After two weeks touring Europe about 25 years ago and spending huge amounts of time viewing pre-medieval paintings in Florence and elsewhere I vowed that I would never again look at another 12th century gilt painting. And I've kept to that for 25 years. Now, after our last trip to Portugal, I'm . . .
Show me an arrow pointing somewhere mysterious and I'm going to follow it. I'm a curious girl. Despite what they say happened to the cat. Lisbon is a lovely walking city, with charming cobblestone sidewalks (watch your step!) and enough hills to give you a little workout. It was our second night in . . .
Lisbon is known for its mild climate. “It snowed 50 years ago,” our guide, Sandra, told us, “and it was a mixture of chaos and spectacle.” Back in 1755 a huge earthquake rocked the ocean and sent a gigantic tsunami uphill, destroying much of the city. It's still talked about today. My favorite . . .
This looks like any old European palace right? But if you’re a Boomer, think again. It’s the Portuguese palace depicted on this. Mateus Palace. Do you remember Mateus rose wine from your college days? In western New York we pronounced it MA-TOOZ. But it’s actually pronounced MA-TAY-US and it’s . . .
We are on our way to Portugal this afternoon to cruise the beautiful Douro River. Friends left yesterday on a different flight and we'll meet them tomorrow night in Lisbon, where we'll board a Viking cruise on what's said to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. We'll be passing through . . .
Walking through the dimly lit casino inhaling stale cigarette smoke and dodging flashing lights I spotted an elderly woman at a slot machine, sucking on her vape pen and pulling the machine's handle repeatedly. A rush of memories came flooding back. That woman could have been my mother. Mom loved . . .
Five or so hours on a plane from northern California and there they are: the Hawaiian islands. It was 1959 when Hawaiians voted by a wide majority to make Hawaii our 50th state. I was too young to remember it, but it happened in my lifetime and I don't think anyone would disagree that Hawaii is the . . .
It's 4:30am and the house is still. Outside, there's no sign of the light that will creep across the sky in just over an hour. The coffee is made and I'm in my office enjoying the small pleasure of my first cup of French roast. Riley got us up to take him outside a little while ago and once that . . .
It's only fitting that, wandering around San Francisco, the city where the Love Generation took hold, I found stores still rockin' the 60s vibe. Yes, yes, I know, 60s-era clothing styles got a little updating and became fashionable again. I was thrilled--I love the styles. Just didn't think the . . .
A trumpet plays a mournful tune nine floors below, then I hear a bagpipe. A bagpipe? Breaking glass tinkles like a discordant piano, then crashes like cymbals. It's recyclers smashing bottles at the end of the night. Every so often waves of laughter and conversation float upward as small groups . . .