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The Secret’s Out: The Magic of Molokai

It was a steamy day, and I was standing in an intimate pose—forehead against forehead—with a man I’d never met before; a man wearing a pair of wild boar tusks around his neck, at that. We stood on the cusp of the sacred Halawa Valley on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Together, we both inhaled, and as I looked up into his eyes I caught a flash of knowing wisdom, and then all too quickly we separated. As the valley kupuna (revered elder), this man had been responsible for allowing me passage into this part of the island (through a series of ritual conch calls and chants), and as the keeper of this protocol he allowed me a peek into Molokai’s sacred—but no longer so totally secret—history.

To enter the Halawa Valley, you must leave an offering of thanks.

A Late-Summer Reading List for Travelers

As Travelocity’s self-professed resident bookworm, I’ve been releasing a summer reading list here on The Window Seat for the past few years (you can find last year’s list here), with books themed toward readers who want to travel somewhere through the page. But once again, nearly an entire summer has gone by and I’m behind in releasing my list (I guess I’ve just been too busy READING). So, without further delay, and before the 2011 summer travel season comes to a close, here are five atmospheric tales from around the world that each convey a real sense of place, from Barcelona to Brazil.

5 Ways Travelers Can Beat the Summer Heat

This past weekend here in San Francisco, I was sitting outside with some friends, all of us wearing long pants and sweaters, but enjoying the crisp July weather, and discussing how our poor friends and family in the rest of the country were melting in this summer’s monster heat wave. It made me feel lucky to live in a city with “natural” air conditioning—when it gets too warm outside, the warm air interacts with the cool ocean currents to create the cooling fog that’s made this city so famous.

But many travelers aren’t so lucky as to find their hearts in San Francisco, and most likely will be dealing with heat for at least the next month, so here are some tips to stay cool during your summer vacation:

Cool in Red Rock Country: Sedona, Arizona

When I was a senior in high school, my family took an Arizona vacation. It was the height of summer, and my parents were able to get an amazing deal on a fancy resort in Phoenix, since it was 114-degrees outside and no one in their right mind would want to vacation in an oven. So we spent our entire time in Phoenix in the hotel swimming pool. And, after that, we went to visit the red-rock town of Sedona, which was a relief at about 20 degrees cooler, and which leaves an impression on me to this day.

Airline Dress Codes – What’s Appropriate?

Recently, a college football player was kicked off a plane when he refused a flight attendant’s request to pull up his baggy pants. In another incident, a man in snug-fitting underwear  that was part of a very revealing drag outfit (you’ve got to click here and see the photo to believe it) was allowed to fly without any interference. While a debate is raging across the internet as to whether this is a double standard, what’s become clear is that airline policies regarding dress codes are ambiguous at best, as is what is a flight attendant’s role in enforcing any dress codes that are on the books.