An ‘eccentric’ Caribbean island
Virgin Gorda is an “eccentric” little island paradise where hardly anything happens, said K.C. Summers in The Miami Herald. The third largest of the British Virgin Islands, it lies 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and has “no stop lights, no traffic jams, no casinos, no night life.” For that matter, Spanish Town, the capital, isn’t much of a town. Yet all those factors simply mean that Virgin Gorda—the name translates as “Fat Virgin”—is a genuine “find.” Only about 10 miles long, the island is divided into the hilly North Sound and the “Valley,” where beaches stretch along the southwestern coast. The furniture in our room at the Fischer’s Cove Beach Hotel “was a bit worn.” But we could go swimming almost right outside our front door and snorkeling was just steps away. The island’s “most famous landmark” is the Baths, a collection of “menacing” granite boulders that form scenic grottoes opening to the sea.
Montana’s Big Sky Country
The pale blue sky opening up over Bozeman seems to stretch forever, said Stephanie Simon in the Los Angeles Times. Here, in southern Montana, the haystack-dotted farmland rolls on and on. The landscape was so striking that I wished I could buy a piece of art that captured the mood and feel of Big Sky Country. Bozeman, today a college town, was founded in 1864. Main Street is lined with “meticulously restored turn-of-the-last-century buildings.” Pizza joints and Internet cafes sit side by side with trendy restaurants and galleries selling paintings that evoke “a heroic Old West”—images of feather-bedecked Native Americans, stampeding horses, and, of course, rugged cowboys taming a bronco. Some galleries specialize in more contemporary works, but in the end I concluded that no artist could capture for me “the huge canvas of baby blue” I had driven under. That was a scene I could hold on to only in memory.