Sunday Travel Sections

It is Sunday morning as I write this week. And I have just spent more than an hour reading the travel sections of Boston Globe and the New York Times.  I rarely spend this much time with them, as the ‘news’ sections take so much time, I skim the ‘non-news’ sections. But today I traveled the world with such happy ‘news.’ And I learn so much about local cultures and history.

At first I was going to bring the two sections to my desk so I can quote from some of the articles. Then I decided no, just remember because that is what travel is all about, remembering a wonderful experience.

France.. I learned it is ok to sunbath on the beaches topless but not in a full burka. If a woman’s face is exposed that is permissible.  In fact, France has many laws on all religious clothing expressions. I wonder if someday the courts will rule them unconstitutional.

Mark Hopkins.. A grand old hotel in San Francisco. The top floor has a famous restaurant/bar “Top of the Mark.”  I have been, but I did not know during WWII it was a famous hangout for soldiers. Soldiers celebrated in this magnificent view of the city, bay and bridges, their return from the Pacific. Others were preparing to go.  If this was to be their last drink, where else than such an iconic American view.  Next time I go I will look for the memorabilia on display.

Tobago.. A tiny island next to Trinidad.  Did you know they have mermen, not mermaids? It was a fun read of the history and folklore of this tiny island.  It is still the Caribbean as it ought to be.

Anguilla.. One of my favorite Caribbean islands for its beautiful beaches and grand restaurants.  I do not remember seeing, but there are goats.  Seems they rule the island.

Dominica.. Another very small island in the Caribbean that has a Carnival celebration like no other.  They celebrate as if still in the 1950’s. Sounds like a wonderful experience.

Duty-free.. We all have seen duty-free stores. Are they worth buying into them? Or buying in general in a foreign country. First, it is important to know the value of what you intend to purchase. What does a bottle of Channel 5 cost at your local department store? If you do not know then you may find it is the same or more. Like any shopping know your product and price. Secondly, know the US custom duty laws. In general coming in from a foreign country $800 is exempt from taxes. After reading the article in the Times, I learned the tax laws are much more complicated. If shopping a lot when out of the country, it might behoove you to know the laws. But then do they ever really check when coming through customs?

Lastly.. “I’ll have what Phil’s having!”.. A new humorous travel/food show. I actually saw the first episode last week, as I watch a great deal of PBS. Phil Rosenthal, who created ‘Everyone Love Raymond” has created this great food/travel show with lots of humor. The first series has six destinations. Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Florence (my favorite). Can you imagine any better choices?  Well, with Los Angeles I guess I have lots to learn.

So if you are not traveling this week, just pick up the local travel section and enjoy the vicarious holiday. And when you are all excited, call me and we can put it all to reality.

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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