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Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Travels on the Run: Carmel-by-the-Sea

It doesn’t take much to fall in love with the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, a place I visit often when I’m home in my native northern California. This run is the clincher. Starting at the base of Ocean Avenue one early morning, as mist rises from the eucalyptus-scented hills, I trundle south along aptly named Scenic Road, following the path above the white-sand beach. Shaded by cypress trees, I keep one eye trained on the crashing Pacific surf to my right, sometimes spying surfers playing in the waves—and dolphins. Whales might be there, too; I look for the telltale water spout, or a fluke splashing in the blue, but this time I see nothing. To my left are English-style cottages, as charming and blossom-bedecked as can be. The names are pure storybook: Sandbox, Sans Souci, Robin’s Nest. After awhile the road edges inland, hugging the golden marshlands at the mouth of the Carmel River—a birder’s paradise, with egret and heron sightings virtually guaranteed. I weave through bungalow-lined streets, passing by Clint...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

World Calendar: Must-Attend Events in October

There are some amazing events on tap all over the world, all the time. Here’s a taste of what you can see and do in October: Attention, leaf peepers: Follow the fiery glow northwest of Beijing to the bucket-list-worthy Fragrant Hills Red Leaves Festival. Hike up an ancient pathway traversed by Chinese emperors and scholars (or opt for a cable-car shortcut instead) to the top of the mountain for a panoramic bird’s eye view of Fragrant Hills Park ablaze with the changing fall hues of maple and smoke trees. From Balkan beats and opera arias to circus acrobatics, the CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival offers something to satisfy creative types of every ilk. More than 100 events—sited at prized venues like the recently restored Castle Garden Bazaar and ultramodern Bálna—round out the festival line up. The bonus? October is one of the best times to explore the Pearl of the Danube. Take in public art with a side of crashing surf at Sydney’s annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. Stroll the cliffside coastal walk from Bondi Beach south to Tamarama during this free...

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How to Stay Connected (and Save Money) Abroad

In the days before cell phones, staying in touch while you were on the road was pretty straightforward. You found a landline, made a call, and paid your bill. But in the Information Age, it’s anything but easy. Now, your cell phone may or may not make or take a call when you’re away (is it a GSM phone or CDMA?). It may work if you can connect to a wireless hotspot. Then again, it may not. And then there are all those roaming charges! Communicating while you’re traveling, it turns out, isn’t that simple. I’ll help you make a connection. Don’t bring your cell phone: If your phone is incompatible with the system used in the country you’re visiting. If you’re planning to leave the country for an extended period of time. Most international calling plans aren’t worth keeping for longer than a month. If you are not entirely sure how to change the phone’s settings, but plan to “just use Wi-Fi” to communicate. You may hit the...

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Italy Beyond the Bucket List

Italy Beyond the Bucket List

You’ve gondola-ed Venice, bicycled Tuscany, shopped Milan, art-walked Florence, and climbed the hills of Rome—that’s pretty much it for Italy, right? Not by a long shot. Just look at the map. Italy’s a boot, not a shoe, and there are lots of treasures to be discovered down around the ankle and heel, in Southern Italy. Here are five bucket-list worthy destinations in the regions of Puglia, Basilicata, and Campania: Alberobello: Home of the Hobbit Houses  You can’t stop staring at the strange, conical houses called trulli, with their distinctive limestone gnome-hat roofs. Theories abound regarding how these stone huts evolved in Italy’s Puglia (or Apulia) region. One tale: In the Middle Ages, local rulers demanded taxes from everyone inside Alberobello’s walls, and forbade construction beyond them. Olive farmers defied the duke and built simple structures out in the fields. (Building materials were readily available: the soil is chock-full of rocks.) When the tax collectors came calling, the trulli homeowners would quickly pull the keystone to collapse the roof, then head for the hills. Later they returned and rebuilt, tax-free. Alberobello was declared a UNESCO...

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

8 Adventures in Wonderland

8 Adventures in Wonderland

Don’t just see the world, seize it. From swimming with whale sharks in Baja California to horseback riding across Mongolia, these eight wild adventures turn vacations into calls to action. > Swim With Whale Sharks Goosebumps. That’s what snorkeling near a bus-size shark can get you. Floating on the surface of the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Baja California, in Mexico, you see nothing but shades of aquamarine water below. Then, a shadow emerges from the deep, and the outline of a huge whale shark looms into view: the unmistakable dorsal and pectoral fins, the square head, and the powerful crescent-shaped tail. Even though these ancient fish are plankton eaters, your skin still prickles as they approach. Swim as fast as you can as the largest fish in the sea, graced with unique patterns of stripes and dots, glides by. In a matter of moments, it disappears back into the deep blue. > Dive the Great Barrier Reef The world’s largest reef, aptly named the Great Barrier...

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