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Vegan in Longyearbyen

I stepped off the plane in complete darkness and walked across the tarmac to enter the small Longyearbyen Airport. I was excited to be so far north, the furthest north I’d ever traveled. Once inside and only steps from the door I had just passed, I encountered my first real polar bear…stuffed and decorating the…

A Weekend With the Campazons

I slammed the trunk to Chrissy’s truck and slipped into the passenger seat. I was nervous and excited. This would be the very first time I would go camping with the Campazons. Although I had been a member of the Facebook Campazons group for a couple of years, something seemed to always get in the…

Day Trip to Strömstad, Sweden

I pushed the tab just behind the steering column away from me and I moved my foot from the brake to the accelerator. My friend’s electric car seemed like the perfect way to cross the Norwegian border into Sweden. While I always revel in visiting new countries, Sweden was particularly special to me for two…

Hoity Toity Weekend in Manhattan

My friend Karin and I decided to enjoy a girls’ weekend in New York City. Both fans of opera, and Karin being a trained ballerina, our three-day adventure centered around Lincoln Center. I was very enthusiastic to see how the itinerary I had planned would unfold, from the classical performances to the restaurants I had…

Veganized Cheeses From Around the World

Traveling had become more challenging during the Covid pandemic and I found myself with a lot more extra time at home. So, I decided to attempt making vegan cheeses from places I’ve traveled around the world. In every case below, I traveled to the featured locations before becoming vegan. So, I am very excited to…

Unique Things To Do in Sante Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico attracts people with varied interests and seems to fulfill everyone’s needs and desires. There are amazing places to hike, including the southernmost peak of the Rocky Mountains (Shaggy Peak). Visual art enthusiasts are in heaven in Sante Fe with so many art exhibits, including of course the famous Georgia O’Keeffe. Many…

Smash Room in Clearwater, Florida

From behind my protective headgear, I surveyed the cement room. A small wooden table with a glass top waited for me next to a white nightstand in the middle of the room. I faced a colorfully-splattered cement wall. A blue plastic barrel stood in one corner and a large black piece of furniture with drawers…

Vegan in the Amazon

As I twirled, the breeze of my bright blue billowing skirt cut the humidity in the night air. I closely followed the teacher, trying to mimic her from across the circle, and feel the Carimbó music blasting across the flooded Rio Negro from the big speakers in the corner. Sweat dripped down my face, but…

A Day in the Berkshires

I lay back on my colorful blanket with my head on my little backpack full of half-eaten vegan goodies. I looked up at the stars and let Mahler wash over me. The air smelled of fresh grass and images of the sunset still danced in my mind. I had finally made it to Tanglewood!

A Few Days in Rio de Janeiro

My hammock swayed a little in the ocean breeze way up on the 11th floor balcony of my spacious Airbnb apartment. I hummed along with “The Girl from Ipanema” which played on my phone and I took another sip of coconut juice from the fresh coconut I had just purchased at Zona Sul Grocery Store.…

Touring the Amazon Theater in Manaus

Teatro Amazonas (Amazon Theater) is first on the list of “things to do in Manaus”. I was completely taken aback that an opera house would be in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, yet the opera lover in me was intrigued. So intrigued in fact, that I booked a hotel (Casa dos Frades) right across…

Crossing Iguazu Falls Off My Bucket List

Our Brazilian driver handed over our passports and rolled down the backseat window. The border agent looked at Chrissy and me and then back at her computer. We smiled and waited patiently, hoping we had filled out the immigration paperwork correctly the night before. Without expression she handed our documents back to the driver. She…

Learning About the Maya in Northern Yucatán

“Malu-KEEN”, I said to the Maya guard at Uxmal. He repeated the “good morning” greeting in Yucatec with a smile. I had learned that 30% of people living in the Mayab (known today by many as the Yucatán Peninsula) speak one of 32 Maya languages, all derived from Yucatec. With such a high percentage, I…

Experiencing Robert Frost in Vermont

I have always been drawn to Robert Frost’s most popular poem, Road Not Taken. The idea of living some sort of “alternate”, more adventurous life strongly appealed to me. In my opinion, this poem highlights the value that American culture places on uniqueness, an aspect of our culture that I like very much. I was…

Vegan Fine-Dining in London – The Gautier Experience

I rang the doorbell not knowing what to expect. Little did I know then that I would be experiencing the gastronomical event of my life. I had entered a world of Michelin-Star Chef Alexis Gauthier, where the idea of fast food simply doesn’t exist. The food inside this unassuming townhouse in London’s Soho district was…

My Love Affair With Opera

I love walking into an opera house for the first time. I can equate it to seeing a new ballpark for baseball fans. Perhaps they see the green of the field and they are filled with excitement. For me, the colors of the seats, the decorations on the balcony and the anticipation of the performance…

The Surprise English Road Trip

My road trip began when I got picked up at the Lichfield Trent Valley train station by a friend of mine. All I knew at that point was that I was staying with my friend and her wife. It turned out that due to an issue with their shower in their new home, we were…

Three Days in Soho, London

Having traveled to over 50 countries, it was hard to believe that it took me so long to travel to merry ole’ England. After all, how could I really say that I was a well-seasoned traveler when I hadn’t even been to London?! I figured it was time to remedy this embarrassing reality. As a…

Vegan Fine Dining and the Opera – Date Night in Sarasota

It just so happened that my favorite opera, Puccini’s Tosca, was playing at the Sarasota Opera House. Chrissy bought tickets for a few weeks out to ensure that they wouldn’t be sold out. Sarasota, Florida is anywhere from 1 hour and a half hours to two hours to drive from our home in Clearwater depending…

Florida Strawberry Festival – Plus Savory Vegan Strawberry Recipes

One of the many bonuses about living in Florida is that strawberry season is in February/March. Plant City is known throughout the Sunshine State as the place to get strawberries. I went to this small town with three goals: to buy fresh strawberries, find a cowboy hat and to try the vegan options they would…

Visiting a Gun Show as a Vegan Lesbian

I grew up in a Quaker family, where I was taught that “guns are bad”. As a result, I never saw a gun growing up. None of my family members owned a gun and if my childhood friends’ parents owned any weapons, they kept them well hidden from us. Then, just out of college, I…

A Year of Traveling During Covid

Traveling in 2021 involved staying up-to-date on the CDC guidelines, the government policy on arriving back to the USA and monitoring the Covid situation in other states and countries. This included staying informed about where I was allowed to visit, be it domestic or international. Despite these limitations my wanderlust took me on two Florida…

Recovering from a Lesbian Divorce

“I want to end the relationship”, she clearly spoke those words I dreaded to hear. It had been three days since I had seen her. I had picked her up from the hotel she stayed in for three days trying to decide if she wanted to leave or continue to work on our relationship. Covid…

My First Vegan Christmas Dinner

I celebrated my ninth veganniversary a few months ago. But, until this year I was never in charge of the Christmas meal. “Make whatever you want”, I was told. So, I began looking through various vegan recipes searching for recipes I thought I could manage, as well as recipes that would go well together. After…

An Unexpected Extra 24 Hours in Mexico!

As a seasoned traveler, I am honestly embarrassed to write this post. I have traveled to over 50 countries and have dealt with all kinds of travel woes and a variety of surprises. Having worked as a customer service agent at Southwest Airlines for over 5 years also gave me an inside understanding of air…

Weekend Getaway to Melbourne Beach, Florida

I stood on the 16th floor balcony after setting my bag down. As if out of a Hollywood romance, two pelicans flew by close enough for me to see the details of their feathers. The various shades of blue sparkled just behind them, I could hear the powerful crashes of the waves and the familiar…

Celebrating My 9th Veganniversary With Tapas

Nine years ago I decided to go vegan. I was living in Chiang Mai, Thailand at the time. While I had grown up vegetarian, going vegan had seemed to difficult. However, after taking the time to learn about the horrors of the dairy and egg industries, I simply could no longer eat eggs and cheese…

Officiating a Lesbian Wedding Over Zoom

“I wanted to ask if you know anybody who officiates weddings. I would like to get married this year with Milena and, since same- sex marriage is not legal in Poland, we thought we might look for someone online who would like to do that for us.” This simple, yet profound, message I received from…

Overnight at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, Florida

We had just enjoyed the three-day weekend celebrating Independence Day, Tampa Bay Lightning was to play game four of the Stanley Cup finals and Tropical Storm Elsa, which kept threatening to become a Cat 1 hurricane, was on her way. Chrissy reminded me that she had received a free night stay at the Seminole Hard…

Riding In a Pride Parade

I love Pride! I get invigorated hearing “Happy Pride” from complete strangers, I love watching the parades and reveling in the amazing loving energy! My absolute favorite part of the parade, whether seeing it for the first time in the 1990s in my home town of Baltimore or in the Tampa Bay area where I…

Visiting Egypt as a Lesbian

“There’s no one around”, she whispered to me as we waited for the old-fashioned elevator to reach the floor of our AirBnB. As we stood in the hallway of this old apartment building on the Nile in the Dokka district of Cairo, Chrissy leaned in to kiss me. “No!” I said suddenly and pushed her…

Visiting Bok Towers in Lake Wales, Florida

Bok Towers was always one of those places that I meant to visit one day. Yet, every time I found myself traveling on I-4, I always came up with an excuse as to why I should skip this unusual, yet relatively local, destination. One day, I finally ran out of excuses. The promise of botanical…

Vegan in Egypt

“Small, medium or large?”, the young waiter asked us from behind his mask. El Tahrir, an Egyptian chain restaurant, serves only one item: koshary, a traditional Egyptian dish that is a popular street food and that also happens to be vegan. Within a short time, a medium bowl appeared with a bed of noodles, lentils,…

Camping in the White Desert, Egypt

“Don’t flush”, Chrissy told me, “I have to go too”. I laughed from my squatting position over the sandy hole I had just dug with my hands. I quickly took stock as to how I got to this point – peeing while watching the sun rise over the White Desert in western Egypt. The previous…

Spending My Birthday at Peacefield in Newberry, Florida

I had just survived Covid and 2021 was not even a week old. The thought of spending my 48th birthday at an animal sanctuary appealed to me even more than usual. My internet search landed me at Peacefield in Newberry, Florida, a place I hadn’t even heard of but was only a few hours drive…

Valentine’s Day in Cancun, Mexico

It was just after midnight and so officially Valentine’s Day. Chrissy gave me a card she had thoughtfully written and brought with her to Cancun. Inside were wonderful words of love stating how happy she was to have met me. What a wonderful way to begin a holiday that I hadn’t celebrated in over a…

Skydiving in Zephyrhills, Florida

“Ok. It’s time” “We’re first?” My heart jumped and the next thing I knew I was falling out of a plane into what everyone on the ground saw as a partly cloudy day. Skydiving had been on my bucket list for quite awhile and was frankly one of the scariest activities on my ever-growing list.…

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