Speaking of Travel

Banff

View of Bow River Valley from Sulphur Mountain.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Ninety minutes from Calgary, in the Bow River Valley, Banff is the unofficial capital of Alberta’s Canadian Rockies. Located within Banff National Park, its development is tightly controlled. The population is capped at 10,000; only those with a “need to reside” can live there and businesses must provide accommodations for employees. Banff was developed in the ... Read More »

The Icefields Parkway

The Glacier Skywalk juts out over the Sunwapta Canyon.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  The Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada, also known as Highway 93, is 144 miles of natural beauty, wildlife, tourist attractions, and, in high season (July, August), a moving parade of cars, RVs, and tour buses traversing this double lane road. Paralleling the Continental Divide, it runs from Lake Louise north to Japer and passes through ... Read More »

Alberta’s Canadian Rockies, Part I

Chateau Lake Louise

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Canada’s Rocky Mountains are located in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Within Alberta, the locations of Lake Louise, Jasper, and Banff provide many opportunities for alpine experiences. The landscape includes peaks, valleys, canyons, rivers, glacial lakes, forests, waterfalls, and lots of wildlife. I will write about Banff, the larger, more commercial of the three ... Read More »

Travel to the Canadian Rockies

Along this road was typical (yet, no less beautiful) scenery.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber  There are several ways to visit the main attractions of Alberta, Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Many companies offer package tours with various options. Some feature just the area around Banff and the Columbia Icefields, while others cover more of western Canada, including British Columbia. There are Canadian tour companies that provide organized hiking or hiking/camping tours. Road ... Read More »

Local Gem

One of the ponds at Freedom Park surrounded by Florida flora. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber The joy of discovering someplace new doesn’t always have to involve a long car, train, ship, or plane ride. In the past, I’ve written a few columns on some of the wondrous places right in our own backyard including Shark Valley, Loop Road, and Bird Swamp Rookery. Following all of the rain we had earlier this ... Read More »

Cuba: From the Beach to the Mountains

The beach at Playa Ancón. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Trinidad, Cuba, featured in my last column, is situated between the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Escambray Mountains to the north. Our visit to Trinidad afforded us the opportunity to see both while staying at an all-inclusive resort. While it may not be held in as high esteem as the popular northern Cuban beach ... Read More »

Cuba: On the Road to Cienfuegos and Trinidad

Parque José Martí is WIFI enabled, a rarity in Cuba.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Three and four hours east of Havana, on the Caribbean side of Cuba, are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. Both are colonial cities, the first with obvious French influence, the other Spanish. The highway from Havana to Cienfuegos and Trinidad was in good condition, but many of the secondary roads appeared to be ... Read More »

Cuba for the Senses

Music is everywhere!

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber By the end of our time in Cuba, visiting three of its cities, the beach, and the mountains, I felt as if I was on sensory overload, for Cuba is a country that truly appeals to the senses. Visually, it was a delight. The first thing that struck me, flying over the island on the way ... Read More »

Travel to Cuba – Logistics

Sunrise on part of the Vedado section of Havana. The famed Hotel Nacional is the building with the double red roofed cupolas.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Travel to Cuba for US citizens is evolving. There are a host of new transportation options either already in place or planned including ships, ferries, charter and commercial flights, even trains (well, sort of….read on). While more choices are available, travel still requires that visitors from the US meet one of 12 broad categories to justify ... Read More »

Roadside Attraction Reinvented

Up close and personal with an iguana.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber When I was growing up in the Northeast, my father loved road trips. He also loved roadside attractions. I think his favorites were Roadside America, an indoor miniature railroad and village in Pennsylvania and Santa’s Village in New Hampshire. We spent long summers in northern Maine, which meant frequent trips to New Brunswick, Canada, which had ... Read More »

Bring Back the Good Old Days

TSApre3 is good for most
domestic airlines. (Left) TSApre3 provides expedited screening
airport security checkpoints. (Right) SUBMITTED

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Remember the “good old days” of air travel? Shoes, belt, jacket, scarf could remain on your body without having to take them off to clear security. You didn’t have to pull out your quart size zip lock bag of small size liquids such as Purell, or your laptop for special inspection. For $100 or less, the ... Read More »

Gifts for the Traveler 2015

Great stocking stuffers: Vaultz mesh bags and water bottle carabiner.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber For this year’s column on gift suggestions for the traveler, I am featuring some recent acquisitions that I have found useful. Always trying to remain hands-free and unencumbered by a handbag, I recently started using a Sholdit. It looks like a traditional infinity scarf, but has a hidden zipper pocket to store items such as a ... Read More »

Lessons Learned

PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER
The orange glow from the first light of sunrise.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Some of you may have noticed that my column was on hiatus for a few months while I attended to some family medical issues. During that time, planned trips were cancelled, including my dream water view apartment in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy. Thank goodness for trip insurance. I purchased the insurance from Roam Right, via the ... Read More »

Graze Your Way Around the World

The Greece marketplace booth featured gyros, moussaka, spanakopita, saganaki, Greek wines and a Tzatziki martini.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Before settling in for the heat and humidity of summer in Florida, think about planning an activity for the more temperate weather of fall. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival in Orlando will take place September 25-November 16, 2015. Featuring foods from around the world, this year will be the 20th for this annual event. If ... Read More »

Glaciers – Visit them Soon

Further along the Aletsch; the black stripes along the surface are known as medial moraines, rick debris pushed along the sides of the streams of ice. PHOTOS BY VICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Although I love a tropical climate, many of our travels have taken us to places noted for their glaciers. These visits have always occurred in the warmer months, for I would never venture forth in winter to an area capable of producing glaciers. Even my glacier skiing experiences were in the northern hemisphere in August. Simplistically, ... Read More »

Tulip Time in Holland

Tulip time in Holland. PHOTOS BY ART MANBURG

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber One of the best times to visit Holland is when the flowers, for which it is known, are in their full splendor, on display at Keukenhof Gardens, from mid-March through mid-May. Although people often use the terms “Holland” and “the Netherlands” interchangeably, Holland refers to only two of the twelve provinces that comprise the country of ... Read More »

A Festival for Everyone

Alp horns are a part of most festivals in alpine Switzerland. PHOTOS BYVICKIE KELBER

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Every country has its celebrations and festivals, but it seems that the diminutive Switzerland, not quite as large as Vermont and New Hampshire combined, has more than its share, especially in the summer and early autumn. Perhaps it is the hard working character of the Swiss (yes, I know I am stereotyping) that makes them want ... Read More »

In Search of Swiss Cheese

Outside the beautiful walled city of Gruyeres. photos by vickie kelber

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber Switzerland is known for its cheese. Most of us have eaten “Swiss” cheese. Yet, few of us have experienced true Swiss cheese, for most of what is sold at local deli counters is a cheaper, lower quality commodity produced either domestically or from another country. It is made from pasteurized milk from cows fed on silage ... Read More »

Bird Rookery Swamp

B16-CBN-5-1-6

By Vickie Kelber   In my quest to explore the wonders that are, as I like to call it, “in our own back yard”, a friend and I set off early one morning for the Bird Rookery Swamp Trail off Immokalee Road. Many of you know of, if not visited Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The Bird Rookery is located adjacent ... Read More »

Chihuly at Fairchild

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Speaking of Travel Vickie Kelber As part of the Art at Fairchild program at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, a special installation of glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly will be on display until May 31, 2015. Instituted in 2004, Art at Fairchild has brought exhibits by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein and Fernando Botero to this tropical ... Read More »