Royal Day Out

  On a recent 10-hour layover in London, I decided to skip the shopping or quickie tour and do something completely different. I signed up for a Royal Day Out. I found Lauren and Max on AirBnB Experiences. Their experience said, “Come spend a day with us by dressing up in 18th Century costumes and…

Go Solo: Tips on Traveling Alone, and Loving It

INTERVIEW WITH OLIVIA FIERRO AT AZFAMILY.COM: Who needs a plus one to have fun? Michelle Ponto says she found freedom when she started traveling alone. Her adventures have taken her to 47 countries and counting and opened her to opportunities to work abroad. WATCH THE AZFAMILY INTERVIEW HERE Her book, Go Solo: How to Have Fun…

Glamping in Kenya

When I tell people I spent 4 nights in a tent in Kenya surrounded by nothing but bush and wild animals, they are shocked.  But this wasn’t just any old tent. This was the Jamba Mutara Tented Camp where camping becomes glamping. The Jambo Mutara Camp has 15 tents and is the only accommodation in…

BLOG TALK RADIO: Go Solo

PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH THE FABULOUS TAMARA DORRIS:  We all have places we want to see, things we want to do and items we want to cross off our bucket list. Sure, it would be fun to do them with someone, but what if your soul mate hasn’t come along yet? Or what if no one…

Crossing Dubai off the bucket list

  I finally made it to Dubai!  The city has been on my bucket list for years and when I accepted the job at KAUST in Saudi Arabia, I promised myself that I would go there and see what all the hype is about. Dubai is everything they said it would it be.  It’s super…

The other pyramids of Egypt

  Did you know that the Great Pyramid of Giza is not in the middle of the desert?  I’m sure it was centuries ago, but now the city has expanded to the pyramid and The Sphinx looks out at a Pizza Hut. It’s also the best place to go if you want to be mobbed…

Sleeping on a houseboat in Egypt

 The little bridges leading to each houseboat. You can sleep in a hotel any time, but how often do you get to sleep on a houseboat in Egypt? When I saw the property on AirBnb, I couldn’t resist.  At just over $100 a night the price was right and so was the location as…

Burning Man: I never expected the Temple

The Temple – Burning Man 2013 Nobody warned me about the Temple at Burning Man.  My friend led me there on Saturday as he had a duty to fulfill.  The mother of a friend had passed away the week before and he promised to leave a message for her there. He told me this in…

Burning Man: Becoming one with the Playa

Our super decorated bikes thanks to my friend Jason. After waiting hours in the “staging area”, we finally rolled into the gates of Black Rock City around 4:30 a.m. We were tired and excited.  I was a little worried my friend had given up on waiting for me and had crashed somewhere.  The one thing…

Burning Man Early Friday Morning: The Dream Circle Revelation

Hours later, we still weren’t officially in Burning Man. We were in the so-called staging area of timelessness — mainly because no one had any idea when we would get in.   We found out that the people in the vehicles two rows over had already been there for hours and hadn’t moved an inch. It…

Burning Man Thursday Evening: The Golden Clitoris

Whew!!  It turns out Tania is not a serial killer, but a Burning Man virgin just like me.  AND just like me, she decided to take a chance and go all out by driving another Burner to the Playa.  Yay!! I’m so glad she took the chance. In addition to me, she’s also taking her…

Burning Man Part 3: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Playa

Two days until I leave for my first Burning Man experience and I’m running trying to get all the last minute stuff down.  I’m now the proud owner of gold and purple shiny disco shorts, an orange tutu, a lavender wig, bunny ears (borrowed from work), orange leg warmers, two different pairs of Steampunk style…

Burning Man Part 2: Am I a Sparkle Pony?

Counting down to Burning Man. My ticket to Reno on August 30 has been bought and I have to have my suitcase packed and ready to give to my friend on August 24.  The question is: What do I pack?  Food is easy. I have my peanut butter and oatmeal (my staples for 12 hour…

I’m going to Burning Man!!! (I think)

There are many rules I follow, but one of them is this: If someone offers you the chance to do something you’ve always wanted, say “yes” – even if you’re not sure you can pull it off. That’s exactly what happened when a friend texted me yesterday saying he had an extra ticket to Burning…

To do list: Complete a half marathon

It’s 2013 and time to start crossing more things off my bucket list.  First on the list: run a half marathon. Considering all the fitness things I do, it’s hard to believe that I’ve never run a half marathon (or a full marathon). I’ve done 5 km races, 15 km runs, mud runs, color runs…

Bucket List: Completing a 200 mile running relay (ragnar)

You would think I would run out of bucket list ideas, but the answer is “no.” There are just so many cool things to do and experience in this world.   I tend to do a couple little things every year, but there is always that ONE thing that requires planning and is my special quest of the…

Playboy Bunnies and Fast Cars

I think the guy in the middle was from Playboy It’s not just guys who want to attend a Playboy party.  It’s been on my bucket list for years.  The problem is these things always seem to be reserved for celebrities and VIPs.  But it turns out, getting on the VIP list can happen for…

Meeting the Bee Whisperer

Me in the bee suit. Ever want to don a full bodysuit to invade a colony of 60,000 Italian honeybees and extract honey from their hive? Spending a day on bee farm is something I’ve always wanted to do. Maybe it’s because you get to wear a cool suit. Maybe it’s because bees are slowly…

Crossing Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler off the Bucket List

Me with Steven Tyler The best thing about life is that you never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to cross something off your bucket list. One of the things on my list is “Meet Steven Tyler from Aerosmith”. That’s really all I had. No idea of what I would do if I…

Mad about March Madness

If you got tickets to the Final Four in New Orleans would you go? What if they were in super nose bleed seats? Would you still go? This is the question my girlfriend asked me this week when she discovered our Final Four tickets that she ordered months ago (and paid hundreds of dollars for)…

Learning the lingo outside my comfort zone

The new News10 @9 a.m. show is starting in a couple of days and the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning new stuff. Watching a show develop from concept to an on-air production, if you’ve never seen it done before, is like being sent to live in a foreign country. You don’t get…

Shape shifting into a new frontier

I’m a bit of a career shape-shifter. Some people, like my step dad, knew what they wanted to do back in high school and then stayed with it for 40 years.  That’s not me.  I’m the opposite and am always on the move. Literally. In the last five years I’ve lived in Toronto, Memphis, Houston,…

Bucket List: Going on a Ghost Hunting Investigation

Ghosts scare the crap out of me. Yet, I can’t resist seeking them out. If there’s a haunted castle, hotel or restaurant in the area, then I’m there hoping (and kind of not hoping) to see if I can spot a spirit or two. So being a ghost-lover, one of the things on my bucket list was to…

Crossing the Dublin Ritz off the Bucket List

Over the last five years, I’ve been slowly crossing off the North American Ritz Carlton locations off my bucket list including: Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, South Beach, Orlando, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Cancun, Marina del Rey, Laguna Nigel, Maui and Half Moon Bay. I first saw the Dublin Ritz online a few years ago and instantly…

Staying in a Castle in Kenmare

The county of Kerry and the village of Kenmare were completely different from the Bantry and Ballylickey area where I had spent my first few days. With Ireland’s largest mountain dominating the horizon, the scenery of the area was stunning and the towns were even more quaint and picturesque. My hotel in Kenmare, the Park…

Taking the Road Less Traveled in Ireland

Ireland does have regular sized roads where there are lots of lanes and you can go 120 km without having to worry about knocking mirrors if another car comes along. While you will get places faster (and I probably wouldn’t have had the fender bender on Monday), you won’t get see much as you by-pass…

Only the Best Day in Ireland Ever

Each day in Ireland is better than the last. It’s still raining. In fact, it’s raining harder and is even windier than it was the day before, but if I wait for the sun to shine, I could be here until July. Not that it would be a bad thing, but I doubt my boss at the…

The Totally Unexpected Day

Some days things don’t go as expected. Today was one of those days. I woke up around 6:30 a.m. to the sound of rain drumming down against my window. It was not quite a hard rain, but definitely more than a drizzle. Plus, it was windy. I know it is Ireland and it’s green and…

Making Winnie-the-Pooh Proud

Irish people love their carbs which is dangerous – because I really love carbs, too, and have very little resistance to them if they are on the table. Last night, my fish was served with three different types of potatoes: steamed with butter, scalloped and fried. The cooking at Seaview House Hotel is much like…