March 15, 2015 |
The warning growl, a flash of orange, heightened tension in the air: A tiger is near! This is what I had imagined and wanted to experience. Mention tiger , and India comes to mind. So, a few years ago, my wife, son, and I decided to visit Ranthambhore, a onetime princely hunting ground turned tiger preserve 112 miles from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state in western India. We stayed in a luxury tent, once used to accommodate guests during tiger hunts in the last century.
March 13, 2015 |
AS A YOUNGSTER growing up in King of Prussia with a fascination for science and math, Jayatri Das enjoyed spending time at the Franklin Institute. As with many Philadelphia-area students, walking through the giant heart made an impression on her. Today, Jayatri Das, Ph.D., is chief bioscientist at the institute, where she led the team that created the museum's largest exhibit, Your Brain, which opened last June. Tonight, Das will be among four women scientists to be spotlighted in the fifth annual "Color of Science" program at the Franklin Institute.
March 9, 2015 |
In the summer of 2010, with our 50th wedding anniversary approaching (in 2014), our four adult children said, "Let's all take a trip to Germany together and see where Mom and Dad were married (and lived for two years)!" Loving the suggestion and thinking this was way better than a party, we agreed it could be an amazing adventure. In 1964, my husband was an MP stationed just outside of Heidelberg, attached to U.S. Army Europe Headquarters. After months of planning, obtaining a passport, and purchasing a $303 one-way ticket, I flew to Frankfurt via London on a Pan Am 707 out of JFK Airport on a cold February evening.
March 2, 2015 |
Must one travel more than 1,000 miles for a trip to be considered a Personal Journey? Does it have to include a passport and an overseas flight to a foreign land where locals speak some exotic language? Is it a necessary requirement to strap on a backpack and a $400 Patagonia jacket and hike the foothills of a mountainous region that touches the clouds? Sometimes a simple journey within one's own home state can have a lasting impact. During the winter school break, my wife, two younger children, and I were looking to get out of the stuffiness of our house.
February 23, 2015 |
When I told my Norwegian friend Lise that we were going to Iceland for New Year's Eve, she questioned my sanity. In contrast to its nearly unlimited daylight in the summer, in the midst of winter, Iceland relishes about four hours of sunlight a day. Its skies change from rain to sleet to snow in a blink, and the ground is frequently so icy that you need to add metal tracks to your boots. But even in winter, Iceland provides extraordinary vistas of ice-covered lava fields; natural hot springs as prevalent as community swimming pools; seafood so fresh it may have been caught that morning; breathtaking geysers that entertain every few minutes; tap water so clean it makes bottled water feel, well, foreign; waterfalls so majestic as to be humbling; and the piece de resistance: a New Year's Eve display of bonfires and fireworks like nowhere else in the world.
February 20, 2015 |
What's the path that took Kadir Burton, a 15-year-old freshman at KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy, to soccer fields in Nicaragua and Colombia? You might say it began on the 52 bus, with a transfer to the 65, eventually getting Burton from his school in West Philadelphia to Main Street in Manayunk, to the Starfinder soccer facility, where Burton plays three afternoons a week. That was just the start of the journey last month. The U.S. State Department had helped set up an exchange program for countries that try to use soccer as a tool for social development.
February 16, 2015 |
When my husband first proposed driving to Erie as a family vacation, I was extremely skeptical about driving 800-plus miles with our three children, ages 7, 9, and 12. He enthusiastically suggested that it was the perfect location because we could combine my love of outdoors with his love of baseball. We could visit Presque Isle State Park, a premier birding spot, and attend an Erie Seawolves minor-league baseball game. I was intrigued. "And, we could get another stamp!" That was the clincher.
February 13, 2015 |
NOTHING BUMS out soul singer extraordinaire Sharon Jones. Not walking away from the Grammys without her due. Or watching coattail riders soar higher then she has. Heavens alive, Jones even makes light of her recurring bouts with cancer, readily bringing up the topic in interviews and working the theme into her stage show as a flag waver for resilience and trust in a master plan. "With all I've been through, I feel good, glad to still be here, glad to be working and having fun, glad to be getting recognition after all these years," Jones shared in a recent chat prompted by her concert tonight (um, Friday the 13th)
February 8, 2015 |
On my recent study abroad trip to Syracuse, Sicily, there were many incredible sights to see: the sparkling blue ocean that extended to the horizon, the picturesque Italian streets, and then there was me dancing shirtless with a belly dancer while my classmates cheered me on. It was our last night in Italy. We had bonded quite a bit throughout the week, and now we were forced to say goodbye to our tours of temples of Athena, puppet theaters, and the mime who cursed us out for being tourists.
February 2, 2015 |
It had been at the top of my bucket list for several years, so when circumstances made it possible for me to travel in the winter of 2014, I quickly booked my trip the preceding spring. Who could have predicted that such a brutal winter lay ahead? With one crippling winter storm after another, the obvious question posed by friends after learning of my upcoming vacation was where I was headed. More than a few brows were raised when I meekly replied, "Antarctica. " After coping with the relentless weather and five days without power in February, even I began to question the wisdom of my choice.