Tag Archives: Travel

Books that just might spark the love of travel in kids

I love to travel! I love to read!

Several years ago I began sending my grandchildren books that told them about some of the places I have traveled with the hope of inspiring them to travel too. Hopefully, along the way, teach them a little geography, history and about saving our planet with a focus on the amazing wildlife both on land in our oceans!

I love going into local bookstores in different countries! I go over and over the shelves filled with children’s books and purchase those not available on Amazon and bring them home. There’s nothing like a bookstore and usually there are only locals that I adore interacting with. We all have a common love of books!

Darling books about those pesky midge in the northern glens of Scotland, a book about a princess in London and one about traveling to Ireland in Belfast. Even storybooks written about our ancestors purchased in the gift shop at the museum at the place where the battle of Bannockburn took place outside of Stirling, Scotland. All beautiful, special treats for the grands that are always on my mind and in my heart.

Lately, I’ve begun finding books related to the places I am traveling on Amazon and send them directly using my prime account. That way they can read about where I am and travel along with me. I search before leaving home and put them in my Amazon cart and ‘save them for later.’ A couple of days before I reach my destination, I order them with a gift note and have the books sent to their house.

The kids love going to the mailbox to look for books, postcards (that will be a separate post) and plush animals along with other fun things.

I’m sharing a few of the books I’ve sent them over the years. There are also links so that you too can send books during your travels to your children and grands. All these books would be great in a classroom too. The descriptions of the books are mostly from their Amazon listings.

Be sure to let me know what you think, or if you have other recommendations for travel children’s literature!

Let’s See Ireland

by Sarah Bowie

I saw this book in a bookstore in Belfast. It talked about many of the places we were visiting in the both the north and south of Ireland including Cork, the Cliffs of Moher and the Titanic Museum. It was perfect! I found it on Amazon right there on the spot and had it sent to them.

Let’s See Ireland! https://www.amazon.com/dp/184717731X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_L91uDb0V7KP40

Follow Molly’s journey in this gorgeous picture book that is sure to delight adults and children alike! Molly, her parents, and her cat Mipsy tour Ireland and see all the main sights, like Dublin Zoo, Cork City, the Cliffs of Moher, Titanic Belfast, and many more.

Ages 4-8

Let’s Visit Dublin!: Adventures of Bella & Harry

By Lisa Manzione

Another book about Ireland, its history, places and culture. Found this series of books through the eyes of two chihuahuas. They have books from several different places that I’ll be ordering more of as we travel.

Let’s Visit Dublin!: Adventures of Bella & Harry https://www.amazon.com/dp/1937616517/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_8l6uDbP0ETN51

Join sibling Chihuahuas Bella and Harry as they travel to Dublin with their family to visit the Ha’Penny Bridge and Trinity College Library.  Take side trips to Giant’s Causeway, Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher.  Learn about local cuisine (Irish stew and Irish soda bread) and basic local phrases. 

The Adventures of Bella & Harry is a picture book series that chronicles the escapades of a pup named Bella, her little brother Harry and their family, who travel the world exploring the sights and sounds of new, exciting cities.  The “Bella & Harry” series is intended to be an informative, interactive and exciting way to introduce children to travel, different countries, customs, history and landmarks with the educational value of this book cleverly disguised amidst dozens of illustrated pages which are sure to win the hearts of young readers.

Traveling the world with these two cute and cuddly Chihuahuas will allow the young reader to gain an appreciation of the world and its cultural diversity.

Ages 5-10

Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (A Paris-Chien Adventure)

By Jackie Clark Mancuso

I fell in love with these sweet books that follow a puppy on adventures in Paris and Provence. The puppy shares his name with my grandson that makes these stories even more special for us! There are three in this series so far. Waiting for the next!

Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (A Paris-Chien Adventure) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0988605856/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_qG6uDbT1WC3TQ

When Hudson encounters a lost puppy, our hero takes him on a whirlwind tour of Paris—on foot, Vespa and bateau mouche—to find his home. What will Hudson do when he realizes the puppy is homeless? This sweet tale of empathy and friendship has lots of colorful Paris scenery, French vocabulary, and includes a petit dictionnaire of French words and phrase.

Age 5-7

Hudson in Provence (A Paris-Chien Adventure)

By Jackie Clark Mancuso

Hudson in Provence (A Paris-Chien Adventure) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0988605848/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TB6uDbTHNMJTY

Hudson, like all Parisians, is going on vacation for the month of August. And what better place than the enchanting south of France, where he discovers the country dogs have jobs! A believer in the “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” school of travel, Hudson immerses himself in Provençal culture. While this city dog is not particularly adept at herding sheep, truffle hunting and riding in the Tour de France, he eventually finds his true talent: painting portraits of his canine friends!

Age 5-7

The Eye of the Whale (Tilbury House Nature Book)

by Jennifer O’Connell

My adventure in a rib boat in northern Iceland was epic with a humpback deciding to rock the little boat and diving right under it!! One of my favorite adventures! I sent the grands several books on whales from there. I’m hoping to take them to Maui one winter and join the Pacific Whale Foundation to have some of their own whale tales!

The Eye of the Whale (Tilbury House Nature Book) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0884483355/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_N81uDbYPV0S2C

On a cool December morning near San Francisco, a distress call was radioed to shore by a local fisherman. He had discovered a humpback whale tangled in hundreds of yards of crab-trap lines, struggling to stay at the surface to breathe. A team of volunteers answered the call, and four divers risked their lives to rescue the enormous animal.

What followed was a rare and remarkable demonstration of animal behavior. This celebrated story, beautifully depicted in Jennifer O’Connell’s mesmerizing paintings, will make you wonder about animal emotions and the unique connections we can have with animals―even whales.

Ages 5-8

Journey of a Humpback Whale (Dorling Kindersley Readers, Level 2: Beginning to Read Alone)

by Caryn Jenner

Journey of a Humpback Whale (Dorling Kindersley Readers, Level 2: Beginning to Read Alone) https://www.amazon.com/dp/078948515X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_C51uDbDJXH5H0

The story of a whale and his friend heading north. Although the whales are named and fictional characters, there are many factual notes about the humpback whale.

Ages 6-8

Hello, Little Egg!: An Oona and Baba Adventure (Puffin Rock)

These Puffin Rock books were perfect to send while I was in eastern Iceland photographing Puffins in their natural habitat. Sent plush puffins that they could hold and they made sounds. They loved it all!

Hello, Little Egg!: An Oona and Baba Adventure (Puffin Rock) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0515159166/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Q61uDbQG3BPB6

Welcome to Puffin Rock—home to two young puffins, Oona and Baba. Join them on their adventures from the Netflix series, Puffin Rock.

Oona, Baba, and Mossy are out playing when they discover a mysterious egg. It’s a race against time as they try to find the parents before it hatches.

Let’s Go Fishing! (Puffin Rock)

Let’s Go Fishing! (Puffin Rock) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1524784214/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_T71uDbSK4YZEJ

It’s a windy day on Puffin Rock and Mama has hurt her wing. Papa asks Oona for her help fishing and Oona can hardly contain her excitement. Fishing with Papa will be such an adventure!

But fishing on a windy day can be tricky. Will Oona be able to manage it?

A beautifully illustrated story based on the award-winning and critically acclaimed animation.

Ages 3-5

The Adventures of Camellia N.: The Arctic

By Debra Wideroe

I ordered this book while I was sailing on a Hurtigruten ship in the fords of the Arctic waters in northern Norway!

The Adventures of Camellia N.: The Arctic (1) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997085118/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_2H1uDbNZ6R8EQ

In The Adventures of Camellia N.- The Arctic, take a journey with pint-size explorer, Camellia N. as she sails off on her first exciting adventure to the northernmost part of the earth…the Arctic. Explore this enchanted region and learn what makes the Arctic one of the most magical locations on our planet. 

Ages 4-8

Fjords, Vikings and Reindeer (Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom)

by Edward Moldenhauer

I sent this book from Norway. It was a great find so that they can learn about our Viking ancestry and the land they came from. Can’t wait to visit some of the other countries in this series so I can send more of these books!

Fjords, Vikings and Reindeer (Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1490734406/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3L1uDbM1SMVBJ

Second title in the Spin the Globe: The Incredible Adventures of Frederick von Wigglebottom travel adventure book series. The series is fun and educational, based on bedtime stories once told to my daughter and son. Each night, they would ask Daddy to tell them a story. After  every variation of animal, astronaut, knights, and princess stories I could come up with, one evening I noticed the globe that sat atop a dresser. I asked them to help me pick the story by spinning the globe. Tonight the globe stopped on the city of Trondheim on the coast of Norway. Frederick meets Nikolina, a girl of Viking heritage, and Erik, a Sámi boy who teaches him about this area of Scandinavia in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

More books in this series:

Already Available

Book 1: Dreamtime in Alice Springs – Australia

Book 2: Fjords, Vikings and Reindeer – Norway

Book 3: Alpacas in the Andes – Peru

Book 4: Turtles of the Reef – Belize

Book 5: Where the Earth Meets the Sky – Nepal

Book 6: Mysteries of Marrakech – Morocco

Under Development

Book 7: Edelweiss and Gemütlichkeit – Germany

Book 8: Sunset on the Serengeti – Kenya

Book 9: Castle in the Emerald Glen – Ireland

Book 10: Morning Mist on the Sea – South Korea

Elon Musk: This Book Is about Rockets

By Evan Loomis

I sent this book from our little town of McGregor, Texas where we have our restaurant, The Coffee Shop Cafe and Elon Musk has his SpaceX rocket testing site. I found the book right after Elon and his family came in for pie one Sunday afternoon. This book would equally be good sent from Florida where they launch their rockets.

Elon Musk: This Book Is about Rockets https://www.amazon.com/dp/1684013631/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_eV1uDb15KWT7G

Rockets are awesome! Elon Musk thinks so too. Elon Musk has helped to revolutionize banking, transportation, energy, and of course space travel. But how did he get to where he is? And what fuels him to reach for the next big thing? This book is about rockets, but maybe it’s about something bigger, too.

Dragons Love Tacos

by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri

Fun book that reminded me of our trip with the grands to Mexico. And, Hadley loves tacos!

Dragons Love Tacos https://www.amazon.com/dp/0803736800/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_nW1uDb4ZSQQF0

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

Ages 3-7

Off We Go to Mexico

by Laurie Krebs and Christopher Corr

My husband and I leave for Mexico again in a couple of weeks. This book is in my Amazon cart to send when we arrive at the beach on Isla Mujeres. Shhhh.. don’t tell!

Off We Go to Mexico https://www.amazon.com/dp/1846861594/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_1u3uDbAGT1CKS

Swim in turquoise seas, admire grey whales and monarch butterflies, trek to native villages and sing and dance to the music of Mariachi bands. Along the way, you can learn Spanish words and phrases and discover Mexican culture. Enjoy your journey.

Ages 5-8

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder

by Nicola Davies

This was one of the first books related to our travels I purchased. We were going to Cancun with the grands and I brought along several books on turtles and hatchlings so that they would understand if we ran across any baby turtles. And we did!! What a glorious thing to share with them!

One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder https://www.amazon.com/dp/0763623113/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_bk2uDbTGZWAPY

Far, far out at sea lives one of the world’s most mysterious creatures, the loggerhead turtle. For thirty years she swims the oceans, wandering thousands of miles as she searches for food. Then, one summer night, she lands on a beach to lay her eggs — the very same beach where she herself was born. Nicola Davies’s lyrical text offers fascinating information about the journey of the tiny, endangered loggerhead, while charming paintings by Jane Chapman vividly illustrate one turtle’s odyssey.

Ages 4-8

Poky, the Turtle Patrol (Endangered Animals)

By Diana Kanan

This one is in my cart to send from Mexico on our next trip. Beautiful illustrations and a reminder of the last time we were all there together.

Poky, the Turtle Patrol (Endangered Animals) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692159096/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Ta2uDb6R75J51

Poky, a baby sea turtle, awakes to find he missed the great sea turtle race! He meets several beach friends along the way who offer conflicting advice on how to make it to the finish line. Confused and alone, Poky has decisions to make, but soon realizes he was not the last one when more sea turtles pop up from the hatch. The great race is on…or is it? Whimsical rhyme and original watercolor illustrations make Poky, the Turtle Patrol a must read, not only for young readers, but for any lover of our endangered sea turtle. Portions of the proceeds from book sales are donated to Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol.

If You Were a Penguin

by Wendell and Florence Minor

I sent the grands penguin books and brought back plush penguins from the Falkland Islands where I photographed penguins on a beautiful white sand beach. Just me and a few hundred penguins. Then for their Valentine’s Day gift, adopted penguins for them from the Ft. Worth Zoo!! Hadley’s favorite is the Rockhopper!

If You Were a Penguin https://www.amazon.com/dp/0061130974/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Rg3uDbX4D2THD

In this simple, rhyming picture book, the youngest readers will learn about penguins. This is the perfect read-aloud for teachers and parents to share with young children as they imagine what life as a penguin is like!

The short text by Florence Minor pairs perfectly with the gorgeous, detailed illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Wendell Minor. Fun facts about penguins are featured at the back of the book.

Age 4-8

The Lives of Penguins

by Sharon F. Johnson Ph.D.,

Another book about penguins and the Falkland Islands.

The Lives of Penguins https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692982108/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Kl3uDbEC1X0MH

Using information-filled rhymes illustrated with incredible photos, the life stories of three Falkland penguins are told in unforgettable detail. This nonfiction book is sure to add to any young reader’s knowledge and understanding of this extraordinary seabird. And, adults can enjoy it too!.

Save the Ocean

by Bethany Stahl

In my cart to send while we are on a cruise in the southern Caribbean this December. Looks amazing! Hoping it leads to oven conservation on their part for years to come.

Save the Ocean https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732395128/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Cf2uDb2FWJG6N

#1 Best-Selling journey with a mermaid & sea turtle to discover the importance of recycling!

Brought to you from the author who received a Certificate of Recognition from Dr. Jane Goodall!

From exciting and adventurous to educational and captivating, Bethany Stahl’s immersive stories express heartfelt messages while engaging parents and children.

With beautiful and charming illustrations, as well as a lovable sea turtle named Agwe, this is a book adults will love reading over and over again with their kids. Save the Ocean has a heartwarming lesson of recycling and conservation that will stay with the reader for a lifetime.

Book Extras!

Discover hidden elements in a Search and Find game!

Color a page of bonus sketches from renowned illustrator Bethany Stahl!

Learn astonishing ocean facts!

Read an exclusive page the real-life adventures of the author and her efforts to Save the Ocean!

Brave Scots: Robert the Bruce

By Gary Smailes

I found this book and a couple others about our ancestor, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland in the gift shop at the Bannockburn battlefield Museum outside Stirling, Scotland. It’s a great way to introduce Scottish history to kids. I hope my grands keep these books and cherish them enough to share them with their children.

Brave Scots: Robert the Bruce https://www.amazon.com/dp/0955156467/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_fBevDbA9J2WS9

Robert the Bruce was raised in the English court and was, in essence, a knight. He picked up the mantle to rid Scotland of English rule and this colourful book portrays his high and low points in his quest, including the battle of Bannockburn.

A Visit to Working Sheepdogs

By Glynis Ross

Self Published by Glynis Ross who’s husband is an accomplished sheep herder on Leault Farm in Scotland. This is a charming book that I purchased from them during a sheep herding demonstration. If you get the chance to go, it is a wonderful experience.

A Visit to Working Sheepdogs https://www.amazon.com/dp/0545368235/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_ltfvDb6X9W5T9

A Madeline Treasury: The Original Stories

by Ludwig Bemelmans

What little girl doesn’t love Madeline and her adventures in Paris? A classic!

A Madeline Treasury: The Original Stories by Ludwig Bemelmans https://www.amazon.com/dp/0451470516/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_nzfvDbV4JJC7Q

“ In an old house in Paris

that was covered with vines

lived twelve little girls

in two straight lines

the smallest one was Madeline. ”

 

A complete collection of all the adventures of Madeline, a fearless little girl full of mischief and vitality. Madeline, first published in 1939, and its five sequels have charmed generations of readers, and have become true classics.

Celebrate one of the world’s most popular and beloved fictional characters with this beautiful, deluxe collection, bringing together all six of the Madeline books in one volume. In each of these books, Bemelmans’ humorous verse, his immortal characters—Miss Clavel, Pepito, the magician, the others—and his wonderful, whimsical drawings of Paris combine to create a memorable reading experience for people of all ages.

 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen has written an introduction to the collection, which also includes “The Isle of God,” an essay by Bemelmans on how he invented Madeline, and never-before-published working sketches of Madeline, as well as photos of the Bemelmans family.

Age 5-8 years, but I still enjoy these stories in my adulthood.

Hattie and Hudson

By Chris Van Dusen

The book title got me on this one. With characters with my grands names, I knew I had to purchase this one. It’s a great story about adventure and inclusion.

Hattie and Hudson https://www.amazon.com/dp/0763665452/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OjgvDbVS46EWK

A little girl and her colossal friend teach a monster-size lesson about prejudging others in a charming offering from Chris Van Dusen.

Hattie McFadden is a born explorer. Every morning she grabs her life jacket and paddles out in her canoe to discover something new on the lake, singing a little song on her way. When her singing draws up from the depths a huge mysterious beast, everyone in town is terrified — except Hattie, who looks into the creature’s friendly, curious eyes and knows that this is no monster. So Hattie sneaks out at night to see the giant — whom she names Hudson — and the two become friends. But how can she make the frightened, hostile townspeople see that Hudson isn’t scary or dangerous at all? Chris Van Dusen brings his colorful, perspective-bending artwork to this satisfying new story about acceptance, friendship, and sticking up for those who are different.

Ages 4-10

A few other things to send to spark their interest:

Vintoys Soft Plush Sea Turtle Stuffed Animals Plush 10″

Vintoys Soft Plush Sea Turtle Stuffed Animals Plush 10″ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J7YEY38/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_xpgvDbPT8K8DC

Wild Republic Audubon Birds Atlantic Puffin Plush with Authentic Bird Sound, Stuffed Animal, Bird Toys for Kids and Birders

I loved that these puffins have authentic bird sounds! I sent these from Iceland with the puffin books. The kids loved them!

Wild Republic Audubon Birds Atlantic Puffin Plush with Authentic Bird Sound, Stuffed Animal, Bird Toys for Kids and Birders https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C2KDJJL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_brgvDbYQ09DTC

Hugg-A-Planet Classic Political Earth

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L4P8JIU/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_HAgvDbBQXT3F8

Brosan SpaceX Earth Plush Toy Crew Dragon W/ Falcon Heavy Rocket Quote ” Made on Earth by Humans”

The little buddy Elon Musk sent into space on his SpaceX rocket!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S647Y37/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9BgvDbQPJD3DG

Melissa & Doug World Map Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle (Wipe-Clean Surface, Teaches Geography & Shapes, 33 Pieces, 24″ L x 36″ W)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007ODGTQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NxgvDbRYNHJ2F

Discovery Kids 2-in-1 World Globe LED Lamp w/ Day & Night Modes, STEM Geography Map Educational Toy for Children, Solar System, Light Up Cities and Countries, Rotating w/ Display Stand

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BY25H27/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_EzgvDb6R03RGY

Remember…. I’d love to hear your suggestions for additional children’s books and toys! Comment below!

Away Luggage Referral Program

Hey y’all! Are you like me and constantly search for the perfect carry on bag? Well, I think I might have found just the bag!

Update! I’ve been on two trips with my Away luggage and LOVE it!! It’s so easy to roll that I can glide along through the airport with just one hand! It’s so smooth! I highly recommend Away Luggage!! Be sure to use the link below for $20 off your own!

My Away luggage with Neuschwanstein Castle on the mountain

My Away luggage with Neuschwanstein Castle in the background

Click here for $20 off Away

Check out Away, a new travel company offering beautifully designed luggage that’ll make our travels easier. The Carry-On even has a charger in case you can’t find a plug in the airport. We’ve all had that problem, haven’t we? I’m most impressed with their lifetime guarantee!

Away is a company started by two women who had an idea about what it would take to make a great suitcase. I’ll be rolling their international sized Carry-On through Germany and Austria next month, so check out where I’m going with my new wheels on my Instagram feed!

Be sure to use this link to get $20 off your first suitcase!

Check out Away Luggage here!

I love my Away luggage! I just spent the last couple of months in Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Netherlands and couldn’t be happier!!! Planning to expand my collection!

New Gelato flavor you must try!!

My sister in law and I just returned from Venice, Italy where we spent a few days before boarding a cruise on the Aegean Sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

We had a wonderful time and since we had both been in Venice several times, I decided to explore some places I’ve not been before.

I’ve tried making it to Morano and Burano on more than one trip, but it just never worked out the way I wanted. This time it was on my top list of priorities. I booked a tour ahead of our arrival on Viator.

One of the highlights of our time on Burano was our guide’s recommendation of a jam packed gelato and shop that is filled with Italian food products and souvenirs.

Oh my goodness! The gelato is amazing!!

I spotted a flavor that I have never seen! Bellini flavored gelato! I had to try it, after all Bellinis are Venice, aren’t they?! My first taste of a real drink made with sparkling wine and white fleshed peaches was at Harry’s Bar in Venice.

The next time you are in Burano, I highly recommend going to Gelato Artigianale! It’s the only place I’ve ever seen Bellini gelato!

The same little shop also carries speciality pastas, limoncello and other Italian products that would make perfect souvenirs!

Practical advice for visiting Iceland

Reykjavik from the bell tower of Hallgrimskirkja Church with the statue of Leif Eiriksson below
Reykjavik from the bell tower of Hallgrimskirkja Church with the statue of Leif Eiriksson below

My daughter, Ashley and I visited Iceland at the end of February this year. We absolutely loved the beauty of this diverse country and the friendliness of the people. It was a wonderful couple of weeks spending quality time together, experiencing new adventures and meeting some amazing new friends.

I’ve been wanting to share some of our experiences here as well as some practical advice. There are two places that we have been recently that everyone seem to us ask about. Cuba and Iceland.

I’ve been so busy with work and other travels that I’ve kept putting it off writing these posts. Being asked three times in a 24 hour period. Then hearing that Rick Steves was planning on publishing a guide book on Iceland this fall and his star researcher, Cameron Hewitt need travelers advice, pushed me to finally get these posts done! After all, the Rick Steves guide books have been extremely helpful all these years in planning trips to Europe. It is my chance to finally give back.

First things first
The flights to Iceland are cheap, but the costs while you are there are not. Don’t let that discourage you from going though. Iceland is an amazing country.

I wanted to experience the Northern Lights, so I chose to go during the winter months. I booked our trip for the end of February and beginning of March thinking that it wouldn’t be as cold as say December or January. The joke was on me though. We arrived in a frigid snow storm that ended up being the largest snowfall in the last 60 years in Reykjavik! Lesson learned. You can’t predict the weather! Oh… And take plenty of layers of warm clothing and snow boots. Layering is the key no matter what time of year you decide to go.

We took the bus into Reykjavik to our hotel. I booked online. The bus is the cheapest option for traveling to/from the airport, the Blue Lagoon and the airport. The only difficult part is the bus always goes to the terminal in Reykjavik before you grab a van to/from your hotel. I booked a private transfer back to the airport through our hotel because I was afraid that we may end up being late and I didn’t want to risk missing the hourly bus to the airport. The extra cost was worth peace of mind to me.

Our visit to The Blue Lagoon and our GoEcco 3 Day Ice Caving & Northern Lights tour both deserve posts of their own. Both well worth doing.

The Hotel that I highly recommend:



We actually stayed in two hotels in Reykjavik. On our first three nights we stayed at the Raddison Blu Saga. It was a large hotel outside the city center.

Our home away from home at Kvosin Downtown Hotel
Our home away from home at Kvosin Downtown Hotel

On our return from our three day GoEcco ice caving tour, we stayed at the nicest ‪boutique hotel in a great central downtown location near restaurants, tourist sites and shopping. They have lovely, modern decorated rooms with a small kitchen and a nice espresso machine. Reasonably priced. Free wifi. I highly recommend them. ‬

Kvosin Downtown Hotel

Kirkjutorg 4

Reykjavik

IS-101. IS

‪+3545714460‬

Kvosin Hotel

‪Ways to save money on eating in Iceland:

‪Icelandic water from the tap is some of the best in the world. Bring along a stainless steel bottle and fill it up from the tap at your hotel. Icelanders think it’s silly when tourists buy bottled water. Ask for tap water in restaurants too. ‬

‪Be aware that an inexpensive meal in Iceland means spending $22-35 US. Iceland is definitely expensive, but there are a few ways that you can save a little money and not go hungry.‬
‪Take snack foods with you. We packed peanut butter and crackers, protein and breakfast bars, nuts and other filling goodies to eat rather than paying for a full three meals a day. This enabled us to spend more time taking in the sights and more cash for souvenir shopping.‬

‪Look for a hotel or apartment with a kitchen or a microwave and coffee maker. We picked up packaged frozen dinners and ‘cup of soup’ from a grocery store for a couple of meals. Bonus is a good option. Their grocery stores are still more expensive than what we are accustomed to in the USA, but still way cheaper than restaurants. I brought along instant coffee, tea bags and creamer too. ‬

‪The Icelandic hot dogs are tasty and a good value. They are available at about every gas station around Iceland. You will find them in beef or lamb. Try the lamb. Very good.‬

‪Restaurant recommendations:‬

‪We tried several restaurants that were recommended by locals which were moderately priced. These were our favorites.‬
Reykjavik:

Dinner at Saeta Svinid Gastropub
Dinner at Saeta Svinid Gastropub


 

Saeta Svinid Gastropub

Hafnarstræti 1-3 / 101 Reykjavík

Sími: 555 2900

http://saetasvinid.is/en

‪Open 11:30-23:30‬
‪Their menu is filled with Icelandic specialities like puffin, minke whale, and horse. Though we did not venture to try any of the fore mentioned dishes, we did try the lamb, the salmon and their really good burger. ‬

Inside Uno Restaurant
Inside Uno Restaurant


Uno

‪Hafnarstraeti 3‬

‪Reykjavik 101, Iceland‬

Uno
‪We enjoyed this cozy restaurant on one of our first evenings in Reykjavik. Nicely appointed interior with many choices of reasonably priced food. They also have an outside seating area to enjoy your meal on a sunny day. ‬

Nice treats to warm up with at ‪Salka Valka - Fish & More
Nice treats to warm up with at ‪Salka Valka – Fish & More

‪Salka Valka – Fish & More

‪Skolavordustigur 23,‬

‪Reykjavik 101, Iceland ‬
‪Cozy little fish shop on busy Skolavordustigur street just down from ‬

‪Hallgrimskirkja. Nice place to take a rest and warm up with a little lunch or dessert and coffee. Very friendly staff.‬

Fresh ground coffee at ‪Reykjavik Roasters
Fresh ground coffee at ‪Reykjavik Roasters


Reykjavik Roasters

‪Karastigur 1 (corner of Frakkastigur)‬

‪Reykjavik 101, Iceland ‬

‪Cute little coffee shop with coffee to enjoy there or to take away. They also sell pastries. Grab a fresh roasted cup of coffee and grab a window seat or take a cup with you and walk across the way to Braud & Company for pastry and head to Harpa Concert Hall like we did to enjoy a unique setting for breakfast. (Many thanks to Jonathan and Tomas for that great idea!)‬

Fresh made bread and pastries at colorful ‪Braud & Company
Fresh made bread and pastries at colorful ‪Braud & Company


‪Braud & Company‬

‪16 Frakkastigur‬

‪Reykjavik 101, Iceland ‬

‪Wide selection of made from scratch pastries and breads that you are only able to take away. A great bakery that you can smell from blocks away early every morning. You are able to watch the bakers while standing in line waiting your turn. Highly recommend the croissants and cinnamon rolls. ‬

‪ ‬

Lots of shopping and coffee shops on the street just in front of‪ Hallgrimskirkja Church
Lots of shopping and coffee shops on the street just in front of‪ Hallgrimskirkja Church


Souvenir shopping in Reykjavik:‬
‪Head to Laugavegur and Skolavordustigur streets for a wide selection of shops to pop into. You can find all types of souvenirs to take home. Be sure to compare prices as we found that there can be a very wide difference from one shop to the next on vertically the same items. ‬
‪I fell in love with all the handmade woolen accessories. I purchased socks for everyone on my gift list. They are so warm and cozy!! ‬

A special souvenir to remember Iceland in your home everyday
A special souvenir to remember Iceland in your home everyday

‪My daughter loved all the hides. She ended up purchasing two as souvenirs to decorate her home. She purchased a sheep hide at a darling shop at 22 Skolavordustigur street (one building down from Fish & More Restaurant) just down from Hallgrimskirkja Church on the right side. They had a nice selection at a good price. This shop had a wide assortment of reasonably priced souvenirs of all kinds. Worth a visit.

She also purchased a reindeer hide at The Blue Lagoon gift shop. They had a really nice selection of hides at a good price as well.‬

‪Handknitting Association of Iceland

‪Skolavordustigur 19‬

‪Reykjavik 101, Iceland ‬
‪A cooperative of women who knit many types of clothing and accessories from Icelandic wool. Huge selection of items! Sweaters,hats, socks, mittens, scarves, You can even purchase wool to take home to make your own items. I highly recommend purchasing the socks if you are visiting Iceland in the winter. They will keep your feet warmer than any sock you can purchase in the USA. Believe me, you will need that warmth! The cooperative’s handmade items were my choice for souvenirs for myself and my family.‬

‪Places to visit in Reykjavik:

‪Hallgrimskirkja Church
‪Hallgrimskirkja Church


 

‪Hallgrimskirkja Church

‪Hallgrimstorg 1‬

‪101 Reykjavik, Iceland ‬

Hallgrimskirkja
‪Be sure to head into the gift shop in the hall to the left as you enter the church to purchase the elevator tickets to go up to the top of the church. You will be rewarded with outstanding 360 degree views of Reykjavik, the harbor and the mountains across the way. ‬
‪Enjoy the modern church interior as well.‬

‪Statue of Leif Eiriksson‬

‪Sits at the front entrance to Hallgrimskirkja Church‬

Looking out through the windows of Harpa Concert Hall
Looking out through the windows of Harpa Concert Hall

‪Harpa Concert Hall‬

Austurbakka 2, 101 Reykjavík

Sími: 528 5000

Harpa
‪Beautiful glass and steel building on the waterfront in Reykjavik. You can go inside and explore for free. Nice place for a picking in the seating areas on the upper floors. Great view of the mountains and harbor. ‬

‪Check their website for events. I wish we would have had time to take in a show called “How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes.” Our friends that went said it was really funny and, better yet, our GoEcco guide said it was funny and very true. We will do this for sure on our next trip. ‬

How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes

Fun shoe skating on frozen ‪Lake Thornin
Fun shoe skating on frozen ‪Lake Thornin


‪Lake Thornin

‪Picturesque little lake in the Reykjavik city center that is nice to stroll around and watch the swans, ducks and other water fouls. It iced over during our visit which made it more fun as we skated around in our snow boots. ‬

The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon


The Blue Lagoon

‪Outside of Reykjavik but it’s only a 45 minute bus ride away.
Having been to Iceland, next trip I would do it a little differently. I would take the bus to the Blue Lagoon from the airport instead of heading directly to Reykjavik. I’d stay at the Blue Lagoon’s hotel/resort my first night and enjoy more time there. If you decide to go to the Blue Lagoon, be sure to book everything online long in advance! I’ll write a separate post on just the Blue Lagoon and some of its amenities.

Love at first sight! The Aurora In Iceland!
Love at first sight! The Aurora In Iceland!


Experiencing the Northern Lights:

‪Pick a time of year when the nights are very dark. Usually that means from October through March for the best chance to see the lights. Try not to go during a full moon. This took me a lot of time researching for the best time for my daughter and I to go to Iceland. Seeing the Aurora was my top reason to go, so it was extremely important to me. ‬

‪The longer that you stay in Iceland, the better chance you have seeing the lights. Keep in mind that the weather is extremely unpredictable. We arrived at the end of the winter season to the largest snowfall in Reykjavik from the last 80 years. Totally unexpected. Even though the aurora was active the first three nights we visited, we couldn’t see them because of cloud cover. ‬

‪I had booked a super Jeep excursion with ‬Arctic Adventures for our second evening. Literally, every other company cancelled their northern lights tours due to cloud cover, but Arctic Adventures did not. It was an extremely frigid, disappointing evening. They did take us outside of town, but there was too much cloud cover and no lights. Unfortunately, it was a waist of a lot of money too. Almost $400 for the two of us. I understand other companies are willing to reschedule or refund if things don’t go as planned. I thought I had done my research as to the best company to use. This is a warning to others.

‪The aurora forecast website to watch:

Aurora Forcast

‪Follow this account on Twitter:

‪Aurora Forecast @AuroraIceland for both the Aurora forecast and cloud cover. ‬

‪Photographing the Northern Lights:

‪There are a few things you will need if you are planning on trying to photograph the lights. First, you’ll need a good DSLR camera. I had read a couple of articles about apps for your iPhone that were capable of photographing the Aurora. I downloaded two of the apps that looked promising. The first evening that we saw the lights, I pulled out my iPhone and gave them both a try. Some people may be happy with the results, but it just wasn’t good in my opinion.‬
‪There are plenty of photography websites and books out there that explain how to set your specific DSLR camera. I’ll leave that to the people who do that type of photography all the time. They are the experts and it is quite a detailed process. I would suggest that if you have a couple of free hours in Reykjavik, to head to the small museum by the harbor, Aurora Reykjavik and ask the sweet people there if they wouldn’t mind setting your camera for you. Be sure to take the time to look at all their beautiful displays while you are there. Some wonderful examples of photography of the Aurora and you may begin to understand the Aurora better. Well worth the entrance price. You are also able to book Northern Lights tours on their website. They have several to choose from. ‬

‪Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Center
‪Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Center


Aurora Reykjavik: The Northern Lights Center

‪Grandagarður 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland‬

Aurora Reykjavik

‪Open 7 days a week 9 AM – 9 PM‬
‪Be sure to bring along extra batteries for your camera and other devices. A battery pack is also good to have. Batteries drain their power quickly in the cold. ‬

Things I’d love to do on our next visit to Iceland:‬




I really want to do this photography tour:‬

‪I’ve been following Icelandic photographer ‬Iurie Belegurschi for several years now on social media. His photographs are what inspired me to go to Iceland. Being a photographer, I wanted to experience the crystal ice cave and Northern Lights myself.

Iceland Winter Photo Tour
‪I still really want to do this tour. Though the tour we took was really wonderful and I highly recommend it to everyone, this tour is geared for photography. I would have had to go alone as my daughter isn’t interested in photography. Maybe one day. Still on my travel wish list. ‬

Staying in a clear bubble dome in the middle of nowhere:‬

‪I think staying in a bubble would be a dreamy experience! That is if I could ever go to sleep with all those stars and the Northern Lights! ‬
Bubble
‪I did look at staying in a bubble before our trip. I just couldn’t figure out how to get there without renting a vehicle. We Texans have no idea how to drive on snow or ice, so that was totally out of the question. ‬

Viva la Cuba!

Viva the people. The cars. The culture. The food. The cigars. The rum.

Have you dreamed about going to Cuba before the island changes forever?

This video is compiled from photos I shot on the incredible trip we took to Cuba this March. Hopefully it will inspire you to experience this unique place that everyone says is stuck in time.

I’m ready to go back!! 

And we are!!! Our next trip will be on Southwest Airlines first flight from Ft Lauderdale to Havana this December!! So looking forward to a whole new experience in Cuba around the holidays!!

Would you like to go to Cuba in 2017? We may try to get a group together to go back. Contact me at val110358@aol.com for more info. Meanwhile, enjoy our last trip… 

Magnolia House exterior transformation 

Ok. I might have been a house stalker. To a certain extent anyway. Our restaurant is in the same town that Chip and Joanna Gaines bought and refurbished the 1800s farmhouse in the middle of downtown McGregor. The bank we use for our business is right across the street. We have to go to that bank at least once a day. Every day. Seven days a week. Except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
That’s how I began noticing the work being done on my dear friend, Mrs. Truelove’s former house. The home had fallen into disrepair after her death. I’d often thought what a shame it was. In its former glory, it was such a beauty.

I don’t think there was anyone other than Chip and Jo that could have taken the house and transformed it as beautifully. It is now nationally known to fans of Fixer Upper as Magnolia House B&B.

Have a look at some of the photos I took with my iPhone as the house progressed.

Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano

The Carriage House besideMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor before renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
the Carriage House beside the Magnolia house before renovation

Magnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie CitranoMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie CitranoMagnolia  House B&B in McGregor during renovation copyright Valerie Citrano
Is it really stalking if you tell the owners? No! Surly not! Right?

My husband and I both ended up going to the bank when the 18 wheeler furniture truck happened to be unloading all of the furniture for Magnolia House. We both took a picture.

Joanna's new furniture line being delivered to her Magnolia House B&B in McGregor, TX copyright Valerie Citrano

And then the next day we saw Chip and Jo.

I’m only posting this picture because the look on Chip’s face is just so priceless! Pretty sure it’s the way he looks every time he sees me. I’m really not sure why! Haha!

Chip and Joanna Gaines with Donald and Valerie Citrano www.pieladylife.com

And my husband showed Jo the picture of the truck unloading at the house.

(If I would have known a friend was taking these pictures, I promise I would have turned around!)

Jo told us the furniture was from her new line that would soon be available for purchase. She also told us that the producers of the show wanted to do the reveal at the end of the week. Cool insider information direct from the source. I was good. I didn’t tell anyone.

Chip and Joanna Gaines with Donald and Valerie Citrano www.pieladylife.com
Yes, I told them that we had totally been stalking the house and how wonderful it was that they chose the house in our little town of McGregor to open a B&B. So, when you tell someone that you may be stalking, it’s not really stalking. Right?

And they still took a photo with us! Haha!!


And then my friend Debby, who owns Greenlife Nursery and Landscaping showed up for lunch at The Coffee Shop Cafe and we were off for a whirlwind day …. I got to help her with the Fixer Upper house……. 

Visiting Singapore 

Friends we met on the road


One of my very favorite things that I love about traveling is making new friends. We have been blessed to meet some wonderful people whom we stay in touch with.

We met Samuel and Rita on a group tour ‘following the steps of Paul’ through Turkey and Greece a few years ago. We totally clicked on our trip, sharing the gospel and just worshiping Jesus along the way. We stayed in touch after our journey ended.

Rita and Samuel came to Waco for a visit while they were in the United States a couple of years ago. We took them to The Texas Ranger Museum, walked along the Brazos River banks, over the Suspension Bridge and to a Wade Bowen country music concert. We had a lot of fun showing them our city and our restaurant in nearby McGregor.

Well, this year we made a point to go to Singapore to visit them for a few days after our trip to Thailand. We were just too close to them to not drop by and catch up on their lives and I just wanted to hug my friend, Rita’s neck!

They showed us a little of Singapore 

We began with a proper Singapore tea. 

Coconut jam and butter on toast! Something very new to us and very tasty! Try it at Toast Box. According to their website, they have several locations.

We walked around the downtown area that is filled with street art! Even the buildings were amazing!

After dinner, we headed to their colorful Chinatown 


The next morning, we visited the Singapore Zoo. The highlight for me was seeing both the panda and red panda.

Visit Singapore Zoo for more info on their four very different parks and even a breakfast that I would have loved to have time to do.

The Peranakan Museum

The museum focuses on the rich heritage of the Singapore people.

For more information about their many lovely exhibits, visit their website: Peranakan Museum Singapore

Singapore Botanic Gardens

We spent a beautiful afternoon walking in the botanic gardens full of tropical plants. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a very special garden devoted to all types of orchids. A real must see!  For more information: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Samuel and Rita treated us to so much wonderful food! 

We visited restraunts in a mall, outdoor market and in a revolving tower! We tried foods that we have never tried before and everything was so delicious!

 Thank you, our friends, for showing us your beautiful Singapore! We loved it and seeing you again was very special!

Have you ever met people on a trip and promised to stay in touch? Have you? Be sure to share your stories with us! 

Cool Awards: Best Pies in Texas, Best Breakfast in Waco! 

Wow! I can’t tell y’all how amazed and humbled we are about the awards and accolades we’ve been receiving lately concerning our restaurant! We wanted to be sure to Thank y’all!

Texas Highway Magazine, the official travel magazine of the state of Texas, named my pies third best in the state! What an honor!! I came in behind two cafes with a long tradition of having some of the best pies for longer than I’ve been alive! I’ll take being the newbie in this prestigious group. They also named The Coffee Shop Cafe one of the 40 Best Small Town Cafe’s in Texas! Crazy awesome, huh!?

Then, the restaurant was was given a readers choice award by Waco Today Magazine for having the best breakfast in Waco! Y’all, if you haven’t come out to The Coffee Shop Cafe for breakfast, you are really missing out! We serve breakfast all day and on weekend mornings we have a totally amazing breakfast buffet! All sorts of eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pancakes, gravy, fruit and lots more. My favorite, migas, are on the buffet too. It’s over at 10:45 AM on Saturday and Sunday, so come early and hungry!

We want to Thank all our friends and customers for voting for us! Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today! 



We also had a really fun honor when the producers from HGTV’s show, Fixer Upper stopped by and filmed part of our decorations for their Christmas special featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines new bed and breakfast in town, Magnolia House. How fun to see a quick flash of our restaurant on their show! Of course, it went by so fast that if you hadn’t ever been to the restaurant before you would have never even known where it was filmed! Haha! Still super cool for Donald and I and for our regular customers that spotted us! We appreciate all of their business with us too. Lots of wonderful people!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

All the glory goes to God! 

 

 


Coffee Shop Travel Club Meet Up

When you make your final payment, just leave an open balance of $100.00 and we will take care of it! Super Simple! Venice is a city not to be missed! One of my favorite places in the world!

Go Ahead is working on our group phone/tablet site so our tour consultant, Emily, told me to pass along her direct line in case anyone would like any information at all since it still isn’t working. Her number is 617 6191516 and you can give her my name, Valerie Citrano or our group tour number 68796229. The site seems to be working on my laptop and desk top computer. Hope you are able to go with us! It will be a lot of fun!

You are invited!


We will be holding a short meeting this Saturday, October 17, 2015 at our restaurant, The Coffee Shop Cafe in McGregor, Texas to talk about our trip to Italy next May! It will begin at 2:00 and last till about 3:30.

If you can’t make it this Saturday, you can still sign up to go with us! It does not matter where in the world you live, you can meet up and join our small group! Learn more about out trip right here on my blog where you can also click over to our Go Ahead Tours web page 

I am so excited to be able to share Italy with you! It’s an experience that you won’t want to miss!

Links to more information:

More on our trip to Italy in May of 2016.

  • My Question and Answer page with lots of information about our tour
  • The first stop on our group tour, Turin
  • A side trip I’d love to take you on to Florence if you’d like.
  • Our Italy 2016 group tour web site where you can view the itinerary, the base price and choose the options you’d like to add on like the extension in Venice, extra excursions and to price your airfare from your nearest airport. Just click here and begin dreaming of Italy: Go Ahead Tours: Coffee Shop Travel Club

Make your dreams come true and join us in Italy!

Turin. The ‘Paris’ of Italy

Turino is our first stop on our Food & Wine: Northern Italy and the Italian Riviera small group tour in May. We will be treated to a tour of this beautiful city and still have plenty of time to explore on our own.

Many people say that Turin matches the beauty of Paris. Even so, it hadn’t really been on my list of places to visit, that is until I read a press release from the Holy See’s office in the Vatican.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where the Holy Shroud is kept in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where the Holy Shroud is kept in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
In 2010 there was a special exhibition of the Shroud of Turin. This was extremely unusual. The shroud is historically only brought out for showing once every ten years and even then it is very difficult to get into the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist to see it.

The shroud on display insideThe Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
The shroud on display insideThe Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
Growing up and through the years, I had read several books about the shroud, the Templar Priests and the scientific communities fascination with studying this 14 foot piece of cloth whom some believe covered the body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. I’ll admit, it absolutely fascinates me too. Is it real or is it one of the best forgeries ever known to man? Either way, I wanted to see it for myself.

Pope Benedict XVI mingling with the crowd in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
Pope Benedict XVI mingling with the crowd in Turin, Italy. Photo copyright Valerie Duty Citrano
Pope Benedict XVI was set to go to Turin and view the shroud along with holding a mass in the city’s center. I had applied for media credentials from the Vatican several years earlier, before our first trip to Rome, and had photographed Pope John Paul II. So, I gave the press office a call and secured credentials and passes for myself and my husband to to go to the shroud’s limited viewing. The same day that I had read that press release, I had credentials, passes to see the shroud and had booked our flights to go to Turin, Italy!!!

That’s how we ended up spending a week in Italy’s ‘Paris.’ Beautiful Turino.

Beautiful architecture
The city center, with its beautiful buildings and statues were enchanting. Walking there in the evenings felt like walking through the movie, The Da Vinci Code. I expected to run into Tom Hanks around every corner.

This trip, I really want to take a tour of the palace. There were just too many pilgrims in town on our last visit. The line was terribly long! Glad we will have another chance to see Turin again!

Chocolate shop in Turin, Italy
One of the many chocolate shops in Turin. Italy

A Chocoholic’s dream
At breakfast our first morning at our hotel, we chatted with a couple who were there not to see the Pope or the shroud. They had come from England for Turin’s famous chocolate. Oh my goodness! Yes, chocolate! Come to find out, there were shops after shops with lovely, delicious CHOCOLATES! And they happily give out samples on small silver trays!

Donald never met a chocolate he didn’t like! This was heaven on earth. There was also the thickest hot chocolate that we had ever drank and come to find out, Nutella is manufactured in Turin!

The Egyptian Museum
The Museo Egizio Museum in Turin has one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo. I was not only surprised that such a collection was in such a place but I throughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to going back and visiting after their massive renovation.
More info about the museum: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/africaandindianocean/egypt/11508721/Egyptian-Museum-reopens-in-Turin.html

So much more
Turin was the home of the winter Olympics in 2006, is the home of Fiat and Alfa Romero Automobiles and is situated near the Alps. It is only a 40 minute train ride from Milan.

To learn more about Turin, it’s history and architecture, visit Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turin
So now we are going back to the jewel that is Turin and I couldn’t be happier!
More on our trip to Italy in May of 2016. Booking will be closing soon!! 

My Question and Answer page with lots of information about our tour

A side trip I’d love to take you on in Florence if you’d like.