Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

The Bard’s Welcome Here, Too

07/27/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

After six hours waiting at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, I got the bad news: My colleague’s flight had been cancelled, so I’d be attending a weekend’s worth of theater by myself at the legendary Stratford Festival. Since half the fun of seeing a show is talking about it afterwards, I figured I was in for a lonely trip.

Canada’s Stratford, site of annual plays by the bard and other playwrights. Courtesy of Stratford Festival

The Taverna Economy

07/21/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Are you nervous about the idea of a Greek vacation? Don’t be. Economic turmoil notwithstanding, Greece remains one of the world’s most beguiling destinations.

Despite its ongoing fiscal crisis, Greece is still an inviting location for tourists. Wikimedia Commons

The Politics Of Summer

07/13/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Bernie Sanders, America’s only Jewish socialist senator and lately a presidential candidate, seems to be following my mom around these days.

The surf and dunes at Edgartown’s South Beach.  Hilary Danailova/JW

How Green Is My Capital

07/06/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

It can take days — maybe a week, if you’re on the scenic route — to see all of California’s major cities. But next door in Washington State, Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma are all within a drive of less than two hours.

Washington’s state capitol also serves as an art gallery and a popular park. Wikimedia Commons

In Travel, A Little Prevention Goes A Long Way

06/29/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

After more than 20 years of globe-trotting, I recently had my first consultation with a travel medicine specialist.

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I don’t know what took me so long. Hubris, I suppose — the fantasy that my own common sense and good luck would spare me the maladies that afflict so many fellow travelers. I’ve spent my share of time in overseas emergency rooms, but overall I have indeed been lucky.

A little forethought can prevent a medical emergency on a foreign trip. Hilary Danailova/JW

High Culture In The Hills

06/22/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Most of us have never contemplated a Van Gogh and immediately thought of Western Massachusetts. But the undulating green hills of the Berkshires region bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Provence — at least as rendered by the artist in a series of works on view in “Van Gogh and Nature,” the summer blockbuster at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.

Van Gogh’s “Cypresses” is part of the exhibit at the Clark Art Institute.  Courtesy Clark Institute

Jews On The Camino

06/15/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Misty and mystical, Santiago de Compostela is the antidote to a Spanish summer. The jewel of Spain’s green, rainy northwest remains cool and fresh while Madrid and Seville broil. Let crowds course down the Ramblas and clog the beaches of the Costa del Sol; Galicia’s shores remain tranquil, and its winding, hilly lanes whisper romance.

A Santiago de Compostela courtyard reflects the city’s traditional ambiance.  Wikimedia Commons

If ‘Aloha’ Is In Your Future

06/08/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

It’s June, which means weddings — and honeymoons. That gets me thinking about Hawaii, a perennial favorite for that post-nuptial getaway, as well as a classic family vacation spot.

Waikiki Beach in Oahu. Wikimedia Commons

Come Summer, Head For Winter

06/01/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Summer is vacation season — yet it can also be the most frustrating time to travel. Crowds are thick, prices skyrocket, hotels sell out and temperatures soar to uncomfortable heights. But given the reality of school schedules and the urge to get out of town, summer travel is inevitable.

Laguna Beach. Hilary Danailova/JW

A Shiny New Sofia

05/25/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

As my in-laws’ Peugeot headed into downtown Sofia, I squinted into the shimmering gold of the Alexander Nevsky Church, the Bulgarian capital’s most famous landmark.

A café in downtown Sofia.
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