Travel Memoir ~ Thailand

In a recent post, I wrote how foreign currency left over from a journey can evoke marvelous travel memories. The Thai currency I have certainly fits the bill. It brought back marvelous memories of my first trip to Asia (solo traveler) as I loved every minute of that fabulous journey. I explored Tokyo, Thailand, Hong Kong and Honolulu. 

I spent about five days days in Bangkok, taking several half day tours, including the Floating Market (fascinating) and the Royal Palaces (beautiful) tours. The people were delightful and very helpful. It was off-season so not that crowded with tourists.

It was the first time I ate Thai food and quickly became a fan. 

The hotel where I stayed (Siam Inter Continental) was fabulous. I fondly recall meeting a Pan Am flight crew and we all celebrated Thanksgiving at the hotel. It was a very memorable meal, high-lighted by a fun group, a special menu for the Holiday, including turkey, French wine and rather than pumpkin pie, we were served sweet potato pie. It was another first for me and it was delicious. We had lots of laughs and very much enjoyed Thanksgiving abroad.

I checked online and unfortunately the hotel was torn down in 2002 to make way for a shopping mall. I was sad when I read the article; however, memories are forever.

http://2bangkok.com/2bangkok-masstransit-intercon.html

After several days, I flew north to Chiang Mai. It is breathtakingly beautiful and I was very fortunate that I went before it was “discovered” and it was also off-season. Temples were beautiful to explore as was the botanic gardens. People were warm and friendly and eager to please. 

I reserved a ½ day tour to see the surrounding area. As I was the only person on the tour, the guide asked me if I’d prefer a private car or go on his motorcycle. Of course, I opted for the motorcycle. It was a memorable afternoon. We explored several villages where people enjoyed showing us what they crafted. We stopped for delicious local food.  Somehow we managed to carry my “souvenir treasures” on the motorcycle as we headed back to the hotel.

In addition to currency, post cards make memorable mementos, They are wonderful to look at years after a trip as they will conjure up memories of your journeys. Several are shown on this post. 

Savor your journeys… current ones as well as those that you have taken and are re-living via your memories.

 

Armchair Traveler ~ Foreign Currency Evokes Memories

 

 

 

 

 

A Fabulous Shop, Bainbridge Island, WA

A friend (who had never visited Bainbridge Island) and I went to Bainbridge Island for lunch (Doc’s Marina a favorite) and to walk about. Thanks to her, we visited several shops that I had not visited in a while.

A must visit is Millstream, a marvelous shop on Winslow Way, specializing in “Gifts from the Pacific Northwest.” We spent time looking at all of the beautiful displays: jewelry, clothing, cards, pottery, pillows, coasters, books about the area and gifts. All are beautifully displayed. The shop is conducive to have visitors browse all of the many treasures. I bought two coasters which will remind me of a beautiful day and we will definitely return.

What is always so important when browsing in a store is the customer service and the knowledge of the staff. Millstream get high marks with both. We spoke with Diana about the shop and also Bainbridge (how it has remained such a fabulous place, not getting built up and so crowded like so much of western Washington).

On your next visit to Seattle, I highly recommend Bainbridge Island and Millstream. Check out their marvelous website: http://www.Millstreamseattle.com

Savor Your Journeys… and always be open to explore new places.

 

Gorgeous Summer Day, Bainbridge Island, WA ~ Photos

Gorgeous Summer Day, Bainbridge Island, WA ~ Photos

Take the short ferry ride from Seattle. Experience “island time” with lovely walks along the Waterfront Trail and nearby parks. Relish the slower pace.

Explore the unique shops, restaurants, coffee houses (check out Pegasus) and the very popular Mora Iced Creamery. My favorite restaurants include Restaurant Marche (terrific French cuisine) and Doc’s Marina Grill. Both have outdoor seating which is marvelous on a beautiful sunny day.

Bainbridge Island is perfect for a quick getaway from Seattle as a walk-on ferry passenger. Or you can drive onto the ferry, spend a day or weekend exploring Bainbridge Island and continue westward to the Viking town of Poulsbo and from there continue to the Olympic Peninsula.

On each visit, I always find a unique place to explore. My next blog post will be about an enchanting shop that a friend and I discovered for the first time.

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined.

Bloedel Reserve ~ Bainbridge Island, Washington

A Favorite Bookstore ~ Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

Armchair Traveler ~ Foreign Currency Evokes Memories

I have a large bowl where over the years I have put currency from some of my travels. It’s fun to spread out the coins and bills as a great way to remember past trips and special moments.

Looking at the Austrian currency, I fondly remember a trip to Vienna with a friend. It was one of my first trips to Europe. We took a local bus to Schonbrunn Palace and as we did not want to wait for the English speaking tour, we joined the German speaking tour. We looked about at paintings or artwork when everyone else did and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though we did not speak a word of German.

Schonbrunn is a gorgeous palace with beautiful gardens. We loved the pastries (sacher torte a specialty) and Viennese coffee at Demels and other pastru shops. Vienna has many other memories including walking about the beautiful city and meeting friendly Austrians at the Giant Ferris wheel in the evenings. It was great fun and a marvelous introduction to Europe.

The currency from Hungary reminds me of my journey there in the early 1980’s while it was still part of the USSR. As I was on a tour, there was no time to wander about by myself. I remember so much gray (it was a November), but also having great fun at a disco, marvelous food and Tokay Wine and Budapest being a beautiful city.

Coins from Denmark remind me of Tivoli Gardens, a magical amusement part in Copenhagen. The city has many beautiful parks, especially Kings Garden. I took a mini tour to Legoland (great fun). And I can taste the fabulous open sandwiches, great desserts and fondly recall the friendly people.

In addition to looking at your photos or reading about your favorite places, it’s enjoyable to look at mementos of your travels. Ask friends about their mementos – share your love of travel with others. Even if you cannot travel to a place you dream of, keep dreaming. It will become a part of you.

Be an armchair traveler … learn all about your favorite places. Study their language, cuisine and culture. You might learn more than tourists who travel abroad but never become travelers.

Most important, have fun and be creative as you “journey” to a favorite spot … even if for now, it is a dream.

Savor your journeys… real and imagined.

 

Photos ~ Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine ~ Pacific Palisades, CA

One of my favorite places to visit in the LA area is the Lake Shrine. Located on Sunset Blvd, near the Pacific Ocean, it is a world apart. The quiet is a marvelous contrast to most of the LA area. It is a splendid place to walk about, sit and meditate amidst its serene beauty and explore the Visitor Center, gift shop and museum. 

A friend told me several years ago that this was a favorite place of Elvis Presley and he made frequent visits to this beautiful sanctuary. 

Savor your journeys and discover your own oasis.

The Journey of a Lifetime

Should someone ask you if you have been on or are planning your “journey of a lifetime”

Smile broadly and proclaim, “YES, I AM ON IT”

  • Your journey of a lifetime is not checking off places or things to do on a “bucket list”
  • Rather, it is every moment of YOUR life, from birth to passing on … 
  • Always remember that it is YOUR journey… do what makes you happy, gives  you fulfillment.. fall madly in love, travel the world or not, dream, walk sandy beaches, dine & laugh with friends, be a hermit, read, write, teach, dance to music others do not hear, gaze at the stars in wonder, encourage others on their journey  … 
  • Be in awe of the universe …
  • Create your destiny …
  • Each of us is on a different journey with different experiences … 
  • Savor each moment of YOUR journey of a lifetime

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.  – J. Krishnamurti

Travel ~ Favorite Quotes & Photos

Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased. John Steinbeck

I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it. Rosalia de Castro

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. Leonardo da Vinci

Travel is a new experience that can transport you out of your everyday routine to create memories with the ones you love. Brian Chesky

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine

I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. Hilaire Belloc

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter. John Muir

Savor your journeys ….

 

Recap ~ Road Trip Western Washington ~ Mt Rushmore

  • Interstate 90 from Western Washington to Rapid City, South Dakota
    • East bound, stop in Missoula and Billings
    • West bound, stop in Billings, Missoula, Coeur d’Alene
    • Total road trip mileage: 2,713 miles
  • Mountain passes on I-90 include
    • Snoqualmie Pass, Washington, Cascade Range, 3,105 feet
    • Fourth of July Summit, Idaho, Coeur d’Alene Mountains, 3,173 feet
    • Lookout Pass, Idaho-Montana border, Bitterroot Range, 4,710 feet
    • Homestake Pass, Montana, Continental Divide, 6,375 feet
    • Bozeman Pass, Montana, 5,760 feet
  • Montana is truly “Big Sky” country; gorgeous area; friendly people. Highlights include:
    • Missoula ~ great place to explore (good restaurants, parks & book stores)
    • Billings ~ neat area; Gateway to Yellowstone (have to plan another road-trip)
    • Little Big Horn Battlefield and National Monument ~ a must visit
  • Mt Rushmore and the surrounding area are definitely worth the drive
    • Mt Rushmore ~ spectacular, awe-inspiring
    • The Badlands ~ fascinating and mysterious
    • South Dakota Air & Space Museum ~ a must see museum
  • Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ~ a favorite spot which I love to re-visit
    • Beautiful scenery, good restaurants and my favorite book store
  • I planned to travel prior to Memorial weekend to avoid summer traffic
    • Encountered snow in Wyoming
    • Be flexible with your travel plans
      • Leave time to explore and perhaps re-arrange itinerary
    • Have fun and savor your journeys

 

 

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ~ Photos

The last stop on my road trip to/from western Washington ~ Mt Rushmore is a favorite spot Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Nestled in the mountains of northern Idaho, it’s a neat town to explore. Walk along Centennial Trail, browse the cute shops downtown, visit local parks and take a boat ride on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. Have dinner on the lake, enjoying a gorgeous sunset.

Savor your journeys.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ~ Photos  — from a previous visit — Enjoy the photos!