Journey to the Center of the World

Recently we returned from a marvelous journey to the center of the world. I took my two 16 year old grand girls and it was joyous for me to watch them as they discovered more about our planet. At the Center of the World, which is the equator monument in a tourist village, not too far from Quito, Ecuador, they delighted in having one foot in the Southern Hemisphere and the other in the Northern.

Hot Springs, Arkansas – American National Park Since 1921

The full proper name of Hot Springs, Arkansas is Hot Springs National Park. Hot Springs has a large military retirement population. With the location just about an hour southwest of Little Rock, easy access to the military bases and the major airport make this a great location; especially when you consider the number of lakes, restaurants, shopping, and hospitals nearby.

A Farewell to Pattycake

Beloved New York zoo gorilla dies (via AFP) Pattycake, a gentle giant of a gorilla who was born in New York’s Central Park Zoo 40 years ago, has died, city officials said Monday. The gorilla, the first born in the Big Apple, lived beyond the average 37-year life span of the big primates in captivity, […]

Gone Fishin’

Last week I was training along the shoreline at Crystal Cove where several surf fishermen were casting their lines into the gentle waves. It reminded me of a similar scene I once encountered. My husband, Ken, and I were on the way home from one of my presentations when we decided to stop at Carpinteria State Beach in California.

Going Beyond!

As I clamored into the rickety old motorized rickshaw called a “tuk tuk” at 4: 40 a.m. on a pitch dark October morning in Luang Prabang, Laos, I was about to realize a dream that had dwelled in my heart for a very long time. Inhaling the fragrant perfumes of the tropical night, a smile played across my face.

Road Trip to the Past with Laffing Sal

Last summer during a look-at-colleges road trip with my daughter and two grandsons, I was reunited with an old friend, an enchantress of my youth, Laffing Sal. She and her sisters were the iconic animated cackling figures that laughed and gyrated in amusement parks across the country from 1930 to 1950.

Elephants and Water: A Recipe for Magic

The articles in the travel section of have inspired me to share one of my most amazing world travel experiences. It occurred at the end of a 17-day trek through the lower Annapurna Mountains of Nepal.

Hunting Tarantulas – Part II

The nearly three-week-long expedition was through tour operator Overseas Adventure Travel. Known as O.A.T., they are dedicated to cultural immersion experiences through small groups. The result is that we got to meet many people in their homes and villages. I sought out the children who seemed fascinated by my blonde hair and video camera.

Hunting Tarantulas – Part I

As a Hollywood afficianado, hearing our guide, Sang, announce that we would soon be pulling into the village of “Spider Woman” captivated my attention. Visions of old Spiderman movies danced in my head! He explained that her village is famous for its prized delicacy, fried tarantula!

Iceland – Country of Wonders

Iceland is the country of wonders because the scenery is absolutely amazing. A few of the wonderful qualities of Iceland are: the people, food, adventures, views and its history.

National Parks Lifetime Pass

Hey, did you know that if you are 62 or older, you can get a lifetime pass to all of the U.S. National Parks for only $10?

Where in the World? Adventures with Karen Tooke Riechel

Welcome to “Where in the World?” I hope to share with you some wild adventures that I have experienced throughout the years along with new ones yet to come! This year, I became a member of the “50” club and the opportunity to share these adventures with you all presented itself in a timely manner.