Winter in St. Paul: Culture and Quirks

Winter in St. Paul

I’m from St. Paul: Minnesota’s capital city. That’s where the Mississippi River takes a brief loop northward before thinking, “Oh, hell no” and returns to it’s southerly flow, rolling along toward warmer climes near the Gulf of Mexico. St. Paul: Most Livable City in America St. Paul claims the title …

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Talking with Strangers on the Beara Peninsula

Stealing a Day on the Beara Peninsula, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

At the time I met Noel—on an Irish morning flawless as a perfectly poured pint of Guinness—I had a plan: to spend the morning in glorious solitude. I would depart Kenmare after breakfast, drive west into the tranquil Beara Peninsula stopping to take photographs only if the mood struck fiercely. Two hours …

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Traveler’s Guide to Dining in Cuba

Guide to Dining in Cuba

Because I lack self-control, I know long before my flight lands that over-indulging in food and beverages will be a highlight of the trip. Any trip. I plan for it. First thing, I do an online search: what to eat and drink in (insert destination here). Next, my pre-trip language studies focus on …

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Horse Riding and Travel: 5 Reasons to Ride

Horse Riding and Travel: 5 Reasons

Steel horseshoes struck 500-year-old cobblestones, echoing off brick walls of the homes and shops lining Callejón del Aguacate. Astride Frina, I tried out just-learned Spanish commands for horse riding and hoped she understood. I greeted children darting past on their way to school and the man peddling home-made hooch from his bicycle …

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Amsterdam Bicycle Tour for Independent Travelers

Amsterdam bicycle tour

Independent travelers avoid organized tours because we hate other people. Okay, I’m mostly joking, but tours make us feel restricted, like captives. The self-determination of independent travel allows us to make choices about the direction we take, our mode of travel and how long to stay in a locale according to our …

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Driving in Baja California: Margaritas and Ninja Cows

driving in Baja

Before I went driving in Baja California, I checked with an expert in negotiating Mexican roads. My driving abilities from Mexico have helped me get through Hollywood. ~Salma Hayek No doubt Ms. Hayek is right about that; she’s got a reputation as gutsy and no-nonsense, both handy qualities for an acting career …

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Driving in Morocco: a Search for Solitude and Connection

Driving in Morocco

A funny thing happened on the way to Chefchaouen. We went driving in Morocco for three months. From Tangier to Tiglit and Marrakech to Merzouga, we steered our VW camper van toward adventure. Crossing desert landscapes and fording rivers cut through breathtaking gorges, we wound through the maze-like streets of medinas in …

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Why Travel to Cuba? ¿Por que no?

og:image metatag, Havana sunrise, ©2016 BGabriel, stealjustoneday.com

Maybe George Mallory had it right. “Because it’s there,” he is famously reported to have answered.  The question being, of course, why climb Everest? My neighbor’s question was, “Why travel to Cuba?” She’d walked into our place as I began to sort the mound of stuff on the dining table, scratching checkmarks on …

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Cuba’s Classic Cars: a Cultural Handshake

Once I heard that satisfying ‘ker-chunk’ of the immigration officer’s stamp and practically got ignored going through customs at the Jose Martí International Airport, I headed for the arrival hall’s exit with my travel pack and my husband. A guy holding a sheet of notebook paper with my name hand-printed …

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This Traveler’s Got a Brand New Bag

A member of a writer’s group I belong to recently posted this question: If you had to name the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made, what would it be? “Easy one”, I thought, “my first marriage license.” After I finished cracking myself up, I thought back on the massive ton of …

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The Traveler as Ambassador: Around the World in 32 Teeth

©BGabriel, 2003 stealjustoneday.com

My new dentist, Dr. Patel, took a trip to several of the world’s countries last week while examining my teeth. It went like this: Dentist: Hmmm. (Tapping a tooth.) Me: Cartagena, Colombia. Dentist: Excuse me? Me: That tooth. I had it filled in Cartagena. Dentist: Ah yes. Perilous country. And …

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River Music: Morning in Austin, Texas

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

  “Austin, Texas.” Say those two words aloud and your mind conjures up images with a soundtrack to accompany them. Festivals, ten-gallon hats, guitars, Stevie Ray. Austin means music. From bars to back yards, and concert halls to street corners. Any time of night or day, someone’s playing somewhere, and somebody is listening. …

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Travel Journals: the Mundane and the Moving

©BGabriel,1992 stealjustoneday.com

Brian and I have recently considered drawing up our wills. So far, we mostly talk about it over rum and tonics with a healthy squeeze of lime, or a bracing prickly pear margarita. You’d think it would be an easy process. We don’t have kids, we’re not bazillionaires, we don’t have …

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Camels and Cabbage: the Art of Haggling in Morocco

She enters the medina in the historic city of Meknes as the market begins to hum with activity, and anticipates a morning of haggling. The sun is not yet high enough to find its way to the narrow lanes of the souk; no heat radiates from the stones beneath her feet. …

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The Art of Eavesdropping: What Happened to Flossie and Other Misadventures

©BGabriel, 2015 stealjustoneday.com

“Flossie died playing cards.” Like any good snoop and all-around Nosy Parker, my ears perked up as the unseen woman in the booth behind me spoke. Eavesdropping doesn’t get much better than this. I heard indistinct mumbling. Damn it, speak up! I silently urged her lunch partner, as my head …

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Subterranean Paris: the Sewers Below the City of Light

This post is Part 4 of a series about visiting Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People?, and part 3, Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris. Then return …

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Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

click to read Falafel, History and Remembrance: Jewish Paris

This post is Part 3 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes, and part 2, Catacombs of Paris: Do I see Dead People? Then hurry back here to read about Alternative Paris-Jewish History. I …

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Catacombs of Paris: Do I See Dead People?

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

This post is Part 2 of a series about Alternative Paris. If you haven’t read part 1 yet, click to read “Heading to Paris? Pack your Post-it notes“. Then hurry back here to read about Paris underground. Standing outside the entrance to the Paris Catacombs, I had second thoughts. Reluctant about …

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Heading to Paris? You May Want to Pack Your Post-its.

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

[note: This is the first in a series of articles about Alternative Paris.] They make their way from Dubuque. New York City. Portland, Maine and Dallas, Texas. But also from Moscow, Frankfurt, Tangier and beyond. They come to write, to paint, for fashion and film. For the perfume and the …

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Possessing Paris: Coffee and the Lost View From a Rooftop

©BGabriel, 1999 stealjustoneday.com

There used to be two great bargains in Paris. A pair of not-so-secret traveler’s secrets to explore the city like a local. The first deal was the utterly free, 360-degree view of the City of Lights from the rooftop of a department store. You read that right: a department store. …

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