September 8, 2013 |
I celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary by watching a frisky young thing hit on my husband. That hussy alpaca. This development occurred at Bay Springs Farm outside Cape May, a little alpaca farm that breeds, raises, and sells the gentle beasts and is open to visitors on weekends year-round. Steve and I had been enjoying a perfectly normal, predictable, snuggly romantic weekend in a Victorian bed-and-breakfast in Cape May, lovely dinners, relaxation, the whole bit, when we happened on a brochure for an alpaca farm.
September 2, 2013 |
A spectacular Swiss vacation soured on the last day. The downward spiral began at the Basel train station. When we asked which platform our train would arrive on, a clerk directed us verbally and with hand gestures toward a door. A construction project had brought temporary walls and unmarked doorways to the station, creating a confusing setting. We went through a door to a platform and waited until the arrival time had passed. Since European express trains are rarely late, a feeling of impending doom descended on us. Another inquiry to station personnel produced the same results, so we dubiously returned to the platform.
August 26, 2013 |
The monarch butterflies at the Tyler Arboretum were about a week old, so it was time for them to move on. About 60 orange-and-black monarchs, freshly emerged from their chrysalises, were tagged and released into the wild at the arboretum's Butterfly Festival on Saturday. Over the next several weeks, the delicate insects will flutter about 2,500 miles south and then west before settling in a central Mexican mountain range with millions of others, the longest migratory journey of any North American butterfly.
August 26, 2013 |
With a newly diagnosed gluten allergy, I had no idea how I would manage on a gluten-free diet during a recent visit to Scotland. While Edinburgh and Glasgow have fine restaurants and a vibrant ethnic food scene, tourists traveling north often have to rely on the familiar comfort foods. But fish and chips, meat pies, and scones were no longer an option for me. Surprisingly, this proved to be no hardship. Scotland has embraced gluten-free dining with a capital GF. Our first surprise was being welcomed at the home of friends with hot, buttered GF toast.
August 18, 2013 |
Dubai is one of seven cities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the most populated. It is located in the Middle East on the beautiful Arabian Gulf. Our direct flight from JFK on Emirates Airline into Dubai was 14 hours. We visited in March, and the weather was perfect for sunbathing during the day and mild in the evenings, making it ideal for walks. Dubai has a tropical desert climate; winter falls between December and March, and temperatures average 75 to 90 degrees. There are many places to go and fun things to do in Dubai.
August 14, 2013 |
I arrived in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo in the height of winter, after living a while in the pulsing, styled city of Buenos Aires. My hostel was just a few blocks from the water on three sides; the winds were bitter. A new Uruguayan friend told me I looked like I was thinking of something far away. I told him I missed my friends in the Argentinian capital. "That's always the worst part," he said, "leaving the people. And you know, when you leave here, you'll feel that way all over again.
August 5, 2013 |
Can a South Jersey girl pump gas and drive on her own to Maine? That was the question everyone, including myself, asked as I made plans to attend a weeklong writers' conference at the University of Southern Maine. Then I planned to head three hours farther north. It had been nearly 25 years since I was in Brooklin, Maine. I wanted to confirm my memories that Flye Point was one of the most beautiful spots on earth. After the conference, I felt like Rip Van Winkle as I headed out of the Brunswick area on Route 1. I drove across unfamiliar bridges and waterways.
July 29, 2013 |
Too often we overlook the suburbs for the cities in our journeys, and a recent trip to America's heartland highlighted what a mistake that travel philosophy can be. Just 20 minutes west of Chicago lies Oak Park, a Victorian village whose quiet, tree-lined sidewalks belie a curious truth: Oak Park is a serious hotbed of 20th-century artistic Americana. Not one but two American cultural giants, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, have some deep Oak Park roots.
July 22, 2013 |
These are entries - the first and a later one - from Andrew Spence's travel blog at www.andrewspencetravel.blogspot.com , which details his monthlong journey across America. When I told people that I was taking a month off, at the age of 24, to drive around my country, I got one of two reactions - "Wow, that's interesting . . . " (followed by a moment of awkward silence and a puzzled face) or "Wow! That's awesome! I'm so jealous! Where are you going? Can I come? I've always wanted to do that!"
July 22, 2013
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