September 19, 1993 |
It is almost dusk. Soon purple and gold will swirl across the tropical sky, and the ocean will change. Sunset means feeding time and a changing of the marine guard. Sharks and other pelagic predators step up the hunt. Moray eels with needle-sharp teeth slither out of coral crevasses. Lobsters and crabs scuttle from their holes. Even some plankton-eating corals, dull brown by day, blossom into brilliant yellow starbursts at night. I wanted to see it.
September 24, 2000 |
There's only one thing that could get a city slicker like me--one whose idea of a perfect vacation is sitting in a cafe--to sleep on the ground in some rural wilds. That one thing is a horse. I've been riding and loving it since age 6, spending summers as a kid on a New Mexico ranch. I never imagined that I could repeat the thrill of 20 years ago, when I raced across the Egyptian desert on a magnificent Arabian horse with the Pyramids as my backdrop.
October 24, 1999 |
I have to put the Norfolk Island telephone directory aside because I'm laughing so hard. For the past half hour I have been curled up on my cottage sofa with a cup of tea, perusing the pages of Buffetts, Coopers, Christians and Quintals of Norfolk Island. There are so many members of a handful of families here that their nicknames are included in the directory listing: Buffett, Allen (Puddles, Esq.); Christian, Les (Lettuce Leaf); Cooper, R. (Smudgie); banker Bernie (Slow Bern) Fraser.
February 28, 1999 |
Away in the outback, north of Nurrari Lakes and south of the Tanami Desert, lies a big red stone that some people call Uluru and others call Ayers Rock. Occasionally you catch a kangaroo waiting in its shade. At dusk the dingos sing, and tourist-bearing camels plod through the bush, single file. And each day, facing this marvel shortly after dawn, hundreds of travelers find their inner Edmund Hillarys yearning to be freed.
January 16, 2000 |
The Ghan is a 970-mile stretch of railroad tracks between Adelaide in southern Australia and Alice Springs, smack-dab in the middle of the country. By the time I finished my trip, a comfortable way to see the notoriously harsh interior of the continent, and inspected my destination, I'd made two life decisions in the 19 hours of the ride. The first came just a few hours out of the station in Adelaide, which sits along Australia's south coast.
October 13, 1996 |
I've been going to australia almost every year for the past 15, but I didn't discover Adelaide until 1994, when I was invited to speak at Writers' Week, part of the biennial Adelaide Festival. Since then my visits to Australia have taken on a new pattern. As soon as I finish with business, I head for Adelaide for a bonza (good) time. Once there, I dine, shop and immerse myself in Australian art, culture and history.
September 12, 1999 |
Before the gunfire rang out, the harbor lay pretty as a picture on a Sunday afternoon, boat sails snapping in the wind, ferries chugging under the tall harbor bridge and looping around the great white opera house. A few children lingered at the Double Bay wharf, scanning the watery horizon. Then bang bang bang. The staccato sound carried far and fast across the water.
July 19, 1998 |
The surfboards strapped to the roofs of cars parked at the Cape Mentelle Winery were my first clue. That and the fact that the thundering sound I heard in the distance as I sipped a 1996 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc was the ocean pounding beaches just five miles away. Then there was the rural town of Margaret River, with its main street lined in an eclectic collection of hardware stores, wine boutiques, surf shops, craft galleries and a hemp store.
November 30, 2008 |
Andaz's wrap artist The much-anticipated Andaz West Hollywood hotel, once known as the Riot Hyatt for the bad-boy pranks of its rock-star guests, was expected to have hung a 190-by-86-foot piece of art over the facade of the 14-story, 257-room hotel (see photo) by late last week. The vinyl wrap by Brian Cairns asks the question, "What is your Andaz?" (The quick answer: a new hotel flavor from Hyatt.) The WeHo Andaz, expected to open just after the first of the year, will be the first one in the U.S. Two more are expected in New York and one in Austin, Texas.