Seniors Discover Los Alamos, the “Cottonwoods”

Los Alamos, New Mexico just has to be quite a special place for seniors to visit. I read recently that this city has an inordinate number of millionaires. What’s the big draw to Los Alamos? Let’s check it out and see for ourselves.

Los Alamos is a place of ancient village sites, spectacular scenery, diverse wildlife, uncommon high-altitude recreational opportunities, small-town friendliness, world-class cultural activities, fascinating history, and world-changing science and technology development.

The total population runs right at 12,000. But get these stats: Concentration of Millionaire Households: 11.7% / Number of Millionaire Households: 906 / Median Income for All Households: $104,914 / Median Home Value: $300,700.

Seniors Entertain Themselves in Los Alamos

If you are a senior scientist, the Bradbury Museum might be of interest to you. You’ll learn about the history of Los Alamos National Laboratory, its national security mission, and the broad range of science, engineering, and technology research programs undertaken to improve our nation’s future.

Nearby, the Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence that goes back over 11,000 years.

Chalk up the density of affluence to the National Laboratory, a research facility focused on national security and the county’s largest employer. Since the lab was established in 1943 as site Y of the Manhattan Project, it has drawn some of the world’s top scientific minds with state-of-the-art facilities, currently including more than 1,200 buildings on a 36-square-mile campus, and generous paychecks. In fact, the area’s six-figure median household income is the highest on this list.

And relatively low living costs — just 2.9% above the U.S. average — will help wealthy residents hold on to their fortunes. Kiplinger has their own top twelve communities starting with Juneau, Alaska clear down to Los Alamos.  I found each to be very interesting.  Millionaires are everywhere, and their ranks are growing. According to research firm Phoenix Marketing International, 6.1 million households in the U.S. can boast liquid, investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding real estate, retirement plans and business partnerships. That’s up about 3% from a year earlier. Just a little rabbit trail I found interesting…

Well Educated Folks in Town

Los Alamos is New Mexico’s best educated community, proportionately, with 68.6% of adult residents (25 and older) holding an associate degree or higher, and 62.1% of adults possessing a BA degree or higher (2000 Census). Senior travelers, plan on stopping in Los Alamos as you travel through to Santa Fe or Taos, it’s close by. Enjoy all of New Mexico,  it’s a beautiful state.

By the way Carlsbad Caverns is not to be missed. I found it totally worthwhile and fascinating.  And all those bats!  Wow.  jeb




Big Sky Country Draws Senior Travelers

Montana is a state unlike any other. Seniors, if you’ve been there you understand why it’s called “Big Sky” country. I will never forget how and why my family first camped out on the Flathead River near Glacier National Park. I was leading a group of high school students to France. We were under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and I was explaining to the group all about the Arch that Napoleon had constructed in honor of his many victories.

When I concluded a couple walked up and told me how much they appreciated my comments. We visited a bit and I discovered that they were from West Glacier, Montana. I told them that we were planning a camping trip to that area with our little fold-down Coleman camper and they invited us to camp out in their back yard, on the bank of the Flathead River. What an experience! Tubing in the river, watching a huge herd of elk crossing a nearby golf course and the highlight, driving through the “Going to the Sun Road” in Glacier National Park called the “Crown of the Continent.”

Author John Steinbeck called Montana “a great splash of grandeur”. Senior travelers will find Glacier loaded with splashes of pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker’s paradise for adventurous senior visitors seeking wilderness and solitude.

Big Sky represents the untamed, the wild, the natural and Glacier and Yellowstone make great starting points. Between the parks lie mountains that don’t have names yet, in ranges you’ve never heard of. Scattered in their valleys, you’ll find small towns full of friendly locals sharing the unexpected and even maybe their huckleberry pie.

Seniors Experience One of America’s Unspoiled Treasures

In Montana I’ve discovered that it’s a great place to slow down and enjoy the grandeur of nature and the American West. With just one million residents spread out over more than 38-million hectares (an area larger than Germany), it is one of America’s greatest unspoiled treasures of scenic lands and wildlife. And a mix of modern and traditional cultures make it the ideal place to experience the history of the frontier and authentic small-town American life.

I recall on another trip when I was recruiting for a private school where I worked in Minnesota I came over a hill and right there in the middle of the road was an antelope. Fortunately I saw him in time and did not make him a “hood ornament.”

Natural beauty stretches across the state, rewarding senior visitors who venture off the beaten path with 24 mountain ranges, millions of hectares of public lands and wilderness preserves, alpine lakes, wide open plains, natural hot springs and famous fly-fishing streams.  Enjoy Big Sky Country like I have. jeb




Seniors Get “Valley Fever”

Monument Valley

My wife suggested to me today  that I might write a travel blog for seniors on famous valleys.  Sounded good to me…then I started to investigate the topic. Boy, did I ever get in over my head on this one.  I soon discovered a plethora of information on famous valleys all over the world.

I use the words, ‘Valley Fever’, tongue in cheek, because in Arizona there is a dreaded illness called “Valley Fever.” It’s a nasty lung infection from a fungus that becomes airborne when dust around construction areas and agricultural areas is transported by the wind. I won’t pursue that one. Look it up for yourself if you’re interested.  I will however get into valleys…hundreds of them.

A valley in its broadest geographic sense is also known as a dale. A valley through which a river runs may be referred to as a vale. A small, secluded, and often wooded valley is known as a dell or in Scotland as a glen. A wide, flat valley through which a river runs is known in Scotland as a strath.

I found out very quickly that there are river valleys, vales, U-shaped valleys, tunnel valleys, meltwater valleys, transition forms and valley shoulders, hanging valleys, valley floors, and hollows. Some are also called a canyon, gorge, cove or coon.

Copper Canyon

 This URL has a few great photos of valleys like the famed Kashmir Valley (said to be one of the most beautiful valleys in the entire world), Valley of the Kings and Indus Valley.

American Valleys Draw Seniors

The Grand Canyon outshines all the others for sheer size and if you have never been there, it should be on your “bucket list.”  The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters).

There is Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border or the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Then there is California with Yosemite Valley, Death Valley, Napa Valley, The San Joaquin Valley and The Tri-Valley.  All are notable for one reason or another.

National Geographic has some great photos of famous valleys. Olympic Valley, Las Vegas Valley, Palo Duro Canyon, Rio Grande Valley, Sonoma Valley, Las Vegas Valley, The San Joaquin Valley and Central Valley (CA).

Bend in Grand Canyon

Valleys that I am well acquainted with in France include the Rhone Valley and the Loire Valley. The Loire is where senior travelers will find dozens of famous chateaux along the Loire River and was the hunting grounds of French kings. And in the Rhone Valley, seniors will want your corkscrew.

Huffington Post notes 21 Insanely Gorgeous Valleys Around the World and I invite you to choose one that stands out above all the others. Tough job it is. For me it is the Grand Canyon. jeb




Seniors Check Out Carson City

Seniors, do you know what the capital of Nevada is? It’s Carson City, with a population of just over  55,000 at the 2010 census. Carson City is about 30 miles south of Reno and originated as a stopover for California bound emigrants, but developed into a city with the Comstock Lode, a silver strike in the mountains to the northeast.

Let’s see what draws senior visitors to the area. Carson City is named for the famous frontiersman and scout Christopher “Kit” Carson. During his 1843-1844 expedition, John C. Fremont had named Carson City’s nearby river for Kit Carson, Fremont’s scout. Lake Tahoe is right next to Carson City and the area brings in throngs of tourists. Virginia City (15 miles northeast) — makes for an easy day trip on board the Silver Line Express RR.

What Can Seniors See and Do in Carson City?

Casinos, yes. The casinos in Carson City are vastly different from the mega resorts you find on the Las Vegas Strip. They are smaller, more “Mom and Pop” type places. All of them cater more to the locals than to tourists. Although there’s no need to worry…they’ll take your money just as easily as a Carsonite’s.

Like much of the frontier West, Carson City was a rough and tumble area when settlement started in the mid-1800s. Gaming and saloons were the norm, but while other states began to prohibit gaming, Nevada embraced it for its potential economic boon to the area. Today, gaming is a much more civilized affair. While it doesn’t have the size or reputation of Reno, Carson City does provides interest and enjoyment to senior visitors by virtue of its frontier architecture and historical attractions.

TripAdvisor lists 25 exciting things for senior travelers to see and do in Carson City that includes Skunk Harbor, hang gliding, the Nevada State RR Museum and a host of others. Carson City may be its own best attraction and a leisurely walk through its historic neighborhoods is the best way to get acquainted with this pleasant city at the base of the Sierra Nevada. Constructed in 1870, the Nevada State Capitol has a long and storied history including being the 2nd oldest capitol building west of the Mississippi River.

Considered a town that is dominated by its spectacular setting, Carson City maintains the charm of its 1860s gold and silver town roots. This is a town that was made to be explored and enjoyed by foot. Senior visitors will learn about the Nevada Territory, the Comstock Silver Lode, the Virginia & Truckee RR and the US Mint.  A big silver bed could be tens of meters wide and more than a kilometer long (worth $27,000 a ton in 1860′s dollars). And if you did not know this already, the nickname for Nevada is The Silver State, dating from the Nevada silver rush days of the mid 1800′s. I hope you enjoy this historic town. jeb




Seniors Have Discovered Manzanillo

Manzanillo is said to be one of Mexico’s safest and most friendly cities senior travelers will find in Mexico. On the awesome Pacific coast, boasting 350 days of sunshine with average temperatures of 85, senior visitors will discover beautiful beaches, stunning accommodations and some of the friendliest people you’ll meet anywhere in the world.

The name Manzanillo refers to the city as well as its surrounding municipality in the Mexican state of Colima. The city, located on the Pacific Ocean, is Mexico’s busiest port, responsible for handling cargo for the Mexico City area. Known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World”, since 1957 Manzanillo has hosted important national and international fishing competitions, such as the Dorsey Tournament, making it a very attractive fishing destination.

The port is increasing in global popularity, which can only mean good things for the city’s economy and modernization prospects. The name Manzanillo was derived from the abundant groves of manzanilla trees that were used extensively in the early days of ship building.

Senior Tourist Destination

Manzanillo, with a population of just over 110,000,  has become one of the country’s most important tourist destinations. Its excellent hotels and restaurants continue to meet the demands of both national and international tourism. Located between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, it has become a haven for sun worshippers, sports enthusiasts and honeymooners.

At the North end of Manzanillo bay is the resort Las Hadas (“the fairies”), which is the most famous of the city’s resorts, having been featured in the movie 10 with Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. Do you remember that movie?  Manzanillo consists of two bays with crescent-shaped beaches, each about 4 miles in length. Tomzap is a new URL for me and you’ll discover it to be very useful for FAQs. Senior golfers, get this…there are three courses named in “The 100 Greatest in the World” by Golf Digest Magazine.

The best time for seniors citizens to visit Manzanillo is during the winter months from November to April. Manzanillo’s close proximity to the Sierra Madre Mountains helps to keep temperatures slightly cooler than many of the other well-known resort destinations located up and down the Pacific Coast. Wikitravel notes that Manzanillo “makes a great getaway with world famous beaches, festivals with lots of local flavor and fabulous outdoor activities. Splash it up, catch your dinner (sport fishing), peek into a volcano or explore the deep blue sea. Manzanillo has it all.”

Where Seniors Can Relax

I think that you’ll enjoy Isla Navidad said to be a true heaven on earth where reefs, cliffs and golden beaches combine with a golf course in front of the sea, a peaceful lagoon and a small seascape. This place is ideal to relax, far from the noise and the constant hustle of the big cities. So I’ll depart today and invite you to view several videos to give you a taste of Manzanillo .   Enjoy the weather and the many amenities of Manzanillo. jeb




Seniors Visit the “Crossroads of the Americas”

Seniors travelers are always looking for great travel ideas and here is one that will captivate you. Panama.  You certainly will not feel alone, Panama boasts a large expat community; about 25,000 U.S. citizens live in the country.

There are several recommended places to visit that include Colon, David, Pedasi, El Valle de Anton, Bocas, Boquete, Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos and Santa Catalina. TripAdvisor gives information on each site and they offer lots of other helpful information on Panama.

I know of several seniors who have been to Panama on a cruise and that includes my father and mother-in-law. They spoke highly of their trip. U.S. citizens traveling by air, road, or sea must present a valid passport when entering or departing Panama. U.S. citizens departing or re-entering the United States must likewise present a valid passport.

Senior Travel to Panama is Easy and Popular

The ease of travel and wide array of experiences make Panama one of the most attractive emerging tourism destinations in the world. In just one week, senior visitors can enjoy two different oceans, experience the mountains and rainforest, learn about native cultures and take advantage of vibrant urban life.

The capital, Panama City, is a modern, sophisticated metropolis that resembles Miami and has established commerce, arts, fashion and dining. It is Central America’s capital of international finance, called by locals the “Dubai of the Americas,” and is in the midst of a prolonged boomtown fever.

Fodors, Frommers and National Geographic have all recently begun publishing guides for Panama, only the second country in Central America, behind Costa Rica, to have such extensive travel coverage. So how are you going to get there? Panama’s excellent location, in the center of the Americas, contributes to the availability of a wide range of options to reach Panama. From any city in North or South America, you can arrive at Panama in just a few hours. Additionally, there are many airlines to choose from for the trip to Panama. Similarly, from Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world’s continents, it is extremely easy to connect to Panama.

I love Wikitravel, a site that puts everything in order with super information as well suggestions for senior travelers. The NY Times has a differing opinion on where to go and what to see and they think that Bocas del Toro, Boquete (see above), Isla Contadora, Panama City and the San Blas Islands are the majors for you to consider.

USA Today provides some great ideas on keeping safe and how to make your trip a memorable one. Enjoy Panama. jeb




Seniors Fall for Falls Church

Falls Church, Virginia, with a population of just over 12,000, is a great small town for senior citizens to visit in historic America. The smallest independent city, by area, in Virginia, taking its name from The Falls Church, an 18th-century Anglican parish, Falls Church gained township status within Fairfax County back in 1875. In 1948, it was incorporated as the City of Falls Church. It is also referred to as Falls Church City. It is quite close to DC.

What is There for Seniors to See and Do?

Yes, “Virginia is for Lovers” and Falls Church fits in quite well.  Attractions of many types abound in and around this historic little town. If you are into history, Cherry Hill Farm (1845) is just made for you, senior history students. It is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as an Historic Landmark for the State of Virginia.

A guided walking tour takes you through historic Falls Church neighborhoods. The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce does its job of promoting the city with great information for senior visitors. Along with Cherry Hill Farm you won’t want to miss the Eden Center nor The State Theatre.  A multi-million dollar restoration in the late 1990s turned The Theatre into a venue for live music and private events.

Each site above is a major attraction that senior visitors can enjoy while in the DC area.  Cherry Hill Farm was once a thriving 73-acre farm that survived the Civil War despite being repeatedly overrun, raided and requisitioned.

That Famous Little Church

The Falls Church community developed around The Falls Church, which was founded in 1734 and whose congregation has included President George Washington and Virginia statesman George Mason. The name “The Falls Church” came from its geographical location. Among the very few, widely separated churches in the parish, this church was identified as the one that was “near the falls” of the Potomac River.

Another loaded site is the city of Falls Church “Official Website” that has just about everything you will want to know about the city.  Even includes an Online Bill Pay plus a Solid Waste Services portion.  Just thought I’d toss that in for those of you senior citizens who once worked for a city government in our great nation.

Falls Church has something going on all year long, and its proximity to Washington DC makes it an easy visit, one not to be missed. Enjoy your time in Falls Church.  jeb




Seniors Discover Chippewa Falls

I remember my father bringing home a huge blue catfish he caught in the Chippewa River in Wisconsin.  He had  hold of its gills in his 6’5″ frame and the tail touched the ground. It was a whopper!  Maybe 50 lbs or better.  He caught it near Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. My senior memory is clear with this event, and knowing my father well, he just might have started his fishing trip at the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery.

As a father myself, I am indebted to the state of Wisconsin since two of my children got an education there. One is a veterinarian, who started her college education at Stevens Point,  the other an attorney who graduated from Marquette University Law School.  As a result my wife and I have been to Wisconsin many times, however never to Chippewa Falls.

Chippewa Falls was originally a lumber town that became a railroad town, even though the main railroad line of the 1870s went through Eau Claire, about 10 miles to the south. Senior visitors will find art and history, breweries and wineries and farm fresh products in and around Chippewa Falls and the city is full of natural beauty and local charm.

Chippewa County Attracts Seniors

 Chippewa County Wisconsin offers excitement and adventure all year round. Explore the County’s rich historical roots or attend one of the nationally acclaimed music festivals. For seniors who love the outdoors, the area is blessed with an abundance of resources with miles of bike trails, picturesque parks, acres of pristine forest lands, and fish-laden lakes.

The local charm of small town life is preserved on Main Street in downtown Chippewa Falls. Here architecturally significant buildings house a bustling business community. Located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County, the town has a population of nearly 14,000. Chippewa Falls is named after the Ojibwa Native Americans and Chippewa is an alternative rendition of Ojibwa.

Where is Chippewa Falls?

From the Twin Cities, Chippewa Falls is directly east and Interstate 94 will take you there. There’s a gorgeous little park called Irvine Park in the heart of town plus it has a zoo, pavilions, picnic areas and beautiful drives.  The county seat is located in Chippewa Falls and seniors will discover a host of attractions and things to see and do that includes the Northern Wisconsin State Fair, the Museum of Industry and Technology, wineries and apple orchards. In August, the annual Pure Water Days Celebration is a city-wide event that provides affordable family oriented activities for all ages and celebrates Chippewa Falls’ pure water.

 Enjoy your time in Chippewa Falls.  Sounds like a great little town to me. jeb

nty is divided into 15 supervisory districts, and each district


Seniors Fly High Above the Rim

My wife and I just returned from spending five days ten miles north of Payson, Arizona in the heart of what is called Rim Country.  We rented a cabin with my wife’s sister and her husband and enjoyed exploring the region. It was a magnificent means for these seniors to escape from the 119 degree heat in the Valley.The Mogollon Rim is an escarpment 7,000 feet in altitude with a dramatic drop of over 2000 feet to the communities below. The Rim provides some of the most far-reaching scenery in Arizona.

Arizona is a handsome state with a variety of natural environments from the hot, dry desert to the cool, mountainous pine forests. When seniors are looking for a place to cool down, the Rim Country is where they often find themselves. The Mogollon Rim, pronounced “muggy-own” or “muggy-on”, is a mountain range that extends 400 miles.

My wife is enthralled with the plethora of her favorite Arizona tree, the magnificent Ponderosa Pine, and Arizona has more of these trees that anywhere else in the entire world! We drove along the Rim to Woods Canyon Lake to observe eagles circling overhead, looking for their lunch…we saw a catch.  What a thrill!

The Mogollon Rim is Arizona’s mighty backbone. Payson, close by, makes a great base for senior exploring. Many locals in the Valley have a second home or cabin near the Rim where they spend their summers. The difference in temperature between the Valley and the Rim is dramatic. This makes for weekend rushes of heat refugees who bring along their fish poles as the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks trout on a regular basis in the local streams that dot the area.

Seniors Head North on Beeline Hwy (#87)

Tonto Natural Bridge

All around Payson we discovered an area teeming with stunning wildlife (a huge elk walked in front of our cabin), fishing lakes and streams, special events, hiking trails and natural wonders like the Tonto Natural Bridge. The natural travertine Tonto Bridge is the world’s largest and represents Rim Country’s best-known tourist attraction and its crown jewel. 83-feet-high, it is a 400-foot-long tunnel created over eons of time.

 In Payson seniors will discover the Festival Capital of Arizona plus the famous World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo that heads a long list of events, including the Mountain High Games, Beeline Cruise-In, Arizona State Fiddlers Championship.

We returned to the Valley on the Fourth of July and what luck.  Not only did we escape some record heat, but Highway 87 heading north out of Phoenix was jammed with campers, motorcycles, cars and pickups and we were glad we were heading the other direction.

The Chamber Visitors Guide is informative and makes the Rim Country inticing. Enjoy your visit.  jeb




Mazatlán Reaches Out To Seniors

Mazatlán is a perennial favorite with North American senior sunbirds and snowbirds alike. Endowed with a shoreline sprinkled with beckoning islands, a lovely seaside promenade, miles of golden beaches and blue lagoons, it lives up to its moniker, “Pearl of the Pacific.” Is it safe?  Rest assured.  Hear what these experienced visitors have to say about the city.

Mazatlán (the locals and visitors call it Maz) that means “place of the deer” in the Nahuatl Indian language. Yes, it’s famous for its fine beaches and a wonderful historical downtown section. Senior travelers will discover Mazatlán to be a socially and economically diverse city, with more than 350,000 welcoming people of all races. It is a popular vacation and retirement destination for Europeans, Canadians and Americans.

Beach Resort, Historic Site and Romantic City

TripAdvisor invites seniors to enjoy Mazatlán… a historic capital, a beach resort, a lively and romantic town. Whatever you look for in a Mexican vacation is on the menu in Mazatlán. Returning travelers rave about the welcoming Mazatlecos, who treat you like old amigos, as well as the beaches, the food, the weather, the music and the feeling of never wanting to leave.

And attractions… how about Trip Advisor’s 104 suggestions for starters.  I dearly love Mexico and the many wonderful places to visit. Fodor’s can help you get around efficiently in town with sights, restaurants, entertainment, activities and travel tips. They are always a good resource for travelers.

Senior visitors will not want to miss walking along the Malecon. Do you know what a Malecon is? It’s a jetty or breakwater. Malecón is a word used in Spanish-speaking countries for a stone-built embankment or esplanade along a waterfront. So now you know. It stretches from the original Mazatlán past the Golden Zone to the end of Cerritos Beach. Mazatlán’s waterfront street (the Malecon) is the backbone of the city.

Seniors Discover Premier Destination

The location on the Mexican Gold Coast boasts long stretches of palm–lined beaches, ideal for experiencing spectacular sunsets. You may choose to be pampered in Mazatlán’s luxury hotels and resorts. Senior visitors may want to visit the active seaport and historical attractions or enjoy hiking, bird–watching or aquatic sports. Mazatlán offers a great vacation for senior travelers.

I found a super walking tour for you to consider with many worthwhile things to see and do in town. I’ll depart today with these folks called the “Best Mazatlán Information Resource.” You judge, but it looked pretty classy to me. The Plaza Machado is a spot not to be missed.

I think you will really enjoy exploring Mazatlán so much that you may want to return again and again.  It’s on my bucket list. jeb



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