Some vacationers soak up sun on beaches with white, black and even green sand. Nearby, skiers speed down snow-covered slopes of a dormant volcano. Other people check out a surreal moonscape of hardened pitch-black lava and hike through a lush tropical rainforest. If this sounds like a continent-wide choice of activities, it’s because the island of Hawaii in ways resembles a miniature continent. Since it shares its name with the state, it’s often referred to as the Big Island to avoid confusion, and with good reason. It’s almost twice the size of the other Hawaiian islands combined.
In Gilroy, California, people line up to purchase watermelon, ice cream and chocolate, all of which are laced with fresh, pungent garlic. Underwater divers off Florida’s Looe Key are serenaded by sounds ranging from a song sung by the Beatles to the high-pitched call made by humpback whales.
Planning a visit to Poland, where his ancestors had lived, Bernard Janicki went online and tracked down the parish priest in the village where his mother had been born. When he arrived in that small town, the pastor helped him examine church records dating back to the early 20th century.
As I strolled along ancient ramparts that encircle a small medieval city, the view changed with each twist and turn. On one side was a labyrinth of narrow streets lined by tile roofed stone buildings. In the other direction were stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
Men and women over 50 who are looking for increased social connections in an athletic and sporting setting have come together in The Top of the Hill Gang of New England (http://www.tohg.org/). They gather and enjoy one another’s company year round, “sharing common interests that nourish our love of being active and having fun.” They ski, hike, bike, travel and socialize together. They play golf, tennis, kayak and do hosteling, enjoy social events including dinner dances, clambakes, riverboat rides and game nights. They go to cultural venues such as museums and musical concerts.
Vineyards and groves of olive trees blanket rolling hillsides and spill down into deep valleys. Many hills are topped by an ancient stone villa, its entrance road lined by parallel rows of tall, straight cypress trees. Vast fields provide a patchwork of colors ranging from the green of crops to golden wheat to the reddish-brown of freshly turned earth.
When I arrived in the northwest corner of England which prompted poets and other writers to wax so eloquently, it didn’t take long to understand why.
For her first day trip in retirement, Marie Esteves took her chances at Foxwoods Casino Resort. It was always the center’s most popular day trip, which she scheduled at least three times a year.
Ari and Brad Nicholson settle for the night in the most luxurious setting they’ve enjoyed anywhere. Their penthouse is lit by chandeliers and includes opulent touches like a martini bar and hot tub.
With my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday approaching, it didn’t take our family long to decide to take a seven-day Caribbean cruise.