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About John Deleva

Here are my most recent posts

Leave the Highway, Take the Cannoli

By John Deleva
on Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

I like the story of Wallace, Idaho, and the spunk of its citizens, from the miners, madams and rail magnets of the 19th century to the locals that saved the place in the 20th. Residents made a smart move here in the 1970s and had the entire downtown placed on the National Register of Historic Places. That meant the feds couldn’t come in with wrecking balls and asphalt and run four lanes over 100+ years of colorful history. They had to engineer a mile-long interstate over the town.

We never pass this northern Idaho gem without a quick stop for a shot of espresso and a stroll atop its historic sidewalks. But the last time there we arrived at an odd hour, and our regular spots were closed. We walked the other direction and found the D & G Bakery. Read entire post >

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The Worst Part About Every Cross-Country Trip

By John Deleva
on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

It didn’t matter whether the destination was a new home in California, a family reunion in New York or a Fourth of July bash after 68 days on the road, the worst part of those three cross-country road trips—as well as 15 other across-the-USA adventures—was always the same: the end of the road.

Sure, it was nice to stop for a few days, but then, I was ready to roll again somewhere, anywhere. Reaching the Atlantic or the Pacific was never the reason to stop: time, money or work was always the culprit.

My first crossing, now 45 years in the rear view mirror, conjures up visions of smoke stacks (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Gary, Indiana), buffalo (the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone) and stretching my legs as far as possible under the car seat to “get to each new state before my brother.” Read entire post >

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Paper Maps Instead of Apps

By John Deleva
on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

It’s easy to let the smartphone tell us where to go, what to eat, where to stay . . .

That’s why I love shutting it OFF.

Saturday morning we woke in Montgomery, Alabama, and had until Sunday night to reach Oklahoma City. Like my coworkers in destination marketing, I’m familiar with all the ways mobile phones offer us insight on attractions and how to find the action, but we’re both slaves to that phone 50+ hours a week.

Over eggs, grits and toast heavily-burdened with real butter, we laughed while listening to locals tell us why Selma would be better than Tuscaloosa; Muscle Shoals more interesting than Mobile. We digested the food and the possibilities, than unfolded a well-frayed map. Cousin Dave and I agreed word-of-mouth and whim would rule the route while the phones rested in the glove box. Read entire post >

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American Indians at ITB

By John Deleva
on Thursday, March 20th, 2014

IMG_1758A friend of mine was sitting around a table with friends when a passerby stopped and asked: “Are you a real Indian?” He responded softly, “I am . . . we all are,” while motioning to each of his friends, no two who looked alike but all who were, indeed, very real Indians.

Working with AIANTA (American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association) for the past five years, most recently at ITB in Berlin last week, I am still astonished at their diversity, not just in physical appearance, but in their customs, fashion, regalia, language, music, food and many other nuances of lifestyle. Read entire post >

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Volcano Top Revelations

By John Deleva
on Thursday, June 27th, 2013

MSHMount St. Helens is a very conquerable peak – much more so since it exploded in 1980. The blast that sent soot around the globe also shaved more than 1,300 feet off one of Washington State’s iconic Cascade Peaks. It’s more of a long hike than a climb up the 8,363-foot mountain, and the view from the top is as stunning as the ones that reward climbers from the peak of much more prominent and taller neighbors Mount Hood and Mount Rainier. Read entire post >

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