Have Heart, Will Travel


Day 10: Niagara Falls

International, RV destinationsNancy Powell8 Comments

Niagara Falls is one of those places that made it on our itinerary before we actually had an itinerary.  I had never been and really wanted to see it!  I heard from some who loved it and from others who thought it was overrated. For me, it was absolutely breathtaking!  Our visit was magnificent!


Before I share our favorite pics from the falls, I will also say that we spent day 9 traveling through Ohio on our way there. We had some miles to make up and were going to be arriving in the Cleveland area in the evening.  I remembered that one of my friends and former co-workers from my DC days lived in the area, in a very charming nearby town. I contacted her, hoping we could come by and say hi. She enthusiastically invited us over and we ended up spending the night at her place.  Our connections with "old friends" has been a great highlight of our adventure.

Me and "Duffy"  :)

Me and "Duffy"  :)

When we got to Niagara Falls State Park the next afternoon, we first came to the American Falls.  I was stunned to be there in person. Hearing the roar of the water, seeing it all, feeling the spray is a multi-sensory experience that is hard to describe!

So happy to be seeing the Falls with my girl!

So happy to be seeing the Falls with my girl!

I thought the American Falls were so beautiful and we really stayed a while and enjoyed the view. However, it's the Horseshoe Falls which are considered the most impressive falls of Niagara, and when I saw those...

...yes, there were tears.

Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

Petunia and I heading in for a closer view.

Petunia and I heading in for a closer view.

So mighty!

So mighty!

Back for some pics at American Falls.

Back for some pics at American Falls.

Mark was taking some amazing pictures, but we got him in a few.

Mark was taking some amazing pictures, but we got him in a few.

Every once in a while Petunia would ask to take our picture. I think she has the gene. 

Every once in a while Petunia would ask to take our picture. I think she has the gene. 

While being up close to the falls is the place to be for sensing the power and majesty of the rushing water, the best view, one could say, is a little farther away so you have a better perspective on the whole scope of the falls.

So we walked to:

Because why not?

Because why not?

Horseshoe Falls as viewed from Canada. Stunning!

Horseshoe Falls as viewed from Canada. Stunning!

We only stayed a little while and then came back to the good ol' USA!  Yes, we had our passports with us.

We stayed late and got some night shots.

We stayed late and got some night shots.

"The admirers"

"The admirers"

These nighttime shots of the water pouring over Horseshoe falls are my favorite!

Someday Saturday: Belgium

International, Someday SaturdayNancyComment

Photo credit

Today's Someday Saturday is BELGIUM!

For me, it has always been a place of quintessential European charm mixed with some mystique.  The mystique may come from the fact that my favorite author's most famous character, Private Detective Hercule Poirot, hails from Belgium.  While most of the novels are set in London (another place which has been featured in Someday Saturday), Poirot makes it very clear to people that he is Belgian. If you haven't checked out Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie yet, please start with this book or maybe this one.  Hope you love them half as much as I do!

Here are a few other interesting facts about Belgium:

  • While Belgium is the 5th smallest country in the EU (after Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus and Slovenia), it is the 6th highest importer of coffee in the world!
  • Belgium has been producing chocolate for almost 400 years. There are over 2000 chocolate shops!
  • The international presence, in organizations and embassies, is second only to New York.
  • There are more castles per kilometer than anywhere else in the whole world.
  • Belgium can claim 3 distinct language regions, and parts of its populations speak Dutch, French, and German.


Beautiful, isn't it?

What about you?

Have you been to Belgium? Do you have any desire to go? It it on your list now? Do you know something else interesting about Belgium to share?


World Cup Fever? Start your travel plans now for 2018!


Photo credit

 Ok, so maybe you have finally come down with the glorious illness that is World Cup Fever. You have been captured by the beautiful game, the international spirit, the larger-than-life players or simply the passionate fans.  And now, you want in.  But it's over today. What do you do?

Start planning for World Cup 2018 in Russia, of course!

No, it is not too early to start planning.  After all, depending on how many things on this list you have to accomplish, you might have a lot to do:

  • Learn more about soccer/football (<---- as the rest of the world calls it) so you won't be so confused next time about what being offside means anyway.
  • Study Russian history and/or language to make the most of your experience.
  • Save money.  After all, international flights and hotels during a worldwide sporting event are not inexpensive.
  • Watch the qualification process

There are many exciting games that will take place between now and the next World Cup.  The whole process of qualifying takes close to a couple years and will begin in 2016.  This page helps explain how the 32 teams are chosen for the tournament.  Actually, only 31 teams have to qualify, because the host country is automatically in.

For a little more official information about the sport and especially the 2018 event, stay up to date here on FIFA'S official page for Russia 2018.  Keeping up with the news of qualifying will be important if you only want to travel if your country has qualified.  Many people will only want to go and root for their home team, but many people will travel no matter who is playing. After all, only 32 teams in the whole world qualify and it takes 4 years to get another chance!

If you decide you want to go, or you're just interested in researching the host cities, you can read more about each of them here.  Eleven different cities from the north, south and central areas of Russia will host the world and the games. The spectacle promises to be as fascinating as ever!

Brazil and World Cup 2014 certainly have entertained and inspired the world!  All kinds of viewing records were broken this summer.  While Russia 2018 has big shoes to fill, I am certain that the new host country will rise to the challenge and the honor!

Now I need to go see if Germany or Argentina will be the World Champions for 2014.... 



It's Canada Day!

InternationalNancy1 Comment

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Many of my countrymen are looking forward to celebrating our Independence Day this Friday, but if you're Canadian you get to celebrate a few days earlier!

July 1st is Canada Day. Sometimes also called "Canada's birthday", the occasion marks the joining of the British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. Canada became a kingdom on that date, called the Dominion of Canada.

Mark and I took Petunia to Ottawa for her first international experience last summer.  Ottawa is a wonderful city with so much to see and so much to do!  I look forward to sharing more about that trip.  I will have to do a post (or more) just about their multiple world-class museums. For now, I'll share some of our pics from one year ago today.  Celebrating Canada Day in Canada's capital--a fun experience!

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The streets were packed! Lots of red and white, too!

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Petunia was quickly drawn to the street vendors and kept asking for a cape to celebrate the day.

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She got one! (But isn't she cute!)

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There was some pretty neat entertainment!

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And very friendly people!

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Lots was going on in many venues all over the city. We had a very fun day...

Ottawa fireworkds

...and ended the night with a stunningly beautiful fireworks show!

Memory Monday: When one adventure leads to a BIGGER one!

International, Memory MondayNancy2 Comments

EBU jacket Exactly 20 years ago this week, I was working my first post-college job.  What was it?  Well, my degree is Political Science with an International Emphasis, so naturally I was an administrative assistant....in a broadcasting office.


It was at the WORLD CUP OF 1994!!  People, I would have done any job to have gotten to work at the World Cup.  I was lucky to have an inside, well-paying job and still get to be around all the action.  (The photo above is the jacket I was given by my employer, EBU Sports.)  Of course, twenty years ago the only people I knew interested in the World Cup were international friends at Texas Christian University with a couple other Americans thrown in for variety.)  It was one of those friends who referred me to the office where I got the job.

The work was all day long, seven days a week.  I actually had to ask special permission to get off for the two games to which I had already bought tickets. (I saw South Korea vs Germany in group stage and then Brazil vs. The Netherlands in the quarterfinals.) No big deal.


I have not even gotten to the biggest part of this story, though.  As part of an office to which international broadcasters came by every day, I really got to know some of them well.  I would always talk to this couple from Colombia who told me all about their country and family.  We became friends and they asked if I would visit them.  I said I would love to. (Americans tend to deal with these invitations a bit casually compared with our foreign counterparts.)  A couple weeks more of this chatter and one day the wife shows up with a packing list.  For my visit. To Colombia.

I was a 22 year old young lady. I had just graduated from college. I did not mean for them to take my invitation acceptance so seriously, so...now.  What could I do?

I went to Colombia for 6 months and it changed my life.