Outta My Comfort Zone and Into the Ice in Finland

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In Miami, where I grew up, swimming in the ocean was akin to stepping into the tub; no discernable difference in temperature between the water and the air and that’s just how I like it. So no one was more surprised then I to be bounding across the snow in Helsinki wearing nothing more than a […]

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Rolling Down the River; World’s Best Waterfront Bike Rides

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Biking on a UBike in Taipei

Somewhere between the too-slow pace of walking and the everything-passes-by-in-a-blur of driving, I think riding a bike is just right. Some places are more conducive to bicycles than others, Beijing and Hanoi are for the suicidal pedaler, too much traffic, not enough respect for the two-wheeler. Seoul and Santa Monica, on the other hand are two of […]

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Travel Products that are “All About that ‘Case”

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Pop singer Meghan Trainor’s momma may have told her “not to worry about your size” as she sings in her adorable hit, All About That Bass, but when it comes to your travel suitcase, size and weight definitely do matter. Airline bag fees and tougher security at transportation hubs are the two most obvious reasons […]

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Alabama Shore Shows Diversity of U.S. Culture

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On a recent trip to France, I had breakfast with Sofia Vandaele, General Manager of the newly remodeled and absolutely gorgeous Hilton Paris Opera. Sofia is Belgian and fluent in seven languages. It never ceases to amaze Americans – many of whom know only English – just how many different tongues the people in other countries […]

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Weekend in the Palmyra Khaled al-Asaad Died to Protect

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I hesitate to write this because Middle East politics is an unfathomable puzzle to me. I understand only the barest details of what is happening in Iraq and Syria. But hearing the news of the death of Khaled al-Asaad, the 83 year old archeologist who was guardian and custodian of the historic sites in Palmyra (Tadmor) […]

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Wildlife From Both Sides of the Glass

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In 2005, I had a big bay window installed over my kitchen sink. Since I spend hours standing there, I reasoned I might as well look at something. I thought I was providing myself with a view of the garden, but it is the wildlife I’ve seen that has made that window worth every penny I paid […]

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Kyoto’s Geisha Real or Imagined Still Captivating

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One would think that Kyoto, Japan was in the middle of a geisha boom, the way the streets are filled with kimono-wearing women, shuffling down the sidewalks in their six-inch high wooden geta and split toe socks. The jangly metal fan ornaments and flower blossoms in their hair called kanzashi bob with each step they take. […]

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White Girl ‘Rocking a Kimono

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By Andrea Lee Negroni     Sure, I anticipated it might be complicated to put on a Japanese kimono. Then, when a group of women, spouses or companions of participants in an international aviation conference were invited by the Sapporo Tourist Office to do it, I realized it IS complicated. First, we were each given two helpers and shown to racks […]

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San Antonio; Harmonious in All the Ways that Count

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It might have been sentiment that had me longing to return to San Antonio, Texas for the past twenty seven years. The city plays a memorable role in my career because it was in San Antonio where I reported my very first story for CBS News. It was the annual convention of Barbershop Harmony Society, held right before the 1988 […]

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Evolution of Darwin From Thrill-seeking to Thought Provoking Destination

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Its no secret; Australia is a country infested with things that will kill you. Or as humorist and Australiaphile Bill Bryson put it in his brilliant book, In a Sunburned Country, “If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles,”. Even so, I was not prepared for […]

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