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Getting Ready for 2017:

An Impromptu Band at Jackson Square, New Orleans

But Wait! Where the Heck Did 2016 Go? Sometimes I think we’ve lost our minds. No, I’m not talking about the recent election campaign and subsequent results. That took insanity to an entirely new level. What I’m talking about is us, Simon and me. We’re a stable couple in our mid-sixties, living in a lovely […]

Europe

Manchester’s John Rylands Library:

Exterior of the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England

Is It a Castle? Is it a Cathedral? No, It’s a Wife’s Lasting Tribute. The John Rylands Library may not have looked like a library, but it definitely smelled like one. You know that subtle scent; a combination of books of all ages, and the people who read them. I’m not suggesting that either have […]

Europe / Food & Beverage

Camembert and Livarot:

Village of Camembert

Two of the Cheesiest Villages in Normandy. The Camembert was at it’s peak: smooth and creamy on the inside with a firm skin. I took a bite. The flavor was mild with a slight tang. Once upon a time it would have been pure perfection. But that was before I tasted Camembert de Normandy in […]

Europe

Fall Under the Spell of La Alberca:

Part of the Village Square in La Alberca

Discover the Magic of This Charming Spanish Village. It would have made a perfect postcard picture. In fact, it probably did. A sun-drenched village square, historic buildings and a beautiful church assembled under a soft blue sky. But this scene wasn’t a 3×5 glossy, sanitized scrap of tourist paraphernalia. Simon, Otto, our friends and I […]

North America

Feel the Heartbeat of Downtown Rapid City:

Graffiti in Art Alley, Rapid City

How Modern and Traditional Art Transformed This Area From Drab to Dynamic. Drunks, druggies, decay and detritus. That was downtown Rapid City before 2011. On October 7 of that year Main Street Square officially opened to the public. It was an important step toward a revitalization that continues to bring enthusiastic locals and tourists flocking […]

Road Reads

Sick, Sadistic and Impossible to Put Down:

Book Cover for "Invisible" by James Patterson and David Ellis,

Invisible by James Patterson and David Ellis. If nothing else, “Invisible” is the perfect road read if you want to insure not falling asleep at the wheel. Four hours from home on our return trip from Montreal, we had completed one book, and there was too much driving time left not to begin another. This […]

Europe

You Don’t Have to Be Catholic to Fall in Love with the Vatican:

Entrance to the Vatican Museum

How a LivItaly Tour Brought History, Art, Faith and Culture to Life. Pamen our extraordinary LivItaly tour guide, was describing the magnificent ceiling 63 feet above the exquisite inlaid marble floor, while, directly behind us, a massive heart-stopping scene of salvation and damnation loomed over us as if preparing to suck us into its tumult […]

Accommodation / Hints for Happier Travels

Looking for a Change from Traditional Hotels?

Front of apartment

Consider AirBnB for Your Next Vacation. When you’re traveling on business, or in need of a place to rest your head for the night during a long road trip, a clean hotel room with a comfy bed, good shower and reliable wifi is true perfection. But when you’re traveling for pleasure, there is an alternative […]

Food & Beverage / North America

Turning Up the Heat and Hospitality in Historic St. Augustine:

Signage at the New Location

Discover Datils and Other Good Eats at Hot Shot Bakery N’ Café. As Sherry Stoppelbein snapped our picture, I wondered what we’d gotten ourselves into. But Simon and I were committed to earning our spot on Hot Shot Bakery N’ Cafe’s Wall of Flame, so we each took a bite of Datil Popper… and smiled. Yes, […]

North America

St. Louis Cemetery #1 Walking Tour: 

Tomb of Marie Laveau

Who Would Have Thought Death Could Be So Much Fun. Cemeteries have always had a muting effect on me. Whether they were military, historic or associated with the death of someone I knew, my tendency to crack lame jokes and be otherwise irreverent took a back seat to my desire to be respectful. That was […]