Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Do you love to travel and learn with others who share your interests?

Discover Road Scholar’s over 5,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries with ardent travelers and speakers Larry & Jill Fine. You will have your last two chances to meet these experts on :

Wednesday, August 27 @ 1:30 p.m.
Fremont Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd (510) 745-1401 or

Wednesday, September 10 @ 1:30 p.m.
Union City Library
34007 Alvarado-Niles Rd
(510) 745-1464

In 2015 Road Scholar will celebrate 40 years. Their mission: To inspire adults to learn discover and travel. Their learning adventures “engage expert instructors, provide extraordinary access, and stimulate discourse and friendship among people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime.”

You could be here! The photos below show a Road Scholar group on a canopy walk in Costa Rica during the “Rim to Shore: Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure and the celebrated Grand Canyon in Arizona with participants on a premier backpacking adventure. (Photos courtesy of Road Scholar.)

Canopy walk RSGrand Canyon RS

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The year is alImagemost complete – time to be especially grateful for this wonderful and scenic world. It’s time to consider a trip.

Will you walk the Camino de Santiago?

Or, will you marvel at the architecture of Angkor Wat, all 40 square miles?

Or, will you relax at the Ananda Spa, overlooking the Ganges River?

Or, will you visit Machu Picchu at sunrise?

And there’s so much more to consider – China, Africa, or Australia, to name a few more splendid destinations. For ideas, you could check out 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, a guidebook or a DVD available now at the library. Containing one or two page descriptions, this guidebook is a traveler’s life list. As its opening quote says: “Better to see something once that to hear about it a thousand times.” (Asian Proverb)

Where will you go in 2014? I’m planning my trip now.

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Staying around the Bay Area this holiday week? Looking for something to do with kids that doesn’t involve shopping on Friday morning? Why not take a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium?

The aquarium is located in beautiful Monterey, CA on historic Cannery Row. The street itself has many fun shops and restaurants, as well as beach access (if you are brave enough to sit in the cold!) The Monterey Bay Aquarium offers plenty of activities for everyone in the family. You can watch daily animal feedings, watch live presentations with some of the animals, visit the tidepools and touch some of the wildlife and more.

My favorite exhibit for many years has been the jellyfish exhibit. I love sitting and watching the jellies float through the water (and their colors are just amazing!)

The new exhibit at the aquarium is amazing as well – The Secret Lives of Seahorses. The variety of seahorses and sea dragons is amazing in and of itself, and watching the creatures move about their tanks is fascinating.

So even though it is a bit of a drive down to Monterey, it is well worth the trip. The aquarium is still one of my favorite places to visit, and if you still want to get in a little holiday shopping, the stores on Cannery Row are sure to have something you’ll enjoy.  

  (All photos taken by Mary Ayers).

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All over the world, all year long, there is fun! Think New Year’s, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Day of the Dead, the winter solstice and many, many more. Some are internationally famous; others are local or personal.

In April, years ago, during my college junior year abroad, I was inSevilla,Spain, for Semana Santa, a spectacular holy week festival. I still remember the expectant silence while standing amidst many celebrants. We were waiting for the neighborhood cofradía to bring out its statue of the Virgin Mary at midnight. Then, there was ecstatic celebration – in fact the whole week is one of celebration.

 This month’s book display features fun, food and festivals; it’s how we celebrate life. We cook special foods — for this reason we have titles about Thanksgiving turkey, Indian festival food, Asian special foods, Christmas cookies and more.

There are two guides to festivals included: The Rough Guide to the World’s Best Festivals (910.20204 World) available in the display and the globetrekker DVD “Great Festivals 2.” And you could also visit the Rough Guide or the Globe Trekker websites to plan your next trip.

And there are even fiction titles. Enjoy!

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Traveling Librarian Part 2

At the beginning of this month, I traveled to Seattle, WA with my fiance. I had not been to Seattle in many years (think almost 20 years) and was interested in heading back for a much overdue visit. There were a few things that made the list of must see places before we left the Bay Area.


*See a baseball game at Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners) (http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=sea)


*Visit the Museum of Flight (http://www.museumofflight.org/)


*Go up to the top of the Space Needle and take photographs (http://www.spaceneedle.com/)




*Go to the Pacific Science Center (once I heard they had a butterfly house, I was sold) (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/)

*Stop in to visit Pike’s Place Market (http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/)

*Have lots of coffee and cupcakes (which of course, was not actually on the list, but I had to throw that in there because if you visit Seattle, you must try some coffee)

I am happy to report we managed to do all of these things, plus a visit to Discovery Park, many wonderful meals, and even a little window shopping downtown. The weather was typical of Seattle, raining three of five days and sunny the next two. Puget Sound was absolutely beautiful during this time of year, surrounded in the distance by snow-capped mountains and the Seattle skyline.

If you are thinking of traveling to Seattle, I would recommend not renting a car. Traffic in the city seemed to be much like traffic in the Bay Area, and the public transportation in Seattle served us just fine. Plan for a few extras dollars for food as well. There are quite a few upscale restaurants in Seattle, and even the relatively inexpensive restaurants/diners are likely to catch you by surprise if you are not prepared, as most of the places we visited charged for each and every drink you ordered. No free refills like most restaurants here in the Bay Area, even if you ordered juice for breakfast or a soda at lunch.

My favorite place we visited was the Pacific Science Museum. I loved the butterfly house (although it was about 90 degrees inside with about 90% humidity). There were so many beautiful butterflies that I was willing to put up with the sweat, just for the chance to marvel and take more photographs. (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/exhibits/tropical-butterfly-house)

If you asked my fiance, his favorite place we visited in Seattle would be the Museum of Flight. He loves all things air and space related, and we have been to a great many museums on our trips. This museum is quite a distance from downtown, although there is a bus that will take you to the museum from downtown. The museum is divided into two parts – the indoor exhibits about flight and space, and an outdoor “garden” of planes that you can actually walk through and take mini tours. 

If you’re interested in Seattle, check out one of the many books in the library’s coolection:





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Traveling Librarian Part 1

During the spring of this year, I took a short trip up to Portland, OR. I love the atmosphere in Portland, especially the artsy feeling to many areas of the city.

My favorite art store is in Portland: Collage http://www.collagepdx.blogspot.com/. I make sure that I go by the store at least once on each trip to Portland. I am not an artist in the traditional sense, but I scrapbook and I have always loved art supplies. Collage carries so many different things, I always have to remind myself that I have to fit my clothes back in my suitcase too.  

And no visit to Portland would be complete without a trip to Powell’s Books  (http://www.powells.com/). Although again, if yo uare a book lover, make sure you leave some room in your luggage for your purchases. You may be tempted to buy more than you can carry home.   

The Multnomah County Library Central Branch is located in Portland on S.W. 10th Avenue. It is a beautiful brick building and very heavily used. The children’s area is also lovely, with a storytime room, artwork and rows upon rows of books. (http://www.multcolib.org/agcy/cen.html)

Then there would be the cofeehouses and cafes throughout Portland. More than you could ever possibly visit in one trip. Stumptown might be the most well known, but I also enjoyed Caffe Vita. Voodoo Doughnuts (http://voodoodoughnut.com/index.php) is also a well-recognized name in the Portland area, serving donut concoctions such as Captain Cruch covered donughnuts, bacon and maple bars and the namesake doughnut, a voodoo doll shaped donut. Always a fun place to stop in (and they are open late!)

We do own a few books about Portland, OR if you are planning a trip, or just curious to know more about the city:



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Bay Area wanderings

I recently took a day trip to the coast, where we stopped in Half Moon Bay for an afternoon. It’s a beautiful place to see the ocean and the California coastline, although admittedly, the water is never warm. There are many beaches along the coast, as well as a few hiking trails. If you love water sports, there are plenty to be found in the Half Moon Bay area. There are windsurfers galore, parasurfers out taking advantage of the strong gusts, and surfers catching waves as the tide comes in.

If you like microbreweries, Half Moon Bay has it’s own, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company (http://www.hmbbrewingco.com/). The restaurant has a very lovely patio out front with heaters and a fire pit for the cooler evenings. Our favorite restaurant, however, now resides in downtown Half Moon Bay, on Main Street. It’s Italia (http://www.itsitaliarestaurant.com/) has long been a favorite restaurant, with delicious pastas and the best pizza I’ve ever had. We have taken quite a few trips out to Half Moon Bay, just to have dinner at this restaurant. If you are looking for a night out, I would highly recommend taking a trip over to the coast. There are many small stores along Main Street, including a book store, art gallery and a couple of local bakeries.

If you are interested in visiting Half Moon Bay or other locations here in Northern California, check out one of our many travel books. Here are just a few suggestions:

Half Moon Bay memories : the coastside’s colorful past / by June Morrall El Granada, Calif. : Moonbeam Press, c1978


Fodor’s 2011 Northern California New York : Fodors Travel Publications, c2011


Weekend adventures in San Francisco & northern California by Carole Terwilliger Meyers Berkeley, Calif. : Carousel Press, c2009


(photos by Mary Ayers)


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That’s what they would say in London.  Do you plan to take a trip this summer?  Don’t know yet where to go, what to do?  Search your library’s collection of travel books and DVDs for ideas now or you may end up on the waiting list for the material.  Browse  travel guides and whet your appetite for new places and adventure.

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