Travel

visiting-diamond-head-national-parkDiamond Head is just about the most prominent landmark visible when you are in Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. As you lay on the beach, it is a great reminder that the beautiful Hawaiian Islands were all formed from volcanoes. It's kind of amazing. Diamond Head crater itself is said to have formed with a single, brief eruption about 300,000 years ago.

My boys were dying to get to the top of the crater on our last trip to Hawaii. This was my third time taking the historic trail to the summit. And it had been about twelve years since I had done it last. To my surprise the trail had been improved since my last visit. The tunnels are now lit and the crazy spiral staircase can now be bypassed.

Overall this is not an extremely difficult hike if you are prepared. It is only 1.5 miles round trip. However, the trail to the top is uneven and steep, with lots of stairs, make sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes.

I saw so many people wearing thin sandals and wedge heels. I can't even imagine how uncomfortable this could be, not to mention how easy to twist your ankle. And don't forget a water bottle for everyone on the hike. Hawaii, is warm and humid. Water is a necessity when it comes to getting to the top.

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Royal-Horseguards-800One of London’s most elegant hotels is The Royal Horseguards situated on the paved Embankment overlooking the mighty River Thames flowing sedately along to the sea. This grand property has been the center of the seated establishment for many a decade and still offers warmth, glamour and service to its many patrons. Many politicians and statesmen frequent the hotel today because of its closeness to the Houses of Parliament and Ministry of Defense.

Standing on the site of Whitehall which once was one of the most famous Tudor royal palaces – I am sure Henry V111 would have loved to look out at the now London Eye twisting it’s quite ugly façade in space. The Tudor Palace was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1698 but the Banqueting House escaped the conflagration and is still used for banquets at the corner of Horseguards Parade.

For those of you who are movie fans you might like to know that Whitehall Court was featured in the 1983 Bond film ‘Octopussy’ and also in ‘Skyfall’ the latest James Bond flick.

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nightlove.jpg Cecilia was a ‘10’ on a scale of one to two. She had unmitigated primal passion. Her sexual appetite was unparalleled and horizontal. It was vertical and diagonal. When I suggested to Cecilia that we spend the Fourth of July in Hawaii, she responded by giving me a fireworks show in the bedroom that went on till daybreak.

After Cecilia made my night, I made travel plans. We would first go to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore of Kauai. Then to Maui – Kaanapali Beach and Hana.

As I was packing for the trip, the phone rang. It was Cecilia. She stammered and fumfered and did everything audibly possible without actually forming words.

“What’re you trying to tell me?” I asked repeatedly.

“I can’t go,” she finally said. 

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If you ford a river with the crowd, the crocodile cannot eat you.
         –Malagasy proverb

view-8.jpgMy husband, Bill Rollnick, and I were part of an American Red Cross team traveling to Madagascar to help implement the global Measles and Malaria Preventive Initiative. In October, our team was part of a joint partnership led by the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, CDC, WHO and the Malagasy government in which millions of Malagasy children, ages 9 months to 5 years, received measles vaccine, Vitamin A, de-worming medicine and insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

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yog.jpg Can we talk about how strange a yoga class in London is?  Stretch out your kidneys, she kept saying.  Elongate your kidneys.  Her British accent easing me from one pose to another…but…kidneys?  Really?  I don’t even know where my kidneys are.  Honestly, I know they’re somewhere in my torso region but to the point where I could isolate them into a stretch.  It was really strange. 

And it got me thinking about other body parts that in my opinion have nothing to do with yoga.  Like my esophagus.  And my appendix.  And, well, my stomach.  Was it grumbling?  Or was I distracted?  By the time we got out and started wandering around Primrose Hill, the gray sky somehow bright and exciting like I wouldn’t mind if it started raining, by that time my stomach definitely was growling.  I’m still not sure what my kidneys were doing but I was hungry.  And it had to be breakfast

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