As a travel journalist, I am constantly asked for my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless, but there is one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows...
Sure, I knew western Washington’s Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, the islands of Puget Sound, the rainforests and the rugged Washington coast well. I never really gave the rich agricultural eastern part of the state, known more for sun than rain, a chance.
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world—and they came for one reason: gold.
Children frolic in the surf and sand. Parents and grandparents stretch out on lounge chairs around the pool, basking in the gentle Ka’anapali sun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many multigenerational families in one place.
Buffalo, New York, is a vibrant city filled with lots to do and discover for persons of all ages.
In 1962, a dozen seniors escaped from East Berlin by way of “Der Seniorentunnel,” the Senior Citizens’ Tunnel. Led by an 81-year-old man, the group spent 16 days digging a 160 foot long by 6 foot tall tunnel from a chicken coop to the other side of the wall in West Berlin.
As recently as 1990 there was virtually no tourism to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway. Located in the Arctic Ocean between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, Svalbard (“cold edge”) was believed to be discovered by the Vikings in the 12th century.
They came by the thousands. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last. These were young Americans, many of whom who had never lived more than 40 miles from their place of birth.
I’m standing on the deck of a 24-passenger catamaran, watching the sun rise over the Pacific. Yes, that’s right. The sun is rising over the Pacific.
I allow three days to explore the Gone with the Wind Trail in and near Atlanta, but it takes me only one to become a Windie. A Windie is a die-hard GWTW fan, a person who is immersed in the history, legends and legacy surrounding the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and enormously popular film.
It’s 9:30 in the morning, but the air is still cool. Nevertheless, I’m slathered in sunscreen and dripping with insect repellant.
The little girl behind me giggles, a deep throaty tee-hee-hee. The woman next to me catches my eye, and we start laughing too. “Heather, sshh,” says the girl’s mother.
Americana on wheels to some; to others, it’s the anti-airline. Whatever the draw, traveling by train is catching on—again.
The sign says we’re entering paradise. I’m skeptical. The six of us—my husband, myself, our son, daughter-in-law and their two children—are about to spend a week at a top-rated guest ranch.
Rhonda Besaw carefully places three small pouches on her dining room table.