- “It’s snowing, and I’m speeding atop glassy salt water in an open-air skiff. My face is numb, but I can see well enough to spot the hidden entrance to Pete’s Cove. Along the shore are the skeletal remains of a bulldozer, barn and termite-riddled cabin. Through the falling snow, I envision ‘Herring Pete’ and Josephine Sather tending to their fox farm here.
- “I wander onto the set of my favorite mystery one stormy day in the small town of Hay-on-Wye, Wales. The moors are still brown and flecked with snow, so instead of hiking, I duck into the Murder & Mayhem bookstore. The town has 1,500 residents, but 31 bookstores, proving that the Welsh people love a good story. I flip through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- THE GOAL: To find exactly what excites and unites the people of the Dominican Republic. STRIKE ONE: Mamajuana. What sounds like a request for contraband is in fact a local drink of rum, wine, herbs and honey aged in a bottle with tree bark. Said to provide “man power.” I drink it, and then need a nap.
- Standing face to face with this ancient totem pole, I’m looking for answers. I’m on a journey through British Columbia’s wildest archipelago, the stormy Haida Gwaii Islands, on a quest to discover how a First Nation people who nearly vanished in 1911 made such a remarkable comeback. ‘We live on the edge of a knife,’ a Haida man tells me, ‘without regret for the past or worry for the future.’ Find us on Google+
- Dignitary, no. Prom queen, no. I’m just a photographer leaving the Tahitian island of Maupiti after being adorned in heis (Tahitian for leis) from the locals I met while following their va’a (outrigger canoe) team. The afternoon of my departure, while I’m packing and getting some last-minute shots, my friends come, one by one, to say goodbye with the heis they made that morning. Riding up the street on a bike is my new 90-year-old Tahitian grandma with a hei in her basket.
- DO: Carry your own toilet paper. Let’s get right to practicality. You never know where you might have to relieve yourself. Tissue — even in public restrooms — can be hard to find. DON’T: Be offended by open grins and frank stares. Filipinos are curious and friendly by nature, and many have never met foreigners up close. You are an alien, and they generally don’t put on airs. Just smile back, but don’t stare.
- Serendipity can turn an already great trip into a truly memorable one. Yesterday we sailed into Amalfi, our trip’s final port of call, to find the city prettying up for Festa di Sant’Andrea. Twice a year, the town honors its patron saint, a fisherman, with a street festival that involves parading a larger-than-life gilded statue of him through the streets. When we sailed in, vendors were erecting stands on the waterfront from which to peddle a rainbow of gummy sweets, blocks of nougat bigger than my forearm, and o’per’ e o’muss’, a local specialty of veal snouts and feet marinated in juice from local Amalfi lemons.
- Wales. It's all about castles and ancestries. That's what I thought until a stop in Burry Port, along the country's south coast, about an hour into our first day. We'd stopped here because when Amelia Earhart became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air in June 1928, the plane landed right here. It would be worth a look. Through a proud Welsh accent, peppered with lots of strange consonants shot from the roof of his mouth, Rhys Anthony stood on the pier and pointed to two beaches behind this centuries-old limestone wall. They total 15 miles in length. It's the start of the summer season here and on 15 miles of beach we saw fewer than a dozen people. But ...
- I'm not wild about passion fruit. That is till tonight at 6 at the Sublime Samana Hotel, just outside Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic. The spirited bartenders at the beach bar surprised us with their special concoction -- a blend of rum and fresh passion-fruit juice served in a piece of the hollowed-out rind (aka my new favorite drink). They created it just for us...
- The goal: To find aloha spirit on a plate. Tongue twister: At a country market in the center of the island, I buy what looks like a pineapple with chili powder. The vendor looks at me funny when I ask what the red powder is. “You know, sistah, leeheemoo-ee.” I walk away no wiser. Speaking in tongues: The next day at Ted’s, a famous North Shore bakery, the counter help talks to me in rapid-fire pidgin...
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