Travel Essays

Santa Brings You A Gift: Air Travel, The Way It Was

Travel Essays
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“Dear Santa, “All I want for Christmas is two front seats. That is, seats ‘up front’ in the plane. You know, having a first class travel experience by flying in First Class. “But I know that maybe I haven’t been a good enough boy this year to qualify for such an extravagant gift. “So I’d […]

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Home (to Seattle) For The Holidays

Destination Updates

Seattle was a bit of a culinary and cultural backwater when I was growing up there in the middle of the last century. There was plenty of fresh seafood at downtown restaurants like Von’s where I’d lunch on sole with my grandmother before we went grocery shopping at the Pike Place Market, many years before […]

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Flying Is Fun (To Watch)

Travel Essays
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The “Golden Age of Air Travel” when flying was fun is long, long, gone. Back then, even if you weren’t hopping on plane to take off on vacation, you could hang out at an airport and just watch other people do so. Today, the only reason to subject yourself to the aggravation of air travel […]

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The Right to Bear Cameras

Travel Essays
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“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” That’s the protection citizens gained when the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified on December 15, 1791. That amendment, of course, makes no specific mention of a freedom to photograph. Nearly a decade would pass before anyone […]

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Space Tourism: Which Ship To Pick For Your Flights?

Travel Essays
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Four and a half years ago when President Obama predicted that Americans would fly through space to Mars within 20 to 30 years my long-held dream of landing on the Red Planet seemed unlikely to be fulfilled in my lifetime. And two months ago, I mulled over the possibility of getting there even if I […]

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Breaking Up (Your Country) Is Hard To Do

Travel Essays
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Back in the 1962, American pop singer Neil Sedaka’s single, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” was a hit not only in the U.S. but around the world. But what’s that got to do with “Travel”? Plenty.

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Falling in Love (With Venice) All Over Again

Travel Essays
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Falling in love with a place once is something many travelers have experienced. But falling in love with the same place twice? Is it possible? After an absence of over two decades, online journalism professor Mindy McAdams of the University of Florida comes back to Venice, Italy, and writes about finding true love of place […]

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This TV Program Will Make You Hate Air Travel Even More

Travel Essays
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The Smithsonian Channel is going to do something that will so put you off air travel that you may never willingly board a commercial flight again. How? By showing you what the golden age of passenger air travel was like back in the last century when it airs “I Was a Jet Set Stewardess” tonight […]

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Making It to Mars

Travel Essays
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After reading Robert Heinlein’s 1949 sci-fi novel, Red Planet, more than a half-century ago, I was convinced that someday I would be living on Planet Mars, not Planet Earth. After seeing the 1956 film, Forbidden Planet, in the theaters, I had no doubt that since interstellar travel was technologically feasible (at least in Hollywood) flying […]

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World Cup, Your “Football” Isn’t My “Football”

Travel Essays
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Unless you were vacationing on the far side of the moon last weekend and were disconnected from the Internet, you know that Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win the quadrennial World Cup of soccer. But if you were just “up in the air,” flying around Planet Earth on a commercial jetliner, you may have been […]

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Traveling In Columbus’ Wake

Travel Essays
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“In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” When I was growing up back in the last century, every American school kid learned the opening lines of that ditty about Christopher Columbus’ voyage of discovery. And the rest, as they say, is history. Columbus made three trips to the “New World” in the 1490’s […]

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Remembering America’s Birth: A Capitol Fourth

Travel Essays
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Hot dogs. and beer. It could be any summer day. But today is the Fourth of July, when we not only wash down those quintessential America wieners with copious quantities of the hop-laced brew, but celebrate the birth of the U.S.A. Here’s PBS television’s visual remembrance of the country’s roots. Enjoy your Fourth, readers. Tales […]

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“Droning” Over National Parks

Travel Essays
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Since I shoot video when I travel and have produced a few TV travel “shorts,” I’ve been intrigued with the idea of using a miniature helicopter, such as the Phantom 2 Vision Drone, to make my own version of  travelogues like “Over Hawaii.” But there’s one set of places where I won’t be able to […]

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“Driving The Damned Road” – A Cinematic Essay

Travel Essays
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A scenic highway runs almost arrow-straight through the Canadian Rockies from Banff to Jasper. It’s the only practical way to travel quickly and easily through that mountainous region. But should I have followed the advice of a “local” I call “The Cowboy” and shunned that road? That’s the question posed by following short film which […]

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“Southeast” – A Cinematic Essay

Travel Essays
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Southeast Alaska is one of the most remote places where one could live in the United States. No roads connect its few towns, which are scattered wide apart over 35,000 square miles of mountains, forests, glaciers and sea. Should you move there to permanently live, or merely pay it a brief visit on vacation? That’s […]

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“Sunset” Has Risen

Travel Essays
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For nearly forty years I had been a subscriber to Sunset magazine whose tagline had been “The Magazine of Western Living.” The pages of Sunset were filled with ideas for home remodeling, gardening, cooking and entertaining aimed at those who, like me, reside in the Western United States. What I enjoyed most about Sunset were […]

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Road Kill: Death of the Family Summer Car Trip?

Travel Essays
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Lately there’s been a lot of talk about raising the minimum wage. Back in 1964 when I was a college freshman, I was paid the federal minimum wage of $1.25/hour to deliver pizzas, and chicken, fish and rib dinners. Adjust that wage for inflation, and someone performing the same job in 2012 should have been […]

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Love in “Earthquake Country”

Travel Essays
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Those, like myself, who live in the San Francisco Bay Area might rightly claim it to be the “epicenter” of “Earthquake Country.” After all, the 1906 quake shook San Francisco to its foundations and started a fire that destroyed vast numbers of that city’s buildings, forcing residents to relocate to the East Bay, North Bay, […]

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The Birth and Future of the Travel Blog

Travel Essays
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Tales Told From The Road was born in the summer of 2009. It wasn’t by any means the first travel blog. Nor was I the first travel blogger. But I’ve met the person who gets credit for writing the first travel blog post way back on January 6, 1994, even though, technically speaking, at that […]

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“Doing” Death Valley: A Travel Memoir

Travel Essays
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Mad dogs. Englishmen. And nine-year-old kids from Seattle. That’s who goes out in the noonday sun on a summer’s day in Death Valley.

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Comatose: “It’s The Only Way to Fly!”

Travel Essays
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Fifty years ago air travel was a far cry from what it is today: Enjoyable. To underscore that point, Western Airlines ran TV ads declaring that travel aboard its planes was “the only way to fly!”   Western, which took off in 1926, disappeared from the skies when it merged with Delta in 1987. Today, […]

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