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Tuesday - November 29, 2022
 

Heading to Hawai’i? Linda Ballou Shares How to Do Maui’s Hana Highway Her Way

August 2nd, 2022

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Each day, thousands traverse the narrow road that hugs the coast of Southeast Maui to the village of Hana, one of last remnants of old Hawai’i. It is a miracle that the over fifty one-lane bridges, many of which are over a hundred years old, don’t collapse beneath the steady stream of cars. Drivers are rubber necking to see the most beautiful waterfall, and angling to find a pullout near unmarked trailheads to take a closer look. Still, chaos can be avoided and you can enjoy a tranquil, romantic journey into this lush, unspoiled region... Read More

With Another Summer Upon Us, Linda Ballou Shares Stories of Rivers She Has Known and Loved

June 27th, 2022

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate As temperatures begin to soar, I dream of the rivers I have known and loved. Tension mounts as I hear the rumble of rapids roiling ahead. Sitting up straight, tucking a foot beneath the pontoon of the rubber raft, taking a secure position for the white water to come, I listen for commands. “Paddles ready!” calls the guide and then we are bouncing through rapids with cooling waves splashing overhead. Squeals of excitement fill the air as we paddle for all we are worth through the foaming rush. Next we settle back to a smooth glide down... Read More

Buena Ventura- Land of Good Fortune

May 5th, 2022

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Ventura is a beach town with a laid-back vibe that is the gateway to some great adventures. About an hour north of Los Angeles spectacular day trips in the Channel Islands National Park are waiting for you.  Turn up at the Island Packer dock in Ventura Harbor at about 9 AM with a lunch in your backpack and leave your worries behind. After an hour-long cruise across the channel, passengers are dropped off at Scorpion Anchorage and admonished to be back by 4 PM, or plan on spending the night on the island. Some choose to do exactly that,... Read More

Linda Ballou Shares Why Winter Is A Perfect Time to Enjoy a “Wild Time” on the Central Coast of California

December 16th, 2021

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Winter on the Central Coasts means fewer tourists and plentiful wildlife. Birds and marine mammals gather there in chaotic profusion from December to February. 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 saltwater mixed with the freshwater of streams flowing in the largest estuary on the west coast resulting in a nutrient-rich brew for thousands of birds. The charm of the rust-colored, reed-choked estuary is... Read More

Road Trip!! Linda Ballou Says Now’s the Time to Cool Your Jets on the Southern Oregon Coast

September 13th, 2021

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate  Steaming temps in the inland valleys of Southern Oregon are sending smart travelers to the coast to cool off. The Redwood Hwy (199),  out of Grants Pass is a snaking road that takes you to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the northern most redwood forest in California. It traces the rugged Smith River Corridor sheathed in towering sugar pines and deposits you in Hiouchi. Hot Tip #1: If you can snag a room at the budget Hiouchi Motel, next to the Hiouchi Café you will be in perfect position to explore the ancient redwood groves. The... Read More

Adventure Traveler Linda Ballou Sees COVID-Generated Silver Linings for Those Seeking to Travel Again in 2021

January 18th, 2021

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate It is hard to think good has come from the virus that has forced all of us to isolate ourselves and not be able to move freely in the world. But, there have been many beneficial outcomes for those eager to tick travel experiences off their bucket list. Airline Ticketing Changes One of the most exciting benefits is that airlines are dropping fees to make changes in your itinerary. Last year, I had to fly home from Australia a day early for personal reasons. Qantas Airlines charged me $400.00 to reschedule my flight. I felt this was punitive,... Read More

Wings COVID-Clipped, Linda Ballou Shares How She’s Experiencing Jubilation in the Year of the Virus

November 7th, 2020

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate The Mexican people call retired persons “Jubilants.” I was so busy I never thought much about retirement, but suddenly, due to COVID, here it is. I am unable to sell real estate because dealing with the public is just too dangerous now. My partner, who has been loving and supportive for 35 years, is convinced he will die if he gets Covid-19. Consequently, I have not gone out to dinner, hiked with a friend, or had a haircut for eight months. The virus didn’t just clip my travel wings, it ripped them out of their sockets. I was flying... Read More

Too Many Elephants in the Room!!

April 1st, 2020

By Linda Ballou, NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate On my visit to South Africa in 2015, I was surprised to learn that there are too many elephants! With so many environmental groups fighting to prevent the poaching of these emblematic creatures for their ivory tusks, it was ironic to learn that as early as five years ago, the African parks were actually dealing with elephant over-population.  Then, an estimated 120,000 elephants roamed the vast, unfenced preserves of Botswana under the protection of armed, patrolling rangers. Today there are 130,000. But that’s just the Botswana... Read More

You Must Come And See – Yosemite

September 11th, 2019

By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Skirt the crowds and beat the summer heat in Yosemite with a stay at Tenaya Lodge, an all-inclusive resort with hot and cold pools and a complete spa center. Located just outside the south entrance of Yosemite (1-hour drive from Yosemite Valley) it makes a perfect home base for explorations in the famed 1,169 square mile National Park. John Muir waxed poetic about billowing clouds mushrooming into tender blue skies forming magnificent cloudscapes. He lovingly described lacy white curtains of water fanning over granite ramparts and the unending... Read More

Will Medicare Cover Me When I Travel Internationally?

August 2nd, 2019

By Linda Ballou NABBW’s Adventure Travel Associate Last month, we began a two part discussion on your Medicare coverage when you travel. This is an important topic, since so many of us Boomers, bitten by the “travel bug,” hit the road as soon as we retire. Of course, your retirement and the opportunity to become covered by Medicare often happen close together, which means you may be traveling before you’ve had the opportunity to become totally familiar with your Medicare coverage.  Last month, we looked at Medicare coverage during domestic travel. (That is, travel within... Read More