Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Last year I had the chance to visit Beijing, and of course while I was there I just had to stop at the Great Wall of China.

History – Great Wall of China

It was amazing to comprehend how much square footage this architectural feat encompassed. I had to look it up on Wikipedia, where it said the Ming Dynasty built about 8,850 km (5,500 mi) worth of the wall between the years 1300 – 1600.  And some parts of the wall are as old as 7th century BC. Most of the original wall is in disrepair and cannot be visited, but the areas that are still available to visit, have had to be renovated and maintained.

Once you are there, you completely understand why they did it.  It definitely made sense as a fortress against enemies – where the visibility across so much terrain would have been critical to their defense.

Some Tips for Your Visit

I must say, I was not prepared for this because I extended a business trip a few extra days, so I had only packed heels and sandals – which I will strongly advise against! You NEED sneakers. Need. So much of the surface area is uneven, slanted, wobbly, or comprised of stairs so no footwear can properly equip you for it. However, sneakers are probably your best bet.  I slipped and stumbled so much in my sandals that I want to go back just to enjoy it more carefully.

Another tip is mostly directed for the female visitors, but, the restroom situation there is BYOTP (Bring Your Own Toilet Paper) so make sure you keep enough for your visit in your purse or backback. The ride to/from the Great Wall of China is very long so you’re very likely to be visiting the restrooms there.

My Favorite Part of the Visit

That probably was my favorite part of the visit – the view of all the surrounding area. So impressive. So beautifully breath-taking. I do plan to return so I can bring my daughter. I’ll wear sneakers too.

Here are some of my amateur photos:

The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.
The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.
The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.
The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.
The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.
The Great Wall of China, Beijing / Image Source: Pepper V.

That Time I PhotoBombed Royalty

When going through my old photos, I found this one where I photobombed royalty when I found myself in the same room as a member of the British royal family about 4-5 years ago.

This was a business event for me and I had to make a work appearance at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London. And Princess Anne was there as well, also making an appearance.

PS: It was Paul at Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill that correctly identified her for me as Princess Anne, the Queen’s only daughter. Thanks so much Paul! I originally could not recall who she was. Oops. 🤗

Scary and Haunted Leap Castle – Roscrea, Ireland UK

Haunted Leap Castle

I am definitely a fan of Halloween, as well as ghost stories. So when I found myself in Ireland last year, I just had to stop by haunted Leap Castle – one of the world’s most notorious castles due to reports of ghostly and supernatural occurrences. But only during the daytime bc I’m still a scaredy-cat.

So I stopped by Leap Castle in Roscrea, Ireland. This is considered one of the world’s most haunted castles, and has been featured in several paranormal documentaries such as the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” and ABC’s “Scariest Places on Earth”. Do you watch those types of shows? I love them.

History of Leap Castle

I also looked-up some facts about Leap Castle for you on Wikipedia. It was built as a fortress during the civil war in Ireland in 13th century AD, most likely on an even older ceremonial structure as old as 500 BC. It has a very violent history due to rival clans fighting for it.

The most famous spirits supposedly haunting this castle is “The Red Lady” ghost that walks all over holding a dagger. And the “It” elemental spirit that does not have a human form, but can be smelled and supposedly foretells impending death if you witness it. Before their deaths, the people that have actually seen “It” describe it as a sheep with a human face, black holes for eyes and a nose, and the odor of a rotting corpse. THAT was what worried me the most about being there, that I would start smelling it. 😟

My Visit at Haunted Leap Castle

When you arrive, the owner of the castle will greet you. He’s there to answer your questions, and tell you a few stories about the history of the land and the castle itself. He’s a musician too, so he’ll play you some of his music too if you feel like attending a recital. There a isn’t a fee for the visit, but he does suggest that you leave a donation that goes towards the restoration and maintenance of the castle so that visitors can continue to tour it.

When you’re done chatting with him, he gives you a flashlight and that’s it. You’re on your own for the tour.

To be honest with you, I didn’t explore the whole entire castle bc I started to freak myself out. So I turned around to leave maybe halfway through. I feel like such a wimp about it, but I was scared! Would you have been scared?

My Photos of Leap Castle

Below are some of the amateur pics I took. They are unfiltered. Most areas of the castle had no lighting at all except from my flashlight, so please be forgiving about the photo quality…

Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.
Haunted Leap Castle Roscrea, Ireland / Image Source: Pepper V.

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Gorgeous Beach Condo in Destin FL USA

Beach Resort in Destin FL View

So we just got back from our vacation to a beach condo in Destin FL in the U.S. Of course I took a ton of photos of the place before we moved in, while it was still clean and before we added all our clutter to it.

We stayed at The Silver Beach Towers in Destin FL. We found our condo via VRBO. This isn’t an affiliate link at all, I’m just describing to you what we did.

The condo was truly lovely and impressive. We needed the large kitchen too because we planned to eat “at home” for every meal. We only went “out” to eat one time during the whole vacation. Lol, which actually is the opposite of what I prefer to do while on vacation but we were being mindful of all the covid pre-cautions.

The one time we left the condo to go out to eat, we went to The Back Porch, a seafood and oyster house, which was actually within walking distance and it was a very pleasant and comfortable walk to get there.

I wish I could just live there permanently instead of just a few days. I hope you don’t mind a post full of photos of our beach condo in Destin FL, but here you go…

Living room pics…

Living Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo in Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Living Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo in Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Living Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo in Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Living Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo in Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.

Dining Room and Kitchen pics…

Dining Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Dining Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Kitchen Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Kitchen Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.

Extra Living Area pic…

Living Room Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.

The Bedrooms…

Bedroom Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Bedroom Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Bedroom Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.
Bedroom Beach Resort, Destin FL
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.

And most importantly, the View from the Balcony…

Beach Resort Destin FL View
Beach Condo, Destin FL USA / Image Source: Pepper V.