Traveler's USA Notebook

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Editor:

Norman Schreiber

Special Correspondent: Debbi Kempton-Smith

Pacific Rim Correspondent

Jan Prince

Contributing Editors: April Burbage, Robert Rattner, Fern Siegel, Debra Griboff

 

Traveler's USA Notebook

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• New • New • New•

Lehigh Valley Haunts

Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley — just one hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York    is a 730 sq. mile region clustered around Allentown, Easton and Bethlehem. Its colonial roots go back to 1741 Moravian Church settlers. The Moravian Book Shop, founded in 1745, claims the distinction of being the oldest bookshop in  the world.

Church members originally organized themselves as a commune. As population increased, the structure gave way but the communal spirit remained.

Other German-speaking immigrants felt welcome. One of them, Christian Martin, founded a company in 1833 that went on to produce the iconic Martin guitars. Other industries started in early colonial days. In 1899, Bethlehem Steel’s birth of pushed local industry into high gear. Steel barons presided over a general taste for the good life. [more]

 The Tropical Allure Of Curacao

Known for its blue liqueur and hurricane-free climate, Curacao is part of the Dutch Antilles — Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Maartin – but the most interesting of the islands.

This tropical paradise, which retains its Dutch identity, stays 82 degrees and sunny year-round; its turquoise-blue waters and luscious palm trees beckon. [more]

Be More Chill,

Merrily We Roll Along

Posted 3/14/19

Be More Chill, reviewed  by Fern Siegel for travelersusanotebook.com

High-school angst is becoming a winning formula on Broadway: The Prom, Choir Boy, Dear Evan Hansen and now Be More Chill at the Lyceum.

Based on Ned Vizzini’s 2004 young adult novel, Be More Chill mines teen turmoil with broad strokes, replete with stock characters and social messages. Unlike Hansen, it does so with a light, almost comic-book touch. It’s not a parody, but it leans more on comedy than commentary, though it warns about the dangers of technology. [more]

 

The Shadow Of A Gunman, Colin Quinn: Red State, Blue State

Posted 2/19/19

Shadow of a Gunman, reviewed  by Fern Siegel for travelersusanotebook.com

 

“That’s the Irish people all over. They treat a joke as a serious thing, and a serious thing as a joke.”

The speaker is Seumus Shields (a spirited Michael Mellamphy), a peddler who supports the rebels, but frets the Irish may not be ready for self-government. Still, he is openly terrified of the Black and Tans, the feared British troops who conduct raids in Dublin’s tenements.  [more]


The Astrology of Travel

If you're planning to run away and play, it's exciting to bring along a friend. You never know whether you will still be speaking when the trip is over, but this only adds to the fun. In selecting an earthling to travel with, remember that any of these people could be your companions. Heed well our guide to... SIGNS ON THE ROAD

VANCOUVER ON THE MOVE WITH FIVE SPECIAL TOURS

Vancouver --Aerial view

courtesy Tourism Vancouver

There’s much to explore in Vancouver, a laid-back amalgam  of natural wonders and cosmopoltan panache. Five special tours give visitors a chance to see the “City of Glass” in new ways. Here’s a brief guide to the tours.

Sea Vancouver. This 90-mnute Zodiac ride zips  though the Vancouver waters and begins a new season in April.  (t starts at the Westin Bayshore Hotel .From your splendid maritime perch, you’ll get a splendid view of the Coal Harbour, Burrard Inlet, English Bay, False Creek and Stanley Park neighborhoods. You’ll see skyscraper skyline and beaches  You may even see seals, bald eagles, and orher wilelife specimens. offers a different perspective on city skyscrapers, runners on the seawall, offshore freighters and sun-tanners on Vancouver’s beaches. Sightings of harbour seals, bald eagles and other marine animals are a possibility. For more info, click here.

The Hippie to Hipster Tour, offered by Tours By Locals, is like a fresh cup of Joe.  The guide (a certified local) leads a small group (1-6) for about three hours around th ecity  that gave birth to Greenpeace and AdBusters (the magazine that ignited the “Occupy” movement).The tour starts downtown and make its way through Gastown, Chinatown, , the downtown Eastside, Commercial and Main Street. You’ll taste the culture, vibes, street art and all the highlights of alt-Vancouver. For more info, click here.

Coffee isn’t  all that’s brewing in Vancouver as the Brewery Tour will reveal.  It’s a three-hour cycling tour through fascinating neighborhoods with stops at three craft breweries. The behind the scenes glimpses and the nine beer tastings and light nibbles will make you hopping glad. For more info, click here

Speaking of yum, Vancouver Foodie Tours offers a special two-hour amble through the vibrant  Granville Island Market. As you leer at the fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, etc. words like luscious, fragrant, succulent, alluring will take over your mind. There are 20 tastings included in this tour. Say the word, and they’ll make it vegetarian friendly for you. For more info, click here.

To learn more about Vancouver, click here.

The Beautiful Sea Rocks:   Connecticut's Thimble Islands

 

PHOTO: ROBERT RATTNER

Captain Kidd is said to have sailed the waters of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound and, legend has it, buried treasure on Money Island (hence its name).Tom Thumb came to Cut in Two Island to court Miss Emily, the similarly statured daughter of the island’s owner but, as the story goes, P.T. Barnum broke up the romance.President Taft made Davis Island his summer White House for two years though, according to some, he actually only spent one night there. Their colorfully blended history and lore – the two often indistinguishable from each other – just add to the natural charm of the Thimbles. . . [MORE]