Carol’s Articles

Rainforest Symphony in the Peruvian Amazon

Rainforest Symphony in the Amazon jungle, PeruStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

An all-women’s hike through the Amazon rainforest with two barefoot professors. 

“Para bailar la bamba, Para bailar la bamba, Se necessita una poca de gracia …”

How perfect it was: dancing to an old favorite song played by new friends. Moises on guitar, Segundo on spoons, Juan on the metal flashlight, and Jorge on Bar, concocting superb pisco sours deep in the Amazon rainforest. The homegrown band, our jungle guides by day, had come together this night to provide the entertainment for a serendipitous celebration – the birthdays of two of fifteen women brought together for a two-week experience of the Peruvian Amazon.



Yosemite in Winter

Half Dome at Yosemite in Winter, Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

I whirled around the skating rink in Yosemite National Park, under a full moon illuminating Half Dome. As fingers and toes stiffened with cold, I’d stop to thaw out by the fire pit, pinching myself to make sure it was real — that the sheer granite face of this monolith bathed in silvery light was more than just a lofty figment of my imagination.


Summer tripping through the Canadian Rockies

Pyramid Mountain, Jasper National Park, Alberta, CanadaStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

With daylight in the Canadian Rockies extending until almost 11 pm at summer’s peak, visitors can pack in long days of wondrous activity. For who wants to sleep when there are lakes to canoe, rivers to raft, trails to hike, wildlife to view and mountains to climb, photograph, paint or simply contemplate. So when we checked into Overlander Mountain Lodge, a member of Charming Inns of Alberta just outside the entrance to Jasper National Park, the setting was so dazzling that we took a 10 pm hike before settling in for the night.



The Nile Passage to Antiquity

Karnak, EgyptStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

The banks of the Nile looked golden in the late afternoon sun. A lone figure wearing a white turban and jellabiya robe knelt toward Mecca in prayer. A passing felucca (boat) cast an abstract reflection of its white sails in the rippling Nile waters. Women robed and hooded in black stooped to fill large earthenware jugs with water, then rose to take them home atop their heads.


Full moon and comet create kayak magic

Sausalito Kayak Tour, Sausalito, California, full moon magicStory by Carol Canter.

I was standing in a circle of 16 kayakers on Schoonmaker Beach in Sausalito at 6:30pm on a Sunday night in March.

A full cantaloupe-colored moon peered out from behind the masts of sailboats. It was so large and low in the sky that it looked like it was surrealistically painted on a backdrop. Clad in life jackets and holding our paddles, we each introduced ourselves and shared with the group why we were there – more specifically, why we had each signed on to this full-moon paddle on Richardson Bay with Sea Trek.


Gypsy, A Musical Fable

Mother Rose pushing her two daughters in "Gypsy" the play now at Alcazar Theater, San Francisco, CaliforniaReviews by Carol Canter and Lee Daley

(Review By Carol Canter) “Curtains up, light the lights, you got nothing to hit but the heights!” Well, everything did come up roses opening night for Bay Area Musicals’ fabulous production of Gypsy, which director and choreographer Mathew McCoy calls “the ultimate showbiz fable.” And that it is — a fable bursting with all the glitz and glitter, hilarious humor and heart-wrenching pathos of the ultimate show biz mother, Rose Hovick, as she pushes her two daughters — hard, very hard — to live out her own dreams. This 1959 fable of the last days of vaudeville is based loosely on the 1957 memoirs of Louise, the overlooked daughter who seizes the spotlight as Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist.


New York State of Mind, aka I’ll Take Manhattan

Lower Manhattan skylineStory and Photos by Carol Canter. 

Summer has turned to fall, and a long New York sojourn has ended, but I’m still in a New York State of Mind. Can’t even stop the words to “I’ll Take Manhattan …” from looping through my brain. New York is more than just a soundtrack, yet the city inspires a musical memory as powerful as a visual one. Hey, it may be heady, artsy, vibrant, a financial, political and cultural powerhouse, and endlessly interesting, but at heart, the Big Apple is just one big sensuous city.


Hilton San Francisco Union Square Staycation

Cityscape San Francisco Hilton Lounge and Bar with incredible bay and city views.Hilton San Francisco Union Square.Story by Carol Canter. Photos by Carol Canter and Jack Heyman.

Sipping a sunset cocktail at Cityscape, from its sleek perch on the 46th floor of Hilton San Francisco Union Square  is an unparalleled celebratory high, an affordable way to access a priceless 360 degree panorama of this legendary city by the bay. For me, it was the scenically orchestrated opening to my San Francisco Staycation, and as I looked through the evening’s rose gold hues toward the East Bay hills of my home, I felt far away and free of cares!


Cruising Norway’s fjords aboard Hurtigruten’s ship Midnatsol

Hurtigruten "Midnatsol" in Geiranger fjord, NorwayStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

With a 50th wedding anniversary to celebrate with family and friends and a life list of dream trips spilling over with Norwegian fjords, Roz and Irwin “B” of Santa Barbara, California chose a 12-night cruise aboard the Hurtigruten ship Midnatsol. So did a couple from Cologne Germany, who sailed with their four children and their families. The choice was the right one for them all, each a multi generational and well-traveled group that reveled in the adventure. The “B’s” had traveled in Norway before, visiting a friend Roz had made 50 years prior. The couple had long dreamed of returning for a fuller exploration of Norway’s fjords, the glacially carved inlets of water rated as “the world’s most celebrated and iconic travel destination” by National Geographic Traveler.


Cruising the Galapagos Islands with Ecoventura

Cruising the Galapagos Islands with Ecoventura,Panorama of surrounding Sullivan Bay from the summit of a once active volcano on Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands, EquadorStory and Photos by Carol Canter.

When my daughter was a young child, we learned the courtship dance of the blue-footed boobies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was part of their “hands-on” — or was it “feet-forward”– children’s program and I’ll never forget it because it was hilarious fun … and educational. We faced one another, standing in the “footprints” of two boobies, and were guided through their dance, clicks, honks and all. Little did I know that decades later–while cruising the Galapagos Islands with Ecoventura–I’d recognize the dance steps of two real blue-footed boobies as they performed this stylized ritual on a rugged windswept island in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands chain.


Rhine and Moselle Fairytale Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel aboard AmaPrima.

AmaPrima in Traben-Trarbach, Middle Moselle river, Bernkastel-Wittlich district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
AmaPrima in Traben-Trarbach

Story by Carol Canter. Photos by Carol Canter and Jack Heyman.

My first Zumba class took place on the Sundeck of the Ama Prima, our beautiful Ama Waterways ship, as Captain Ron Schuegard piloted our 160-passengers and crew through the legendary Rhine Gorge. Wellness Host André Almeida led our group to “step to the left, step to the right, then circle slowly now using your sexy move.” Latin music and the breeze energized us, as we surrendered to the rhythm and the scenic splendor. Dazzling it was, viewing turreted castles — even a few picturesque ruins — strategically built atop craggy hilltops or vineyard-terraced inclines.



Bergen: Gateway to Norway’s fjords