Author: Debbie Stone

Bern is a City of Superlatives

Share: Bern is a City of Superlatives If there were a beauty pageant for European capitals, Bern would get the crown. This well-known Swiss city oozes with cosmopolitan charm, history and culture, and consistently gets high marks from visitors. They extol its accessibility, unique attractions and impressive Alpine views, as well as its ample shopping and dining options. Founded in 1191, Bern was built on a peninsula which offered natural protection on three sides. According to legend, it was named after the first animal that Duke Berchtold V. von Zähringen caught – a bear – while he was hunting...

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An Epic Journey to Inspire the Spirit

Share: From atop the south rim of the Grand Canyon, the trail down appears daunting. It weaves and snakes its way amid the layers of rocks, eventually vanishing from sight. I take a deep breath, step off the edge and begin my descent into this vast and imposing abyss. Most folks only see the Grand Canyon from overlooks at the rim. Some view it from down below aboard a raft, as they ply the waters of the mighty Colorado River. I have had the privilege of enjoying both these perspectives in the past, but now I was going to...

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Savor Northern Ireland One Bite at a Time

Share: To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes for good food during my stay in Northern Ireland. My expectations were low based on a trip I had made to the Republic of Ireland many years ago. I recalled eating lots of potatoes, breads and bland stews, along with the proverbial Guinness to wash it all down. And though 2016 has been designated The Year of Food and Drink for Northern Ireland, I was frankly still leery about the culinary scene. Imagine my surprise then to discover a country that has become a great destination for foodies: a place...

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Bewitching Baja

Share: I’ve seen many Oscar-worthy productions in my life, but perhaps the most memorable was performed by a pod of gray whales at Lopez Mateos in the Sea of Cortez. Our panga, or small boat, was surrounded by these magnificent creatures as they spy-hopped, spouted, rolled over and displayed their distinctive flutes to an audience of starstruck onlookers. The dramatic show reached its climax when several of the moms proudly brought their seven-week-old calves to the side of our craft and we reached out to touch them. It was pure magic and I like to believe that both whales...

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Chickens and Chi

Share: I confess I’ve never been a fan of chickens. They always seem like nervous, high strung birds, and their pecking and quick movements are unsettling to me. I would never have imagined that these creatures could be used in the realm of animal-assisted therapy. Dogs, yes. Horses, sure. But, chickens? They couldn’t possibly bring a sense of calm and comfort to people. Then I was introduced to Blanco and his gang and something special happened. At newly-opened Sunrise Springs Integrated Wellness Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sister property to the venerable Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs & Spa,...

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