Some terrific destinations just seem to fall through the cracks and when you finally visit, you wonder where they’ve been all your life.
My latest revelation is Gloucester, Massachusetts, a city of 30,000 about 30 miles northeast of Boston on the Atlantic Ocean.
It shares scenic Cape Ann with three other communities: Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea, and if you like water views, boating, seafood, history, and art, you’re bound to love Gloucester and surroundings.
My wife, Catharine, and I spent a recent weekend there with old friends who live in a former sea captain’s house overlooking Gloucester harbor, where we dined on lobster as ocean breezes tempered the summer air and we watched a pink twilight settle on a parade of vessels — water shuttles, yachts, cruise ships, schooners, tour boats, party boats — passing by.
You can go whale-watching in the… Continue reading
It’s often fun to fantasize about buying a vacation home.
Where I live now in the desert, my thoughts sometimes turn to owning beachfront property. When I lived in upstate New York, with its cold, snowy winters, I found myself dreaming about snapping up a little vacation spot in the tropics.
I never took the plunge into actually purchasing, but many baby boomers have — or are seriously considering it.
Today’s guest post, by Jim McKinley, offers some sound advice on what to do and think about before you sign on the dotted line. (And by the way, I’ve been told I make an excellent house guest.)
By Jim McKinley
The current housing market means that now is as good a time as ever to purchase a vacation home — preferably providing both a getaway and a good investment.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework before… Continue reading
As a follow-up to our recent post “5 Great Reasons to Take an African Safari,” we bring you this offer from Kenya Airways:
A free safari with the Nairobi National Park Stopover Package!
Yes, passengers traveling on Kenya Airways flight 101 from London’s Heathrow Airport to Nairobi and transiting to one of seven other East African destinations can spend a long layover looking for wild animals rather than vegetating in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport waiting for their onward flight.
Animals you might see include rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and birds (with over 400 bird species recorded).
If you have at least six hours to kill between flights, and book the arrangements in advance, you’ll be:
* Met on arrival at the transit terminal by the “KQ Karibu” hospitality team
* Fast-tracked through immigration using your granted eVisa
* Transferred… Continue reading
Test your travel knowledge!
Travel photographer Dennis Cox has created this beautiful poster — a collection of his “photo paintings” from two dozen top travel icons around the world — and he’s offering a free poster to the first person who can correctly name all the icons.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers and we’ll do the rest.
If you’re a winner, you can choose this poster or one of many other artistic travel photo posters he has created. Subjects include The Art of Cruising, The Great Wall of China, European Castles, and the Colors of India, among others.
Until I heard from Erin Lowry, a blogger for 1stClassMedical.com, I didn’t realize that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third largest cause of illness-related death in the United States after heart disease and cancer
As Erin points out, “COPD is a broad term for a group of diseases affecting the airways and lungs,” with chronic bronchitis and emphysema being the two most common types.
While the main cause is long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, Erin says “it’s also possible to get COPD from air pollution, chemicals and even dust. Outside toxins can worsen the effects of COPD, making it hard for COPD patients to go outside without having a flare up.”
And she adds that while there is no current cure for COPD, since damage to the airways… Continue reading
When I first saw this infographic from the UK company Computer Planet about the health benefits of playing video games, I thought, “Hmm, interesting, but how much relevance does it have to baby boomers?”
After all, the prototypical image of gamers is of young men — who, as the infographic itself suggests, are seen as “anti-social hermits who shut themselves in their bedrooms day and night.”
And along with that image goes empty pizza boxes, bottles of soda or beer, maybe a haze of cigarette smoke…you get the picture.
Then I did a little research and was surprised to read that nearly a quarter of all gamers in the U.S. are age 50-plus, outdistancing those aged 36-49 and not too far behind the under 18 and 18-35 age ranges.
There’s more: according to surveys by Pew Research, in 2017 55 percent of Americans aged 50 and up played video… Continue reading
Today’s guest post by Stuart Cooke of Northern Ireland hooked me with his first great reason to take an African safari: “Africa is Incredible.”
I couldn’t agree more. My first experience visiting the “Third World” was decades ago in Africa. I was traveling there for six weeks on assignment for a news service I worked for, and was supposed to be writing political stories.
I did manage to pound some out, but my heart wasn’t in it.
I quickly discovered that I wanted to see and experience as much of Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries as I could. So I rode trains to Lake Victoria and Zambia, flew to Zanzibar, feasted on Indian food in Nairobi, spent a few idyllic days on the Indian Ocean… Continue reading
By a nice coincidence following our last post on travel safety, two new surveys are out that try to identify the safest countries in the world, with implications for travelers as well as residents.
One, called the Global Peace Index 2018, comes from the Institute for Economics and Peace. It looks at 23 relevant statistics for 163 countries — including political terrorism, murder rates, and deaths from internal conflicts — and ranked them for overall safety.
The second, from the Gallup polling organization, takes a different tack: Gallup went straight to nearly 150,000 residents of 142 countries and asked them how safe they felt, based on factors such as their own experiences with crime and their attitudes toward local policing.
The results, as you might imagine, were quite different, though one country… Continue reading
The other day I received a press release promoting what sounded like a wonderful five-star hotel in an exotic location, said to be the finest accommodation in its city.
Along with various five-star amenities such as a state-of-the-art spa and gym, six restaurants including one with panoramic views, tennis courts, and indoor pool, it promised to serve as a base for tourists exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites, taking river cruises, visiting museums, and marveling at spectacular evening performances.
The only potential downside? The name says it all: it’s the Corinthia Hotel Khartoum, serving the capital of Sudan, a nation wracked by terrorist violence and crime in recent years, including reported attacks against Westerners in Khartoum itself.
The U.S. State Department doesn’t mince words: if you plan to travel to Sudan, the department warns in an extraordinary… Continue reading
As a big fan of Alaska travel and someone who’s written about the state a fair amount, I realize I’ve been amiss in not previously mentioning one of the 49th state’s premier events: Summer Solstice in Fairbanks.
Just 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle, the city of Fairbanks is the top spot in Alaska to celebrate the Solstice on June 21. The Solstice is the apex of the Midnight Sun season, which runs there from April 22 through August 20.
During the Solstice, the sun never dips below the horizon and the sky never gets dark. So on June 21 or thereabouts, Fairbanks residents and visitors can either pull down the blackout shades when it’s time to go to bed or give into reality and just decide to stay up half the night.
Three Sun-Illuminated Events
Thanks… Continue reading