Category Archives: Travel

The Lincoln Tunnel

I don’t use the Lincoln Tunnel on a daily basis, but for those of you who do, this might not surprise you. But believe me, it scared the living beejeebies out of me! Up until “tunnel time,” I was enjoying my day, looking forward to seeing a matinee show on Broadway followed by a four-inch-high pastrami sandwich at my favorite New York City deli.

Normally I have no problem with the tunnel. I’ve passed through it on many other occasions because I love NYC and I visit from PA often. So, on this particular day, I sat chatting with my friend while gazing out the window. I have no idea why I thought looking out the window was a good idea because the only thing you can see is wall–large expanses of wall. Now that’s not so bad if all you see is wall but when you see leaking wall and you’re riding in a tunnel, it’s time to panic!

This is how the conversation inside the car sounded.

“Omigod this tunnel is leaking.”

“Stop smacking me. You want to get me into an accident?”

“In a minute it’s not going to matter because we’ll be crushed by the force of the river.”

My friend glanced over at my side of the tunnel wall. “Omigod the tunnel is leaking.”

“No kidding. Get us out of here.”

“Where do you think I can go? Maybe fly over all these cars?”

I took a moment to look inside some of those cars. No one seemed to be as terror-stricken as we were. Hadn’t they noticed the water? I wanted to scream. Then I looked out the window again to make sure the tunnel wasn’t cracking open. That’s when I saw the man and his mop. A few seconds later, I saw a man with a hose.

It took a minute to sink in, but I finally realized the tunnel was getting a bath.

How irritating! Couldn’t they put up a sign at the entrance telling travelers to expect to see water but to relax, it’s nothing to worry about? I could have had a heart attack. Worse still, my friend could’ve had one, then where would we be? Our car would’ve crashed into the wall of the tunnel and started a real honest-to-goodness leak.

Just think of the horror!

Philadelphia Airport

Have you ever been to the Philadelphia. Airport? It’s huge!

Can you believe I remember when it was a big (as opposed to huge) airport and there were rocking chairs on the roof so you could sit and watch the planes come in and take off? My friends, both guys and girls, would pile into a car, whichever one happened to have enough gas to get us to the airport and back, and when we got there, we’d buy a coke out of the vending machine (cokes came in green glass bottles) and head up to the roof. Summer and spring nights didn’t get much better than a night high up in the sky seeing the planes going and coming.

Another highlight of spending time at the airport–going down to watch the people who had just landed. You could get up close and personal back then. No terrorist threats. We’d try and guess which couples were crazy in love, which ones were married and who was probably coming for a visit.

It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it was great fun.

Rocking chairs on the roof of the Philadelphia Airport! Can you believe it?

An Unforgetable Event–Whale Watching

One of my unforgettable events – a whale watch off the coast of Cape Cod.  When you board a whale watching boat, the crew is quick to tell you that you don’t always get to see a whale. They just do their best to locate one.

Not all that reassuring, so I wasn’t expecting much.

What I got was almost unbelievable–even for the crew!

  1. A rare sighting of two (not one) Right Whales. They were playing together. At the time, there were only an estimated 800 in the wild. They have been hunted almost to extinction.
  2. Picture a school bus pushing itself  up and out of the ocean– front end first. That’s the only way I can describe what it’s like to see a Humpback Whale breach out of the water. The one I was lucky enough to see, stayed by the boat, waved with his fin several times and jumped completely out of the water landing again and again with a huge splash. Glorious! Wonderful!
  3. As if that weren’t enough, on the way back to port, over a hundred Dolphins swam around and under the boat. Did you know dolphins appear to be green when you look down on them from above the water?

I’ve  had a few unforgettable events in my life–mental pictures that I cherish. This is one I recall often. I’ll never forget it.

Do you have any?

10 More Great Places to Visit in the U.S.A.

This is my second Top Ten List–the Recap. Have fun planning your vacation.

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Cape May, New Jersey
  3. Outer Banks, North Carolina
  4. Key West, Florida
  5. Macon, Georgia
  6. Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  7. Natural Bridge, Virginia
  8. Salem, Massachusetts
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. The State of Maine, including Acadia National Park

I have written at length about all of the above places in my previous posts. Enjoy!

If you’d like to see my first Top Ten List, go to 10 Great U.S. Cities to Visit


Acadia National Park

I’ve never been to Maine, but I’d like to go someday. Here are some of the places I’ll be looking for:

Presque Isle is the starting point for the world’s largest scale model of the solar system, which runs along U.S. Rt. 1 to the town of Houlton, 40 miles away. The center of the solar system is the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The town rests on the eastern edge of the great North Woods, so it is the ideal home base for those who come to Maine to snowmobile, hunt, fish, hike, or mountain bike.

Bar Harbor is adjacent to Acadia National Park, home to 1,532-foot Mount Cadillac. Its summit is the first spot in the United States where the sunrise can be seen.

Other things you’ll find in Bar Harbor: 125 miles of hiking trails, brewery tours, rock climbing, sailing, boat excursions and golf.

Portland, located on Casco Bay, is Maine’s largest city as well as its creative hub. Many craftspeople, artists, and other creative types have chosen to live and work here.

I’m going to take the ferry over to Nova Scotia, and go up in a hot air balloon. And if you like deep-sea fishing, this is the place to go.

Naples is packed with antique shops, restaurants, art galleries, gift shops and two miniature golf courses. It is also the place to rent boats, kayaks or jet skis, buy a ticket for a sea plane ride, or catch a ride on a 300-passenger replica of a Mississippi River stern paddle wheeler. For evening entertainment, establishments on the Causeway offer live music, and the nearby Bridgton Drive-In shows first-run movies on two screens under the stars.

This is only a small sampling. There’s Bangor, Kennebunk, Bath, Rockport, Cape Elizabeth, and Stonington.

Oh, did I mention the food? Zowee!

Natural Bridge, Virginia


A friend of mine had a temporary position in Virginia, a few years ago. She wanted some visitors because she was lonely. So, I told her to find some places in and around where she was staying and we’d go exploring. That idea culminated in a visit to Natural Bridge. We stayed two nights at the Natural Bridge Hotel. What I remember most about the hotel was their restaurant. The food was good and so was the music. Don’t go expecting a high-end resort, though. The hotel is historic, but quite charming.

There’s a lot of history connected to the Bridge.

The Natural Bridge was a sacred site of the Native American Monacan tribe, who believed it to be the site of a major victory over pursuing Powhatans centuries before the arrival of whites in Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson purchased 157 acres (635,000 m²) of land including the Natural Bridge from King George III of England for 20 shillings in 1774. He called it “the most Sublime of nature’s works”.

At nighttime, the Bridge is lit up with a rainbow of colors. It’s lovely. And while you’re there, visit the Wax Museum and the Toy Museum across from the hotel. There are also caverns there to visit. The kids will love it.

What I remember most about this trip, though, was the view out my window. In the morning, I watched the clouds in the valley slowly rise to the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I never saw anything like that before. Awesome!

Atlanta, Georgia


It’s been a number of years since I’ve been to Atlanta, but I remember my visit fondly. Probably one of the most innovative places in Atlanta is their underground shopping, where you’ll find unique shops and restaurants.

Also downtown, tour the World of Coca Cola. The kids will love it and so will you.

You won’t want to miss Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens. It’s a very special place. Among other things, it houses the country’s largest orchid garden.

If you are traveling with your family and have kids accompanying you then you should visit the Children’s garden that educates your kids along with some entertainment. The Children’s garden can be accessed by crossing over the Flower Bridge.

The best thing I did in Atlanta, though, was spend a day at Stone Mountain. [And if you home school, you’ll be interested in the Homeschool Day coming up in October at Stone Mountain.]

Stone Mountain has something for everyone: hiking the trails, a skyride to the top of the granite mountain, a scenic train ride, a sky hike,  an antebellum plantation, a fireworks/laser light show nightly showcasing the world’s largest relief sculptured mountain. There’s a campground or you can stay at Marriott Stone Mountain Inn. There’s more–much more.

Atlanta is a fun city.

Salem, Massachusetts

halloweenPhoto from

Okay, it’s August, I know that! But, I’m thinking Halloween. Because if you’re planning a getaway in October, you must start planning and reserving rooms now. And it doesn’t get better than Salem, Massachusetts for Halloween.

The truth is, you can go to Salem anytime. There’s lots to see and do. Learn about the famous witch hunts at the Salem Witch Museum, the House of Seven Gables tour is a must-do whether you’ve read the book or not, visit any number of houses that purportedly housed witches back in the 17th century, and if you do go, be sure to visit the trash menagerie at the Peabody Essex Museum.

But getting back to Halloween in Salem, the City is in Halloween-mode for the entire month of October. New this year–

Runnin’ From the Devil Road Race

A new road race is in the works for Halloween morning, and, naturally, it will have an unusual, only-in-the-Witch-City twist. “We’re going to have devils hidden behind the course that will jump out and scare people,”

Other things to look forward to: Costume Balls, Parades, Haunted Houses, Psychic Fairs, Unique Shops, Intriguing Bookshops, Wax Museum, and plenty of good eats and treats.

Oh, I just love Halloween. Don’t you?

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

cape-cod-maPhoto from

Years ago, I went on a bus trip to Cape Cod. Spent a lot of time on the beach and seeing the sights. The journey ended at the extreme tip of the Cape at Provincetown.

Speaking of that eclectic little town, if you’re interested in food, take a look at a blog written by Jeannie Carriere. She spent a week there this summer and has the lowdown on good eats, including some interesting spots where you’ll find yummy lobster, clams and terrific fudge, among other things.

Back when I visited, I stayed in Hyannis Harbor. It is the perfect jumping off point to Nantucket Island. We took a ferry over and stayed the day. I vividly remember the rose covered cottages and hoped I’d be able to revisit someday and rent one of them for a week, but I never did.

If you’d rather travel a little farther into the Cape, you will find many nice places to stay in Harwich including the Sandpiper Beach Inn where Erin at Thirty Something chose to stay. Her pics and descriptions are lovely.

If you go, you won’t want to miss the Cape Cod National Seashore, 43,000 acres of beaches, nature trails, lighthouses and historic structures.

And definitely plan to stay a day in Provincetown. Besides the terrific food, there’s great fishing, art galleries, the clapboard houses are a sight to behold and if you’re real energic, you can climb the Pilgrim Monument.

Speaking of pilgrims, don’t bother making a side trip to see Plymouth Rock. It’s very disappointing and not worth the time it takes to get there.

Plymouth Rock sits inside a Greek Temple-like structure along a pleasant promenade in Plymouth Harbor, Mass. The rock is gray and worn, and roughly the size of a car engine, with the year 1620 stamped across its side. It marks the precise spot where William Bradford and the Mayflower pilgrims set foot in the New World, except for the fact that this actually happened in Provincetown.

Everything else is a “go.”

Macon, GA

macon-gaphoto from

[My computer has been sick, but it’s all better now.]

So, what’s doing in Macon, GA? That’s what I was thinking 5 years ago when a friend asked me if I’d like to go to Macon for the Cherry Blossom Festival. It turns out that Macon has more, many more, cherry blossom trees than Washington, DC.

Here’s a report from Faye and Ken

Did you know that Macon has more than 300,000 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Trees? So many that Macon was declared the Cherry Blossom Capital of the United States” in 1983. Later, the Japanese Consul General named Macon the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World!!” William Finkling found and propagated the first Yoshinos in 1949 and later he gave away 1,500 trees every year to the Macon community. That’s how there came to be many Cherry trees.

Anyway, I decided to go with my friend. Macon holds the festival for 10 days every year in March, so if you’re a person who prefers not to take summer vacations, you’ll have plenty of time to plan for this trip.

Let me tell you, they pack in a lot of events in those 10 days, too. And much of it is free: parades, craft and artists shows, food fairs, dancing in the streets, band concerts in the park, and the best fireworks I have ever seen (and that’s saying something, because I’ve seen a lot of fireworks displays in a lot of different places.)

If you like to tour Antebellum Homes, there are plenty of them. We visited one when we were there, but I can’t remember the name of it. I remember it was lovely and that it had a cannonball in the porch floor, right where it landed during the Civil War.

Learn more about the Pinkest Party on Earth