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Maria Ruiz

New Years 2002 Sicily

IN THE December 26 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



Another holiday season, and the shops were full of gifts and magnificent candies or cookies. We were driving in southern Italy and crossed to Sicily on a ferry, two days before Christmas.

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Season Memories

IN THE December 19 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



The holiday season starts early for children; Halloween is the unofficial start for a three-year-old. Accompanying their moms, they notice Christmas lights on a tree at the local department store. There are packages—boxes trimmed in gold—and twinkling lights around the doors and windows. Moms may say, “Christmas is still two months away,” but the Santa on his sleigh in the store window calls, “Christmas is coming.”

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Small World: Italian Travel Adventure

IN THE November 7 ISSUE

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by Maria Ruiz



My husband and I were visiting Venice, Italy with our little dog, Sherman, and a friend from the USA, Joyce. Hunger drove us to explore some side streets in search of a light lunch which wouldn’t require a bank loan to pay.

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by Maria Ruiz



I was on a trip with an older friend. We had ridden the train from the Pacific Coast up the Copper Canyon and from there, flown to Mexico City. The weather was warm without being too hot to enjoy walking around in the afternoon.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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