Destination: Washington

On Coastal Time

On Coastal Time Kalaloch Beach. (UJ Sommer)

Years pass. Life changes. But for Pam Mandel, one thing stays the same: her love for the Olympic Peninsula.

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Our Own Apocalypse Now

Our Own Apocalypse Now Photo by Two Roses via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From a football stadium in Seattle to a sweaty nightclub in Saigon, Haley Sweetland Edwards wrestles with the f*cked up magic of war

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A Detour to Seattle

Over at Gadling, World Hum contributor Andrew Evans has a sad, thoughtful piece about a last-minute trip to Seattle to attend a funeral. It’s worth reading in full, but here’s a favorite sequence:

The day after the funeral, the friend I was crashing with whipped out a yellow legal pad and began making a list of things to see and do in Seattle. Mostly, he suggested I do a lot [of] eating. We made plans to meet up for lunch at a popular Russian café; my friend slipped me the address as we walked downtown. I had no map and no idea how I would find him.

“Just remember,” he panted, “Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest.” He ran all the words together as one and it didn’t make any sense at all.


“It’s a way to remember the streets: Jesus is for Jefferson/James. Christ—Cherry and Columbia. Made—Marion/Madison . . . and so on, you’ll see. It’s easy—just follow the streets in that order. Be at Cherry and Third at one o’clock.”

“Jesus! Christ! Made! Seattle! Under! Protest!” he shouted out each word as he spun around the corner and marched uphill. Every street in Seattle goes up or down.

King of the Road: Five Great Elvis Travel Movies

Eva Holland and Eli Ellison go traveling with The King on his 75th birthday.

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Finding Hawaii on the Mainland

Aloha Tavern by Nerd’s Eye View

I’m not sure why I’m surprised when, on the mainland in the middle of rural territory, I find a town named “Aloha,” or when a festival in Seattle brings thousands of Hawaiians out to listen to traditional music and see hula. The Hawaiian diaspora is extensive—hey, it reaches all the way to the White House these days.

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Hanalei Is America’s Best Beach: Really?

Hanalei Is America’s Best Beach: Really? Photo by Fire Horse Leo via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Fire Horse Leo via Flickr (Creative Commons)

OK, it’s a beautiful crescent of golden sand. It’s wide and clean and almost aggressively picturesque. There’s no denying that it’s an archetype of what a perfect beach should be. And it was recently selected as the “Number One Beach in the US” by Dr. Beach, a self-declared beach expert. He seems to have gained quite the cred; my Google alerts are crowded with mentions of Hanalei Beach’s new “honor.”

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Interview With James Wallace: Reflections From an Aerospace Reporter

Interview With James Wallace: Reflections From an Aerospace Reporter Photo courtesy of James Wallace.
Photo courtesy of James Wallace.

Award-winning reporter James Wallace covered aerospace for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for more than 12 years. He worked for a total of 27 years at the paper, which recently stopped printing and transitioned to an online-only version with a comparatively tiny reporting staff. When that happened, Wallace’s job disappeared.

Wallace, who wrote a goodbye blog entry, is the author of two books, “Hard Drive” and “Overdrive,” both about Microsoft. 

I caught up with him over the phone to hear about his years on the aviation beat.

World Hum: You covered aerospace for 12 years. How have you seen commercial air travel change during that time?

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More Good News for Eco-Roadtrippers: The ‘Green Freeway’

More Good News for Eco-Roadtrippers: The ‘Green Freeway’ Photo by Jason McHuff via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The governors of Washington, Oregon and California could start work as early as this summer on installing several alternative fueling stations on a highway stretching along the Pacific Coast, according to news reports.

If local and federal leaders agree to the plan, the states would allow only new businesses that have clean-fuel options and battery swap-out docks to operate as rest stops. These new businesses would not have to pay rent until they start making a profit. The states are hoping to pay for the venture with some of the $15 billion in energy-related stimulus money.

If this all works out, motorists with electric cars will be able to charge or swap out their vehicles’ batteries while those with cars running on biodiesel, ethanol or compressed natural gas can fill up at the pump.

Best Cities to Drink Coffee

coffee cafe REUTERS

Terry Ward takes a look at seven of the best cities in the world to sit and sip

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Morning Links: The Cuba Travel Showdown, Pirates and More

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What We Loved This Week: Food Tours, Traveling Through the Harper’s Index and More

What We Loved This Week: Food Tours, Traveling Through the Harper’s Index and More Bakhat Singh in the Moonlight

Our contributors share a favorite travel-related experience from the past seven days.

Michael Yessis
The searchable Harper’s Index. The magazine has been delivering pithy factual tidbits since 1984, and now you can search through all of them online by topic. Here are the 90 matches in my search for items about travel. One of my favorites comes from 1990: “Amount the U.S. Air Force spent this year to study the effects of jet noise on pregnant horses: $100,000.”

Joanna Kakissis
I’ve always wanted to host my own YouTube cooking show, because doesn’t the whole world really want to see me make my secret baklava recipe to the beat of “Chains of Love” by Erasure? But I doubt my show would ever be as awesome as the sensational “Cooking With Clara,” which features Great Depression-era recipes by 93-year-old Sicilian-American Clara Cannucciari.

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Kid From Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ Cover: ‘I Wanna Travel’

Spencer Elden, who is now 17, is “so over” high school he’s ready to hit the road. You go, Spencer. Oh, and happy birthday, Nevermind.

The album was released 17 years ago today. To celebrate, a Nirvana performance in France of “Drain You”:

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Promised Land Closed

And other odd and unlikely signs from around the world. Aficionado Doug Lansky, editor of the book "Signspotting," recounts his 10 favorites.

See the full audio slideshow: »

No. 19: “Hunting Mister Heartbreak” by Jonathan Raban

To mark our five-year anniversary, we’re counting down the top 30 travel books of all time, adding a new title each day this month.
Published: 1990
Territory covered: The United States
Like a modern-day Alexis de Tocqueville, Jonathan Raban has traveled the length and breadth of the United States, observing Americans with the keen eye of a foreigner. His book Hunting Mister Heartbreak traverses the pathways of American immigration from late 19th-century Ellis Island to late 20th-century Seattle. In the book, Raban fully inhabits each place he visits, even borrowing an old black labrador named Gypsy in Alabama to feel more at home among the locals. He investigates whether a foreigner can truly become an American. In the end Raban realizes that one can adopt American ways but can never become completely American. And he seems quite relieved about that.

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