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Wednesday
May202015

Flying With Faber: Georgetown, Texas

A City with a Beautiful Past and a Simple Vibrant Present

By Stuart J. Faber

Lake Georgetown (Courtesy Georgetown CVB)Up until a month ago, I had never heard of Georgetown, Texas. I’ve been to Texas a few times.  I’ve explored Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, and Austin. Recently, a business obligation brought me to Georgetown. The business trip evolved into a love affair with a city.

Georgetown, a city with a population of approximately 50,000, lies just about due north of Austin. On the northeastern edge of Texas Hill Country, portions of the city are located on a fault line of the Balcones Escarpment, which is characterized by black fertile soils and glistening rivers.

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Friday
Apr242015

Flying With Faber: My Annual Visit to San Francisco 

By Stuart J. Faber

Each annual trip to San Francisco reveals new, dramatic changes – some are impressive, others give me concern. Of course, I endorse city growth. I want every citizen to flourish. But why not develop growth within the bounds of the historical and architectural integrity that originally made San Francisco one of the world’s greatest cities? Why install modern arms on the Venus de Milo?

Some developers, those with conscience, passion and integrity, are erecting structures that enhance the fabric of the city. Others are building people warehouses – just four dreary cement walls to house the droves of pilgrims who want to live in town.

As we do every year, we roamed around the town – paid visits to where I lived as a kid during WWII and visited several restaurants, some old and some new. Here is a list of what I consider some of the city’s hotel and restaurant treasures.

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Tuesday
Mar172015

Flying with Faber: A Drive Along the California Coast

By Stuart  J. Faber

Hidden Beach at Pescadero. (Stuart J. Faber)Whenever I travel, especially in California, my conveyance of choice is my airplane. For example, I can fly from Los Angeles to the Bay Area in just one-and-a-half hours.  On a good day, the same trip by car takes around seven hours.  A few friends of mine have bragged that they have whizzed along Interstate 5 and made it in five-and-a-half to six hours.  To those who have never driven along the dreary I-5, I certainly don’t recommend it.  Along that route to San Francisco, there is little scenery other than miles of arid flatland with hardly a tree or body of water along the way.  Several gas stations, along with a Denny’s here or there, look no different than similar car-stops on any Interstate in the country. Perhaps the mile-high advertising signs are substitutes for trees.  One exception:  Harris Ranch with its great restaurant and hotel (not to mention, its own landing strip), about halfway up the road is one of my favorite places.

There are times when Cheryl, or others whose enthusiasm for flying, especially in heavy IFR conditions, is somewhat less than mine, will conspire to conduct an aviation intervention. Screaming, kicking and scratching, I will be forcibly removed from my airplane, strapped  in a car seat and pointed in the direction of our destination. Even under those circumstances, there is one thing upon which I will insist – we must avoid the Interstates.

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Tuesday
Feb102015

Flying With Faber: French Cuisine – It’s Simple Yet Elegant 

By Stuart J. Faber

In the mid-60s, I embarked on my first trip to Europe. Things were cheap then. I purchased a round-trip ticket from Los Angeles to London for $250–a First Class Eurail Pass for $90, which allowed me unlimited back-and-forth travel anywhere in Western Europe. I roamed around for about six weeks––from Norway to Italy and from England to the Hungarian border.

During an interlude in Spain, I luxuriated in an oceanfront casita on the Costa Brava for five dollars and consumed a whole lobster dinner for three dollars. After six weeks of visits to virtually every country, I exhausted my $1,000 worth of traveler’s checks and headed home–broke but richer in heart and spirit than I had ever been.

England, my first stop, was a breeze. After several days in London, I rambled on to Dover, marveled at the White Cliffs, and hopped a ferry (today, you can travel under the English Channel by Chunnel), to Calais, France. I boarded a train and soon arrived in the heart of Paris at Gare du Nord.

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Tuesday
Dec092014

Flying With Faber: December 2014

Ventura County–Small Town Feeling–Huge Attractions

By Stuart J. Faber

Aerial view of Ventura. (Broc Ellinger)Across the United States, there are so many destinations competing for the tourist buck, it’s often difficult for the traveler to make a decision–especially when your family or group has a variety of interests. One kid loves the water, another hates it, dad wants to explore the wine country, mom loves museums. Perhaps one family member wants to play golf or go fishing. Another wants to pick strawberries.

Some destinations have one or two of these features. Ventura County is one place where you can have them all. And that’s not limited to the human members of the group. My gentle pit bull, Clara Belle, breaks out in a victory dance at the mere mention of an excursion to dog-friendly Ventura County. Plus, it’s a pilot’s paradise. Two fabulous airports with superb facilities are within miles of each other, not to mention Santa Paula Airport with its legendary assemblage of antique, hi-performance and homemade airplanes. Ventura County, with its three major cities, Ventura, Camarillo and Oxnard, has something for everyone. Pick strawberries under the warm sun in the morning and cool off at a quiet beach in the afternoon. Cycling, hiking, diving, golf, theater, top-notch cuisine–the list of exciting activities is endless. If these do not fill your plate, you can take a painting class or attend a local beer festival.

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