Entries in ‘Travel’ Journal

Travel and Adventure Show 2015

Wednesday February 11, 2015 at 6:06 AM | 1 Comment

Now in its fifth year, the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show attracts people from around the greater San Francisco Bay Area. This was my first time attending the two-day show. With over 500 exhibitors, the Santa Clara Convention Center was buzzing with travel enthusiasts learning the latest travel trends and destinations and shopping for travel apparel. Here are five things that I learned at the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show.
 

 
 

Winery San Francisco, wine, travel & adventure show

My custom blend from Winery San Francisco. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

 

I. Wine tasting on San Francisco’s Treasure Island
Did you know that you can go wine tasting on Treasure Island? The Winery San Francisco offers California wines paired with some of the Bay Area’s best water views. I had the pleasure of creating my own custom wine blend using three varietal wines (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) on tap at the travel show. Guests 21 and older were offered a special wine pairing and tasting session (for an additional fee.)
 

bay area travel show

Bay Area Travel Show. Photo © 2015 Nancy D. Brown

 

2. Travel experts share their secrets
Travel experts such as Samantha Brown, Rick Steves and Peter Greenberg share how travel has changed, smart European travel tips and what the airlines don’t want you to know. Of course, there are plenty of opportunities for snapping the ultimate travel selfie at the show without setting foot at the airport.
 
3. Travel apparel
If you travel as often as I do, you become an expert at how to pack light. With 18 tech-ready pockets, I’m a fan of the Scottevest for my equestrian travel. A new find for me this year was Clothing Arts and their Pick Pocket Proof Pants. Founded by Adam Rapp, the clothing company offers more items for men than women, but he’s working on introducing clothing beyond the women’s travel pants. Stay tuned.
 

"Safari Endeavour" Alaska

Safari Endeavour for the noncruiser. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

4. Crusing
Alaska cruises are still on the hot list for 2015, but have you considered a cruise in Costa Rica, Panama or the Galapagos? Closer to home, UnCruise Adventures offers “edutainment” cruises with crew dressed in period costume on the Columbia and Snake River.
 
5. Exploring California
Living in California, we don’t have to travel far to experience something new. This year I look forward to exploring Amador, Calaveras and El Dorado counties, in addition to a stay at The Heritage House in Mendocino county. Where will your travels take you?
 

Korea tourism, travel & adventure show

Meeting new friends from Korea.

 

Insider Tip:

travel channel, San Francisco travel showTravel & Adventure Show app
The Travel & Adventure Show offers a free downloadable app. TAS Trip Finder features a schedule of events, floor plan, exhibitor list, social news and all the information a person needs to keep organized during the show.

If You Go:
Travel & Adventure Show http://www.travelshows.com/sanfrancisco
Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054

Lonely Planet Debuts New Kids Book Series

Wednesday February 4, 2015 at 9:09 PM | 0 Comments

Parker discovering Martian volcanoes.

Parker discovering Martian volcanoes.

Lonely Planet is renowned for their travel guides, cool website, and mobile apps, but did you know that they now offer a series of children’s books?

LP approached us here at What a Trip and offered to send us a couple of books from their new series, Lonely Planet Kids to review. There are five titles in the series—Amazing World Atlas, How to be a Space Explorer, Adventures in Busy Places, Adventures in Cold Places and Adventures in Wild Places. We chose The Amazing World Atlas and How to Be a Space Explorer by Mark Brake.

I was immediately taken by the look and quality of the books. Both are beautifully-designed hardcovers with thick glossy pages, packed with illustrations, infographics, photos, facts, and local lore.

Parker, my ten-year-old daughter curled up with How to Be a Space Explorer and told me it was “super interesting” and she liked the fact that “facts were weaved into a story.” Among the tidbits she learned was that there are two types of fuel in rockets—solid and liquid—and many different types of robots that have gone to the moon and Mars.

My son Roman is seven and we read through The Amazing World Atlas over several bedtime sessions. He especially liked the little sidebars throughout—faves included an illustrated comparison between the biggest dinosaur ever known to exist that was discovered in Patagonia and a Boeing 737. The were roughly the same size in case you wondered. We also had fun with the quizzes sprinkled throughout.

I must say I learned lots too—random odd facts like the Danes eat more than 100 million hot dogs per year and that the Aral Sea, the fourth-biggest lake in the world vanished and is now a polluted desert.

Both books have a jaunty, approachable writing style with humor and engaging information. But I found the Atlas to be confusing, even with an intro that purports to explain how to use the book. I also disagreed with some of the choices for Top 10s and famous folks from different countries. I mean Americans Neil Armstrong, Sitting Bull and Mark Twain, yes. But Avril Lavigne and Jennifer Lawrence, not so much.

Roman learning about archipelagos in Southeast Asia.

Roman learning about archipelagos in Southeast Asia.

Insider Tip

With the Amazing World Atlas app kids can interact with maps, discover fun facts and test their geography knowledge. It is available in the App Store or on Google Play for $2.99 for ages 9 to 11.

Now that’s a good use for the iPad.

This post was contributed by Lisa Dion. I received complementary books from Lonely Planet for review.

 

Skin Cancer Prevention Basal Cell Carcinoma

Wednesday January 28, 2015 at 6:06 AM | 8 Comments

As I left my deep water aerobics class and stepped into my car, I quickly scrolled through my phone messages. Two missed calls from my dermatologist office with no messages left. I was waiting to hear my biopsy results from a skin sample removed the week prior. “No news is good news,” said my dermatologist when I left his office on Christmas Eve. We’ll call you if there is a problem.”
 

synchronized swimming, swimming, skin cancer

Unprotected sun exposure leads to skin cancer. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Skin cancer

My heart skipped a beat as I called the doctor’s office knowing this was not good news. Sure enough, the receptionist told me that my biopsy came back positive for basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer. Fortunately, they do not spread and are almost always a local growth on the skin. Treated with local surgery, in my case a 50 minute in-office procedure, they have a very high cure rate.

There are several types of basal cell carcinoma; the superficial type that appears as a red, scaly patch, the nodular type that appears as a pearly growth, the pigmented basal cell carcinoma and the aggressive morpheic basal cell carcinoma. Squamous Cell Carcinomas are less common but have the potential to spread beyond the local area. Please refer to a medical doctor for proper diagnosis.
 

 

Originally, I thought the blemish by my jawbone on the right side of my cheek might be acne. My husband thought that, as well. I showed it to my primary care physician who instructed me to see my dermatologist if it didn’t disappear in 30 days. Busy with travel assignments, I disregarded her instructions and waited until Christmas Eve, eight months later, before going in for my yearly mole check.
 

basal cell carcinoma, skin cancer, skin cancer prevention

Basal Cell Carcinoma pre and post surgery.


 

Sun safety tips to prevent skin cancer

Back in June of 2008, I wrote a blog post about “Top 10 Sun Safety Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer.” The three main factors in the development of skin cancer are how much unprotected sun exposure you have had, your skin type and your age.

As a Northern California native with Norwegian heritage, I have three strikes against me. In my youth I routinely subjected my fair skin to unprotected sun exposure through swimming, horseback riding and my general preference to live outdoors and now, as as active adventure baby boomer, my age is working against me.

What have I learned from my skin cancer diagnosis? Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, lip balm with strong SPF, a broad brimmed sun hat, clothing with UPF protection and UV-blocking lenses in your sunglasses.

Do you have experience with basal cell carcinoma or Squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer? What are your tips on how to prevent skin cancer?
 
Article written by and photos courtesy of fair-skinned travel writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California.