Movie Review: Next Year Jerusalem

Friday March 28, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 12 Comments

masada, next year jerusalemEvery year, many people travel to Jerusalem in search of their religious roots, or perhaps to have a better connection with Israel as a country. Typically, the average age of these tourists is not 91 years old. Yet this is not a typical trip to Jerusalem and these travelers are not your typical tourists.

The movie “Next Year Jerusalem” takes us on a soul-searching journey with eight nursing home residents from the Jewish Home for the Elderly located in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Boomer Travel

Baby boomer travelers make up a large percentage of active and luxury travelers looking to see as much of the world before they depart to greener pastures.

The senior citizen traveler is an age group I am familiar with. As a baby boomer myself, I traveled with my elderly mother to Bilbao, Spain in 2007 to visit the Gugghenheim Museum. This particular museum was on my mom’s bucket list and she wanted to see it and explore its treasures inside and out before she kicked the bucket, shall we say.

Senior Travel

While I love that President and CEO Andrew Banoff of the Jewish Home for the Elderly is willing to oversee and ultimately accompany the senior citizens on their trip to Jerusalem, I can’t imagine the logistics involved in transporting eight senior travelers and their care givers, via airplane, bus and wheelchair, from Fairfield, Connecticut to Israel. From floating in the Dead Sea to to visiting the Massada in Israel this movie gives us a chance to experience travel from a senior tourist’s perspective. What a trip!

Travel and memory

With the promise of one last travel adventure, these eight senior citizens of the Jewish Home for the Elderly want to pack in as many experiences and travel memories as possible. Says one of the travelers, “better take it all in. Who knows when we’re coming back again.”

“I’m going to journal everyday,” remarks one of the senior travelers. “Because I don’t want to forget!”

“I am very lonely,” says Regine Arouette, 87. “I love the idea of the trip.”

“Every photograph means something” says Bill Wein, 97. “It’s something you remember for the rest of your life.”

nextyearjerusalem, movie review

Next Year Jerusalem

After the 10 day pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the tourists return to Connecticut and their daily lives in a senior citizen facility. The 72 minute documentary, Next Year Jerusalem, directed and produced by David Gaynes, is not really a travel movie as much as it is a metaphor for the journey, triumphs and struggles of life in our twilight years.

Have you traveled with a senior citizen? Do you have tips for traveling with seniors? Share your experiences below.

Where to See: Next Year Jerusalem

Movie review by Nancy D. Brown. First Run Features supplied me with the Next Year Jerusalem DVD for review purposes, as well as photos. All opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Don’t Cook the Planet by Emily Abrams

Tuesday March 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM | 0 Comments

The exterior of Alice Waters' Chez Panisse, considered the birthplace of California cuisine.

The exterior of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, considered the birthplace of California cuisine.

Last week I had the pleasure of representing What a Trip at a special event at Chez Panisse, hosted by Alice Waters and a young eco-activist/author named Emily Abrams.

The occasion was the book release of Don’t Cook the Planet by 19-year-old Abrams. Waters contributed to this beautiful volume of recipes, photographs, and snippets of wisdom from world-renowned chefs, activists and luminaries including Michael Pollan, Tom Colicchio, Robert Redford, and Paul Simon.

The menu was no frills — a simple though perfectly dressed salad of greens and thin-crust pizza topped with more greens and Parmesan.

Alice, who contributed her (you guessed it, simple) garlic vinaigrette recipe to the book, spoke a few words and graciously posed for numerous selfies with guests. The murmurs around my table were that Abrams’ parents paid for both the event and Waters’ participation in the project. Who knows? And really, who cares? Abrams is a delightful young high school senior and 100% of the proceeds from her book’s sale will be donated to non-profits committed to sustainable efforts.

The gist of the book is that small, conscious choices — like drinking tap water, shopping for local produce at farmers’ markets, and composting among other things — can impact climate control which Abrams considers her generation’s “defining issue.”

The colorful volume (with extraordinary food photography) is peppered with tips for finding easy ways to turn our culinary choices into environmental actions.

Alice Waters and guests at the pizza party for 'Don't Cook the Planet'

Alice Waters and guests at the pizza party for ‘Don’t Cook the Planet’

With a forward written by the still incredibly handsome Robert Kennedy Jr., Don’t Cook the Planet features a collection of more than 70 recipes from Richard Branson’s Spring shepard’s pie and Rahm Emmanuel’s homemade challah to Chevy Chase’s veggie chili and Ethel Kennedy’s Deviled Eggs.

Many of the recipes look straightforward and simple enough. In fact, this book could spur me on to get into the kitchen and fire up some quinoa cakes, beef risotto, or an apple pandowdy.

We’ll see…

Contributed by Lisa Dion of Friscomama.com. Photos by Lisa Dion

pizza

 

American Airlines Airplanes Fly California to NY

Friday March 21, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 0 Comments

American Airlines, airbus, airplane

American Airlines A321 Airbus in San Francisco

In 1953 American Airlines was one of the leaders in transcontinental airline service flying from Idlewild, New York to Los Angeles, California. Remember the days when you dressed up to board an airplane and lobster was on the menu in coach? American Airlines airplanes fly California to New York, non-stop, in an attempt to bring back the golden age of flying.

I had a chance to tour American Airlines new Airbus A321 Transcontinental aircraft, currently flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport (formerly Idlewild Airport) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). From lie-flat seats to W-Fi through the airplane, the golden age of flying is returning to California and New York.
 


 

Luxury inflight travel

With the majority of in-flight travelers opting to carry on luggage rather than check baggage, I appreciate American Airlines large overhead luggage bins on the A321 airplane. While the airline will ask passengers to check their surfboard and golf clubs at the oversize luggage counter, the luggage bins on the new Airbus A321 are certainly roomy. As a vertically-challenged passenger (a.k.a. short) I love the added step rail, as well as the grab bars. No more stepping on airline seats to reach the overhead luggage bins.
 

lie-flat seats, "American Airlines"

American Airlines fully lie-flat seats

American Airlines inflight entertainment

Travelers hoping to pass the time while they fly will appreciate the in-flight entertainment system available in each seat; from coach to business and first class. Seats offer individual power ports and USB ports, as well as a cable for streaming video. Kids will like the tv, games, audio and movies available on board the airplane. For the road warriors, American offers Gogo’s upgraded air-to-ground technology (ATG-4) Wi-Fi throughout the airplane.
 

Flying first class

As a freelance writer on a bare bones budget, I don’t have the luxury of flying one particular airline. My airline selection is based strictly on price. Rarely do I fly business or first class. But if I were to fly business or first class, I’d want to travel on American Airlines A321. The lie-flat seats are comfortable and private – first class passengers have an aisle to themselves – a pod of their own, if you will.
 

"Nancy Brown" airplane

Travel writer Nancy D. Brown in front of A321 Airbus engine

Dining first and business class has its own privileges. First class and business class customers traveling on the A321 have the ability to reserve an entree in advance of their flight.
 
“With our dining experience, you can tailor your own meal service,” explains American Airlines flight attendant Jeff Ramsden.
 

Insider Tip

Did you know that American Airlines serves ice cream sundaes to their first class flyers? For the caffeine lovers on board, the A321T has its own cappuccino and espresso machine in first class.
 
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @AmericanAir on Twitter.

If You Go:

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Article, video and photos by airplane geek Nancy D. Brown