A Holiday Surprise: Learning How to Give

There’s a woman in my town who seems to be everywhere. She is of indeterminate age, and whether she’s at the Metro or the farmers market, she asks passersby for money. Sometimes she sells the homeless newspaper. She usually talks in a kind of sad, downbeat monotone. I saw her at the market Sunday, and it was pretty cold. When she said she needed a few bucks for a meal at our local cafe, I said I’d walk down with her …

Luxury Travel: To Spree or Not to Spree

Sometimes we want to indulge on a special vacation. We read “Zen-like ambience.” How peaceful. “Oasis.” Ah, yes. “Holistic therapy for body, mind and spirit.” How rejuvenating. But how do those eat-your-heart-out amenities really stack up? Couples massage? A butler-drawn bubble bath strewed with rose petals? An elegant seaside dinner served at a table right in the sand? Some luxuries are sure to please, and others … not so much. As a travel-show host I’ve been treated to just about every form of …

How to Survive Economy Class

Flying economy class? I’m sure you’re anticipating the worst – and no, you’re not just getting grumpier as you get older! The seats are smaller than they used to be. Forget about pillows and blankets. Food? Maybe a little bag of peanuts with a tenacious seal. (How’d my seatmate get that thing open? Should I ask him to open mine?) Still, if you plan ahead, it’s not too much hassle to bring along some of the creature comforts we used …