Here, There, and Everywhere

From Maine foliage to a pen camera



Explore Maine’s state parks and public reserved lands during foliage season with local park rangers. Free guided tours run through late October, when foliage is expected to peak. Rangers will answer your questions on anything from why leaves change colors to what triggers leaf drop, for instance. The moderate summer weather, recent temperature drops, and waning daylight are expected to create one of the most vibrant foliage seasons in recent years, according to the Maine Forest Service. Tours available for hikers of all skill levels. Go to to sign up for weekly foliage updates by e-mail, and for information on hiking tours.


Get ready for your ski and snowboard adventures by purchasing one of the Ski NH Anywhere, Anytime Lift Ticket Packages, which offer up to $22 off weekend and holiday rates at member ski areas, such as Waterville Valley, Loon Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, and Pats Peak. Choose your favorite ski area or select two or more mountains. Tickets range from $17 to $65 per ticket, and increase $5 per ticket after Oct. 31; purchase a minimum of six lift tickets per package, while supplies last. Share the fully-transferrable tickets with friends and family members at no cost. New this year, you can print your tickets at home.  800-887-5464,



Let your taste buds explore the best of Maine’s culinary offerings during the Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival Oct. 23-26. This Portland event features sampling sessions with award-winning chefs, a chance to meet local winemakers and brewers, presentations by bakers, cheese makers, and chefs, and awards for the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year and Maine’s Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant. See leading pit masters and barbecue aficionados face off during the Brews and Blues BBQ, and sample everything from Thai to Italian dishes during the new International Maine — Taste the World event. Tickets $45-
$115 per event, or $350 for admission to all events.  207-772-4994, ext. 223,


TRACK DOWN A TRIP THAT REALLY SUITS YOU, a new semantic-driven travel website, helps you find deals to places you want to travel to, when you want to go, rather than a list of hard-to-reach destinations or trips that require traveling at inconvenient times. Just choose your travel timeframe, activities, budget range, preferred hotel rating, and other important parameters. The site then tracks more than
10 million flight routes, 2,000 destinations, 10,000 trip inspirations, 15,000 events, 400,000 hotels, and 10 million hotel reviews, among other details, to come up with deals that best suit your preferences. For instance, look for a bike vacation departing Boston with a $1,000 budget and three- to four-star hotels, and you get a selection of eight-day flight and hotel combo deals from San Diego to Istanbul.  415-800-4600,

Fred Simon


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Next time you book flights to, from, or in Europe, check with to see which airports rank at the top and bottom of the list for on-time performance, delays, and cancellations. Should anything go awry on your adventure, due to flight delays, cancellations, and missed connections, the international service provider can help enforce your compensation claims. To date, has processed claims from 95 countries, involving 189 airlines and 340 airports. Use the company’s website or mobile app to file a claim for up to about $812. According to, the top 10 airports for delays include Gatwick and Manchester in Britain, Frankfurt, and Orlando, while Heathrow in Britain, Munich, and Barcelona ranked in the top 10 for flight cancellations. also helps bus, ship, and rail passengers file claims for reimbursement.



Parrot Zik wireless noise-canceling headphones offer the best quality, richest sound (think concert hall effect), and most comfortable fit of the many over-the-ear headphones I have tried. The Philippe Starck-designed headphones connect to your devices via Bluetooth and even let you answer cellphone calls on the go. The headphones pause music when you remove them from your ears, and restart once they are back on. Even better, lightly swipe the sensitive touch panel on the right earpiece, and you can quickly change songs and volume. Despite all the fancy features, you can still plug the headphones into a device with a standard cable jack. Currently $312 at  877-972-7768,


Swann’s HD PenCam is a ballpoint pen with a built-in camera that takes photos and videos on the fly. The clever, easy-to-use device has a working pen, and a tiny camera that captures high-definition AVI videos (1280 x 720 pixels) and 2-megapixel JPEG images. Flip between camera and video mode using a hidden switch, and charge the device’s lithium-ion battery using the USB connector. The PenCam works with a MicroSD card up to 16GB, and can capture approximately eight hours of video or 72,000 images. The battery lasts about 45 minutes on a full charge. Currently $87.70 at Amazon
.com.  562-777-2551,


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