Travel Classics Writers Contests
Writers Contest Winner
Best Travel Story Arizona
for "From Bones to Bees"
"I heard Bones coming long before he knocked on my door. By the time he'd lugged a suitcase up to my second-floor casita, he was breathing hard. Between gulps of air, he introduced himself. "Bones - it's a nickname," he said, chuckle-wheezing, as he pointed to his official Hacienda del Sol nametag, which did indeed read, "Bones."
Bones is anything but. He must tip the scale at well over 300 pounds. "Need any advice about Tucson? Any insider tips?" he asks. Since I'm on the well-fed side myself, I respect a hearty appetite. "Where are your favorite spots to eat?" I inquire.
Bones digs into the question with gusto, reeling off favorites for ribs, enchiladas and more. We rhapsodize together about the hand-made, to-order corn tortillas at Taqueria Pico de Gallo, where I'd just had lunch.
If anyone thinks a hotel bellman can't be a culinary connoisseur, Bones could certainly prove you wrong - as wrong as I was when I scoffed at Tucson, Arizona's designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the first in the United States.
Tucson? Really? Michelin stars: zero. TV celebrity chefs: none. Visits by Anthony Bourdain: zip. But it turns out the UNESCO designation isn't about haute cuisine or trendy street food; it's about 4,000 years of gastronomic history. And about the ability to source food from the most unlikely, water-starved terrain - a situation UNESCO anticipates more and more of the globe will be facing, due to climate change...
About the Author:
Gayle Keck knows how to open a bottle of Champagne with a sword. She's also a Lowell Thomas Award-winner who writes about travel and food -- preferably both at the same time. She has sipped fermented mare's milk in Kyrgyzstan, dug for truffles in Italy, crafted wine at Napa Valley's "Crush Camp" and munched her way through every continent except Antarctica, which seems far too focused on frozen food.
Gayle has written for Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler, AFAR, Islands, GQ, the Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Restaurants guides and AARP The Magazine and other magazines and is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, where she created a monthly column on travel magazines; her work has also appeared in The Guardian (UK), USAToday, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, San Francisco Chronicle, New Orleans Times-Picayune and other major newspapers. Her stories have appeared in Best Travelers' Tales 2004 and Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. Check out her web site and blog to learn more.
contest prize includes an Arizona vacation for two: Round-trip airfare, rental car, accommodations in Scottsdale, Tucson and Bisbee, a custom itinerary, and a guaranteed spot in the 2017 Travel Classics International or Domestic Conference.
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Luxury 18-day vacation for two in Ireland offered
by Adams and Butler Tours.
Find out more.