Home & Leisure



Unplug With the Family on an Alaskan UnCruise Adventure


By Margot Black

Our plan was to unplug and spend time in the Alaska wilderness. We wanted to do this on a cruise but not on a typical big cruise ship. We finally settled on UnCruise Adventures, which delivered exactly what we wanted. They specialize in small ships that carry only 22 to 90 guests, so our experience was much more intimate...Read more

Taking the 'Sideways' Tour 16 Years Later

by Jim Farber

In 2004, a little independent film about a pair of mismatched middle-age buddies on a wine-tasting adventure in the Santa Ynez Valley emerged as the surprise hit of the season. It went on to win the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, along with nominations for best film, director, supporting actor and actress.

The...Read more

Remember Los Alamos -- and the Skyview Motel

by Jim Farber

When the Skyview Motel opened in 1959 it had everything going for it. Perched atop a scenic five-acre knoll overlooking the bustle of north/south traffic on California Highway 101, the motel -- with its distinctive yellow sign -- offered an ideal respite for weary travelers. It was a time when cattle on oak-shaded ...Read more

Singapore: Jewel of the East

By Doug Hansen

Drums beat rhythmically as a dozen men maneuvered an undulating 30-foot-long red and yellow dragon along Orchard Road, a tree-lined boulevard known for its upscale stores and hotels. This symbol of strength, power and good luck in Chinese culture was part of a Chinese New Year celebration -- just one of the surprises that ...Read more

Cruising on the Mekong River

By Doug Hansen

When my wife and I planned our visit to Southeast Asia we included a seven-night riverboat cruise from Vietnam to Cambodia. We have learned that such cruises reveal generally hard-to-reach people and places and provide a welcome respite from the demands of do-it-yourself land-based traveling.

We excitedly joined our tour ...Read more

Munich Is the Gateway to Oberammergau in 2020

By Richard Carroll

Munich has endured the passage of time. Standing tall with a welcoming smile, the Bavarian city retains a youthful exuberance, a vitality that tickles the heart. Here in the massive English Garden Park it's possible to meet the skilled river surfers who line up on either side of the fast-moving Eisbach River to share ...Read more

A Celebration of Bordeaux

By Richard Carroll

Place de la Comedie in the heart of Bordeaux, France, is like an enormous magnet that pulls you in with a welcoming embrace. The square stretches between the majestic neo-classic Grand Theatre Opera House on one side and the Grand Hotel directly opposite it, which has been greeting guests since 1789 and has a history ...Read more

Find Sandburg, Science and Shopping in North Carolina

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

The historic town of Flat Rock, North Carolina, established in 1807, is just what an ivy-and-pine mountain village should be. It offers unusual little shops, delightful restaurants and golf courses. In most seasons you can enjoy plays and concerts at Flat Rock Playhouse, so well known for its excellent ...Read more

A Long Overdue Visit to Newberry, South Carolina

By Bonnie and Bill Neely

Although I grew up only an hour from Newberry, South Carolina, I had never been there until recently. That's when I discovered it to be a charming town that is well worth a visit. The home of Newberry College, the town can boast well-restored historic buildings and many really good eateries.

On the town square ...Read more

Find Gaudi, Miro and Picasso in Barcelona

By Steve Bergsman

Barcelona has always embraced creative strangers who wandered into this coastal city and stayed for a time -- or until they died. The most obvious example is the architect Antoni Gaudi, who was born in the Spanish village Reus, which, like Barcelona, sits in the province of Catalonia. Gaudi's greatest works are in ...Read more

A Visit to Andorra Means Shopping

By Steve Bergsman

The tiny landmass of Andorra remains an attraction for literary and creative types who probably never visited there and live in places far, far away from this odd European nation.

It all started in 1961, when Swiss dramatist Max Frisch wrote a play called "Andorra," which as near as I can tell has nothing to do with ...Read more

Feeling Royal in an Irish Castle

By Gay Courter

I can't have been the only little girl who knew deep in her heart that she was to the manor born and someday would be restored to her rightful place. I thought I had outgrown that fantasy until we stayed at Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland. We should have arrived by coach-and-four down the long, winding ...Read more

A Sentimental Journey to Historic Guernsey Island

By Patricia Arrigoni

My dear friend Mary Ann Shaffer wrote a book about the German Nazi invasion and occupation of Guernsey Island during World War II titled "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." It was a huge hit and reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The manuscript was sold in a worldwide auction that ...Read more

Jurassic Meets Classic: England's Dorset Coast

By Gay Courter

"What can you see in a day?" ask people who doubt that a cruise allows any meaningful time ashore. The secret is to arrange a private tour. A recent trans-Atlantic sailing cruise stopped at Portland, a skinny island in the English Channel connected to the mainland by Chesil Beach (made famous by Ian McEwan's novel and film...Read more

Buenos Dias, Buenos Aires

By Gay Courter

What is your image of Buenos Aires? Swirling dancers melted together while dancing tango? Evita waving from the balcony of the Casa Rosada? Juicy steaks roasting on an asado grill? Grand boulevards with a Parisian feel?

Argentina's shimmering capital covers 80 square miles -- Manhattan is only 24 -- and there are 48 ...Read more

The Art of Being Different in Santa Fe, New Mexico

By Fyllis Hockman

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is more than a place. It is a spirit, an energy that enters your soul and takes residence in your worldview as well as your inner vision. It's a state of mind more than a city, a way of life more than a place to live. It's a lifestyle, not a destination -- all expressed in the poetry that is Santa ...Read more

Find Southwest History in Taos, New Mexico

By Victor Block

Countless art galleries line many streets of the tiny town. Reminders of its past as a Spanish colonial outpost and frontier settlement are everywhere. Trendy shops attract discriminating buyers. The brooding remnants of pueblos offer evidence of the lasting influence of Native American culture.

Taos, New Mexico, would ...Read more

Turks and Caicos Provides a Great Multigenerational Vacation

By Candyce H. Stapen

Sometimes ordinary is best, especially if the setting is extraordinary. My 8-month-old granddaughter Charlotte giggled as I held her and we bobbed in the turquoise waters of Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. James, my 2 1/2-year-old grandson, busily shaped sand into castles and critters under the watchful ...Read more

Find the Best Local Food in Turks and Caicos

By Candyce H. Stapen

Turks and Caicos, a foodie destination with its share of luxury resorts that offer fine dining, also has some tasty local finds. These are the places whose food conjures up the destination. Crackpot Kitchen, helmed by chef Nik Smith, stands out for its delectable local fare infused with international flavors.

The ...Read more

Searching for the Danube River's Best Christmas Markets

By Doug Hansen

As our ship glided slowly through Austria's famed Wachau Valley, a silhouette of a medieval town gradually emerged from the soft white mist at a bend in the river. Near the tip of the peninsula, a blue Gothic church spire rose high above a set of timeless gray buildings; a thick fortress wall snaked up the hillside behind ...Read more


Social Connections


Ken Catalino Loose Parts Bob Gorrell Darrin Bell Cathy Get Fuzzy