North America Journals

Travel Memories

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to North America by aboutthatplace

Pedro Makes For The Waves Photo, More Photos
Quote: All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. -- Martin BuberThere is always a stand-out moment of every journey. The moment can be funny, quiet, picturesque or even alarming. It’s these moments which change a tourist into a traveler. And, this journal chronicles those moments.

Travel Stories

What's the Matter with the Lake?

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Lake Mead Photo, Boulder City, Nevada
Quote:
Lake Mead & Hoover DamLocation: Border of Arizona/Nevada. 32 miles/45 minutes East of Las Vegas (I-515 South to 93 South)Hint: For a more picturesque drive take 147/166 East to 93 South. It’s only slightly longer at 43 miles.On a previous trip, I had been to Hoover Dam and taken the tour down into the bowels of the beast. My better half lacked this experience so when we drove from Los Angeles (just under five hours away) to Las Vegas I figured we may as well visit this massive structure -- right after I lost $50 in sports book, found 99 cent Margaritas and a $3.99 steak special.[Note: It took us five hours to drive from L.A., but the return home was ...Read More

Frittering Away An Afternoon

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Story/Tip

View of Simpson Bay Photo,
Quote:
I admit it, I’m a foodie. There, I said it. When a waiter reveals daily specials to me, it’s like a song from Heaven. When my better half tries to disguise vegetables on my dinner plate, she uses words like froth, foam and flambe. Yes, I love food. What’s more, I love trying new tastes and flavors. Imagine my delight as we were seated at the Greenhouse restaurant on Saint Maarten. They had conch fritters! Now, I’d heard of conch fritters, mostly spoken about by natives of the Florida Keys, and here was my chance. I promptly ordered my fritters, and a cold Corona beer. While anxiously awaiting our treat, we reviewed our day. It had been hot and sunny, perfect for sea ...Read More

For Dear Life

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Story/Tip

Paris Casino & Hotel In Las Vegas Photo,
Quote:
I don’t know why I did it. I suppose the concept had been developed years ago, back in my 20s. My best friend and I had made a pact. Whenever one of us would have a break-up, we would go out together to conquer a fear. (Her original fear had been of being alone, which had lead her down the path of bad relationships.) If we could conquer one fear, then we could conquer another. Right?Good thought. Except she went through boyfriends like I went through socks. After several we discussed a definition of what a "boyfriend" is. Because, by then we had been wrapped up with a boa constrictor (ophidiophobia), crawled through a tiny passage in a cave (claustrophobia), spent all night in a s...Read More

Upscale

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Story/Tip

Chicago's Skyline Photo,
Quote:
My daughter, an only child, light in my life etc. was graduating high school -- after many years of struggling with A.D.D. I couldn’t let this milestone pass by so we arranged to go by bus to Chicago. There, I would incorporate something spectacular into her week-long celebration.I poured over Michelin guides, Frommers reviews, and a history of the city. Yes, we would see a Cubs game, the zoo, Wicked (which was playing at a historic theatre), the Navy Pier and Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Robie House’. Then, I found something which I thought would out-do everything. Charlie Trotter’s. My better half and I agreed. We wanted her to know how to dine at a very fine establishment -- and know wh...Read More

Murallas

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Story/Tip

The City Walls of Old San Juan Photo,
Quote:
San Juan was claimed by Spanish colonists in 1521 and was called Cuidad de Puerto Rico (or Rich Port City). The port immediately became the stop over for shipping and military vessels into the Americas. Due to the rapid growth, the Spanish city became the object of several attacks, first by the British, who finally captured the city in the late 1500s, and then by the Dutch who lay seige to the city in 1625. Defences had to be strengthened so, in the 1630s, massive city walls were constructed along the southern coast of Old San Juan. The San Juan gate (next to the governor’s palace at La Fortaleza) became the main entrance. Eventually large walls were also built along the northern coast...Read More

Hot Soup

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Story/Tip

A Storm Rolls Into Aruba Photo,
Quote:
Hot SoupThough our first day in Aruba ended by taking a wacky tour with an iguana hunter, and puffing on my very first Cuban cigar, the day hadn’t begun as planned. We had just got settled at the beach -- after taking a taxi out of town to get away from the crowds -- placing towels on the soft sand, donning sunglasses and stripping down to our swim wear. The beach was deserted, except for a family with kids running into the aqua water, screaming, and running back, waves chasing them. We dipped our toes into the slight surf, discovering that the water was bathtub warm, and splashed each other with glee. This was why we had come to the Caribbean.Within the hour th...Read More

Harder To Have Heroes

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Story/Tip

Murals At Brasserie Lipp Photo,
Quote:
Then I started to think in Lipp's about when I had first been able to write a story about losing everything. -- Ernest Hemingway in ‘A Moveable Feast’The Seine river bisects Paris into the Right Bank (the northern, and much larger section) and the Left Bank, the southern (smaller section of only 6 arrondisements or districts). The Left Bank has a history - though less so now due to the middle class settling into the area - of being intellectual, bohemian and brimming with musicians, artists and writers. It is with this in mind that we laced up our shoes, grabbed coffee and headed into the cold, our words clinging to the mist in the early morning air.Our Literary Walk:V...Read More

Dot's Diner at the Shady Dell

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Restaurant | "Dot's Diner"

Dot's Diner at the Shady Dell Photo, Bisbee, Arizona
Quote:
We planned a road trip from our home in Los Angeles, through the American Southwest, as far east as Santa Fe, and down to the Mexico border. Stops would include the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon (a wonder 277 miles long, and a mile deep), Petrified Forest (home of 200 million-year old fossils), Painted Desert (an area of badlands layered in reds, yellows, oranges and hues of white, gray and some blues) and the Sonoran Desert (made famous by the saguaro cactus). We would spend a few days sightseeing in artsy, historic Santa Fe before we explored ghost towns, such as the legendary Old West outlaw town, Tombstone. Tombstone was home to America’s most famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral....Read More

Dot's Diner at the Shady Dell
1 Douglas Road
Bisbee, Arizona 85603

Put A Little Pep In Your Step

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Story/Tip

Union Lake Photo,
Quote:
Union Lake, a crystal lake with deep blue hues, lies entirely within the city of Seattle. The lake was carved out of rock 12,000 years ago by Vashon glacier and was named by Thomas Mercer who, in 1854, stated that someday the lake would join the canals with Puget Sound in a "union of waters". You can see more of the lake in "Sleepless in Seattle". Tom Hanks’ character lived on a boat docked on the lake.We had come to the lake to see the Center for Wooden Boats. This non-profit organization teaches sailing and restores vintage wooden watercraft. They currently have 100 vessels, some of which can be rented out for a row.Donning life vests, and with just five minutes of instr...Read More

Swim, Pedro, Swim!

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Story/Tip

Pedro Makes For The Waves Photo,
Quote:
We boarded a van with another couple in downtown Puerto Vallarta in the late afternoon. From there we headed north towards Nuevo Vallarta. What awaited us was a crocodile farm, hidden back off an extremely muddy road. The colorful frogs were out in force. This small patch of land with a bog-like area is the region’s only hope for the diminishing number of crocodiles -- in PV they have crocodiles, not alligators. These creatures have long, narrow, V-shaped snouts to use when pursuing prey: fish and small mammals. They have upper and lower jaws of the same width, along with an enormous fourth tooth on the lower jaw. They love their territory of brackish water, 90% of which has disappear...Read More

Seeing The 50th State

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Story/Tip

Gold Creek in Anchorage Photo,
Quote:
My earliest travel memories are of road trips with my family. We hit the open road for a week or two every summer: from the Carolinas to Florida, and the Great Lakes to Yellowstone and Niagara Falls. Dad would get behind the wheel, light up a cigar -- the only time I ever saw him smoke -- tune the radio to a Big Band station and pass the map over to my brother or myself.Dad’s week of vacation was spent reconnecting with the family, as he was often gone, being a third generation truck driver. Our vacations were on the budget side, as he and my Mom took care of the family and saved up for retirement. After the house was paid for and family raised, it would be their time, their "Golden Ye...Read More

Photo Collection

Photo Collection: Part I

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Story/Tip

Wine Photo,
Quote:
Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. -- Pat ConroyWhat began as sorting out photographs from the past five years to post on IgoUgo, became a trip down memory lane, scenes dashing through my mind. Though this is a personal journey, I hope that the images speak for themselves.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------When did things begin to change? When did I start to see -- and appreciate -- things? I had traveled (some) prior to my inching towards retirement. These were vacations with my daughte...Read More

Photo Collection: Part II

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Story/Tip

Yellow Flower Cactus Photo,
Quote:
FLORAYellow Flower Cactus: Snapped in the Beverly Hills Municipal Cactus Garden, the largest of this type of garden in the U.S. The garden was developed in 1911 as part of a larger garden which runs 14 blocks along Santa Monica Blvd. (The cactus garden is between Camden and Bedford Drives).Pink Flower Cactus: Taken in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson (2021 N. Kinney Road). Founded in 1952 this 21-acre park is really a museum/zoo/flower conservatory filled with 1,200 varieties of plants, a dozen mammals and hundreds of amphibians and insects which call the Sonoran desert home. There are two miles of paths which wind through the area. Caution: The Museum is not fence...Read More