Places I Remember with Lea Lane

100th Episode! (Part One): Best Travel Memories From Places I Remember

December 05, 2023 Host Lea Lane guides us through the best of our guests' special memories throughout 100 episodes. Season 1 Episode 99
Places I Remember with Lea Lane
100th Episode! (Part One): Best Travel Memories From Places I Remember
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We're celebrating our 100th episode with a two-part series! We've handpicked favorites from past guests, in this double-sized episode with tales from every corner of the globe.

Guest's travel memories include: an encounter on the pilgrimage along Spain's Camino de Santiago; wildlife sightings in Yellowstone National Park;  a serendipitous mishap in the Norwegian fjords; and the transformational tale of Meg Daly, whose bike accident sparked a revolution in Miami. We'll also travel to awe-inspiring destinations, experiencing the beauty of the Northern Lights in Alaska, and paying homage to the solemnity of World War cemeteries in Belgium and France. We're not just sharing stories; we're exploring the unique ways these experiences have shaped the lives of our guests.

We take you to Ohio's Duck Tape Festival, share a climber's experience of summiting Mount Everest, and unearth the mysteries of an archaeological dig in France. We’ll also share an emotional visit to a Holocaust survivor's hiding place in Poland. To close out this special episode, we'll recount my voyage through a pirate zone in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Whether it's the bizarre, the beautiful, or the downright scary, we're celebrating the transformative power of travel and the universal nature of shared experiences. (And Part Two, coming next, will offer more!)

Suggestion: Take down the episode numbers of any of the tales you especially enjoy, to hear the full stories.
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Podcast host Lea Lane blogs at forbes.com, has traveled to over 100 countries, and  has written nine books, including the award-winning Places I Remember  (Kirkus Reviews star rating, and  'one of the top 100 Indie books of  the year). She has contributed to many guidebooks and has written thousands of travel articles.

Contact Lea- she loves hearing from you! 
@lealane on Twitter; PlacesIRememberLeaLane on Insta; Places I Remember with Lea Lane on Facebook; Website: placesirememberlealane.com

New episodes drop every other Tuesday, wherever you listen. Please consider sharing, following, rating and reviewing this award-winning travel podcast. 

Lea Lane:

On Places I Remember. we offer travel memories, and to celebrate our 100th episode, we've created a double-sized, two-part compilation of some of the most special memories that our guests have offered on our podcast, going back to 2021 up to the present. We've chosen some of the funniest, most moving and meaningful memories celebrating us and you, and if you like an example, go to that numbered episode and listen to the rest. Here's the first of the two sections of our best memories from Places I Remember episode 99, enjoy. In episode two, a former New Orleans Mardi Gras Queen remembers a charming connection that changed her life.

Speaker 2:

There are a million carnival balls here and you have the social ones, the debutants are in, then you have that's maybe 15, but the rest of them every different group in the city has its own carnival ball. Some are men's crews and some are women's and some are mixtures. And I was queen of two balls, one when I was in college, and that was where your family you know if your family has some connection somebody in college is queen and a member of the ball who's much older is the king. But when I was 13, I was queen of something called the Children's Carnival Club that my grandmother helped found with two other women. My king was 12. So we were 12 and 13, very precocious age. He wore a blonde page boy wig and white tights underneath his tunic and I think he had elevator shoes on, because I was 12 at the time and I had a ponytail through my crown in the back. And what's really interesting about this is that the organization is almost 100 years old now and we are the only king and queen to ever get married, and we married in our mid 30s. Oh my goodness, you're the king of the world Does he still have a blonde page boy and I don't know. (He's gray and sort of going away now.

Lea Lane:

On episode four, a pilgrim walking on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain remembers others she met along the route.

Speaker 3:

I remember the biker who I kept passing and he kept passing me when I was walking in 2010, who stopped along the side of the road to wait for me to catch up to him so he knew I was okay and then he asked if he could put my backpack on the back of his bike. I remember walking by myself out in the middle really in the middle of nowhere and being passed by a car that went probably 100 yards ahead of me and stopped because I had taken off my backpack to get something out of my backpack and they wanted to make sure that I had put my backpack back on and was walking again before they left. They wanted to know I was okay. Or the man just outside Vigo when I was walking with my youngest daughter. We're standing and looking at the phone and she's looking at the book and he says you go this way and I said well, are you sure? He says yes, I'll take you. He walked us 20 minutes along the beach to a bar where he bought us both drinks and then walked us up to the highway, pointing out where the arrows started again, and told me he'd never walked the Camino, that he was waiting for a woman to walk with him and pay his way. I told him I'm sorry, sir, that's not me today,, I know.

Lea Lane:

In episode five, our guests had a Dancing with Wolves encounter in Yellowstone National Park.

Speaker 4:

We had spent the morning spotting wildlife in Lamar Valley, which is the Northern region we often call it the American Serengeti because it's so rich and full of wildlife and we had a pretty successful morning of wildlife spotting. We are on our way back to Nama Hot Springs Hotel for lunch, and driving along and we were all kind of quiet the guide suddenly changed directions and turned into a pull-off on the opposite side of the road. She instructed all of us to be quiet. She said she had spotted a fox that was on a hill and it suddenly bolted. So we just sat there not really knowing what we were about to see, and within a minute three full-grown wolves raced over the ridge, through the trees and down into a gully right below the road and started feeding on a carcass that we couldn't see until we started looking very closely at it. They weren't very far away and we could see them very, very clearly, and then they started playing, romping, like dogs do, and then the sun was out and then they started kind of sunning themselves on the ridge. Then one wolf sat up and started howling. Wow, and within just a moment or two he was answered by wolves on the opposite side of the road. So another pack had heard his call and this went on for a few moments. It was raw and wild and it reminded me that we almost lost these wolves. They were almost gone. We killed them to the point of extinction, but we brought them back. We had the foresight. As humans who own these national parks these are our parks we had the foresight to remedy that and we were successful.

Lea Lane:

In episode eight I recount a ferr y journey for unusual reasons on the Norwegian fjords, with my family many years ago -- two young sons and my husband. We were taking a little ferry boat across a small fjord and we were getting off the ferry and my husband went ahead with the car and I stayed behind to tie my son's shoes. And then, when I went to get off the ferry, I noticed we were moving and my husband was left on the shoreline. So, oh my goodness, I was with two little babies no diapers, no passports, nothing. So I ran to the captain and he said I'm sorry, you're going to have to go all the way around today. You'll see him at the end of the day and I was so worried that he wouldn't be there that he would go off somewhere and I'd never see him again. But my kids had a great time because the captain gave them chocolate and all that. I was worried for eight hours, but we got back and it was a memorable reunion. But that's my memory of the fjords. Beyond the beauty, Meg Daly changed Miami big time when her misfortune led to unexpected rewards for the city. Listen to this excerpt from episode 10.

Speaker 5:

Seven years ago I had a bike accident and I broke both of my arms. As an A-type person, that's very humbling because I couldn't do anything for myself. After a couple of months of healing I realized I could take the train, the metro rail. near University of Miami and I was just at Coconut Grove. And then I walked below the train tracks the rest of the way July, hot, in the shade of the train tracks, and I've driven past this stretch of land that's a big scar cutting through our county being in the space, I realized how wide it is and how much space there is. It's 100 feet wide. Again, I mentioned 120 acres for the 10 miles and I thought why don't we turn this into a park? Anyone who's been to the Highline? We have the same design team. You talked about great design. Coming to Miami, James Corner Field Operations. We said let's just embark on that idea. I remember the moment of slowing down and walking in a space that I've driven by my whole life and it woke me up to opportunity. Instead of saying that's blighted, I said wow, we can do something with this and turn it an asset for the community. It's a great memory and it just keeps on given because we keep on getting more of the Underline every day.

Lea Lane:

Camping with your horse. Hear about it in a an episod e, 11 memory.

Speaker 6:

North of Taos is a wilderness area called Valle Vidal. It's thousands and thousands and thousands of acres and it is spectacular. It was a logging area at one time and there are old logging roads that cut throughout the hills there. They make a great place to ride Twice. I've been horse camping there for a couple of weekends at a time. It is just the most wonderful experience to sleep in your tent, your horse is in a pen. They have a campground that specifically is built for horse camping. Your horse is in a pen close to your tent and you get up. Everybody has breakfast, including your horse, and you ride out for the day. You don't have to worry about cars. You might see some big horn sheep. It's just absolutely wonderful. It's the most beautiful place I have ever been.

Lea Lane:

I've never heard a more compelling description of the Northern Lights than this one in episode 16.

Speaker 7:

It was in February and it was 70 below. It was a little chilly. But I had a job where I used to do singing telegrams in character. My husband at the time was picking me up and driving me home from one of my little singing things. It's pitch black. We were driving home. I look out the window and I see this stuff in the sky, these colors. I was like pull over, pull over, pull over. He pulls over and the sky just came to light with these beautiful colors and ribbons and they were swaying. It was almost musical and it was my first time seeing the Northern Lights. To this day and this was over 30 years ago to this day, I can still feel that feeling of awe and magic and wonder when people talk about it, because I was like I know. I know it's very difficult to describe. You need to see it for yourself.

Lea Lane:

In episode 18,. he memory of a visit to World War I and World War II cemeteries in Belgium and France is especially compelling and insightful.

Speaker 8:

One of the best parts of the experience was where the memorials and cemeteries that were adjacent to the battlefields, not necessarily the battlefields themselves. Of the many cemeteries we went to, one of the more interesting ones was one of the Imperial German Army cemeteries. I believe this was in the Battle of the Somme. These German cemeteries are sort of much less traveled. There was nobody there. The crosses were very spartan, dark, thin steel crosses and very Germanic, very World War I, but very beautiful at the same time, just because of the contrast of, say, the sort of white memorials that the Allied countries cemeteries have. These were black steel crosses. We were in one German cemetery in particular in Bremendoviers, adjacent to the battlefield of Somme, and featured hundreds of these black steel crosses, very haunting. We were walking along the grounds and in the back of the plot were a few stone markers not steel crosses but stone markers and lo and behold, they had the Star of David on them. And sure enough, these were gravesites of Jewish German soldiers who fought and died side by side with Christian soldiers of the Imperial German Army. It's just staggering to think that 15 years later the family of these fallen Jewish soldiers were subject to Nazi fascism, the Holocaust. And then you think of the irony when you bookend this with the American cemetery in Normandy where, 26 years later, the Jews fought side by side with their Christian brothers in the American Army and the American Armed Forces as Jewish liberators of Europe. And so I just think that ironic bookend of that, the 26 years between the two cemeteries, the inclusion of the Jewish soldiers in the World War I cemetery for the Germans and the Jewish soldiers for the American Armed Forces in Normandy, so that's something that I'll always remember, the beauty of that and the irony of it.

Lea Lane:

I recorded four episodes of unusual seasonal festivals throughout the world. Here's one memory from episode 19. Here's one summer festival that I remember most -- the Duck Tape Festival. Near Cleveland, in Avon, Ohio. The three-day event celebrates one thing and one thing only tape. Avon is home of the maker of the Duck Tape brand, duct Tape. So Duck Tape Festival is not just a clever name. I knew that tape was useful, but I never knew how useful. I remember floats made entirely of Duck Tape, clothes from Duck Tape and sculptures. The festival is probably the only place where you can see a giant Duck Tape Empire State building next to a 350-pound Duck Tape cheeseburger. The festival draws more than 50,000 attendees each year. Admission is free and if you're looking for a reason to attend, the first 500 visitors each day receive a free roll of Duck Tape. I still have mine on a shelf. Perhaps my oddest travel memento In episode 21. Famed climber Jim Davidson remembers summiting Mount Everest in Nepal.

Speaker 9:

Yeah, it really has burned into my memory standing on that ridge at 29,000 feet, watching the stars disappear and the sun coming over the plains. You know it took me a long time to get there and I've been striving for it and you get those goals and you want to do those goals. But it is really true that it's what the journey can do for you, how the journey will refine you into a better version of you the good days and the bad days. So I didn't have any huge celebration when I summited. I just felt very humbled that I was able to take this journey and get there. I'm very grateful for the people that had helped me and the things I'd learned along the way. So it really is not so much about ticking that thing off as going on the journey to learn what you're supposed to learn and becoming a better version of you. I think that's what travel does for us and I think that spills over in a good way into our lives.

Speaker 10:

I have a very strong memory of my junior year from college abroad. We had a long weekend in Paris from class that was available and we went down on the road on a dig on an archaeological site at some old Chateau in the Tour Valley and spent three days, I think, digging only four steps that were probably medieval steps. It wasn't like it was a big discovery.

Lea Lane:

You weren't Indiana Jones.

Speaker 10:

I wasn't Indiana Jones. They were steps up to the Chateau but nobody had seen them before and it was just. It made the whole experience. Gee, when else could I have had that experience? So obviously, visiting museums, the Eiffel Tower and all that all stuck sufficiently strong in my memory that I actually went back and moved to France, but it was probably digging those steps that made the biggest impact on me in terms of understanding what history was all about.

Speaker 12:

I think in a very intense memory I have, but something that definitely sticks out is when I went to the Golan Heights.

Lea Lane:

It is real yeah in Israel.

Speaker 12:

So we were kind of thinking we'd go. I think there's a little. What's the term a community there? I think you just think you could get a little tour around that. A kibbutz, yes, that's it. But what happened in reality was very different. So this guy took us in a jeep all around the places in the Six Day War and all these abandoned buildings and stuff like that. But just a thousand feet away from us, just on the other side of this little river, it was Syria and we went to. Eventually we settled in this little rundown building from the 1967 day war and there was graffiti everywhere, there was debris everywhere, there was no windows, but you could just look out and see the country of Syria right in front of you. And my dad told me that when he went to Syria it was like the nice st tpeople he ever met. So when I heard like a loud bang on the other side and I think I saw like people running even though it was a very rural part it the royal steel people it made me very emotional because number one, like it, felt so real to me. You could see this wasn't just something on the news, it was something real. And the guy there was like, yep, the rebels are fighting again. And I started crying because I just felt so bad for everyone there. But also I felt because I don't know. I came on that trip worrying about my grades at school and then I realized how lucky I was in the bigger context of the world and it made me want to do something about it. And then, one part specifically, we heard footsteps and we were like oh my God, and we saw like guys guns walk in and I was like, yep, this is it, but it was just the IDF. After they were like hey, it was so. It was so sad. How to see how I guess militarized the border was, you know, and how different the countries were and they were just so close to each other.

Lea Lane:

In episode 26,. Emmy winner Simon Fuller recalls a heartwarming moment in the Serengeti.

Speaker 13:

I mean I've been to Africa many, many times, to many different countries and a great number of wonderful trips and safaris. There was one trip where I actually went specifically to just recharge my batteries and to think about projects in my career and that was the trip where I came up with the idea of Serengeti. So that was obviously found and important. But the part two to that was that I got to take my three young daughters there after Serengeti had broadcast. Always we were making it at least, and shared the wonder of that beautiful part of the world with them. And so to see them see an elephant in the wild and a lion and all the many, many beautiful creatures we saw, to see their reaction to it for the first time they were three and a half and eight and a half at the time Nothing will ever beat that for me. That's the memory I would take to my grave. It was just the innocence of young humans and the innocence of nature meeting and that purity and the love. No, it wasn't fear actually, it was just awe, it was just. That will be a memory I will last forever and ever.

Lea Lane:

Maine is more than lobsters and lighthouses. This sweet memory in episode 27 shows why.

Speaker 14:

When my dad was still alive we rented a cottage, a waterfront cottage, in K and I mentioned it early. It's a lobster fishing village on the Schudik Peninsula and it's well off the beaten path. It's got a wonderful little lobster shack but it's the kind of village people I think who aren't from Maine from away think of when they are picturing a Maine coastal village. It's a small protected harbor just filled with lobster boats, no pleasure boats. The harbor is wrapped with wharves s that are lined with buoys and traps and various gear from lobster fishing. We used to sit on the ledges out front and watch the lobster boats go in and out of the harbor and one afternoon we went down to there's some lovely gallery in town and one afternoon we went to the lobster shack and I got talking to the owner, Joe Young, and he's a born storyteller. He's a descendant of the original settlers, a sixth generation lobsterman, and his aunt, Bernice Abbott, was a friend painter at Marston Hartley and Joe's parents rented a kind of a chicken coop shack to Hartley when he came to Maine and he painted there. Joe keeps a gallery in a shack in one of the shacks on the wharves with a lot of her photographs and you just really get the sense of Maine. When you're there You're like, wow, this is what it's all about and it's the simple pleasures of spending time with my dad. I just loved it and enjoying life and slowly.

Lea Lane:

Yeah, traveling to Antarctica is one of the ultimate bucket list trips. Here's an example why in episode 33.

Speaker 15:

We're doing a Zodiac cruise to look at the wildlife, the whales and so on, and it just so happened that there was a pot of orcas swimming around. And all of a sudden we realized, and there was several young, and the first thing we saw was there were some penguins on ice. And all of a sudden we see three male orcas swim side by side each other towards that little ice. It was flat ice that the penguins were on and just as they were about to get to the ice they dove beneath it and by diving beneath it they created a wave that flipped the ice over, that put the penguins into the water and then the chase was on and just watching them chasing the penguins, corralling the penguins to then the young came in. So what they were doing was teaching their young how to hunt. And then, after that was over, then all of a sudden there was a seal. There was a crabbiter seal in the water and next thing we started noticing and at this point our engines were off the whole time, okay watching this right in front of us happening. And then all of a sudden we noticed they started playing with the seal and getting the seal, feeling comfortable and almost befriending the seal. And then, as they were playing with it and swimming alongside and everything, and as the seal was feeling more comfortable, we noticed they started getting rougher with the seal and started pushing the seal a little bit. And then they started flipping it out of the water and getting a little more aggressive with the seal and then to the point where they would stun it. And then all of a sudden, the young would come in and we realized, oh my gosh, they were literally what was happening in front of us. They were teaching their young how to hunt, and this all lasted about with the penguins in the seals, about an hour and a half. And you have to understand. Yes, we watch them hunt the seal and everything in the penguins, but this is nature unfolding in front of you. The baby Orca had the seal in its mouth, right underneath our zodiac, and the penguin at one time jumped onto our zodiac before it went back in the water. It's just nature unfolding in front of you, and nowhere else in the world can you feel as safe, but experience such experiences as that. I'll never forget that feeling. I'll never forget that experience. I'll never forget everyone in the zodiacs. Their jaws just dropped and it was so hard to pick up your camera to get photos. I got photos of it because it's happening in front of you. So the one thing I'll leave you with I'll guarantee you, if you go to Antarctica, the rest of your life. Anytime you look at a globe or a map, the first place your eyes will always go to is straight down to Antarctica, and you're going to wonder how am I going to get back there again?

Lea Lane:

In episode 34, we see how even one tiny moment in this case on a camping trip in an RV can create a memory for life.

Speaker 16:

Probably one of my favorite memories is going to be with my family at Yosemite. We walked out into the field where you're right next to El Capitan on your left and the giant waterfall on your right, and it is a picture of all the paintings. You could ever imagine being out in the wilderness for free. But the memory that really stuck out for me was my daughter was out in this open clearing and doing cartwheels and giggling and staring at things, seeing the climbers and just in awe, and that to me, was one of my favorite memories, absolutely hands down, of seeing her taking in something like that.

Lea Lane:

That's beautiful. When we think of glitzy and glam Dubai, we don't usually think of this kind of memory, as told in episode 35.

Speaker 11:

I was fortunate enough that I married the lovely Sarah in a little church in Dubai. Despite the UAE being a Muslim country, they are very respectful of other faiths and we got a little church wedding during lock down time. So we were in masks, Our two guests were in masks, two witnesses, the minister was in masks and we had it on Facebook Live. So our friends and family around the world could watch it. So that's always going to be, no matter what happens. That's going to be my takeaway.

Lea Lane:

Mermaids in South Korea. Well, kind of as you'll hear in this memory from episode 36. Oh my, gosh.

Speaker 17:

So the Manjongul Cave in Korea is one of the attractions in Jeju Island, that is, it's actually a world UNESCO heritage site, so you can go and experience the stalagmites and stalactites. I could go on and on in terms of the hiking experiences throughout Jeju Island, but one of my memories, special memories of Jeju Island, is the henyo, which is the sea woman, and they catch seafood for a living with only a knife while holding their breath, some pretty much 80 years plus, and they free dive down to 30 feet for minutes, depending on their experience. And you can still see some of these we call them sea mermaids at work and learn about the history and culture in the Henyo museum on Jeju Island. For me, this was one of the most memorable experiences in Korea.

Lea Lane:

Heidi Sarna wrote a book about surprising Singapore and she remembers one of the surprises in episode 39.

Speaker 18:

Well, I would say, sort of going back to something earlier I was saying about the jungle swallowing up things in Singapore just because it grows so fast and it's tropical. So when I first started nosing around because I'm a heritage buff, as I said I had read about an old Malay mansion, or palace even. It was described just off of a busy road, near the Botanic Gardens and it, which is near where I live, and I just couldn't believe it and I kept reading these blogs and then I tried to find it and then the first attempt I just was like walking in circles and getting bitten by mosquitoes and but I kept reading. It was there and then finally I got better instructions from one of the bloggers and I really bushwhacked through the jungle with long pants on and you know th r e and it was just like a quarter mile up this little hill in a really heavily wooded area and there were the ruins of a Malay Royal Palace and it's still there. It's such a thrill. So in a way that was a symbolic moment to have like hidden in plain sight. There really are more layers to Singapore, peel the onion, explorer and t that propelled me to get into the street Secret Singapore book too. That was the first secret that I wrote up for the book, and and so that has a special place in my heart.

Lea Lane:

Orcas i family oriented mammals, and here is a story to inspire you, in episode 40.

Speaker 19:

Here in West Seattle, near where I live. in 2002, a young orca was discovered here in Puget Sound and she was lost, alone, and she turned out to be 300 miles away from home. It was her calls that identified her as a northern resident or her mother had died, but her family, her grandmother and aunts, were still alive. There was no way she would naturally be reunited with them. Noa fisheries, the agency responsible for managing marine mammals, had a big dilemma on their hands. What should they do with this little orca who was down here by herself? And we helped persuade them that she should have a chance to go home, go back to her family and not be sent to an aquarium and, and even more so, not be rehabilitated through an aquarium but rehabilitated somewhere in Puget Sound so she could stay as well as possible and happily. hey thought it was a risk worth taking. They thought there was a good enough chance that she could. She should go back to her family. And n fisheries. The department of fisheries and the Vancouver Aquarium committed to the first ever in C2 rehabilitation of an orca, and we, the community, a group of seven nonprofits, work together to support them, and it was an incredible time, and every day we were wondering the little whale. Her name was springer. Her name is or her ID number was a 73. She was a two year old orca and she turned out to be resilient and she didn't have any serious diseases. She had a bad case of worms. She was rescued, she was dewormed, t tested to make sure she wasn't carrying diseases and carried home on a donated catamaran where her family came to get her less than 24 hours after she was returned. She came back the next year with her family and the year after that, year f that, and today she's got two calves of her own.

Lea Lane:

In episode 43, I remember two wacky festivals in Japan. On the third Sunday of December, on Montetago in Japan, people are encouraged to swear. The cursing festival Hakutai Matsuri is said to have begun 200 years ago. During the Edo period, workers in the garment industry, most of whom were women, were stressed out and they longed for a break from their fatiguing task of making kimonos by hand. So they found a way to release their stress by cursing. Today, hundreds of people will take a 40-minute hike to Otago Shrine, swearing at 13 priests who are walking in front of them and disguised as tengu, a disruptive demon with a big nose. The most popular phrases used to curse are bakayararu, idiot and kanoayaru, bastard. Sounds Sounds a bit like politicians. Before reaching the Otago Shrine, the tengus will stop by 18 smaller shrines to present their offerings, while the crowd keeps cursing and trying to take the offerings. Those who get the offerings are blessed with good luck. Damn, what a festival. And here's our last winter festival, the Naked man Festival. On the third Sunday in February, some 10,000 men wearing nothing but a thin loincloth gather around Sai Daiji Shrine in Okayama. These barely clothed men jump into an icy pool for purification. Then, at midnight, lights of the shrine are turned off and the men shove each other in the freezing temperature for more than an hour to compete for the lucky sticks that were thrown by the priest. The winners are those who capture the sticks and push them into a box filled with rice called masu. Those who get the sacred sticks are called lucky men and blessed with a year of happiness. Some people believe that the festival was born around 500 years ago. Worshippers of the shrine competed to get paper charms from the priest at the end of the year because they believed good things would happen to them if they received one. Another legend states that being naked could ward off evil forces and misfortune. Hence villagers would choose one quote lucky man to absorb all the misfortune. The man that was chosen would walk through the crowd naked. Then he would leave the village together with all the bad luck, troubles and illness of all the villagers. If it were only that easy. .. A weird and unforgettable memory in Canada's Yukon in episode 45.

Speaker 20:

I don't know how this got started, but anyways, some guy donated his big toe that had got amputated because it was, you know, it had too bad a frostbite and so they preserve it in salt at this hotel. And you go there and there's a the toe captain is there and basically you buy a shot of whiskey. He puts the toe into the whiskey and then you have to. You have to drink it, and you know the poem is drink it fast, drink it slow. Your lips must touch the gnarly toe.

Lea Lane:

I've never heard of that before.

Speaker 20:

Oh, it's really fun.

Lea Lane:

How many times have you done that, Paul?

Speaker 20:

I've done it once. But you know I'm like, you get a nice certificate and I think I'm about number 80,000 of people that have done this experience, yeah, so.

Lea Lane:

I think I'll pass on that one, but I love it.

Speaker 20:

Super fun, yeah, but you know, if you chew or swallow the toe there's a $2,500 fine, because people have done that.

Lea Lane:

Really. And it comes out at the end. I guess, no matter where in the world you are, what you remember most can be universal. Listen to this memory about Iran in episode 46.

Speaker 21:

One of my favorite memories of Iran is being with my dad in the car and going to get the kebabs from the restaurant and what you do is, if you don't want to eat the kebabs at the restaurant, you take a big pot, your own pot, and you take it to the restaurant and they fill it up with rice and they fill it up with kebab and yeah, and they put the lid on it and then you bring that home and we used to do that. Every weekend we would do that and that was just a special time that I spent with my dad one on one, and to be able to do something cool like that was so much fun. I remember that very, very vividly.

Lea Lane:

In episode 47, we learn of a special site in Sonoma County, California, and it's not about wine.

Speaker 22:

One of my favorite secrets is out on the coast goat rock, tile rock with a beach and everything very beautiful. If you know where to look, you will see long scratches in the stone above the beach, and what they are is ice age mammoths. Woolly mammoths with their tusks used to scrape along. They used to scratch their back i their tusks right along the goat rock beach in the ice. So that's something that you well, without the book secrets, nobody will never find that.

Lea Lane:

In episode 50, holocaust survivor Alan Hall talks of revisiting the site where he hid during World War II an amazing memory.

Speaker 23:

Well, I've visited, revisited several times. The only time I ever broke down was I visited, revisited, with my brother and his family. My family, my mother, my dad had died previously -- and we actually were at the door of the closet, the room where we hid for two years in the closet, and there, for the first time, the only time I absolutely lost it. I just I you know I'm teary when I talk to you about it. Now, I don't know, I can't explain to you that there is a something really terrific about that space, and that is this was a space for us which was as uncomfortable as it might have been, it was heaven. Sitting in the closet and not being apprehended, not being fearful of being apprehended every moment, even though food was short and all the rest of it, it was still heaven. I revisited that place in 2000 and 18. Yes, 2018. That same building has been rehab completely. It is now the Warsaw (Polish W Hotel. It is the most plush, the most opulent, the nicest hotel I've ever seen on any continent. The very space where I had. Of course, it's been totally reconfigured, but now is grand, a grand suite, unbelievable, yes, and i. ou know, I say this with a smile on my face because it's so. it's ironic. I want to go back to the hotel and I want to check into that space, just to satisfy myself.

Lea Lane:

Everyone seems to travel to Portugal, and this memory from episode 51 shows one reason why.

Speaker 24:

I was so lucky to have been a teenager and get to spend every summer there with my family and explore the country from north to south. My family is from (.), which we didn't talk, which is in the central part of the country, which is also phenomenally beautiful. But if people say, is there a story that sums up Portugal to you, For me it quickly, it's this. It's probably about 18. We're driving to the Algarve where we were going to spend two weeks. We're going through the Alentejo. Back then there were no highways in Portugal, so all the roads were two lane and windy, unlike today where all the roads are five lanes or six lanes. We came to the town of Ponsorra. It was August and the car decided to blow its fan belt and die. So here we are in this small town in the middle of the cork forest. You would think that we would be hard on our luck, but we weren't. There was one man who had a garage that I remember him, he's Mr Sperto Romanos. This is 30 some years ago. He was fantastic. He said I'll take care of the car. Here's a restaurant. Go have lunch and then come back and we'll tell you what's going on. We did. It was very good food. Went to his garage a but this was a Sunday, so he came in just to help us. He said I'm sorry, your fan belt's blown. You know I've got to change your head gasket. Here's what we're going to do my friend's going to drive you down there today so you don't miss your holiday, and in a week, when the car is done, I'll have it delivered to you. Oh my goodness, that's the kindness of the Portuguese people.

Lea Lane:

In episode 52, we talk about Mississippi and I offer a memory of one of the greats of that state. I also, in terms of BB King, I have to say I actually met him. But I didn't meet him in the Delta. I met him in Italy at a jazz festival. He was one of the people invited. It was 1993, I think it was the Umbria Jazz Festival. He was a king. I actually was in the room. I was on a press trip. I was next door so I watched Lucille, his guitar, being taken into his room every day. He must have slept all day long. I had to be very quiet. His manager was going around, "don't say anything. He's sleeping well, well into the afternoon. But I remember meeting him. He enjoyed himself and you have a quote in your book where he said the blues are the three L's living, loving and hopefully laughing. And he did all three. I can tell you I watched it.

Speaker 25:

He was known for his generosity. The people in Indianola often commented to us on how generous a spirit he was, how he had learned that from his mom. He lost his mom when he was very young and that had a big, a very big impact on him.

Lea Lane:

In episode 53, my sons interviewed me and here's my memory of a harrowing cruise in the Indian Ocean.

Speaker 10:

What's the pirate zone?

Lea Lane:

The pirate zone is like the Barbary Coast. Yeah, i, it's in the ocean between India and East Africa. We knew we were going to have to go there. It was a fabulous. It was a trip from Dubai to Cape Town, so the itinerary was to die for and I didn't want to literally die for. So I didn't realize that we would be in the pirate zone for two weeks and during that time we had to turn all our lights off. And they turned the lights off on the ship. You know, outside you couldn't go out and they had pirate drills and they talked about pirates all the time and people were walking around going arg, arg and all that. We were trying to make fun of it but it didn't feel so good because that very ship we were on had been assaulted, I guess, by pirates and there was even little gunshots that you can see, the holes in the ship. Later we noticed that. That was probably my least favorite experience, but my favorite experiences was getting out of the pirate zone. That felt great. So you know it was a little exciting. I did realize a lot of people didn't take the trip because it was a fantastic itinerary but they did not want that experience. But of course I said it was worth the risk, and I think it was because there were no pirates.

Speaker 8:

Right. So sometimes your most scary trips can also be the most satisfying.

Lea Lane:

We hope you enjoy these wonderful memories on part one, and on our second part episode 100, we'll offer even more. Don't miss it.

Travel Memories From Places I Remember
Wildlife Encounters and Unexpected Rewards
Camping With Horses and Memories
Memorable Moments From Travel Experiences
Unusual Festivals and Inspiring Orca Rescue
Universal Memories and Travel Stories
Pirate Zone