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A Town Like Dubbo

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 12 Nov 2019 | Views [104]

DUBBO IS THE KIND OF PLACE WHERE YOU WISH YOU had grown up, a throw-back to a simpler time.  It has everything you could want, including plenty of free street parking.  There is even a Flight Centre travel agency where Ami, a real person, ... Read more >

Welcome to Oz

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 11 Nov 2019 | Views [97]

THE OPERA HOUSE AND HARBOUR BRIDGE WERE dawn silhouettes when the Noordam arrived on Saturday.  The Captain had the pedal to the metal in order to reach the safety of the harbor ahead of the expected weather front.  As it was the temperature ... Read more >

Photos: New South Wales

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 9 Nov 2019 | Photo Gallery

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New Caledonia

NEW CALEDONIA | Wednesday, 6 Nov 2019 | Views [116]

THE CRIPPLED AND THE LAME WERE ENCOURAGED  to remain aboard on Monday in Lifou though, truthfully, the seas weren’t as rough as the Captain inferred.  Once ashore, however, Lifou wasn’t the best introduction to New Caledonia. ... Read more >

Photos: New Caledonia

NEW CALEDONIA | Monday, 4 Nov 2019 | Photo Gallery

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FIJI | Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 | Views [110]

TO REALLY ENJOY FIJI YOU HAVE TO STAY AT one of the resorts.  And spend a lot of colorful money.  Or maybe Savusavu is where it’s all happening.  We’ll never know.  After the ‘missing day’ and a day at sea ... Read more >

Photos: Fiji Islands

FIJI | Thursday, 31 Oct 2019 | Photo Gallery

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Pago Pago, American Samoa

AMERICAN SAMOA | Monday, 28 Oct 2019 | Views [101]

THEY SAY THAT IF IT’S RAINING WHEN YOU SAIL into Pago Pago, you will have good luck for the rest of your cruise.  Not this time!  One of our passengers became seriously ill Tuesday night—not the cough that’s affected half ... Read more >

Photos: American Samoa

AMERICAN SAMOA | Monday, 28 Oct 2019 | Photo Gallery

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Aloha, Hawaii

USA | Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019 | Views [103]

OUR STATEROOM ON THE NOORDAM APPEARS to be an afterthought.  It’s about one-third smaller than a normal inside cabin and is oriented longitudinally.  I suppose we, too, are an afterthought.  The cruise began in Vancouver but we ... Read more >

Mad About Madison

USA | Saturday, 19 Oct 2019 | Views [168]

MADISON IS THE FIRST OF MY FRIENDS’ GRANDKIDS we have ever met—Paul and Noreen’s are already approaching adulthood, Rod and Lois’s are solidly entrenched in New Jersey and we will all be long buried before Frank’s daughters ... Read more >

Haoles in Hawaii

USA | Tuesday, 15 Oct 2019 | Views [129]

MORE THAN 9 MILLION HAOLES  LIKE US visit Oahu each year.  They come for the sun and the surf.  For Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head.  And for many, a week in Waikiki is the beginning of a life together.  For others it's the ... Read more >

Photos: Hawaiian Interlude

USA | Monday, 14 Oct 2019 | Photo Gallery

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Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

TAIWAN | Sunday, 13 Oct 2019 | Views [158]

IT’S BEEN TWO MONTHS SINCE THE MAASDAM was forced to retreat before Typhoon Francisco.  Since then Japan has weathered Typhoons Krosa, Faxi, Tapah and Mitag.  Now Typhoon Hagibis, the most powerful storm in 60 years, is hammering the ... Read more >


TAIWAN | Saturday, 12 Oct 2019 | Views [126]

IN MY NOT-REALLY-SO-HUMBLE OPINION, Taiwan has a lot in common with Arkansas.  Or North Dakota.  The world-class National Palace Museum is certainly worth a visit if your are in Taipei but unless you are on a business trip or, like us, are ... Read more >

Alishan National Scenic Area on Double Tenth

TAIWAN | Friday, 11 Oct 2019 | Views [135]

I WISH I COULD SAY THAT YUAN FANG Homestay was a marvelous place and the highlight of our stay in Taiwan, that it gave us true insight into life in Taiwan.  The truth is that even if we could have found it on our own, there were no signs in English ... Read more >

Up and Down and All Around Taiwan

TAIWAN | Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 | Views [158]

OCTOBER ISN’T THE BEST MONTH FOR BIRDING in Taiwan.  Nevertheless, we have been following birding tour trip reports for locations where local species have been reported recently.  As it turns out, “recently” is a relative ... Read more >

Cingjing Farm

TAIWAN | Friday, 4 Oct 2019 | Views [160]

CONNIE SETS OUR COURSE AND AS OFTEN as not she selects birding hotspots.  Where we will lay our heads each night is up to me.  Bird sightings, as it turns out, are not just a factor of where birds congregate, but also of where people congregate.... Read more >

Mingao Hot Spring Resort

TAIWAN | Thursday, 3 Oct 2019 | Views [190]

THE TROPICAL STORM WAS A FIZZLE, DESPITE the dire forecast and we were ready to leave Taipei.  The 5201 Airport Bus left on schedule and dropped us off at the Avis counter.  They tried hard but maybe they’ll try a little harder next ... Read more >

Taipei's National Palace Museum

TAIWAN | Sunday, 29 Sep 2019 | Views [152]

CONNIE REMEMBERS DITCHING A BUSINESS MEETING in 1988 to visit the National Palace Museum, the highlight of any visit to Taipei.  It took us three trains and a bus to get there today — plus a little help from some locals — but only $5 ... Read more >

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