Travel Theme: Routine

Travel Theme: Routine

My January is half melancholy, half relief. I slip back into well-worn patterns, and find comfort in the familiar. There is beauty there, and surprises too. Ailsa’s Travel Theme, Routine, made me think of these — glimpses of other people’s ordinary moments. 1. Early commuters streaming to work in São Paulo. An hour earlier, I ambled through the sleeping city to São … Continue reading

Travel Theme: Waves

Travel Theme: Waves

I love this week’s travel challenge by Ailsa: Waves. So many memories come to mind, but here are five favorites. Smooth waves of petrified sand at Antelope Canyon, with its neighbors Owl and Rattlesnake Canyons easily the most breathtaking landscape I’ve explored, ageless and intimate 2. Sinuous streaks of lava on Hawaii’s Big Island — … Continue reading

Renwick’s WONDER

Renwick’s WONDER

The Renwick Gallery is often overlooked in the kaleidoscope of DC’s free museums. The historic building, the first in the United States designed expressly to be an art museum, usually hosts crafts and decorative art collections for the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I must admit that I made it here a grand total of once or twice in … Continue reading

Books and Blooms at the Huntington Library

Books and Blooms at the Huntington Library

Los Angeles, for me, is a constellation of remarkable places, separated by a spider web of terrible, soul-killing traffic. The Huntington Library is an oasis well worth the drive. Gardens? Check. Art? Check. Books? Check. I loved it. We began with the gardens. There are 12 of them. My favorite (in, admittedly, dull, uneventful March) was the Garden of … Continue reading

Niagara Falls, by Land, Air, and Boat

Niagara Falls, by Land, Air, and Boat

When as a child I imagined America, the mighty Niagara Falls, along with Times Square, the Grand Canyon, and the Golden Gate Bridge, were my frequent backdrops.  So when work brought me to Toronto, it was an easy decision to make: A day trip to the Falls, as soon as I could manage it. We … Continue reading

Hawaii’s Painted Church

Hawaii’s Painted Church

As you make your way from Hawaii’s remarkable Place of Refuge, don’t miss this hidden gem just up the hill: St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, better known as The Painted Church. It is a charming tiny building, embraced by lush foliage. The church dates back to the mid-1800s, when foreign missionaries were allowed to operate … Continue reading

Hawaii’s Place of Refuge

Hawaii’s Place of Refuge

If you find yourself on the Big Island’s dry Kona side, don’t miss the Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, the Place of Refuge, where all sins and crimes were once forgiven. It is a magnetic place. Surrounded by a centuries-old mason wall — porous lava rocks assembled in the 1500s like a puzzle with … Continue reading

Where Spectaculars Retire: Las Vegas Neon Museum

Where Spectaculars Retire: Las Vegas Neon Museum

When you think “Las Vegas,” what comes to mind? I bet neon signs — “spectaculars” as the largest of them are called — will be high on the list. They flourished in this desert town as it grew from a dusty railroad outpost in 1913 to the flashy, decadent oasis it is today. With LED and LCD lighting now leading … Continue reading

Hiking over Harpers Ferry

Hiking over Harpers Ferry

This week’s travel theme, “Below,” made me think of the serenity I felt while looking down on Harpers Ferry, where the Potomac and the Shenandoah rivers meet. It was a fine autumn day, and we decided to explore Maryland Heights, the highest of the mountains overlooking the town. Here’s what we saw: Your journey can begin … Continue reading

My Richmond Five

My Richmond Five

I’ve been meaning to visit Richmond for years, and this was finally the year to do it. Here are the five favorites from that sunlit weekend. (1) The Virginia State Capitol. Designed by — who else, with that neoclassical look? — Thomas Jefferson, the Capitol is impressive when it comes into view: an immaculate Roman temple atop a … Continue reading

A Beach of Green Gems

A Beach of Green Gems

Just east of South Point, the windswept southernmost tip of Hawaii’s Big Island, is one of my favorite places: Papakōlea, the Green Sand Beach. It is tucked away at the end of a dusty 2.5-mile hike (each way). Locals offer rides to the beach for $15 per person, and it was worth it. Even if we had … Continue reading