National Museum of African American History

There are few museums which capture the soul. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is one. All Smithsonian museums do a good job, but this one is done exquisitely. Juxtaposed on the Washington DC Mall, surrounded by old white marble structures the museum rises up from the corner of the park on which the Washington Monument lords over DC. You begin by descending into the bowels of the museum, to a claustrophobic set of rooms assimilating (as best as possible, without the fear and pain, of course) the hold of a slaver’s ship as you learn about…

Austin TX: When your time in the city has limits

In my nearly three decades of business travel, I’ve spent hundreds of nights all across Texas (I submit exhibit A as proof: Houston, McAllen, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Midland, Amarillo, Lubbock, Hereford) but this was (oddly and sadly) only my second time to Austin and Melissa’s first. We had limited time to visit this state capitol, music town, home of the University of Texas Longhorns and Live music show, Austin City Limits. We started with watching the Longhorns playing the OU Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game at our hotel and then struck out to find some music…

Best Portugal Food Experiences

By Melissa First off, I’d like to start by saying these choices are not happy accidents. I do copious research before embarking on a trip. Why? One of great joys of travel is the opportunity to experience the food of another culture and no matter where you are in the world finding the best a country has to offer culinarily takes a little leg work. The internet is now a plethora of information and, while I take every opinion with a grain of salt, there are many websites that make finding the best meal options relatively easy. I also don’t…

Top 10 Portugal tips and experiences

Now that we’ve been back in the routine of our daily lives, we’ve been reflecting upon our trip and thinking about our favorite parts of our trip to Portugal. The following is our list of our favorite experiences while there and some tips for those traveling there. 1. Music. We didn’t quite expect this. Particularly in Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto, music is everywhere. We’d read about the Fado bars in Lisbon and definitely wanted to check them out but the music isn’t limited to those establishments. The street music on the Rua das Floras in Porto and in Lisbon, the…

Halloween comes to Denver, 19th century style

This weekend, we enjoyed one of our favorite annual traditions which was a trip to the Molly Brown House museum in Denver for the Victorian House of Horrors.   We stumbled upon this event by accident and through a referral from one of Melissa’s coworkers about ten years ago and have been going ever since. In the two weekends leading up to the actual weekend of or before Halloween, Historic Denver presents this event at the Molly Brown House (of unsinkable, in reference to her Titanic survival, fame). There are about 5-6 readings in various rooms of the house performed…

Cascais: a great way to end a holiday

We ended two terrific weeks in Portugal in the beach town of Cascais (pronounced: Kish-kaysh). This town has a lot going for it: close proximity to Lisbon, beautiful beaches to its west and along its promenades, a lovely historic old town and like the rest of Portugal, great food and people. We didn’t do much sight seeing here, mostly just kicked back and prepped for our return home. I will let the photographs describe this great seaside town. Adeus Cascais and Portugal, for now.

The Sintra National Palace, I mean who doesn’t have a Julius Caesar room?

Since we still had our aforementioned car, we skipped our train back to Lisbon and Cascais and detoured en route to Sintra. Sintra sits at the foot of the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. We had limited time as we wanted to get to the beach and Cascais so we strolled about a bit, had a lunch and hit the Royal Palace. Tip #1: Sintra is very touristy. Not that other places we went were not, but this place is built for tourists. Tip #2: While all of Portugal seems to be paved with cobblestone sidewalks, these ones seemed particularly steep…