Thursday Travel Treat: Arizona

With deserts and canyons, and places high enough to give me the mild headrush of altitude sickness, I know logically that Arizona must get cold from time to time.

In my mind, after a scorching autumn visit in 2009, it’s forever blue skies, shimmering heat and frozen cocktails. The perfect ThursdayTravelTreat for Instagram then.

wpid-img_20150129_124244.jpgStaying among the red rocks of Sedona, where the New Age influences came a distinct second to the incredible rock landscapes, climbing and exploring on a Pink Jeep tour, it doesn’t feel like five years since I visited.

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Throw in a day at the Grand Canyon and it’s the kind of place I’ve tentatively pencilled in for a possible road trip when Minnie’s older. For now, I’ll have to make do with the memory.

I love it whenever anyone joins in with the #thursdaytraveltreat hashtag – do link your own photos on Instagram and Twitter, or in the comments below.

 

Reviewed: Mercure London Bridge hotel

I used to stay in hotels all the time. Big ones, small ones, chain ones, boutique ones, city centre, by the sea, luxury, quirky, good, bad and the occasional ugly. Since Minnie was born, our travels may have continued but the number of hotels I’ve stayed in has dropped massively.

Instead we’ve discovered AirBNB, the joys of self-catering in the sun and cruising, plus the occasional family-friendly resort.

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So when I found myself checking in to the Mercure London Bridge for the night, I’d forgotten the sheer joy of wandering around a hotel room, looking at all the little details, flicking through the hotel information, all without a toddler exploring alongside. Continue reading

10 tips for visiting the Science Museum, London, with a toddler

Having gazed at whales and skeletons in the Natural History Museum, I’ve got plans to check out the neighbouring Science Museum in London later this week.

Although my visits as a child didn’t stick in my memory quite as much as the dinosaurs, there’s plenty to discover.

science-museum-london-plane-carsSo this time I decided to do my research on visiting with a toddler in advance – here’s 10 things you need to know about seeing the Science Museum with a child.

Continue reading

Six degrees of separation – and a world trip competition

The theory of the six degrees of separation apparently dates back to 1929. These days, with the internet on side, I can’t help wonder if the number hasn’t shrunk.

After only a bit of frenzied effort on Friday, I discovered I knew people from Asia to the Americas who would retweet my random hashtags, including Phuket, Brazil and New York, leaving aside a handful in Australia who were fast asleep at the time.

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Stating that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world, the theory has inspired a Kevin Bacon-themed game, a charity project and now a competition to win a round-the-world trip. Continue reading

The real West End: Walk London free walking tour

I love it when a plan comes together. Having written about the free ‘Walk London’ tours and walks a couple of times, the latest set happened to fall this weekend – when I was already in central London, having a bit of time for myself at the Mercure London Bridge (more of which to come).

So while a lot of the walks are family-friendly, I didn’t have to worry about scheduling lunch/naps/bored toddlers and simply dropped my bag at left luggage in Charing Cross (£6 well spent) to join one of this morning’s walks.

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There are around 40 different options over the weekend, so if you’re in the capital with time to kill tomorrow, check out the full list.  Continue reading