Visiting the Louvre 101

When you think about "secrets" at the Louvre, you probably imagine some dark and mysterious tales, straight from the Da Vinci Code.  But the secrets I'm about to share are lot more family friendly - and admittedly less dramatic - than anything Dan Brown created!...more

Party with the Dinos

Ever wanted to spend a night at the museum? While it isn't quite as fantastical as the movie, the Royal Ontario Museum's Friday Night Live gives Torontonians a chance to party with the dinosaurs and any of the museum's other inhabitants....more

National Museum of American History

When I was little my favorite movie was 'The Wizard of Oz'. I remember begging my Mother to take me to see the real Ruby Slippers...but alas it never happened. My six year old daughter is a 'Wizard of Oz' fan and I was delighted that I got to take her to see the REAL Ruby Slippers at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. a few months ago....more

Visiting the gorgeous Ringling Museum…When can I move in?!

Origionally posted on thegypsywife.comHey guys! I’m back! So sorry for the long absence. It was difficult to focus in the weeks leading up to my husband’s deployment. I really needed to take the time to be with my family and get through those dreaded goodbyes.We’re getting settled into our new routine and I’m back and ready to attempt some sort of normalcy in my life....more
@Denise Even though I'm biased because Sarasota is my home town I still maintain that it is a ...more

It's Geeky! A trip to the National Railway Museum

So whilst Izzy and I were visiting Sarah in Leeds, Sarah came up with a cracking idea for a day out. "Right, because you like gadgets, I thought we could visit the National Railway Museum in York," she suggested: "After all, gadgets don't come much bigger than trains." My face lit up, but then I suddenly thought about the consequences; "but people might call me an anorak, and assume that I wear tie-dye clothes and drink lesbian tea," I pointed out, before adding, "especially as it's not so long ago that I went birdwatching. It all adds up you know." ...more

A Moment in Living History

Making history come alive appears as if it comes easily to the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  Yesterday, February 12, 2012, everyone was invited to share in the celebration of the Civil War, 150 years ago....more

Travel to Paris on a Budget? Oui, bien sur! (Yes, of course)

 Image Credit: Lili RahmatiWhen it comes to international travel, Paris is consistently mentioned as the top desination (or amongst the top) favored amongst global travelers. Paris means different things to different people as each visitor extracts meaning and value from their own unique experiences in this great city.Paris is a source of constant artistic inspiration for me given that I've found my creative passion through the pursuit of black & white fine art film photography.  When I need to recharge and renew given the demands of running my core business, my vacation plans always include a stop in this amazing city. Each visit to Paris reveals something to me artistically which had gone unnoticed the time before. Having spent many days and weeks at a time exploring its splendor on foot hoping to capture those special moments on film, I've established an intimate relationship with the city so much so that I feel increasingly at home during each of my visits.As I have learned first-hand through my own experiences traveling to Paris (and across Europe), despite the strength of the Euro compared with the dollar, it is absolutely possible to enjoy Paris without breaking the bank. One need not stay at Hotel de Crillon nor dine at Le Cinq to experience the magic and charm that Paris has to offer. As long as you do a bit of planning, keep an open attitude and maintain a sense of adventure, you can enjoy every moment of your time in Paris while traveling on a budget. GETTING THERE: Many travelers flock to Europe during the summer as a result of their children's summer break from school. If you don't have these constrants and can be flexible with your travel schedule, try to travel either in the Spring or the Fall. Not only is the weather much better, the cities aren't nearly as crowded, and the airfares are much more reasonable as both of these seasons are considered to be "low season" as far as travel to Paris is concerned. Also, when booking international airfare, do your research via the aggregator sites (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, others) as well as with the airlines directly. Often you'll find very attractive deals offered exclusively by the airlines long before that flight inventory is released to the aggregator sites so it can pay to be patient and to shop around. Yapta is a great tool to use since it enables you to monitor price fluctuations in your desired itinerary via instant email notifications once prices have fallen to your desired price level. The site also has deals in place with specific airlines which have agreed to refund customers if the price of the flight falls below what they've already paid. You can usually get the best discounts on international travel if you book at least 21 to 60 days in advance - the early bird definitely gets the airline discount worm.STAYING THERE:Hotels and B&B's are an obvious choice but if you're more of a self-sufficient and adventurous traveler seeking to have a more authentic experience in Paris, apartment rental is the way to go. The best deals are to be had with at least a week's stay, which when compared with the nightly rate at the most moderate level hotel, usually come out way ahead. The best web resources are those inside France though they're published exclusively in French so if you aren't able to read, speak, or write French fluenty, this might not be the best option for you. No need to fear as there are numerous English-language options. VRBO is probably the most popular and most reputable of the English-language sites and the best part about using it is that you deal directly with the owner of the vacation home with respect to availability, price, security deposit, amenities, etc. Each Parisian vacation rental property will be managed differently but usually the rate will include WiFi, free international calling, bedding, bath & kitchen supplies as well as a cleaning (at least 1 time during the week but more depending on the specific conract/property). Imagine walking down to the local boulangerie & fromagerie and coming back to your own apartment each morning to enjoy your breakfast or cook in your own kitchen just as a local Parisian would do. You'll never be able to replicate that experience when you stay in a hotel, no matter how luxurious it might be....more
Just go to Paris, not until you have enough Budget.!more

For Father's Day: A Museum of One's Own Redux

In honor of Father's Day, I offer one of my favorite blog posts, A Museum of One's Own: Love Letter to The Nelson.  I do so because my father is the heart of that post and because he is visiting the Nelson today courtesy of my brother who is visiting from California.  My son will accompany them, so three generations of my family will stride the halls of that magnificent museum.  The v...more

The Perfect Parent

It’s not possible to be the perfect parent… I try, but I can never get to where I want to be. Let me tell you the most recent internal letdown. My son had a field trip scheduled today for the Children’s Museum. He loves going there and they’ve even got his favorite character, Bumblebee from Transformers, there on display. He was super excited to go and I was excited for him....more

A Museum of One's Own: Shuttlecocks and Roy

When I was growing up, my father traveled throughout the week and came home on weekends.  The last thing he wanted to do for summer vacation was pack up and leave again, so he would take a week off in the summer and stay home with us.  In fact, he might have inadvertently invented the staycation....more