I’m sitting at my regular computer writing this. I should be sitting at my laptop at my mother’s house somewhere between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains writing a much different story. But the reason I am back at my own home is the result of a series of events that would even make the Marx Brothers shake their heads and say, “No, we can’t do that. It would be inhumane.”
I booked a flight on a national carrier to go visit my mother who lives in the Midwest, whom neither I nor my daughter have seen in four years. I won’t explicitly divulge the name of the carrier, but its... Read More
Traveling the World: China in Winter The world is full of wonderful places and experiences, and those who have the love of adventure seek new places to visit and explore.
This month is vacation for many people. In the North it is winter, and in the south it is summer. Northern based folks like to travel south for the warmth, and southern based people head for the beaches and the mountains, or travel to exotic cities and Festival Venues following advertising stories or shows.
It was quite by accident that I visited Beijing and the Great Wall of China last January. I was looking... Read More
From a visit on July 30, 2006 -MOSTAR, BOSNIA When a place lends itself to the leisure of other people it generally becomes a haven for the lewd and the superficial. I am now in the fifteenth month of a backpacking journey that has taken me to some of the less contemporary parts of the world. In speaking with people and seeing their ways I have found that culture, above all things, is what makes a country endearing, and that a culture exploited is something lamentable. A place that panders to tourism is simply a place without a soul. With an old friend from the States I have recently... Read More
Why do Americans vacation so much? Do we really think it will make us feel better to go somewhere else? Why do we invest so much time and effort into the process? We're still the same people we are at home. The only thing that changes is the scenery. And then we always have to return back to our mundane lives afterwards. In my opinion, the entire procedure is highly overrated and a real letdown. Besides, vacationing is exhausting, expensive and a helluva lot of work overall. You either have to get on a plane or drive in your car, usually going far away, which means you have to go through... Read More
Preparing to fly back to Los Angeles, Gardner hid the ring in a pair of rolled-up socks and buried it in the bottom of his suitcase. "I knew I'd be going in and out of my carry-on and felt it would be safer in my checked luggage," he explained. Handing his suitcase to a Southwest Airline sky cab outside of Tucson International Airport, he entered the airport with his new fiance for the trip home. Upon unpacking, Gardner was shocked to find the ring missing. His disbelief gave way to anger as he told his fiance what had happened. "She was devasted," he said. Gardner found a card in his suitcase... Read More
Google out-scooped me on this one. Google has limitless resources; Google has eyes everywhere and trains them on arcane holidays. Had I been Google, I too might have awoken this morning with the name "Yuri Gagarin" on my mind. The story of Cosmonauts' Day is a good one, though, and bears repeating. April 12th marks the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic launch into space. On this day in 1961, Gagarin simultaneously became the first man in space and the first to orbit the Earth. He became a global icon and Russian folk hero overnight. His foray lasted only 68 minutes but has remained... Read More
I climb onto the back of a scooter and putt my arms around a man I have known for less than twenty-four hours. Before I can give it a second thought, we speed off into the darkness. The wind blows against my face, but the numerous beers I had during dinner keep me warm. I am unafraid even though I am speeding around dark curves and being driven by someone I barely know. The sky is completely black. This is in strong opposition to the usual gray haze of the skies at home in LA. The visible stars in the sky are of a staggering number, and I almost canâ€™t believe it. I am on this trip with a... Read More
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