Travel on the Side


When we were in Montreal, we decided to purchase a Passeport MTL card. You can choose either a 48-hour pass or a 72-hour pass. The pass gives you automatic entrance into 23 popular tourist attractions, plus unlimited travel on the Montreal metro and buses. For us, it was good deal. So we decided to make the most of our Passeport MTL! One of the included attractions was a cruise on the Saint… Read More

One of Montreal’s highlights is the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de MontrĂ©al)–a true gem and a must-see site. Lines can be long, especially by afternoon or when a cruise ship is in port. We went shortly after opening and walked right in. Stunning is the most accurate description. Built in the 1820s, it features a beautiful blue ceiling with gold stars. Other colors like purples and reds jump out at you…. Read More

Why did I visit a library on my vacation? Well, I am a librarian, of course! If I see a library, I like to pop in and check it out. The Seattle Public Library Central Library is an architectural wonder. Soaring high, lots of glass, shiny escalators, natural light. Are there books? Yes! But for me, a library is all about people. Lots of library patrons were on the computers researching, getting… Read More

After spending the morning and part of the afternoon at The Newseum, we set out to see the monuments. We took the Metro to the L’Enfant Plaza station where we managed to get horribly turned around. Eventually we made our way down D Street/Maryland Avenue, past the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, over a pedestrian bridge, and then we were walking along the Tidal Basin towards the Jefferson Memorial. Our plan was to walk… Read More

Arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington DC is the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson building, located across from the US Capitol and next to the Supreme Court. I was in Washington, DC for a short trip–I had been once in elementary school and once in high school–but neither time had I been to the Library. Now as a librarian, I had to rectify that with a visit! The Library… Read More

Two landmarks were on my list for the NYC trip: the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal. Only located a couple of blocks apart off of 42nd Street, it’s just a short walk between these two famous sites. First up was the New York Public Library. Since I’m a librarian, this was a required visit for me! However, it’s important to note that NYPL has many branches. Here we are… Read More

I love the Milwaukee Art Museum. Situated on the shore of Lake Michigan, it has a great collection of O’Keeffe, decorative arts, and more. In 2001, the Quadracci Pavilion (photos below) – the new entrance to the museum opened. Designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava, it features a large brise soleil that can be opened. To me, it’s reminiscent of a bird you might see flying near the lake.

If you’ve had your fill of craziness in the French Quarter of New Orleans, then it’s time to head to the peacefulness of the Garden District. From the CBD/French Quarter, you can board the St. Charles Avenue street car at Canal Street. If you hop off at the Washington Avenue stop, you’ll be within easy walking distance to all the stately homes, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, and Commander’s Palace Restaurant. Below are… Read More

Ahh, the French Quarter of New Orleans: equal parts good food, drunk people, and colorful buildings. Give yourself plenty of time to explore on foot. Besides hitting the usual spots of Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and Cafe du Monde, allow time to explore all of the side streets.The New Orleans CVB has a nice walking map for self-guided tours. I stayed on Canal Street at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel and enjoyed… Read More

After finishing up a work conference in Boston, I decided to schedule a couple of vacation days. On one day, I took the “T” (subway) over to Cambridge and strolled around the campuses of Harvard University and MIT. Lots of great architecture: classic old buildings, plus new ones like Frank Gehry’s Stata Center at MIT. To tour MIT, take the “T” Red Line to the Kendall/MIT stop. I wound my way through… Read More