Destination: Florida

More Postcard Stories from Geist Magazine

Once again, Geist has announced the winners of the annual Literal Literary Postcard Contest—in which writers submit very short stories inspired by vintage postcards. First prize went to Mark Paterson’s Spring Training, a compact piece about a boy not traveling to Florida for pre-season baseball every year.


Visit America Pageant

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine

Goodbye to my Mickey Mouse, Wayne Allwine Photo by dawnzy58 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by dawnzy58 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

For so many, the first true travel excitement comes compliments of Mickey Mouse and co.

A few years ago, I talked to my nieces on the phone just before their first trip to Disney World. The little one, just shy of four, didn’t usually have much patience for phone conversations. That day, she just kept talking and talking, offering excited (and rather detailed) explanations of all the things she wanted to see. Both girls were delighted when I told them about my own visits to Disney World as a kid. We all got kind of giddy thinking that, just maybe, there was some slight chance they would end up riding in the same It’s a Small World boat I sat in 30+ years ago.

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For the Love of Minor League Baseball

For the Love of Minor League Baseball Photo by willowbrookhotels via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kane County Cougars. Photo by willowbrookhotels via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Albuquerque Isotopes. The Clearwater Threshers. The Dayton Dragons.

Ah, minor league baseball. The team names alone are joy. The experience? That much better. While I’ve always found it a bit ho-hum to attend a major league game for a team that wasn’t my hometown favorite, minor league games feel more neutral.

They’re about hanging out eating stuff you shouldn’t eat on a (hopefully) beautiful spring or summer night and (hopefully) getting to see a little magic when some not-so-known player smacks one out or looks like he has the potential to pitch a perfect game. They’re about relaxing. And just kind of being in a place with, mostly, the people who live there.

Minor league games feel out of time. They feel hopeful.

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My Worst Hotel Rooms

My Worst Hotel Rooms Photo by Pear Biter via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Pear Biter via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Lists are in the air lately, so I decided to get in on the action. Herewith, my four worst hotel rooms, lifetime. I won’t name names, because I’m a gentleman. And also, because the parties in question might hunt me down and throw tiny bottles of shampoo at me.

Singapore: I was at the edge of Singapore’s Chinatown, which, as it turns out, is also the edge of Singapore’s red light district. Not that I caught on—I thought all the scantily-clad women peering out from cracked front doors were zealous about saving the environment and keeping that AC indoors. My hotel room here was easily the darkest I’ve ever stayed in: a deep red and purple color scheme lit by one dirty window overlooking an airshaft. The only outlet was in the middle of the wall above the bed. 

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Eight Great Stories of Beaches, Islands, Travel and the Tropics

Eight Great Stories of Beaches, Islands, Travel and the Tropics Photo by Oscalito via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

To mark our eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that celebrate and explore travel at land's end

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Eight Great Travel Stories About Food

Eight Great Travel Stories About Food iStockphoto

To mark World Hum's eighth anniversary, we've collected eight favorite stories from our archives that explore the sweet spot where taste meets travel

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A Solar-Powered City to Debut in Florida

A Solar-Powered City to Debut in Florida Photo by albertheaps via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Photo by albertheaps via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Hey, if the United Arab Emirates can build a giant eco-city in the desert, then sunny Florida should do just fine with a solar-powered town near Fort Myers, in the southwestern portion of the state.

Reuters reports that the developers of the planned $2 billion Babcock Ranch—an environmentally friendly city of 19,500 houses and some six million square feet of space including retail and offices—say it will run on what they bill as the world’s largest photovoltaic solar plant.

Let’s just hope the Sunshine State’s sun city isn’t underwater by the end of the century.


Travel Writing: Not Exactly a Racket

Iveta Benesova at the Sony Ericsson Open REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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A Day at Cruise World

A Day at Cruise World Photo by Tom Swick

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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From ‘CSI’ to ‘Castle’: Traveling the World, One Crime Show at a Time

From ‘CSI’ to ‘Castle’: Traveling the World, One Crime Show at a Time Photo by aturkus via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by aturkus via Flickr (Creative Commons)

We’ve written before about crime novels being a prime source for vivid place-based writing. But how about traveling vicariously through the now-ubiquitous crime show? I’d argue that television travel can be just as effective and enjoyable.

Of course, a forty-four minute episode doesn’t allow for the same richness and depth of detail as you’d find in a book, but you can pack a lot of local color—both sights and sounds—into even the briefest street scene. Think of the all-powerful CSI franchise: from the juicy opening shots of the Las Vegas strip or the Manhattan skyline—sorry Miami, I just can’t handle Horatio—to the plot lines often derived from existing local traditions, quirks or trends (think the original CSI’s frequent tributes to Vegas’ wild mob-ruled past), each of the shows is deeply rooted in its host city. And while the main story lines are certainly glitzed up and sensationalized (not to mention acted out by improbably attractive law enforcement officers), you can still pick up a lot of legit local detail from them: I first heard of narcocorridos in a CSI episode about the Mexican community in Las Vegas, and saw handball played for the first time in an episode of CSI: NY—now, walking around Queens during my stay here, I see the game being played daily.

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Morning Links: Best Job in the World Finalists, ‘Narco-Tours’ and More

Got a suggestion? .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) your link.


What Not to do When Late for a Flight

The best thing not to do, when it’s clear you’ve missed your flight, is to pretend to be an air marshal.


Global Warming Tourism: The Rising Sea Level Slideshow!

Global Warming Tourism: The Rising Sea Level Slideshow! Photo by mrlin via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Florida’s Key West as well as the Maldives, Tuvalu and the islands of Pate and Ndau in the Lamu Archipelago off the Northern coast of Kenya are among eight places that rising sea levels due to climate change will soon make uninhabitable, according to a provocative slideshow at Treehugger.

I hope this doesn’t start a trend in “climate-change cruises.”


Tweet Revenge: The Tale of Gary Vaynerchuk and the Mondrian

Tweet Revenge: The Tale of Gary Vaynerchuk and the Mondrian South Beach at Night by wyntuition via Flickr (Creative Commons)
South Beach at Night by wyntuition via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Is there no quadrant of the web untouched by internet impresario Gary Vaynerchuk? In a video posted to his site on Wednesday, Vaynerchuk (host of Wine Library TV and a new media keynote guru, for those of you who haven’t heard of him) told a cautionary tale about the Mondrian in South Beach. In short: Gary Vee went to the hotel’s bar expecting to party—because the Mondrian has a party rep—and the house turned on the lights around 1:30 a.m., booting Gary (and friends) upstairs to their rooms. Normally, the tale would end there, but Gary’s pal tweeted the event, and someone immediately responded that they were not going to stay at the Mondrian after hearing the tale of woe. The power of Web 2.0! Right?

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