Posts with the category ‘North America’


Holiday Gifts For Travelers and Those Who Love Them

November 29, 2017

Let’s face it, travel is disruptive, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it’s an interruption in sleep schedule, exercise program or family time, there’s a gadget, app or destination that tackles the issue head on. That’s something to keep in mind if a frequent traveler is on your holiday shopping list. Sound Oasis sleep mask Forget the raccoon-disguise that mashes your eyelashes against your lids and slides sideways in any position other than lying flat. Sound Oasis, makes a variety of sleep masks that do more than help you sleep in uncomfortable settings like planes and buses. Their products are billed as sleep… Read More…


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 Ride Through The Sky Even the Wright Brothers Couldn’t Imagine

August 10, 2017

Before the Wright Brothers mastered the air they were accomplished bike builders and competitive cyclists. All this was brought to my attention this Spring when on assignment for Air & Space magazine, I traveled for seven days by bike exploring the history of aviation in and around Dayton, the Wright’s hometown. You can read the full story here. Now, little more than a century later, we barely think twice about getting on an airplane on one side of the world and arriving on the other. The same cannot be said about biking in the sky. That is why I have a clear recollection of the… Read More…


On Ohio’s Aviation Trail Bikers Pedal Through a Century of Flight

July 19, 2017

Ask anyone about the Wright Brothers and for sure, they’ll mention flight and maybe even that before inventing their famous airplane, Orville & Wilber Wright built bikes. Even though they are arguably history’s most famous bike builders it still seems like an aside. But look closely at a Wright Brothers airplane and you’ll see the brothers borrowed chains and sprockets and incorporated the geometric shapes from bike frames to construct and test their flying machine. “We marvel at the airplane while overlooking the bicycle,” Ryan Qualls a National Park Service Ranger told me. At the time, the bike was, “one of the simplest machines with… Read More…


WestJet Denies Close Call Caught on Camera at St. Maarten

March 9, 2017

Air travelers to St. Maarten expect a thrilling view approaching Princess Juliana International Airport. But thrills turned terrifying for passengers and observers of WestJet Flight 2652 from Toronto on Tuesday. When the Boeing 737 descended through the clouds it went well below the minimum descent altitude. The scene of the jet skimming the surface of Maho Bay was captured by aviation photographer Christine Garner,  shooting from the roof of a nearby building. She said she thought the plane was going to crash. “When this plane came out of the cloud, I was so shocked,” she said. “The surprising thing was he was lower than me. Normally they pass… Read More…


New Mexico Mountain Gives Bunny Hill Skiers a View

March 1, 2016

“Don’t look down. Look up and enjoy the view,” Seth Hardy said – not just once but all day long. The ski instructor and former junior Olympian was working hard in an effort to get his student off the baby slopes and onto Rocky Mountain trails ten thousand feet in the sky. Seth worked with me for two days this February at the Red River Ski Area near Taos, New Mexico and his wise words were easier for me to hear than to heed. Avoiding looking down at the slippery slope below my skis seemed too scary. I am a fun-lover but not a thrill-seeker. The big… Read More…


Rolling Down the River; World’s Best Waterfront Bike Rides

December 24, 2015

Somewhere between the too-slow pace of walking and the everything-passes-by-in-a-blur of driving, I think riding a bike is just right. Some places are more conducive to bicycles than others, Beijing and Hanoi are for the suicidal pedaler, too much traffic, not enough respect for the two-wheeler. Seoul and Santa Monica, on the other hand are two of many cities where in a manageable distance one can go from city center to scenic waterside trail.  An additional plus in Seoul is free daily bike rentals for visitors.  That’s right, I don’t know how long it will last but the rental is absolutely free with helmets and locks included. How hospitable… 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…


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