Monthly Archives: August 2009

Yosemite’s Wawona Hotel Is A Charming Throwback

We were still lying in bed at the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park when we heard someone outside whistle “The Star-Spangled Banner” from start to finish, with perfect pitch and clarity.

The whistler, we later learned, was Marvin, who has worked at the hotel for 20 years. He whistles the anthem as he raises the flag on the front lawn, and he has so perfected the performance that he finishes the song  just as the flag reaches the top of the pole.

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Some Tips For An Affordable Hawaii Vacation



I’m returning to Hawaii in January for my fifth visit, and I’ll be sure to hear about it from envious friends and readers. But when I ask them whether they’ve been to Hawaii, they’ll tell me it’s too far away and too expensive.

Well, it hasn’t gotten any closer. It still requires an eight- or nine-hour flight from the East Coast. But it has gotten cheaper, and I’m going to share some tips on how to enjoy Hawaii at a minimal cost.

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New York Hotel Offers Intimate Views

The new Standard Hotel in New York has developed a reputation for providing intimate views of guests to passers-by in the new High Line Park. The hotel has not just tolerated this, it has encouraged it, The New York Post reported this week. You can see one of the photos taken of an exhibitionist guest (or is it an employee?) on the Hotel Chatter blog, but you might want to make sure the kiddies aren’t watching.

Bad Tourist: Five Thoughtless Things I Saw On Vacation

When I travel, I am a student of human behavior, which is to say I mutter complaints about the things people do that I don’t like. Line cutting is a big one. I hate that.

I recently spent a week on vacation, including a few days (not enough) at Yosemite National Park, where someone apparently behaved so badly that it set something of a record. I didn’t witness it, though. We were off in the park when fellows guests at the Wawona Hotel set off a canister of bear repellent in their room, shutting down the hotel for several hours. These guests, we were told, abandoned most of their gassed belongings and took off.

This gave me the idea of cataloguing the rude things that travelers do in a new feature I shall call Bad Tourist. So here goes the first installment of the five most obnoxious things I actually saw people doing on that trip:

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