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Cabins of the Smoky Mountains

The Fabled Montropolis is Found: Jackson Hole

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In the evolution of a place there is sometimes a waymark between free-spirited childhood and the discreet somberness of maturity. But what if the in-between actually signifies the third point of a classic Hegelian dialectical triangle? A rough and rowdy cowboy town at one point, an overly-wrought sophisticated metropolis at the other, and the third being some subtly unstated “third way” that draws on the contradictory nature of the first two … [Read more...]

Postcard from Persia

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On a Mediterranean boat heading nowhere in particular but probably past Rhodes, an American backpacker wonders whether there is an alternate way to Iran, and if they play Uncle Wiggly in Tehran Once I met this rather good-looking and plucky Swiss adventurer who repeatedly kept trying to convince me to travel to Iran. He said he was treated very well there, and that I being an American, who had pretty much traveled everywhere on the planet, … [Read more...]

Dining on Vancouver Island

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John M. Edwards, the only smoker ever allowed onto the premises of snooty “Sooke Harbour House,” visits Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest on his own terms. As a paying contributor to “The United Negroe College Fund,” for sage reasons of philanthropy as well as tax evasion, I was a little surprised to find in the maritime city of Vancouver, British Columbia, absolutely no black people—only Commonwealthy Europeans and Asians, plus a few … [Read more...]

Dispatch: Elysian Fields Forever

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In Search of the Elusive Rare Blue Morpho Butterfly, Monte Verde Cloudforest - Costa Rica John M. Edwards compares Costa Rican ecotourism vs. narcissism I awake from a Magic Realism dream, evaporating. I am once again surrounded by evil anacondas in the charmed atmosphere of Costa Rica’s “Monteverde Cloud Forest,” breathing the bracing air of golden pre-Colombian pagan gods talking in exceedingly loud voices. I astounded myself by the … [Read more...]

Discovering Nova Scotia Food and Wine

"Dinner at Le Caveau - Grilled Nova Scotia Sea Scallops with prosciutto, Sweet Potato Gnudi"

From the land and the sea, Nova Scotia is a treasure chest of epicurean bounty. For me, that bounty included several first-time experiences and a few surprises. I didn't know very much about Nova Scotia food and wine prior to my visit which made the prospect of my culinary road trip all the more exciting. I was eager to broaden my horizons with new seafood experiences and discover the province’s quickly-growing wine industry. Since Nova … [Read more...]

22 “Slash” Bus or “Take the White Bus” or “Infopoint” –Bari to Dubrovnik!!

Destination: Dubrovnik

Bari, Italy is a sleepy, small seaside town, which seems only relevant to get ferry passengers to Greece, Croatia, or Albania. But that’s how it seems on paper and the Roma Termini train station. Really, it’s slightly more complicated than that. I suppose the wonder of travel and the fun of it begins when your expectations don’t quite meet the reality. And navigating through that actuality & confusion is the delight, even though it may not … [Read more...]

5 Top European Adventures You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

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There are certainly the go to and much loved destinations in Europe. Cities such as London, Paris and Rome quickly come to mind. However, the focus of this list is to highlight some lesser known European locations and adventures. Have you experienced any of these or been to these locations? Suggest some of your favorites: leave comments below. For experiences similar to the ones mentioned below, Contiki Tours (age 18-35) offers a number of … [Read more...]

The Florida Keys: Funky, Fantastic, and Fun (as in, “Lots of”)

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Remember when you were a kid and the carnival would come to town, and there would be one great ride after another, gooey kid foods, a happy crowd and a sense of being somewhere special? The Florida Keys are like that—but with better rides (things to see and do) and definitely better food. I recently spent five days in the Keys, and packed in a whirlwind of sightseeing goodness (and packed in sumptuous plates full of fabulous food). Top to … [Read more...]

Where is Amelia Earhart’s Plane? Colin Cobb Knows…

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“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” -Amelia Earhart Check out the video at the end to solve the mystery." A couple years ago while visiting Belfast I took a Titanic walking tour, run by a charismatic chap, Colin Cobb. He took me to the edge of the 880 foot-long Thompson Graving Dock, where RMS Titanic was hauled to check and clean its hull and fit the propellers. It was the last place she sat on … [Read more...]

Fiji: Still the Cannibal Isles

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My strange fascination with cannibalism began while I was studying history in graduate school. In a book whose title I have since forgotten (which might indicate why I quit grad school altogether), I read that Nelson Rockefeller's son Michael Rockefeller disappeared when he was 23 years old and that he was possibly cannibalized in Melanesia. At the time, I didn't know which came as a bigger surprise: that the young Rockefeller was most likely … [Read more...]