Showing posts from 2009

Holiday Travels with the Doctor

The mission interior at Santa Barbara. The fountain outside the mission. Front of the mission, rebuilt in the 20th century. Famous theatre in Downtown Santa Barbara State Street Santa Barbara in November. We took a holiday in Santa Barbara this year for Thanksgiving. This year, there were no new fires or hillsides with homes that were sliding down the mountain. It's a beautiful city, on the water or inland. The Doctor recommends a trip to Santa Barbara by train, as you can walk nearly everywhere, or take a bus once you get there. And the traffic from freeways will be well behind you.

Travels with Dr. Travelbest

San Diego Harbor has so many things to see. Dr. Travelbest recently took a cruise there. Here are just a few. Top (a big picture view of downtown from the bay). Next, San Diego downtown Hilton, opened in 2009, followed by Coronado Bay Bridge. The fourth photo is the downtown Convention Center and lastly, a military ship, surrounded by markings to "stay away".

Mexico Orphanage Volunteer, Jack McCabe guest bloogger

Jack and Dolly McCabe after a recent visit to Mexico by Jack to volunteer at an orphanage south of Rosarito, Baja California. Here is Jack's report. DOOR OF FAITH ORPHANAGE VISIT Prologue 1 Whatsoever I do to the least of my brethren that I do unto Him. Faith without good works is meritless. James and my conscience. However, biblical Paul and I have been free riding and relying more on the concept of faith. Prologue 2 A few folks have asked me (Guest Blogger, my dad, Jack McCabe) to write this report describing my brief encounter with an environment quite different from the stateside to which most of us are accustomed. HISTORY The background of Door of Faith ( is professionally detailed below from a recent trip by Jack McCabe, P.E. Based on Prologue 1, I decided to volunteer a week of my manual services, in August 2009 to the group at La Mision, Mexico. Tourist guides and word of mouth tell of an early mission in the area, of which two walls remain. Having se

Pat Brown takes you on trips near and far

I have traveled with Pat Brown. She's one of my favorite travel companions. If you'd like to go with Dr. Travelbest's friend on a trip to a nearby place or one far away, here's your chance. I went to Oregon in June 09 and that blog is here, too. It's quite a wonderful place to visit. These are picture of Southern Oregon, near and on the Rogue River. You can travel the Columbia River Voyage of Discovery with Pat Brown Join TV personality, Pat Brown, next spring and experience the intimacy and luxury of a small-ship as you journey along the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River. You’ll marvel at the sheer magnitude of the geologic forces that shaped this region, from the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge to the golden coulees of the east; the history of Lewis & Clark, the early pioneers and Native Americans; the tremendous engineering feat of the 8 locks and dams that tamed this mighty river. You’ll cruise round trip from Portland, Oregon aboard Cru

Free and almost free travel ideas

Want to save money but still travel well? Bargains are all around you like never before. You say "everything costs" but when you think about it, the best travel bargains are still free. Like going to the beach in many states of the US is still free. Like going for a bike ride. Free. How about a trip to your local, or not so local park. Free. It just takes your imagination, some time, and energy. Those cost nothing. And if not, well, there are some cruises I've seen advertised for under $300. That's cheaper than staying home. We may not find another time for travel like now. Dr. Travelbest says that staying on a budget is key, but much of your travel can be free.

Monterey Bay

Have you ever visited the Monterrey Bay Aquarium? If you have kids and like the ocean, it's a natural fit. They have hundreds of hands on exhibits for children of all ages. We took our four children a few years ago and it was easy for them to spend a full three days in the museum. Sounds like a lot of time, but it went fast. They all have developed a love for nature and sea as a result. We went back two years later and the younger kids got a second chance to see the ocean up close from a scientific view. From our hometown that has Sea World, this is still a great value and experience for the younger children. Monterrey has a great park in town to play in called, "Dennis the Menace Park." That's another great find in the city. Easy to navigate, easy to get around in their free trolley system and parking is not a problem, either. Dr. Travelbest ranks this city high for travel with children.

Camp Conrad Chinook

The campfire is always the place where people remember their summer vacations best. Diabetes Camp is no different. The leader tells a story that warms the hearts and minds and makes people savor the moment. The wood cackles in the fireplace and it’s dark beneath a thousand pine and oak trees on this hill near Redlands, in Southern California in the early part of the summer of 2008. The flames danced and so did the staff, as well as the audience. And did we ever laugh and smile and have a few tears as well this weekend. We are among 150 people at Camp Conrad Chinnock, a camp specifically created for kids with Type I diabetes. I have two children with Type I diabetes, and we are here to bond with other families who have Type I as well as to learn the latest in diabetes research. But mostly, we’re here to have the kids feel “normal” when they do strange things like test their blood sugars up to ten times a day and give themselves insulin injections via pumps or shots. Tonite

Grand Canyon travel tips from Ellen

Here are some travel tips for the Grand Canyon, AZ, for those who want to see the majestic glory of the United States from the rim of the widest canyon around. The buses are the way to get around. The traffic can be frustrating and the buses are free and you won't have to wait more than 15 minutes for one to arrive. There are a lot of visitors from foreign countries, so the drivers are very good at answering questions and making announcements. Take your time and watch your step. Most of the spills, etc. we saw were from people who were not paying attention. There are a lot of rocks to trip on; be careful. Sunscreen and hats are called for. My baseball cap was not providing enough protection from the sun and now I have a wide brim hat that covers my face and neck. We did avoid getting burned with waterproof/sweat proof SPF 30 and finding shade whenever we could. We did not go below the rim on foot or mule. People who do are advised to do so as early in the day as possible

Eastern Sierra Mountains

We’re on Hwy 15 heading home after a week in the Eastern Sierras, including Reno, Carson City, Virginia City, and Sparks. The temp is 96 degrees and our temperatures inside the air conditioned minivan are heated at times, and relaxed at others. We made two stops since leaving Sparks at 6:30am today, in Bishop, we stopped for sandwiches at the famous Sheepherder’s restaurant and then we stopped in Ridgecrest for gas. The highlights of the trip were of course seeing our relatives and enjoying each other’s company, a birthday party of 34 people from 10 regions of the US. The tourist activities were in Virginia City, where we visited the old schoolhouse, and walked the sidewalks where authentic saloons and antique stores abound. We took a tour on a railroad that gave color to the many mining stories of yesteryear, and the tour guide described what life was like in the 1850’s through 1890’s, when this was one of the largest silver mines in the world. The Comstock Lode was the biggest fi

Cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas writing Day 1 Departing from San Diego, CA to the downtown ship for boarding to Cabo San Lucas was smooth. The seas that evening were not. We had our group of eight people loaded with gear for the five nights and six days at sea. We were on our way by noon, arriving at the harbor by 12:20pm. We were checked in and on the ship by 1:15pm. Two in wheelchairs (the grandparents) made the trip a bit faster than normal, because they needed to deliver and get the wheelchairs back for more cruisers. Four children, ages 6-12 and their parents in early 50’s along with two grandparents were heading for the high seas with high hopes. The food was a plenty and the comforts were high for the start of this journey. A practice drill for 3000 plus 900 crew went smoothly; prepared for the dangers at sea we don’t anticipate this week. As we pulled away from the comfort of the B Street Pier and the Port of San Diego, the clouds were st

Cheap Airfares

If you fly a lot, you may think you've got the best airfares. Did you ever want to compare prices with the other passengers on the flight? Airfare wars are already gearing up for the busy fall travel specials. Seems that when school begins, the tourists don't travel as much. October is probably the best month, with the most available seats at the lowest fares. Today, I saw $29 fares on Jet Blue advertised on Kayak. Maybe just a "promotional" fare, but now is the time to shop. The best days to buy your tickets are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With gas prices relatively low, people are staying on the ground more. American Airlines (one of my favorite airlines) just increased their baggage fees. Yes, it will cost you an extra hundred dollars to take two bags both ways! Consider that before booking, too. May you have good shopping days ahead, and don't forget Priceline, either. Only you won't know your airline or your flight times until after you book. But the pric

California's High Desert

We travelled to beautiful Lancaster, CA and Palmdale, CA for the California Softball All Star Championships mid-July, 2009. Temperatures, as you'd expect, were in the triple digits and 144 teams were sandblasted with dust from 25 mph winds as they played. Elevation here is around 3,000 feet and you're midway between Highway 5 and 15. It's on the way to somewhere. I'd like to visit in the winter and see the change of seasons here. I have been skiing at the local slopes, and that's an intermediate skiers delight. The indoor photo here shows teams practicing at Frozen Ropes/San Diego, where the best trainers and players practice and learn the skills needed to improve. The second photo is of Kiley Robinson, age 12, on North Shore Gold, who was part of the girls fastpitch team who took Third Place at State, and will be playing at the end of July in Salem, Oregon, at Nationals. Kiley and her dad, Adam, a fifth generation San Diegan, practice hitting wiffle

San Francisco

When you drive south into San Francisco on Highway 101, here's what you'll see. How can you not be impressed, when you see hundreds of locals walking, running and biking on the bridge? They call it Golden, but these photos prove it's red. San Francisco has been voted, "most romantic city" and "most popular travel destination" numerous times. Architecture and style, history and technology drive the many diverse social and cultural patterns that are seen in this thriving metropolis. Home to the 49ers, Giants, and hundreds of local wineries, SF entertains and celebrates everything green, and is environmentally conservative. Do plan ahead if you want to get on Alcatraz Island. We were told reservations were running two weeks ahead of time last summer. Like any big city, SF has their share of crime, traffic and inclement weather, plus crime. However, the parks are beautiful, shopping is tremendous, and people watching is unmatched. Alcatraz Island

Oregon Coast

When you cross the border into Oregon from California, something happens. You get a feeling of relaxation and restfulness, especially if you're on vacation. You'll notice the price of gas is much lower, and they pump it for you. You'll really notice there's no sales tax. None. And you'll notice that the people who live there talk to each other as if they care. Even the parks there are clean and well cared for in other ways. We stayed in Harris Beach State Park for nine days and recommend this to singles as well as families like ours. You'll love the hot showers, the laundry facilities, the playgrounds, and walk to the ocean for great wildlife and experience the power of nature. One thing on your list should be fishing. We found the Sporthaven Marina in Brookings Harbor to be our "hangout" where we found a charter who would take us out and we caught our limit in two hours. We caught Vermillion (orange colored fish), se