Note that these blogs posted during the sheltering-in-place period of the coronavirus crisis are meant as a virtual escape. Hopefully, the information will be of use to you when it is safe to travel again.

October 28, 2020

San Antonio, Texas: Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos; things to do

Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos  End of October.  

faces painted for the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos festival in San Antonio, Texas
faces painted for the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos festival
 in San Antonio, Texas

No other city in the U.S. observes this Mexican holiday quite like San Antonio.  Observed annually here at the end of October, the traditional Day of the Dead Mexican holiday celebrating deceased loved ones dates back to pre-Columbian times.  Here, the Dia de los Muertos celebration honoring the dead is over the top.  Gifts to the deceased associated with the holiday are prevalent throughout the city, including marigolds, incense, and candles.  Also found in various places, including Pearl, are elaborate altars honoring those who have passed--created new each year by local artists--plus festivities including live music, face-painting, and Mexican cuisine.  




Many events are free, including the biggest event, La Villita, which is set right off the River Walk.  It features the largest open-air community altar exhibition in the city, to which people can contribute photos for display.  This event includes traditional mariachi musicians, Folklorico dancers, and a parade featuring puppets and stilt-walkers.  New in 2019, a Day of the Dead River Parade featured a colorful parade of catrinas on the river.  


2020 pandemic update:  This year a virtual festival will be held on October 31 and November 1.  


More things to do in San Antonio.

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

images ©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


October 6, 2020

7 best COVID-19 travel tips

7 best COVID-19 travel tips

I have personally tested these tips.  Recently, due to the death of my mother, I had to take two long car trips during the pandemic.  The trips were far from fun as I was dealing with my emotions about my mom as well as my fears and concerns about COVID-19.  And then, since the trips were from one end of California to the other, there was also the smoke and fires.  

on the road

1.  Pack along a kit containing disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and snacks that you can rely on when you are hungry and having trouble finding an open spot to purchase food.  

2.  Also pack plastic sandwich bags in your kit.  Use them to contain various items, including your mask when you take it off (folded inside in) and perhaps items found while beachcombing.  

3.  Finding restrooms can be a problem.  Many formerly reliable options are now closed.  When driving, plan to stop at rest stops, where restrooms are usually open but not always clean, or at a Chevron gas station, which reliably offers clean restrooms.  (Note that I just experienced a Chevron station in Livermore, California, that has closed its restrooms.)  Remember not to use the hand-dryer blowers because they move air around in a way that isn't advised.  


in a hotel

4.  If staying in a hotel, check ahead regarding safety protocols.  Best are those that keep rooms empty for 24 to 72 hours between guests.  Use some of those disinfectant wipes to wipe down light switches, door knobs, and TV remotes (see #6 below).  Open windows when possible to promote air circulation, and air out your guest room for a few hours.  Better yet, since all guest rooms do not have windows that open, book a room with a balcony or terrace.  

5.  If staying in the same room more than one day, request that your room not to be cleaned on the second and third days and that no staff person enters the room on those days.  You can request extra towels and amenities at the desk when you return for the night.  Always wash your hands as soon as you re-enter your room.  

6.  Use a plastic sandwich bag to cover a hotel’s often germy TV channel changer. Note that I had to pry the remote out of my forgetful husband’s hand to accomplish this, followed by a round of hand sanitizer.

remote control inside plastic baggie

7.  Pack along your own pillows. Doing this made me feel more secure since I smother my face in them.  

pillows in opensuitcase





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

©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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