Archive for ‘North America’

Newport, Rhode Island: The sailor’s mecca isn’t just for the rich and famous but it certainly looks the part

Marina and I finished our nine-day New England trip with a visit to some friends who are living that dream. Gretchen and Peter Bloom have lived in Newport off and on since 1988. I met them in Rome where they lived for 17 years and escaped every sweltering summer to Newport. They haven’t changed their routine since moving from Rome to Washington two years ago.
She’s retired from the World Food Program and Peter, a native of Providence, R.I., 40 miles up the road, is retired from USAID. Between the two, they’ve been to 123 countries, including 40 in Africa. They lived in Sri Lanka. Yet there is no place in the world — not Rome, not London, not the beaches of Thailand — they’d rather be than Newport.
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Maine’s Decadent Coast: Art, seafood and witches brew up an inviting corner of America

My girlfriend, Marina, had visited the U.S. four times but never New England; I’d never been to small towns on the Maine Coast. With Norwegian Airlines’ bargain-basement 500-euro round trip ticket from Rome to Providence, R.I., (an unheard of price from Rome in August), it was a tailor-made for her August break.
We started in Portland, Maine’s major city, where we met my good friend, Hal, a fellow refugee from the Las Vegas Review-Journal in the ‘80s.
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Cleaning day: Clearing my past in Denver clears my future in Rome

The purpose of the trip was to downsize. Since moving to Rome in January 2014, Public Storage twice jacked up my rent from $100 a month to the larcenous price of $158. Emptying it will save me nearly $2,000 a year. Hell, that’s almost as much as I spend on wine. Besides, I will not pay $158 a month for furniture I’ll never sit on again and clothes I’ll never wear again. What good are college sweatshirts in Rome? I look so American I could have hopped off a Chevrolet commercial. If I walk around in a USC sweatshirt, ’ll look like I hopped off an American Express bus.
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Playa del Carmen’s erotic Reina Roja Hotel “awakens your senses” among other body parts

I had a travel experience that will never make “Lonely Planet” or the Los Angeles Times. Penthouse? Almost. That’s why I’m writing this here. The famous literary magazine (Hey, it does have fine writing, too!) loved the tale I told of a trip I took to a hotel that specialized in erotica. You’ve heard of hotels that cater to families and pets and football fans. Welcome to Playa del Carmen where the Reina Roja Hotel caters to sexual deviants. Sadomasochism. Pool-side sex. Lighting out of a brothel. The Reina Roja, while also functioning as a regular hotel, invites anyone to explore their sexual fantasies — or find fantasies you never knew existed or never thought were legal outside Nevada.
(To read more, click here.)