For me, working at the Travel Channel was like giving candy to a baby. I was there at the beginning: pre-Bourdain, when it was based in New York; Arthur Frommer was the big deal; and some obscure guy named Matt Lauer had a brief gig there.
It was a dream job for a hungry traveler like me because it was owned by the once-mighty Trans World Airlines (permanently grounded like Pan Am). I was entitled to fly anywhere TWA went, for free. Sort of like a flight attendant, but better because I didn’t have to be a waitress (man, they have a tough job) to get the travel perks.
I produced a news show, which kept me behind a desk much of the time, though I did some field producing for the show.
But equally cool were the trips I took on my own time. I didn’t get much, so I went everywhere I could on weekends, figuring whatever I could see was better than nothing.
That’s the nutzoid way I saw Stockholm, and what was then East Berlin. The former was pretty and cold in the dead of winter; the latter took my breath away, but it had nothing to do with the weather. (Coming up in a later edition.)
For now, I want to focus on a vacation I did take, to Africa. This was sort of around the time when Out of Africa was all the rage. If I couldn’t be Meryl Streep and wear those great Banana Republic-type safari outfits, I could at least go to Kenya, where the story took place. So I booked myself on a safari through London, on Kenya Airways, which offered great deals to other airline types like me. Nice to see it’s still around.
Outside my luxury tent, so-called because it had indoor plumbing. Sporting a sarong made for me by my Australian neighbor Jenny when I lived, briefly, near the Great Barrier Reef. Hi, Jenny, wherever you are.
Still Life With Painted Toenails. Luxuriating inside the luxury tent. Couldn’t believe I was about to embark on a Kenyan safari. That delicious feeling of satisfaction that comes along every once in a great, great while, if you’re lucky. There I was, relaxing to the max, having hung some freshly washed undies out to dry, when …
… I was interrupted by a fellow traveler who said, “Come quick, dear; the monkeys are about to make off with your brassiere.”
They thankfully fled, leaving the goods. No pictures of that first encounter with wildlife because I was too startled to concentrate on capturing the moment for posterity.
Now that’s more like it. Not fit to wipe Dian Fossey’s and Jane Goodall’s boots, but thrilled to be in Africa all the same.
Instead of gorillas in the mist, it was giraffes, rhinoceri, wildebeests in the clouds.
Closer encounter with a sobering fact of life: Lions savoring a giraffe breakfast.
The old and new definitions of sweet.
Literally on the border of Kenya and Tanzania.
To my left, Brassiere Lady; our wonderful guides; and no, I don’t know what I was thinking with that getup. In a Tarzan kind of mood, I guess.
Laura, what an exciting time that must have been for you,…..L’Aventura…..that was the name of a film, I think if I spelled it correctly meaning adventure….how wonderful……and what a young hottie you were…..and let me add this up after all of this excitement you still want to go floating with me in a soda at Art’s Deli? I am honored….I’d float anywhere in the world with you….you could be my guide.