Thursday, September 29, 2022

Food, glorious food, enhances a trip, creates indelible, lasting memories

A seafood and pasta dish in Rome hits the spot for a special evening celebrating our anniversary.

MEALS TO REMEMBER: FROM LAVISH 

Visiting a market is a fun way to begin a visit in a city.
Here, a guide in Porto, Portugal, shows off fresh produce. 

TO SIMPLE, CULINARY MEMORIES MAKE FOR A MEMORABLE JOURNEY

TAKE A CHANCE, BE DARING, TRY WHAT THE LOCALS LIKE

Bruce Keller hoists a brew in Spain, after asking the waiter
for a popular non-alcoholic local beer. Most countries now
offer N/A brew, and some even have it on tap.


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER 

ON THE ROAD, on a ship, in an airplane or while exploring a new city or village, food is always an enticement.
It's part of the memories you bring home with you. It enhances the travel. 
The pizza in the little hole in the wall in Naples, where the owner greets you himself. The lamb skewer in Mykonos, served with flair by a waiter who brought an extra table out to accommodate you.
The special farewell dinner aboard a cruise ship, with your favorite coq au vin  cooked to perfection.
This young Portuguese boy relishes
his ice cream treat in a crowded cafe.


The surprise birthday dessert and singing waiters who present it with an off-key "Happy Birthday" salute.
The sizzling paella made on the street, served to two dozen guests after a festival in Barcelona.
MORE THAN any other element, food shapes a journey.  It enhances and defines our memories of a trip. We're just days back from a five-week trip to Europe and consider ourselves amateur epicures. We love both good food and adventuresome travel.  Our fellow travelers around the world have epicurean tastes -- they love art, life, refinements and all that good food and drink offer.
This paella was perfectly served in Tarragona,
where it was the special of the day, wine included.
 
For us, having a meal in a new or favorite city, is an essential element of a trip.
A memorable duck dish with friends,
sublime memory of a meal in Porto.
Why order room service when Las Ramblas is a block out the door or the Left Bank is across the river?
Sampling local food is an essential part of feeling "authentic," taking the pulse of a community, getting an understanding of how people live, laugh and gather.
Food shapes a community and tells the world what people plant, harvest, cook with, celebrate, season with, serve for friends.  Food makes us who we are.
Mahi mahi with goat cheese
offers memories of Hawaii. 

DINING AT A STREET
cafe with locals offers a sensory cultural exploration.  It makes us feel we are part of life in Rome, Tokyo, Rio or Singapore because local food more than anything else conveys so much of local culture, cooking and tradition. 
In Barcelona, Cookie and Keller stop for ice 
cream.  It is on a par with the best Italian gelato.
In a restaurant, we also see how people interact.  In many cities, dogs are welcome.  It is not uncommon to see a family dining with a doggie under the table.  Many restaurants offer water bowls by the door.
In Paris, one "rents" a table for as long as one likes -- simply by ordering. It can be a full meal, a beer or espresso.  Doesn't matter.  The table is yours for as long as you like and we find it relaxing to linger -- watching the world and the people go by.
A string of dried
peppers made it
safely home with us.
ANOTHER FUN tradition we've developed over the years: we go to local stores and markets to bring a few food and drink items home: cookies, nuts, coffee, tea, dried fruit or peppers, chocolate. We buy roasted almonds from the old gentleman by the bus stop, and savor those thousands of miles away. 
Think about the power of food.  It utilizes all five senses. Naturally, we taste our food. But we also touch it, smell it, savor it with our eyes and listen to it -- the satisfying breaking of a bread stick, the sizzling of the butter in the crepe pan. When we commune with food, the place and time of the meal or snack becomes an intense memory of the journey. Without a meal or ten in a local eatery, there can be no truly authentic travel experience.

Arts patron Pedro Alvares Ribeiro talks about
his passion for collecting, preserving and
 enticing at his fascinating Casa Sao Roque.
UP NEXT
: A Portuguese arts patron made his fortune in banking, and decided to give something back. The result: Casa São Roque, a delightfully preserved manor house and one-time hunting lodge which dates back to 1759. Entrepreneur, art collector, wine connoisseur and world traveler Pedro Alvares Ribeiro has turned this fascinating building into an art museum showcasing myriad displays, visual treats including film, and much more. The home -- now a museum in Porto, Portugal -- has a stately air, befitting its history. Ribeiro says the architecture is typical of the elegant homes owned by bourgeoisie and noble families from Porto. He combines his sharp collector's eye with the soul of a poet and the funding to acquire unique artworks and exhibitions. We spent a day with him, enjoying one of the displays,  up now through Jan. 31. "Warhol, People and Things," an intriguing exhibition focusing on Andy Warhol and his influence across several generations of photographers, filmmakers, musicians and multi-media artists. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on the arts, performance, travel, family, nature and more: www.whereiscookie.com. Please share the link.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

San Francisco sail: Adventure Cat is purr-fect way to see the bay

Adventure Cat is a beautifully designed, smooth sailing vessel available for a variety of sailings.

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
Enjoying the sea breeze, two of our "catamaran
companions" on a unique sailing trip in San Francisco.



A SAIL like you've never had before.
That's the promise that enticed us to book a relaxing afternoon with Adventure Cruises on a recent San Francisco visit.
What a way to see the bay!
As veteran Bay Area visitors and veteran sailors, we always look for something new -- on the water, if possible.
San Francisco from Adventure Cat at night, its lights aglow.

Christene "Cookie" Meyers
 and Bruce Keller aboard Venture
Cat on a brisk, sunny sail.
 
We found it in this adventure, which offers an exhilarating, fast, thrilling catamaran ride across the occasionally choppy waters of San Francisco Bay. In this sleek catamaran, we were seldom aware of the waves. Nice!   
ADVENTURE CAT offers a variety of sail adventures:  private charters for a special party or celebration, sunset sails, bay sails and city lights.
The spacious catamarans have a distinctive logo -- a sleek black cat.  And a fun blog follows the adventures of the crew and clients.  Naturally, a nautically inclined cat is featured.
We recommend Adventure Cat for many reasons, including the spacious nature of the catamaran. We joined only a handful of other guests, so we had our run of the boat for custom-made viewing and a stable, safe ride.
Nothing like fresh air and occasional waves on the deck -- all right up our alley. But the protection of covering in the cabin is also an option.
FOR FAMILIES looking for a sail that both educates and provides fun, or couples seeking a romantic evening out, Adventure Cat is a perfect choice. It was a highlight of this recent San Francisco visit. Our captain made sure we saw the most popular attractions, including the seal lions gathered by the wharf -- complete with sound effects and a distinctive aroma. We didn't see whales -- although friends did the week before -- but we spotted many pelicans, dolphins and the aromatic sea lions.
Our sail took us around the infamous prison on Alcatraz Island, before we zipped underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and headed back, all the time admiring the city’s famed skyline as the crew pointed out famous San Francisco landmarks

Seals and sea lions at Pier 39, part of the much photographed
pastiche of sights greeting sailors who board Adventure Cat.


SAFETY is always a concern on boats and the crew makes sure there's no jumping or climbing. Strong netting allows the more daring to experience the feeling of having the waves rushing right under the feet while relaxing in the sun.  We were comfortable just luxuriating on our private bench, using our rain coats when the wind whipped up.
We did come once inside the protected cabin, which is an option if it's windy.  Large viewing windows allow sights of land, sky and water to float by equally visible. Soda, beer and wine are available at the cabin bar. 
WHAT WE loved most about this sailing catamaran was the quiet ride.  No sound of engines once the sails are hoisted -- yet we were impressed with the speed. We didn't need the audio tour, but it is available in seven languages for international guests. 
  As we zipped away from one of the world's most dramatic skylines, we felt the thrill of viewing this exciting city from a unique vantage point. We felt pampered on our almost private sail.
A first-rate sail begins with an enthusiastic crew
and knowledgeable captain on Adventure Cat.
WE CHOSE the 90-minute "Bay Sail," one of several sails offered by this ambitious enterprise which shows off this iconic bay from a prime vantage point. We had our run of the boat for a generous 105 minutes.
We didn't dare to gild the lily, but the jovial crew urged adventuresome sailors to test the expansive deck netting as a trampoline. No takers.  But a couple who joined our small, pleasant group spent the entire sail relaxing there and cuddling.  
"Cookie and Keller" with 
Alcatraz behind them.
A couple times, it was fun to hear them squeal in delight when they got a spray from the bay's brisk waters.
BECAUSE WE tour often and have been on many a sail, we're very aware of service, value and knowledge. We like commentary, and the crew had answers to all our questions. They were both articulate and personable, and know and love their boat and the world of sailing.  A catamaran sail on the bay. Good for the spirit. 

For more info or to book: www.adventurecat.com 

This meal was an impromptu discovery in northern Spain --
 an appealing array of parador snacks -- pizza (born in Italy),
asparagus, sweet potato fries with aioli, N/A beer for Keller
and a Spanish white wine for Cookie, all served with flair.
UP NEXT:  Food, glorious food.... All travel, whether near or far, is enhanced by a good meal, tasty snack, hearty breakfast or appealing appetizer.  We take you around the world with us to bars and bistros, modest cafes and five-star restaurants.  We're not snobs by any means, and some of our most delightful taste treats have been in small, unexpected "finds." Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, dining, cruising, nature, family and the arts:  www.whereiscookie.com
Please share links with like-minded friends and family.  We appreciate it.




Thursday, September 15, 2022

A general's dream: 'When and If' sails smoothly into immortality

 


When and If is a beautiful sailing vessel combining the best characteristics of a racing boat
with the comforts of a sturdy yacht built for pleasure and big enough for a family's comfort.
Below, with wind in their hair, Christene "Cookie" Meyers" and Bruce Keller enjoy a sail.


MAJESTIC SAILING YACHT IS A WAR HERO'S  BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED DREAM  


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS

PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

WHEN WORLD War II was in its full brutal fury, a much decorated general dreamed about a peaceful time when he could sail the world's waters.

Hoisting the sails for a gorgeous sunset ride.

Then Colonel George S. Patton shared his idea for a sleek yet comfortable yacht with famous boat builder John Alden. His clever and artistic friend, known for his beautiful designs, was up to the challenge. Thus the yacht When and If was commissioned by the internationally known American war hero.
His luxurious private yacht was built that same year -- 1939 -- by boatbuilder F.F. Pendleton in Wiscasset,
Maine. Its name comes from Patton's hope to sail the world "when" the war ended and "if" he survived.
Sitting comfortably under When and If's sails, a couple from Portugal
enjoys a leisurely sail and a beautiful sunset off Key West.
WE RECENTLY set sail on her, relaxing on comfy seat cushions on the vessel's handsome and sturdy, double planked mahogany. Black locust frames and an oak keel enhance the comfort on this smooth-sailing vessel enjoyed for its thoughtful detail by lucky passengers, including my lifelong sailing partner, Bruce Keller.
His enthusiastic take: "When and If is unique -- a thoughtfully adventuresome notion." Photographer Keller knows his way around a sail boat and has sailed many of the world's seas, as Patton hoped to. "The general had a dream and knew the best builder to help make it come true. Now it lives on long after him."
True enough.  Patton, who died in 1945, sailed the east coast of the United States in his treasured boat, but never did take his beloved When And If on the world cruise he imagined.  But he and his wife did sail her up and down the East Coast and on Chesapeake Bay.
The general had high praise for designer Alden. When and If is his  show piece in a long list of creations made by this renowned builder of elite racing schooners. Patton said Alden's crafts "retained both beauty and style while winning premier ocean races of the time."

George and Beatrice Patton
aboard When and If on
Chesapeake Bay.
AT THE TIME of its conception, in 1939, When and If  was remarkable for its racing capabilities and for its comfortable and safe features.  Our captain said she sometimes hosts nearly three dozen people for gatherings of friends and family. One such event happened the day after our sunset cruise (more on that later.)
Although our voyage was just hours long, When and If  is equipped for the long voyage which Patton hoped to take.

PATTON DIED in a military hospital in Germany, of a blood clot following a horrific auto accident which left him partially paralyzed.  But despite the general's untimely death in 1945, the boat he imagined took on a new life. His dream boat attained the immortality that escaped him.
While Patton is considered one of the most brilliant military strategists of all time, his When and If is considered a brilliantly constructed vessel.

 When and If 's galley is more spacious than most sailing
vessels, with a large sink, stoves, storage and prep space.
It boasts six comfy cabins for up to six adult guests.



As a military leader, Patton produced more results in less time, with fewer casualties than any other general during his WWII Army years. Similarly, When and If has won accolades from sailors and celebrities, including longtime CBS anchor and famed broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite, a devoted sailor who praised its combination of sleekness and comfort.

TODAY, THE POPULAR yacht is used for parties and celebrations. During our visit it was booked for a memorial service and burial at sea for a much loved resident of Key West.
The word yacht comes from the Dutch, and originally meant
light and smooth sailing. Here is When and If at sunset.
 
  
The yacht has a colorful "post Patton" history.  She remained in the family until 1972 when the general’s nephew, Neal Ayer, made a gift of the vessel to the Landmark School in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. She was the center piece of a sail training program for dyslexic children until November of 1990 when a storm broke her mooring line broke and drove her onto the rocks.
When and If is kept in immaculate condition in Key West,
and can be booked for a sail or celebration.
 
Although the damage was extensive, the structural integrity of the ship was unaffected. Soon, she attracted a sailing buff who purchased her.  She remained in private ownership, and over the next three years was painstakingly  restored. She was was re-launched to great fanfare in 1994 when keynote speaker for the celebration was sailor-journalist Cronkite. He praised both her strength as well as the superior work of Shipwrights Gannon and Benjamin in Vineyard Haven, Mass., the yard that brought her back to life.
Fast forward. In 2013,When and If was purchased and restored anew by Doug Hazlitt, who eyed the boat for her “strength and elegance.”
A sleek, modern catamaran is ideal for enjoying
San Francisco with its wonderful sights.
  Here, we pass under the Golden Gate bridge.
 
She was then purchased by Captain Seth Salzmann in 2015, and was part of Tall Ships Festivals in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The colorful travel that eluded Patton included When and If's journeys with Sail Training International. She made it to Bermuda, Boston and on to all corners of the Canadian Maritimes. 
Perhaps Patton is smiling down from his crow's nest in the sky.

To book or inquire about Key West or this unique yacht:
 https://fla-keys.com/key-west/ 
 www.sailwhenandif.com 

 UP NEXT:  While we're in a sailing mood, come aboard Adventure Cat, and see San Francisco as you never have before. She's a sleek, modern catamaran ideal for a bird's eye view of San Francisco Bay. Remember to explore, learn and live and   catch us weekly for a fresh spin on sailing, travel, family, nature, art and more: www.whereiscookie.com

 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Ten Commandments of Travel: Savvy tips to help you savor, remember

 

A hike above Malta's Blue Grotto offered an opportunity for a picnic and lovely afternoon
 for Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers. They travel with joy in each new surrounding.

PLAN BUT BE FLEXIBLE, EMBRACE OPPORTUNITY, ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES, LEARN, MAKE NEW FRIENDS   


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

Plan, but be open to surprise and a spontaneous event. In Tokyo
we borrowed umbrellas at a shrine to stroll the gardens in light rain.


“I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."

I'M NOT CERTAIN who first uttered this delightful observation, but it applies to me and millions of others who find joy in travel.
We want to see everything there is to see in this wide, wonderful world.
The blue cave of Kastellorizo is one of the
stunning deep caves of the Greek Isles, a famous
attraction. Don't miss the opportunity to tour.


 
So in hopes of helping fellow travelers, we devised "Travel's Ten Commandments."  We hope it will enhance your travels, give you ideas and inspire you to create your own travel code You can adapt it to fit your own lifestyle and desires.
So here goes:
1. TRAVEL LIGHTLY. Remember, the best souvenir is a good memory, or two or three. Make it your goal to have stories to tell, not junk to show. This doesn't mean you can't pick up a beautiful painting, antique or something on the road that moves you and has meaning. Through the years, we've purchased tile in Venice, a chandelier in Rome, silk in Kyoto, scarves in Portofino and St. Petersburg and an onyx table in Mexico City.  That took seven weeks to reach us -- long after the credit card charge went through.  But it arrived as promised in perfect condition, a fabulous memory of a long-ago trip to a city we love with its world class archeological museum and so much more. Be selective in your purchases. Send things back if they're heavy. Don't weigh down your suitcase.

Cookie delights in an espresso
machine in her hotel room in Lisbon
.
2. TRAVEL EXPECTANTLY. We believe each adventure is a learning experience. Things will go south.  Roll with it. Adapt.
We've been in hotel rooms where we struggled to turn the lights on.  Sometimes, room lights work only when prompted by the room key which must remain in the wall. We've had coffee machines that call for contemplation and there isn't always a directional guide. Usually with a little patience (not my strong suit) and Keller's engineering expertise, we figure it out.  The espresso machine in Lisbon was a favorite gadget. Tiny espresso balls go into a press -- better than Starbuck's!
 

Gratitude is important on the road. We tipped
this lovely waitress at La Boella in Tarragona,
Spain. She surprised Keller with birthday cake.

 

3. TRAVEL HOPEFULLY, 
with joy and a sense of fun. Try new foods, take a hike to woods you've never seen.  Awaken each day with anticipation.  What a happy sensation to open your eyes in a new room, new town, with a new language, birds, cafes, parks, museums, churches to explore. We like to take a walk after we check in our hotel -- though the temptation is to take a nap. Get with the new time zone. If your bags don't make it with you, fill out the forms and be patient.
Remember that happiness is a way of travel, a lifestyle.  The destination is second banana. 
4. TRAVEL HUMBLY. Be understated (a challenge for me). Cultivate your listening skills. Don't compare your new surroundings to what you're accustomed to. Don't expect the same ways of doing things -- you're traveling to learn.    
Cookie and Keller await a train change in Italy.
5. TRAVEL COURTEOUSLY. As you listen and learn, you'll find new ways of doing things.  Be thankful for the store clerk who recommends a tiny neighborhood restaurant down the alley. Thank your hotel maid for the extra coffee.  Tip when it seems right -- a few Euros for the bellman who delivers your bags.  A small tip is thoughtful, good insurance for the porter who brings you ice. He'll do it each day if you start out right.  
6. TRAVEL GRATEFULLY and with a generous heart. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer so travel with appreciation for everyone who helps you -- and you'll find your good will is unfailingly returned. 
Sample local fruits from the stand -- wash first.
Here, we bought lunch fixings for a picnic
on the Amalfi coast near Naples.
 
This cheerful lady in Vietnam became a friend as
 we spent time with her at her family's farm.


7. TRAVEL WITH AN OPEN MIND. Experiment. An elderly fellow traveler -- 85 and still on the road -- says, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." If a server suggests a dish you have never tried, give it a go. Once in a village in South Africa, we asked the waiter to surprise us. He served the house specialty: charred goat's head. We've sampled roasted grasshoppers in Thailand, fried tarantulas in Cambodia, calf's brains in Peru, haggis in Scotland (yes, it's spiced heart, liver and lungs served in stomach lining) and witchetty grubs under the shadow of Ayers Rock in central Australia. The meat from this wood-eating larvae is rich in protein. My Aussie mates assured me it is a nutritious snack when tramping through the bush. I recommend grub snacks only after a couple pints of Foster's ale.  Swallow whole.
In the Canary Islands, the chef, behind Keller
and Cookie, offered a holiday meal and "Wise
Men" hats on Christmas Day in Gran Canaria.
Cookie and our brilliant Rome
guide, Lucilla, who has become
a dear friend through the year
s.
8. TRAVEL WITH CURIOSITY. Be flexible and curious about your new place. Soak it all up. Your job fills your pocket, but travel fills your soul.  We love tours that include a stop in a family farm or village where we actually can meet the people. In Vietnam, we spent a day with a family and still correspond with the three-generation household.  
9. TRAVEL WITH IMAGINATION.  Enthusiasm and optimism are essential elements in any  successful trip. My grandmother Olive encouraged me to live the life I've dreamed of, to find the good in all people and places. The Dalai Lama advised, "Once a year, go some place you've never been before."
Cookie and Keller swam with the manta rays in Bonaire.
10. TRAVEL FEARLESSLY. Now's the time to banish worry. Leave your shy side and timidity at home.  Don't flash big wads of cash around and watch where you keep your Euros (use a money belt or your shoe for large bills and try to limit carry cash and use credit cards.) I've been mugged three times in 57 years abroad. Only the first was successful when the bandits sliced my purse off my arm and I needed stitches. The other two times, I witnessed would-be robbers' hands going for my husband's wallet and yelled for police. The culprits dashed away in both those cases. 
Keller in front of
Notre Dame in Paris.


Yes, we still travel. But we don't open a map on a busy street corner.  We play it savvy, but with worldwide crime on the rise, we try to exercise caution but not fear.
DON'T RETURN home lamenting that you didn't swim with the manta rays or buy the souvenir spoon or shot glass for a friend who collects them.  
Should you take the trip?  Can you afford it? Never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Think of the stories and memories you'll bring back.  And remember, when in doubt, Paris is always a good idea. 



Bruce Keller, Christene "Cookie" Meyers on "When and If."

UP NEXT:  We're on the road and headed to Key West, Florida, for a relaxing sailing trip aboard a splendid and artful yacht designed by Gen. George Patton. The World War II hero dreamed of sailing the world after his noble efforts during the war. His exquisite creation, the yacht "When and If," gave him happy hours on the waters and now is berthed in Key West where it takes visitors on a magical sail off the shores of this lovely Florida port town. Meanwhile, remember to explore, earn and live and catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, art, nature, family and more: www.whereiscookie.com


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Labor Day tribute: A salute to the legions who work holidays, late shifts

Hospital workers -- doctors, nurses, physician assistants, lab technicians, food service people
and janitors work 365 days a year. Nurses cared for Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
during his recent hospitalization for a ruptured appendix. His surgeon operated at midnight.


A pair of painters spiffs up the Berkeley in San Diego.
The vintage ferry boat is open at the Maritime Museum
most days, including Memorial Day and Labor Day.

EXPRESSING GRATITUDE FOR MEDICAL PERSONNEL, RESTAURANT WORKERS, CLEANING PEOPLE, TOUR GUIDES, BUS DRIVERS AND ALL WHO LABOR ON HOLIDAYS TO ENHANCE OUR LIVES 

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
Taxi driver Marcos picked us up on a holiday
in New York City during our most recent visit.

PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

IT'S IMPORTANT to be thankful. We are, and we try to show it, expressing gratitude to people who make our lives easier. We think about those who work late hours and days that many of us have off. While we are relaxing, hitting the beach, staging a family party, millions of others are getting up in the dark, heading to work while we're traveling, partying or simply "chillaxing."
 
A Hilton worker sterilizes
the door of a hotel room.



  With Labor Day in the wings, today's story is a salute to people working on this holiday and others.  We honor the pilots and flight attendants, medical personnel, hotel workers, restaurant and café people, drivers, guides and bus drivers, law enforcement workers, janitors and bus boys and girls.

WE EXPRESS our gratitude to those legions of life-enriching workers: health care staff, hotel and restaurant crews, grocery store clerks, truck drivers bring us fresh produce, cruise personnel, UPS delivery people, vegetable and fruit stand sellers, fitness trainers, construction workers, taxi and bus drivers, coffee shop baristas and cafeteria checkers, buskers who brave the streets, parks and subways, and many others.
They play a major role in keeping us relatively sane and healthy, even during the recent, unprecedented months of isolation, anxiety and
A worker at Billings Clinic Hospital
in Montana delivers meals on Sunday.


 depression caused by the appearance of COVID.
  More Labor Day kudos, click here
Sanitizing closets, bathrooms
and hallways is this man's job,
here in a San Diego Doubletree.
A Home Depot clerk helps Bruce Keller with his purchases
for a home repair project, one of many. Keller often works holidays
.


SINCE WE often travel on holidays, we're curious about their origins.  The idea to create and celebrate a day for laborers was the brainchild of New Yorker Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader. He wanted to thank his hard-working employees, celebrate their contributions and treat them to a day off with their families, while honoring their accomplishments.
He lobbied the chain of command to back his idea, believing the entire nation should give thanks to American workers in a formal, public way. 
His desire that working people be recognized on a special day each year blossomed. As it gained support and momentum, McGuire drafted a proposal in early 1882.  He presented it at a meeting of New York's Central Labor Union.
His colleagues thought the idea a good one so plans were put in place.  
THE FIRST LABOR Day was held in his native New York City on Sept. 5 of that same year. It was a joyous affair, inaugurating a day off for workers who joined their families and friends to celebrate with picnics, concerts and speeches.
Cookie enjoys an elegant cheese
dessert, served on a holiday by
a dapper maitre d'hotel
.  


Twelve years later in 1894, the nation followed suit and it became an official federal holiday, always on the first Monday in September. This year it is Monday, Sept. 5, the same day as its debut. It is also celebrated in Canada during this same three-day weekend, signaling the end of summer. Around the world, more than 160 other countries celebrate Labor Day May 1, their day to show appreciation for labor and workers.
May we pause with renewed appreciation and gratitude for all those who help us enjoy the good life.


Christene "Cookie" Meyers and Bruce Keller take to the
water for a whale watching adventure out of Victoria, B.C.



UP NEXT: While we're in a traveling mode, we offer our own "Ten Commandments of Travel," our tips for making your journey the happiest and most fulfilling possible.  Whether you're traveling in your native state -- or to another continent -- we offer pointers on adjusting to the new, to appreciating and finding joy in a new place or country, new language, new food, new time zones. We want you to revel in your new surroundings and make the most of your precious time on the road.  Doing a little homework is a key part of the formula for successful travel. Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn an live and  catch us weekly for a fresh spin on travel, nature, family, the arts and more: www.whereiscookie.com