The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, is an incredible sight of solar particles interacting with our atmosphere high above us near the magnetic poles of our planet.
Should you decide to head out in search of them, know that they can be seen in Alaska, Northern Canada, and in Northern Europe in countries like Iceland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. They are usually viewed around 65-70 degrees latitude. The lights are “predictably unpredictable,” or rather, they dance to their own beat. Scientists and forecasters will announce…
About an hour north of San Francisco lies the little coastal town of Bodega Bay, made famous for its portrayal in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The Birds. As a fan of the film since childhood—it was the first horror film I ever watched and one of the only ones my mother will watch—I decided it would be fun to take her on a short trip to visit the town for what I call “The Birds Tour.”
It’s a small trip, but one well worth taking if you have an interest in the film, the California coast, or just simply enjoy a day trip of driving and exploring a new place.
The drive from San Francisco is scenic, especially in the late winter and early spring months when everything is a particular shade of green that can be seen in the Bay Area and up and down along the coastlines…
An old phrase you may have heard before is, “Taking the waters.” It involves the use of mineral springs, natural warm water sources, and cold water therapy as a health benefit. Some people will swear that the mineral baths and hot springs have healing properties and result in improved health.
Others hold the belief that this is all wishful thinking and nothing more than hokum, or a line to take your money. While there is certainly a psychological reaction to sitting back in neck-deep warm water and being able to relax, it turns out that science has found it is also physiological as well. Once seen as “alternative” medicine with no grounding in scientific rigor, this viewpoint is changing.
Be aware that there are several categories of hydrotherapy, including…
At the mountainous feet of the Wairarapa, in the southeast region of the North Island of New Zealand, sits the town of Masterton. It is home of the Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing Competition (a sport still trying to get a foothold in the summer Olympics), as well as native home to film director James Cameron and Nobel-winning scientist Maurice Wilkins, who discovered DNA…
If you’re interested in experiencing the wonders of both ancient and modern Japan, then you must visit Kyoto. I live in California. It took one car, three planes, a bus, and a taxi to get me from my home to the hotel in Kyoto. Does that sound exhausting? It was, but what I found in Kyoto made it all worthwhile.
Kyoto Station Kyoto Station is huge and beautiful. The clerk at my hotel assured me I could find whatever I wanted inside Kyoto Station, and she was right. In addition to the train station, you’ll find a theater, two malls, a museum, a bus station, a 540-room hotel, and at least two dozen restaurants. Kyoto Station has its own zip code. No wonder! It’s a city unto itself. Someone is always ready to help, both the officials and the everyday folks.
At Kyoto Station, they’re used to helping foreigners find their way around, and many of the taxi drivers are eager to practice their English language skills. One driver played American rock-n-roll on his radio. While we talked about his favorite bands, he opened the glove box and … read more in the Spring 2019 issue.
Ah love, amor! There’s nothing more beautiful than a couple in love and nothing more delicious than watching them proclaim that love to one another as they tie the knot. That is to say, nothing more delicious unless you’re talking tamales, specifically Eliza- beth’s tamales, enchiladas, and posole.
Elizabeth’s brother Diego is marrying his beautiful bride in Mexico. Countless guests are invited, and the celebration food is going to be epic! I love the traditional food of Mexico and have always been curious how some of my favorite dishes are made. Elizabeth and her mom invited me to join them in an entire day devoted to cooking the family recipes.
While I’ve watched cooking shows and read cook books, nothing prepared me for the work intensive process of truly, mouthwatering tamales. Elizabeth and her mother boil potatoes and rice. While they cook, we all help to separate the dried corn husks. Once we have a mountain piled up on a plate, they go into water to soak.
When the rice and potatoes are cooked and cooled, they’re mashed and added to a mixture of maize, water, and chicken concentrate. Over and over, the two women knead the mixture, testing the texture, adding water, tasting. They let it rest. They knead more and add corn oil. Meanwhile… continue reading in the Fall 2018 issue of SEARCH.
Tucked away in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States is the amazing Olympic National Park. Nearly a million acres, the park encompasses a temperate rain forest, ancient trees, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, and a series of beautiful coastal beaches.
Among the seventy miles of beaches, Kalaloch is a popular destination. The beach rests just off Highway 101 with an easy walk from the gazebo at Kalaloch Lodge. It offers wonderful viewing of bird colonies. Bald eagles rest atop tall snags, feeding on salmon and ignoring the common murres and tufted puffins.
Cliffside cabins beside historic Kalaloch Lodge can be reserved in advance. Pets are allowed in some cabins, and on-leash dogs are allowed on the beach. There is easy access to the beach below, where entire trees lie in sun-bleached glory. During storms, common during the winter months, the trees… continue reading in the Summer 2018 issue.
Philadelphia’s role in the history of the United States is well known. In 2016, 41 million people visited the city, and many surely visited the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the other historical sites and museums located throughout the downtown area.
However, the visitor willing to make a short trip away from the city center will be amply rewarded with the opportunity to see an amazing survival from the 18th century, the Bartram House and Garden.
John Bartram (1699-1777), often described as ‘the father of American botany’, established his house and garden in 1728 after purchasing land bordering the Schuylkill River. In addition to his important role in the early history of botany in North America, Bartram and his friend Benjamin Franklin were among those who founded the American Philosophical Society in 1743… continue reading in the Spring 2018 issue.
The land of Fire and Ice, Iceland (pronounced more ‘Iss-land’ by the locals) is an island nation in the north Atlantic, easily reachable by air from either coast of the US and a handy way point for flights further east to Europe.
With exciting scenery, occasional volcanic activity, and a chance to see the Northern lights, this is a country of vibrant culture, creative people, and unusual sights.
The entire population of Iceland is about 380,000 people, and the language is Icelandic, though many can speak English. It is polite to try to learn at least a few words, such as Ja’ for yes. Nei means no, Takk Fyrir or Takk is thank you. Speak English, and you might find someone… continue reading in the Winter 2017 issue.
New Zealand, known by the native Maori people as “The Land of the Long White Cloud” is a place of astounding beauty and strength, much like those who live there.
Famous for its booming dairy and lamb industry as well its legendary “All Blacks” rugby team, New Zealand is far more than the face it shows to the world. The place is still fearless, proud, and some of the friendliest souls you will ever meet. To share a pint of beer is to make a friend for life. Travelers like myself are forever changed for the better after spending time there.
Broken up into two islands, the south has been made famous by the Lord of the Rings movies. All that cinematography wasn’t a green screen. It’s that breathtaking and untouched. Since so much focus has been on the south, I’ve decided to write about the splendor the north island has to offer. For direct flights from the United States to New Zealand, you’ll… read more in the Fall 2017 issue of SEARCH Magazine.