Danger, Danger:  White Sands, New Mexico

An excerpt from my new book “Wanderlust: Extraordinary People, Quirky Places, and Curious Cuisine,” out October 4th. The White Sands National Monument is about seventy miles from Las Cruces and is notable for two reasons. First, it is the site of one of the world’s largest above ground gypsum deposits. Gypsum is a widely used mineral found in cement and drywall … Read More

For Cod’s Sake: Newfoundland

For the two weeks I traveled around Newfoundland, cod came up in conversation several times a day. I was never the one to bring it up.

Homestay: China 2007

An excerpt from my upcoming book “Wanderlust: Extraordinary People, Quirky Places, and Curious Cuisine,” which is out this October. Our tour itinerary included a homestay in a small farming village ninety minutes outside of Xi’an, the city known for the Terracotta Warriors. While I didn’t know what to expect, I was looking forward to the experience. It was clear that Xi’an … Read More

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tango Dancers

I’m at the airport and will be boarding soon for my return flight home. Last night we went to a tango show. It was great fun, if a bit too commercial for my taste. Today, I spent the day on a tour of Tigre, a neighborhood about fifteen miles from Buenos Aires. The area sits at the confluence of two … Read More

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires We disembarked the ship this morning. With no fuss, we grabbed a taxi and went to our hotel. Amazingly, at 9 am, they had a room ready for us. After settling in a bit, we grabbed another taxi (which are inexpensive) and went to the San Telmo neighborhood. On Sundays, there is an open-air market that extends from … Read More

Antarctic Cruise — Day 11


Our weather luck ran out Today was a port everyone was eagerly anticipating — Stanley in the Falkland Islands. It’s a great place to see King penguins. And, of course, to get souvenirs to prove we’d visited there. We’d been told there was a 50:50 chance the ship would allow passengers to go ashore. From where the ship anchors it … Read More

Antarctic Cruise – Day 9

Elephant Island Yesterday we experienced the one day in a hundred when the weather in this part of the planet is perfect. Today we got to see more typical summer weather in Antarctica. Early morning was clear and bright, then clouds and fog rolled in. Later there was rain and snow and biting winds. Landmasses played peekaboo in the fog, … Read More

Antarctic Cruise — Day 8

Admiralty Bay This morning Deception Island was spectacular. This afternoon cruising through Admiralty Bay almost made that scenery look pallid in comparison. Imagine being able to look in any direction and see towering glaciers. Emerging from the ice (and it is hundreds of feet of dense ice you’re seeing in these photos, NOT snow) are pillars of volcanic stone. Bobbing … Read More

Antarctic Cruise – Day 7

Antarctica!! Deception Island We have made it to Antarctica. I woke up this morning at sunrise to see Snow Island glistening in the early sunshine. The ship is now circumnavigating Deception Island in the Shetland Islands. It could not be a more perfect day weather wise. It is clear, sunny, and calm. Though it is very cold. I spent three … Read More

Antarctic Cruise – Day 6

Sea and clouds

Going through the Drake Passage The Drake Passage is known for having some of the roughest waters on the planet. The explorers feared it and many ships succumbed to the ferocity of the sea. These days ships don’t break up or disappear, but it can still be a tough crossing, even on a large ship with stabilizers. Having become ill … Read More