Category: Travel

Apollo 8 - 50 Years and Still Wonderful

This post is one of the winners from ChicagoNow’s 20 Best Posts of December 2018 Apollo 8 – 50 Years and Still Wonderful Wonderful.  What determines that something is Wonderful? gives some fitting synonyms:  Awe-Inspiring; Brilliant; Divine; Incredible; Magnificent; Miraculous. Wonderful is how our astronauts — Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders —... Read more »

The American Road Trip: Brought to you by Awesome People

Food Series 2017

A recent post outlines a weekend we spent driving to Iowa to see the sights. A road trip can always be measured by the delicious food one finds along the way. But besides that, it’s usually the folks that serve it up that make it more meaningful.

Neighborly Gestures

Comfort food goes a long way in making a tiring trip a bit easier, especially when you’re driving a 17-year-old vehicle patched with duct tape.  I was anxious as my daughter drove her tin lizzie on a road trip to the east coast and spent one night at a campsite near Hershey, Pennsylvania. [caption id="attachment_408" align="aligncenter" width="199"][/caption] Luckily, all went well and she ran into friendly people along the way.  Seeing that she was alone on her journey, the camp managers invited her in for coffee and chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.  She spent an evening enjoying dessert and getting to know more about different regions. Their thoughtfulness made her feel welcome and let me worry less about her traveling alone.  A little kindness goes far.

Lost in the Wilderness

She and I experienced the same kind of greeting last summer when we drove her rickety car back from college in Rhode Island. In the interest of sight-seeing, we took a detour from the interstate and took back roads through beautiful upstate New York. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan so well since it was dusk and we were low on phone charges (not that you can count on good reception amidst the mountains).  Our road map only indicated major highways, so that was no use. Okay, we were a bit scared. Finally we admitted to ourselves that we were going nowhere fast and we needed to depend on good old-fashioned directions from a local citizen.  We found a tavern with its neon lights shining through the darkness.  Feigning confidence, we strolled in and walked a bit faster past the strong stares of the eager gentlemen at the bar.
 “We’re just adding to the gene pool,” my daughter murmured as we searched for another female.
I read a while back that when you’re in trouble, ask to speak to the lady of the house.  We found her in the back serving dinner. She told the fellas to back off and quickly gave us simple directions to our hotel. What a sweetheart. In return, we stayed for a bit to charge our phones, indulge in grilled cheese sandwiches and root beer, and leave a generous tip.  More kindness – very much appreciated. [caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Say Cheese! - Say Cheese! -[/caption] The American road trip.  Go for the food – stay for the people...

Ain’t No Dunkin’ Donuts This Side of Da Mississippi – But Oh! the Joys of Visiting Iowa

Food Series 2017 There ain’t no Dunkin’ Donuts on this side of the Mississippi. That isn’t a true statement — internet research revealed that DD indeed does have locations west of Illinois. But it’s easy to overlook the lack of $1 iced coffee specials and instead find first-class museums, wineries, delicious Midwestern fare, and friendly... Read more »

Bastien's Steakhouse - Where Celebrities + Great Steak Meet

I was self-inspired to write some posts about food — probably since I’m always thinking about it.  Here’s the first in my Food Series 2017.  Enjoy On a recent trip to Denver my cousin Becky treated us to a wonderful dinner at a local favorite – Bastien’s Restaurant. This local treasure makes steaks and lots... Read more »


What parent doesn’t start to immediately worry when his or her only child is looking into jobs that require spending days and nights in the rugged wilderness?  Lately I have increased empathy for my friends, whose daughter left on a two-year Peace Corps mission, leaving them happy for her undertaking but still anxious for her... Read more »

Why Cuba? Why Now?

Why Cuba? Why Now? These were the questions I asked my brother, Holden, who traveled to Cuba in January to visit the elusive country. I and others were naturally curious about how he came to that decision. He responded that years ago our dad suggested the two of them travel (through Mexico) to Cuba. At... Read more »