Howdy, Dallas

Three thoughts while visiting the Big D in the Lone Star State:

— If you go to an SMU football game on a day in the 90s, bring something to sit on. The aluminum benches will be on fire, and shorts do not help.

— Visit the George W. Bush Presidential Museum. It’s truly remarkable how many historic events, from 911 to the financial crisis, occurred during his presidency. Perhaps the funniest part was seeing about eight bobbleheads of various Presidents, all smiling — except Donald Trump, who is scowling.

— Watch out for Friday traffic from Love Field. Listen to Waze to try to avoid the worst of it. No one enjoys progressing a mile in 10 minutes.

What I Discovered While Traveling to New York City

By David A. F. Sweet

Random thoughts as the pandemic ends and travel returns to normal in April 2022:

— Though American Airlines no longer requires masks, mask wearers comprised about half of the travelers in my unscientific survey at an American Airlines gate at O’Hare Airport.

— Chided myself for forgetting to charge my laptop, but with the help of a fellow passenger with better vision, found an outlet in front of us.

— American Airlines coffee is strong; tastes better than Southwest Airlines joe.

— La Guardia Terminal B is amazing – looks like a museum.

— Love the Sloan all-in-one sink, with soap, water and a hand dryer.

— The Warwick Hotel in Manhattan has Old World charm at reasonable prices. A bellhop will push your elevator button for you in the lobby

— Speaking of elevators, wearing a Cubs’ shirt in a New York hotel elevator is a good way to meet people.

— The Statue of Liberty doubles as a lighthouse.

The Quinquagenarian Traveler: Five Must-Do Items in London

London abounds with choices, from museums to cruises to spots for tea. Here are five must-do items to make your next trip more pleasurable.

  • Tea at Claridge’s. This venerable hotel offers an incredibly gracious tea, including Champagne, finger sandwiches and – if you attend during Wimbledon – pastries shaped like tennis balls.Tennis Ball Pastry
  • The Wallace Collection. Armor and swords mingle with paintings and furniture in an elegant three-story building.
  • Churchill War Rooms. See not only the space where World War II strategy was hatched but learn about arguably the greatest historical figure of the 20th
  • CityCruises. Relax while a witty tour guide shows you buildings both historic and modern along the Thames River
  • Uber. Not as nice as London’s spacious cabs but much cheaper.

The Quinquagenarian Traveler: Three Reasons to Visit Falmouth on Cape Cod

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The Maui Mats are a blast at Old Silver Beach in Falmouth.

1) Liam Maguire’s. An array of beers is on tap (try the Cape Cod Blond); the Woods Holier Burger with portobello mushrooms is an excellent choice. You may even be able to hear a guitar-strumming entertainer at the Irish pub.

2) Old Silver Beach. The sand bar stretches out for at least 50 yards, making it a perfect spot for kids. See who can stay standing on the floating Maui Mats – large enough to fit at least half a dozen youngsters.

3) Falmouth Commodores. Aside from Major League Baseball, the sound of wooden bats has almost disappeared. But it’s still audible at the home of the local squad in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where greats such as Sid Bream and Tino Martinez played.

The Quinquagenarian Traveler: A Whirlwind L.A. Sports Marathon

Thirty-six hours. Two NHL games. A college football rivalry battle. Two boys dressed in   shorts. One convertible.

Thanksgiving weekend was a sports feast for the males in our family (excluding the dogs). The three of us flew in from Chicago to watch the Blackhawks prevail in Anaheim before falling by a goal in Los Angeles. In between, my alma mater USC and stalwart Adoree’ Jackson dismantled Notre Dame before our eyes.

Standout memories include:

— Watching the Blackhawks pre-game practice from the second row in the Honda Center, surrounded by hundreds of like-minded fans. Ducks backers were as hard to spot as the team’s retired jerseys (grand total: one).

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Blackhawks fans (two fresh out of a convertible) swarmed the plexiglass at Honda Center.

— Sitting not only in a section but a row that actually won a prize announced at a major sports event (chocolate popcorn at the Staples Center).

— Why it’s important to be prepared for potentially bad weather (see: ignore L.A. rain forecasts for events at the uncovered Coliseum at your peril).

When the sun shone, we splashed around the pentagon-shaped pool filled to the brim at the Marina Del Rey Hotel. The three-story white structure, renovated to perfection a year ago, featured patios connecting to artificial grass where the boys played shinny. At the restaurant Salt, kid-friendly menus included awesome hamburgers for dinner, and sitting outside let us watch sailboats rock nearby while the stars danced above. .

On the flight home, live NFL games appeared on our Virgin America TV. We didn’t need the NFL in L.A. (and the NFL didn’t need L.A. for decades), but it was the perfect way to end a whirlwind sports marathon.