Category Archives: Vacation

Graduation day!

A big thank you to the Barnes & Noble in Nanuet, New York.

They featured my book You’re a Leader, Charlie Brown in their list of graduation gift recommendations,  and even tweeted out a picture. (Tagged me, too.)

I’ve never been to Nanuet, but it has suddenly made the short list of my future vacation spots.

Coincidence? Not even.

You aren’t clutzy…

Poor Jimmy Fallon.

He fell yet again in Massachusetts, hurting his right hand. This is the same year he hurt his left hand so badly, he spent a week in ICU, and chipped a tooth trying to open a tube of lotion for said hand.

What a clutz…or maybe not?

You may recall I got bit by a stingray on my family’s beach vacation in Florida.  There were 10 of us; I got the chomp.


Now it appears a spider bit my right arm sometime over the past two days,  and I have a swollen lump of itchiness near my elbow.

We, Jimmy, are the chosen.

I will let you know if I figure out how to get off the list.

Hey ya’ll


And I really mean hay! I am in Kentucky.

Is that a gorgeous view or what?

Don’t cry for me

It’s the last day of my beach vacation…


…and Florida is crying.

I’ll miss you too, St. Teresa Beach. I’ve loved every minute.

Except the stingray. Hate you, you hateful critter.

Not so quiet

My bucolic beach vacation received a jolt yesterday when I got up close and personal with a stingray.


I was walking in kneedeep water, so I  didn’t see my attacker coming. But once I felt the stab, I did get a hand on him to pull him away.

It bled a bit, but hurt a lot. For three or four hours, it was pretty darn intense. Then it calmed down.

And so did I.

For future reference, should you be so unlucky, don’t pee on the wound. And don’t rush to the doctor  (although painkillers will be tempting).

Just make sure no barb remains, soak it in hot water, apply antibiotic ointment and leave it uncovered to heal. Elevating it seems to help, too.

And be grateful for friends and family who quickly gather round to help.

5 reasons to take the subway

subwayFirst-time visitors to New York City may be hesitant to take the subway.

I was you once; I spent too much money on taxis and wore myself out walking dozens upon dozens of city blocks.

But trust me —

The subway is the best way to get around town.

Here are 5 reasons to give the MTA a chance the next time you are in town.

  1. Speed — The subway is usually the fastest way between Point A and Point B.  There’s no traffic to contend with, and you have express train options when you have longer trips or are traveling from borough to borough.
  2. Cost — Currently $2.75 a ride, the subway is cheaper than any taxi ride. And while walking is free, you have to think about the cost of your time, and the wear-and-tear on your body. Most of my friends leave NYC broken-down and exhausted from the unaccustomed amount of walking they do…and it was supposed to be vacation.
  3. Comfort  — Except at morning and evening rush, the subway has room to breathe and seats for most travelers. I have claustrophobia, and I use the subway without any problem.
  4. People Watching  — Everyone takes the subway in New York City, from celebrities to crazies on the street…so you will see everything. It is a slice of humanity like no other. You’ll return home with story upon story.
  5. Performances — Like this one:

I mean, come on — take a chance and take a ride!

Playing dress up

I have lived in New York City going on eight years now, and I sometimes worry that I will start to take the city for granted.

Maybe I already have.  Maybe we all have.

Image: An aerial view of Burj Dubai is seen in DubaiThe city of Dubai isn’t going to take that chance.

They have put together a think tank on tourism, and one idea is getting serious consideration —

Covering the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building (2,716.5 feet and 160 stories) — with a “super-lightweight, reflective and semi-transparent fabric material.”

They say it’s art.

Critics say it sounds (and will look like) something much less low brow, but I like the idea of dressing up monuments.  The Statue of Liberty in a tasteful winter coat? The Guggenheim Museum decked out as a layered birthday cake? The Flatiron Building as a wedge of Swiss cheese?

Oh man — I think I’ve finally found my calling!

Bling bling

I don’t know if it is my age or location, but I love my sunglasses bigger and bigger these days.

They do cover a multitude of sins.

But these shades by designer Jaesyn Burke are simply sinful!
Jaesyn Burke glassesJaesyn Burke glasses2














I’m not completely sure I could see out of them, but really —

Who cares?

Add water

Can two months have already passed since my trip to Venice?

It seems like an eternity, yet it seems like yesterday.

But recent images of the city — St. Mark’s Square flooded, stores underwater, tourists forced to carry their luggage, even their children upon their head — are so foreign to me.

This was not the Venice that I know.

My Venice was surrounded by water, not menaced by it.  The canals did not encroach on businesses, homes or priceless works of art and history.  They were romantic — liquid atmosphere.

Today’s Venice looks swallowed up.  It creeps me out instead of inviting me in.  I hear the clock ticking, the boat that houses their city sinking.

I couldn’t just sit there and pass the day.

Man the lifeboats!

Day Eight, NYC: incredible journey

Today I made the long flight home.

But those 9 hours, 15 minutes actually went by pretty fast.

It helped that the Jeff Daniels look-a-like seated next to me was just the right kind of friendly without talking too much.  And lunch was served right after take-off.

Then they showed The Avengers.

Then I fell asleep.

When I awoke, I read the book I bought in the Milan Malpensa Airport.  Then I fell asleep again.

Afterwards I watched some TV, courtesy of NBC Universal.  Then read my book again.  Then watched Captain America.

I know I fell asleep during that showing, because it seemed really short.

Then it was time for the pre-landing snack….and this beautiful sight.

I loved my week in Italy, but it couldn’t top returning home to NYC and my doggie.

So happy to be back!