Monday, December 20, 2010

Sights to See: Porcelain Collection, Dresden, Germany

This is the largest collection of ceramics in the world. Displays include many fine pieces produced by Dresden’s porcelain factories since the first was founded in 1708. An extensive collection of Meissen includes exquisite hand-painted birds, including Jaybirds and Wax Wings, and many displays are set against windows through which you can additionally view the palace grounds outside. Chinese and Japanese pieces are also in the collection. A Glockenspiel above the entrance features a carillon with 40 Meissen porcelain bells that survived the World War II bombing raids.

Porcelain Collection, at the The Zwinger.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sights to See: The Asisi Panometer, Leipzig, Germany


Created by artist Yadegar Asisi, this innovative 360-degree panorama exhibition is tucked inside a 19th-century cylindrical gas storage building and is the world’s largest. The picture measures approximately 88½-feet/27 meters high and more than 328 feet/100 meters long. Previous themes have been “Mt. Everest” and “Ancient Rome.” The current “Amazonia” includes colorful scenes in Brazil’s rainforest that transform from day through night. When the exhibition ends, one ton of canvas comes down from the walls and is burned. According to Asisi, “It is gone like a theater piece or a concert.”

The Asisi Panometer  Richard-Lehmann-Strasse 114, +49 (0)341 35 55 34-0. Tu-F 9-7, Sat-Sun 10-8. E10.

More things to do in Leipzig. 

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Good Eats: Quchnia, Berlin, Germany

Relax here in comfy leather chairs with a view of the Deutscher Dom right across the street. This very cozy coffeehouse also has a menu of hot chocolates—choose your candy bar flavor (perhaps cashew-caramel) and then just drop it in frothy hot milk and stir.

Quchnia  Markgrafenstrasse 35, in the Gendarmenmarkt, 030-206 09 286.


More things to do in Berlin. 

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sights to See: Reichstag/Parliament House, Berlin, Germany

When this seat of the German parliament burned in 1933, it was used as a excuse by Hitler’s troops to begin arresting enemies of the government. (It was built in 1893.) It was also bombed during World War II. Rebuilt and topped with a new glass dome, the building is once again the seat of parliament. As you walk the winding ramp up to the top of the Reichstag's dome, you'll enjoy a panoramic view of Berlin. The transparency of the glass symbolizes the transparency of the German state--when I visited, on a very cold October day, the windows were almost completely covered in frost at 9am. Michael Jackson had a big concert here on June 19, 1988, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude did a “Wrapped Reichstag Project for Berlin” in July 1995. To avoid the very long line, make a reservation in the roof-garden restaurant where views sweep from the dining room out over what used to be known as East Berlin.
NOTE:  This building is currently closed to visitors due to tightened security related to terrorist threats.  

Reichstag/Parliament House +49 (0)30 22 62 99 33. Daily 8am-midnight; last admission at 10pm. Free.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sights to See: Marienplatz/glockenspiel/carillon, Munich, Germany

Marienplatz  In Altstadt/Old Town. This historic, scenic square is a pedestrian-only zone in Munich’s heart. It is what Times Square is to NYC.
●A 43-bell glockenspiel/carillon--the fourth-largest carillon in Europe—is in the clock tower of the large and spectacularly ornate Neues Rathaus/New Town Hall. It features brightly painted mechanical figures that re-enact famous events in the city's history; at 11am, noon, and 5pm. You can climb the steps of the Town Hall (or take an elevator) for a panoramic view of Munich.

More things to do in Munich.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers






Saturday, November 20, 2010

Misc.: light a virtual candle and travel to Israel

To mark the upcoming Chanukah holiday, which begins on the evening of December 1, the Israel Ministry of Tourism is relaunching its Chanukah website, where you can log on and light virtual candles for each night of the eight-day holiday known as the "Festival of Lights."

With each candle you light, you will be able to access more information about travel to Israel.  At the end of the holiday, site visitors who have lit all eight candles will be entered to win a free trip to Israel aboard EL AL Israel Airlines, to experience the country's many areas of cultural, religious and historical interest for themselves.


For more information, visit www.goisrael.com.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sights to See: Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany

Occupying an island in the Isar River, this museum opened in 1925 and remains one of the world’s most important showcases of science and technology. Munich’s largest museum and the world's largest museum of technology and science, it features a diverse collection of both hands-on and historical exhibits. Of special interest are the full-size ships, power machinery, and collection of giant printing presses. A model railway is currently closed. A roof-top sundial garden provides great views, and a popular electricity demonstration occurs at 11am and includes ear-splitting sounds.

Deutsches Museum/German Museum Museumsinsel 1. Daily 9-5. €8.50, 6-15 €3.

More things to do in Munich.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sights to See: Jellyfish Lake, Palau

In a stunning daily migration, five million jellyfish glide across the surface of Palau’s Jellyfish Lake to follow the eastward-streaming morning sun and the westward-streaming afternoon sun. Then, at night, the jellyfish sink down 45 feet to absorb nutrient-rich bacteria, which the algae in their bodies require to survive.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 



http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/great-migrations-episode-guide/#tab-Videos/08713_00

Photo: taka_aka_T

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good Eats: Airbrau, Munich, Germany

When I flew Lufthansa non-stop home from Munich to San Francisco a few weeks ago, I was so glad that I was smart enough to have one last good-bye Pilsner—those German beers are THE BEST--at the Airbräu brewery at the Munich Airport (it even has an open-air beer garden with heater lamps!) This is the worlds’ first and only airport brewery, and among the menu items is the very odd Hang Man’s Lunch: 1 glass of tap water, 1 bread roll, 1 cigarette—95 cents. But who would order that when they can instead have some tasty German sausages and a Pilsner?

More airports.


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image c2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sights to See: Zwinger, Dresden, Germany

Dresden’s most famous building, this magnificent fortress from the Middle Ages was originally designed as an orangery and setting for court festivities. It is considered the most perfect example of Late Baroque architecture and now contains several museums. Modeled after Versailles, it was built by Augustus the Strong in 1719 (a huge copy of his spectacular gold crown is a landmark atop one of the fortress’s walls, known as the Crown Gate). Damage caused by the 1945 British air raid during World War II was devastating, but all has been beautifully restored. It now is home to the Old Masters Picture Gallery and a Porcelain Collection.

Zwinger  Theaterplatz 1, 0351/49142000

More things to do in Dresden.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 8, 2010

Great Sleeps: The Montague on the Gardens, London, England

Located in Bloomsbury right across the street from the British Museum, this elegant luxury hotel backs on a large shared garden with Bedford Place. Rooms are beautifully decorated, and a proper afternoon tea is served in the Lounge. Plaid and chintz fabrics mix with antiques and fine finishes for a very posh ambiance.

The Montague on the Gardens 15 Montague St., WC1B 5BJ, l 011-44-020-7637-1001; www.montaguehotel.com. 4 stars. 88 rooms, 11 suites. Sauna.

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image courtesy of hotel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good Eats: McMenamins North Bank, Eugene, Oregon

This popular spot overlooking a serene stretch of the Willamette River offers tiered inside seating as well as an outside deck with a river view (this point in the Willamette River was the Skinner's Ferry crossing 150 years ago). Classic ales include raspberry-tinged Ruby, medium-bodied Hammerhead, and dark, strong Terminator Stout, while pub fare features burgers made with hormone-free Country Natural Beef, a barbecue pork or wild salmon sandwich, and halibut fish & chips.

McMenamins North Bank  22 Club Rd., off Coburg Rd., (541) 343-5622.   M-Thur, 11-11, F-Sat to midnight, Sun 12-11.  No reservations outside. 


image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Eats: Burgerville USA #18, Canby, Oregon

Just look for the helicopter to find the local link in this fast food chain that uses natural local products--beef, fruit, and real Tillamook cheese and dairy. The milkshakes are thick and feature some special flavors that change with the season, fries and burgers are decent, and halibut fish and chipsare a nice surprise. This particular location is one of the "older models."

Burgerville USA #18 909 SW 1st Ave., (503) 266-2568.

 More things to do in Canby.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sights to See: Frauenkirche/Church of Our Ladies, Dresden, Germany

Located in the heart of the Old Town, this 18th-century sandstone church with magnificent Baroque dome was completely destroyed in World War II. It has been rebuilt exactly as it was, using more than 100,000 of its original stones. The peace bell rings daily at noon in invitation to pause for just a moment and pray for peace.

Frauenkirche/Church of Our Ladies  M-F 10-12 & 1-6; services on Sun at 11 & 6. 

See a performance:



video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

More things to do in Dresden.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Things to Do: Schoolhouse Antique Mall, Lafayette, Oregon

Claiming to have the largest collection of antiques in Oregon, this repurposed 1912 three-story schoolhouse displays all manner of antiques in eight former classrooms. It is air conditioned, carries only old items, and has particularly nice china.

Lafayette Schoolhouse Mall  748 Hwy. 99W, in Lafayette, 5 mi. E of McMinnville, (503) 864-2720; . Daily 10-5.

More things to do around McMinnville.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 
updated 11-18-17

Friday, October 22, 2010

Good Eats: The Original Pancake House, Eugene, Oregon

The OPH started in the 1950s in Portland, Oregon. It is now franchised, but each location uses only the finest ingredients, including 93 score butter, hardwheat unbleached flour, and housegrown sourdough yeast. Specialties include Danish cherry crepes, an apple pancake, a Dutch baby, and incredible, satisfying, chewy, plate-size 49er flap jacks--my favorite.

The Original Pancake House  782 E Broadway/Hilyard St., (541) 343-7523. Daily 6am-2pm; $-$$.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sights to See: Evergreen Aviation Museum & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon

This ever-expanding complex has an Aviation Museum in one gigantic building. This is where you’ll see the immense Spruce Goose, also known as the Howard Hughes Flying Boat Nearly six times bigger than any other plane in 1947, she is made of wood and was flown only once. No wonder she had trouble staying up--her eight engines are equivalent in power to just one 747 engine! Recycled airplane seats are scattered throughout this building, for resting and watching videos. Across the way in another immense building, the Space Museum displays the Mercury 10 capsule, a Titan II SLV Missile, and a sleek Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. And in yet another huge building is an IMAX theater. A new Wings & Waves Water Park structure, with a 747 now perched startlingly upon its roof, is scheduled to open with wave pools and water slides in summer 2011. Two cafes serve lunch fare. The Farm Store and Tasting Rooms (Daily 11-5. Tasting $5, applied to wine purchase.) feature Evergreen Vineyards Spruce Goose Oregon wine and juice, plus exclusive hazelnut products.

Evergreen Aviation Museum & Space Museum 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, 3½ mi. SE of McMinnville, (503) 434-4180. Daily 9-5. $20, 65+ $19, 5-16 $18; with IMAX +$9-$11. Guided tours daily at 11am & 1:30pm. No pets. Free parking.

More things to do around McMinnville.


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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good Eats: Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant , McMinnville, Oregon

Ceilings are high here, and the woodsy Old World-feeling includes plenty of roomy booths. The extensive menu lists sandwiches galore (don’t miss the delicious barbecued pork simmered in Red Thistle Ale sauce) as well as noteworthy beer-battered onion rings and a moist Irish Stout gingerbread. Salads, housemade soups, pastas, schnitzels, sausages, burgers, and steaks are also options (beef comes from the owner’s Angus Springs Ranch). Beers are brewed on site, and Red Thistle Ale is a personal favorite.
Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant  980 NE 4th St., (503) 472-2739

More things to do around McMinnville.

 
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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers .

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things to Do: Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey, Lafayette, Oregon

From this bucolic estate in rural Oregon wine country, monks dedicated to a vow of silence make an old-fashioned date-nut cake and a fruitcake that is soaked in brandy for 3 months. Visitors can browse the book shop, hike miles of trails, or spend the night in a lake-side guest house.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey 9200 NE Abbey Rd., in Lafayette, 800-294-0105, 503-852-0107. Book shop: Daily 9-5. Lodging: $35-$75/night donation; includes 3 meals/day; age 16+.

More things to do around McMinnville.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Eats: King Estate winery, Eugene, Oregon

Reached by a drive through scenic farmland, this gated hilltop French-style chateau is approached via a spectacular uphill drive past grounds planted with Mirabelle plum trees and grape vines. The area is reminiscent of England’s Lake Country to such an extent that if I were dropped here blindfolded and asked where I was, I would reply, “On Beatrix Potter’s farm.” The winery uses organic and sustainable farming, has published several wine varietal cookbooks, and is well-known for its Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir—both of which may be tasted at no fee.

The Restaurant and Wine Bar at King Estate (541-685-5189. L-D daily, Sat-SunBr; $-$$. Reservations required for indoor seating; outdoor seating is first-come, first-served.) menu incorporates estate and locally grown organic ingredients that complement King Estate wines. In good weather, the expansive outdoor patio, with its views of the surrounding forested hills dotted with small farms, is the venue of choice, though the interior is stellar, too, and features a cozy fireplace. Appetizers might include Oregon Dungeness crab cakes or a plate of Pacific Northwest artisan cheeses, while lunch choices might be an excellent burger with pommes frites and housemade ketchup, a very tasty sandwich of pulled pork that has simmered in barbecue sauce for hours, or a refined grilled hanger steak with crispy fingerling potatoes. Well-priced wine flights are the perfect accompaniment.

King Estate winery 80854 Territorial Rd, SW of town, 800-884-4441, 541-942-9874. Tasting daily 11-5; tours on the hour, noon-5pm.

image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sights to See: Cascades Raptor Center, Eugene, Oregon

Located on the outskirts of town in a bucolic rural area at the eastern base of Spencer Butte, this 3-acre site is home to a collection of rustic, well-maintained enclosures set along gravel trails dotted with tall trees (there are some hilly spots). The cages hold permanent unreleasable birds of prey—including eagles, vultures, and owls. The focus is on northwest birds that are found at some time of year in Oregon. In fact, this facility has the most diverse collection of native raptors on the West Coast (it currently has 60 permanent resident birds of 33 species). A hospital area is off limits. More than 200 birds are received here each year, and it costs around $35,000 per year for food, so donations are always welcome. Informative handler talks and demonstrations take place in an open-air pavilion, and demonstrations are presented regularly in another enclosure.

Just across the street, the Ridgeline Trail offers both hiking and mountain biking.

Cascades Raptor Center 32275 Fox Hollow Rd., (541) 485-1320. 10 Tu-Sun 10-6, Apr-Oct; handler talks, Sat & Sun at 12 & 2 p.m. $7, teens/seniors $6, under 12-$4. 

image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things to Do: Canby Ferry, Canby, Oregon

This is one of only three operating car ferries left in Oregon. From Canby, the ferry has crossed the Willamette River to Wilsonville since 1914. To experience it, in Canby take a left on Holly and follow the signs several miles out to the electrical-powered car ferry (the historic cable-drawn M. J. Lee was replaced by a new ferry in 1996). The updated ferry holds only six cars at a time, so sometimes there is a short wait (it only takes a few minutes to cross the river). On the other side, continue driving on the scenic country road until you reach Highway 205, then head back to I-5. From here it is only about 10 miles into Portland.

Canby Ferry  Holly St./Mountain Rd., on Hwy. 99E, (503) 650-3030. Daily 6:45-9:15. $2/car.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sights to See: Swan Island Dahlias, Canby, Oregon

Family owned since 1927, this is America's largest dahlia grower. New and exclusive varieties are hybridized each year at this farm, which currently grows over 40 acres and features more than 350 varieties of dahlias. You won't find a better selection of dahlia bulbs (tubers) anywhere. Picnic tables.

An annual Dahlia Festival is held in late August.

Swan Island Dahlias  995 NW 22nd Ave., (800) 410-6540, (503) 266-7711. 10 M-Sat 9-4:30, Sun 10-3, Aug-Sept only.

More things to do in Canby.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Things to Do: Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Two German brothers got a little carried away with their train set and now have an amazing computer-controlled layout with more than 800 trains in Hamburg, Germany.  It is the largest model railroad in the world. 

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things to Do: Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

One of the things I discovered as I prepared for my visit to Oktoberfest this year is that a lot of important planning information doesn't seem to surface until it is too late. For instance, you really must make lodging arrangements in Munich about three months in advance. I just yesterday--Oktoberfest begins this Saturday, October 18--came across two articles that are very helpful, but a little late, in preparing for this ultimate festival:

http://www.frommers.com/slideshow/?p=1&group=348&cat_cd=ARTCULTURE#slide

http://www.guidegecko.com/oktoberfest

Mark your calendar to return to my blog next July, when I plan to post the information I collect first-hand next month (I'm attending on the last day this year, October 4).

More Oktoberfest. 

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Photo by das kine/Flickr.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Sleeps: The Portland Hotel, London, England

This beautifully restored Georgian townhouse has large rooms—some with high ceilings and decorative molding, and some in the back with large windows overlooking the Duke of Bedford’s former garden (it is a backyard running the length of Bedford Place and shared with Montague Street). The sophisticated decor falls somewhere between contemporary style and old-fashioned English chintz. I liked the “fitted kitchenette” in a closet, and most especially its tea cabinet equipped with a hot water kettle and tea bags. Our dramatic oversized bathroom had the same tall ceiling as the bedroom plus another window looking out to the yard, a large soaking tub and shower, and a shiny black marble floor in which I could actually see my reflection. Breakfast is taken a few doors down the street in a sister hotel, The Clarendon. Guests can relax with a drink in the bar lounge there, too, or just sit in a private back garden.
The Portland Hotel  31-32 Bedford Place, in Bloomsbury, +44 (0) 20 7580 7088. 18 rooms. Weekend rates include continental breakfast.

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image courtesy of hotel

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Misc: picture-perfect Paris


This very high-resolution panoramic image of Paris is so sharp that you could print a 20,000-square-foot poster and still not see any pixels!

http://www.paris-26-gigapixels.com/index-en.html

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Sights to See: Thai fight dance, Aksra Theatre, Bangkok, Thailand

These dancers are part of a troupe of puppeteers who perform Thai classical puppetry at the Aksra Theatre in Bangkok.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers




Friday, August 27, 2010

Good Eats: Istanbul, Turkey


This Istanbul ice cream guy has a flair for fun and magic.

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Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.    

 



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Great Sleeps: The Stafford London, by Kempinski, London, England

Situated on the site that once held the home of Sir Christopher Wren, who is known for designing St. Paul’s Cathedral, this tasteful small hotel is located on a tranquil cul de sac in an exclusive residential section of town. Understatedly elegant, it spoils guests with marble bathrooms featuring deep tubs equipped with full-size soaps. My favorite amenity was the soft, fluffy terry cloth slippers that greeted me on my pillow at turndown instead of a chocolate. The hotel’s celebrated, cozy American Bar is decorated with an eclectic collection of ties, baseball caps, and other items that travelers have purposely left behind. Its head barman, Charles, claims to have exported the first dry martini to the U.S.

The Stafford London, by Kempinski St. James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ, +44 (0) 20-7493 0111, US 800-525-4800 or 800-448-8355. Restaurant; bar.

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image courtesy of hotel

Friday, August 13, 2010

Great Sleeps: The Langham, London, England

Located in the West End, just a block from the upscale, curved shopping strip known as Regent Street and not far from Regents Park and the London Zoo, this hotel was established in 1865. It was London’s first grand hotel. It was also the first hotel in town to have hot and cold running water in every bathroom, and the first hotel in the world to have hydraulic passenger lifts (or “ascending rooms,” as elevators were once called here). Featured in many Sherlock Holmes sagas, it was closed after a bomb attack during World War II. Reopened in 1991, it has been restored to its original splendor. Rooms are posh, pale, and thoroughly modern, with all-marble bathrooms. An expansive breakfast is included and presented buffet-style in a magnificent room with its own name--Memories of the Empire.

The Langham, London 1 Portland Pl., (44) 20 7636 1000.

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image courtesy of hotel

Monday, August 9, 2010

Great Sleeps: Kokopelli's Cave Bed and Breakfast, Farmington, New Mexico

Situated in a cliff 280 feet above the La Plata River, this lodging is 70 feet underground in an excavated cave. The guest cave is reached by trekking down a sloping path punctuated with steps carved into stone, then descending a three-rung ladder into your "digs" (you need to be in good physical shape). It comes complete with a kitchen, a waterfall shower, a flagstone-lined hot tub, and a spectacular view. Should you want an airing, Mesa Verde is nearby.

Kokopelli's Cave Bed and Breakfast  (505) 326-2461. No pets. No smoking. Children 12+.

More things to do in New Mexico. 

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image courtesy of attraction 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sights to See: Temple of Reclining Buddha, Bangkok, Thailand

The massive gold-plated “Reclining Buddha” here has 108 good luck inlaid mother-of-pearl soles. Visitors can purchase a bowl of coins to drop into 108 bigger bowls lined up along one side of the Buddha. They symbolize the 108 concerns of Buddha, and participants strive to concentrate on Buddha and his teachings and being thankful as they drop in their coins.
Temple of Reclining Buddha, in Wat Pho Temple, on Maharaj Rd., next to Grand Palace.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Misc.: The Best Frequent Flier Programs for Infrequent Fliers

Unless you're a road warrior, it'll take you years to build up enough miles just by flying to get a free ticket. Here are the best ways for the little guy to earn and spend miles. Read more . . .

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Great Sleeps: 47 Park Street, London, England

Decidedly upscale, this small Edwardian-style luxury apartment collection is part of the Marriott Grand Residence Club, but it is possible to rent by the night. It is just a few blocks from Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner and the shops on bustling Oxford Street. My spacious, tastefully decorated, comfortably appointed lodging was blessedly quiet (the windows are triple glazed), and the elegant gray marble bathroom was hidden behind a false wardrobe door and filled with amenities--terry cloth slippers, emery boards, nail brushes, and Molton Brown aromatherapy essence for the bathtub.
47 Park Street  In Mayfair, +44 (0)20 7491 7282.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, July 19, 2010

Great Sleeps: Ridgemount Private Hotel, London, England

Located just across the street from where women’s suffrage pioneer Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett lived and died (in 1929) at #2 Gower, and from where the first anaesthetic was administered in England in 1846 at #52, this simple lodging in a 1700s Georgian town house has rooms with and without baths. On my second trip to London, when my budget was weak but my bladder was still strong, we opted for the cheapest room in the house, sans bath. Note that Gower Street is a noisy thoroughfare and that building restrictions forbid double-glazing the windows. Request a quiet room in back.
Ridgemount Private Hotel 65-67 Gower St., Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6HJ; +44 (0) 20 7636 1141, and +44 (0) 20 7580 7060.

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image courtesy of hotel

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sights to See: Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand

This hopelessly scenic bay in the Andaman Sea has 160 rock islands and the water hovers at 75 degrees. An astonishing site and one of the most beautiful spots in Thailand, it is best seen by speedboat. The area is featured in the 1974 James Bond film, “The Man with the Golden Gun.”
Phang Nga Bay 60 mi. NE of Phuket.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers   

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great Sleeps: Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London, England



Featuring a thoroughly modern interior, this spiffy hotel is located in the same area as The Kingsley, adjacent to the British Museum.

Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel  9-13 Bloomsbury Street, + 44 (0)20 7636 5601, US toll-free 800-333-3333.  4 stars.  175 rooms.

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image courtesy of hotel

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Good Eats: food market, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The small Pom Ton Payorm market bustles from early morning.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great Sleeps: The Kingsley by Thistle, London, England

Built in 1898, this gorgeous red-brick structure was originally named for Charles Kingsley, the author of  some popular English children’s books.  It is in a prime location just a few blocks from The British Museum and Covent Garden.  Bloomsbury has always attracted writer residents and visitors, and the hotel can claim that E.M. Forester slept here in 1902.  Though I remember fondly staying here in a room equipped with a canopy bed and decorated with wallpaper and chintzes in a lovely theme of pale yellow and English blue, the hotel has been refurbished into more contemporary style.  But some rooms still have a view of the ancient roof of The Parish Church of St. Georges Bloomsbury (located just next door, it was built in the early 1700s by a former pupil and assistant of Sir Christopher Wren). One of my favorite amenities was the room’s tea tray, stocked with Scottish chocolate chip shortbread and Cadbury’s hot chocolate.
The Kingsley by Thistle  Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SD; 0871 376 9006 /+44 845 305 8306.

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image courtesy of hotel

Monday, July 5, 2010

Great Sleeps: Six Senses Hideaway, Phang-Nga, Thailand

Six Senses Hideaway 56 Moo 5, Tambol Koh Yao Noi, Amphur Koh Yao, Phang-Nga. 61 rooms. Reached by boat—preferably a speed boat—this remote boutique resort is located on an undeveloped island and is the perfect place for a romantic retreat. The iconic, mesmerizing monolithic limestone islands made famous by the James Bond movie, “The Man with the Golden Gun” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87AMYMCi6jY ) dot the bathtub-warm waters of the Andaman Sea and are visible from throughout the resort. Guests here find themselves on the edge of the world and enjoy the ultimate room with a view. Days can be whiled away enjoying your room’s outdoor shower and a private infinity swimming pool, and gazing at the sea from a bed draped with white mosquito netting, and dining on fresh, delicious, local “slow” cuisine. All this, plus butler service, and the resort is very “green,” too. The property’s Six Senses Spa is designed to revitalize all your senses using Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, and Thai concepts.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good Eats: Serendipity 3, Las Vegas, Nevada

As at the mother ship location in NYC, this spot features a Golden Opulence Sundae that is made with five scoops of Tahitian vanilla ice cream, chocolates made from rare Venezuelan cocoa beans, and exotic fruits--all topped with 23-karat edible gold leaf and a bowl of golden caviar. The price is $1,000, and a reservation must be made 48 hours in advance. Guinness has crowned it the world’s Most Expensive Dessert. A Las Vegas restaurant rep says, “On average, we sell one every other month. Since opening one year ago we have sold 7.” Fortunately, the restaurant also makes a popular, and affordable, Frrrozen Hot Chocolate that is a blend of 20 different kinds of chocolate.

Serendipity 3 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd., (702) 731-7266.

For more expensive desserts:
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/4oLkvv/www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-expensive-desserts.php

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Sleeps: Crescent Hotel, London, England

Located on a crescent-shaped street across from the bucolic Cartwright Gardens, where tennis courts and a playground beckon, this aptly-named bed and breakfast is situated within a converted Georgian building dating from 1810. Because it is an historic building, regulations forbid putting in a lift, so unless you luck out with a room on the ground floor, you do have to lug your suitcase up some narrow stairs. It has private bathrooms as well as triple and quadruple rooms--important features that can be difficult for families to find abroad. Bear in mind, though, that the bathrooms seem to be converted closets and are very, very small. It was here that I found myself across the breakfast table from my testy pre-teen and innocently commented, "You look really nice today. Are you wearing make-up?" She cuttingly replied, "No, I didn't bother. There's no one here to impress."
Crescent Hotel 49-50 Cartwright Gardens, in Bloomsbury, 011-44-(0)20 7387 1515; http://www.crescenthoteloflondon.com/. 27 rooms. Full breakfast.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Great Sleeps: Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Featuring a contemporary Lanna oriental architectural style inspired by traditional area homes, this stylish, atmospheric hotel is situated amid a centuries-old neighborhood with narrow streets. Rooms in the colonial-period house feature walls in deep colors of green or brown, lovely tiles, and dark wood floors. They are wrapped around a tree-filled courtyard, where birds sing their hearts out in the morning, and most feature a private balcony with French doors and day bed. Mine was a haven to return to after a day of touring. All are cooled by a choice of ceiling fan or air conditioning. Breakfast is served in the Punna Cafe on an open-air verandah and includes made-to-order omelettes, flaky French pastries, and electric-colored fresh fruit. One restriction: “We regret that durian products are not permitted on the hotel premises.” Anyone who has smelled a ripe durian knows why. A free tuk-tuk provides a ride into town.

Puripunn Baby Grand Boutique Hotel 104/1 Charoen Muang Soi 2, Charoen Muang Rd., T. Wat Gade neighborhood near the Ping River, A. Muang, (66) 053 302 898; http://www.puripunn.com/. 3 stories; 30 rooms. No pets. Pool; hot tub; fitness room; health spa. Traditional High Tea daily from 3-5:30; reservations recommended.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great Sleeps: Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Mae Rim, Thailand

This exquisite resort has extensive landscaped gardens with teak and banyan trees and towering bamboo. Most rooms open onto a working rice farm with water buffalo. A free shuttle takes guests into Chiang Mai five times each day.

At the resort’s Cooking School, class begins with a prayer at the spirit house. After watching chef-instructor Pitak Srichan prepare a dish--we made three recipes in my class: Gaeng Kiew Warn Kai (Green Curry with Chicken in Coconut Milk), Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad), and Thom Yum Goong (Spicy Prawn Soup with Lemongrass)--we students went to our prep stations in an open-air pavilion to cook each to our own taste. At the end, we sat down in an open-air dining pavilion to sample the results. A visit to the extraordinary open-air restroom there is a must.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai  Mae Rim Samoeng Old Road, Mae Rim, 20 mi. N of Chiang Mai, 66 (53) 298-181; www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai. 98 rooms.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sights to See: Wat Sri Soda, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Locals and tourists alike come each morning to this novice monk school to give alms. It is a fascinating spectacle and almost impossible not to participate in. Vehicles honk as they drive by, not to annoy, as we westerners might think, but to show their respect.

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video c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good Eats: Lombardi’s, NYC


America’s very first pizzeria—it’s been here since 1905--is a warren of atmospheric rooms filled with tables topped with red-and-white-check tablecloths. The pizza is smoky-flavored, has an ultra thin-crust crust, and is made in a 100-year-old coal-fired brick oven. Meat-lovers like the meatball pizza, and many consider it superior to the pepperoni. Vegetarians are fond of a simple version topped with the house’s tasty uncooked tomato sauce, freshly torn basil, and pools of fresh unsalted mozzarella. Everything is fresh here—this establishment doesn’t even have a freezer! Avoid being here from 4 to 6 p.m., when they clean the ovens.

Lombardi’s 32 Spring St./Mott, 212-941-7994; http://www.firstpizza.com/. L-D daily; $. Cash only.

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video filmed at Lombardi's, c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sights to See: Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Built about 600 years ago, the huge chedi here gave the temple its name. In its day, when for a short time it was home to the most important object in Thailand--the Emerald Buddha now in Bangkok--it must have been the most impressive temple in Chiang Mai. Its unusual Monk Chat program lets you have a chin-wag with a real monk.

Wat Chedi Luang  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Chedi_Luang

More things to see and do in Thailand.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.   

image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sights to See: elephants, Lampang, Thailand


This government-sponsored elephant center was founded to address the issues facing Thailand’s elephants and to preserve local traditions for future generations. The elephants are well cared for, and all profits go directly to the support of the elephants. See elephant poop processed into paper (and a wide variety of souvenirs), http://www.elephantdungpaper.com; an elephant hospital, http://www.elephanthospital.com/index.php (sadly, I saw an adult elephant with sunburn and a baby in a suspended sling with a broken something); and take a long elephant ride through the property, holding a proper umbrella, and even into a lake. And all the while cicadas hiss loudly. A three-day mahout training course teaches participants to ride on the neck of “their” elephant, jump on and off, and participate in the center’s show. Overnights in cabins include home-cooked meals; reserve ahead.

Elephant Conservation Center In Lampang, 1½ hours S of Chiang Mai, 0-5424-7874; http://www.thailandelephant.org/.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sights to See: umbrella making, Borsang Village, Sankamphaeng, Thailand


In this covered outdoor pavilion, busy workers put together paper umbrellas. You’ll see frame-making, paper-making from the bark of mulberry trees, the covering of umbrella frames with paper or cotton or silk, and hand-painting. In between, workers will paint permanent works of art on your camera case, hat, or jeans. A huge gift shop adjoins.

Umbrella Making Centre 111/2 Moo 3 Borsang Village, Sankamphaeng, +6653 338324; http://www.handmade-umbrella.com/.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

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image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good Eats: Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodle Inc., NYC


In this very small venue, a small window in a swinging door permits viewing the noodle-slapping and -pulling process taking place in the kitchen. Choose from soups or fried dishes, each with a choice of seven styles of noodle—including common thin noodles, fat noodles, and chewy knife-peeled noodles. A delicious hot sauce is on the table, and fresh cilantro is provided upon request. Jasmine tea and water are complimentary.
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodle Inc. 1 Doyers St., Chinatown, 212-791-1817. L-D daily; $. Cash only.

 More things to do in NYC.   

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways. 

image c2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers