Disney World for adults
Maybe I like being a grown-up too much, said Lauren Lipton in Condé Nast Traveler. Even after learning that a third of all visitors to Florida’s Walt Disney World are adults with no children in tow, I couldn’t fully give myself over to the “world of illusion” that the entertainment company has created in a 40-square-mile theme park. Not that my recent weeklong stay was unpleasant. A three-hour mini-safari seemed “authentic enough to me,” a tour through grasslands and wetlands occupied by real giraffes and lions. And I’m not immune to the appeals of luxe dining, a world-class roller coaster, or a chance to glimpse the park’s subsurface, employees-only tunnels. But the whole “litter-free, poverty-free” mini-universe feels like “Fantasy America, the America we all wished we lived in.” Are those chirping birds a recording? Is that petunia smell pumped in through hidden ducts? I could ask a passerby, but so many of them are paid actors.
Cycling in Montreal
Montreal is “the most bikeable city on the continent,” said Eric Moskowitz in The Boston Globe. Visitors might be drawn to Quebec’s largest city by its food and cultural life, but its commitment to two-wheeled transportation offers an exciting glimpse of what some U.S. cities might soon look like. Following a friend’s testimony that a bike tour with Fitz & Follwell Co. (fitzandfollwell.co) was the best travel experience ever, my girlfriend and I spent a day following a cheerful guide through colorful neighborhoods near verdant Mont Royal, stopping here for cappuccinos, there for a wood-fire bagel, and picnicking on purchases from a large open-air market. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we then rented bikes from one of the 400 curbside stations in the city’s Bixi system and kept exploring. Everywhere we pedaled, we found wide bike lanes and traffic signs directing drivers to cede us the right-of-way. “More remarkably, they obeyed.”