Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sights to See: Philadelphia Mummers Parade, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Mummers Parade  This festive parade has marched down Broad Street every New Year’s Day for more than 100 years. One of the longest running traditions in the country, it began in the 1800's as a way to celebrate the New Year and ibecame an official city event n 1900. Participants wear elaborate costumes made with feathers and sequins galore, and you’ll see plenty of cross-dressing.

Mummers Parade in Cape May, New Jersey. 
More Mummers.
Even more Mummers. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.  

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Things to Do: Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore, Paris, France


This just might be enough for you to finally go buy a ticket to Paris.


More Paris.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Misc.: what luggage to buy


Are you in the market for new luggage? Check out the comments about what to buy and why, and also about airlines and theft:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-hobica/why-you-should-buy-a-four_b_1115011.html


More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Good Eats: Edgefield: The Poor Farm, Troutdale, Oregon

Edgefield: The Poor Farm 2126 SW Halsey St., (800) 669-8610, (503) 669-8610. No pets. Located next door to now-trendy Gresham—it was once just a simple farm town where my own Grandpa lived his life farming strawberries and raising cattle—this fun-filled complex once actually was a real poor farm that rescued folks who had fallen on hard times. Now it is like a little village, with a Georgian Revival-style manor house B&B as well as many out buildings, and visitors can have a great time just wandering the property—stopping for a beer and some exceptionally tasty oversize peanuts in the Little Red Shed, followed perhaps by pizza and more beer at an outdoor picnic table at the Power Station Pub. The farm also has a fancier restaurant, a movie theater, a winery and distillery, two golf courses (1 12-hole, 1 20-hole), a spa with a saltwater soaking pool, and expansive gardens.


More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

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image courtesy of venue 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things to Do: swim with the pigs, Exuma Key, the Bahamas


You've heard about swimming with the dolphins? Get ready for swimming with the pigs! (Did you know that a group of hogs is called a "drift"?)


More Bahamas.

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catch another view:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sights to see: National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming


National Elk Refuge 800-772-5386, 307-733- 0277.  Sleigh rides mid-Dec through first weekend in April; adults $18, 5-12 $12. Lodging suggestions: 307-733-3316. Take a draft horse-drawn sleigh tour of North America’s largest established elk preserve. Featuring the spectacular Grand Teton Mountain Range on one side and the Gros Venture Mountain range on the other, this is not a zoo Some of the thousands of elk migrate here from as far as 100 miles away. Sleighs are a cheery photogenic red with black trim and have padded seats. From them you’ll see wildlife up close and in motion. I heard the 4-year-old daughter of a park ranger exclaim with glee, “Wow, look at all that poop!” After, you can pet the horses and take pictures with them.

Then, warm up across the street within the impressive stone walls of the National Museum of Wildlife, where galleries let you get even closer to a wide array of wild animals.


More animal attractions.  

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sights to see: Radio City Christmas Spectacular, New York City


Radio City Christmas Spectacular Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, 212-247-4777. At least once in a lifetime everyone should see this extraordinary show. Excitement grows as high as the Rockettes kick as Santa flies and fireworks light up the stage. The storyline features the famed synchronized chorus line dancing on the block-wide stage as snow falls and music rings out from the largest Wurlitzer organ ever built (it has more than 4,000 pipes). Runs through January 2, 2012.  

 
More Christmas events.

More things to do in NYC.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sights to see: International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon


International Rose Test Garden 400 SW Kingston Ave., in Washington Park, (503) 823-3636. Daily 7:30-9. Free. This test garden began in another location in 1915, when a rose hobbyist got city officials to approve a garden dedicated to saving European roses from World War I bombings. Roses arrived from around the world. The garden moved to its current site in 1917, and now covers 4.5 acres. You can see more than 8,555 rose bushes representing some 722 varieties--including the almost black "Black Magic" rose, which is actually a deep blood red and the sweet smelling magenta "Firefighter Rose” named in honor of firefighters lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. In 1940, the garden became a testing site for the All-America Rose Selection.


More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.    

More gardens around the world.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, December 2, 2011

Misc.: best time to purchase an air ticket


Ever wonder when the best time is to buy an air ticket? Well, here you go:

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good Eats: Big Island Candies, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii

Big Island Candies 585 Hinano St., a few blocks from the airport, Hilo, (800) 935-5510, (808) 935-8890. Daily 8:30–5. You can watch workers through big windows here as they make yummy chocolates and cookies. The macadamia nut shortbread cookies dipped in milk or white chocolate are simply THE BEST. And don’t miss your chance to taste chocolate-covered cuttlefish, called “ika.” Though it is tempting to pronounce that “ick-ah,” this delicacy actually tastes quite good.



More things to do on the Big Island.

More things to do in Hawaii.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 
 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Sleeps: Hotel Monasterio, Cuzco, Peru

Hotel Monasterio Calle Palacio 136, 1 blk. from Plaza de Armas, 800-223-6800, +51 84 60 4000. Converted from a Spanish monastery built in 1592, this magnificent hotel features weathered stone arches sheltering the halls and original religious paintings decorating the walls. At hotel check-in we were offered coca tea, which eased our discomfort from the altitude. In the morning we feasted at the buffet in the cheery golden breakfast room of the El Tupay Restaurant, drinking electric-colored fruit juices and sampling tasty local Kiwicha biscuits and Andean cheese; Inca dinners are held here on Saturday.

See my article about Machu Picchu.

More things to do in Peru. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good Eats: around the world


Zagat lists some favorite snack foods in the U.S. Let's open that list up to the world. What is one of your favorites?


More happenings around the world.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good Eats: Hasenecke/Currywurst, Berlin, Germany


Currywurst is one of Berlin’s most famous and beloved dishes. It is said to have been “invented” in the late 1940s and became popular with construction workers rebuilding the city.

Hasenecke  Savignyplatz, 0173/233 9997. This cheery little currywurst cart is near this S-Bahn station. Here the wurst is cut in pieces, sprinkled with curry powder, and topped with a sauce. Fries are available either with ketchup or mayo. It is the favored fast food of Berliners and makes a great meal to take back to your hotel.


More things to do in Berlin. 

More things to do in Germany.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sights to See: Jewish Museum Berlin/Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Berlin, Germany


Jewish Museum Berlin/Jüdisches Museum Berlin  Europe's largest Jewish museum is housed in a stunning zinc-plated building nicknamed "the silver lightning bolt." Interior spaces are intended to disorient visitors, and the empty Holocaust Void in the center represents the world’s great loss from that event. Still, the museum can at times feel cozy. Exhibits center on Judaism and Jewish life, the Holocaust, and the post-World War II rebuilding of Jewish life in Germany.


More things to do in Berlin. 

More things to do in Germany.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sights to See: Mount Everest , Nepal


This Mount Everest Panorama saves a lot of money and a very long, difficult trek to the top of the world's highest mountain!


More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sights to See: MUSEUM ISLAND/Museumsinsel, Berlin, Germany


MUSEUM ISLAND/Museumsinsel
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, this museum enclave is bordered by the River Spree and Kupfergraben. It consists of five state museums with world-class collections ranging from classical antiquities to 20th-century paintings and sculpture.

Bode-Museum Monbijoubrucke  030-266 3666.  Long closed for restoration, this grand museum is now open with enlarged exhibits, better lighting, and more viewer-friendly exhibitions. The interior itself is as interesting as the collections, with two spectacular dome rooms, marble floors, high ceilings, colorful walls, and large windows providing lovely views to outside. Sub-collections include the Museum of Byzantine Art (displays of early Christian sarcophagi, Coptic and Byzantine sculpture, icons, and even gravestones dating from the 3rd through the 18th century), the Sculpture Collection (exhibits magnificent pieces from ancient churches and monasteries, including a 1490 sandstone pulpit support by Anton Pilgram carved in the shape of a medieval craftsman. The Numismatic Collection/Coin Collection is exceptional.


More things to do in Berlin. 

More things to do in Germany.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Things to Do: Strand Book Store , NYC


Strand Book Store 828 Broadway/12th St., near Union Square, 212-473-1452. Founded in 1927 by the Bass family, which still owns it, this beloved old-timer is now run by the third generation. This New York legend offers "18 miles of books," including used books for a buck, new best sellers, rare books and collectibles in every price range, and an entire floor of art books. The rare books collection is the largest in town and includes signed editions. You never know what you might find on the shelves. It's as much a scene as it is a bookstore; last time I visited I witnessed a woman of a certain age pushing a baby stroller holding three yappy dogs. The lLogo t-shirts and bags make great souvenirs.

More things to do in NYC.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, November 11, 2011

Good Eats: Le Pain Quotidien, Brentwood, California

updated December 29, 2014


Le Pain Quotidien  11702 Barrington Court/off Sunset, (310) 476-0969.  $$.

Le Pain Quotidien in Brentwood, California
Breakfast choices at this cog in the global chain of bakery cafes include scrumptious fresh French pastries, an assortment of omelettes, and more.


coffee at Le Pain Quotidien in Brentwood, California
My favorite is the Petit Dejeuner that includes a basket of breads and a croissant, plus coffee French-style in a bowl and orange juice; I always also add on a boiled egg.  Lunch brings on imaginative Belgian open-faced sandwiches, soups, and salads.  Le Pain is known for their delicious desserts and housemade breads as well as their line of condiments (spicy harissa sauce) and jams (I love the dark Montmorency cherry and the apricot), and all can be packed up to carry home.  A central communal table is popular with solo diners.  This branch might provide good star-spotting opportunities.  I say “might” because I think, but am not positive, that I spotted Johnny Depp and Samuel L. Jackson here.



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images c2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Eats: Blue Plate, Santa Monica, California


Blue Plate 1415 Montana Ave., (310) 260-8877. B-L-D daily; $. At this bright and cheery spot you’ll find big windows, table-and-chair seating, and a simple menu. Breakfast is frittatas, scrambles, pancakes, and smoothies, and at lunch you can choose from healthy sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, and soups. And after, there’s great shopping along Montana.


More things to do on Montana Avenue.

More things to do in Santa Monica

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sights to See: World Owl Centre, Ravenglass, England

The World Owl Centre at Muncaster Castle has one of the world’s finest collections of these creatures. More than 40 species are on view.


More things to do in England. 

More owls to see when traveling.

Watch owls via webcam. 

More owl items.

More castles. 

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
updated 1-14-18

Friday, November 4, 2011

Good Eats: Mick's Cafe, Pacific Palisades, California--CLOSED


Mick’s Cafe  859 Swarthmore Ave., (310) 454-0090. B-L-D + afternoon tea daily; $-$$. This cute, narrow, cottagey space is a series of small outdoor patio areas. Breakfast includes pastries, panini, and omelettes. Lunch is sandwiches (both the fried egg and the BLT are very good), soups, and salads--including a delicious house salad made with nuts and Feta. In the evening, candles light the tables, small lights twinkle, and blankets and heat lamps are available, and the menu includes “around the world pizzas” and a variety of entrees.

More places to visit in Pacific Palisades.

More tea times around the world.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Good Eats: Pongsri Thai Restaurant , NYC


Pongsri Thai Restaurant 106 Bayard St./Baxter St., 212-349-3132. Opened 25 years ago in 1972, this is the oldest family-run and -operated Thai restaurant in NYC. Easy intro dishes include Pad See Ew (a noodle-vegetable dish) and Pra Ram (chicken and broccoli mixed with a curry-coconut-peanut sauce), but plenty more exotic options are available.

Columbus Park is across the street on former swamp land (you can see it out the window).  It is in the Five Points neighborhood depicted in the movie “Gangs of New York.”  Once ridden with disease, this 5-year-old square of green is the venue now for tai chi, Chinese opera, chess, fortune-telling, and quick repairs of watches and shoes.  On nice days, men bring out their caged birds and hang them in trees—just like they do in China.  


More things to do in NYC.
Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Things to Do: Vuna Village, Taveuni Island, Fiji


Reached via a scenic route that passes vast forests of palm trees with “sunburned” red trunks, Vuna Village is known for its tapa bark cloth and woven mats. The women work hard to prepare the pandanus leaves by boiling them, stripping them with shells to remove thorny edges, then drying the leaves on racks for days until they are dry enough to weave into beautifully handcrafted mats. (Bark from the paper nulberry tree is used to make tapa. The tree is uncommon throughout Fiji except for a few select regions.) Two natural swimming pools are found here—one for men, one for women.

More things to do in Fiji. 

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

video c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things to Do: Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany


Checkpoint Charlie This is the most famous crossing point, where people moved from East to West when the Wall was up. Now, two “soldiers” stand guard but mostly get their pictures taken with elated tourists for an informal two-Euros tip. What is that all about?

Stop for a drink and some lentil soup across the street at the historic Cafe Adler (206 Friedrichstraße, 030/2518965), once frequented by Westerners trying to catch a peek of East Berlin.


More things to do in Berlin. 

More things to do in Germany.

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image c2010 Arline Inge

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Eats: Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, NYC


Chinatown Ice Cream Factory 65 Bayard St., 212-608-4170. Who knew?--America’s most popular dessert was invented in 1300 by the Chinese! In this tiny little shop, it is married mostly to exotic Chinese flavors—almond cookie, avocado, black sesame, durian, lychee, red bean. More common flavors are also options.


More ice cream.

More things to do in NYC.   

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sights to See: Trailing of the Sheep Festival, Hailey, Idaho

Trailing of the Sheep Festival  October 7–9, 2011, (208) 720-0585. This unique annual event celebrates the history and cultures of Idaho sheep ranchers. The event includes an authentic Folklife Fair; culinary events featuring lamb, cheese, and local foods; storytelling at the Sheep Tales gathering; a Fiber Festival; historical exhibits; Scottish, Basque, Polish, and Peruvian dancers and musicians; demonstrations; fiber and photography workshops; cowboy poetry; championship sheepdog trials; and the Trailing of the Sheep Parade with 1,500 sheep stepping lively down Main Street in Ketchum.

More animal attractions.  

More annual events around the world.
 
Some travel articles to inspire and help you plan spectacular getaways.

image cMichael Edminster 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sights to See: Topography of Terror, Berlin, Germany


Topography of Terror  Along Niederkirchner Strasse (formerly Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse). Built on the site of former buildings that during the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 were the headquarters of the Gestapo and the SS, this outdoor exhibition documents those times. It is complemented by a newly opened documentation and learning center.


More things to do in Berlin.

More things to do in Germany.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, October 3, 2011

Good Eats: Fried Dumpling, NYC


Fried Dumpling 106 Mosco St. In a quieter, less visited area of Chinatown, this tiny dumpling factory churns out scrumptious, chewy pork-filled dumplings at five for a dollar! Big windows permit watching them being made.


More things to do in NYC.
Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sights to See: Jardin de la Union/Union Garden, Guanajuato, Mexico


Jardin de la Union/Union Garden  This spectacular square and garden dates back to colonial times, when it was the center for street markets and traditional festivities. It is lined with a neatly trimmed canopy of Indian laurel that is so dense it looks as if it is just one gigantic tree. Cafes, restaurants, and shops surround the garden, and mariachi bands entertain.


More things to do in Guanajuato. 

More things to do in Mexico.


More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sights to See: Tlaquepaque, Guadalajara, Mexico


Tlaquepaque  7 miles/20-minute cab ride SE of downtown Guadalajara. Pronounced “tla-key-pah-key,” this town’s name is an Indian word meaning “over the hills of clay.” It is famous for its pottery and blown glass--handcrafts that have been passed down through generations of residents—but a wide range of handcrafts is displayed in the many galleries. Beautiful old mansions on the main shopping street (closed to traffic) have been transformed into attractive shops, galleries, and restaurants. The main square, Jardin Hidalgo, is filled with flowers and mature trees and surrounded by churches, bars, and a market. Designers and decorators come here from all over the world in search of blown glass, ceramics, furniture, paintings, fabrics, and antiques.


More things to do in Guadalajara.

More things to do in Mexico

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


image c2011 Greg Vaughn

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good Eats: Everything Frosted, NYC


Everything Frosted  105½ Mosco St., 212-227-9828. Tu-Sat 11-7, Sun 11-3. Climb the unpromising steps up to a counter filled with cupcakes. Flavors include the usual as well as the more exotic—green tea, black sesame, pink champagne. Special occasion cakes are also available.

More things to do in NYC.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things to Do: calandria cab, Guadalajara, Mexico


calandria cab  These charming horse-drawn carriages have been touring people around Guadalajara’s historic City Center since 1912. They were named for their original bright yellow color, which brings to mind a lark or a "calandria" bird. Now most of the carriages are white. Passengers board at stage stations downtown, then ride by colonial buildings, parks, squares, and mansions. Drivers relay the rich history of the city (most do not speak English). At one time there were 200 carriages, but now only 50 remain--they’ve been replaced by buses.

More things to do in Guadalajara.

More things to do in Mexico

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Things to Do: Powell's City of Books, Portland, Oregon


Powell's City of Books 1005 W. Burnside St., (800) 878-7323, (503) 228-4651. Daily 9-11. This mega-bookstore is the world’s largest new and used bookstore, and it seems to thrive even during these times when, sadly, bookstores are closing in great numbers. Powell’s has four stores holding tons of used books and is always looking for more; bring yours used books to sell. In addition, the store has the world’s only three-door elevator. Be sure to pick up a store map when you arrive . . . just in case.


Powell’s Books for Home & Garden 3747 SE Hawthorne Blvd. M-Sat 9-9, Sun 9-8. This branch also has really great gift items.


More things to do in Portland.

More things to do in Oregon.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany


Getting Reservations
You can visit the Oktoberfest beer tents without a reservation. If you do this, plan to arrive as early as possible, especially with a large group. During the week, arrive no later than 2:30 p.m.; on weekends, go in the morning. Otherwise, you run the risk tents will be full, and if you don’t have a seat, you won’t be served any beer. If you do decide to reserve, this must be done directly with individual tents.
 Oktoberfest gate in Munich, Germany

Probably the best thing for out-of-towners to do is to purchase an Oktoberfest package. Viator offers one that includes a tour of the grounds, a ride on the creaky Ferris wheel (on a clear day you can see the Alps), and a reserved seat in a tent with beer and food. Seating on my tour in 2010 was reserved from noon until around 5 p.m. and included two litres of beer and half of a roasted chicken per person (drink and food is a mandatory purchase with tickets to the tents). Iain, our English guide, whose Mick Jagger-blue eyes almost exactly matched his blue-and-white shirt, said he had been attending Oktoberfest for 10 years and informed us that “we’ve got serious beer drinking to do.” We were cautioned to be sensible and not to become bierleichen, or "beer corpses”—a term that refers to passed out drinkers, NOT dead drinkers. As our group got ready to board the Ferris wheel, he told us that the weather that day was “fur”--or was it “farn”?—when a warm wind comes over the Alps and everyone gets headaches and aggressive and drunk. He said that on this kind of day you “can see for crazy miles.” We learned that 70% of people attending are from Bavaria (50% from Munich, 20% from the rest of Germany, and 10% from the rest of the world--with Italians and Australians making up the largest portion). In 2010, 6.2 million-plus people attended. Iain refers to this--the biggest festival on Earth—as “the beast”. While we caught our breath, he filled us in on the history. Oktoberfest started long ago, when people figured out that the best way to get rid of an excess of beer was to have a festival. Tents began appearing in 1881. Albert Einstein installed light bulbs in the 1800s in the Schot tent. “Now people pour in through the gates like beer into a stein. It’s mad, absolutely mad. Good times,” he declared, and then pointed out that Germany was created as a country only in 1871, that it is a baby compared to the U.S.—the same age as Lucky Strike cigarettes! Before we enter our tent, he tells us that amazingly everything is removed from the fairgrounds after the last day. The area becomes an empty field with roads. One of my tour mates summed it all up as “like a state fair on steroids.”


More Oktoberfest. 

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.


image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers