Flytographer Review: The Secret to Great Vacation Pictures www.casualtravelist.com

Flytographer Review: The Secret to Great Vacation Pictures

As a travel blogger I’m most comfortable behind the camera, capturing my experiences in whatever city I’m in. Even when I travel with my husband and frequent Instagram husband photography assistant Steve, we may get a few pictures of me but rarely any with the both of us. On a recent trip to Washington DC for our 14th wedding anniversary I knew just how I wanted to celebrate. Pictures of the two of us, in one of our favorite cities just as spring was in full bloom.

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The Faces of Generation X Travel www.casualtravelist.com

The Faces of Generation X Travel

To look at today’s travel media you’d think the the only people hitting the road are fresh-faced Millennials and Baby Boomers with newly emptied nests; what about Generation X? Instagram is filled with images of ingenues frolicking on the beach or looking wistfully at the horizon while magazines and tour companies target well-heeled Boomers making the most of retirement. In a recent issue extolling the virtues of solo travel Afar (one of my favorite travel magazines) mentioned Millennials, Boomers and even Matures by name with no word of Gen X at all.

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Exploring Ecuador’s Capital-Why Quito left me Breathless

Walking past grafitti covered walls coughing on fumes from rush hour traffic I pass a woman pushing a cart of lychees down the narrow sidewalk. She’s wearing a brightly colored skirt with a shawl draped around her shoulders and bowler hat, typical of the indigenous Andean culture. I, standing at 5’5, tower over her and many here. No matter which way I go, I always seem to be walking up.

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After the Earthquakes-Why you Should Travel to Ecuador Right Now. www.casualtravelist.com

After the Earthquakes-Why you Should Travel to Ecuador Right Now.

As you may already know the evening of April 16 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Ecuador with over 135 aftershocks in the following days. Coastal cities of Manta, Guyaquil, Pedernales and many smaller communities were devastated with over 500 confirmed dead and over 2,500 injured. I was in Quito the day of the earthquake, my first time in Ecuador and my first visit to South America.

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Should you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? www.casualtravelist.com

Should you visit the Blue Lagoon?

Chances are if you’ve thought at all about going to Iceland the Blue Lagoon is at the top of your list. Steam rising from ethereal blue waters surrounded by an otherworldly volcanic landscape the setting is certainly enticing and there is a reason National Geographic included the Blue Lagoon on a list of 25 Wonders of the World. Searching the internet you’ll find a wide range of reviews from travelers;  ranging from glowing accounts of a mystical experience in the turquoise geothermal waters to an overpriced, overcrowded tourist trap. It can be hard to decide if you want to include the Blue Lagoon on your trip to Iceland.Like any other travel attraction or vacation activity knowing what to expect goes a long way with having a good experience. We’ve all likely had a travel experience where the reality just didn’t meet up to our expectation and its definitely frustrating.

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The Fairmont Washington DC offers a peaceful retreat in the nation's capital. www.casualtravelist.com

Capital Elegance at the Fairmont Washington DC

I travel to Washington DC often and I’m always on the lookout for the right hotel for the right trip. DC is a large city full of diverse and unique neighborhoods and I’ve spent some time exploring a number of them; Dupont Circle’s lively vibe,the politico airs of downtown, Capitol Hill’s classic meets funky charm and the quiet appeal of Woodley Park. One place I haven’t been was Georgetown and it was high time I explore one of Washington’s most alluring neighborhoods along with one of DC’s most alluring hotels, the Fairmont Washington DC.

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Tips for enjoying cherry blossoms in Washington DC. www.casualtravelist.com

Tips for Enjoying the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

While Washington DC is great destination any time of year, it is particularly magical in the springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom in a burst of pinks and whites highlighting the beauty of our nation’s capital. One of my favorite cities, I try to get to Washington DC as often as I can but I always try to plan a springtime trip in hopes of seeing the cherry blossoms in all of their glory. A gift of friendship from Japan to the American people in 1912, the pastel blooms that line the Tidal Basin explode with color and signal that spring has arrived to the Capitol. Planning a trip during cherry blossom season can be a bit tricky, here are a few tips for enjoying the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.

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The Random Way a Czech Pastry Landed me an Interview on NPR www.casualtravelist.com.

How a Czech Pastry Landed Me an Interview on NPR

There’s little doubt you haven’t heard about the doughnut ice cream cone, in recent weeks this  latest food trend has been breaking the internet. Images of this sweet pastry has been blowing up Instagram, filling up your Facebook feed and has been featured everywhere from Buzzfeed to USA today. Based on the traditional Czech pastry known as the trdelnik, baker Vladimir Novak started filling the tube-shaped pastries with ice cream at his Prague cafe Good Food Prague. Frankly, I think its a brilliant idea and it seems like the world agrees.

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Get the world delivered to your door with Hole in Wall Box. www.casualtravelist.com

Hole in Wall Box: A Taste of the World at your Door- Plus a Giveaway!

When I travel it’s not the touristy areas lined with the big brand chain stores that make my trip memorable; rather its the neighborhoods that are slightly off the beaten track, the places where people work and live that really are the soul of the city. I look for the farmers markets, artisans and independent shops; these are the people that love where they live and love what they do. In my opinion one of the best ways to to explore a destination is through its flavors. My pantry is lined with edible souvenirs I’ve brought back from my travels; the smoked paprika from Sevilla that adds the right kick to my paella, the eiderflower vinegar from Copenhagen that gives a floral note to my homemade balsamic vinaigrette; and the wild blueberry jam that transports me right back to the coast of Maine.

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From food trucks and barbecue to creative fine dining, Austin has a little something for everyone. Here's where to eat in Austin. www.casualtravelist.com

3 Meals: Where to eat in Austin, Texas

Austin has long been known for brisket and burritos but the same creative spirit that drives Austin’s music scene and tech boom is also putting out some of the best food in the country. Whether you’re on the lookout for boozy brunches, hip food truck fare or fine dining with a side of Top Chef star power Austin has you covered. Here are my recommendations of where to eat in Austin, Texas.

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