Where's Wendy?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”Mark Twain

Wonder where we go when we're not at home in Ann Arbor? Here are some of our favorite past destinations.
Want more information about a trip? Leave a comment or send me an email-- at wendy@retiredinannarbor.com.

General cost without airfare:
$ (under $100/day person)
$$ (under $200/day person)
$$$ (under $300/day person)
$$$$ (big bucks! $400-day per person or more)

Sunday, January 12, 2014


In September, we traveled to Italy for our first extended vacation there.  We spent time in Rome and Venice, as well as Tuscany, but one of the highlights of our trip was the walking tour we did in the Chianti area of Tuscany.  We used a UK company, Hooked on Walking for this portion of our vacation, and chose the 7 day self-guided Chianti trek.

We were happy with the standard accommodations, and the company was efficient in moving the bags.  We were surprised at how wild the surroundings were.  This section of Tuscany was much more remote than we had expected.  There were many woods, and the walks had a lot of variety-- of course including vineyards, olive groves and villas that were hundreds of years old.

Greve in Chianti main square after a romantic outdoor dinner

Sangiovese grapes

Tonight's specials!

Radda in Chianti:  an adorable medieval village

Bruscetta and artichoke hearts

Mmmm.  Pizza!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Galapagos Islands

In January, we headed to a wonderful vacation in the southern hemisphere.  We started in the Galapagos Islands, traveling with Mountain Travel Sobek.

We chose the Wildlife Adventure Cruise option, and were very happy with the entire experience.  

 The first day, we visited one of the larger islands, and were fortunate that it was the wet season and the giant tortoises were feeding in an area where we could see them.

The other islands have a great assortment of land and sea iguanas, sea lions, tropical fish and turtles, and a huge assortment of birds, including Darwin finches, penguins and frigate birds.  The animals and birds have no natural predator, so they are indifferent to you and your camera.  As a result, they appear to 'pose' for pictures-- so you don't even need to carry a long lens.
On the way to snorkel around the big rock!
Rope lava
Blue-footed boobie
Mama and baby sea lion
Land iguanas are plentiful
Sweet dreams!

Reina Silvia:  Our home for the cruise

Our boat in an old volcanic cone

Baby blue-footed boobie

Friday, December 14, 2012

Germany-- Christmas markets in December

Vantage river ship

Castle spotting while cruising the Rhine
Gluhwine booth-- hot spiced wine found at all markets
We missed KindleFest this year, because we went to the source of Christmas markets this year:  southern Germany.

We joined a Christmas market cruise on the Rhine and Main, conducted by Vantage.  This is a perfect way to see the markets--and the other sights along the way.  Imagine if you unpacked once, and your beautiful hotel room followed you as you visited villages, cities and towns, while seeing the major sights and Christmas markets.

If you're thinking of looking into a river cruise, send me an e-mail.  I'll register you, and we both get $100 off.

Cookies as food, and decorations

Need some holiday spirit?  Here's the motherlode!

Huge Christmas trees in every square

Authentic decorations

Brass bands and choirs playing carols

Roasted chestnuts "train"

Christmas cookies in bakery windows

Outdoor refreshment

The best wursts in the world!

St. Nicholas

Pretzel booths

The most beautiful cookies you will find anywhere!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ireland- October

Original forest on ground of Muckross, by Killarney
Cozy fire in the pub

Fall is a great time for a hiking holiday.  The kids are back in school, so the trails are empty, and even the popular tourist sites are less crowded.

This trip to Ireland, included the hike called the Highlights of Kerry Way, offered by the British company Contours Walking Holidays.

View from the bridge in the center of Sneem village
The description of the walk talks about sections of "boggy trails"-- and "very boggy trails".  Take this seriously!  Wear good hiking boots and gators, and hopefully you won't end up with wet feet.  Be sure and carry good rain gear as well-- one reason Ireland is so green is because of the rain.

Heckel and Jeckel?

Contours Ring of Kerry hike
Best stout in the world:  it's all about the water!

Many ancient stones dot the countryside
Fairy territory?
This walk includes gorgeous paths through moss covered forests-- where you expect to see a fairy or leprechaun behind the next tree!
Many beautiful sea views