A few pieces of advice for teens embarking on a summer maiden voyage to the Jewish state (Birthright, not included).
When my cousin went to Israel on a teen tour 20 years ago, she came home raving about the experiences she’d had: the taste of fresh pita, the surprising contrasts in landscape, the day spent hanging with soldiers in Israeli Defense Forces.
Like many foreigners, my husband, Oggi, was intrigued by the Florida Keys, a singular geography that has no European equivalent. Every year during the Florida family trip, I’ve promised him that we’ll drive all the way down to Key West. This year I finally delivered.
It looks much the same as the last time I visited — in the mid-’80s, with my dad at the wheel. My dad likes to talk about the old U.S. Route 1: how it was the Maine-to-Florida highway when he was growing up, before they built the Interstate. According to him, U.S. 1 hasn’t changed much.
Spring blows into Galveston Island on a warm Gulf breeze. By April, these peaceful golden shores are basking in 70-degree afternoons, with native seabirds circling overhead and lazy ripples spreading from the fishermen’s lines. Weekend traffic is starting to get heavy: Houston is just a 40-minute drive away.
For thousands of Hawaii vacationers, the island of Maui is the happy medium. It is lovely and unspoiled, but not so unspoiled as Kauai, widely regarded as the prettiest isle but sparse on nightlife. Like Oahu, Maui has great restaurants and plenty to do, but it is less built-up and retains the lazy vacationer’s pace.