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The Fringe

Yvonne AK Johnson Stinketh

Scotland is a place packed with rich culture and history. Not only is Scotland a beautiful country with some of the most stunning landscapes in the word, but it also has many stunning castles and museums. Scottish people are very welcoming and proud to show their country to travelers.

Scottish people and culture are highly artistic and creative people. Edinburgh hosts the world’s largest arts festival called the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Fringe has been exponentially growing in popularity over the past decade, with over 25 days of performances in 2014. Every august, hundreds of performers take stages across the city in over 300 venues. Almost every taste is represented at the Fringe: From big names to indie artists!

The Fringe is a special arts festival as it’s completely open-cess to the public which separates the Fringe from many other arts festivals in Europe. Think of the Fringe as an international arts market where anyone can perform – there is no selection committee. The festival gives an audience to artists who may not otherwise have the opportunity as well as introduce audiences to new artists. Many creative arts producers and artists are attracted to the festival because it is a huge networking event for the industry with the most dynamic types of art.

A few types of art performed at the Fringe are: Comedy, dance, musicals, opera, spoken word, exhibitions, galleries, children’s shows, circus acts, and theatre arts. People from all around the world come to perform and others come to witness the creativity and beauty of their work. The Fringe is the best environment to explore tastes, new techniques for performing, and meet other creatives like yourself.

The Fringe is a launch of artists, as well as a joy to be part of. It’s an extraordinary experience to this amount of creativity in one place.

Every creative person who wants to learn how to seek a career in the arts should attend this festival! There is no other festival in the world that has this level of excitement and energy.

Manatee – Crystal River, Florida

The Garden Island

Kauai is one of the oldest Hawaiian islands, this making it very green and lush – also with the wettest spot on earth per rain drops per year. Kauai is a mystical little island that exudes beauty and tranquility.

When people think Hawaii, they think pristine stretches of sandy beaches and the ocean as clear as a pool. However, the Hawaiian islands are actually quite different. In Kauai, the island itself captures the attention of the traveler with it’s verdant trees and impressive mountains. The island is beautiful and lush, full of farm land, free range chickens, and fruit trees free for picking.

Kauai is all about adventure. It can be described as a natural Disney World – with so many attractions in terms of beaches, towns, parks, mountains, hikes, rock formations, and historic sites. Kauai is one of those places that you can’t forget.

It’s completely immersive – Anyone who has been to Hawaii can tell you that once you’re there, you’re on island time. It is therapeutic to be there and offers a sense of renewal to the stressed masses.

A few highlights of Kauai:

– Secret Beach. Find this specific beach (after a hike down) and feast your eyes on waters that resemble the Caribbean and offer some of the best snorkeling on the island.

– Po’ipu. This southern town is growing rapidly, but still maintaining it’s roots. The town is made up of several beautiful resorts, communities, restaurants, beaches, and the famous Spouting Hole.

– Hanalei Bay. Hanalei is on the northern tip of the island, is a sweet little town with great food and little shops. The bay itself is popular for boats, swimming, and relaxing in cottages by the beach. This is where The Descendants with George Clooney was filmed.

– Waimea Canyon + Napali Coast. These are some of the most impressive views you will ever find. The Napali Coast is inhabitable as it reaches the sea with cliffs and arms of volcanic mountain ranges forming into the ocean. The colors of the mountain range with the vastness of the formation – at about 4500 feet – offers such an impressive visual for the adventurous soul.

Yvonne AK Johnson

Calgary

Portugal – Five Reasons to Make the Trip Now

Yvonne Ak Johnson TheatreYes, all over Europe there are major economies failing and recessions occurring, with rising unemployment rates for citizens – especially young people. This is sad news, however, there is a way to help.

Vacation! It’s best to stay in local Mom & Pop types of housing – AirBNB and HomeAway serve a great purpose in this situation because you are individually helping people while enjoying their country, paying for their delicious food that is near priceless, getting entry into their museums that they cherish, and overall, it does benefit both parties.

Lisbon, Portugal, is the country’s capital.
A beautiful city full of great restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and culture.

Things to remember about Lisbon:
– Check out the Beer Museum
– Make it to the Lisbon Story Center (History of)
– Eat at Martim Moniz Square

Lagos, Portugal, is a beautiful seaside town.
Along the bank of Rio Bensafrim, Lagos showcases a quant cobble-stoned street with churches and picturesque plazas. However, beyond these 16th-century enclosing walls likes a vast modern sprawl, however it is not totally unattractive.

Things to remember about Lagos:
– Great restaurants & seafood
– Great beaches & nightlife
– History of Lagos (Portugal’s Age of Discoveries)

Porto, Portugal, is another coastal city best known for it’s Port wine.
Full of impressive and visually appealing bridges, Porto is a sprawling town full of old and new world charm. It is the second largest city after Lisbon and has plenty of history.

Things to remember about Porto:
– Go to Ribeira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
– Try some Port wine at traditional wine houses
– Check out the lavish and magical Livraria Lello & Irmao (Vitcorian/baroque library)

Portugal is a beautiful country with great food, people, and scenery, as well as an important and interesting history. Lodging, dining, and playing in Portugal is quite inexpensive these days because of the recession, however, if you can find time to make it out there for a long weekend, it will be well worth it!

Croatia: The Epic Waterfalls of Krka National Park

Croatia is a very underrated country to visit, especially for Americans. This country offers so much and the cost is so cheap, it’s no wonder that the tourism is picking up.

Croatia is a fantastic country to visit full of jagged coastlines and rivers, mountains, beaches, and waterfalls.

One of the most beautiful locations for an epic waterfall is at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Most of the photo you see online of jaw-dropping waterfalls are most likely taken here!

The two waterfall locations in Croatia, Krka and Plitvice, are the country’s most coveted tourist attractions. Here’s a few points on each:

Plitvice: An iconic Croatian destination with magnificent lower lakes that have spectacular waterfalls. This location is a UNESCO World Heritage destination. However, it is very crowded and in an isolated location.

Krka: A much more relaxed and quiet scene where you can sit back and have more fun without feeling rushed. The weather is mostly sunny here because of a certain mountain range which plays a big role in how much sun there is on a given day. You can swim in the lakes at Krka which is forbidden at Plitvice.

Krka also has beautiful trails to explore and a small town called Sibenik. Sibenik also as a UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral and a very beautiful coastline.

If there is time for both, it’s best to see all that you can! Bu Krka would not be a mistake to pick over the crowded Plitvice park!

Travel to Turkey

Yvonne AK Johnson

Turkey is a very interesting and cultural diverse place. Being a very popular vacation spot for many Europeans, Turkey is actually not very popular to visit when it comes to Americans.

The truth is – it is very safe and the people are extremely genuine. Turkey is technically out of the “eurozone” but has coasts on the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. The country offers so much to it’s people and it’s visitors. The country is so vast and beautiful, even if you spent many lifetimes exploring you probably wouldn’t see all of it.

Istanbul, in itself, is the pinnacle of Turkish culture, art, beauty, and history. Similar to New York not really being America, Istanbul isn’t really Turkey, however a state in it’s own right. It has a a mixture of victorian beauty, modern innovation, cleanliness, inspiring hills and blue waters to inspire any traveler. Istanbul has 3,00 years of history. It’s build on the same latitude as rome and is also built on seven hills.

From the Romans, to the Byzantines, to the Ottomans. The Ottoman’s empire strutted from Vienna all the way to Mauritania in Africa. It’s a traditional legend that the great Hagia Sofia Mosque has a dome that was suspended from heaven by a golden chain. The city of Istanbul is adorned with beautiful buildings, churches, mosques, synagogues, and other historical architecture.

A typical day in Istanbul: Wake up early, have a light Turkish breakfast, head out to Rumelihisari on the Bosphorus (ruins of an old fortress turned into a tea garden) and have proper breakfast and tea. Then, walk down the Bosphorus and visit the town of Bebek and Ortakoy. From there, take a ferry across the Bosphorus to the Asia side for another round of gorgeous Turkish tea. Arrive at the Princes’ Island’s for a delicious seafood lunch and get around the island with the many horse carriages that live on the island.

There are many beautiful places to see in Turkey. If you travel south of Istanbul, you’ll see the beautiful city of Izmir which is known for it’s grapes and olives. From there, Foca is a beautiful little fisherman’s town and is a must to visit. There are several Mediterranean islands on the coast of Turkey such as Bozcaada and Gokceada. Datca peninsula is one of the most beautiful places to visit as it is quite, full of lush farmland, and turquoise waters.

The great thing about Turkey, is that Turkish people are very proud of their culture and their country. The food is of the most delectable cuisines in the world and their language, a very beautiful and interesting sound to hear. All the Turks welcome their visitors wit open arms and kindness, as they love having visitors experience the splendor of their country.

California Trip with my Mother

A few pictures to share from my California trip with my beautiful Mom.
I thoroughly love the Bay Area and Mom’s #1 pick to see and tour was the Japanese Tea Garden. We journeyed North over the Golden Gate Bridge and stayed at the Old Crocker Ranch in Sonoma for a few days. Pictured are a few of the many wineries in the Sonoma Vally and the Armstrong National Park. Mom’s goal was to hug a Redwood tree and that we did! Her favorite was called “The Parson” which is fitting from being a minister herself.

We also took a winding drive over to Mendocino to see the ocean and to have lunch at a quaint seaside French restaurant called Cafe Beaujolais. Fine cuisine and the drive and scenery are breathtaking. However, if you have a weak stomach for switchbacks and curvy roads this may not be the adventure for you. One of the highlights for dining in the Sonoma area was at the Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. The salmon melted in your mouth (pictured) and the dessert (pictured) was worth the indulgence. Mom and wrapped up the trip with a drive down to the Palm Springs area to visit friends. We stopped enroute in Santa Barbara. Lovely!

The last night in Frisco we had dinner at Benihana which is always a fun place. Our favorite hotel to stay at near SFO is the Embassy Suites Waterfront. Two separate rooms, complimentary happy hour, full breakfast including omlettes to order and a shuttle service to the airport. First class service for travelers of all ages!

 

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