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How To Kill A Tongan

  Our taxi driver from town was hilarious.   “How do you know when a Tongan has had enough to eat?” he says, grinning.   Since the larger you are in Tonga, the more prestige you have, we were curious to hear the answer.   “When he only has enough room for…   one more plateful!!!”   He laughs heartily. We laugh with him.     Tongan Sense of Humour   All of the Tongans we met had a big broad smile and laughed easily. We thoroughly enjoyed their easy sense of humour. How much fun it is to be … More…

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Sassy Travel Style: Travel More, Spend Less

World In Your Hands

  Our style is sassy because it is a bit different, a bit bold, a bit adventurous, and as inexpensive as possible. Follow along for travel tips galore.   Trends are more and more toward adventure travel, which we love, but we like comfort too, so we don’t do hostels and backpacking. On the other hand, luxury travel is out too because we like to experience the local culture, and like the average person, we simply cannot afford luxury travel.    Still we travel somewhere every year, for at least a month, to one country, usually a little-known place. Our logic for spending a month or more in visiting that … More…

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The Best Hot Chocolate & Cheap Elegant Food in Budapest

  Hungarian food is simple and hearty, offering wholesome soups, stews and goulash but there is one traditional item that is not to be missed: Langos. It’s available in many markets, malls and family events. Think of a luscious king-size fresh fry bread topped with garlic butter, sour cream and loads of cheese! One Langos is a meal in itself…   The absolute best hot chocolate ever is at the Napos Oldal Cafe, in a quiet area of central Budapest, on Jokai Utca 7 at the end of Zichy Jeno Utca. Napos Oldal is an owner-run specialty cafe with many vegan items, healthy desserts, coffees, a … More…

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Gingerbread Medieval Lane, Kufstein, Austria

  About ten years ago, we were driving through the rich rolling hills of Austria, licking lush Gelato ice cream cones, and I swear the hills were so beautiful that they were alive with the Sound of Music…    But this time we were on the train heading through a different part of Austria – the impressive Austrian Alps…   Nestled in the Austrian Alps is a small mountain town called Kufstein…   We stayed at the Hotel Kufsteinerhof at 204E (317C) right in the centre of town…   With a great view of the Kufstein Fortress of 1205… (upper left corner) … More…

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Superb Food In Southern France?

  One day, from our House Sit, we went out to a 4 star Michelin Chef restaurant that had raving reviews on Trip Adviser, and was also highly recommended by a neighbor.   The host/owner offered impeccable service and the menu looked absolutely scrumptious:   We liked the soup a lot – a thick mushroom soup, in a tiny bowl.   I was truly excited about this meal…   The asparagus/scallop appetizer was what I looked forward to the most because I love scallops. We could not see or taste a scallop, and the dish was a cold mouse/gel aspic, with … More…

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Half-Asleep, Half-Awake

Half-asleep, half-awake, over-stimulated in airports, under-stimulated on long flights, out-of-sorts, out-of-routine, off-keel, and off-base, much like when you wake up after surgery with the effects of heavy-duty drugs. In short,  jet lag.   And in this condition, you are expected to navigate new airports…   And take off your jacket, sweater, shoes, belts and jewelry, have your Boarding Pass and Passport ready at all times, and God Forbid if you should forget to put your liquids and gels in that clear plastic bag.       We had 3 flights to get to Marseilles, on 3 different airlines. Flights were all fine and … More…

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Chocolate Withdrawal & Turtle For Supper

  For such a tiny island, we had some amazing varieties of food on Little Corn Island. There was mostly Nica (Nicaraguan) food, but our favourite restaurant was the Cuban Café, which served delicious Coconut Lobster.    The dinners at our hotel, the Lobster Inn, were typical Nica food: fried pork or ribs or chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw and plantain chips for $3. Always good.   One morning we asked Erika, the cook, if she could make us some hash browns. She looked totally confused. We said that you just fry onions and potatoes, chopped. She still looked lost, but she … More…

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Stomping Your Feet Does Not Help

  It started with a comedy of errors. Freezing rain cancelled our flight out of Toronto to Nicaragua so there were 40-minute line-ups at the pay phones just to try to re-schedule. T was relatively new at “travel glitches” and was wringing his hands in anxiety. After many years of travel I was used to flight delays, but this long forty-minute wait was getting to me too.        We finally gave it up and suddenly found direct line phones where we quickly got re-scheduled on a flight the next morning. Then it was back to the hotel overnight.   … More…

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Staying With A Family In Ecuador

We love to host people from other countries in our home in Canada, and that’s how we met Fernando and Toa from Ecuador. Nothing tells you as much about a country as a home stay with a local family.   Sites like www.hospitalityclub.org, and www.couchsurfing.org and www.globalfreeloaders.com offer free stays of up to 3-4 days for travellers from other countries. You don’t have to provide food, just a bed for a few nights, and maybe some discussion about your part of the world. It’s really your choice how much help you can or want to assist. It’s a wonderful way to … More…

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Amazon Riverboat

  There were only six guests on the Amazon Riverboat so it was almost like a private cruise, and it was the highlight of our Ecuador trip. We can highly recommend the Manatee Explorer.   As we flew high above the clouds from Quito to Coca over the Amazon Jungle , we were astonished to see the mighty Andes Mountains poking their rocky heads up well over the tops of the clouds!     At the airport, we were met by a driver who took us to the dock. We had a nice break there watching the river and the boats and … More…

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The End of That Little Road

I wonder what is at the end of that little road?! That question lead us to find some amazing places that tourists seldom get to see.  All the way through New Zealand, we slid off the main highway to see what was at the end of “that little road”.   Weeks later, we met a local couple and they invited us to their cottage at a famous New Zealand resort. She had gone on ahead and he wanted to show us some places that “tourists seldom get to see”. Turns out we had already seen all of them! He was … More…

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About Us

Exotic places

  Join us in exploring the world! Each year we travel further and further off the beaten path to little known places.   Cure for Boredom: Curiosity Cure for Curiosity: Travel   As a writer, counsellor, teacher, immigration officer, corrections worker, probation officer, parole officer, teacher of deaf adults, teacher of the criminally insane, counsellor to new immigrants, mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, I have a non-stop curiosity about people and places in every part of the world.   What about you? Are you curious about other places in the world? Do you long to travel to that one exotic place … More…

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