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Maria Ruiz

The Italian Accident

IN THE September 19 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Bang! Crunch! “What did we hit?” my husband yelled as he brought the motor home to a stop.
“It’s a kid!” I yelled back. Looking out the passenger window, I saw a pair of little legs and a bicycle wheel sticking out from under the side.

{ 5 comments }

The Bus From Hell

IN THE August 15 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Hey! We can take a bus from here to Flores to see the Komodo Dragons!” I yelled as I passed a shop with a sign in the window. We were in Lombok, an island in Indonesia next to Bali. We’d planned on visiting the Island of Flores where tours to see the giant lizards started.

{ 5 comments }

The One-Gallon Shower

IN THE July 18 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Would you like hot water for your shower?” asked the man behind the desk.
I was registering for a hotel room in Calcutta and was surprised. No one had ever asked that before at a hotel. Especially as this was a well-known old hotel with a history as long as Britain had been in India.

{ 5 comments }

Mekong River: Another Travel Adventure

IN THE June 6 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Asia. The land of pagodas, jade Buddhas, and stir fried foods. What we knew about Asia we could put in a pot sticker at the local Chinese restaurant. We had done Central America and Europe and it was time to move on. Going east seemed the logical next place.

{ 9 comments }

Asian Appetite

IN THE April 18 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Before we started traveling, we often went out to eat Chinese food. Even in Europe, we usually visited Chinese restaurants. We liked Indian and Thai dishes, too. Now we were in Asia, and face-to-face with the real thing. Foods in restaurants are altered to appeal to local tastes and often the real thing is quite different.

{ 3 comments }

Eating in Europe

IN THE March 21 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz




Eating in Europe was a pleasing adventure. We were just two of the millions who visit each year, tourists complete with backpacks and a map. The only thing that set us apart was that we were traveling with our dog.

{ 3 comments }

Eating in Central America

IN THE February 21 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



When we left the U.S. to begin our travels, I thought that I would never see Grey Poupon Mustard again. Was I surprised to see it everywhere we traveled except in Africa.

{ 5 comments }

A Travel Adventure With Elephants

IN THE January 10 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz




During our travels we got to ride, bath, feed and photograph lots of elephants. The one place where we saw hundred’s of elephants all at one time, all in a showground built for them was in Thailand.

{ 4 comments }

Cambodia Travel Adventure

IN THE December 27 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



We left Bangkok early in the morning to travel the 100 miles to the border between Cambodia and Thailand by bumpy bus. Once at the border, we crossed with dozens of hand-drawn carts and trucks, all carrying goods into Cambodia. Traffic going to Thailand seemed to be just pedestrians. After clearing Thailand immigration, we had to walk about a block into Cambodia to get our visas. Along the route, large casinos lined both sides of the road, evidence of Asians’ love of gambling.

{ 3 comments }

Angkor Wat

IN THE November 29 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Siem Reap is probably the second largest city in Cambodia at this time or will be very soon. It is the modern city next to Angkor Wat. Guest houses and hotels are everywhere and more are being built daily. Large resorts line the road from the airport and money exchange shops fill in any empty space. There are two large market places in town, one for locals and one for the tourists. The smell of fish permeates markets and streets. The majority of vehicles are bicycles and motorcycles, interspersed with mototuks and minivans, carrying tourists back and forth.Finally we made it to the hotel, a very lovely place run by an English couple that specializes in tours for photographers.

{ 3 comments }

Hampi: The Enchanted City

IN THE September 6 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



One of the most difficult places we visited was India. And yet it was probably the most interesting. One thing for sure was that we never got tired of it and the sights. The contrast between the extreme poverty and disease, and the bustle of modern civilization is beyond words.

{ 5 comments }

The Trapped Kitten: A Travel Story

IN THE August 9 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Honey, come quick. I think there are kittens trapped under the shower,” my husband called out to me while standing outside the motor home, dressed in a towel around his waist and his new rubber shower clogs.

{ 9 comments }

by Maria Ruiz



Imagine being six years old and dressed for a night out with Mom and Dad. Now imagine dropping something on the floor and it rolls under your bed. When you bend down to pick it up, something grabs your arm and pulls you down into the crack between the wall and the floor. Meet Karen Beth and her friends in The Land of You Lost It and We Found It.

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The Ossuary or Bone Church: A Travel Adventure

IN THE July 19 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



“Where are we?” I asked my husband.
“In the Czech Republic” he replied.
“I know that. But right now, where are we?”
“Driving around looking for the Ossuary. See that man standing by that fence. Ask him.” My husband started to slow the motor home.

{ 3 comments }

by Maria Ruiz



I was a young wife whose husband had recently graduated from the University. His first job in a coastal city of California meant we had to move. My husband, Bob, our five year old son, Barry, our dog Fuzzy and I moved into a typical middle class neighborhood. What had seemed like a fortune for college students, Bob’s salary at the new job, turned out to be just a bit short of meeting our bills.

{ 7 comments }

Strange Things We Saw While Traveling

IN THE May 24 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz




Traveling allows one to see more than big buildings or strange landscapes. It lets us explore new ways of doing things, new smells and delightful tastes. We traveled for ten years to fifty-seven countries and learned more than we could have sitting in front of a television set. Some ideas and tastes we liked, others we rejected. The hardest part of experiencing new ideas is withholding judgment and remembering that there is no right or wrong way to do many things. We do something a certain way because our mothers taught us how she did it.

{ 11 comments }

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