one step at a time…

lisboa: palácio galveias

Portugal, Lisboa, Palácio Galveias, Arquivo O Século

I practically grew up in our local branch of the public library in Memphis. I think my mom figured out it doubled as free child care, & I could spend hours going through the stacks without ever noticing time pass. So when I heard the Lisbon city government spent 2.5 million € to fix up this public library, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

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sevilla: san luis de los franceses

España, Spain, Sevilla, Jesuit, San Luis de los Franceses, Baroque

Sevilla —as any city with a 2,000-year history— has seen its share of ups & downs. But one of its most prosperous periods came after the discovery of the Americas in 1492. Possessing an inland location on a river navigable all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, Sevilla became the heart of all trade for the Spanish empire. Wealth & power concentrated in a walled city rich with tax income & bursting with new products as well as new ideas… even for Catholicism.

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spain: écija

España, Spain, Andalucía, Écija, Plaza de España, Plaza del Salón

An hour & 15 minute bus ride from Sevilla takes you to another important Roman city in Andalucía: Écija. Although technically in Sevilla province, Écija is actually closer to Córdoba which influences its gastronomy. But let’s work up an appetite first…

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spain: itálica

España, Andalucía, Sevilla, Itálica, Roman

A short ride from Sevilla, getting off the bus in Santiponce may feel like you’ve stepped into small-town Spain. But you’re about to enter the hometown of two emperors & what was once a thriving city of 10,000 people… at one of the far reaches of the Roman Empire.

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japan: friends & fun

Japan, Tokyo, sakura, cherry blossoms

Some of you might remember I have a Master’s degree in China Studies, but I’ve never been to China! I assure you that’s a long story no one wants to hear. My first Asian trip was to Japan instead… & it couldn’t have been better.

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year in review: 2017

2017, travel, year in review
● Where was I? Spain, Morocco, Portugal, France, & USA.

It’s back! As always, I write this for personal reasons, but you’re welcome to revisit the past year with me. This year turned out to be as crazy as last, so I’ve grouped events into a few broad categories to help make sense of it all.

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found: spain travel posters

Spain, travel, poster, España es diferente

One of the first things I tell tour members when guiding a Rick Steves Spain tour is “España es diferente“. We live at the edge of Europe, border Africa, eat later than most, have business hours that take some getting used to… the list can go on & on. It’s definitely not like any other place in Europe. But I also comment that the Franco-era tourism slogan “Spain is different” still shapes our image of Spain today. Nowhere is this more easy to observe than in period travel posters.

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sevilla: semana santa

España, Spain, Semana Santa, Holy Week, La Paz

What a week! Yesterday wrapped up my second Semana Santa in Sevilla, & it’s time to come down from all the exhilaration + exhaustion. There’s nothing quite like bringing in the spring with a week-long pageant: the city government spruces up public spaces, locals deck out in their finest new clothes, & everyone says goodbye to the winter blues.

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