Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween in Transylvania

Everyone wants to scare you on Halloween, I want to make you feel safe and secure. Here's a 76-Second Travel Show episode from two years ago that tells how.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Full Mounthe: My Days as a RCMP Cadet

A few months ago the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Depot Division (Regina, Saskatchewan) invited me to spend a couple nights and a (full) day training as a "mountie." It's a rare opportunity. Apparently only five civilians before me had had the chance -- and I was apparently the only one to get a regulation moustache.

This Lonely Planet video sums up the misunderstood Canadian icon. It's no longer just blokes in red serge jackets, Stetson hats atop horses. The red serge, in face, is rarely worn -- only for occasions like graduation -- and horses were phased out of training in 1966.

At first glimpse, in the mess hall with Troop 5 (the most junior of the troops there), I had to ask one cadet, 'Do you ever look around and say, wow, I'm here with a bunch of COPS?' He admitted he did.

I certainly felt that way waking up at 4am to prep for the morning parade.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not-for-Parents on Fox News Live

Must admit it's kinda nice to be back in my regular role as US Travel Editor in New York after five on/off weeks crossing Canada to create web videos. I appeared on Fox News Live yesterday to discuss Lonely Planet's new 'Not for Parents' series of books -- sort of a comic/history/pop cultural/travel book on New York, London, Paris and Rome. And, yes, I did manage to squeeze in a Texas swipe.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vancouver Video Notes

I'm crossing Canada to create a video series of Canadian cities for Lonely Planet and Canadian Tourism Commission, and focus on a 'local' version of the city. A few things that didn't make the quick two-day shoot include the following:

Vancouver's a sports town that go well beyond last year's Stanley Cup losers. I saw a Whitecaps soccer game AND a BC Lions football game:

Wharf-side fish-and-chips at Go Fish, a short walk from Granville Island, is 'the best fish and chips in the world,' a local pal told me. I agreed.

In 'City of Glass,' Vancouverite writer Douglas Coupland claimed anyone will 'gasp' by taking a spin at the revolving restaurant atop the Landmark in West End. Food was surprisingly good, and the next table had two mullets.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I went to Sandwich! I went to Sandwich!

The oldest town in Cape Cod, Massachusetts is Sandwich. I've wanted to go for a long time -- even before talking about sandwiches at Brooklyn's Adult Education series. And, finally, I went to Sandwich last week. For 60 full minutes.

Some notes.

1) It's quite pretty. Even charming.

2) I had a sandwich. It was a ham-and-swiss with honey mustard. Not bad.

3) Elvis used the Church of Christ, founded in 1638, for his 1967 gospel album 'How Great Thou Art.' They keep a copy in their foyer if you want to see it.

4) I wish all sandwich citizens could have a Barbara Walling.

5) It is a very bad idea to abandon a duck in Sandwich.