Category Archives: Travel

Airport shopping in Dubai

Hi friends! I have missed you.
I’m in Dubai on my way from a wonderful time in Kenya.

Don’t worry: I didn’t buy any of these.

image

I also considered buying a hookah just to see my friends’ reaction as I boarded the plane. But cooler heads prevailed.

image

I also didn’t buy any Arabic lady fiction (because I will be asleep all the way to NYC).

image

About these ads

Presents!

Google Maps told me the walk would be 0.9 miles. The humidity was rising, but a mile isn’t so far.

Plus I had just eaten a chocolate muffin from St. Balmain, justifying the indulgence by noting that there would be zero chocolate muffins in Kenya.

Once I passed the McCarren Park pool, the walk started sucking. The part of Greenpoint I found myself in would be best described as Not Cute. Homely, perhaps, as opposed to homey.

Greenpoint

Around the 0.7 mile mark, I wanted to shout “this is for you, Maasai kids!” but they couldn’t possibly have heard me over the noise from the BQE.

I started crying almost as soon as I walked into the Greenpoint dollar store.

Not because I was in a dollar store, per se, but because as I shuffled up and down the aisles, I was reminded of the directions my trip organizer had given me about how to choose a gift for my “buddy,” the student who would be my companion during my days volunteering at the Maasai school.

Books need to be culturally sensitive. Don’t buy candy–most of the kids won’t have a toothbrush.

Avoid anything that requires batteries or electricity. These kids don’t have access to either. A well-intentioned volunteer gave his buddy an iPod, but once the battery dies, it’s useless.

Good gifts include a simple journal, a solar-powered flashlight or a puzzle that shows a picture the kids can relate to.

At the dollar store, I felt like a failure. None of the toys seemed right for my teenage buddy, a fourteen year old boy named Steven.

As I put a notebook, a pack of pencils and a pencil case in my cart, my heart sank: I had just committed to buying office supplies for someone who will almost certainly help me have an eye-opening, life-affecting experience.

I suppose he already has, in some ways.

Hopefully when the time comes, my modest gifts will somehow be the right ones.

[For context, this post was written on late on Thursday, July 10 and scheduled for Monday, July 14. I'm set to present these tokens to Steven on Friday, July 18.]

What We Ate (and Drank): Rehoboth Beach 2014

If you have been reading my posts for a while now, you know I look forward to my annual Rehoboth Beach trips with family and friends. We’re super lazy. A shopping trip to the outlets is about as much energy as we ever expend. And we like it that way.

Pool

Frankly I’m saving the learning and cultural exploration for Kenya. My adventure starts this Friday!

This year, I had some great food and drink in Rehoboth and nearby Lewes. If you head that way, this summer here are some places I think you should check out. Continue reading

Vacation #2 of 3

In I-am-so-lucky news, today I am leaving for my annual Rehoboth Beach vacation.

beach

This is not to be confused for my Bahamas vacation.

Bahamas

Or my upcoming trip to Kenya.

Expect some funny family stories. They’re a-comin’.

What are you doing for 4th of July, American readers?

When is a hipster not a hipster?

While I was in San Francisco recently, my friend Carolyn invited me to tag along to her friends’ party in Napa.

Napa

I was a tiny bit nervous about fitting in. Surely people who live in Napa must be way cooler than me, right? At a minimum, they would know lots more about wine. Continue reading

My fall from travel grace

“What time is your flight?” Carolyn asked me

“10:45. But…I have to check a bag”

The faces of two horrified friends–Carolyn plus Morgan–stared back at me. I felt ashamed.

“I know. I don’t usually check a bag but this time…I…I just grabbed the wrong suitcase. I have four of them.”

Silence.

I fiddled with my wine glass and then continued.

“Recently my trips have been short ones so i have been talking my half-size wheelie bag.”

Stares.

“My suitcases are usually stored like nesting dolls. I grabbed the wrong bag and it was too big to carry on. I didn’t realize until I got to security at LGA and they sent me back to Ticketing.”

My friends nodded, but unconvincingly. At this point that I realized the extent of my friends’ disapproval. I may be shunned.

My fall from travel grace is complete.

*     *     *

I’m just back from a long business/pleasure trip to Chicago and San Francisco. As a result I have zero (!) blog posts scheduled. Bear with me.