Layover in Lebanon: a little taste and hope for a return in more peaceful times

I’m going to make an argument right now that sometimes a six-hour airport layover can qualify as a visit to the country. We had a more than six-hour layover in Beirut, Lebanon. The U.S. State Department currently has the country at a level three warning out of four, meaning we’d be at risk traveling here …

Travel to Morocco: splash of color, taste of mint, kiss on the cheek

We’ve stopped off the Kingdom of Morocco’s National-8 road, traveling through the Middle Atlas Mountains.  N-8 – alternately paved, dirt, gravel and two, four and ONE lane – is an experience. In some areas, cantaloupe-sized rocks are used like traffic cones and are strewn randomly to restrict traffic, which occasionally includes donkeys and horse carts. …

Swimming in the Devil’s Pool: on the edge of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

The first thing you need to know if you want to sit on the edge of the world’s largest waterfall is that you must go in dry season, between September and December. Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is the world's largest sheet of falling water, almost double the height of Niagara …

Travel in amazing Africa: transported to the golden era of train travel

If you want an incredible anniversary experience, we have a very good suggestion: Rovos Rail. This was our 20th wedding anniversary celebration and we wanted it to be very special. So how does this grab you: A steam engine and rail cars perfectly restored to their pre-1940s-era splendor taking you from Zimbabwe through Botswana and …

Goodbye to a Culinary Legend at a Landmark New Orleans Restaurant

Five days before Christmas 2018, Leah Chase grasped my hands between her warm, papery palms. Her long fingers, steady and strong at then 95 years of age, one missing a tip, gripped mine for minutes. A beatific, genuine smile lit her face as we entered her kitchen at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in the Treme area …

Curaçao: A Beautiful Country filled with Beautiful People … an Instagram Dream

So there was this young, very good-looking hotel employee with eyelashes for days. His goal is to be a fashion stylist in New York. He’s confident it will happen. He nodded to his skin: See, I’m lighter, he said. It gives him an advantage, he added. When we looked perplexed, he explained the thought process …

Sweden Travel: The stunning Vasa Museum should not be missed

Vasa Museum: visit to Sweden
The first view of the Vasa as you walk through the doors is arresting and breathtaking. The massive Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628 looms stunningly overhead, shocking in its towering majesty, and makes you feel that you have been transported into the past.  If you have the slightest interest in history, you could …

Visiting Sweden: The Swedes really know how to do museums

Carriage in the Royal Armory Museum in Stockholm, Sweden
The Royal Armory in Stockholm is a relatively small exhibit of royal coaches and some artifacts in the basement level.  But the Swedes really know how to do museums. The display formed a story, telling of a reputed love affair between Marie Antoinette and a Swedish count, Axel von Fersen. Apparently recently decoded letters between …

Scandinavia: Pricey Provisions & Puzzling ‘Pantsdrunk’ People

You should know one thing before traveling to the Scandinavian and Nordic countries – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. It is expensive. That is, unless you don’t think $27 hamburgers, a $3 chicken wing and $10 drafts are expensive. But at least the taxes are high. You could try to do it on the …