Report Cards


• We traveled in Italy, April 19-May 5, 2010, and visited the small, hilltop village of Tereglio. Thirty-nine kilometers north of Lucca, it is located amid luxuriant chestnut forests in the Apennine Mountains and near the entrance to Orrido di Botri Nature Reserve. Mid-valley of the Serchio River, it is an excellent area for hikers, as there are many small villages nearby.

Tereglio has fantastic views of the valley and trees below. There is a car park at each...



Nadia Hotel (Raadhuisstraat 51, 1016 DD Amsterdam, Netherlands; phone +31 20 620 1550) — great central location near Dam Square.

Our standard room without canal view was quiet but very small. Not for the mobility impaired — steep stairs and no elevator, but they will carry your luggage up and down for you. Helpful, friendly staff.

Continental breakfast included. Booked room online for €95 ($117) per night, May 20-24, 2010; discount for cash payment...



Bienvenue Hotel (110/112 avenue de Brachaud, 87280 Limoges, France; phone 05 55 37 14 33, — north of Limoges, just off the A20.

Opened in fall of 2007. Owners were employed by a European hotel chain for many years and designed this two-star hotel with the customer in mind. Elevator from entry level to all upper floors. Restaurant attached. Secure parking.

Small but extremely functional rooms. Window can be left open safely....



• Tulips B&B (Sloterkade 65, Amsterdam; phone 31 [0] 20 679 2753, fax [0] 20 408-3028) — located at the south end of Vondelpark, close to two major tram lines and very quiet.

Our canal-view room was quiet, comfy and sparkling clean. We booked online for €85 (cash only) per room per night for March 25-28, 2010. For breakfast, there’s a small kitchen area in the hall with cereal, milk, tea and coffee.

The hosts, Paul and Karen, are terrific. Paul...


From BOLÍVAR, Colombia, Feb. 5, 2010

Casa Sweety (Calle del Guerrero 29b-119, Getsemani, Cartagena de Indias, D.T., Bolívar, Colombia; phone +57 [5] 664 1315 or, in the US, 415/746-6876) is a bed-and-breakfast located just outside the old walled city of Cartagena. We booked our room by phone for approximately $95 per night for Feb. 1-5, 2010.

Casa Sweety is a gem. For the price, the amenities are exceptional: terrific breakfasts; well-kept, immaculate rooms; a small swimming...


From PARIS, France, Jan. 6

We have a long list of favorite restaurants in Paris but try to find something new each trip. During our Dec. 26, 2009-Jan. 6, 2010, visit, we found two interesting small restaurants of special note. Both were well attended by locals — always a good sign!

• Chez Nathalie (45 rue Vandrezanne, 75013 Paris; phone 01 45 80 20 42). The fish in this very small establishment was excellent. Our lunch of two entrées (a whole dorade and scallops), house wine,...


VIENNA, Austria, Dec. 11

• “Christmas on the Danube” cruise from Prague through Germany to Vienna, Dec. 2-11, 2009, aboard the Affinity with Avalon River Cruises (Littleton, CO; 877/797-8791).

$7,396 for two included airfare from San Francisco to Prague (including $500 in ticket change) and two nights in Prague.

We arrived in Prague from London in early evening. Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Prague Hilton (not the Old Town location), about a 15-minute walk from Old Town...


From GLASGOW, Scotland, Oct. 4, 2009…

• Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery (652-654 Argyle St., Glasgow; phone 0141 221 8188,

White tablecloths. Appetizers, mains and a bottle of Viognier for £62.50 (near $100) for two.

• Café Gandalfi (64 Albion St., Glasgow; phone 0141 552 6813, — in the Merchant City area and less formal than Two Fat Ladies.

£48.75 ($78) for a delicious tomato fennel soup and “Arbroath smokies...