For those readers who also follow us on social media you already know that this blog is behind in news. As in unprecedentedly behind. In nearly ten years of blogging and two years living a nomadic lifestyle and spending time traveling extensively I was always only a week or two behind on the blog. Well, let’s just say 2017 threw us into a tailspin in which the universe spoke to us in a fully unexpected way. And when the universe speaks- you listen!
Albuquerque is a city of contrasts. The Old Town dates back to 1706, when it was founded as a Spanish colony, and today, the area features historic architecture reflecting its colonial period. The modern downtown, sitting high in the desert, offers museums, galleries, and a robust culinary scene highlighting the area’s famous chilies.
The city’s close proximity to hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities makes it a haven for lovers of the outdoors. A favorable economy and an active artistic community only add to the overall vibe of this dynamic city. Perhaps best known as the home of the International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico’s largest metropolis attracts visitors from all around the world. Here are a few of the best activities for family fun.
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center~
Long before the Spanish arrived in New Mexico, this region was home to a large variety of Pueblo people. The fascinating and diverse history of these indigenous people is excellently portrayed in this educational museum, which is filled with art, history, and a series of cultural events.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science~
“Jurassic Park” comes to life in the form of enormous fossil exhibits, including a T-Rex skull, which is sure to delight kids of all ages. Thanks to the IMAX theater, 75 million years of history, and extensive hands-on exhibits, the whole family will relish a visit to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.
International Balloon Fiesta~
Image via Flickr by Woody H1
For a full week each year, the sky over Albuquerque is filled with a rainbow of colors as almost 600 balloons launch every single day during the International Balloon Fiesta. Many describe this festival as essential for any bucket list, due to the beauty, color, and spectacle it offers. Single- and multi-day passes are available, so the whole family can join in the fun.
Sandia Peak Tramway~
Climbing 2.7 miles from the desert below to the 10,378-foot summit of Sandia Peak, this tramway is the longest in the world. The views are spectacular any time of day, but sunset is especially striking. Upon arrival at the top, visitors can enjoy hiking or some lunch and shopping at the small welcome center. However, the main attraction is the view.
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico~
It isn’t often that a university is considered a family-friendly attraction, but the University of New Mexico’s small campus offers up many art exhibits, several museums, and a performing arts center. It’s easy to find many lodging options near the newly renamed Dreamstyle Stadium, which is the epicenter of the campus. The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology also has a wonderful collection of ancient Mimbres ceramics.
In addition to these sights, Albuquerque offers up parks, colorful cafés, and water parks that offer enough activity to satisfy all members of the family and keep them wanting to return for more. Albuquerque’s dry climate and high altitude make for a pleasant climate, and the city has an extraordinary number of options for outdoor fun, culinary adventure, and cultural highlights.
Pittsburgh sits at the junction of three rivers and has moved far beyond its former reputation as a steel town. Today, it embraces both its industrial past and its millennial future. Pittsburgh is routinely touted as one of a handful of American cities that offer affordability along with a high standard of living. Trying to break free of its gritty image and moving toward a hipper vibe, this is a city on the rise. Here are seven really cool things that are totally unique to this historic city.
Indiana’s state capital and largest city offers a world of sightseeing and dining options. As it’s home to the Indy 500 and multiple sports teams, that segment of tourism seems to get all of the attention. However, Indianapolis also has an up-and-coming food scene, and local breweries are popping up all around the region. As the birthplace of David Letterman, home to Frank Sinatra’s singing debut, and the site of the country’s best children’s museum, Indy is far more than it first seems. Here is a guide to Indianapolis and a look at this Midwestern city’s unique sights and flavors.
photo credit toledo589ad
Zacatecas became just a lovely memory as we headed towards the coast. Baja was beckoning but first, we simply needed to get down the mountain. Winter in Mexico’s highlands is cold. In spite of its reputation as a country of sunshine and beaches the colonial hill towns of Central Mexico drop to freezing during the winter months and we were craving needed sun and sand between our toes. But first, we needed to brave the Espinazo del Diablo.
Originally published by Mary at the Calculated Traveler on May 27, 2017
A trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a journey through history, art galleries, museums, and higher learning. Throw in some shopping and some good eats, and you have the perfect long weekend getaway.
GET EDUCATED AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Image via Flickr by Michael HicksNo trip to Cambridge is complete without a visit to Harvard University — the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Famous alumni of this prestigious university include John F. Kennedy, Barak Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates. Tours, both guided and self-guided, are available. You can choose among a number of Cambridge hotels that will keep you close to the sights and attractions you enjoy.
Harvard Square Hotel is conveniently located three blocks from the University. With a hotel this close, you can pretend you’re an Ivy League student living on campus but without having to share a dorm room. While you are playing student, strolling through Harvard Yard, check out the rare books at Houghton Library, find some culture at the Harvard Art Museum, stop into the COOP for some Harvard U souvenirs, and grab a bite at Mr Bartley’s Burgers.
GET CREATIVE AT THE RAY AND MARIA STATA CENTER AT MIT
Image via Flickr by Tony WebsterHome to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the contemporary, deconstructivist style of the Frank Gehry-designed Ray and Maria Stata Center contrast the traditional architecture of the buildings of Harvard. The unique exterior and interior design has received much criticism — positive and negative — so form your own opinion while you’re there. This isn’t the only place to find creativity on campus; MIT is home to some fabulous art galleries as well as many outdoor art installations to fill your Instagram feed.
Image via Flickr by SoeLinWhether staying in a historic or a contemporary hotel near MIT, you can be in the middle of all the action at hotels near Kendall Square. This 10-acre redevelopment includes restaurants, shopping, 2.5 acres of open space, an outdoor concert venue, a farmers market, and canoe/kayak rentals by the river. Where to eat? Why not pack a picnic or enjoy an outdoor patio meal?
HAVE A 3-D EXPERIENCE AT THE MIT MUSEUM
Image via Flickr by A.M. KuchlingWelcoming over 130,000 visitors each year with a collection of over 1 million objects that explore the concept of idea-innovation-invention, the MIT Museum archives the history of the MIT and holds the largest collection of holograms in the world.
Should you wish to consider hotels near the MIT Museum, Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT is one example that’s a few blocks away, next to University Park Common. When it comes time to eat, I’ve heard great things about Craigie on Main, the James Beard award-winning French bistro run by Chef Tony Maws. Alongside its regular menu, Craigie on Main also offers five-course tasting menus as well as brunch on Sunday.
BOSTON IS ACROSS THE RIVER!
Image via Flickr by spi516
Cambridge sights are plentiful, but Boston is across the Charles River should you wish to explore further. Davis Square is a great neighborhood to call your home away from home since it’s midway between both cities, and you can find a good variety of Davis Square Hotels.
I HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED THIS WEEKEND GETAWAY THROUGH CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS! DID I MISS ANYTHING?
Featured Image (top) via Flickr by Tony Webster
Anyone with the travel bug like us will love exploring new places. Today I want to introduce you to some of the Greek Islands in Southern Europe and, hopefully, inspire you to book your next holiday on one of them (or more!). With over 200 islands inhabited in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, it’s hard to discover which one is right for you as each one lends itself to a different type of vacation, so here is an overview of my top four.
I paused to catch my breath, leaning forward to brace my hands on my knees. A small waterfall of sweat cascaded down my back as I sucked wind. Even after months spent living in the hills above 5000ft elevation, the mountainous city that is Zacatecas, set at just over 8000 ft, was becoming my nemesis.
We left our stunning lakeside retreat at Lagos de Colon and headed for San Cristobal for Christmas. New Years called for new plans, but we had fallen in love with this city on the way south, and heading north found her no less magical. That is other than the fireworks Christmas Eve that went on for nearly seven hours straight.