Gadling reads the Sunday travel sections

The Miami Herald this weekend turns its travel section over to a celebration of Jane Woodward, travel editor, who is looking back on a lifetime on the road. The impetus for this nostalgia piece is that she is right on the verge of visiting her 100th country, no small feat. Sure, there’s a lot of “look where I’ve been” in this package, but I sorta liked this lead essay as a summing up of a traveler’s life (so far). As travelers, we’re visited as much by memories of where we’ve been as we are by dreams of where we’ll go next.

I like travel-food stories, the kind that deal in the culinary specialties of a particular place: Bbq in North Carolina, Clam Chowder in Boston, the wonders of San Francisco sour dough bread. Having never visited Cincinnati (or Ohio, for that matter), I had no idea that the city was famous for its chili. After reading Ben Chapman’s dispatch in the Washington Post, I now know what I’ll eat should I ever find myself there.

There’s a lot out there these days about Cuba (proof that journalists travel in packs). The San Francisco Chronicle has a pretty long dispatch from Spud Hilton, who sets off to explore Havana. Thankfully, he keeps the Hemingway references to a minimum. (For more Cuba coverage, our own Brenda Yun has been filing regular stories from her recent visit to the island. Check them out here.)

Over at the Boston Globe, Tom Haines travels to Nebraska and the Platte River for a piece on the annual migration of the sand hill cranes, which brought to mind the wonderful opening pages of Richard Power’s The Echo Maker.

The Indianapolis 500 will celebrate its 100th year next month. Writer Beth D’Addono takes us the Motor Speedway for a little history lesson in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The unexpected travel story of the week goes to Barbara Brotman of the Chicago Tribune, who writes of a vacation spend in Georgia climbing and sleeping in trees. Indeed.

Lame travel story of the week goes to the Seattle Times, which falls back on a reliable gimmick travel sections often employ when they don’t have anything else to write about: the “vacation at home” feature, where residents are encouraged to do as the tourists do and book into a local hotel.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to the latest post by the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler, Matt Gross — not because it’s anything special, really, but because he gives a huge shout out to Gadling and our own Heather Poole.