Monthly Archives: January 2012

Travel Discount

I just got a letter from Overseas Adventure Travel asking me to encourage folks to take a trip with them. I’ve traveled with them a number of times (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan), and I have a very high opinion of their operation. So if you’re looking for a great tour to an exotic location, I can heartily recommend OAT.

To sweeten the deal, they enclosed a card saying that anyone who has never traveled with OAT before who mentions my name and customer number will get $100 per person off their first tour booking.

Be advised, OAT only books travel departures from the U.S., so if you’re reading this in Sydney, it would be kind of out of your way. But if you’re in or near the U.S., that $100 per person might be a nice bonus, encouraging you to try out this outstanding operator. (Not just tourist sites — home-hosted dinners, lectures with experts on local culture, visits to schools, cooking lessons, and lots of other opportunities to help you really get immersed in your destination.) And the groups are small — usually 16 or fewer people. So you can get into places and do things that you can’t do on a bigger tour.

Check out OAT at for more details on available trips.

And don’t forget to mention my name and customer number — Cynthia Clampitt, customer number 000637771A — to get $100 off for each person for your first trip with OAT.

Happy travels!



Filed under Travel

Fields of War

It’s probably because I enjoy and often write about history that I’ve ended up with a lot of friends who are also focused on history. As mentioned earlier, I have a cousin who has written about World War II in Italy. I have an old friend who is one of the world’s leading authorities on Napoleon Bonaparte, and while he doesn’t have a book out, he has published dozens of other people’s books. One acquaintance has written an excellent travel guide to American Civil War sites.

Unusual among these folks is Robert Mueller, because even though his book focuses on a specific region (France and Belgium), it does not focus on one war, but rather spans the centuries, sharing the key battles that have marked this landscape and directed its history.

Fields of War: Fifty Key Battlefields in France and Belgium is a travel guide, as well as a history book. It guides readers to the monuments and battlefields of turning points in Europe’s history, from the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) through World War II. The many national awards the book has won — including the Military Writers Society of America 2010 Bronze Medal in the Travel Category — are testament to its scholarship and usefulness. One can almost imagine the millions of warriors who have fought as Mueller guides the readers across the places these key battles occurred.

If you have any interest in military history, and especially if you’re planning a trip to Europe, you definitely want to buy this book. You can go straight to Amazon to order it, or you can first visit Mueller’s excellent blog, French Battlefields. If you didn’t want to travel before, you will probably want to once you’ve visited his site or read his book. Definitely recommended.

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Filed under Books, Culture, Geography, History, Travel

Scarborough Pie

During the holidays, I was invited to a potluck dinner where I knew a couple of people were vegetarians. I had a load of cheese and onions on hand, so I thought a pie of some sort would be a fun thing to attempt. However, knowing that one of the vegetarians doesn’t like quiche, I knew it would have to avoid being too custardy. And so was born Scarborough pie — so named because I used parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. (If you don’t immediately see the connection from the list of herbs, I suggest you listen to the song “Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel.)

The winter has been mild, so the sage, rosemary, and thyme were still growing out in the pots on my balcony, so parsley was the only one that I needed to use dried — though using dried herbs would work splendidly, as well.

The non-quiche friend loved this. I hope you do, too. Continue reading

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Filed under Food, Recipes