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travel

Brick Factory: Vietnam in Photos
Cruising 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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World Travel

Bloggers Share Breathtaking Places from Around the World

While there are many beautiful places around the world, sometimes you visit a place that really takes your breath away. Without further ado, here are some of those breathtaking places. Thank you to all of the bloggers who participated!

The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx - The Traveling Gals

Giza, Egypt from The Traveling Gals: “Seeing the Pyramids and Sphinx in person was an amazing experience we will never forget!”

Bora Bora

Bora Bora – Toniya from The Travelling Panda: “Our trip to Bora Bora was something that completely took our breath away. The beauty of this small gem in such a vast ocean is just indescribable.”

Neuschwanstein, Bavaria

Neuchwanstein, Bavaria – Amy from Sass and Shamrocks: “It may be over done but Schloss Neuchwanstein in Southern Bavaria took my breath away. Whether under a blanket of snow in Winter, the bright sun of Summer or in the stunning colors of Autumn the castle is surreal and utterly fairy tale like!”

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Uncategorized

Sister Cities

Where is your hometown’s Sister Cities?

Post by Kary

While on a walk through Bayfront Park, I noticed a plaque recognizing Sarasota’s sister cities with a Ceremonial Tree Walk on March 17, 2003.  Sarasota has 8 sister cities!   The placard whose mission and objective reads “To Foster Peace and Understanding and to Develop Respect and Cooperation through Citizen Diplomacy” piqued my curiosity.   

Do you know your hometown's sister cities?

The Sister city program was developed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.  His vision was to promote citizen diplomacy after having seen the severe hatred and after-effects of World War II.  Sarasota got involved early on in 1963 by pairing up with its first sister city, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This was part and parcel due to the local Hispanic heritage.  Visits began and to commemorate the exchange to this day there is an Avenida Sarasota in Santo Domingo and the Plaza de Santo Domingo is located next Sarasota’s Municipal Auditorium.  A relationship was maintained through the 1980s when Santo Domingo decided to partner with Miami and New York City instead.  Sarasota declared them to have emeritus status and moved on over the years to its current 8 sisters.

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Healthy Living

How to Stay Fit on Vacation When You Don’t Really Want to Work Out

How to Stay Fit on Vacation When You Don’t Really Want To Work Out…

Post by Kary

How to Stay Fit On Vacation

Stairs are your friend!

 

One of the best parts of taking a vacation is stepping out of your everyday routine. For most of us, working out while on vacation is probably the last thing on your mind. Even though you know you should, you really don’t want to.  For me, I work out extra hard and extra long the entire week leading up to going out of town.  This helps give me the boost I need to not have to maintain my early morning regimen while I’m away.  However, I still want to fit into my bathing suit, so I try to stay as active as possible while having a great time!  Check out some of these suggestions to stay active with having to “work out”:

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USA Travel

More Things to do in Sarasota, FL

More Things To Do in Sarasota

Post by Ashley

This is a follow-up to our Top 3 Must-Do’s in Sarasota post! There are so many great things to do in this small city on the Suncoast. After you’ve hit the main areas in Sarasota, you definitely have to check out these other great places in our beautiful city that we are lucky to now call home.

Ringling Ca'd'Zan: More Things to do in Sarasota, FL

Ringling Museum

The John & Mable Ringling Museum is one of our favorite places to go in Sarasota. The museum features two great sections, the circus museums and the art museum. We wrote a post about what to see and do at Ringling because it is so great!

Marie Selby Gardens

Marie Selby Gardens are located on the bay, right near downtown Sarasota which makes for gorgeous views while you are walking around the grounds. Some of the highlights are the Conservatory which features an array of tropical plants, Bamboo Garden, Banyan Grove, and the Children’s Gardens. Check out their website for more information.

Bridge Street - Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is actually about a 45 minute drive from Sarasota but is so worth it. This is a quant, charming area to walk around with excellent ocean views and no tall buildings or chain retailers allowed. You can even see the cruise ships departing from Tampa on certain evenings around sunset. Check out our post on how to make the most of your time in AMI!

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14 Romantic Destinations: Tahiti - The Traveling Gals
World Travel

14 Romantic Destinations to Visit

14 Romantic Destinations to Visit

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means lots of pictures of flowers on Facebook. Even if you don’t have a significant other, these destinations are still great to visit with friends, family, or even for a relaxing solo trip!

We personally would love if someone handed us a plane ticket (and their credit card) to one of these romantic destinations:

Paris.

14 Romantic Destinations: Paris - The Traveling Gals

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New Year's Russia
Uncategorized

New Year Celebrations Around the World

Happy New Year from The Traveling Gals!

Celebrate this year with a new tradition from around the world!

Austria – Austrian revelers burn mortars which is believed to ward off all the evil spirits and negative energies of the past, and ensure everything pleasant and positive for the coming time of the New Year.

Denmark – Danish New Year’s celebrations are raucous.  It is their tradition to save up old dishes and plates all year in order to hurl them at the doors of family and friends. The shattered glassware left littering a person’s front door represents how beloved they are, depending on how many well-wishers turned out to destroy plates in the name of friendship.

New Year's in Ecuador

Ecuador

Ecuador – Ecuadorians start the New Year literally on fire.  Each New Year’s Eve, life-sized or miniature models of public figures, celebrities or fictional characters that are believed to be “sinners” are set on fire at midnight. This is meant to banish the evil of the previous year and clear the air for the New Year.

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Healthy Living

Be Prepared with Healthy Snacks While Traveling

Be Prepared with Healthy Snacks while Traveling - The Traveling Gals

How Do You Snack Healthy While Traveling?

BY BEING PREPARED!

The easiest way to make bad nutritional decisions while on the road is by not being prepared and giving into temptation by the airport or gas station snack options.  This applies to a day trip or a month long journey.  Vacation is a good time to splurge, but only in moderation and only when it is really worth it.

Traveling Gals Tip:  Prepare snacks in advance of any trip.  It may take extra time beforehand, but is well worth the effort!

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Weekend Getaway: Anna Maria Island
USA Travel

WEEKEND GETAWAY: Anna Maria Island, FL

Weekend Getaway: Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria is a barrier island about seven miles in length located south of Tampa Bay and in Manatee County on the west coast of Florida.  It is an absolute treasure that is geographically stunning with gorgeous blue waters and sandy beaches accessible only by fabulous bridge crossings. This “Island in the Sun” was originally used for hunting and fishing by various Indian tribes and was not inhabited by permanent residents until the 1890s. Anna Maria preserves the feel of old Florida while still feeling fresh with charming restaurants, shops and entertainment. The island is broken up into the three cities of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria City that each seamlessly blend together.

Pier at Bridge Street - Anna Maria Island

Pier at Bridge Street

Traveling Gals Tip:  Always check local events calendars to see what special events are going on in the area during your stay!

Anna Maria City is farthest north on the island.  The bay side has views of St. Petersburg and the striking Sunshine Skyway Bridge.   A highlight of Anna Maria City is Pine Avenue.  This street is lined with cute shops and restaurants and ends at the bay leading onto the City Pier.  This pier and the next pier over “The Rod and Reel” both have great restaurants.  These are also the piers where the locals fish.   It is great chatting with the amateur fisherman and grabbing a bite afterwards.   Plus you can’t beat the scenery!   The hidden gem of Anna Maria City is Bean Point.  Bean Point is the northernmost tip of the island where the Gulf of Mexico meets Tampa Bay.  It is nestled past the City Pier in a residential neighborhood.   Its entrance is a tree lined path between two residences and you can only park on the street.  It is a serene oasis and the perfect place to watch the sunset as the cruise ships go by on their way out to the Gulf.  You may have to ask directions, but it is worth it when you find it!

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