.All Trips / North America / Oregon / Pacific Northwest / Travel Talk

Solar Eclipse 2017 as viewed in Baker City, Oregon

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I’d only seen one prior solar eclipse in my life and that was long ago when I was a university student.  That one occurred on a cold winter day in February 1979, in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  So when I heard of the proximity of the American solar eclipse of 2017, I knew it was definitely time to view another.

There’s no question that this week’s eclipse was a popular event and thousands of people planned on visiting the areas of totality well in advance.  In fact, I couldn’t find a hotel room for less than $1000/night (which I refuse to pay) within the thousand mile stretch across the Northwestern USA that was of interest to me when I …

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.All Trips / Travel Talk

Flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

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I’d been following the development and troubled roll-out of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” for more than a decade, but only recently had my first chance to fly this aircraft on a trip to India.  One of the appealing things about the Dreamliner is that its size and fuel efficiency open new travel routes, partially bypassing the usual “hub-and-spoke” model.  I was among the first to fly the newly established Toronto to Delhi route (nonstop), a more than 14 hour journey.  That’s a long time to spend in an aircraft and the quality of your aircraft seat can add or take away from your flight experience.

I can’t bring myself to pay for a business class seat because I don’t believe the …

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.All Trips / Food / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA / Travel Talk

Breakfast at Mary’s Hash House, Las Vegas, Nevada

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Anyone who stumbled onto this blog searching for “hashish” might as well leave, because that’s not what this post is about.  It’s about good food, not good weed.

The Las Vegas food scene has changed a lot since I first visited the city many years ago.  Vegas used to be a place that catered mostly to hard-core gamblers (a description that in no way describes me).  Food was cheap, often not that great, and used to lure gamblers into an establishment.  For example, I recall “all you can eat” breakfast buffets for $0.99, lunch buffets for $1.99 and dinner buffets for $3.99.  Foot long hot dogs or large shrimp cocktail — $0.99.  Those prices were hard to beat!

Fast forward three decades …

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.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA / Travel Talk

Jestine’s Kitchen, Charleston, South Carolina

06 Jestine’s. Okra gumbo

In the past decade or so, Charleston has emerged as a food/foodie travel destination.  On an extended weekend visit to Charleston, we enjoyed superb food every single meal.  Most everything is fried and a little “heavier” than we’re used to, as you’d expect in the south, but we ate well and I’m sure we got onto our planes as we departed somewhat heavier than when we arrived.

One of the more memorable meals we enjoyed in Charleston was at Jestine’s Kitchen, named in honor of Jestine Matthews (a great southern cook).  This restaurant was recommended by the hosts of our B&B accommodation, and also is a recommended by the best online source of great “American food,” roadfood.com.  Jestine’s …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America / Travel Talk

Coping with Hurricana Ana, Kauai

07 Hurricane Ana approaches Kauai’s  southern shore @Po’ipu

It’s not every day a traveler has to deal with a hurricane — especially when vacationing in the South Pacific.  My first brushes with one were exciting in a way, but tedious in most respects.

I’ve experienced a number of “natural disasters” in my life, ranging from significant earthquakes while living in California to brush fires that were close to our home.  And, of course, Canada is known for its blizzards and severe cold weather.  But I’ve never had to deal with extremes of tropical weather before.

While attending a medical meeting on the Big Island of Hawaii, I became aware that tropical storm Ana was forming and gaining strength hundreds of miles southeast of the Big Island and moving on a …

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.All Trips / Argentina / Travel Talk

When Debit and Credit Cards aren’t your best choices on the Road

Argentine currency

Decades ago traveler’s checks were the “king of the road”, but now are obsolete.  With the revolution of software and personal computing, financial transactions at home and abroad have moved largely to an electronic format.  Today most people travel with just an ATM (debit) card and a credit card – perhaps with a spare credit card just in case your main card is lost or stolen or doesn’t work properly.  In Europe and most other countries this makes a lot of sense where the currency and exchange rates are stable, and there are many places you can use your cards.  The fees for ATM withdrawals can be significant, as both the foreign bank and usually your domestic bank will charge …

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