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Backpacking With Tina

January 27, 2020

Her travel mantra is no check-in, two carry-ons with shoes. Dr. Tina Alster knows a thing or two about packing.

 

But when she recently booked, with husband Paul Frazer, a bucket list three-week round the world National Geographic Tour by private jet, I was intrigued.

 

Her globe-trotting expedition featured 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Easter Island to the Great Barrier Reef. With the experts she learned about groundbreaking research in marine biology, anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology. 

 

She gained insight into local cultures as she visited a women’s weaving cooperative in Peru, a medical clinic in Tibet, and an animal refuge in Australia. 

Angkor Wat (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Angkor Wat

Amazing, yes!

 

But HOW DID SHE PACK?

 

Dish: This was not your three-day conference in LA or girls shopping trip to Paris. How did you pack differently for three weeks, multiple climates and occasions?

 

Dr. T:  I didn’t have to worry about packing for work (which often involves lectures, TV interviews, and evening dinners/receptions requiring a variety of  suits and dresses) so it was much easier.

 

For daytime, I wore comfortable clothes and shoes since I knew there would be a lot of walking. In addition, I prepared for long-haul flights (which were LITERALLY every other day).

 

In sum, I packed 4 pairs of black leggings (2 cropped and 2 long), 7 thin t-shirts (2 long sleeve, 3 short sleeve, 2 sleeveless), 7 long breezy dresses that could transition from day to evening, 2 thermal/fleece shirts, 2 thermal vests, 1 lightweight rain jacket, 1 Patagonia lightweight pullover, 1 pair lightweight travel pants, 1 jersey travel dress (in black, of course), 1 lightweight sweater, 1 cropped cardigan, 1 jean jacket, 1 bathing suit, 1 gauzy cover-up, 2 scarves, and underwear/socks.

Easter Island (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Easter Island

Dish: How many color palettes? 

 

Dr. T: Naturally, black was the main color (leggings, travel pants/fleeces), but I was also able to throw in a few other colors- even chartreuse!

 

Dish How many shoes? 

 

Dr. T: I packed 2 pairs of All Birds sneakers (dark charcoal and chartreuse), 6 pairs of different colored sandals (all flat, save 1 pair of high heels), and 1 pair of slip-on sneakers.

Peru (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Peru

Dish: Did you take jewelry and evening wear?

 

Dr. T: Since jewelry doesn’t take up much room and can definitely change an outfit, I packed several stretchy bracelets, necklaces, and earrings (mostly costume- not fine jewelry).

In addition to the long dresses that I mentioned above, I packed a pair of black silk pants and a silk shirt and added extra jewelry with a cropped sweater or scarf as needed.

Tanzania (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Tanzania

Dish: What was the one thing you wish you’d brought along?

 

Dr. T: More paperbacks to read during the long-haul flights.

 

Dish: What should you have left behind? Did you leave/give anything away during the trip?

 

Dr. T: I actually wore or used everything that I packed, so there was no waste. I left behind a few books that I read along the way, but that’s about it.

Machu Picchu (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Machu Picchu

Dish: What destination was the most magical?

 

Dr. T: Definitely Petra. It was a glorious day and there was so much to see!

If I hadn’t already been to Siem Reap, Cambodia (Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm), it would have been a tie.

Nepal (Photo by: Dr. Tina Alster) Nepal

Dish: How did the experience change you? What way of life that you saw up-close had the most effect?

 

Dr. T: Besides reminding me that the world is big, the poverty of Nepal (Katmandu) and the repression of the Tibetans (from the Chinese) were striking and unanticipated.

 

Dish: Where do you want to go next?

Dr. T: My next trip abroad will likely be Normandy and Brittany. A planned trip there was scrapped 25 years ago, so now that I’ve checked a number of other destinations off of my bucket list, its time has come!


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The Dish Turns Ten at Brasserie Liberté

January 21, 2020

A perfect venue for a splendid reunion: Georgetown's newest, hottest, coziest Brasserie Liberté

Mary Bird, Jennifer Romm, Henrietta Mott and Tricia Huntley (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) Mary Bird, Jennifer Romm, Henrietta Mott and Tricia Huntley

Hakan Ilhan and his stellar culinary team graciously hosted The Georgetown Dish's Monday evening celebration.

Zena Polin and Sam Goodrich (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Zena Polin and Sam Goodrich

A decade of covering the latest news, business, social scene, and more... from our uniquely charming, historic hood. Salut!

Simon Jacobsen and Luca Pivato (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Simon Jacobsen and Luca Pivato

A full house of talented contributors were including founder Beth Solomon, Jan Staihar, Gwendolyn van Paasschen, Peter Rosenstein, David Rothman, Janet Donovan, Simon Jacobsen, Katherine Tallmadge, and newest member Fatema Sachak.

Fatema Sachak, Helena and Vincent Sagart, Peter Rosenstein (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fatema Sachak, Helena and Vincent Sagart, Peter Rosenstein

We missed you Page Evans, Constance Chatfield-Taylor, Ada Polla, Dr. Tina Alster, Kristen Coffield and man behind the screen, John Divney!

Tom Bulger, Fran Berk and Diana Bulger (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tom Bulger, Fran Berk and Diana Bulger

Shooters and sliders and skewers for all. Crepinettes and rillettes and oh those profiteroles! 

Felicia Ruffino and Hakan Ilhan (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Felicia Ruffino and Hakan Ilhan

Thank you supporters and readers and friends for this special space to Dish!

Katherine Tallmadge, Kate Michael, Kelly Collis and Constance Christakis (Photo by: Constance Christakis) Katherine Tallmadge, Kate Michael, Kelly Collis and Constance Christakis
Vicki Johnson and Fabio Ripoli in foreground (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Vicki Johnson and Fabio Ripoli in foreground
Jenny Shtipelman, Cindi Demitros and Titi Ladipo (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jenny Shtipelman, Cindi Demitros and Titi Ladipo
Sara Mokhtari and Alain Cohen (Photo by: Neshan Naltchayan) Sara Mokhtari and Alain Cohen
Dean Zacharias in foreground (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Dean Zacharias in foreground
Brooke Terry (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Brooke Terry
Cindi Demitros, Gwendolyn van Paasschen and Tricia Huntley (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Cindi Demitros, Gwendolyn van Paasschen and Tricia Huntley
Jennifer Romm and Luca Pivato (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jennifer Romm and Luca Pivato
Patrick Bauer and Kelly Collis (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Patrick Bauer and Kelly Collis


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'Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress'

January 12, 2020

Much like prognosticating Punxsutawney Phil, when horticulturists here predict peak blossom time, Washingtonians know it's spring. They're Japan's honorary ambassadors, those 3,020 cherry trees planted in 1912, the gift that keeps on giving. 

With its delightful illustrations, everything from vintage posters to woodblock prints and botanical watercolors, Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress, celebrates the thousand year-old Japanese springtime tradition.

(Photo by: Mari Nakahara and Katherine Blood)

Published this February, just in time for 2020 festivities.

The Boulevard, Potomac Park, Washington DC ca 1911 (Photo by: Digital Publishing Company) The Boulevard, Potomac Park, Washington DC ca 1911

Take a look at the Tidal Basin pre-planting in 1911 and you'll see how much these trees mean to our capital city. But what do they mean for Japanese culture?

Cherry Blossom Festival posters (Photo by: ) Cherry Blossom Festival posters

In early folklore, part of the spiritual landscape, sakura represented fertility and growth. In art and ceremony, they remain beloved by the Japanese people. 

Washington Monument, Washington DC, April 2, 2007 (Photo by: Carol M. Highsmith) Washington Monument, Washington DC, April 2, 2007

The legacy continues as each each year, thousands of visitors and residents celebrate the season with these precious petals.


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