London: Fun Things for Teens to See & Do

It’s exciting going to another country. There are different customs, fashion designers and foods. There is also the opportunity to learn a new language and explore fun and interesting places and landmarks. In London, there are many places to explore and some are a must-see, especially for teens. I am not talking about the museums, although they do have great exhibits, but shopping districts, restaurants and attractions. It’s also where music and fashion are a huge influence. Below are some places you should check out when visiting London.

Hard Rock Cafe — This was the first Hard Rock restaurant where the “classes mingled.”  It was established in June of 1971, when rock and roll was taking form. The Hard Rock Cafe is the “Ambassador of Rock,” and the memorabilia on the walls proves it. The restaurant has locations around the world, including Paris and Washington, D.C. Aside from the rock memorabilia, it boasts an American menu and has a huge sundae with sparklers! It is the best place to experience music and pop culture at the same time. It even has its own gift shop! When in London, a Hard Rock t-shirt should definitely be one of your souvenirs.

Piccadilly Circus — This isn’t a circus with clowns; it’s actually a popular intersection in the West End section of London. The word “circus” is Latin in origin and means circle, which was commonly used by the Romans. Think of it as London’s version of Times Square in New York City. There tons of lights, people and shops. Nearby is the theatre district and Leicester Square. This square is where the world premieres of films in Britain are held and is nicknamed “Theatreland,” just as we have Hollywood. If you love Shakespeare, there is a large statue of him in the park located in the center of the square. 

The London Dungeon — This is part history and part entertainment. The London Dungeon has a long history dating back a 1,000 years and recreates the gory and dark moments of the city’s past. It became a tourist attraction in the 1970s, but the atmosphere is still reminiscent of the gruesome deaths that occurred in it. It has become an interactive experience with a cast of characters telling stories of cruelty and pain, including Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot and the plague of the 17th century. It’s not for little kids, and it will make your trip memorable.

Originally published at on April 30, 2019.

My Favorite Ports of Call

My Favorite Ports of Call

Some of my vacations have been to famous ports of call, such as Corsica, Rome, Barcelona, and Malta. Ports of call are intermediate stops while on a cruise. The cruises themselves are fun, but the ports give you the opportunity to go ashore and check out what each city is known for, get some pics, enjoy great food and buy some souvenirs. It was hard to be bored when there was so much to see and do at each port!

Corsica, France — This island in the Mediterranean has the most beautiful beaches, such as Palombaggia with its clear water and white sand. But it also had mountains, valleys, and forests. It reminded me of California, where a short drive took you to the beach, mountains or desert. There were hilltop villages that were amazing! And you know me with fashion; I had to check out the stores. The style in Corsica was very laid back, with casual dresses and shorts. Yet, it did get really cool at night, so it’s always good to travel with a sweater.

Rome, Italy — Rome was beautiful. Everywhere you looked was a piece of history, and I didn’t mind learning about them. The Colosseum is the most famous of landmarks and is right in the middle of Rome. It’s hard to imagine this amphitheater was used for gladiator matches and chariot racing. You can’t go to Italy and not have pasta and pizza! Best of all, the shopping district had everything from high-fashion to vintage.

Barcelona, Spain —  Located in northern Spain, this city is a combination of old and new. There are old buildings and monuments and modern shops and markets. Walking the narrow streets and alleys was like going back in time — and the walls had intricate designs! There is so much to do, too. There were fiestas and festivities, beautiful beaches, and tons of shops.

Malta — Located in the Mediterranean, this group of islands makes up the smallest country in Europe. It consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta is the largest island, with beautiful buildings and hidden coves. The Blue Lagoon in Comino has water that is so blue! Malta, like Barcelona, is very colorful, with its red-gold beaches, limestone cliffs, and deep blue sea. And the food was interesting, since their cuisine is a mix of Italian, French, Arabic, and British.

Lila Walter enjoying a boat ride in Malta.

Originally published at on April 2, 2019.