A volcano weekend in Costa Rica
Eleven hours after eating breakfast in Hershey, Pa., I am sitting in a Costa Rican rain forest watching ash spew from Arenal volcano, said William Ecenbarger in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lava and “freshly baked boulders” slip down the slopes of one of the 10 most active volcanoes in the world. It took just five hours to fly to this “vibrant land of beaches and jungles,” where, for less than $200 a night, my wife and I are staying at a luxury resort. Set amid 100 acres of rain forest, the Lost Iguana (lostiguanaresort.com) offers plenty to do, from exploring jungle trails to unwinding with a massage in an open-air bungalow. And then there’s the volcano—“spitting rocks and lava” almost daily. At night, we are lulled to sleep by the “warbles, pops, rubbings, squeaks, and chirps” of the jungle. And three days later, we’re on our way home, “refreshed, rejuvenated,” and due to land before Monday breakfast.
Nights in Russia’s capital aren’t what they were at the turn of the century, said David Filipov in The Boston Globe. On a recent visit, I decided to go on “an all-night blind date with Moscow” to learn how a city that now never sleeps fills the wee hours. I fueled up just after midnight at Sherbet, a hookah-filled restaurant that serves a fabulous plov, or Uzbek lamb pilaf. After a stop for espresso at a busy American-style diner, it would be past 2 before I claimed a sofa on the terrace outside Chaikhona No. 1, a self-described “chill-out” restaurant. Partiers escaping the techno-pop inside were offered blankets and tea, but I passed on the board games to move on to Rolling Stone Bar and Tattoo, whose dance floor was still “overrun with hipsters.” Dawn’s first light found me nearby at one of the city’s many 24-hour cafés, fortifying myself with a dark ale and a bouillabaisse. I figured I still had time to hit a pastry shop.