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Art, Museums, Travel, UK

10 Things to do in Brighton

September 4, 2017


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Brighton was the highlight of my trip to the UK. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is next to the sea. I am always happier when there is an ocean nearby. Having seen photos, I knew I wanted to go. However, I wasn’t sure what there was to do in Brighton. After doing some research, I decided I needed two days in Brighton in order to see everything. Here are 10 things to do in Brighton.

1. Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Even though I had no idea what to expect, I always have to hit the local museum where every I am. Brighton was no exception. The museum is an interesting mix of decorative arts, local history and art. One of my favorite parts was the exhibition of performance. It had pieces from all over the world related to performance. I also discovered an artist I had not heard of before, John Constable and very much enjoyed his work. There was a temporary exhibition focused on his Brighton works. However, I wasn’t allowed to take photos.


2. Royal Pavilion

Built by King George IV when he was Prince of Wales as a pleasure palace. The palace was built in an elaborate style with an Asian flair. Although not in actual Asian style. Each room gets more and more ornate. Another place in which no photographs were allowed, although to be fair, it would damage the decorations if everyone was to take photos. Definitely an unexpected surprise and one of the lesser known Royal Palaces in the UK.


3. Brighton Beach

You can glimpse the beach as you walk down from the train station, but its true beauty is seen up close. The color of the water is stunning, especially for such a northern sea. The beach itself is pebbles and not sand, which has its advantages such as no sand in your shoes! The only thing you have to look out for is the aggressive seagulls, who will not hesitate to take you Avocado Chicken Pret Sandwich out of your hand! (Yes, I speak from experience!) If you are brave and are warm blooded enough, you can brave a dip in the water.


4. Brighton Palace Pier

Whether arcade games are your thing or not, you must take a stroll on the Brighton Pier. It’s construction began in 1881 making it a historic structure as well. There are places to eat and games to play on the pier. I enjoyed looking at the water from this vantage point and watching the beach goers.


5. Hove Beach Huts

The Hove Beach Huts are famous and a beautiful. They are quite a walk from Brighton, but you get to enjoy the amazing view of the sea along the way. Most of them were closed up when I was there and I think that was due to my midweek visit. However, it made for great photography opportunities.



6. Admire the Architecture

Along the way and back from the Hove beach huts, you can admire the architecture of Brighton and Hove. I am no architecture expert, but the terraced houses are pretty however out of place by the ocean they seem to be. Many of them have been turned into hotels now as they are probably hard to maintain as homes. A good reason to stay in one of those hotels so you can see inside.


7. Eat Fish & Chips on the Beach

Fish and chips are quintessential British fare and a must on the Brighton Beach. I ate mine so fast I forgot to take a photo! A food blogger I am not.

8. Walk the Boardwalk

The ability to people watch and shop at the same time is a great reason to walk to the boardwalk in Brighton. There are art shops, beach supply shops and tons of gelato shops! Watching people play on the beach was also a fun site. You can also see the British Airways i360 from the Boardwalk and is a great way to see it if you are not brave enough to go up it.



9. Watch the Sunset

The sunset in Brighton is spectacular. It sets in a way that highlights the boardwalk. Look towards the British Airways i360 and you can’t miss it. I enjoyed it from both the beach and the boardwalk.



10. Check out the West Pier

You can’t help but notice the derelict pier in Brighton. The West Pier has experienced a series of disasters over the years and was opened before the Brighton Palace Pier in 1866. It is a haunting site and offers an excellent photography opportunity. It was my favorite subject in Brighton.



I fell in love with Brighton and could have spent several more days there. What is your favorite thing to do in Brighton?

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Airports, Hotel/Accommodation, Museums, Travel

My Favorite Things About Travel

November 2, 2015

My Favorite Things About Travel

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There is so much about travel that I love. Emma, Kelly, Rebecca host a travel link-up topic every month and this month it is about your favorite things and I have decided to tell you all about my favorite travel things. Of course, I don’t always think about most of these things when I travel, but some I do and some are lying under the surface of my thoughts. Here are my ten favorite things about travel.

  1. My Passport Holder – I was given this magnetic envelope as a going away present from my last job in New York City before I moved to the Caribbean. While I think it is actually a photo holder, it perfect fits my passport, my international driver’s license, and I usually put my boarding pass under the flap as it is magnetic and I am guaranteed not to lose it! My favorite thing about it is the color and the starfish closure.
  2. Going to the Airport – This is when the trip starts to feel real to me, and I love going to the airport. The potential lines at check-in and security don’t bother me. Arriving at the airport brings a tingle of excitement to me, and I can’t wait to get my boarding pass. I only wish you didn’t have to arrive so early, as all I want to do is get on the plane and go!My Favorite Things About Travel
  3. Airport Lounges – Ever since getting status with Qatar Airways, I have grown to love airport lounges. I know this sounds like I am a travel snob, sorry. But I love being able to get away from the noise of the airport. It helps to start your journey off on the right foot, especially if you are going on a long haul flight.
  4. Movies on planes – I have never been to the movies in the over two years I have lived in Qatar for reasons I won’t go into here. So when I get on a plane, I am ready to binge watch as many movies as I can before we get to the next airport. Of course, I do sleep on planes too, but this doesn’t always go as planned, so I watch movies I have seen some great movies that I might not have considered if I had to pay for them. I do have to be careful to stifle the laughs and get a bit embarrassed if I start tearing up at a movie.IMG_0008_2
  5. Hotel beds – What is it about hotels beds?! Almost always, they are more luxurious than your own bed and may be more comfortable depending on your preference. It could also be that every day someone comes in and makes the bed, which I never do at home!
  6. Taking photos – The travel bug has bitten down on me and hasn’t let go, but so has the travel photography bug. I love trying to get photos from a different angle. If you ever see me on a trip, I may stand in the same place for 10 minutes trying to get just the right settings for a photo. However, you probably won’t see me with my camera around my neck, as I have a huge fear of my camera getting damaged or stolen. Not because I couldn’t get another camera, but all my photos would be gone!
  7. People watching – There is nothing better than sitting in an outdoor cafe and watching people walk by. I sometimes try to guess where they are from. I love seeing them interact with their travel buddies, and usually I can tell whether they are family or friends. I also love to listen to people’s conversations about the food they are eating or the service, if they are speaking English of course. It is always interesting to hear what they are saying and what they do and don’t like.
  8. Getting lost – I am not talking lost lost, but not following directions and just walking and seeing where it leads. This is one of the major reasons I love traveling by myself, as I do not have to have a set agenda. This became very obvious to me when I was in Venice solo. I walk till I get tired and then do a little of #7 or #6 and meander back to where I came from.Capturing Venice photos
  9. Museums – I never tire of museums! My biggest disappointed in Paris was that I couldn’t make it to all the museums. There were just too many to see! Seeing another country’s culture through a museum is one of my favorite things. Usually, you get to learn about their past and then go outside and see the present, possibly the future.
  10. Beaches – This one doesn’t happen as often as it should! I love beaches, and I love vacations that involve them. I haven’t taken tons of them recently, but I am going to try to do so in the future. My trip to Goa was based solely on the fact that there was a beach involved!

I hope you have enjoyed my little indulgence in thinking about my favorite things about travel. What are some of your favorite things about travel? Tell us in the comments!

Be sure to check out the host’s blogs for their favorite things, Kelly, EmmaRebecca, or Frankie. Also, sorry for the strange fonts, I couldn’t fix it.

Beach, Travel

My Favorite Vacation Spot: Grand Turk

February 19, 2015

Watermarked-I fell in love with Grand Turk from the moment I set eyes on it. My love for it has only grown over the years. It is my favorite vacation spot and probably my favorite place on earth. I first discovered Grand Turk when I lived there for three months volunteering at the Turks and Caicos National Museum in 2009. Since then, I have been back twice on vacation.

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Of course, you may be asking yourself, where the heck is it?! What is it?! Grand Turk is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands which is in the same archipelago as the Bahamas. It is a British Overseas Territory. While they are called islands, they are actually cays, which are the tops of coral reefs. The Turks and Caicos are home to the third largest coral reef in the work.Here is a Google map of Grand Turk. It is the tiny thing under the red pin!

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 10.11.19 PMIt isn’t very big and there isn’t tons to do, but that is what I like about it. It is the ultimate do nothing and relax vacation spot. Oh and it’s amazingly beautiful!

Watermarked-872 Watermarked-857 Watermarked-105Of course, you will want to do some things while you are there. First priority is to get yourself to the beach and get a tan! There will be almost no one to see you as most of the beaches are deserted except for the random cow or donkey.  Then do some snorkeling or scuba diving to see the amazing reef. If you need a cultural break, then head over to the Turks and Caicos National Museum to see the oldest shipwreck ever found in the western hemisphere! You can also get one of the dive company’s to take you over to Gibb’s Cay and feed stingrays. This was one of the most amazing things I have ever done. The rays will come take the food out of your hand and they rub up against you. They feel slimy and it is a bit scary, but because you are feeding them they don’t feel threatened and will not sting you.  Gibb’s Cay is uninhabited and is home to thousands of hermit crabs.

The ultimate thing to do is to go humpback whale watching! The area between Grand Turk and Salt Cay is a popular place for humpback whales to come and have their babies because of the shallow water. When I went it took us a while to find them, but once we did, it was breathtaking. They group of four adults and one baby circled the boat and put on a show. Some people swam with them. I got in the water but couldn’t keep up as they swim far in one stroke. This was an experience I will never forget. As we left them after an hour or so, they flapped their fins on the water as if to say goodbye. I almost cried it was so beautiful.


Once you have worn yourself out swimming and tanning, you need to eat and drink. I highly recommend the Bohio and the Sandbar. Bohio has a weekly international night on Thursdays and it is not too be missed. You should make a reservation, though.  The Sandbar makes the best hamburger on the island and has an amazing view of the water. Both places make an excellent rum punch, which is a must at least once a day on this island.


Grand Turk is also a cruise ship stop, and it can be fun to head down to the port when the ship is in. Ship days can be busy on Grand Turk, but most of the cruisers barely leave the port area and shouldn’t ruin your tranquil do nothing vacation.

Watermarked--5Where is your favorite vacation spot and why? Leave me a note in the comments!


Beach, Ireland, Museums, Travel

Ireland – Waterford, Tramore & Cork

November 30, 2014

Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork

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One of my motivations for coming to Ireland was my Irish friend.  I knew he would be there the same time as I was and I was hoping for some inside sightseeing info. Well, I just didn’t get info, I got an invite to come and stay at his and his wife’s “beach” house in Tramore.  As the Irish would say, it sounded grand!  I took the train down to Waterford.  Waterford is the oldest city in Ireland and it was celebrating it’s 1100 anniversary!  This town older than many countries including the one I am from and the country I live in.  If the name Waterford sounds familiar, it is because Waterford crystal used to be manufactured here.

The oldest civic building in Ireland is located in Waterford, Reginald’s Tower. The first tower was built in 914 by the Vikings and was most likely made of wood.  The current tower was built in the 12th century with the top two floors being added in the 15th century. It faces the river and would have been a great look out point from its location.  Standing in such an old building was a bit surreal as you feel as though you have stepped back in time.  I can’t image how dark and cold it must of been at certain times of the year.

Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork

There is lots to see in Waterford. We also went to the Bishop’s Palace and the Medieval Museum. The Medieval Museum was a great place to learn about early Irish history.  The Bishop’s Palace had some excellent examples of Waterford Crystal on display and upstairs was an exhibit on the history of Waterford.  You can still tour the Waterford Crystal factory, but crystal stopped being produced in Waterford in 2009.  I decided I didn’t want to tour it since the factory was no longer in operation and we had two pre-teens in tow.

After that, we headed to Tramore, which is only about a 15-minute drive away.  Tramore, a small fishing village until the railroad came in 1853. Although there is no railroad now, the town survives on being a tourist attraction. It has a lovely promenade and many surrounding beaches.  The Irish are a hardy people as I was there in July and the water was way too cold for me to get into.  In fact, I had a light sweater on while everyone else went swimming.  I did put my feet in so I could say I had been in the Atlantic from both sides!  While it was cold, it was breathtakingly beautiful.

Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork

This was the view from their house looking down toward the promenade!

Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork

My friend wanted to take me to kiss the Blarney Stone. At first, I agreed, but then his wife was telling me I had to climb a staircase with no handrail and then bend over backward over a hole to kiss the thing! Given my fear of heights and the distance from Cork, I told him to forget it.  I am sure I will regret it later.  My mother told me that even my 80 something grandmother had done it! Yes I am a whimp.  We opted to go see the Cork City Goal. The jail is huge, but only a portion of it has been renovated to allow for visitors to view it safely.  While well-lit today, I am sure it was a depressing place to be in the 1800s.  The corridor’s that weren’t renovated seemed to give a better sense of what it would have been like. Prisoners were given hard labour and very little food.  I highly recommend the audio tour if you decide to take a tour. By the way, the website says you can walk from the center of Cork to the goal, but it was up a hill and my asthma was not happy! Take a taxi up and walk down would be my advice.

Ireland, Waterford, Tramore and Cork