Posts with the category ‘Travel by Water’


National Park Service Scenes Splash Across Northern California

August 26, 2017

Doris Dalbec is making use of the wheelchair her recently-deceased husband no longer needs; rolling herself back and forth from paint-laden table to the side of the visitors center at Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California. Oh, she can walk alright, but there’s a lot of up and down and side to side action when creating a mural 36 feet across and eight feet high. On the day I meet her, Dalbec was joined by Wanda Kirkpatrick and Nan Marie Stewart, three of many local painters who “leave ego aside” and work collaboratively on one enormous work of art. They are members of… Read More…


A Day at the Beach, a Pinch at Dinner on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

May 29, 2016

On a steamy but sunny Sunday in Hong Kong, I packed a swimsuit, an umbrella (to ward off rain) and a hotel hand towel, in the thoughtfully-provided nylon carry bag left in my room at the East Hotel and headed for the ferry to spend a day on Lamma Island. This is not just a place to go swimming, it is a hilly walk through fecund forests where every break in the trees yields another spectacular view of small, colorful structures tumbling down the hills and flag-bearing fishing boats bobbing on the water. Just twenty minutes across the water from super-bustling Hong Kong, it is the antithesis of Asia urban, a… Read More…


My Terrible/Wonderful Typically Australian Day

April 23, 2016

No irregular rider goes out on a horse without expecting sore muscles the next day. The price seems well worth it, however, because there’s nothing to compare with the get-back-to-nature nature of horseback riding and doubly so when the destination is Victoria’s St. Andrews Beach, a wild stretch of dunes and energetic surf on the Mornington Peninsula. Early one recent morning, I saddled up for a ride with a group and guide at Gunnamatta Trail Rides. We were given a safety briefing and helmets and then I was assisted into the saddle of a tranquil horse named Banjo. With me atop, he obediently he took his place in a line of horses… Read More…


Outta My Comfort Zone and Into the Ice in Finland

January 21, 2016

In Miami, where I grew up, swimming in the ocean was akin to stepping into the tub; no discernable difference in temperature between the water and the air and that’s just how I like it. So no one was more surprised then I to be bounding across the snow in Helsinki wearing nothing more than a swimsuit and a towel and headed to a hole in the ice on the Gulf of Finland. And yes, I was planning to swim. To understand what lunacy prompted me do do such a thing, I need to wind back the story a few hours. The plan was to take a hike, what tour… Read More…


Travel Products that are “All About that ‘Case”

November 28, 2015

Pop singer Meghan Trainor’s momma may have told her “not to worry about your size” as she sings in her adorable hit, All About That Bass, but when it comes to your travel suitcase, size and weight definitely do matter. Airline bag fees and tougher security at transportation hubs are the two most obvious reasons to pack light. But there are other incentives. To experience a destination like a local means getting out of the cab and onto the bus, bike or sidewalk and who wants to haul a heavy bag up the steps of the subway or down the cobblestone streets? So if you wanna… Read More…


Alabama Shore Shows Diversity of U.S. Culture

November 13, 2015

On a recent trip to France, I had breakfast with Sofia Vandaele, General Manager of the newly remodeled and absolutely gorgeous Hilton Paris Opera. Sofia is Belgian and fluent in seven languages. It never ceases to amaze Americans – many of whom know only English – just how many different tongues the people in other countries speak. Sofia is very smart, not to mention charming which explains why she is one of the world’s youngest hotel managers. Big hat tip to a woman like that and who can also carry on a conversation in seven languages. Still, anyone who has visited Europe knows many countries are… Read More…


Wildlife From Both Sides of the Glass

June 17, 2015

In 2005, I had a big bay window installed over my kitchen sink. Since I spend hours standing there, I reasoned I might as well look at something. I thought I was providing myself with a view of the garden, but it is the wildlife I’ve seen that has made that window worth every penny I paid for it. During the particularly harsh Connecticut winter just past, a Cooper’s Hawk downed a mid-size bird on the blanket of snow covering my back lawn and proceeded to spend 25 minutes consuming its catch. The hawk left his version of dirty dishes for me to clean up, while he cleaned his feathers from atop a nearby tree…. Read More…


San Antonio; Harmonious in All the Ways that Count

April 22, 2015

It might have been sentiment that had me longing to return to San Antonio, Texas for the past twenty seven years. The city plays a memorable role in my career because it was in San Antonio where I reported my very first story for CBS News. It was the annual convention of Barbershop Harmony Society, held right before the 1988 political conventions. I still remember how anchorman Bob Schieffer introduced my story; “Democrats meeting in Atlanta can only hope that their gathering is as harmonious as the one being held in San Antonio this weekend…”, that Bob Schieffer is one clever writer. I was in and out of San Antonio so… Read More…


Evolution of Darwin From Thrill-seeking to Thought Provoking Destination

February 16, 2015

Its no secret; Australia is a country infested with things that will kill you. Or as humorist and Australiaphile Bill Bryson put it in his brilliant book, In a Sunburned Country, “If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles,”. Even so, I was not prepared for just how much the residents of Darwin on Australia’s north coast would take pride take that dubious reputation. In a twist on the adage, “What doesn’t kill you makes you strong,” Darwin’s tourist-attracting theme seems to be, “If it can kill you you can see it here up close.” All… Read More…


Nautical Stripes Help Puerto Rican Culture Sail Off the Island

December 15, 2014

While viewing the fantastic and seemingly-endless Jean Paul Gaultier special exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia in October; my mind traveled back to Puerto Rico. My father’s side of the family is from Borinquin and over the years, I have visited there many times.  Whether the French-born fashion maven and professional pot-stirrer has ever traveled to Puerto Rico, I can’t say. But as I viewed the products of his inventive mind, I was also thinking of the runway show of Puerto Rican fashion designer  Luis Antonio which I had seen the month previous during New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Both… Read More…


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