Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Mardi Gras: Magic, Music, and Mayhem in New Orleans

New Orleans enchanted me from the moment I arrived. This was my first stop on the #SouthUSA road trip and my first real stop in the South. I knew I would love it, and right away, I was fascinated by the musical city before me. After arriving late the night before, I set out in […]

Celebrating the Festa of St. George in Qormi, Malta

While the world revels in excitement over the birth of Prince George, I thought I’d share photos of another George: St. George, venerated dragon-slayer and one of the patron saints of Qormi, Malta. Each summer, Malta explodes with festas — celebrations of the patron saints of each town. Each town has its own festa, or […]

Hogmanay: Bringing in the New Year in Edinburgh

Looking back over the years, my New Year’s celebrations have been mostly low-key, largely unexceptional.  Oh, I’ve had some good ones — my Bangkok New Year’s was so much fun, and I’ve had a few memorable nights in Boston — but most of the time the night hasn’t lived up to the hype.  It’s hard […]

Adventurous Kate Plays with Fire

If you’re going to Las Fallas, you’ve pretty much signed up to be surrounded by both fire and explosions for five days straight. Know this, and embrace it early on. And it’s not just ordinary fire — those crafty Valencians have figured out several diverse ways to bring more fire into the festival.  Here are […]

Traditional Valencian Costumes and Rituals at Las Fallas

“What I love about festivals in Spain is that they’re all ingrained in religion somehow, and their traditions have been passed down for generations,” our Busabout guide, Dax, told us.  “Well, except for La Tomatina.  That’s just a tomato fight.  But the rest of them, they’re about religion.” Dax is right — and being in […]

Las Fallas: Spain’s Festival of Fire

My biggest reason for visiting Spain?  Attending the Las Fallas festival in Valencia — the festival filled with a week of fireworks, explosions, and giant burning effigies! And it almost ended in disaster.  Read through to the end of this piece to see how I averted one of the most horrifying calamities that I can […]