Travel Cuba: exploring Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream

Travel Cuba: exploring Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream

You never know what you’ll get when you call for a cab in Cuba. The 1958 Oldsmobile that lurched up to our hotel in Cayo Coco was an icon of mid-century design. Its rocket hood ornament, flight-ready fins, chrome starburst accents and windows rounded like stratospheric clouds hinted at jet-age dreams of exploration. Wafting Cuban […]

Grenada’s spice necklace

Grenada’s spice necklace

  I was lying on a beach in Grenada when I suddenly smelled Christmas. I opened my eyes to see a young man with dreadlocks and an armload of spice necklaces. “Welcome to Grenada,” he grinned. “My name is Terry.” Grenada’s beach vendors are the most polite in the world as well as determined business […]

08.04.2014 · Filled under: Food, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 7 Comments »
An auld tale of Scotland on Robert Burns Night

An auld tale of Scotland on Robert Burns Night

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,  And never brought to mind?  Should auld acquaintance be forgot,  And auld lang syne!    – Robert Burns (1759-1796) A box in the basement.  A brittle album, faded images tucked behind cellophane, a flood of feeling. As my husband hustled up some tea, I remembered my own auld lang syne and a very […]

25.01.2014 · Filled under: Europe, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 15 Comments »
Welcome to Narnia: The Malvern Hills, England

Welcome to Narnia: The Malvern Hills, England

“It all began with images; a faun carrying an umbrella, a queen on a sledge, a magnificent lion.” So author C.S. Lewis explained the inspiration for his epic children’s fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. One of the books’ most memorable images is that of a gas lamp glowing in a snowy wood just beyond the wardrobe that serves as a […]

13.12.2012 · Filled under: Europe, Legendary Landscapes, Myths & Legends · Tags: , , · 4 Comments »
The most beautiful bookstore in the world

The most beautiful bookstore in the world

Stepping into Boekhandel Dominicanen in Maastricht, Netherlands, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Occupying a Dominican church dating from 1294, the shop well deserves its reputation as the most beautiful bookstore in the world. The medieval church lacked a congregation and was actually being used for public bike storage before undergoing refurbishment for the Selexyz book chain by Dutch architects Merkx […]

14.11.2012 · Filled under: Architecture, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , , · 13 Comments »
Key West for culture trippers

Key West for culture trippers

Like Alice passing through the looking-glass, I entered the Florida Keys through a dissolving veil of rain. The summer squall cleared as fast as it had blown in and I spent several sunny days exploring Key West’s unique architecture and thriving arts scene. There’s always something raffish about a port town. With its strange past […]

Life lessons from the Papas: Hemingway Days, Key West

Life lessons from the Papas: Hemingway Days, Key West

It’s a sea of red berets outside Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida, headquarters of the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Society and their annual running of the bulls. A bwip-wip from a motorcycle escort parts the crowd and, to the tune of Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), the fist-pumping Papas roll out. Earlier that day, […]

29.07.2012 · Filled under: Festivals & Events, Florida · Tags: , , , · 6 Comments »
Are you a right-brained traveler?

Are you a right-brained traveler?

I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about being lefthanded while growing up. Raised in a house full of righthanders, I simply adapted to  unfriendly can openers and blister-causing scissors and got on with life. Life as a lefty, though, meant drawing a certain amount of flack. And flack is fuel for stubborn individualism. For […]

20.02.2012 · Filled under: Art, Lefthandedness, Myths & Legends · Tags: , · 4 Comments »
Creepshow

Creepshow

Rain, fog and creepy tales. What a night to go see Stephen King in conversation with David Cronenberg at the Canon Theatre! Last night’s packed house quieted down long enough for the King of creepy fiction to read a selection from his new book Under the Dome. He uses something he calls “mutual observables” and […]

21.11.2009 · Filled under: Architecture, Canada · Tags: , , · No Comments »