A few years ago about this time we were on the east coast visiting our son. We took the opportunity to visit Liberty Hall on the 4th of July. As a travel adviser I can tell you, definitely visit these historic sites, but perhaps the 4th of July is not the most opportune time. Still, after waiting in line for some time, I do not regret standing in the room where our nation was forged over 240 years ago. It is a truly moving experience. I've been thinking about our upcoming Jan
TYPES OF LUGGAGE
It's not complicated. Luggage is either hard or soft. Hard luggage comes in two basic types, plastic or aluminum.
What are the advantages of each? Soft luggage is lightweight and pliable; meaning I can jamb it into the trunk or more importantly, that overhead bin in the airplane.
Plastic luggage is both lightweight and supposedly durable (more on that later). Plastic luggage is not malleable making it more difficult to fudge on the approved airline
Getting lost? I recommend it. Get out of the hotel and out of your comfort zone. You may never get back here again. I've come to live by that motto all over the world. It has resulted in amazing experiences I never would have had laying on the bed watching foreign TV I couldn't understand.
There was one time recently where I was a bit more scared then I normal. Terrified you might say. I'd gone on a bike ride in France. It was a fabulous afternoon, right up until th
Let's face it. The glamour of air travel is over. Remember those days as a kid when you went with your family to the airport just to watch the planes take off and land? Remember the glamour and nostalgia of those Pan Am commercials? The adventure of seeing the world in style and being pampered like royalty? Yah, that doesn't happen anymore. Sometimes it feels like the worst part of travel is, well, "travel". Being there is great, but getting there in the modern era of
I’ll let you in on a secret. When Rhonda is in bed I rearrange the kitchen cupboards to make sure all the cups and glasses are organized by type and size. They also need to be organized in very neat rows. Sometimes I even need to have the patterns on the dishes line up in the same orientation. Don’t get the wrong impression, Rhonda keeps a pretty tidy house and doesn’t just throw them in the cupboard. Remember the Odd Couple? I’m Phelix, an anti-clutter O.C.D. neat-nick
I don’t believe in extended warranties. I bought a couple when I was young and naïve. When it came time to collect of course, the particular product repair was not covered. I’ve never bought a policy since. I took the skepticism earned over these lessons learned and applied it to travel insurance. It seemed a waste of money for a trip I had no intention of missing. Rhonda thought differently, and as often is the case, she was right. 2014 was the year I became a believer.
Welcome to my fitness room. It’s a little crowded right now because I have my bike in here for the winter to get ready for RAGBRAI next summer. That’s me on the screen too, well at least its my avatar. To make my rides less monotonous, I ride using a bike trainer and this program that allows me to have a virtual ride at different locations around the world. Yesterday I rode in London, it was sort of cool since I was there last fall and now recognize some of the sites. See
We’ve been at this for a while now. We’d like to share a few of the lessons we learned along the way: 1. Always buy the travel insurance. We’ve written on this before, so I think that says it all. 2. Electronics, medications go in the carry on. 3. Keep your cash, valuables, and important papers on you for the plane ride. 4. Divide your cash and credit cards. Keep some, give some to your spouse, leave some in the room safe. 5. Copy important documents. (passport, itinerary, h
I was talking to a young friend the other day. He was really struggling with some things at work. The issues were really bothering him; consuming his every thought and leaving him in anguish. Been there, done that I thought. It’s good to be retired. Though I loved my career and the people I worked with and for, these kinds of obstacles, problems, and hurts seem to be inevitable. I was really searching for what I could tell this friend. What comfort or advice should I giv
I discovered I liked community. I didn't have a plan or an agenda to becoming a community activist. After a few volunteering opportunities when I was quite young, I was encouraged to run for City Council; AND I WON! From there I chaired the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way campaign, and numerous other civic boards and organizations. The pay was generally a pat on the back, occasionally a kick in the butt, but mostly, the joy of being involved and trying to make a diffe
Let me begin with a confession. I’m well over 50 and both my children and former employees are pretty sure I’m a technology Neanderthal. Yet, as I travel with a bit older crowd, I suspect a few of you are under the mistaken impression I’m a smart phone savant. While travel apps are not something I’ve researched, I guess by sheer osmosis from frequent trips, I’ve learned about a few I really like. I wanted to share a few of those in hopes they might enhance your next trip.
I love, love, love traveling. I am experiencing, and learning more than I ever imagined. In the past few years, I’ve skied the Alps, strolled the Great Wall, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, stood on the Acropolis, enjoyed the view from the Eifel Tower, touched a glacier, floated in a Gondola, and now gone on Safari. I recently tasted Haggis. That might be an experience I’ll be trying to blot out of my memory banks for quite a while. I’m a long way from done though. I st
There it is, another gray hair, and I’d sure like to know who has been sneaking in while I’m asleep and putting miracle grow in my nose and ears. Once I turned 50, I swear those hairs in all the wrong places grow faster than a body builder on steroids. Speaking of body builders, why are there now ribs were my muscles used be? I used to be taller too. Who knew, it’s true, you shrink when you get older. Not sure if I want the teenage acne back, but I don’t care for these sun sp
I’m pretty far removed from grammar classes, but when is it you learn about nouns? First grade, right? I still remember shortly after learning to read about Dick, Jane, and Spot, that a noun was a person, place, or thing. So, let’s talk about travel grammar, specifically, travel nouns. Travel is all about places, right? To be sure I’ve been to some incredible places, and had experiences beyond what I’ve ever dreamed; skiing the Alps, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, wa
RHONDA MAY BE EXPERIENCING A LITTLE STRESS My son and I just got done replacing his deck. It was pretty poorly constructed. One of the main issues was the decking and rails were not adequately anchored down. As the members dried in the sun, or resisted the force of gravity, they began to sag, twist, and cup. It was back breaking work; well it was for me anyway now that I’m a little older. Initially we screwed each deck board once at each location with the intent to add a
ANOTHER BIKER IN ONE OF THOSE RIDICULOUS OUTFITS There goes another one of those bikers hogging the road. Who do they think they are? And what’s up with those ridiculous clothes? Neon jersey, skin tight padded shorts, fingerless gloves. You wouldn’t catch me in such a ridiculous outfit. I just don’t get my friend Ron either. Who takes a week of vacation to ride a bike in RAGBRAI? He and I certainly have different ideas about what a vacation should be like. That was four
I’m learning to ride a bike. Don’t get me wrong, I learned when I was young. I even broke my arm when I was five. Now if you know how to ride a bike, or don’t ever have intention of riding one again, don’t write this story off. Some of the things I’m learning can be applied to everyone. Shortly after I spent more money on a bike and supporting equipment then any one Dutch person could hardly stomach, I had a friend tell me I should mountain bike. This of course, would ta
What color do you think of when you think of Ireland? Green, right? Leprechauns, four leaf clovers, and the Emerald Isle, right? I was curious as to how Ireland became known as the Emerald Isle beyond the obvious, the emerald green landscape. The first time the words ever appeared in print in reference to Ireland was in a poem by Belfast-born Dr. William Drennan, titled “When Erin First Rose.” Drennan, a poet, a physician and a political activist who helped found the Socie
THE WALL ABOVE IS ONE WE SAW LAST SPRING ON A TRIP TO MOROCCO It’s a hot topic right now, because our President wants to build one. I’m going to stay out of the politics of that, so don’t mistake this for an opinion on the border wall. Today we are going to see Hadrian’s Wall. Construction began in AD 122, and it is considered the northerly border of the Roman empire. Though the border is close at some points of the wall, it is a myth that this was the wall separating Engl
That's my favorite foursome. The cute one is my caddy. We are headed to Scotland today, the birthplace of modern golf. As one who loves golfing and watching golf, it’s really too bad we can’t make it to St. Andrews. The modern game originated in Scotland, where the first written record of golf is James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction to learning archery. James IV lifted the ban in 1502 when he became a golfer himself, with golf clubs first reco