Cue the Elephants! Cue the Dancing Girls!

Cue the Elephants! Cue the Dancing Girls!

5 min read

Say ‘road trip’ and you think adventure. Even if that adventure is only: “Come to Ramada for our all-day breakfast!” But say ‘road trip’ in India and you can pretty much expect anything: maharajas, carnivals, sandstorms, jungles, monkeys, riots, beggars, nirvana. They don’t call it ‘Incredible India’ for nothing. Our India road trip landed us breathless, in a gaggle of elephants, giraffes, a princely entourage and dancing girls… and this was before lunch.

Fleeing the War - O Canada!

Fleeing the War - O Canada!

5 min read

Whatever happened to the lost art of hitchhiking? As a teen, I hitched throughout New York, New England and even coast to coast using only the power of my right thumb. People were decent and generous. Also, I suppose I didn’t look too scary to the salesmen, couples, hippies and missionaries who stopped for me, each with their own story to tell. This worked well as I’m a good listener. They gave me their miles in exchange for my undivided attention. With me, they knew they had someone who listened, especially that one driver who was fleeing the country.

Zihuatanejo & the Club Med Redemption

Zihuatanejo & the Club Med Redemption

4 min read

You ever almost get into a fight? I mean a physical fight? As an adult? Even the idea of it is so stupid, so… embarrassing, you can’t believe you could easily slip into a state of early adolescence. But suddenly there you are – adrenaline pumping, fists curling, breath quickening and bowels… a little tentative. Amazingly, this happened to me at one of the happiest places on earth – not Disneyland. No, it was at a Club Med. In Mexico. And I just want to say it wasn’t my fault. He started it.

On the Road With Lovey (Part 1)

On the Road With Lovey (Part 1)

4 min read

Do you know what a lovey is? Maybe you remember your own or the one you purchased for a child. A lovey is that blanket, doll, rag or toy that was ground zero for happiness and comfort. Without it a young child won’t make a move, much less set out for a day at the office… or Gymboree. The lovey’s soft touch and familiar smell was the touchstone for a content young life. Way before there were cars, clothes, jewelry or iPhones, there was… the lovey. And woe to the parents of a child who loses her lovey in the tumult of a family vacation. Hell, hath no fury like a lovey lost.

Don't Mess With the Peruvian Bond Girl!

Don't Mess With the Peruvian Bond Girl!

4 min read

She stood at the helm of our ship, her gun cinched tight around her waist. As she faced down a mass of wild animals, they edged ever closer. The sun’s light reflecting off the nearby alabaster cliffs almost blinded us. Ok… on closer inspection we were actually sitting in a small boat and the encroaching wild animals were 500 barking seals. The alabaster cliffs? A rock tower splattered with a hundred years of guano or bird droppings. But… she was the real deal, one of the President’s special security force. Her weapon snug against her t-shirt - the ultimate lethal fashion accessory. 

Great Big Train to D.C.

Great Big Train to D.C.

4 min read

I love trains. I love hotels. And I love Washington, D.C. This I found out when I was five. Gazing up at the world from my princely perch of three and half feet, I discovered adventure and wonder on a family junket to our nation’s capital. I also found God. Sort of.

Up the Yangtze without a Paddle

Up the Yangtze without a Paddle

4 min read

We were on a slow boat to China… actually it was a slow boat in China. Me and the guys were on deck, taking in the steady parade of river traffic - cruise ships like ours, barges and freighters. China was overflowing with the surplus of life. That was when one of the guys spotted the body in the steel grey river. Its human form and face unmistakable. It moved past us with a speed that made no sense, like it had someplace to be. But nobody seemed to notice. Shouldn’t we tell someone?

Some Cool Places to See After You Die - Part 1

Some Cool Places to See After You Die - Part 1

3 min read

Everyone talks about places to see before you die. But what about catching up on your wish list after you kick the bucket? The deals are incredible, the accommodations are whatever you want and you can pack very light. Best of all, no reservations, no money to change and no sunscreen. And should you forget anything, no problem. You’re dead – you can laugh it off.

The Avocado of It All

The Avocado of It All

4 min read

They were newlyweds… and had come to town to witness the nuptials of other newlyweds just like them. But before the day was over, they would find themselves lost in the frenzy of the crowds, mountains of produce and a river of America’s favorite dip. Yes, their world turned that unmistakable shade of green on a fall Saturday at the 31st Annual California Avocado Festival® or AVOFEST™, for short.

How I Found My 15 Minutes of Fame on Torcello

How I Found My 15 Minutes of Fame on Torcello

4 min read

It’s easy being famous. It’s also fun. For a brief, unbelievable moment I was the most famous person on an entire island. But, as with many celebrities, I hadn’t really earned it. Up until then, I had only been a legend in my own mind. Now, with throngs of admirers surrounding me, the legend was made manifest… as though delivered from destiny. But in truth, it arrived from a bunch of giggling 15-year-old girls.

Following Bill and Warren into Deepest, Darkest Africa

Following Bill and Warren into Deepest, Darkest Africa

4 min read

I did follow them. We stayed at the same tented safari camp. At almost the same time. They were there just a few months before my crew and I arrived. And yeah, their accommodations were a little nicer than ours. But still, we all “camped” on the same river, saw pretty much the same animals and danced with the Masai Warriors. And I even got a peek at their en suite baths. Mine was just as nice. See, my life is not all that different from a billionaire’s. At least when going to the bathroom in the jungle. 

Adios Señor Presidente

Adios Señor Presidente

4 min read

I liked the Mexican President. I admired the Mexican President. So, I felt bad when I had to leave him hanging. Literally. About 1,400 feet up, dangling over Copper Canyon, in a malfunctioning cable car. But I had a ride to catch. And he would be fine. At least I was pretty sure he would be fine. Help had arrived. Still I felt bad leaving him. And his wife. And his three small children. Dangling there about half a kilometer above the gorge. But like I said, there was only one ride out of this place. And it was ready to leave without me. Yes, he’s the president of Mexico… and I’m sure he’s gotten himself out of tighter jams. Right?

Our Own Private Portlandia

Our Own Private Portlandia

5 min read

…And then there is the sort of vacation that has an ulterior motive. Like those settlers crossing the Oregon Trail, I too was having visions of paradise over that next hill… in today’s Oregon. Portland, Oregon. Portland, where 25-year-olds go to retire.

Our Chopper's On Fire... What Again?

Our Chopper's On Fire... What Again?

 4 min read

The first time it happened, I didn’t even know there was a problem. But why should I? I was a TV producer, not a helicopter pilot. There were no flames or anything like that to induce hair-on-fire panic. But something tipped the pilot off – maybe one of his gauges or perhaps he sniffed the smell of burning chopper. Whatever – one moment we were getting beauty shots, the next we were diving for the river bank. Being a little slow, my only thought was, “What the… he ruined our shot!” 

Ever Jump On a Plane... Just Because?

Ever Jump On a Plane... Just Because?

5 min read

I did. Once. It was a long time ago and clearly, I was a more spontaneous critter back then. I didn’t have kids yet or a significant other. Just me, my little bachelor pad in Venice, California, and my backpack. So, here’s what happened: I awoke one morning as usual, without a thought in my head, and by that evening, I was sleeping under the stars, a thousand miles away on a luxuriant forest floor. I didn’t even have a map to get me there. Just a vague idea. Sometimes you gotta let those stars lead the way.