Here I go!

I've been told many times over the years that I should write travel guide books, but this is as close as I plan to come to that!

Since getting my first passport at age 43, I have gotten to go places in this world that I never dreamed of seeing, and I'm an inveterate note taker. My travels since 1986 have been as a professional travel agent...which only increased that note taking. I hope to share some of the things I've found interesting for one reason or another -- maybe for cultural or historic reasons, maybe just beautiful, maybe ultra good, maybe just hilarious. And sometimes just because I liked it, related to travel or not.

My speciality in the travel business is Italy, though I handle travel pretty much worldwide..and if I don't keep up with a particular area, one of the great agents in my office does. See for more about the professional side of my life.

Your comments and shared tips are very welcome! I truly believe "we get by with a little help from our friends."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

If near BWI Airport, best crab cakes ever!

I was just at an Association of Retail Travel Agents board meeting held at a Baltimore-Washington International/BWI area hotel. One of the locals in the group steered us to G and M for our lunch break. Wow! Located in a strip mall, but enormous and nicely decorated inside. And truly, the best crab cakes ever. Eight ounces each of almost pure crab. The scallops also looked fabulous. Salads are huge. Extensive menu. They also ship nationwide. Enjoy!

G and M
804 N. Hammonds Ferry Road
Linthicum, MD

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London

Did you know that you can attend the nightly Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London free of charge? It's an event that takes place about 10 PM nightly...and has done so for over 700 years. You have to apply several months in advance for the limited number of places.

To quote from "Originally a very practical event, where the Tower was locked every evening, it is now a very private ceremony. The ceremony has in fact never been photographed. It takes just around five to ten minutes, and is really quite simple.

A Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) meets the Tower’s military guard, is escorted to the Tower Gates, where the Yeoman Warder locks the entrance. Upon return to the main part of the tower the party is challenged by yet another guard. Upon proper response, the party then goes to the central area of the tower where Last Post is played.

A small group of people are able to watch this ceremony each evening. You must apply in writing two to three months in advance, with all of the details of the people that would like to attend...

I can’t express just how fascinating experience seeing the Ceremony of the Keys was for me. It takes place just before 10pm, when that part of London is incredibly dark and quiet. Then seeing this ceremony take place in the same place with the same cobbled stone walk and castle walls that it has done for seven hundred years is just incredible. I highly, highly recommend it if you’re able to plan it ahead of time."

See for details.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tour Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are now open to overseas visitors for 75 minute guided tours year-round on Saturdays. Hours are 9:15 A - 4:15 P. This is in addition to the annual 'Summer Opening" in August and September when Parliament is not in session. Ticket prices are 15 GBP for adults (10 GBP for those over age 60 and for students), 6 GBP for children -- or 37 GBP for a family. Pre- booked tickets are available by phoning 0844 847 1672 or through Ticketmaster,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Roman Assisi

A very interesting article from Rebecca Winke, writing for "Italy: Beyond the Obvious."

Monday, January 31, 2011

If you lived in Italy instead...

Kind of a fun list of things that would be different for someone living in Italy instead of the US:,0

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How to Spot ATM Card Skimmers

I've never had a client fall prey to an ATM card skimmer while abroad, but Bootsnall has a fine article on how to recognize and avoid such.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Train Travel in Italy, from

Thanks to Jessica and Why Go Italy for this lovely tribute to travel travel in Italy.