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Where We've Been . . .

Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Over the water bungalow in Moorea French Polynesia. Over-the-water bungalow in Moorea

Road Hog Polynesian Style. Road hog Polynesian style

The Best Travel Guides Tag.

World Travel GuidesWorld Travel Guides.

World Images

Before wandering the globe, learn about international seaport history at The Maritime Heritage Project.

Tours and Activities
Book Before You Go!

Viator Tours Book in Advance.

Viator Environmental Travel.

Airport Transfers.
Travel Safe!

Aren't you curious?

Your family’s path through the ages defines who you are.
We came from "somewhere" other than where we now are.

Discover your ancestral origins and trace your lineage and world migration with a personalized analysis of your DNA

Find out about your ancestors. Perfect for geneaologists.

Why We Wander

We wander for fun, to learn about our world, and to learn about our ancestry through the ages.

Our recorded family journeys began wiith seeking better lives in the 1700s and with Captain James H. Blethen, a Welsh sea captain who sailed a Vanderbilt steamship from New York, around the Horn, and into San Francisco in 1852. Captain Blethen spent the rest of his life at sea based out of San Francisco.

His worldly view has carried down through generations and is a priority in our family. We live on an amazing planet. Each of us can become more understanding and more appreciative of differences as a result of meandering around the globe.

I've travelled alone as a single woman, with my daughter, and with family and friends. It doesn't matter; there is always someplace new, exotic, and safe whether or not you go it alone or with someone.

Cooks Bay, Moorea.
Cook's Bay, Moorea, French Polynesia.

Following is a list of countries/cities visited -- sort of in the reverse order visited throughout the years. A few were toured more than once and I was fortunate to spend a summer studying English Literature at Worcester College in Oxford as a University of California at Berkeley Exchange Student. If you have questions about any of these locations, please eMail me at Marine Studios.

2009-2014: All Around Northern California

When budgets are tight — or just in between world journeys — we wander around Northern California through any one of dozens of lovely towns surrounding San Francisco.

This is one of the more beautiful places in the world, rich with cultural activities, small towns, superb restaurants—including many with decks overlooking San Francisco Bay, and, generally, quite balmy weather.

Fairfax in central Marin, is home to mountain biking. The world-renowned Dipsea Race starts in Mill Valley goes straight up and over Mt. Tamalpais, and ends in Stinson Beach. During the annual salmon run in late summer, millions of salmon come through the gate to swim up into the Sacramento Delta. Marin is close to the wine country with its international award-winning varities. It is splendid! Southern Marin is up against San Francisco Bay with a range of activities, including ferry boat rides to San Francisco, kayaking, sailing, walking across the Golden Gate Bridge or along the protected Marin Headlands, fine dining, book stores, author readings, events at Marin Center, seminars from world-class speakers, etc.

Nick's Cove at Pt. Reyes, California. Image is copyrighted.

Nick's Cove, Pt. Reyes National Seashore,
Marin County, California
Image Reprints

December 2010: Hawaii

We love Hawaii, its views, beaches, kayaking, swimming, surfing, amazing sunsets, people, music, parties on the beach, luaus and food, culture, its place in world history, citizens from around the world. . .

October-November 2010: The Caribbean!

October 2009: Hawaii

November 2008: Mexico and The Mayans


The Mayan Peninsula
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October 2007: The Mediterranean

This was our first Mediterranean cruise with several ports o'call: Civitavecchia (Italy), Monte Carlo, Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Naples (for Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi Coast), Santorini in Greece, Kusadasi in Turkey, Mykonos, Piraeus (for Athens), Katakolon (for the world's first Olympic site), Corfu and Venice. Absolutely amazing. We would hop another ship in a heartbeat . . . Photographs and commentary.


Paris, Avignon en Provence, and along the Coté de Azur to Nice, Monaco/Monte Carlo, and Menton near the Italian border.

Overlooking Nice.
Overlooking Nice and the Old City from Castle Hill.


London, Greenwich, South End, Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath, Salisbury, hitch-hiking via sailboats through The Channel Islands Iron Bridge in Wales.(Jersey, Guernsey, Sark).


Irish Ferries to Tramore, Blarney Castle and the Woolen Mills, Tralee, Killarney, Limerick, Adare, Dublin


Cardiff, Wrexham, Ironbridge (image above right), Llangollen, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (yes, that is the name of a town).

Six Countries in Sixty Days . . .

The question posed: "We're starting in Tahiti and ending in Japan. Where do you want to go in between?" All travel arrangements for this trip were made via the Internet and checked throughout via eMail. It was one of the smoothest trips we've ever had.

French Polynesia
: Bora Bora and Moorea, a lifetime dream come true -- a week in an over-the-water bungalow.

Roratonga, Cook Islands: Around the island for a week. And unless you really want to slow down, I don't recommend this. Marvelous people, but very very slow. The one place we did not see that might be worth a return visit would be "One Foot Island."

New Zealand: Devonport (a mixture of Berkeley and Sausalito, with the best of both), across the harbor from Auckland. Only a few days. Not nearly enough time.

Australia: From Brisbane to Palm Cove to Cairns to Port Douglas on Australia's Eastern shoreline by air and auto and back to Brisbane by train. Diving the Great Barrier Reef, a world wonder. If the Grand Canyon were filled with warm turquoise water and vibrant tropical fish, you would have the Great Barrier Reef.

Thailand: Bangkok (travel by boat on the Chao Praya it's the fastest, cleanest way to get around), the Reclining Buddha, elephant rides, Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Pi Pi.

Japan: Samurai.Tokyo, Nikko National Park, Fuji-Hakone National Park (Lake Hakone, Fujisan, Lake Kawaguichi, The Hakone Check Point with traditionally garbed guards such as on the right), Kyoto (Nijo Castle, Golden Pavilion, Imperial Palace), Nara, Mikimoto Pearl Island, Narita. Of course we shopped while in Kyoto at Ise Tan (below right).

If you have only a one-night stopover at Tokyo, stay at Narita. It is easy to reach by train, it is a traditional small village with excellent last-minute shopping ideas. Many airline personnel stay there for overnight stopovers. Shopping in Ise Tan in Kyoto.Japanese Bullet Trains to all of Japan's main cities are on time, clean, excellent service. They link to smaller routes in areas such as the Ise Peninsula.

Costa Rica

San Jose, Limon, Cahuta, Corcovado, Tilajari, Tortuguero, Tabacon (dinner on a terrace overlooking the springs fed by the active Volcano, Arenal), and zipcording through the jungle canopy.

Hong Kong

For the million dollar pyrotechnical display to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year Fireworks 1998! Fireworks barge loading for Chinese New Year.As a guest of the Sousa family of Pyro-Spectaculars, one of the finest pyrotechnic families/companies in the world and one of the oldest in the U.S. Business Class via the Polar Route to Hong Kong Harbor. Great way to travel! Kowloon, Harbor City, and the backside of Macao for the blessing of the fleet, including Russian ships then in the harbor.

British Columbia

Vancouver Island, Bainbridge Island, kayaking through the San Juan Islands

Mexico: Baja California (Sea of Cortez), Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, the Mayan Riviera (with UNESCO World Heritage sites)

A world-class adventure: Sea-kayaking out of Loreto in the Sea of Cortez for several days with Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center based in Sausalito, California.

The Yucatan Peninsula imparts a sense of the timelessness of our nations and people and their determination to make a mark on this planet. This Peninsula is the home of warriors and strong spiritual beliefs, well ingrained before Europeans entered and assumed control of already well-definied political and social structures.


Amsterdam, Den Hague, Delft. Lovely country. Lovely people. Fine art. Beautiful and comfortable walking cities with buildings that are older than the United States.


Ocho Rios and Kingston. My first trip off of American soil, which opened my eyes to the beauty of tropical locations and the warmth of tropical people and waters. I learned to swim in the waters off of San Francisco. Who knew that there was water above 65° F. Jamaica captured my heart.

Room with a view in Jamaica.
Room with a view. Rose Hall Hilton.
Reprints of Jamaica.

We add information and stories to the site as we wander, especially as we find information that can Bring our (and your) ancestry to life.
A year in genetics.

Trace Your Family Lineages Back 10,000 Years and Beyond.
Who Are You?

Researchers have been surprised by the DNA of a 400,000 year old human ancestor. While researchers expected the DNA to look like Neanderthal DNA, it was actually much more like the DNA from another ancient human cousin, the Denisovans. As important, perhaps more important to individuals, is that you can now have your ancestry traced back through the centuries from your own DNA.