Fringed by snow or gleaming cobalt blue under sunny skies, Lake Tahoe is a favorite in summer and winter. But there’s a third side to Tahoe: fall.
As crowds thin out, the region seems to take a breath as it prepares for the seasonal switchover from camping and sailing to ski runs and cozy chalet evenings. Trails are roomier, rates cheaper and the lake waters are beautiful but bracing. All this and leaf-peeping, too.
Here are some suggestions.
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ZARAGOZA, Spain — Stepping out on a lazy Sunday, I stroll past remnants of a Roman wall and watch couples taking selfies with a statue of city namesake Caesar Augustus. Then I’m brought up short by the shimmering reflection of a 16th-century tower caught on the sleek glass walls of a very modern fountain celebrating the Hispanic world.
That’s 2,000-odd years of history in about a block, and just one of the reasons Zaragoza should be on your list of Spanish cities to explore.
Sure, it may be best known as the halfway point between Madrid and Barcelona. But with its treasure trove of architecture, art (and tapas, too), Zaragoza is worth a closer look.
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Much has changed since the Summer of Love blossomed 50 years ago, bringing thousands of young people to San Francisco, drawn by an underground culture embracing love, peace and music.
Today San Francisco is known more as an incubator of tech startups than as a cradle of counterculture. The shabby Victorians along Haight Street that were once low-rent havens for the likes of the Grateful Dead now go for well over $1 million.
Even a half century ago, the quest for utopia was fleeting. By October, the “death of the hippie” was marked with a mock funeral in the Haight.
But there are still traces of that psychedelic season, along with a few new attractions rolled out specifically for the anniversary. If you’re going to San Francisco, with or without a flower in your hair, here are a few ways to tune in to the spirit of ’67.
Click here to read this story, published by Newsday.
Do you like whisky? I like whisky.
You know who else likes whisky? Nick Offerman.
The mustachioed Ron Swanson of “Parks and Recreation” has taken to YouTube a time or two to demonstrated his affection for the water of life.
In his latest outing, Continue reading “Nick Offerman, distiller”
To quote a line from the greatest air travel documentary of all time, I like my coffee like I like my men.* That is to say, sweet and easily located in the morning.
Which means that travel, with its inevitable trek down to a drafty/stuffy hotel breakfast room to forage for that first cup, which most likely is going to be sludgy, small and lukewarm, is not a prospect that appeals. Continue reading “Have kettle, will travel”
Just got back from a week exploring Zaragoza and the surrounding area in the Spanish region of Aragon and I thought I’d report in on things that worked and didn’t work, wardrobe wise.
I had a challenge going in because I was looking at temperatures from the 40s to high 70s with light rain as well as occasions ranging from tramping through vineyards to city sightseeing to relatively fancy dinners.
I did not entirely meet that challenge.
Continue reading “Wardrobe report: Zaragoza”
ABERLOUR, Scotland (AP) — Forget the three Rs. I went to Speyside, Scotland’s “single-malt capital of the world,” to brush up on the three Ws: whisky, wool and walking.
And it was while striding beside the River Spey on a misty afternoon, a warm sweater from a local mill wrapped around my shoulders, an even warmer dram of whisky awaiting me at my hotel ahead, I realized I’d reached peak Speyside status.
Educational mission accomplished. Or, to quote Scottish poet and noted whisky fan Robert Burns, “Gie me ae spark of Nature’s fire/That’s a’ the learning I desire.”
Dreaming of drams and doing a little whisky wandering of your own? Here are a few pointers to the Speyside region’s must-sees.
Click here to read more of this story, published by the Associated Press.
I’ve wanted to book a private sleeper berth on a train ever since I saw North by Northwest , and read The Mystery of the Blue Train, Murder on the Orient Express, etc., etc. So, when I found myself needing to travel from Inverness to London my thoughts immediately turned to the Caledonian Sleeper. A private compartment came to somewhere around $350 which was comparable and probably even a bit cheaper than paying for airfare and a night in a hotel so I booked it. (If you are traveling as a couple the price will be much cheaper than airfare/hotel, so that’s something to think about, too.)
And … it was pretty fun although not quite as glamorous as the website would have you believe. The train runs from Inverness to Euston station in London, and leaves around 8-9 p.m. There’s a lounge across the street from the station where you can wait. It was OK, but not really luxe. I was way early so had a really long afternoon tea at the Royal Highland Hotel next to the station. Lobby was quite stately, and would have been statelier if they’d run a Hoover over the carpet sometime in the last decade; scones were leaden enough to qualify for the periodic table. Continue reading “Riding that (Caledonian) train …”
RIDE A GONDOLA FOR A SONG:
Sure, the real deal with the singing guys in the striped shirts and cute hats is crazy expensive. Like over $100. Don’t bother. When you get down to it, it’s just a boat ride. Plus you do a lot of sliding slo–o–o-wly under bridges packed with tourists staring at you and snapping pictures like it’s feeding time at the zoo. Instead, look for one of the gondola ferries, called traghetti, that locals use to get across places where there’s no convenient bridge. It’s around $2-$3 and although the ride doesn’t last long there’s time for a quick selfie. And while the operators aren’t quite as snazzy as the private gondola fellows, they DO wear striped shirts. Continue reading “Seven Great Venice Hacks”