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pen paperWe recently challenged our readers to write a trip review about the best journey they’d taken over the previous year. We received dozens of submissions detailing our readers’ travels to places like Curacao and Cambodia, Mexico and the Mediterranean, France and the Philippines.

It was tough to pick the best review to win the grand prize, a $250 Best Western Travel Card. But in the end, we gave the nod to Heather Ranes for her review of her trip to the Emerald Isle, Ireland – The 40 Shades of Green. Here’s a snippet of her winning review:

“Killarney is the poster-child for what we, as Americans, want to see when we travel to Ireland. The city is surrounded by lush meadows and forests, its adorable Main Street is bursting with pubs and eateries, and there are lots of stone ruins to explore. Taking the advice of friends, we rented bikes (about $20 USD per person) for the day and spent most of the morning and early afternoon biking around Ross Castle and one of the lakes nearby (the bike rental shops have plenty of advice and maps available). This decision was one I consider to be a once in a lifetime experience … being on bicycles, we were able to pass the pedestrian traffic (Ross Castle is a walkable distance from downtown Killarney) and spend several hours in virtual isolation surrounded by the mystical forests of Killarney National Park. If I were a fairy, I’d want to live here.” Read the rest!

We also chose five runners-up at random to win IndependentTraveler.com duffel bags. Click on the title to read more of each review.

Aloha from Morro Bay by Tim Owens: “We paddled near some sea lions gathered in the middle of the bay, and later came close to a couple of flocks of beautiful white pelicans.”

Back-to-Back Cruises are a Gift to Yourself and Other Guests by Ralph Koerber: “A Chocolate Lovers’ Buffet featured ice carvings displayed with any type and shape chocolate desired.”

Thailand-Cambodia by Lisa Boruff: “The smell of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, flowers, incense floating in air. Orchids of all colors, roses, and spices at the flower market…”

The AMAZING Oasis of the Seas by Lisa Brommell: “We were six women traveling for a girlfriends cruise (no husbands/kids allowed)!!”

London by Marcia L Hill: “Having lived in London, I was eager to return with [my boyfriend] nearly 10 years later to see what had become of this wonderful city.”

Feeling inspired? Write about your latest trip!

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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