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VagabondsUSA "TRAVEL IS FATAL TO PREJUDICE, BIGOTRY AND NARROW MINDEDNESS." MARK TWAIN

Uffizi Gallery: One Step at a Time

ITALY | Saturday, 25 Sep 2021 | Views [52]

ONE PAYS A PRICE TO VISIT THE UFFIZI—and the €20 ticket cost is only the beginning. Now you have your temperature scanned and show your Covid “Green Card” followed by an airline-like security check. After making your way through ... Read more >


To Buy Or Not To Buy . . .

ITALY | Thursday, 23 Sep 2021 | Views [54]

THAT IS THE QUESTION. With individual tickets starting at €8, purchasing a multi-day pass not only saves money, you don’t have to wait in line. But which pass is right, a 3-day Florence City Pass for €70 or the 3-day Uffizi Pass for €... Read more >


Florence in the Sunshine

ITALY | Wednesday, 22 Sep 2021 | Views [53]

FIRENZE LOOKS MUCH DIFFERENT in “shoulder season” than on our visit ten years ago in the dead of winter. While the weather then was molto freddo —Italian for “freakin’ freezing—we had the city pretty much to ourselves.... Read more >


Benvenuto in Italia

ITALY | Tuesday, 21 Sep 2021 | Views [53]

EVEN WITH ALL OF OUR FLIGHTS departing and arriving on time it took twenty-one hours to go from Omaha to Atlanta to Paris to Florence. And it almost didn’t happen!                        ... Read more >


Photos: Florence

ITALY | Monday, 20 Sep 2021 | Photo Gallery


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Aruba, Curaçao and the DR

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | Sunday, 12 Sep 2021 | Views [65]

MY FIRST CRUISE WAS TEN YEARS AGO—the Atlantic crossing that started these journals. I had no idea what to expect and Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas became the standard comparison for other cruise lines. This is the first time we ... Read more >


Sailing into the Sunset

USA | Saturday, 4 Sep 2021 | Views [56]

WE WILL BE OUT OF TOUCH for the next week or so. We are taking a cruise to Aruba, Curacao and the Dominican Republic on the Carnival Horizon . One of the ways cruise lines remain profitable in spite of the low fares is the amount they charge for extras—... Read more >


Photos: Netherlands Antilles and Dominican Republic

NETHERLANDS ANTILLES | Friday, 3 Sep 2021 | Photo Gallery


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Final Exams

MEXICO | Thursday, 2 Sep 2021 | Views [53]

I COULD TELL BY THE PARADIDDLE OF STAMPING feet that Connie was having her nose swabbed for the Covid test. The administrator admonished her for squinching up her face on the first try and it was only a tantrum-like stomping that got her through. Well, ... Read more >


Room With A View

MEXICO | Sunday, 29 Aug 2021 | Views [53]

WE MIGHT STILL BE IN MEXICO but we'e been plotting out the next couple of months. It wasn't easy but finally made some long-range reservations. We leave for Cancun on Tuesday after our Covid tests and fly to Miami on Wednesday. Assuming we test negative ... Read more >


Puerto Morelos

MEXICO | Saturday, 28 Aug 2021 | Views [51]

WHEN KIPLING WROTE “ONLY MAD DOGS and Englishmen go out in the midday sun” he could have been referring to Puerto Morelos. With the heat and humidiy it’s uncomfortable even on the beach. They have been cleaning up after Señorita ... Read more >


Photos: Puerto Morelos

MEXICO | Tuesday, 24 Aug 2021 | Photo Gallery


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Back On Our Own

MEXICO | Tuesday, 24 Aug 2021 | Views [67]

THE BIRDING TRIP IS OFFICIALLY OVER. It was a successful trip any way you slice it—5000 kilometers in six Mexican States, more than 400 bird species identified with 130 “Lifers” for Connie. At a rough estimate, I took 5000-something ... Read more >


Cozumel

MEXICO | Sunday, 22 Aug 2021 | Views [50]

OURS WAS THE FIRST CAR OFF THE Naviera Ferry to Cozumel last night—fitting since we arrived at the port 3½ hours before sailing. Our “business” on the mainland was finished and there was no 1:00PM sailing on Sunday, only the ... Read more >


John Versus the REAL Birders

MEXICO | Friday, 20 Aug 2021 | Views [64]

THE NEARER WE—AND HURRICANE GRACE—got to Merida, the nastier the weather became. It was touch-and-go for a while with heavy rain and tree branches strewn across the road but they were waiting for us at Hotel Meson de Luna. The elevator was ... Read more >


Our Date With Grace

MEXICO | Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021 | Views [60]

WE HAVE PRETTY MUCH ABANDONED ERIC’S well-planned itinerary, partly due to a hurricane named Grace but mostly because we are ahead of schedule, bird-wise. After Eric’s audible yesterday we headed out towards Ixpujil in the Mexican state of ... Read more >


Photos: Mexico: Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo

MEXICO | Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021 | Photo Gallery


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A Change of Plans

MEXICO | Tuesday, 17 Aug 2021 | Views [45]

THIS MORNING CALLED FOR AN EARLY START birding in deciduous forests of Sumidero Canyon in the mountains above San Cristobal. Eric had earmarked the entire morning to finding our target birds—potentially some of the hardest sightings of the trip—... Read more >


You Can Call Me Owl

MEXICO | Monday, 16 Aug 2021 | Views [54]

THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE AT TENAM PUENTE is only twenty minutes from City Express Hotel and sunrise isn’t until 7:30 so we were able to sleep in and enjoy the included breakfast. Eric usually finds Slender Sheartail Hummingbirds and Belted Flycatchers ... Read more >


Pretty in Pink

MEXICO | Sunday, 15 Aug 2021 | Views [43]

WE WORKED UP AN APPETITE SATURDAY with a successful morning of birding above Union Juarez that netted us Black-creasted Coquette, Blue-throated Motmot, Green-throated Mountain Gem, Grey-collared Becard, Mexican Yellow Grosbeak and White-winged Tanager.... Read more >


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