I remember looking out of the window at beautiful green hills, going through a tunnel, entering on the other side amidst nothing but white as far as I could see. A journey I will never forget. The town of Lugano it set on Lake Lugano which is a glacial lake and a border between Switzerland and Italy. The area surrounding Lugano is home to over 186 miles of mountain bike trails. Mt Bre has had a funicular that runs up the mountain since 1912. Monte Brè, (which is Switzerland’s sunniest spot) is also home to the village of Brè which is a fairly intact old village and if you ever visit, make sure to eat a delicious dish called “raclette” a Swiss dish consisting of cheese melted over a fire and then scraped onto bread, gherkins and tiny boiled potatoes. Enjoy a glass of wine and make sure to try their chocolate. You will think you died and went to heaven! For you culture cravers out there, you will find some beautiful 15th and 16th century churches and cathedrals as well as many museums and you can see the Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana perform at the Palazzo dei Congressi. Beauty, history and great chocolate makes Lugano, Switzerland my number eight

7. Howarth. West Yorkshire, England

“Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold. I had half a mind to spend it by my study fire, instead of wading through heath and mud to Wuthering Heights” A quote from the classic novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. One of three sisters who were raised in Howarth. The other famous sisters of course being Charlotte and Ann. Not forgetting their somewhat rogue brother Branwell.  Besides being famous for their literary daughters, Howarth is a lovely little village . You can get there by one of the few remaining steam trains operating in the UK. This experience alone is well worth the trip. The train runs from Keighley (My hometown) and the setting for the movie “The Railway Children” , to Oxenhope where there is a steam train museum. Howarth is the next to last stop. Main street is a steep cobbled road with quaint little tea shoppes and souvenir stores on either side. .If you are up for it, you can take a walk over the Yorkshire moors to Wuthering Heights and back and then stop at one of the many old fashioned pubs for a pint and a plate of pie and peas.. Literary history and a trip back in time aboard a steam train makes Howarth my number seven place to visit

6.Athens, Greece

One summer in the mid 80s, I decided to visit Athens and stay for a couple of months. I stayed seven years. That is the power of this historic city. Of course it could have also been the fact that the bars were open until 4am every night. Well either way, if you truly want to see the world, the Athens is an absolute must on your itinerary. The city itself is dirty, smoggy, crowded, loud and absolutely wonderful! When you walk around here with the constant bouzouki music in your ears, someone trying to sell you something at every turn, the delicious aroma of Greek coffee mixed with souvlaki turning on the spit, you truly do feel as though you have stepped into another world. Of course I don’t need to mention the Acropolis and the Parthenon, that is a given, but make sure to wander around the Plaka. On a Sunday morning, there is a open market where anyone can sell anything..and I mean anything..one shoe, a used bus ticket, a pebble from the beach or half a fork. The amazing thing is, people actually buy this stuff. It is fun to watch . Afterward take a walk over to the Parliament to watch the changing of the guards. I guarantee you have never seen anything like this.

In the evening you can visit one of the hundreds of tavernas and enjoy a delicious meal and don’t be surprised if as you sit enjoying your wine, some strange lady grabs your hand and pulls you up to dance around the room Greek style. Just go with it and if you are feeling even braver, grab a plate and smash it on the floor. OPA! Athens is number six.

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Why I Decided To Work From Home (Part 3) Divine Intervention or Just Good Luck?)

(If you haven’t already, read parts one and two before reading this)

About a month after I quit my job, I had still not found my “fantastic work at home opportunity”  I was cleaning out an old drawer when I found an old address book and started to flip through it. When I got to the “Rs” I saw the name of an old friend of mine who because I had moved house a few times, had lost touch with over the years. She and I had been in a business together and I really liked and respected her.. So I though to myself, “let me give her a call” I did. After a couple of rings, a voice said “Hello?.. Roma? I said..It’s Julie How are you?  She was very surprised to hear from me. But was what even more amazing that she was in her empty home and had come back to disconnect and collect the phones. She had moved out of town a few days earlier. If I had called 15 minutes later, The phone would have been disconnected and I might never have got back in touch with her. we exchanged new phone numbers and promised to keep in touch.

I called her a few days later and we caught up on the last 7 or 8 years or so. Then she asked me a strange question..She asked me if I was making all the money I wanted. I laughed out loud. I knew from my time in “one of those things” that this was THE question. Roma…What are you into now? I asked still laughing. But she was not laughing. She was deadly serious. “Travel” she said. suddenly I wasn’t laughing any more either. “Travel?” I repeated. “Online Travel” she said. Well if you have ever heard the English term gobsmacked, That was me. I was gobsmacked.

And the rest they say……………………………is history

My Top 10 Favorite Places To Visit (5 – 1)

The second part of my post about my top ten places to visit.

5.Crans Montana,  Switzerland

If you love paragliding, water skiing, hiking, golf, or snow skiing, then you must pay a visit to Crans Montana. Just the drive up the mountain side to get there will take your breath away. Have you ever looked DOWN on clouds from the window of your car? These twin towns have much to offer, including an impressive view of the chain of mountain peaks from the Matterhorn to Mont Blanc and a wide program of activities all year round. The modern side of Crans-Montana offers the most extensive alpine shopping for miles around. A wide range of accommodation is available. It is also a venue for major sporting events, and with a reputation as a golfing Mecca, Crans-Montana draws visitors from all over the world. It is a family-friendly resort, where you can enjoy five swimming lakes; walks through aromatic mountain forests along an extensive network of footpaths; and cosy fondue evenings in rustic inns. Because I love the snow and fondue! Crans Montana is number five

4.Santorini,  Greece

What can you say about a place that has beaches with black sand except “go see for yourself”  Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion which explains the sand. It also has some of the bluest waters you will ever see. You can discover the famous submerged caldera, the volcano’s crater, which is situated today in the middle of a 32 square miles basin of water and you can admire some of the most beautiful traditional villages of the Cyclades. The lively colors of the white Cycladic houses and blue painted windows contrast stunningly against the black volcanic rocks rising from the sea. In the evening you can relax in a taverna perched on the cliff edge and enjoy a horiatiki (village salad) and a glass of retsina and the wonderful Greek hospitality. This alone is enough to make Santorini my number four

3. London,  England

The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Kew Gardens, Westminster Abby, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, West End, London Eye, St Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, British Museum, National Gallery, Wimbledon, Chinatown and the London Underground. What more is there to say? Number three.

2..Meteora, Greece

The word “Meteora” means suspended rocks, and in my humble opinion should be one of the seven wonders of the world. I will never forget turning the bend on the road and then seeing it before me. It took my breath away. Literally. The huge natural sandstone rock pillars towering into the heavens simply stunned me. Atop these giants are six monasteries, five of which are inhabited my hermit monks and the other by nuns. In the old days, they received their supplies by lowering a basket down and the people below would fill them up. They had no contact with the outside world.. These days some of the monasteries are open to the public, but you will not be allowed in wearing pants so make sure you take a skirt. If you plan to spend the night, you will find the hospitality of the locals wonderful. Rooms are inexpensive and food is always plentiful. Any place that can take my breath away deserves a place on my list so Meteora rates number two

1. Blackpool,  England

My favorite place on the planet! I know you Brits out there and now cringing and saying to yourself “what is she thinking?” Well what I am thinking is I had the some of the best years of my life there and every time I go home to the UK, Blackpool is ALWAYS on my “must visit” list. Forget Stratford- Upon -Avon, or Buckingham Palace, THIS is where I want to go. I have made memories that will last a lifetime here from being an unruly teenager looking for boys and the latest  ride at the Pleasure Beach, to watching the pure joy on the faces of my own kids as they rode a donkey along the shore.  It has everything, fish and chips, donkey rides, amusement arcades, pubs, trams than run the length of the town along the beach, a fantastic pleasure beach with all the great rides, including the original” roller coaster” after which all the others are named, three piers, wonderful illuminations in the winter boasting over a million light-bulbs, Blackpool rock, mini golf, a zoo, great entertainment from Britain’s finest comedians, ballroom dancing and of course, who can forget. Blackpool Tower! Blackpool will always be my number one place to visit.

Where do YOU want to go?>>>>>>>>>>  Start here