Here we are, at the end of the year…and about to start a new decade. Before we leap into 2020, I’d like to pause and thank you for your support. There are thousands of you now who take time to read what TravelSmart Woman has to say. You make thoughtful comments, share the posts, and offer suggestions for future topics. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!
So, what were TravelSmart Woman’s Best Posts of 2019? There is quite a variety, which pleases me. It’s fun to write about different topics.
Your favorite posts in 2019
Travel Journal Ideas: 25 Writing Prompts to Capture Your Memories: Although it was written in 2018, it gained traction in 2019. The idea of keeping a travel journal is timeless, but sometimes we want a new way to “see” our destination or capture a moment.
Mornings in NOLA: Watching New Orleans Wake Up: Another “sleeper” from 2018, this post offers a way to see The Big Easy from the perspective of the morning workers. They will soap down the streets, collect garbage, and swoop in to make deliveries by the time most tourists are waking up. And before the long lines form at Cafe du Monde!
Beecher’s Mac & Cheese: Recipe for Seattle’s Ultimate Comfort Food: I wrote this in February 2019, and it was an instant hit. The idea of making the “World’s Best” Mac & cheese was so irresistible, that this post (and its recipe) has been one of the most-shared.
8 Tips to Pack Light…Forever: The second post of 2019 was also one of the most popular. We all know we need to pack less: practical travel clothes that match at least two other things; one pair of shoes for daily wear, maybe another for back-up or “fancy” dinners; carefully chosen devices and accessories. Trust me, you never wish you’d brought more!
Cruise Excursions: What to Take With You at Every Port: Although I’ve been on quite a few, I confess that I’m neither an expert or enthusiast when it comes to cruises. But I do know a few things, especially when it comes to being safe and prepared. You appreciated my list of practical items…and I appreciate you!
And these were my favorites…
Sometimes, I write for myself–and you–not Google or SEO. Whether it’s a destination or a discovery or a direct tip about travel, I try to inspire you. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes you yawn. That’s okay. I like to inform you about new things, and maybe convince you to go.
Terezin Concentration Camp: Hitler’s “Gift to the Jews”: I can’t begin to describe the deception and heartbreak that happened at Terezin. Never an extermination camp, yet over 36,000 died there, and another 85,000 were transported to their deaths, mainly Auschwitz. It was a ruse to show the Red Cross inspectors how “well” Jews were treated. An easy day trip from Prague, it is forever imprinted in my brain.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: A Woman and Artist Like No Other: Give me a museum over a night club any time, especially when the museum is about a single person or topic. O’Keeffe is an astonishment, one of those artists who never strays from their passion, yet is always changing. Santa Fe itself is fascinating and worth your attention. But for my visit, it was all about O’Keeffe. I can’t wait to get back and see her Ghost Ranch.
5 Chicago Buildings You Should Know: What can I say? I love my hometown! Chicago is the birthplace of American architecture, and you can easily find it in a small area of the city. Join a Chicago Architecture Center tour for an in-depth lesson, or use a city guide to learn how skyscrapers got their start. Chicago has it all, architecture friends.
Archie McPhee: The “Funnest” Store in Seattle…Maybe in the World: Yes, Chicago is my kind of town, but Seattle stole my heart. I lived there for 12 years, and still miss it every day. It has quirky places, best exemplified by Archie McPhee. When people visited, we went to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. But what did they love most? Archie McPhee!
Le Petit Champlain: Quebec City’s Original Neighborhood: Ah, Quebec! Montreal is super, but my favorite is Quebec City, and the charming “almost-destroyed-for-a-parking-lot” neighborhood of Le Petit Champlain. Just a few hours away by plane, it’s like stepping into Paris. I dare you to go and not be charmed…
And…your favorite food posts!
Aside from the Beecher’s Mac & Cheese post, there were several other articles about food that you really, really liked. I’m glad, because food is such an important part of travel.
Greek Vegetables: Forget That Green Bean Casserole: One of the true treasures of travel is discovering new foods…or new ways to prepare foods. Greece is a delight–I’d go back tomorrow. The people are friendly, the history is profound, and the food is fresh and simple. Eggplant took on a whole new meaning for me…and now I only use Greek olive oil.
Greek Salad: Fresh & Easy: Apparently, Greek food really appeals to all of us. This salad recipe was popular with many of you. I still make it a couple of times a week, especially when I can find good tomatoes…and even when I can’t. The combination of flavors helps compensate…
Chocolate Cake and the Development of the Atomic Bomb: Back to New Mexico, this time to learn about Edith Warner and her cake. The recipe is simple, but it played an important role in the Manhattan Project. When the scientists were sequestered at Los Alamos, they craved good food–and Edith supplied it at her restaurant. The chocolate cake became famous. Make it yourself, and you’ll know why.
I plan updates and changes to TravelSmart Woman in 2020. I hope you’ll continue to join me…it’s a big world. Let’s explore it together!