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.



Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips.

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

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

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.    

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

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.

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

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, September 16, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Fun Fair  A carnival has been part of Oktoberfest since the late 19th century. Thrill rides include a roller coaster, log flume, and 164-foot-tall Ferris wheel/riesenrad. A flea circus, street performers and bands, and a Budenstrassa/Avenue of Booths--with food stalls, souvenir stands, and games of chance--round out the fun.

More Oktoberfest.

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

A favorite Oktoberfest souvenir is the Lebkuchen gingerbread heart. These come in sizes from very small to very big and are decorated with German phrases such as Ich Liebe Dich (I love you). They come with a ribbon so you can wear it on the spot or hang it when you get home. Note that these lightweight cookies are made to last, not to eat, and reports deem them tasteless.

More Oktoberfest. 

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


Monday, September 12, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany


Café Mohrenkopf  Who knew? There are dessert tents at Oktoberfest! But this is the only café-tent with its own bakery, where all of its cakes and pies have been baked since 1950. The specialty is Mohrenkopf, a small chocolate-glazed cream cake, and the Dallmayr coffee they serve is one of Germany’s best. Fresh pretzels and cocktails are also available. Breakfast is served from 9 a.m., Happy Hour is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.., and a band begins playing at 7 p.m.

More Oktoberfest. 

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, September 9, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Hofbräu Festzelt  With almost 10,000 seats—6,896 inside, 3,022 outside--this is one of the largest tents at the Oktoberfest. It might also be the most famous tent. Affiliated with the world-famous Hofbrauhaus restaurant in Munich, it is lively and busy all day with revelry and oom-pah bands and attracts a young crowd. It is a particular favorite with Americans and Australians. This is the only tent with a standing area, found just in front of the band.


More Oktoberfest. 

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

video c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

The fairgrounds holds 14 huge beer tents that each can seat about 6,000 people. Six of the tents are operated by the Munich breweries that provide all beer for Oktoberfest--Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, Paulaner, Spaten, Lowenbrau, and Augustiner. Beer is traditionally served in one-liter krugs (steins). An exception is Weissbier (wheat beer), which is usually served in tall, fluted half-liter glasses. Currently it costs about US$11 cash for one mas (liter) of beer. Each tent is a temporary structure, and each has its own unique character. Entry is free, and most tents feature food, music, and picnic tables and benches that fill quickly. Groups of two to three can usually squeeze in, but larger groups should reserve a table in advance or head for one of the smaller, less crowded tents. To learn more about the tents, visit www.oktoberfest.de/en/navitem/Beer+Tents

More Oktoberfest. 

More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

video c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, September 5, 2011

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest In September or October; a 16-day festival starting in September and ending on the first Sunday in October.  Tents open: M-F 10am-11:30pm, Sat-Sun 9-11:30; beer served until 10:30pm.. Family day is Tu noon-6pm, with reduced prices. Free admission to festival grounds. This annual beer bash occurs in a meadow in the southwestern part of Munich. Locals call the festival grounds “Theresienwiese” and the festival “die Wiesn.” Oktoberfest has occurred almost every year since 1810 and is the largest folk festival in the world. It is most famous for the enormous beer tents that each hold several thousand people. Each tent is hosted by a local beer maker and each has its own unique decor.

More Oktoberfest.
 
More things to do in Munich.

More things to do in Germany.

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

Friday, September 2, 2011

Good Eats: Mo’s Original Restaurant, Newport, Oregon





Mo’s Original Restaurant 622 SW Bay Blvd., 541-265-2979. Daily; $$. No reservations. This is the very first, original Mo’s. Situated across the street from a Wyland Whaling Wall mural, it is a popular, casual spot and is famous for its clam chowder—a version of which is available in a bread bowl. Some of the items are fresh-caught Oregon seafood—but not the mediocre over-breaded fish and chips, which are prepared from flash-frozen Alaskan cod. Better bets are the avocado stuffed with rock crab or shrimp, halibut fish tacos, or tender pan-fried fresh oysters served in-shell, and don’t miss the marionberry cobbler for dessert.

More things to do on the Oregon coast.

More things to do in Oregon.    

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

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers