Category Archives: Croatia


This week’s photo challenge is beyond – photos that pull the eye beyond the focal point. Not sure these fit the bill, but I’m giving it my best shot. Which one do you like best?


Looking out on the old city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Vietnam Memorial

The Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.


Mountains in southern Arizona



This week’s challenge is reflections. I love taking reflection photos, so the challenge for me this week is picking which one to post. Here are three of my favorites. Which one do you like best?

An old amphitheater reflected in rain water at Pompeii, Italy

An old amphitheater reflected in rain water at Pompeii, Italy

Grand Teton National Park way too early in the morning...

Grand Teton National Park way too early in the morning…

A stroll through Plitvice National Park in Croatia

A stroll through Plitvice National Park in Croatia



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One of my favorite things to do on airplanes is take pictures from above. There is something uniquely awesome about seeing a city or landscape from a completely different perspective. This is especially fun if you’re flying over a particularly picturesque area. It is much less fun if you’re are landing in a corn field in the dark.

Here are my bird’s eye pictures of Washington DC from my recent trip.

Washington DC

Washington DC

And here are my favorite bird’s-eye pictures from my Croatia trip:


I’m not sure, but this might be the Alps on my way home from Croatia.

What are some of your favorite plane pictures? Post your links below. I’d love to see them.

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Eleven Travel Tips I Learned From My Summer Vacation

1. Fly business class at least once in your life. It’s worth it.

2. Learn how to drive manual if you plan on renting a car in Europe a lot. It is much, much cheaper. Or…..

3. Rent a car from a local affiliate. My first car rental in Europe taught me that automatic car rentals are expensive and scarce. I s a lot of time on the phone with the international rental departments of all the reputable car agencies, until I decided to try emailing a local Thrifty affiliate in Split. Weirdly, it was significantly cheaper than calling Thrifty’s international line and renting through them. I don’t know if that’s a Croatia thing, but it’s a good thing to try if you’re in the business of saving yourself some money.

4. Bring extra ziplock bags. They’re good for storing random things on the road. And sneaking food out of the deliciously free continental breakfasts…

5. Bring a multi-plug adapter or a power strip. This is something I didn’t do but wish I had. With the proliferation of technological devices in need of being charged, I found myself desperate for extra outlets. Should I really have to choose between charging my iPhone and my blackberry? Hotels, if you’re listening, INSTALL MORE OUTLETS. Or I will just bring a power strip with me next time.

6. Invest in a good pair of trail shoes. If you’re a hardcore hiker and will be scaling cliffs, I officially hate you and this does not apply to you. But if you are a casual to serious day hiker, a trail shoe will give you more support and a better grip than your standard running sneaker (which has no support and no grip) but is still light and comfortable enough to walk around in or even go for a run if you’re so inclined. You don’t want to traipse through fill-in-the-blank city in the same boots you hiked Mount Washington in and you DON’T – I repeat DON’T – want to bring two pairs of sneakers with you. I love my Salomon trail shoes, not only because they’re light and super comfy, but also because the neat lacing system makes it a breeze to go through airport security. I love them so much, I forced The Boyfriend (yes, there was some metaphorical arm twisting involved) to buy a pair.

Oh Salomon, I don’t ski, but I heart you.

7. Don’t spill diet coke all over yourself at the beginning of a 10 hour flight. Or anytime really, but I’d be extra careful at the beginning. Corollary: Don’t spill diet coke all over yourself a second time at the beginning of a 10 hour flight. (If you’re wondering how I managed to be so talented, it involves a rickety tray table and a rather ungraceful attempt to hop over the tray on my way to the bathroom and then again on the trip back to my seat. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

8. Carry an extra pair of pants/skirt/underwear lest you fail miserably at #7. Even if you’re not as talented as me (read: klutzy), you never know what flight you’ll miss or where you’ll end up stranded wishing you had a clean pair of clothing to change into. Note to self: A 30 minute stopover in Munich is not enough time to pop into a shop and buy an exorbitantly priced but dry pair of pants.

9. Bring bandaids and first-aid tape. First of all, you might hurt yourself. It happens. Second of all, bandaids are remarkably versatile little objects. When I picked up my suitcase at baggage claim in Dubrovnik, I discovered one side of my handle had completely broken off. Uhh, it is not easy to wheel a suitcase with a partially attached handle. A couple of bandaids and a little first-aid tape later, my bag was “fixed.” Tada!


And I never even took a first-aid course!

10. Bring snacks. A) They’re yummy. B) They don’t take up a lot of space. C) They sustain you.

11. Double check your camera. If you’re the kind of person who feels physically compelled to take pictures (guilty), then make sure all is right with your camera before you go, because, let me tell you, you will not be able to find a real camera shop in Croatia and you will end up with a black dot in you otherwise perfect blue skies. Oh wait, that was me. But it could be you.


Croatia: A Country of Contradictions

One of the most interesting things to see on our trip was the juxtaposition of Croatia’s natural beauty and modernization efforts with the persistent reminders of its not-so-distant war. As we drove northeast, we passed empty, decrepit houses, presumably abandoned by Serbs nearly two decades ago and never reclaimed.


In Zagreb, we walked up a street with ramshackle houses on one side and a new, modern mall on the other. Croatia is an amazing country of beauty and strength, rebuilding and modernizing in some places, while time stands still in others.



Zagreb – Day 7 in Croatia (Part 2)

If you are a frequent visitor of my blog, not related to me and wondering when I will stop posting about Croatia, have no fear, the end is in sight. As I mentioned previously, we spent our final day in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb. A gallery of photos below.

Cookies in Zagreb — Day 7 in Croatia (Part 1)

We spent our final day in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city. Zagreb is split into the Lower Town, home to the city’s museums and theater. The Upper Town (which is literally “upper”) is more charming and historic in my not-so-expert opinion seeing as I spent all of five hours walking around. There you’ll find Zagreb’s two most famous churches, its government buildings, and charming alleyways that reveal all sorts of surprises.

In the Upper Town, we chanced upon a local dessert shop called The Cookie Factory run by two brothers. I fell in love with the place. The modern, bright decor is inviting and clever right down to the sign in the women’s bathroom declaring “You are pretty.” Forget Starbucks. The Cookie Factory is where I want to sit and write my best-selling novel.

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A Museum For YA Enthusiasts — In Croatia

Bet you didn’t think I was going to sneak young adult fiction into my Croatia trip? Gotcha!

In Zagreb, we popped into The Museum of Broken Relationships (I’m not making this up) and I immediately thought: This museum is fodder for every young adult novel I want to write. I was so enamored, I purchased these hysterical postcards I probably will never use and will find years from now in an old box someplace gathering dust.






You Think Gas Is Expensive In The U.S.?

Holy heat failure Batman, that is some expensive gas. According to the handy Google machine, 28.08 liters is 7.4 gallons and 300 kuna is… Wait for it… $50.


The Amazing Plitvice — Day 7 in Croatia

Plitvice National Park is Croatia’s first and most famous park. Created in 1949 and added to the UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1979, Plitivice is reknowned for its abundent waterfalls and lakes, astonishing crystal clear colors and breathtaking beauty. The park is divided into the lower lakes and the upper lakes. The lower lakes hosts the largest waterfall in the park and the most amazing, insanely turquoise colored lakes I have ever seen. We only had time for a small portion of the upper lakes, but I’m told the upper lakes contain many more waterfalls. See for yourself.

The Lower Lakes







When we got to this viewpoint, I went a little camera crazy.














The Upper Lakes









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