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Katie Banach's recent Highlights

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252 Yaowarat Rd, Khwaeng Chakkrawat, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
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Gandria, 6978 Lugano, Switzerland
Behold Gandria! When my Airbnb host first suggested I visit Gandria I was a little unsure, mostly because of it's name. But boy was she right, this little village navigable exclusively by foot was so picturesque and quiet. Situated on a hill just...
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This bridge was built by the Romans and dates back to 100 BC. Four of the arches were destroyed in WWII by the Germans as they retreated, but were rebuilt by the residents of Verona from the rubble in the river shortly after. Just on the other...
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Piazza Vescovado, 37121 Verona VR, Italy
This was built in the 1100's, and there are two other churches connected to it that were built in the 9th century and 12th century. Music is often playing inside the church, which makes it a peaceful resting spot as you go through Verona.
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3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA
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Portola Coffee Lab takes making a cup of coffee to a new level. But you don't have to take my word for it—it was recently voted the best coffee in Orange County by the OC Weekly. If you're interested in the artistry involved in roasting and...
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4 Robinson Rd, Mid-level, Hong Kong
Up above the crowds down in Central and away from the usual tourist hotels, Bishop Lei is a sweet little gem tucked up in Mid Levels- it's great if you're looking for an affordable, clean place to stay with easy access to great restaurants and...
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Jr, Jirón Carabaya 100, Cercado de Lima 15001, Peru
In a rush to make it to the Monastery of San Francisco in historic downtown Lima, I almost missed this place. The bar is located on a corner, behind wood and glass doors. "Hemingway" was my first thought as I passed in a rush—I knew I had to come...
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Via S. Martino, 17, 53037 San Gimignano SI, Italy
Medieval hill towns in Italy were built for security. They endure for romance. San Gimignano, about 30 miles south of Florence and 35 miles north of Sienna, is one of a the best loved and most visited.
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Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
No, those two scoops aren't vanilla ice cream. They're butter. This fish lying on a bed of vegetables was served on a sizzling hot plate. It was topped with two scoops of butter. What you had to do was spread the butter over the fish and then stir...
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525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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For traditional German food in a cozy setting reminiscent of a traditional Bavarian Wirsthaus, you can’t beat Suppenküche in Hayes Valley. Owner Fabrizio Wiest, who was born and raised in Germany, worked as a graphic designer before he moved to ...
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103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
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Whoever invented the living history museum deserves, well, a place in a living history museum. Instead of reading dry text, visitors get to meet an early 20th-century immigrant, hang out in her shoebox apartment, and join a family at its Sabbath...
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737 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661, USA
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A visit to Chicago's historic meat-packing district at any time is, in and of itself, a bit of an adventure. The area has certainly seen enough transitions to bring in the hip and happening in recent years. However the best reason to visit,...
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Chicago, IL 60626, USA
Pick up your morning coffee at one of the many local coffee shops, and walk to Rogers Beach (known by locals as Lighthouse Beach). The sunrise over Lake Michigan is stunning! Locals fish off the lighthouse pier in the early morning semi-darkness....
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Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg Castle is amazing. Besides being the setting of The Student Prince, it also boasts the world's biggest wine cask -- and one of the world's best views. There's nothing wrong with the pastry in Heidelberg, either.
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Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
I had been skeptical of the Venetian gondola ride, thinking it too touristy and overpriced. Last summer, however, I discovered what is so special about this Venetian tradition. A gondola ride provides a unique view of Venice from the quiet...
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Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791, USA
It is not unusual to have sea turtles munching on algae near the shore break on the north shore beaches, especially at Mokuleia beach park. Look closely and you will see the head of one popping out of the water!
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Watamu, Kenya
Who knew this was here? In between the bustling towns of Mombassa and Malindi lies a quiet coastal town with beautiful beaches and inviting locals. If you venture through the town center you will arrive at the somewhat secluded Hemingway's Resort....
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Jl. Raya Bunutan Amed Ababi Abang Karangasem Bali, Bunutan, Abang, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
I went on a solo journey to experience Bali. The highlight by far was diving at the wreck site of the USS Liberty, a WWII cargo ship torpedoed and dragged up to shore. It now sits just below the waterline, covered in a rich tapestry of underwater...
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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
To market, to market! Take me to the market; that's where I like to get my feet wet (related: it's a terrible idea to wear flip flops to the market). Last week I waxed poetic on my love for bamboo basket makerel in Bangkok. I don't know what sort...