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Video Of The Day: A Spanish Roadtrip

"A Spanish Roadtrip" from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo. Want to get a taste of Spanish food, hear Flamenco music and see beautiful footage of the Spanish city and countryside? Then take a few minutes to watch this beautiful video from The Perennial Plate. Cut together with...

Recovery Vacations A Hit With Soldiers Returning From War

Recovery Vacations A Hit With Soldiers Returning From War Troop Rewards provides recovery vacations to returning U.S. soldiers and their families who served overseas. To do that, Troop Rewards relies on hotels and private vacation property owners to donate unused inventory, sort of like a hotel might release a number of rooms to...

Airlines Use Loopholes To Avoid Paying For Damaged Bags

Airlines Use Loopholes To Avoid Paying For Damaged Bags If an airline damages a piece of your luggage, surely they will pay to repair or replace it, right? Don't be so sure. I've been very lucky over the years in checking bags but my luck ran out on a flight to Chicago from San Francisco over the weekend, when I found out that...

The Wandering Writer: A Tour through Inner Northeast Portland with Cheryl Strayed

The Wandering Writer: A Tour through Inner Northeast Portland with Cheryl Strayed Cheryl Strayed wants to show me the "dog bus" – but first we have to find it. We walk along her quiet residential streets in Northeast Portland trying to track down the intriguing vehicle, my imagination running wild. Are we about to free a group of shackled...

Clermont State Park, New York: When The Scenery Changes

Clermont State Park, New York: When The Scenery Changes The traffic of New York City is behind me now. The trees to each side are becoming increasingly taller; the sky is growing darker. We're heading up to a friend's house in a small town upstate called Germantown. He moved out of Queens and up there a few years ago with his...

An Odyssey Ending For The Backseat Atlas

An Odyssey Ending For The Backseat Atlas Before a 15-year-old Tim Gravenstreter hopped on a Trailways bus for his first solo trip to the Windy City, his father gave him a piece of advice he still follows. "Don't stand on a street corner looking at a map trying to figure out where you are," the elder...

Please Don't Smoke Or Steal The Signs In Weed, California

Please Don't Smoke Or Steal The Signs In Weed, California I'm not a smoker but I can't resist unusual town names so when I saw an exit off of Interstate 5 in Northern California for a town called Weed, I pulled over, eager to find out how the town got its name. This being California, I imagined that some hippies moved into the town...

Travel Writing Legend Jan Morris To Appear Onstage In New York May 8

Travel Writing Legend Jan Morris To Appear Onstage In New York May 8 Legendary travel writer Jan Morris is making a very rare visit to the U.S. next week to appear in an onstage conversation with me in New York City on Wednesday, May 8. The Wales-based author of more than 30 books, ranging from the masterful essay collections "Journeys,"...

An Interview With Paul Theroux, Author Of 'The Last Train To Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari'

An Interview With Paul Theroux, Author Of 'The Last Train To Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari' After writing eight travel books that took him around Britain on foot, through the Pacific on a kayak, across Latin America, Europe and Asia on trains and up and down Africa by his wits over the last 30 years, one might think that Paul Theroux would be hard pressed to find...

24 Almost Perfect Hours In San Francisco

24 Almost Perfect Hours In San Francisco A pair of hairy middle-aged Chia Pets are blasting Wham's "Careless Whisper" from a new age boom box. A cluster of Latino immigrants is fishing and drinking cans of Tecate just steps away from a male paddleball player in a tight speedo with a Taliban-style beard and his long...

Saying 'No' To Add-Ons At The Car Rental Counter

Saying 'No' To Add-Ons At The Car Rental Counter I'm a rental car company's worst customer. I always refuse all the additional insurance coverage options, the pre-paid fuel option and the toll pass. I bring my own GPS and car seats for my little boys, I tend to say, "no thanks" when they tell me I can upgrade for a fee,...

Fiddles, Bagpipes And Empty Beaches On Cape Breton's Cabot And Ceilidh Trails

Fiddles, Bagpipes And Empty Beaches On Cape Breton's Cabot And Ceilidh Trails After driving for miles on a dirt road through the pitch darkness and seeing no signs of life anywhere, I was certain we were lost. It was a perfect early August evening in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and we were looking for the Thursday night square dance in Glencoe Mills, a...

Video Of The Day: Coconut A Million Ways

"Coconut: Nose to Tail" from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo. The Perennial Plate folks are always impressing me. This video examines the role the coconut plays in the life and culture of the people of Sri Lanka. After spending the day with a family of eight on a coconut...

UK Passenger Jet Barely Misses UFO

UK Passenger Jet Barely Misses UFO They were on their final approach to Scotland's Glasgow airport when an unidentified object passed within 300 feet of the Airbus A320 passenger jet. "Er yeah we just had something pass underneath us quite close [1255:30] and nothing on TCAS have you got anything on in our...

Green-Wood Cemetery: I Know Why The Free Bird Sings

Green-Wood Cemetery: I Know Why The Free Bird Sings After spending two years in Austin, I moved back to New York City in October and into the relatively elusive neighborhood of Green-Wood Heights Brooklyn, directly across from the Green-Wood Cemetery. My first thought was, "At least the neighbors are quiet." I spent my...

An Enchanted Expedition In Kyoto

An Enchanted Expedition In Kyoto I have just returned from two and a half wonderful weeks in Japan, leading an intrepid, engaged and enriching group of eight travelers through Kyoto and Shikoku. The trip turned out to be full of magic and delight, but as I began the journey, before I knew how it would...

Forget Mykonos, Try Syros, Your Friendly Neighborhood Greek Island

Forget Mykonos, Try Syros, Your Friendly Neighborhood Greek Island I arrived on the Greek island of Syros on the night ferry from Samos at 2:30 a.m., bleary-eyed and in need of coffee or a bed, maybe both. My sons, then 2 and 4, were still half-asleep, wondering why the hell we'd hustled them out of their tidy bunks in the middle of the...

California Coast Redux

California Coast Redux I was driving around the West Coast aimlessly in February of 2011. It was chillier than I hoped it would be, but I bundled up. I'd been thinking about California's Highway 1 longingly ever since I drove down it in 2007 and I'd been hoping to replay the visuals I'd stored...

Falling In Love With The World's Most Hyped Churros At Xoco In Chicago

Falling In Love With The World's Most Hyped Churros At Xoco In Chicago I'm almost never game to wait in a long line to eat. But I joined a line stretching outside the door at Xoco in Chicago last Saturday because I couldn't stand to hear another rave about the place without experiencing what all the fuss is about for myself. Xoco is a fast food...

Mucking About: Stepping Into The Unknown On The Banks Of The Ganges

Mucking About: Stepping Into The Unknown On The Banks Of The Ganges Stair-stepped ghats hug the western shore of the Ganges River like a string of very old pearls, one after the other, fused together by faith and history and mud. The stairs link the mucky dung-spattered streets on land to the murky brown water of the holy river below,...

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