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Cruise Ship Vs Assisted Living: Would You Do It?


A USA Today article mused about a choice of being in an old age home or enjoying a full-time sailing of the seven seas. At first glance, the idea seems insanely unbelievable. However, considering the ever-rising costs of senior facilities, it isn’t so far-fetched.

Today’s monthly fees in senior homes are near $4,000, about $134 a day per person. A typical long cruise averages $140 a day for two people, plus many included perks. Senior homes don’t usually feature all-you -can-eat buffets, live entertainment, spas, midnight dances, excursions and other seagoing fun.

Of course, there are many other factors involved that can drastically change the costs. However, just the thought of spending our sunset years doing something other than staring at the walls in a nursing home hallway. For instance, listening to a calypso band while watching the sunset over the beach and palm trees along a Caribbean shoreline.

Holiday air travel: Coping with long overnight flights PDF Print E-mail

Sleeping cat

Q: When I drive long distances at night, I have to fight to stay awake. However, when I fly red eye, no matter what I do, I can’t get a moment of sleep. I’ll be doing a lot of red eye flying over the holiday weeks. Any suggestions?

Jack L., Chicago IL

A: We could suggest you invest in first-class tickets, so you’ll get full-reclining seats. Of course, since they cost five times more than coach, is it worth investing many more bucks just for a couple of hours of comfort?

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Fisherman's Wharf & Alcatraz Island, San Francisco CA PDF Print E-mail

Fisherman's Wharf & Alcatraz Island, San Francisco CA

 
Porto, Portugal: A colorfully quaint & saintly cafe PDF Print E-mail

Cafe in Portugal

 
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?

 
Beverly Hills CA: Stroll free on USA's most costly turf PDF Print E-mail

Beverly Hills CA

As you drive west along Santa Monica Boulevard from Hollywood, you know you’re in LaLa Land when you cross Canon Drive. You’ll see two miles of Beverly Garlands Park on the north side, backed by some of the famously and grossly overpriced homes of Beverly Hills.

You can park for free for a couple of hours near the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard at the city center lot, then go back and pose for pictures at the famed sign. If you make your visit on a Sunday morning, you can stroll nearby through the weekly farmers' market.

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