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Hacı Bayram mosque in Ankara, Turkey. The small section under the minaret is the mausoleum, and looks older than the rest. One Day in Ankara, Turkey.

One day in Ankara, Turkey

The last time I tried to visit Turkey was more than 30 years ago, and my attempt failed. I’ll tell that story at the end of this post. I will tell you, though, that I finally managed to get there recently when I flew to Ankara to lead a workshop. I tacked on one extra…

The California seal inlay at Hoover Dam

A Hoover Dam Tour and a Dam Tour Guide

“My name is Arcelia and I’ll be your dam tour guide.” This was our introduction to our tour of Hoover Dam. Arcelia milked the joke as much as she could – “this dam wall,” “these dam generators,” and so on – but somehow, it worked, earning a chuckle from the visitors every time. Her cheerful…

the Empire State Building: New York City on a budget

New York City on a Budget: Free or cheap things to do

A lot of sights and activities are expensive in New York City. Nevertheless, you can entertain yourself well on very little money if you know where to go. Here are some tips for seeing New York City on a budget. (Note: I thoroughly fact-checked and updated this post on January 25, 2018.) 1. Some general…

This huge figure of a pool player was originally painted to look like he wore a Hawaiian shirt.

The Neon Museum Las Vegas: Nostalgia in the desert

The Neon Museum Las Vegas isn’t like any museum I’ve visited before. It has more in common with a junkyard, albeit a very tidy junkyard. In other words, you won’t see precious items in display cases, and don’t expect the neon signs to be hung neatly on walls. Instead, the only way to see this…

"Drinking Man" figure at the Musee Mecanique penny arcade

Musee Mecanique and its Penny Arcade Machines

Space Invaders! Memories flooded back as I spotted the game. Pac-Man! Centipede! My visit to the Musée Mécanique and its collection of antique and vintage penny arcade machines struck a chord with me. Anyone who grew up in the 70s will remember these games, fondly or otherwise. I only played occasionally, quitting when I lost…

The famous WWII propaganda poster, by J. Howard Miller. Public Domain.

The Rosie the Riveter Museum: Fascinating WWII home front history

When I heard about a museum dedicated to Rosie the Riveter, I had to see it. Who was Rosie the Riveter? The name “Rosie the Riveter,” according to Wikipedia, was first used in a 1942 hit song, praising an assembly line worker helping in the war effort. The popular image of Rosie the Riveter stems…

spotted in Calnic village: Fortified churches of Transylvania, Romania

Reflecting on 2017 … and a request for suggestions

It’s traditional each December for bloggers to look back on the year. In my case, reflecting on 2017 makes it clear that the intersection between family and travel have determined much of what I did outside my regular job. This year our younger child began university, making us official “empty nesters,” while our older “child”…

Street scene in Mumbai, near Banganga Tank. Impressions from my first time in India.

Impressions of Mumbai from my first time in India

When I told people I was going to Mumbai, the most common comments I heard were in the form of warnings: “It’s unbearably crowded and noisy,” and “Be careful what you eat; you don’t want to get Delhi belly!” Yes, Mumbai is crowded and noisy, but I wouldn’t say it’s unbearably so. As a matter…

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