Monkeys and Elephants and Sea Gypsies, Oh My! Adventures in Thailand and Bali

Back in 2003, during a sabbatical from my university, I made a circum-Pacific trip that took me to Thailand, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti for the first time. My adventures during the last three stops have been documented in separate blogs here on my website, but I thought it was time to resurrect the Thailand and Bali parts of the trip. I’ve decided to post them in the form of the travel diary I kept and which I sent to friends and family via e-mail while I was on the trip. So here were my impressions of these two amazing travel destinations.

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The Thai Coastline in Krabi Province

Let’s go!

There’s No Place Like Home: Fall in New England

Not unlike a salmon fighting its way upstream to return to the place where it was born, I go through considerable effort to make an annual pilgrimage to my native New England in October to experience the most wonderful time of year to be there: fall foliage season. Typically lasting from mid-September to mid or late October, the change in the foliage that occurs in the northeastern USA is an event that attracts tourists from all over the world and until I can manage to live back there permanently, I will continue to travel back for at least a few days to experience the show.

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The gold of fall touches southern Vermont

Read on…

Strada Facendo: The Best of Italian Music

me

A couple of years ago I had the amazing opportunity to create my own radio show for Dominican University of California’s Penguin Radio. Under the excellent guidance and with the enthusiastic encouragement of Leona George-Davidson, a Humanities and Cultural Studies major with a concentration in Communications, I developed and recorded a 10 episode radio program called, Strada Facendo which I hosted as my Italian alter-ego, “Matteo”. The programs showcase the Italian pop music that I have grown to love over the years, and also feature stories about Italy and some simple lessons on the Italian language by Dominican foreign language instructor Kate “Katerina” Rider. In some of the later episodes, some of my friends from Italy appear in promos for the show or to help Kate with a language lesson.  I have made all 10 episodes of the program available here.

Anyone considering a visit to Italy or who is trying to study the Italian language might want to give these programs a listen. I have found that by regularly listening to Italian music  I’ve been able to expand my vocabulary and improve my comprehension of the Italian. And there is some excellent music coming from this dynamic country!

The episodes below are presented in chronological order, from the first to last. Enjoy!

Episode 1: Benvenuto! (Welcome!)

Episode 2: Sognami (Dream of Me)

Episode 3: Baciami Stupido (Kiss Me, Stupid!)

Episode 4: Salute to the Music of Eros Ramazzotti

Episode 5: Strada Facendo (Along the Road of Life)

Episode 6: Duetti (Duets)

Episode 7: Bambini (Children)

Episode 8: Salute to the Music of Laura Pausini and Tiziano Ferro

Episode 9: La Forza Mia (The Power in Me)

Episode 10: Per Dirti Ciao (To Say Goodbye)

 

Listen to the Sounds of the Hawaiian Islands with “Catchin’ a Wave”

Whenever I travel to new places, I try to get a sense of the culture through things such as art, food, and music. On my first trip to Hawaii back in 1994, I became captivated by Hawaiian music, which seemed to be experiencing a Renaissance in popularity as a number of young and talented artists explored traditional Hawaiian music and energized it with a contemporary feel.

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The End of the Road? My Journey with Fleetwood Mac

Warning: Other than the title, this blog post is not about travel. It is about my long term devotion to the group Fleetwood Mac. If you’re a fan, or you want to learn about the band, you may enjoy this. If not, you’ll probably be happier back in the Travel Blogs section!  😊

Fleetwood Mac Rumours Back

John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie   Fleetwood Mac circa 1976

It all started in 1975…

Spring Break: New York and New England

When planning for my Spring Break trip this year, I searched the Internet for hours to find the best travel bargains on my airfare and rental car. I could have flown round trip to Boston and rented a car for 10 days and spent over $1000; instead I discovered that if I flew to Newark, spent a couple days in New York, took the train to Albany to visit friends, and then rented a car in Albany that I could return at Boston, I would save about $400. And on top of the saved cash, I got to experience several different places, making for a much more diverse vacation!

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Who says winter isn’t a great time to travel?

Come along for the ride…

My 12 Days of Christmas: All the Makings of a Hallmark Channel Movie

After a successful and enjoyable cross country drive in mid-December, I was back in Massachusetts and I awoke on the morning of the 24th to find a thin coating of snow covering everything outside. As I was taking in the scene from the window of my little rented cabin in the woods, I got a text message from my friend Joanne saying, “You did it again! Where did this damned snow come from?”

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Christmas Eve morning surprise

Ho, Ho, Ho… keep reading!

On the Road Again, December 2018

My father left my mother and me when I was a baby and I only met him once briefly when I was 16, I become more convinced of the power of genetics when I think about how my father was a long distance trucker for most of his life after divorcing my mother. When I did meet him, he told me how much he liked being out on the road for long periods of time, as was required by his job. So I wonder if other than the red hair that I absolutely adopted from him, I also possess a gene he passed down that explains why I am seldom happier than when I embark on yet another cross-country drive.

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My valiant chariot, ready for another trip…

Read on…