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Some of our favorite places – 2015

December 31, 2015
In Shanghai on the Crystal Symphony
In Shanghai on the Crystal Symphony

In Shanghai on the Crystal Symphony

It was daunting to whittle down thousands of pictures and a year’s worth of memories to a reasonable number. Hopefully, this shortened list won’t challenge your attention span but here are some of our favorite places from a wonderful year in travel.

In all, we flew some 84,000 air miles; visited 10 countries, took four cruises (two on riverboats and two on ocean liners); and made a road trip between New York and Charleston with stops along the way. We still had time for a relaxing month at home at the end of the year.

We were blessed with good health, the love of family and friends and wonderful opportunities to travel. We wish the same to you for the coming year!

Take a peek at some of the places we visited in 2015:


Charleston, South Carolina

Iconic mural at Charleston City Market by artist David Boatwright

Iconic mural at Charleston City Market by artist David Boatwright

Jetty near the house where we stayed on Johns Island

Jetty near the house where we stayed on Johns Island

We spent three weeks in this charming city that is so richly influenced by the culture of the South and its proximity to the water.


Cancun & Riviera Maya, Mexico

One of the oceanside pools at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral

One of the oceanside pools at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach resort

Colorful umbrellas on the patio for a festival event

Colorful place settings on the patio for a festival event

We were here to attend the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival but were again captivated by the beautiful colors and warmth of the Mexican people.


Amsterdam, Netherlands

Revery on King's Day in Amsterdam

Revelry on King’s Day in Amsterdam

A peaceful canal in Amsterdam AFTER King's Day

A peaceful canal in Amsterdam AFTER King’s Day

We arrived on King’s Day when the canals are filled with revelers and the entire city seems to be painted orange.


Lisse and Mollenwaard, Netherlands

The windmills at Kinderdijk

The windmills at Kinderdijk

Keukenhof gardens

Keukenhof gardens

Our tulip cruise took us to two of the most famous tourists attractions in the country, the windmills at Kinderdijk and the spectacular Keukenhof gardens.


Nantucket, Massachusetts

Brant Point LIghthouse in Nantucket

Brant Point LIghthouse in Nantucket

Nantucket Harbor

Nantucket Harbor

We learned about the history of whaling just in time for the release of In the Heart of the Sea, which is set in this town with a long whaling history.


Shanghai, Beijing and Xi’an, China

Our cruise in China stopped at both Shanghai and Beijing with excursions to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Great Wall and the site of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

Shanghai skyline at night

Shanghai skyline at night

View of the Great Wall

View of the Great Wall

Some of the Terracotta Warriors

Some of the Terracotta Warriors


Antwerp and Bruges, Belgium

Antwerp's Grote Markt

Antwerp’s Grote Markt

A canal in Bruges

A canal in Bruges

Both these cities felt like they could be backdrops for fairytale stories.


Lisbon, Portugal

Praca do Municipo with Lisbon Town Hall

Praca do Municipo with Lisbon Town Hall

One of the tourist trams in Lisbon

One of the tourist trams in Lisbon

We absolutely fell in love with this vibrant city of hills, which was reminiscent of San Francisco.


Pietrasanta & Forte Dei Marmi, Italy

Gargantuan sculpture, part of the "Mitoraj Mito e Musica” display in Pietrasanta

Gargantuan sculpture, part of the “Mitoraj Mito e Musica” display in Pietrasanta

Landscape of the marble mountains of Carrara

Landscape of the marble mountains of Carrara

How fortunate we are to have friends who live in Tuscany, and who love sharing the beauty of the art and countryside with us.


Monte Carlo, Monaco

Casino de Monte-Carlo

View of Casino de Monte-Carlo from the harbor

Changing of the guards at the prince's palace in Monaco

Changing of the guards at the prince’s palace in Monaco

Quite a different lifestyle than the one we are accustomed to but interesting to view close up and from the deck of an ocean liner.


Genoa, Italy

Approaching the old port of Genoa

Approaching the old port of Genoa

Sculpture at maritime station in Genoa

Sculpture at maritime station in Genoa

The largest seaport in Italy with a rich maritime history offers an interesting cityscape.


Orvieto and surrounding areas in Umbria, Italy

View of Orvieto poised on the tufa

View of Orvieto poised on the tufa

Vineyard and olive trees in Umbrian countryside

Vineyard and olive trees in Umbrian countryside

The town of Orvieto seems to rise out of the cliffs. We also had the chance to drive through the region of Umbria and admire its breathtaking landscapes.


Silicon Valley, California

Visiting the Google campus with its primary color bicycles

Visiting the Google campus with its primary color bicycles

Google Take Your Parents To Work Day 2015

Google Take Your Parents To Work Day 2015

When our son headed West to work in the Silicon Valley last summer, it wasn’t long before we made two trips to see him, one of them to transport his cat and the other to attend Google Take Your Parents To Work Day.


Bordeaux, France

Vineyards in Bordeaux

Vineyard in Bordeaux

Cave du Marche, wine store in Sainte Emilion

Cave du Marche, wine store in Saint Emillion

Our last trip of the year was a river cruise that took us to one of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world. The food wasn’t bad either!


Chappaqua, New York

Sunset in Chappaqua from our back deck

Sunset in Chappaqua from our back deck

How fortunate we are that we are always as happy to return home as we are to go away! 


Places we’ve been on Google Maps…

And this is where you, the visitors to More Time To Travel have come from…

Screenshot from Jetpack

Screenshot from Jetpack

  • Reply
    Josie
    January 1, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Happy New Year Irene!

    Bravo on a fabulous year of travel, captured in this lovely photo essay. Thanks!

    Josie

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thanks, Josie! It’s been great getting to know you and read about your housesitting adventures.

  • Reply
    Lauren
    January 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing these great pictures which bring back some wonderful memories for me also. Have a wonderful 2016,filled with many more happy travels!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks for following my blog, Lauren! Wishing all the best for the New Year to you!

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    January 4, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Wow, 84,000 miles! Always fun to read these recaps of the past year. Here’s hoping 2016 is even better!

  • Reply
    Kay Dougherty
    January 4, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Gorgeous photos! I want to return to Amsterdam and also get to Keukenhof gardens. I would appreciate it if you would curate my 1000s of travel photos from 2015 – it’s such an overwhelming task! May you have happy travels and continuing good health in 2016

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      Given how overwhelming the task was, sorry, but I’m not doing it again until December 2016! 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne Stavert
    January 4, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming part of your world! You experienced a stellar traveling year! I have been to a few of the cities you visited and some of them I want to go to because of your descriptions and photos! Happy New Year Irene!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks for your warm wishes! Hoping you and the family have a wonderful New Year!

  • Reply
    Janice Chung
    January 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Wow! You’ve been to a lot of places in 2015! I had to zoom in on the colourful tables in Mexico as I didn’t know what I was looking at, at first. Nice picture. Two places you visited that might be on the horizon for me would be Lisbon in March and China in the Fall. I may look into a cruise like you have done.

  • Reply
    Rachel Heller
    January 5, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your 2015 pictures. I look forward to following your 2016 adventures! And next time your planning a trip to the Netherlands, let me know beforehand and maybe we can meet up and I can play tour guide!

  • Reply
    jenny@atasteoftravel
    January 5, 2016 at 2:56 am

    What a fabulous year you’ve had Irene. You’ve certainly been to some exciting places. Fabulous photos too! All the best for 2016. I’ll be following along to see where the year takes you!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks, Jenny! Wishing all the best for a great New Year for you!

  • Reply
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    January 5, 2016 at 6:06 am

    2015 looked like an amazing year for travel and experiences for you and I loved reading your recap of some of it’s high points (I’m sure there were many more!) as well as seeing a few of your photos.I can imagine what a task it was to sort through your pics and pick out just a few. Here’s wishing you an even more spectacular 2016 loaded with just as much travel as you want. And maybe our paths will cross along the way.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Writing it was looking through a year’s worth of memories! Yes, I hope our paths do cross, Anita~

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    January 5, 2016 at 8:51 am

    It has been a pleasure ‘traveling with you’ during the last year and look forward to the adventures you will take us on in the coming one! Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you, Irene! Hope one of these days our paths will cross.

  • Reply
    Rossana at lifeisfullofadventures
    January 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Happy New Year! Wow, what an amazing travel year and experiences you had! You captured some great photos and moments. Looking forward to what 2016 travel will be!

  • Reply
    Sheryl
    January 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    How amazing to see how many wonderful places you visited lat year – loved taking the trip with you through Jerry’s beautiful photos.
    Welcome home…and bon voyage, as I know your suitcase is probably already packed for your next adventure!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Hope we have the opportunity to travel together this year!

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    January 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Three continents in 84,000 miles! We did 16 countries but only in Europe and North America. We would like to go to China on that tour you took because it covered the most important destinations!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      The China trip was an incredible experience! Hope you get there too!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Fluhr
    January 6, 2016 at 3:58 am

    I was shocked at how long it took me to do my “our year in review” post and choosing photos was one of the more difficult parts. I look forward to virtually tagging along on your 2016 travels. Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2016. Write on!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 6, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Yes, we took thousands of pictures and looking through them was both a joy and tedious! Best wishes back at you!

  • Reply
    Anne Woodyard (@MusicandMarkets)
    January 6, 2016 at 9:03 am

    What a great roundup – so many intriguing places and modes of travel! I’m already looking forward to your 2016 😉
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    January 6, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    What a year! Here’s to more great travels ahead for you in 2016. We also visited Lisbon and Tuscany in 2015. Loved the art of Pietrasanta — very striking, isn’t it?

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      Wouldn’t it be great if we were ever in the same place at the same time?

  • Reply
    Nathalie
    January 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Wow you really got around in 2015, looking forward to following your travels in 2016. Happy new year!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      January 10, 2016 at 2:28 pm

      We feel so fortunate of having had these opportunities! Hope we meet up to taste some of your husband’s delicious cooking in 2016:-)

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    January 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Wow! That’s a lot of miles kiddo. Hope your travels bring you to Chicago in 2016 we definitely have lots of choices for really great food and travel experiences.

  • Reply
    alison abbott
    January 10, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Wow, what a lot of ground you covered in 2015. I hope if you get back to Nantucket, we will have the opportunity to rendezvous! Your photos of Orvieto are positively dreamy! Can’t wait to see what you have on tap for this year’s destinations.

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