December 28, 2015 |
'A three-hour tour? On a boat?" my brother asked with a raised eyebrow. "What could possibly go wrong?" He walked toward the gangplank ahead of the rest of our group of six, softly humming the Gilligan's Island theme song. A brisk week in November found my brothers and me, along with our significant others, trekking around Iceland in search of culture and relaxation - but mostly, the elusive and entrancing aurora borealis, the Northern Lights. We hadn't traveled together since we were kids, and I felt that seeing something really magical together would help make up for lost time.
December 20, 2015 |
August 1975: Driving south to North Carolina with my mom, my girlfriend (now my wife), and my baby brother. Destination: Davidson College and the start of football camp. There's a lump in my throat as, for the first time, I'm leaving my hometown of Magnolia and starting a new adventure, lured by the opportunity to play college football and continue my education. Two years later, my middle brother will join me at Davidson. Fast-forward 40 years, and we were making the same August trip again, something I had thought about for years.
December 14, 2015 |
At dawn, the dark shapes of seven minarets appeared against the lightening sky of the Neretva valley. When we arrived the night before, Mostar's skyline had been occluded by darkness, but in the morning light of our first day in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the graceful beauty of the medieval fairy tale city resolved into shapes and colors that revealed not only the spires, domes, and bridges of the diverse architecture of a blended culture, but also the...
December 7, 2015 |
What could you do with $217? It is certainly not an insignificant amount of money, but would it change your life? That's what I intended to find out during my trip to the Dominican Republic with Women International Leaders (WIL) of Greater Philadelphia. WIL members contribute time, knowledge, and money to raise women's economic and social status, promote self-determination, and help them become community leaders. Early in the week, we toured the lush region of Monte Plata, the future site of Schools for Sustainability, which will teach and model green technology.
December 7, 2015 |
Nearly four decades ago, when their two-person traveling party welcomed a third member, Pete Mackanin's wife, Nancy, began keeping a journal. As Mackanin bounced from one baseball job to the next, his family moving from one town to the next, Nancy recorded all of their son's firsts and noted where they were in their lives at every given point. The journal is how Nancy knows the precise number of times she has packed up and moved with her husband: 57, or enough for about 10 lifetimes.
November 30, 2015 |
With a big birthday sneaking (well, galloping) up on us, two dear friends and I wanted to travel someplace in the U.S. where we could enjoy both a serene, gorgeous area and a nearby big city. One would, hopefully, be just right for our yearning for a slower-paced, peaceful atmosphere, and the other would satisfy our still-energetic selves for the last two days of our trip. As we approached this milestone birthday, we realized we'd become more two-sided than ever - one side in bed by 9 p.m. and immersed in grandparenthood, the other side still active and excited to explore.
November 23, 2015 |
For me, the Jersey Shore holds memories that, as E.B. White wrote in his well-known New Yorker essay of many decades ago, "seem infinitely precious and worth saving. " My father, though born in Philadelphia, grew up in Atlantic City with his two brothers. My dad was the youngest child. My grandfather, "Pop-Pop" to me and my four siblings, ran a beautiful three-story hotel in the Inlet section. He lived across the street from the Absecon Lighthouse, then painted blue and white, as was his house on Vermont Avenue.
November 16, 2015 |
There is a moment during travel when relaxation kicks into gear. For us, it came in increments, beginning the moment we arrived in Honolulu. Straight out of our gate, we were steps from the outdoors and soft breezes that carried the scent of native flowers. Tourism is the basis of the economy on the Hawaiian Islands, and everyone we met had an unusually warm and welcoming attitude, in the spirit of "aloha. " We had been to touristy towns before, but not even in the Magic Kingdom were the people as mellow as they were kind and helpful.
November 9, 2015 |
My nephew's Peace Corps assignment in Zambia gave us the impetus needed to plan a three-week adventure in Africa. Once there, in northeast Zambia, we visited several villages, complete with mud brick huts with thatched roofs, wandering chickens, curious children, and friendly adults. We were treated to three honorary dinners featuring a village chicken, greens, and the starchy Zambian staple nshima, made from maize flour. The guest of honor was directed to eat the chicken gizzard before starting the meal.
November 2, 2015 |
As last summer was ending, our silver Tacoma climbed through the Cascade Mountains with four adults and a jon boat in tow. Moss-colored peaks, like giant green gumdrops, corralled us through the highway toward our Adirondack vacation. My cousins and husband visualized a respite from suburban South Jersey - fishing, dining, shopping, and relaxing. But I'd been apprehensive about this wilderness week. I'd prepped myself with camping videos on YouTube and researched survival products.