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This is the fifth and final post in guest contributor Myles Stone’s reflections on his recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, more than 40 years after the end of the war that roiled America and in many ways changed baby boomers’ lives and world views forever.

But now it’s a new era in this beautiful Southeast Asian country, where the vast majority of the population was born after what they call the American War. (Even when I visited Viet Nam in 1997, there was little anti-American resentment.)This is the fifth and final post in guest contributor Myles Stone’s reflections on his recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, more than 40 years after the end of the war that roiled America and in many ways changed baby boomers’ lives and world views forever.

Myles offered eloquent observations about the history of… Continue reading

Here’s part 4 of Myles Stone’s Viet Nam Diary.– a day exploring the former imperial capital of Hue, which combines both ancient and modern history, including stark reminders of the Viet Nam War.

For those who missed Myles’ previous three posts, he’s a Tucson physician who recently spent two months in Hoi An, Viet Nam, with his wife, Aimee, and baby daughter, Mimi. They were joined for part of their stay by my son, Grael, his wife, Nona, and baby son, Conrad.

How did two toddlers do in Viet Nam? Just fine.

The Vietnamese dote on babies. When you’re in restaurants, for instance, and your young children get restless, the owners will often happily insist on looking after them, perhaps even taking them outside.  (At the end of the meal, the conversation may go something like this: “May we have our check, please? And our two babies — please?”)… Continue reading

Here’s Part 3 of  guest contributor Myles Stone’s Viet Nam Diary, featuring his insightful narratives during a recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, during which he received a visit from my son, Grael; daughter-in-law, Nona; and my 16-month-old (and already well-traveled) grandson, Conrad. (Myles’ wife, Aimee, and baby daughter, Mimi, rounded out the  contingent of travelers.)

All were born after the Viet Nam War ended in 1975,  and thus bring a fresh perspective to the country that so consumed the baby boom generation in the U.S. during the turbulent 1960’s and early 1970’s.

In this post and the next, Myles recounts a visit to Viet Nam’s old imperial capital of Hue during the late April holiday marking the reunification of the country. As with all his posts, photos are courtesy of the family photographer, wife Aimee.

By Myles Stone

Photos by… Continue reading

An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Viet Nam

This is the second in our series of guest posts from Myles Stone, a Tucson physician who recently spent two months in Hoi An, Viet Nam, with his wife, Aimee, and baby daughter, Mimi.

Our son, Grael, daughter in law, Nona, and our then-16-month-old grandson, Conrad, spent two weeks visiting the Stones there this spring.

These are slice-of-life pieces that provide insights into what Viet Nam — a country that played such a huge role in the baby boomer experience of the 1960s — is like today.

You can read about the usefulness of their local neighborhood “fixer” in Myles’  first post.

In this post, Myles treats us to a visit to one of the many tailoring shops in Hoi An, where you can get custom-made suits, shirts, and other items of clothing made from scratch for a tiny fraction of what… Continue reading


Today I’m delighted to introduce guest poster Myles Stone, a physician and friend of my son, Grael, and daughter-in-law, Nona.

Grael, Nona, and young Conrad P. Norton, who was 16 months old at the time (all pictured above arriving in Viet Nam), recently spent two weeks visiting Myles, his wife Aimee, and their baby daughter, Mimi, during their stay this spring in Hoi An, Viet Nam.

Though their experiences were those of a younger generation — none were alive during the Viet Nam War that so consumed the formative years of most baby boomers — Myles’ observations on their two months in Hoi An offer insightful and amusing glimpses of what life is like there today more than 40 years after the end of the war. (His complete blog can be found here.)

In this installment, one of a multi-part series, Myles describes the  key role that the… Continue reading

Kyoto's Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple of the Golden Pavilion. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Barcelona, Spain.  Udaipur, India.  Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Rome and Florence, Italy. Santa Fe, New Mexico and Charleston, South Carolina, U.S..

Luang Prabang, Laos. Ubud, Indonesia (Bali).

Cape Town, South Africa. Hoi An, Vietnam.

Kyoto, Japan. Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

What do these cities have in common? If you said “very little,” you’;d be right, but you’d also be wrong.

They were all voted into the top 15 of the “World’s Top Cities” by the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine. The criteria included sights/landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value.

Where are the Usual Suspects? 

Notable absences include London, Paris,. Venice,  Prague, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver, Hong Kong…not even such trendy destinations as… Continue reading

We would have liked to see this Thai dancing

We would have liked to see this Thai dancing

On our first trip to Asia  many years ago, my wife and I were traveling in Thailand and enjoying the most consistently good food we had ever eaten.

Every meal — whether it was a simple dish of pad Thai at a noodle stand or a whole grilled fish in a sit-down restaurant — was outstanding. We were in foodie heaven.

That is, until we spotted a placard in our Bangkok hotel lobby promising a memorable evening of traditional Thai dancing combined with an “authentic Thai meal in a genuine Thai-style lodge within a sylvan setting,” or words to that effect.

What could be better?

We’d have another great dinner and get to see some Thai dancing, which was on our to-do list. We always liked a nice sylvan setting.  And the price, while a splurge for… Continue reading

This is the year that the Rooster gets to crow.

This is the year that the Rooster gets to crow.

Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), starts on January 28 this year and continues for 15 days.

It’s the most important festival time of the year in China — when millions of Chinese travel to their home villages and cities to be with family or friends for holiday reunions.

One of the world’s most celebrated festivals, Chinese New Year is also a star occasion  in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world. And in recent years, the celebrations in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney and other overseas cities have spread out of Chinatowns.

Parades with dragon and lion dances and fireworks, family feasts, and, on the final day, a Lantern Festival illuminated by red lanterns are all traditional.

This is the Year of… Continue reading

1ef61fa7bf921f1dc6fc666030b62d88A few months ago I attended a stamp and coin show in Tucson and was disappointed to see that most of the displays were devoted to coins, not stamps.

And I became almost morose while chatting with some of the few stamp dealers there (all of whom were baby boomers, by the way). They each told the same story: in their experience, at least, stamp collecting is a dying hobby. Many of their items had been marked down for faster sale.

As a boy growing up in Indiana, I became a fervent stamp collector while still in grade school.

While I collected stamps from all over the world, including the U.S., I especially liked the issues of British and French colonies — not because I romanticized colonization (I didn’t know its moral implications at the time), but because they beautifully depicted far-away, exotic places that, quite simply, made me… Continue reading

Punakha monastery, Bhutan Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Punakha monastery, Bhutan Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

In our last two posts, we took a look at some of the most popular travel-related bucket list destinations and activities based on a survey of 1,000 travelers by the website TotallyMoney.com. You can view those results, and my comments, by clicking here and here.

While my own experiences with a few of the items — such as gambling in Las Vegas — were on the margins (in the case of Vegas, dropping a few quarters into slot machines), I had pretty much done all those on the list.

My own bucket list tends to be a little quirkier than most. Places that end up on my list are pretty far-flung, represent something I’ve missed in past trips, or are just items that fulfill my admittedly peculiar travel obsessions. (I suspect that a lot of baby boomer frequent travelers’ lists are… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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