ST. GEORGE, Utah Pick your pleasure: Scrambling up a steep ridge, 1,000 feet above a canyon floor? Or gliding in a golf cart down a manicured fairway, where a carpet of emerald green offers a striking contrast to the red-rock desert?
DUBLIN True or false? Irish whiskey is practically the same as scotch whisky.Did you answer true? Blarney! You lose. Their rich shades of amber are about the same, but in tradition and taste, the two couldn't be more different.
COUPEVILLE, Whidbey Island, Wash. -- While financial planner Beth Oliver spent a week here in a weaving workshop learning the difference between warp and weft, her husband, former Los Angeles Times photo director Larry Armstrong, spent sunny October days doing plein-air painting at scenic Ebey's Landing and Deception Pass.
SEATTLE Every summer I return to Sunrise. It's become my place of pilgrimage, a dazzling mountain panorama that gives me solace in bad times and joy in the good.
MOUNT RAINIER, Wash. It was cloudy and drizzling on other parts of Mount Rainier, but the world was all sunscreen and sunglasses from where I stood, on the east face of the mountain. Hikers were smearing on sunscreen, some sporting shorts. I was squinting.
LOPEZ ISLAND, Wash. -- One hates to define a place by its clichés, but sometimes there's truth to be found.
PINECREST After the summer visitors depart and before the snow starts to fall, workers hope to begin recreation improvements at Pinecrest Lake east of Sonora.
OAHU, Hawaii "I need alcohol!" exclaimed the bikini-clad young woman on a hot day in June as she splashed out of an artificial river after plunging down a water slide inside an artificial mountain at Aulani, Disney's new resort hotel in Hawaii.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Uninspired by modern art, Kurt Wenner set out to learn how European masters made architecture soar and figures float in ceiling frescoes.
Folks planning to hit the road for a vacation this summer finally got a break -- the price of gas is falling. But how far and for how long is, as always, anybody's guess. After weeks of rising gas prices, every metropolitan area in Northern California surveyed by AAA recorded a decline over the previous month.
CORONADO -- Like a Hollywood star, Coronado's 11/2 mile beach literally sparkles, thanks to the mineral mica glinting in its sand.
KITSAP PENINSULA - Fuel up on a breakfast of quiche made with local duck eggs.
SAN DIEGO -- Something kept postponing the annual family vacation. First it was work responsibilities, then family obligations, followed by the downward economic spiral.
NASHVILLE -- My college-sophomore son and I make an interesting pair. He'll listen to country music all day long and is teaching himself to pluck a tune or two on the guitar; I'll tolerate the music in limited doses, but if I never heard another country song again, I probably wouldn't miss it.
EK BALAM, Mexico -- The view from near the summit of The Tower is pure Yucatan. Even with humidity as heavy as a grandmother's afghan, it is breathtaking: low and level scrubland as far as the eye can see, though studded here and there by small, tree-covered mounds.
COLUMBIA -- With its rustic setting and historic buildings, downtown Columbia is a holiday hot spot in December. A chance to make your own candy cane makes the destination even more popular.
CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK, Ark. -- In one hand I carried a white plastic bucket strapped to a couple of wood-framed screens.