Saturday, May 27, 2017

Aloha Rx

May 1st, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate   Floating face up in the Watsu pool at the Kalani Ocean Retreat that is tucked into a remote corner of the Big Island in Hawaii, I drifted in a state of embryonic innocence. Sylvie, my provider, massaged my spine gently and rotated my limbs to release joint tension. This was the first of many experiences on my quest for an Aloha fix that would include traditional lomi-lomi massage; interviewing Kumu Dane Silva, a respected native Hawaiian healer; a swim in a hot pond used for centuries by the ancestors to cleanse body, mind, and spirit;... Read More

Whale Trail Stops on the Hwy 1 Discovery Route

April 1st, 2017
Orca

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate When Donna Sandstrom got involved with transporting Springer, a stranded orca in the Seattle harbor to his home waters in Vancouver, she didn’t know it would change her life. She became so engaged in the struggle of imperiled marine mammals she turned her energies to preserving them for future generations. She is the driving force behind the creation of the Whale Trail, that presently extends from Canada to California. It is her hope that identifying and marking the best places to spot the whales, dolphins and other marine life as they... Read More

Linda’s Conversation with Joseph Rosendo-Traveler Extraordinaire

March 2nd, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Travelscope, hosted by Joseph Rosendo, is a PBS television series boasting over 117 episodes that has won four Emmy Awards, and 38 Telly Awards. Introducing people to people, celebrating the cultures and wonders of the world and sharing authentic human experiences with viewers is Joseph’s primary goal. Recently I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Joseph in secluded Topanga Canyon, the artist enclave in Southern California that he calls home. Here’s how our discussion developed:  Was there a specific turning point in your life... Read More

Rock On, Morro Bay!

February 10th, 2017

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Every year, hundreds of birders flock to the sleepy fishing town of Morro Bay on California’s Central Coast to take part in the Audubon Birding Fest. The Pacific’s salt water mixed with the fresh water of streams flowing in the largest estuary on the west coast result in a nutrient-rich brew for thousands of birds. The charm of the rust-colored, reed-choked estuary is subtle, but upon closer inspection you will find its beauty undeniable. During the birding fest that takes place on Martin Luther King weekend, there are 140 different... Read More

Tale of Two Countries- Wilds of Zambia and Zimbabwe

October 20th, 2016

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Note: This is the last of  Linda’s series of three articles detailing the Ultimate Safari experience with Overseas Adventure Travel, aka OATS, in the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. She thanks photographer Tom Schwab for  the fantastic images accompanying her story are courtesy of Tom Schwab. The journey to Zambia on Overseas Adventure Travel’s Ultimate Safari began with a ferry crossing over the Zambezi River where the four corners of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana touch. Our bush camp in Zambia, with luxury... Read More

Going Solo on Safari

August 12th, 2016

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Note: This is a second in Linda’s series of three articles detailing the Ultimate Safari experience with Overseas Adventure Travel, aka OATS, in the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. She notes that the fantastic images accompanying her story are courtesy of Tom Schwab.  When I told friends I was going on the Ultimate Safari that would take me to Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, their first question was, “Are you going alone?” Well, yes, but not exactly. I told them that I would join a group of 14 other travelers upon... Read More

Botswana Highlights on the Ultimate Safari

June 28th, 2016

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Note: This is a first in a series of three articles detailing the Ultimate Safari experience with Overseas Adventure Travel, aka OATS, in the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. There is simply too much ground to cover in one article. It’s late May in Chobe National Park, Africa’s third largest wildlife preserve, and creatures great and small are fat and sassy. Tall golden grasses are plentiful. They are the favorite of the many herds of massive elephants and a host of antelope along with Cape buffalo, zebra, and more. The... Read More

Eyes on Africa

March 10th, 2016

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate I am thrilled to be taking the “Ultimate 17-day Safari” with Overseas Adventure Travel. It promises total immersion into the African culture and a close up and personal look at creatures large and small. We will travel  to conservation-minded Botswana; less-traveled Zimbabwe where I will partake of an elephant-back safari near Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world; and to Zambia for  incredible game viewing while canoeing the mighty Zambezi River. I have wanted to experience the Okavango Delta in Botswana since... Read More

Soak in the Serenity of St. Croix

October 7th, 2015

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate A single white sail drifts by where I lay on warm sand beneath a fringe of palm trees. Hotel guests on paddle boards and a family of locals floating like a raft of ducklings in translucent water share the unspoiled beach. St. Croix, the gentle virgin, as Cruzans call their sleepy isle, is off the grid for most tourists. Sitting on the horizon nearly 38 nautical miles way, bustling St. Thomas is bombarded with cruise ships three times a day, while St. Croix gets a visit about once a week! Sharon North Pohl, avid horsewoman and founder of... Read More

SLO’s Apple Farm Inn: A Sweet Spot on California’s Central Coast

July 11th, 2015

By Linda Ballou NABBW’s  Adventure Travel Associate Situated halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in sun-kissed San Luis Obispo is the Apple Farm Inn, a perfect place to shake off the road dust. The Inn is easily accessed off of Highway 101, and its steaming outdoor spa and cool pool are guaranteed to smooth out the kinks. Stroll the delightful gardens overlooked by a saw mill replete with a working water wheel reminiscent of days gone by. SLO, as locals call it, is nestled in the heart of California’s wine country. Gracious hosts at the Apple Farm offer complimentary wines between... Read More