Sydney, Australia-May 2019

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Surprise, I found myself back in Australia. What can I say, it’s my happy place! Plus it was an easy decision when I found out Jenny and John were also going to be in Sydney. After I booked, I mentioned it to Jane, their daughter, and she booked flights to come over as well.

Jane managed to surprise her parents which is always good fun! We booked for a lovely dinner at Hubert’s, with Katherine and Evander. I just realized I talk a lot about food. But only good food that is worth talking about. After dinner, we went and checked out Vivid Sydney. Since it was opening weekend, there were just too many people everywhere.

Something that really surprised me, was how dead Sydney was on a Saturday night. There was no place open to get a dessert. Even Brisbane has Jimmy’s on the Mall!

The next day, we all minus Jane, headed to lunch with our friend Ananda to a Nepalese cafe. I have not been to Nepal, so I was not sure what to expect. Turns out its like Indian food, but less spicy. I loved it! I guess I not surprised that most of travel pants involve elastic waists.

I know it’s a ridiculous long way to go to for good food. But when you add in great company, nothing can compare.

Back to Chicago I went for a one month break in travel. Somewhere along the way, I broke my toe. It healed improperly, so I required surgery to get it corrected. Which slowed my travels down a bit. But it worked out, friends came to me. Stay tuned!

Amsterdam, November 2014

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So even though I was too sick to enjoy the Seychelles, I had not intention of staying home for the long Thanksgiving weekend. So off the Christmas Markets I went. When trying to decide where to head, I have to admit, I looked for Hyatt’s. I needed 4 more stays to keep my Diamond status. And well since I was going to be staying at hotel anyway, figure why not stay at a Hyatt. Just one minor problem, Hyatt does not have a large footprint in Europe. And then add the fact, that I was flying United, my options of where I was headed where limited.  Enter Amsterdam. Direct flight from Chicago and they have 2 Hyatt’s.

I had visited Amsterdam, many many years ago. So I was looking forward to visiting with fresh eyes. When traveling off season, like winter, it’s the perfect time to visit museums. Amsterdam has many…..

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I had pre-arranged my tickets for Van Gogh and Anne Frank House. There was no line at Van Gogh, but when I arrived at 8:50 for my 9:00 am entry for Anne Frank House, the line was about 30 deep. I am early bird, so I booked the 9 am entry, but turns out, it’s the best time to go. I was not one of the first to enter, there were about 20 people ahead of me. When you enter there are some plaques and a video playing. Well some tourists are not so nice and were standing in way that nobody could read the plaques or really see the video. So I moved on the the next room. BEST MOVE! I had the place to myself. It was amazing. A must see if you are in Amsterdam.

The Lord in the Attic was interesting to find. It’s located on the edge of the red light district. So I had to walk thru it to find it. Except I kept getting lost. So I get stopping in red light district stores, asking for directions. VERY interesting stores. It was worth the trouble, the museum was quite interesting.


After the I headed over to the Yab Yum. It had a closed early for a private tour for some university students, but they were ok with me joining.  The Yab Yum was a high end brothel in Amsterdam.  It was shut down in 2008 and now operates as a museum.


The funniest one I visited? The Amsterdam Cheese Museum. Now if only the wine museum were next door….

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I also took a canal boat tour

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And found some Christmas Markets….. WITH CHEESE!!!!!!

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Amsterdam was great, probably more enjoyable when it’s warmer. But then I am not sure I would have gone to so many museums. Stay tuned, next stop Cologne, Germany.