My Continental Airlines flight from New York to Ixtapa includes a change of planes in Houston. We arrive and depart from the same terminal, so there is no pressure or hassle reaching the gate of my connecting flight. In fact, being a Continental fan for many years, I appreciate and always enjoy their friendly and dependable service. Both segments are relaxing; the landings smooth and reassuring. Now that Continental and United Airlines are merging, I am looking forward to flying “the friendly skies” with the best of both carriers (more)
OAXACA, a colonial treasure in the south of Mexico, is proud to be considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and eritage Site in its pre and post Colombian heritage, history and culture date back more than 3,000 years. It is the capital of the state of Oaxaca, and a city committed to preserving its artistic, architectural, archeological and gastronomic traditions. Just walking through the Benito Juarez Market, is a spiritual and cultural journey back in time. Foods are seasoned with indigenous spices and (more)
“Where the songs are sad and the wars are glad”
Ireland …How Do I Love Thee?
Let Me Count the Ways
* The fun, humor and banter of your people; they can talk; they can charm; they can cook, and they are passionate about their past and their future.
* The Anglo-Irish homes and quaint fishing villages that dot your magnificent countryside and hug your windswept coastlines.
* Where every stone you turn reveals a little history, from crumbling castles dating back to the 13th Century and feudal lords to restored manor houses that have been renovated into five star hotels.
* The crystal clarity of your lakes, rivers and waterfalls; the sweeping expanse of your gentle hills and shamrock green fields, where sheep, cows and horses graze contently.* Your majestic heather- covered Sperrin Mountains that rise proudly; the fog and mist that rolls off your bogs and moors; and the warmth of the Irish sun that refuses to be daunted by passing clouds. (more)
DUBLIN. . . the city of words
The train ride from Belfast to Dublin takes two hours. I taxi to “the best address in Dublin”, and check into The Merrion Hotel, the recipient of a dazzling array of awards, and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. (more)
THE CALGARY STAMPEDE
Calgary Stampede - We arrive in
THE TREASURES OF PERU
The Treasures of Peru - Peru is a country of unsolved ancient mysteries, priceless archeological treasures and a cuisine as diverse as the country itself. Divided into three regions' coastal, highlands and jungle' each region has its own character, distinct tastes, music and cultural customs. Collectively, this agricultural country is the largest grower of potatoes (83 varieties to be exact) and contains 84 of the earth's 104 ecosystems. (more)
Ethiopia - “ Lucy’s Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia”, an amazing “not to be missed” International exhibit that traces the history of Ethiopia and mankind through the ages, has opened in a new state-of-the-art exhibition facility located in the former printing presses building of The New York Times at 226 West 44th Street, in the heart of Times Square. One enters a world that is fascinating, informative and thought provoking. (more)
South Africa - In high style, by rail... rover... hot air balloon. The lure of the bush releases emotions you may not know you have . . . and I am moved to tears of gratitude (more)
SAFARI IN THE SKY
Safari in the Sky - We leave the gates of Sun City at 3:00A.M., and drive for an hour in chilly darkness to Pilanesburg National Park; we pass a giraffe enjoying an early breakfast. If we’re lucky, and the wind is kind; our flight will not be cancelled. The anticipation of tracking the wild animals in a hot air balloon mounts as we approach an open field. It is a first for all, but the pilot. A deflated blue balloon lies on its side. (more)
When I had a chance to join World Airways Operation Babylift - Homeward Bound Celebration, I knew I was in for an emotional journey. Twenty one adopted Vietnamese orphans were being united with their birth land for the first time in 30 years They had been evacuated in cargo planes as babies ( along with close to 3,000 other orphans) during the month of April 1975, strapped three in a seat, and today World Airways was flying them back first class. Now in their 30’s and 40’s, they would have a brief day and a half in Saigon (officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City) to fulfill their dreams and begin the process of tracing their roots. (more)
ISTANBUL - THE CULTURAL CAPITAL OF EUROPE
Istanbul - the cultural capital of Europe - My Turkish Airline Business Class flight from JFK to Istanbul is a delicious Turkish delight. I am as impressed with the freshness, flavors and presentation of the meals served throughout the flight as I am with the friendly service of the flight crew. There is a very practical and attractive serving bar at the front of the business class section used for set ups; it is artistically arranged with flowers, crystal glasses, bottles of wine and other treats available to passengers throughout the flight. My dinner gets off to a mouth watering start with a selection of mezze (more)
Cartagena - Cartagena, the 2nd oldest city in Colombia, is one of the most beautiful and most visited cities in Latin America. It is paradise for those who live here, and paradise for those who are just passing through. September through May is the cruise season; two hundred cruise ships are expected to dock in 2008, and starting in August, Royal Caribbean will use Cartagena as a home port. The distinct charm of this unique city earned it recognition as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage and Patrimony of Humankind in 1985; its seven universities reflect the fact “here learning is a way of life”. (more)
The great pyramids of Gaza loom outside the window of my room at the Oberoi Mena House in Cairo; I can practically reach out and touch them; the power of their presence and the full moon are overwhelming. I feel an emotional connection to the past that is staggering, and begin to believe I am living the afterlife of Nefertari; tonight I will bathe in milk and honey; exaggerate my eyes with kohl I bought in the bazaar; powder my eyelids with blue and green shadow, and don a diaphanous white dress. Perhaps pharaoh Ramses IV will be waiting for me in the moonlight; after all, I was his favorite wife. As I walk down the sweeping red carpeted stairs, Otif plays his violin; rose petals are scattered under my feet. In the lobby bar, the piano player and a string of violinists are playing gypsy music. Tarek is waiting for me; tonight we are dining in the hotel’s Moghul Indian restaurant. (more)
The islands of Malta and Gozo are windswept with history, medieval villages, baroque old churches and 500 year old restored stone farmhouses.; they produce some pretty decent wines; rabbit is their traditional dish; and each restaurant takes pride in preparing a family recipe, handed down from generation to generation. (more)
THE MYSTIQUE OF MOROCCO
Morocco is an ideal place to visit if you are looking for an exotic vacation or an Arabian Night’s honeymoon. You will be transported back in time, and experience ancient traditions in the opulent splendor of Moorish architecture; dine in palaces built centuries ago for ruling sultans, and be served lavish platters of Moroccan cuisine, seasoned with pungent spices like cumin, paprika and garlic. And if you love to shop, you will get lost in the endless array of natural beauty products and handmade crafts for sale in the souqs and Berber village markets. You can ski the Atlas Mountains in the morning . . . and windsurf off the beaches of Essouria in the afternoon. (more)
JAMAICA ”ONE LOVE, ONE HEART
My five-day cruise on The Braemar, a Fred Olsen Cruise Ship, was coming to an end. After snorkeling in Belize, visiting the ruins in Guatemala and swimming with dolphins in Roatin Island, Honduras, we were disembarking in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (more)
HONG KONG AND BEIJING BEYOND SHOPPING . . .
I am invited to celebrate Cathay Pacific Airline’s new non-stop service from JFK to Hong Kong, and to experience the Peninsula Hotel’s Royal Treatment. My wide reclining Business Class seat promises a comfortable and reassuring flight. I begin my fifteen and a half-hour journey-with a glass of champagne, smoked salmon, duck soup and crab dumplings; the thick lamb chops are succulent and tender. (more)
LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN - HAPPY 50TH HALF MOON RESORT
Roberta Flack has been bringing the house down and wowing audiences for three decades; Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica has been pleasing, pampering and wowing guests for half a century. What better way to launch a year long 50th celebration than a three-day birthday bash with Roberta Flack center stage? (more)