How To Survive A 3,000-Mile Cross Country Drive PDF Print E-mail

Guest Senior Scribbler: We recently drove from Princeton to Los Angeles, with two senior drivers sharing. We did the 2,700 miles in 60 hours, via I-40, I-70 and I-66, a fair accomplishment for age 70+ roadies. Here are some tips that may help other seniors who may decide to give it a go.

Common Sense: For many, those words are all they need.  We drove in four-hour shifts each, and used the back seat for stretching out when not at the wheel. No matter how awake you feel or how you want to keep on schedule, drivers, especially seniors, regular rest breaks and naps on long road treks are vital.

My Ender's Game Premiere Experience PDF Print E-mail

By Freddy Sherman

A Great Movie and a Fun Party Hosted by Audi

The red carpet premiere of a Hollywood movie is a fun experience and a big party. It's a combination of press event, public spectacle and cast party. Audi hosted the world premiere of Ender's Game at the legendary Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and I was there to see the movie and enjoy all the festivities.
What's Your All-Tiime Favorite Travel Song? PDF Print E-mail

We took a fair and honest poll. Well, not really. We asked some other seniors to list their favorite travel songs. Considering age and fading memories, we came up with this list of all-time faves. You may not agree, especially if you were born within the past half-century or so, but here’s the result.

1. Route 66 by Bobby Troup was a Nat King Cole smash hit in 1946.

It winds from Chicago to L.A.,
More than 2,000 miles all the way.
Get your kicks on Route 66...

The lyrics are slightly inaccurate, because the road actually
continues through L.A. to Santa Monica and the Pacific Ocean.

2. Come Fly With Me was recorded in 1958 by the great Frank Sinatra, and still broadly hints at the many thrills of air travel, such as:

Weather-wise it's such a cool, cool day.
You just say those words,
And we'll beat the birds
Down to Acapulco Bay...

3. I Left My Heart in San Francisco was first warbled by Tony Bennett in 1962, and he still sings it in almost every concert today. It is the official welcome song for City by the Golden Gate. Remember:

Those little cable cars
Climb halfway to the stars...

4. Just for you youngsters of age 50 or so, we’ll name the Beatles’ Drive My Car as a favorite. The 1966 recording as part of the Fab Four’s Rubber Soul album became an all-time hit. The lyrics make little sense, but not much does when you’re stuck in traffic on the Hollywood Freeway.

5. Peter, Paul and Mary sang Leavin’ on a Jet Plane in 1967. Previously recorded by writer/singer John Denver, the lyrics are the opposite of Sinatra’s happily enticing words. It’s about the sadness of flying away from a loved one. At the time, they didn’t know what unhappiness lay ahead. There were no ATF searchy feely lines, 10-hour tarmac delays, sliding airplane seats, grossly inflated prices or other flying unpleasantness to come.

Of course, many great travel songs have been written and performed since this list of old fogey favorites. However, we couldn’t print the unreadable, often uncomfortable, lyrics here.

Airline comfort: Personal gripe about flying sardine cans PDF Print E-mail

Cramped seat

Just completed a round-trip, six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale. Fortunately, it was non-stop, because the cheap seats were so close, even my shrunken old legs were squeezed up into my chest.

Making it worse, the guy in front reclined his seat and I was completely fetal. Getting in and out to use the lav required bending even a pretzel would find difficult.

Of course, mine isn’t an isolated incident. Last year, a guy tried to punch out Mitt Romney on a flight when the candidate asked him to unrecline his seat before takeoff.

I was flying Virgin, and that airline makes cheapo Southwest look like luxury with its effort to jam every passenger in as possible. The only way to avoid the sardine can flight is to buy a first-class seat.

For example, a typical round-trip economy flight between LAX and JFK is about $400, while first-class is about $1,400. Unless you’re a Wall Street speculator, drug dealer, pro athlete or politician, who can afford it?

Is it worth the steep price just for a couple of hours of relative comfort? What are your thoughts on the tight-seat situation?

Our cruise log: RCL's Radiance of the Seas PDF Print E-mail

NCL's Radiance of the Seas

Radiance of the Seas approaches Ensenada harbor

We recently returned from a five-day Royal Caribben Line Mexican Riviera cruise out of San Diego, including port stops at Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas. In the days before the cruise, we considered cancellation because of a big tropical storm with 120+ mph winds heading straight for Cabo, and due to hit on our arrival day.

When we called our travel agent, we were assured that the ship’s captain would never sail within 100 miles of any storm, and the route would be changed if there were any possibility of danger. With some misgivings, we boarded the ship in San Diego. We could have left our worries at home. The storm suddenly veered far south of Cabo, and the cruise was absolutely smooth and a total pleasure.


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