January 6, 2014 |
We sat on our surfboards and let the warm Pacific swell lift us and set us down in turns, waiting for the wave that would carry us to shore. Looking east, we squinted into the low morning light of a tropical sun and saw hot, white sand, steaming rain forest, and distant mountains all under a crystalline blue sky. For my wife, Amy, and me, it was the long-planned trip of a lifetime, repeatedly postponed because surfing the high season in Costa Rica...
December 30, 2013 |
My husband and I recently traveled to the Baltic capitals and Russia with our cousins. I am a recently retired Jewish educator and a cousin is a retired rabbi. We were on a group trip that included tours in each city. I arranged Jewish tours in Vilnius, Riga, and Moscow - not necessarily to trace our roots, but to see what history is evident. It is almost impossible for me to trace my roots; my relatives came from shtetls - poor, mostly Jewish villages in the Pale of Settlement in Russia, in what today is Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia.
December 23, 2013 |
My wife Patti was a science teacher at Upper Moreland for 35 years. She has a collection of sands from beaches the world over. Some are from her students' travels, and some are from hers. It's all sand from different exotic places, some in jars, some in plastic bags. On a trip to Hawaii many years ago, Patti got sand from a black beach and sand from a coral beach, both on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one beach that she wanted to get sand from was the green beach, one of only four in the world, on the farthest southern point of the United States, also on the Big Island.
December 16, 2013 |
It's a long, long way to ride a bike From Pittsburgh to D.C. But we just did it anyway, To see what we would see. We started out at Point State Park Went eastward up the Mon. Then up the Yough and Casselman To Cumberland beyond. Great Allegheny Passage Is this trail's official name. And if you bike or walk it, It brings out your best game. Along the way you'll pass Homestead And old McKeesport town; And later, Perryopolis, A little further down.
December 9, 2013 |
In August 2012, my companion, Ann, and I took a hiking trip with five other couples to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Each evening, we would bunk down in a modern, rustic eco-lodge. The nine-day trip involved hiking about 52 miles in six days through Peru. We are both in our mid-60s and fairly physically fit and active. However, there were many challenges on this trip: hiking 8 to 10 miles each day; adjusting to a high altitude of 15,000-plus feet; multiple changes in climate; eating local, unfamiliar foods; and avoiding injury.
December 2, 2013 |
We promised our children that when they were old enough we would take them to Ireland to show them where their great-grandparents were born and to visit relatives who still live there. So, one week after my son Connor's 18th birthday, my husband, John; daughter Bernadette, 19; Connor; and I boarded a plane to Europe. We started in Dublin, enjoying the Guinness factory tour, where we learned, among other things, how to pour the perfect pint before having our first "relative encounter" with John Walsh, a cousin who took us for a pint in Temple Bar, a quaint area of Dublin with cobblestone streets that is known for its nightlife.
November 25, 2013 |
Little Golden Books bring me back. A childhood favorite is the 1948 Little Red Riding Hood written and illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones. Do you remember this classic? The cover shows Little Red Riding Hood dressed in a hood and cape. Wearing her sturdy shoes, she stands on the threshold of Grandmother's open door. Framed by slices of cheery paper covering the exposed walls, she holds a fistful of posies in her outstretched hand. What makes this version so special is that the illustrator captured not only the child's innocence but also her hesitation.
November 19, 2013 |
CAMDEN When Salima Mostafa received word this year of her acceptance into the White House internship program, she knew it was an opportunity she had to take, if she could. It was a big moment - for her, her immigrant family, and Rutgers University-Camden. Mostafa, a first-generation college student who had holed up in her room each night for four years and consistently maxed out her course load, was about to graduate cum laude and was preparing to take medical school entrance exams.
November 18, 2013 |
As the plane drew closer to Glacier Park International Airport, the mountains were the first indication that this area of America is, without a doubt, one of its most beautiful. The wealth of green mixed with snow, still surviving the 90-degree heat, was breathtaking. My husband, Marc, and I were taking this trip as a way to relax the best way we know how - in natural settings. We planned to explore Glacier Park for two days, then spend one week at a guest ranch in Whitefish. Our first day at Glacier it poured rain, but we were undaunted.
November 11, 2013 |
I had pronounced myself "magic-proof" before even setting foot on the plane. Our family's fifth annual Disney World vacation was imminent and I was lost in a sea of checklists, confirmation numbers, notes to teachers pleading for mercy, and packing perfection. My husband and children lived to be transported to Neverland each year to escape the spin of business ownership and the suburban school-practice-homework shuffle. It was my job to have this mighty mouse mastered. After a half-decade of mouseketeering it, I had impressed myself with Disney know-how.