Remember when Sharon Stone arranged for her then husband, Phil Bronstein, to pet a Komodo dragon at the Los Angeles Zoo? And remember when dragon bit him on the foot, completely crushing his big toe? I thought about this when my husband and I were on the eastern Indonesian island of Komodo, touring an area full of the dragons for which it’s famous. There were experienced guides leading our little group, and they carried large, pointy sticks. I remember asking the lead guide if that’s what he’d use if a Komodo dragon were to attack, and he said, “Yes. It’s very effective.”
February 3, 2013
Posted by: Jae-Ha Kim
Category: Go Away With..., Interviews, Travelogues
Tags: Alana De La Garza, Billy Campbell, Dionne Warwick, Engelbert Humperdinck, Fergie, Henry Winkler, Josh Duhamel, Karolina Kurkova, Katie Barberi, Meghan Markle, Natalie Coughlin, Richard Marx, romantic vacations, Samantha Brown, Valentine's Day, Wolfgang Puck
There’s no specific quality that makes one destination more romantic than others. While some travelers want access to luxuries and fine dining, others search for a beautiful sunset in a rustic environment. The important thing is being with the right person. As Mark Twain said, “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya.
When author Dan Brown visited Rosslyn Chapel four years ago, the small working church wasn’t on any tourist maps. Though located just seven miles south of Edinburgh, Rosslyn didn’t have the same cachet, as say, the more famous and majestic Edinburgh Castle. But thanks to Brown’s international bestseller, “The Da Vinci Code” — in which Rosslyn is prominently featured — the little chapel that no one expected to become a tourist attraction has become one of the country’s most coveted sites.
Way back before I was married and had a baby, a New York friend asked me why anyone would want to go to the Wisconsin Dells. Oh, I don’t know, because it’s awesome? Say what you will about the Dells being a cliché or a haven for the overfed. I don’t care. When it’s cold and rainy out everywhere else, nothing beats spending the weekend at a warm waterpark.
As it turns out, having a cute toddler with a penchant for high-fiving strangers is like toting around catnip. Apparently, Kyle saves his worst for when it’s just us, in private. In public, he was like a well-behaved movie star. He went straight to work at the airport, charming the sort of shop girls I had always assumed were beyond human emotion. Put him on a plane, I learned, and suddenly he’s the flight attendants’ favorite passenger. I’m not ashamed to say that we used him as a means to reel in extra snacks.
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It’s been drilled into our heads that the best way to get a cheap airline ticket is to buy it well in advance of your travel date. But parents adopting children from overseas often have no idea when that date might be. And once their adoption agency gives them the go-ahead to bring home their child, they typically have only a matter of days to make all the arrangements.
Grenada was the setting, the hotel the Spice Island Beach Resort. As I swamp in my very own pool, located on my very private patio in front of my very private room, I was thinking about two things. One, some of the cliches really are true. I could overhear little American tourist spawns shouting “Marco . . . Polo!” at each other from the communal pool. I didn’t have to look at them, though. Make that double my pleasure: I also couldn’t see the European guests, who were actually in some cases as fat as the Americans, except they didn’t even have the decency to cover up. (Some things, particularly when they are barely encased in a Speedo, cannot be unseen.)
OKAY, I know what you’re thinking. Why the hell would anyone want to pay Four Seasons prices for a no-name hotel in Florida’s Panhandle? That’s like paying upwards of $400 for one of those Poconos resorts where they play the dirty version of “The Newlywed Game” and the chef’s idea of fancy is grey Chateaubriand for two.
The WaterColor Inn & Resort, named for the small planned town it fronts on the Panhandle’s charming Route 30A (between Destin and Panama City) is one of those hotels that has had a surprisingly good reputation from the start, for no particular reason. The proof is in the fact that everytime you try to book a stay, the rates are astronomical. That is, if you can even get a room.