Usually, when someone mentions 'airplanes' or 'flying' the first thought going through many people’s minds is simply a hop on a plane to go on that long-deserved vacation or take off on a business trip (along with long lines and annoying security checks at the airports). However, if we really think about it, flying (or aviation) is so much more - historic and vintage airplanes, war planes, fighter jets, helicopters, gliders, parachute jumpers, bomb carriers, cargo planes, search and rescue aircraft, and the list goes on and on… And with the USA having one of the strongest and largest military aircraft fleet in the world, it is no wonder there is a need and desire to show it off. It might come as a surprise, but there are major air shows happening almost every weekend somewhere in the US, be it Florida, California or New York. And so, one sunny October weekend we decided to brave the crowds and join the anticipated 250-thousand other spectators to attend one of these air shows – Thunder Over the Rock in Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.

It has been almost a year since we made our move from Philadelphia to our new home in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s been quite an adventure, but as usual – we are always open to seeing new places and experiencing new things. Memphis is, most likely, known by most for its musical scene - Elvis Presley and his home Graceland, other artists like B.B. King or Johnny Cash, museums such as Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum, or Sun Studios. Yet, even people like myself, who aren’t that much into rock n roll, blues or jazz, will find some fun things to see in Memphis. I have put together a ‘’walking tour’’ of downtown Memphis and some areas close by, for those interested in exploring Memphis more generally than just focusing on the musical aspect of the city. So, put your walking shoes on, turn up Marc Cohn's 'Walking in Memphis', and off we go!

As suspected, having moved just a driving distance away, New Orleans is becoming a destination we would visit more than once. So, when my family flew in from Latvia to visit us for a couple of weeks in September, we decided to take a few days and make the 6-hour drive down to New Orleans to show them around. As my husband and I had been to New Orleans already once before, most of the sights remained the same as during our first trip here (French Quarter, Algiers Point, Barataria Preserve, Mardi Gras museum and others). However, when it came to the plantation and alligator swamp tours, we decided not to visit the same places we saw back in May (which were Oak Alley Plantation and Jean Lafitte Swamp Tour), but rather give new places a chance to impress us, as there are so many to choose from.

Victoria, the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, lies on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada's Pacific coast. Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The biggest tourist draw is the downtown area with its historical British Victorian architecture and an island vibe that is a lot different from that of busy Seattle or Vancouver just 60 miles (100km) East.