March 21, 2018

Joan Larsen’s Most Breathtaking Places on Earth . . . Chilean Patagonia – The Journey of a Lifetime

March 14, 2018


By Joan Larsen So much of my life has been spent in the world’s most remote places, and often many of my fellow companions are the crème of the crop of the world’s most famous photographers – the ones vying for those National Geographic covers. They have climbed the highest peaks, photographed underwater, and been […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Unexpected Delights of a Painter and His Gifts

March 7, 2018


By Joan Larsen Out of the blue – truly out of the blue – a gift of a short film arrived in my mailbox. The accompanying card – from my dearest friend – read: This is for you. Sit down, put in the film — and prepare to be enthralled by this rather young English […]

Joan Larsen Writes to All Women: Living Our Best Lives – With a Room All Our Own

February 28, 2018


By Joan Larsen So often, we do not have time to smell the roses, do we?  Sometimes, it feels as if we have just run a marathon  .  .  . and yet there is still more to do.  Perhaps I am prejudiced, but women are responsible for so many things in our world of today.  […]

Joan Larsen Walks on the Wild Side… The World’s Most Spectacular Footbridges

February 21, 2018


by Joan Larsen First things first:  nobody has fallen off this scary looking bridge.  .  . and it is the only way to get to the other side as you are here to climb Mt. Nimbus – that gorgeous peak rising like a point just ahead.  The Canadian Rockies – in the western part of […]

A Valentine From Joan Larsen: Love Letters

February 14, 2018


By Joan Larsen Now, all but past the middle age of life, I still remain a total romantic.  I don’t expect to ever get past that phase.  .  . and I often wonder how many others feel the same way.  I feel a life without love is no life at all.  And, as the years […]

Wayne Ranney: The World’s Most Unique Natural Masterpiece – Exploring the Galapagos Islands

February 7, 2018


By Wayne Ranney Roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and slam-bang on the equator, lie Darwin’s “Enchanted Isles”, the Galapagos — a place of beauty, of wonder around every corner — and islands that I found to be like nowhere else in this world.  You find yourself face-to-face with more fearless and more […]

Joan Larsen’s Wildest Adventures: Exploring Australia’s Untamed Wilderness

January 31, 2018


By Joan Larsen We were young and adventurous when this wilderness beckoned us.  Crocodile Dundee walked in our footsteps sometime later… but we paved the way.  For the most part, the roads in the Top End were not paved.  The largest national park in Australia lies there, a “must-be-seen” wilderness called Kakadu… a journey to […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Are You Given Your Doctor’s Full Attention Any More?

January 24, 2018


by Joan Larsen I am going to be honest in the telling of my story.  In choosing my internist long ago, I wanted “the best” there was:  a person very sharp, knowledgeable, and let’s not forget “caring”.  Over the years, I developed a personal relationship with him as well.   He beamed when he saw me.  […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Don’t Look Down! In Photos — The World’s Scariest Hike

January 17, 2018


By Joan Larsen Its name – El Caminito del Rey (in English: The King’s Little Pathway) … makes it sounds like it would be a delight for a child. But, in fact, this walkway, built in 1905 and attached to the steep walls of El Chorro gorge in southern Spain’s Malaga province, became – much […]

Joan Larsen’ Favorite Getaway: California’s Carmel-By-The-Sea – Simply Unforgettable

January 10, 2018


By Joan Larsen Wading in the Pacific Ocean – as the setting sun’s last rays lit up the skies before sunset – was magical.  The last surfer was way out, paddling his board toward shore in a lazy fashion.  Only the few of us on the beach saw the whale not that far behind  the […]

Posted in: Joan Larsen, Travel

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Felines in Residence – the Secret World Beneath Russia’s Hermitage

January 3, 2018


by Joan Larsen St. Petersburg. . . Russia’s most wonderful city has drawn me back more than once. Home of the world-famous Hermitage Museum — just named the best museum in all of Europe (!) — is praise enough to have art lovers making a bee-line north. But – hidden far beneath the museum — […]

Joan Larsen Presents: 2018 – Reflections From the Mountain

December 27, 2017


By Joan Larsen As 2017 comes to a close, and as we perch a bit precariously on the edge of this New Year –  we are still filled with hope  as we always have been. But with a world in turmoil as it is, stirring our minds — a small family holiday getaway has done the trick,  once again bringing us back […]

Posted in: Interests, Joan Larsen

Joan Larsen’s Glimpse of Paradise: Spending Christmas in Antarctica

December 20, 2017


By Joan Larsen At this season, as another Christmas draws near, we find there are moments when we look back — back at a lifetime of memories of Christmas past . . . many times wishing they could be the simpler times we once had   I speak for all of us, longing – I […]

A Very NORAD Christmas

December 18, 2017


Happy Holidays to all, and if you’re concerned about Santa’s schedule, NORAD can help you out! NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command), a joint US-Canadian organization, has a lot of experience in this activity:  they’ve been tracking Santa’s sleigh since 1955, when a Sears Roebuck store in Colorado posted an ad for children to […]

Joan Larsen, Out and About: Lighting Up the Holidays at North Carolina’s Magnificent Biltmore Mansion

December 13, 2017


by Joan Larsen To me, there is nothing like the feeling of a much loved family gathering filled with love – with so many hugs and so much joy – each and every Christmas. My spirits have lifted for the celebration. But I don’t want to spend the remaining days of the season stretched out […]

Joan Larsen Presents: A True and Inspiring Holiday Tale to Remember – Sprinkling Stars on the Life of a Child

December 6, 2017


By Joan Larsen Sometimes, a single story can change our lives. Though this personal tale takes place in the Christmas season, it is one that – once heard – is remembered forever.   The glories of nature in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana would be hard to match.  But in that wilderness live families whose […]

Joan Larsen’s Sleigh Full of Holiday Ideas: Turning Your Selection of Christmas Gifts into Lifelong Memories

November 29, 2017


by Joan Larsen   Aren’t the feelings of warmth, of joy and laughter .  .  . but, most of all, of love – what the holidays truly are supposed to be?  Shouldn’t the element of togetherness be forefront in this season?  I think we are all nodding yes.  I am sure you are. But instead, […]

Joan Larsen’s Thanksgiving at the Lake House: Sharing My Private Thoughts the Weekend After

November 26, 2017


By Joan Larsen You have caught me lounging  . . . not planning to get up anytime soon. Outside, out that big window, I can almost watch the ice, no longer near the shore, creeping onto the main body of the lake. Flocks of geese, perhaps the last of them, vie for places in what […]

Joan Larsen’s Warm Welcome: Thanksgiving at the Lake House

November 22, 2017


It’s Thanksgiving at the Lake House and the gathering of family is always equated to love overflowing and the feeling of closeness . . .   A warm welcome to our family Thanksgiving!!       The greatest fun is coming early and working together to make decorations for the house   As the children […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Try It, You’ll Like It

November 17, 2017


By Lauriate Roly Today we returned from an eye doctor appointment. Maddy is constantly at my side these days because I’m not in too reliable shape. I don’t even dare to imagine how I would manage if she were not the very devoted and precious daughter that a widower like me has to depend on. […]

Joan Larsen Presents: An Island is Born

November 15, 2017


By Joan Larsen The ocean off Iceland was fairly calm fifty years ago when a fishing boat spotted fire in the distance.  In this empty ocean, it would have to have been another fishing boat burning to cause such color in the skies.  The crew sped toward the scene, only to see a volcano arising […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Wonders: Get Lost in Iceland

November 8, 2017


By Joan Larsen So close yet so remote. So magnificent that it beats out all comers on our planet. Until now, it has been my own secret hideaway on this earth – Iceland, the magnificent. For years, Iceland has drawn me back again and again like a magnet.   And once you too have received the […]

Jim Klobuchar: Aging Toward Old Age – Another Way to Look at Old Folks

November 1, 2017


By Jim Klobuchar   It is again with pleasure and delight that I introduce you to a man of many talents: Jim Klobuchar – the daily columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for over 30 years (and probably the best-known name in the whole upper Midwest), named the nation’s top columnist in 1984, finalist in NASA’s Journalist […]

Wayne Ranney: A Place that Inspires Superlatives – Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

October 25, 2017


By Wayne Ranney     It is with the greatest pleasure I once again introduce you to Wayne Ranney — famed geologist – who we once again find as Guest Lecturer on one of National Geographic’s extraordinary Private Journeys this Fall.   This round-the-world one-month journey finds the group uncovering treasures of our world that many of […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Just Call Me Bob

October 23, 2017


By Lauriate Roly I knew when he died that I would miss him, because I liked him very much. But, even more than missing the individual himself, deep in my heart, I knew that to never hear his full voice again, live, and unrecorded, would be such a painful loss that it would affect me […]

Joan Larsen’s Tales From the Deep: Midnight on the Arctic Ocean

October 18, 2017


by Joan Larsen This is the northern tip of Iceland at midnight.  Winter there is total darkness for eight months.  In summer the children of Iceland can be seen enjoying the midnight sun until all hours in bright sun – for there is no night.  .  . so why shouldn’t the two of us do the same?  Before us — the fabled […]

Why Don’t Cleanliness-Obsessed Americans Use the Bidet?

October 16, 2017


I have long been interested in having a bidet in our home, but it just wasn’t practical or affordable to renovate our bathrooms.  Silly me, I had no idea (until recently) that there are economical, simple-to-install, effective bidet attachments that can just go right on your existing toilet.  A mere $39.95 later, Lila became the […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: A Landscape of Superlatives – A First Look at Yosemite

October 11, 2017


by Joan Larsen Only a morning’s drive from San Francisco lies one of the world’s truly great wilderness areas – a place of plunging waterfalls, snow-capped lakes, stark stone cliffs of stunning beauty, and a natural cathedral of ancient Sequoia trees that are among the largest on Earth. Its name: Yosemite National Park, its beauty […]

Sexy Halloween Costumes for Children: No, No, No

October 9, 2017


It’s just wrong.  I am aware of, and repulsed by, the increasing hypersexualization of women and even of underage girls in this country.  I don’t like the message it sends:  that women’s primary purpose in life, their role, their aspiration, is sex.  Looking good, putting out, appealing to men.  How hollow, limiting and limited.  How […]

Joan Larsen’s Far Out Adventures: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place in America’s Southwest

October 4, 2017


By Joan Larsen   Reimagine a walk in the park… as we all know that the wonderful feeling we get when we “discover” the incredibly beautiful places in our world that just may take us a few steps off the beaten path — or the paved road.  In the Americas, I have kept the national […]