You Say Cilantro, I Say Coriander

~ Snippets and Snapshots of the Places We’ve Been (and Interesting Things on the Menu) Plus Travel Wish List ~
My mind is awash with so many places; there is so much to take in, and thinking back leaves my head spinning with so much wonder and beauty…
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve been, where I’m headed next, and what travel destinations are still on my wish-list. I’ve also been thinking about the places I’d like to return to.
Over the past few years here are some of the wonderful places I have been fortunate enough to experience for myself as a frequent traveller:
(It is impossible to sum up these amazing places in a single word or sentence, but I will try…)
~ First Stop: Europe ~
Luxurious Luxembourg
A beautiful fairytale city mixed with a modern feel. Our hotel was wonderful and very modern and we explored the Museum of Modern Art which was nearby. We did a lot of walking around the city.

Above: Walking the city of Luxembourg

The Netherlands – Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam
We enjoyed people-watching in Amsterdam and the hotel and restaurant we attended for dinner were among the very best of our travel highlights. Groningen was sunny with plenty of shopping and students.
Still to See – The Hague
Favourite Restaurant: Quattro Gatto of Amsterdam

Above: The canals; colourful Amsterdam; dinner at the wonderful Quattro Gatto; Groningen

Belgium – Brussels
We enjoyed Belgian chocolates in Brussels (of course!) – yum!

 Above: The city of Brussels 

Denmark – Copenhagen, Esbjerg, Aarhus

Sweden – Malmo
Still to See – Stockholm (Coming up in our Travel Diary: June of 2015 – stay tuned for this!)
Switzerland – Zurich, Ascona, Locarno, Lugano
The water, the alps, the colours…

Above: Beautiful Switzerland; colours on the water; Zurich by night

Italy Rome, Milan, Venice, Sorrento, Florence, Verona, Lake Maggiore, Isola Bella, Burano, the Isle of Capri… So many beautiful places. Italy truly is one of my favourites when it comes to travel. 
Would love to return to – Venice and Sorrento

Above: The white peacocks of Isola Bella; the colourful streets of Burano

France – Paris, and the village of Avalon

Above: The extravagance of Versailles, and the beautiful Avalon, a gorgeous country getaway where we enjoyed amazing food and scenery

Germany – Munich, Garching, fairytale castles in Bavaria, and sunny summer days…



Above: Stopping for dinner in Germany; the city of Munich; two fairytale Bavarian castles, Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau; the colour of the water in the Bavarian Alps… Bliss!  

Still to See – Berlin
In Croatia “beef tea” was listed on the menu, but I have to say I didn’t experience this one for myself!  Dubrovnik was an interesting and relaxing place with beautiful water views and a city full of history.

Above: Buildings by the water – a real holiday feel in Dubrovnik; a local store; vacation vibes…
~ Next Stop, U.K ~  England, Scotland, Wales

Above: England – Fields of Gold 

England – London, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Chester, Liverpool, Farthinghoe

In general, what can I say? Good food! Lots of tasty hearty pub meals to be had all over the UK.

Manchester had a familiar and gritty feel, more like Sydney. It was a great city to spend time in.


Above: 1) Delicious food in Manchester: Gnocchi Gorgonzola; 2) A cup of tea and a meat pie at Pie Minister (with yummy mushy peas and mashed potato; 3) Even the airport food was great: cherry tomatoes and avocado with hummus and sour dough; 4) Manchester Town Hall by night 
Chester – Lots of history, including city walls we walked all the way around, and great pub food.

Above: The historic Chester; the town centre; Chester Cathedral 

Newcastle, UK – Surprisingly very nice here; I didn’t know a lot about this place until we arrived.

Above: A swan on my morning walk in Newcastle, UK; The University of Newcastle Upon Thyne

Cambridge – I enjoyed lots of history, cute, quaint shops, and grey, rainy walks in Cambridge. It was wonderful to finally see this picturesque part of the world!

Above: Kings College Cambridge; walking the streets of Cambridge 

Oxford – Oxford had more of a London feel with its many people, shops, and double decker buses; in fact I think of it as a vibrant mix between London and Cambridge. 

Above: The beautiful Oxford; a cat enjoying his majestic playground  
Farthinghoe – A gorgeous little village in the UK, pub food, high tea at the farm, good friends

Above: The Fox at Farthinghoe – we stopped here for a tasty roast dinner with friends 

Scotland – Edinburgh, Portobello
Edinburgh – A beautiful and interesting city with a gorgeous seaside spot known as Portobello.

Above: I captured this shot of a sign advertising “Haggis Nachos” – but I can’t say I tried them myself 😉

Wales – What I saw of Wales was green and peaceful; it would be great to go back and spend more time there.

Above: Country and city life in Wales 
~ Next Stop: Republic of Ireland ~

We had a very short stay in Dublin; we saw the university and the castle, and some of the city. 

Above: Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, on a rainy day – so beautiful and green 

~ Continuing on our Travels: Next Stop, U.S.A ~
Arizona – Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, the amazing, moving colours and vastness of The Grand Canyon. 
Cacti, Black Canyon, Sun Valley, heat and dry, the incredibly powerful desert sun…

Above: A giant cactus in Black Canyon, Arizona; Lake Powell (lake in the middle of the desert); The Grand Canyon in winter 

New Mexico – So many fantastic places: Albuquerque, Socorro, White Sands, Roswell, Lincoln, Las Cruces, Los Alamos, and the beautiful, arty, and historic Santa Fe.
“Green or red?” (chile, that is) or “Christmas” (if you would like both red and green on your plate)
Dry hot desert sun, the colours of the big, moody, stormy skies, dust and wind storms, desert mountains, dry climate.

Above: The road runner is New Mexico’s state bird; moody skies and beautiful sunsets; my biking and running track leading up to M Mountain

Utah – Red earth and amazing natural earth sculptures. 

Above: Monument Valley, Utah, USA

Colorado – Snowmass, Aspen, Telluride
Snow, hiking, skiing, scenery… One of my favourite states of the USA, with beautiful nature and lots of snow. Skiing in Snowmass felt just like a dream. I had to pinch myself; it was so beautiful on the slopes.


Above: Exploring Aspen, and skiing in Snowmass – that’s me in the blue beanie (and red helmet)

Virginia – Charlottesville and the University of Virginia (the university was founded by Thomas Jefferson).


Above: The beautiful grounds of the University of Virginia

West Virginia – Truly wild and wonderful.
Big white majestic houses with white picket fences, snow, and beautiful greenery everywhere…

Above: Road Tripping through West Virginia 

Washington, D.C. – Helicopters, The White House, city buildings and night-time sirens, runners, museums, and pretty parks with beautiful flowers…

Above: The White House in Washington, D.C.

California – San Diego, San Fransisco, Fresno, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Long Beach, Malibu, Monterey, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills
Beaches and a vibrant cafe and shopping culture; a definite Sydney feel; like its own separate country within the USA.

Above: 1) Sunset in Santa Monica; 2) A shot of the end of Route 66; 3) The beach at Monterey

Nevada – What can I say, except “I love Las Vegas!” Love love love the lights, the shows, the buildings… We ate at the Bellagio buffet, stayed at the MGM Grand, and saw the show “Love” by Cirque du Soleil (music by The Beatles) which was fantastic!

Above: Inside The Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada 

New York – New York City
Yellow cabs and people everywhere, and as I’ve discussed previously, very friendly and happy people! (contrary to popular belief…) You could spend months here and only just scratch the surface – there is just so much to see and do.

Above: Views of NYC from the ground and up high 

New Jersey – Princeton

One of the most beautiful universities I have seen; we also saw Einstein’s house and workplace.

Above: Princeton by day, and Princeton by night 

Washington – Seattle: Alternating rain and snow. Grey skies. I loved the feel of this city.

Above: The Space Needle, Seattle, Washington 

Massachusetts – Boston (city living and university heaven), and Amherst, a gorgeous town 

Above: View from our hotel in Boston 

Travel Moments: Chicago (Airport) – A hot, summer storm came through with heavy rain and crazy humidity. I can’t wait to experience this city someday; it looks like a beautiful place.
Would love to return to – Boston, New York City, Las Vegas (Nevada), California, and Colorado 
Still to See – New York State, Texas, and Florida (but very happy to see any of the states of the USA)!
Canada – Vancouver
More grey skies and friendly people, the beautiful Stanley Park filled with squirrels and dogs. I could see myself living in Canada without a second thought. It is a truly wonderful place to be.
Still to See – Toronto and Montreal

Above: Beautiful snowy Canada and Stanley Park, Vancouver
~ And my final stop on this tour around the world: Australia ~
New South Wales – Sydney, The Blue Mountains, Jindabyne, Thredbo, Bathurst, Orange, Parkes
Victoria – Melbourne, Bendigo, and Daylesford
Queensland – Brisbane, Port Douglas, Cairns, The Gold Coast, The Great Barrier Reef/Whitsundays
Tasmania – Launceston, Hobart, Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay, Honeymoon Bay, Ross, Campbell Town
Western Australia – Perth
Australian Capital Territory – Canberra
Still to See – South Australia and the Northern Territory
Wish List – Kangaroo Island (SA), Margaret River (WA), Adelaide (SA), and more of Tasmania
Favourite Places – Lizard Island (The Great Barrier Reef), and The Blue Mountains (NSW)

Above: Lizard Island (an island on The Great Barrier Reef) – sun, snorkeling, and delicious food
World Travel Wish List for the Future – Spain and the Greek Islands (yes, we have the travel bug!)
It has been fun reminiscing about so many diverse places both here in the USA and elsewhere around the world…
Happy Travels! 🙂

Bridget @ Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme x

This Week’s Questions: 

1) Where have you been? 

2) Where would you like to return to? 


3) What is still on your wish list?

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