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Streets of Havana
Ashley Cruising Kary World Travel

Port of Call: Havana, Cuba

Whenever we would go on a Caribbean cruise that passed Cuba, the captain would usually make an announcement saying that we were passing by the island. For us, Cuba was an elusive place that US citizens were not allowed to go. We were always so curious to see it for ourselves, and when the travel restrictions were eased we booked a cruise as soon as we were able to. Because we love Royal Caribbean, we chose their cruise on the Empress of the Seas that was brought back to the fleet specifically for these cruises to Havana, Cuba. While the cruise also stopped in Key West and Cozumel, Havana was the main attraction and focal point of the cruise.

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Healthy Living Kary

Vegan Grilled Cheese On Quinoa Bread Recipe

I have been experimenting with the new craze on the internet of 2 ingredient quinoa bread.  It is easy to make and a great alternative to regular bread. Even if you are not plant-based, if you are looking to cut out some carbs try swapping quinoa bread for regular bread a few times a week. If you want some comfort food, you can have try the quinoa bread to make a delicious vegan grilled cheese sandwich.

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Healthy Living Kary

Broccoli and Jicama Rice Recipe

 

Cauliflower rice has been such a phenomenon over the past couple years and unfortunately, I just cannot stand eating Cauliflower.  It is disappointing since I love the idea of a healthier version of rice.  After searching around, I found Jicama rice as an alternative but it was not exactly great on its own.  At the suggestion of my local grocer, I tried Broccoli rice and it is good, but too similar to salad.  This prompted me to mix the 2 together and I love it!

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Sailor Circus - Sarasota, FL #CACMoreThanACircus
Ashley Kary USA Travel

Sailor Circus In Sarasota, FL #CACMoreThanACircus

A Day at the Circus

Last weekend, The Traveling Gals were lucky enough to be invited to spend the morning training at the Circus!  Sarasota and the Circus have a long history together.  Sarasota was the winter headquarters for John Ringling and is known as the “Circus Capital of the World”.  The international circus community continues to be an integral part of the city’s atmosphere.

Sailor Circus - Sarasota, FL #CACMoreThanACircus

This was our first time at the Circus Arts Conservatory and shame on us because it is blocks away from our home.  The slogan More Than a Circus is extremely accurate.   The building is shaped like a big top and is both a training and performance facility.   In addition to training professional circus performers, many classes and camps are available to the local community.  They also have an extensive outreach program to bring the legacy of the circus to the community through education, therapy and performing arts that serve youth to the elderly.  It is very impressive!

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Brick Factory: Vietnam in Photos
Ashley Cruising Kary World Travel

Exploring Vietnam & Cambodia: Mekong River Cruise

River Cruising Along the Mekong in Vietnam & Cambodia

A few years ago, we went on land/river cruise trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. We had  an amazing time seeing these two countries. There is so much history and culture. Some of the history is hard to take in, especially visiting sites like The Killing Fields and the “Hotel Hanoi” where American POW’s were held during the Vietnam War. Seeing these places in person though is an eye-opening experience. It was sad because so much of the Cambodian history is unknown to many people. But meeting the amazing, resilient people who can always find a reason to smile was so amazing. We also enjoyed seeing the hustle and bustle in Hanoi and Phnom Penh.

This was our first time ever in Asia, and we definitely cannot wait to go back! Our trip was with Viking River Cruises and we had the best guides ever who made the trip even more enjoyable. Here is everything we did and saw during our two weeks Mekong River cruise through Vietnam & Cambodia. Enjoy!

Chicago to Seoul: Read more about our Mekong River cruise on thetravelinggals.com!

That is a long line!

Off We Go…

First we did a lot of flying. A lot. Sarasota to Chicago. Chicago O’Hare to Seoul, South Korea. Seoul to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City, Vietnam. It was about 20 hours of flying. Luckily Korean Air is spectacular and it reminded us again of how terrible it is to fly domestic! We just love the feeling of getting on a plane and then being halfway around the world. Anyone who has traveled internationally understands that amazing feeling.

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Kary USA Travel

Barrier Islands of Florida

The splendor of Florida can be found in its hundreds of barrier islands. Barrier Islands are long, thin sandy stretches of land that protect the coast from the full force of storm waves. Between the island and the mainland is a calm water body such as a bay. Florida has more barrier islands than any other state. They are idyllic places to enjoy the tropical sunshine.

Panhandle There are many barrier islands in the Florida panhandle and many are connected via bridge for easy access. Some are simply undeveloped sandy beaches. St. George Island boasts a state park and 22 miles of sandy beaches. Santa Rosa Island across from the Pensacola Bay is a 40 mile island of beaches which often has strong currents conducive to surfing!

Tofu Shrimp
Healthy Living Kary

Grilled Sweet + Sour Tofu “Shrimp” Recipe from Australia

I am always looking for ways to take great recipes and make them healthy.  This adaptation is from the Grilled Shrimp served at the Australia booth in this year’s Food & Wine Festival.  All the ingredients are healthy and while I will eat seafood on rare occasion, I wanted to try an alternative.  I did a lot of research and found that tofu can be a viable alternative. I have never worked with tofu, but now is the time to give it a try.

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Alesund, Norway
Kary World Travel

Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is known for its world famous fjords, majestic mountains and spectacular glaciers.  Norway encompasses a beauty so stunning it almost does not feel real.  The other two gals and I were lucky to visit Norway as part of a trip to Northern Europe.  We visited Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger.  Cruising the fjords to Geiranger felt like I was part of a movie.  The scenery was unbelievable.  When we arrived at the bottom of Geiranger fjord we embarked on the most memorable hike of our lives so far. The climb to the top was steep and physically demanding, but entirely worth it.  You could drink the crisp, cool glacial water streaming the waterfalls.  The view from top evoked a feeling that our small group was the only people in the world.  It was July so it was misty, but warm enough to wear pants and a light jacket.  The hike down was the most treacherous part as the mist created a slide of mud and foliage.  It was thrilling, exhilarating and unforgettable.

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Healthy Living Kary

Vegetable Moroccan Tagine Recipe

Inspired by a visit to North Africa and of course, my countless visits to the Moroccan pavilion at EPCOT I have always been curious about cooking in a tagine.  Thanks to my wonderfully thoughtful daughter, I now have the opportunity!  She gave me this beautiful tagine for my birthday purchased from Sur La Table.  For those not familiar, a tagine is a ceramic or clay slow-cooking pot popular in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. The bottom is a wide, circular shallow dish used for both cooking and serving, while the top of the tagine is distinctively shaped into a rounded cone.  Tagines are traditionally heated over charcoal and eaten communally.  Diners gather around the tagine and eat by hand using pieces of bread to scoop up the vegetable and sauce.

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Ashley Carol Kary USA Travel

Top 3 Must-Do’s in Sarasota, FL

We moved from Chicago to Sarasota about 6 years ago. Although we love the big city, we hate cold weather and were looking for a change of scenery. While Sarasota may not be on your radar when you think of Florida, this small city has a lot to offer! If you are planning a trip to this coast of Florida, you definitely should make a stop here. Check out our top 3 things you should in Sarasota.

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