Grand Canyon Adventure: Our Mule Ride That Never Was PDF Print E-mail

Guest Senior Correspondent ALR, Green Bay WI: We looked forward to the late summer experience as we arrived at Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Usually all hotel rooms, cabins and dorms are sold out weeks in advance throughout the entire Canyon area. We arrived to check in a day earlier than our reservation called for. We were lucky to be put up in a very basic dorm cabin with the communal bathroom down the hall.

The Canyon edge was only about 20 feet out the back door. If we’d been sleepwalkers, it could have been disastrous. Another mistake was that we’d just saunter over to the mule corral at the Bright Angel Trail bright and early the next morning and join the famous Canyon mule ride.

Senior Traveler Recalls Visit To Beautiful Florence, Italy PDF Print E-mail

Florence, or Firenza in Italian, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From personal traveling experience, it’s our favorite in Italy, not only for its timeless charm, but because many of the other big cities are too touristy for our taste.

Rome is often overcrowded and commercialized. We couldn't even visit the Vatican, the Forum or the Colosseum without being overwhelmed by busloads of tourists, religious groups, street vendors, creepy would-be guides, urchin pickpockets and phony costumed characters.

Venice is still unique when viewed quickly, but once one goes strolling along the narrow streets or drifts by the canals, there’s the pervasive feel and smell that the city has degenerated into a glorified sewer. The famed pigeons in San Marco Square look great in photos, but in reality are dirty pests that flock and poop all over people to grab the birdseed that sells for a five bucks per a tiny paper cup's worth.

Seniors Back In Class: Italy Cooking School Experience PDF Print E-mail

You’re never too old to learn something new, and here’s a travel idea that combines education and vacation. And you can do it in sunny Italy. How about a cooking vacation?

One example is a program at Casa Ombuto, a former Italian noble family's villa in picturesque Tuscany. In addition to the culinary schedules during one- to two-week courses, students visit local cultural sites, including historic Florence, where Michelangelo's art and sculpture originated.

There are also cruises to beautiful isles of Capri and Sorrento, where strolling among the outdoor cafes and sampling local dishes are part of the Italian cooking adventure. The students are completely immersed in regional customs, cooking history and skills. Although teaching is in Italian, translators are always present to help others.

Is Your Hometown Travel Agency Becoming Obsolete? PDF Print E-mail

Guest Senior Editor PJM, London, England: Sorry to see honest, hard-working people lose business, but we believe bricks and mortar travel agencies may soon have to close up shop.

Over the years, we’ve had experiences with excellent, good, so-so and inept local agencies. With the ever-expanding internet, we now click travel sites on our computer to do most of our comparison shopping.

We’ve been all over the globe, including Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Las Vegas, Reno, Mexico, Panama Canal, Hawaii, Alaska, South America, the Caribbean, Canada, USA and many more destinations.

Senior Memories: When It’s Springtime in Hawaii PDF Print E-mail

Visiting Editor BBL, Seattle WA: How can you tell it's springtime in Hawaii? The weather is so warm and beautiful all year long. My first visit was love at first sight with the picturesque islands. It was in February 1945.

I was a 19-year-old sailor, and our troop ship eased into a cove near a beach area on the big island of Hawaii, and stood offshore. Then the quiet beauty was shattered by a very noisy interruption.

Cool tropical breezes were blowing. The surf was gentle. The palm trees were swaying. There were big, fluffy clouds in the sky, and Marine aircraft were bombing the hell out of the beach. The squawk box blared, "Land the landing force!"


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