Trip Reports Index
Where to eat? What to see? Where can I take pictures? There are dozens of details about every destination; getting the opinions from an experienced visitor will help you better plan your trip. I have provided trip reports on several of our vacations. Be advised that some of the reports are several years old and you should verify prices, addresses, hours of operation, etc. that you see here. That said, we hope that you find our information about these locations to be helpful as you get ready to make your trip!
Top Travel Tips - Some travel tips apply to all situations and are not specific to one place. The best general travel tips for any destination are located here.
NEW! Caribbean Cruise Trip Report - With much reluctance I took a seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. I really didn't think a cruise vacation was for me, but Q talked me into it. Our trip report provides extensive notes on cruising on the Navigator and our excursions to Stingray City in Grand Cayman and the Blue Hole in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This report has information for everyone, but is slanted to the first time cruisers . . . like me. Did I like the trip? Change my mind about cruises? Read the report to find out.
Washington DC Trip Report - In June 2009 we took two 16-year old boys to Washington DC. We spent a total of eight days on our vacation. As we planned our travel, I was really surprised at how much there is to do in Washington DC - and in most cases, there was no charge to enter the various attractions. I was concerned that the Xbox-addicted teens would get bored in Washington DC, but that wasn't much of a problem at all. This turned out to be a great place for a vacation for all of us.
Italy Trip Reports - We traveled to Italy in June, 2008. I was accompanied by my brother for the trip. We spent a total of 12 days in Italy, visiting Venice, Florence and Rome. While in Venice, we made a day trip to the Dolomite Mountains, and spent most of another day touring the islands in Venice's lagoon.
Italy trip report (general notes) - Many of our observations applied to more than one city, or to visiting Italy in general. This was particularly true with regards to planning and booking the trip and the items we brought with us on our vacation. Rather than duplicate those comments in the Venice, Florence and Rome trip reports, I've included a separate page for these general comments here.
Venice Italy trip report - We spent four days in Venice. One of those days was devoted to a day trip to the Dolomites Mountains. Another day was spent touring the Venice Lagoon. Read this trip report to learn about our apartment, the restaurants we dined at, where to buy awesome Venice masks, and more. Want to know the WORST time of day to take a gondola ride? Read the Venice trip report to find out.
Florence Italy trip report - We spent three days in Florence, not including travel days. We stayed in Florence all three days, wandering the city to enjoy all the tourist sites. In this trip report I break down the various tourist attractions in Florence, review our apartment and offer restaurant reviews. If you're going anywhere near Florence, you HAVE to read the review of Il Latini restaurant.
Rome Italy trip report - As with Florence, we stayed within the city limits all five days we were in Rome. (You think there's enough to do for five days in Rome? LOL) In this trip report I discuss the various tourist sites, provide extensive discussion on the tour of the Vatican, review the apartment and various restaurants. The difference between Angels Tours and Angels and Demons Tours is huge. Read the trip report to understand why. And wait until you hear about this awesome little mom and pop trattoria near the Vatican . . .
Washington DC Trip Report - In June 2009 we took our two 16-year old boys to Washington DC. We spent a total of eight days on our vacation. As we planned our travel, I was really surprised at how much there is to do in Washington DC - and in most cases, there was no charge to enter the various attractions. I was concerned that the Xbox-addicted teens would get bored in Washington DC, but that wasn't much of a problem at all. This turned out to be a great place for a vacation for all of us.
Civil War - Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Vicksburg and Gettysburg Trip Reports - I traveled to Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg Pennsylvania several times, and visited Antietam, Harpers Ferry and Vicksburg as well.
General Civil War notes - Many of our observations applied to more than one city, or to visiting Italy in general. This was particularly true with regards to planning and booking the trip and the items we brought with us on our vacation. Rather than duplicate those comments in the Venice, Florence and Rome trip reports, I've included a separate page for these general comments here.
Gettysburg trip report - Many of our observations applied to more than one city, or to visiting Italy in general. This was particularly true with regards to planning and booking the trip and the items we brought with us on our vacation. Rather than duplicate those comments in the Venice, Florence and Rome trip reports, I've included a separate page for these general comments here.
Antietam trip report - We spent one and a half days touring Antietam National Military Park. Read this trip report to learn about our cabin, a great restaurant . . . to avoid, suggestions for improving your visit, and much more.
Harpers Ferry trip report - We visited Harpers Ferry National Historical Park for a half day. While we weren't there for too long, we still had a good time and identified several tips and observations that might help you as you plan for your vacation.
Vicksburg trip report - I spent a fast two days in Vicksburg to travel the battlefield in March, 2010. I spent a great deal of time traveling around the battlefield, and stayed overnight in Vicksburg. Good tip for a hotel, not so good experiences with restaurants unfortunately. But you can learn from our mistakes.
Texas Day Trip Travel Reports
ADDED APRIL 2016! Tyler Azalea and Spring Flowers Trails, Tyler, Texas - We spent the day in Tyler, Texas, driving the two azalea trails through this community. It was such a nice photo opportunity that I returned the following weekend so my brother could shoot pictures there as well. This trip report will give you the scoop on two restaurants and tell you how to get the most from your time in Tyler..
A Weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas - I confess. I've lived in Texas for more than 25 years and I'd never visited Fredericksburg - and I'm German too! We remedied that in March 2015 when we spent a weekend in Fredericksburg. We stayed at a B&B, visited the Pioneer Museum, sampled wine at Grape Creek Vineyards, had some beers at Pedernales Brewing Company and more. Read this review and trip report for restaurant reviews, shopping information and other helpful information.
Jurassic Quest Life-Sized Dinosaur Model Exhibition in Dallas, Texas - I've had a passion for dinosaurs going back a half-century. When I heard that Jurassic Quest, a nationally touring exhibition of life-sized dinosaur models, would be passing through Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, I knew I wanted to go. Is Jurassic Quest coming to your city? Read my trip report to see if it's worth seeing.
Christmas Light Displays in Dallas, Texas - I will add to this page every year with new places to visit during the holiday season. This year I went to five public exhibits in Dallas / Fort Worth: 12 Days of Christmas and 12 Nights of Christmas at the Dallas Arboretum; Deerfield Community in Plano, Texas; Vitruvian Lights at Vitruvian Park in Addison, Texas; Main Street in Grapevine, Texas; and Ice! at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. I also stopped by a home in Carrollton, Texas that has provided a wonderful Christmas display for many years that has become a tradition for many in north Texas.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not and Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, Texas - One of the more unique tourist attractions I've ever visited is Ripley's Believe It Or Not and Louis Tussaud's Palace of Wax in Grand Prairie, Texas. While a lot of this is badly outdated, it's still a fun day trip with more opportunities for photography than any other place I can remember.
Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball in Frisco, Texas - Watching a minor league baseball is a terrific family ativity. The Frisco RoughRiders is a Double-A farm team for the Texas Rangers and I had the chance to take in a day game in May, 2014.
Ennis Bluebonnet Trails in Ennis, Texas - The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas and one of its best known symbols. The town of Ennis, south of Dallas, has the honor of providing the state's only formally recognized bluebonnet trails every year and they do it right. Read this report to learn more about going to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas - On May 23, 2010 my son Ryan and I went to Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, about 30 minutes south of Dallas, Texas. Scarborough Renaissance Festival is one of the largest events to happen around the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex every year. Started in 1981, it is now attended by 200,000 visitors annually.
Living Civil War History - Civil War Reenactment in Jefferson, Texas - In May, 2010 we traveled to Living Civil War History a civil war reenactment in Jefferson, Texas. This trip report describes the event and provides reviews of two restaurants you don't want to miss.
Texas Civil War Museum - Fort Worth Texas - I have driven past this facility literally hundreds of times. Every time I saw it, I thought, "I need to check that place out - is it open?" Well, I finally broke down and went for a visit on February 27, 2010. Yes, it is open. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was inside too!
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