April 28, 2011

Mackinac Island, Michigan: horse-drawn carriage ride; things to do

Set on the north side of Lake Huron, in the waters separating Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, Mackinac (pronounced Mack-i-naw) Island is one of Michigan's loveliest and destinations. Cars are prohibited, and so visitors get around on foot, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages. Visitors step back in time amid restored Victorian homes, many transformed into shops. 800-454-5227.

Trips via horse and buggy begin near the boat docks in the center of the shopping district and last about 2 hours. Sights include the Governor's Mansion, the Grand Hotel, Fort Mackinac, and Arch Rock--a limestone formation that is among the island's most popular natural attractions. Mackinac Island Carriage Tours 906-847-3307.

More things to do on Mackinac Island.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

April 26, 2011

Nadi, Viti Levu, Fiji: Tata’s Curry Restaurant; restaurant review

Tata’s Curry Restaurant On Nadi Back Rd., betw. Siva Temple and Hotel San Bruno, 670-0502. M-Sat 8-8.

Begun with just two tables, this colorful food shack now has many more and serves up authentic Fijian-style Indian food, mostly with bone-in. According to owner Dinesh Pillay, whose nickname is Tata (which means “grandfather”), it is Southern Indian home-style “in the taste and style of paradise.” A favorite item is the seasonal pickle made from local stone fruit; don’t miss it when wi is ripe. Wife Renuka Pillay is the cook. A pleasant sheltered patio provides some relief from the heat.

More things to do on Viti Levu in Fiji.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

April 24, 2011

Bautzen (Budysin), Germany: Easter eggs; things to do

The Sorbs are famous for their hand-painted Easter eggs.

More things to do in Upper Lusatia.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

April 22, 2011

NYC: John’s of Bleecker Street; restaurant review

John’s of Bleecker Street 278 Bleecker St./7th Ave., 212-243-1680. L-D daily. 

Here since 1929, this spot is now located on a popular foodie street. The menu offers only whole pies. They are baked in a 1,000-degree coal-burning brick oven and have a thin, crisp crust (tomato and cheese is the most popular). Vintage wooden booths line the walls and are covered artistically with carved names.

More restaurants in NYC.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 

image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

April 1, 2011

5 things I learned in Fiji

5 things I learned in Fiji

1. That it is like Hawaii about 50 years ago. No building is higher than a palm tree, and no road is wider than two lanes.

2. That I could survive free from regulation. My watch band broke and dropped to the floor shortly after I arrived in Fiji, a foreshadowing of a freedom from time that I quickly learned to enjoy. In fact, I rarely referred to my watch (which I kept in my handbag) for the rest of the trip, the one notable exception being when I wanted to be absolutely sure I wasn’t late for my bobo massage.

3. That it would be a huge mistake not to spend some time at a resort on one of the low-key private islands. My bra broke (my goodness, what is next?) beyond repair almost immediately when I waded ashore at Castaway Island. I didn’t have another, and I didn’t miss it. I truly did not want to leave that paradise when it was time to go.

4. That a sarong—called a sulu in Fiji--can cover many things. The uses are countless, but three good ones are: as a skirt to cover shorts when visiting a village; as a swimsuit cover-up when walking around the pool; and as a lovely light-weight shawl in the evening.

5. That the population is 56.8% indigenous Fijians who live in villages. And almost everyone in a village is related. Indo-Fijians, who were brought from India as indentured servants and live in settlements, comprise another 37.5%. So I shouldn’t have been surprised to enjoy meals that included both delicious Fijian specialties like kokoda (raw fish marinated in lime juice and fresh coconut milk), as well as some of the best Indian cuisine ever.

More things to do in Fiji.

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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers (depicts Castaway Island Resort)