These are the minor trips, somewhat abbreviated travels that do not permit truly
close exploration and are more passing through than a real experience
places one vists. Still, they are enough to give a taste of the
locale and a profound desire to return again.
I grew up going to the beach in the summer at Nantasket Beach and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
More than a decade later I returned as a college student, with
female companionship, traveling in my old friend Terri's 240Z to
and Provincetown. Around that same time I was in Hyannisport when
Richard Nixon resigned the presidency after Watergate, The Cape
is a very special place, particularly then — before the massive real estate development that now chokes the roadways. A
narrow peninsula of scrub pines and bermuda grass, crystal clear,
cold water and brisk evenings. And no boardwalks.
Participating personally in history can be thrilling, even when conventional
wisdom says the event, in retrospect, was barely historic. But in
January 1977, after nearly 10 years of evil and bumbling Republican
presidents, Jimmy Carter was sworn in on the East Wing of the Capitol
in Washington, D.C. Little did I know on my trip during that brutally
cold week that I would eventually settle in D.C. and someday be paid
to walk the halls under that same Capitol dome. But on that winter
Thursday afternoon, I managed to capture a poignant vignette of the
quadrennial changing of American political power.
Here Capitol Hill police scramble across the icy grounds to surround
the helicopter Gerald Ford used to leave Washington following the
inaugural. But after all that, I missed Carter's historic walk down
For several summers in the early 1990s, we rented a home on the peaceful beach
at Bald Head Island, North Carolina. These were magical days of
swimming, sunsets and beach games with my young son Allan, whose
fascination with Formula One racing reached a peak designing masterful
sand racetracks on lazy summer afternoons. Bald Head continues
to shrink with the constant pounding from hurricanes bearing in
off the Atlantic coast. The house we stayed in has now been moved
hundred yards inland.
One of my great passions for more than 30 years has been skiing, which has taken
me to three continents, four countries and more than 10 states.
In 1996 we visited the village of Zermatt, Switzerland, nestled
majestic Matterhorn. Here my family and I pose with Benny the St.
Bernard in front of that famous peak on a splendid, bright February
morning. This trip also included Lake Como and two nights
in Milan, as well as an incredible train ride trough the mountains
of Northern Italy. And of course, some fantastic pistes.
Grand Cayman Island is a wondrous sounding place but in reality is like a strip
mall in the Caribbean. What makes it special are the fabulous tropical
waters, tremendous for diving, snorkeling and, in this case, sting
petting. On a sand bar several miles off Grand Cayman is a place
they call "Sting Ray City," because the rays are so tame they come
right up to nuzzle the humans. Slightly inland is Hell, a hole-in-the-wall
town that (literally) sells postcards from Hell. Yes, a hell of
a way to earn a living. Just don't go looking for local culture;
there ain't any.