This article is from the March 2016 Issue of Forever Young

 fyng march 2016 Frankfurt

 Shoppers are bathed in festive light at the Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany. The season is many months away but river cruises featuring the markets fill up quickly.

A trip for your wish list.

By AJ Williams

It’s a misty day on the Danube as we set sail from Budapest aboard the lovely Viking Jarl. This romantic itinerary is an absolute must during the winter. You might be thinking winter? Are you kidding? Stay with me….I promise it’s worth it!

Europe in the winter is simply magical, and if you think you’ve got Christmas spirit back at home, you really need to up your game and try a river cruise during November or December. The smell of Gluwein fills the air at all of the incredible Christmas markets along the way. If you haven’t been initiated into the world of hot wine, its ability to warm you from the inside out is guaranteed.

The Christmas markets are everywhere in Europe during the season, and each one is a little different. One thing that’s the same: you won’t find any boxed, mass-produced toys or trinkets at any of them. Instead, you’ll shop for intricately hand-crafted ornaments, gifts and clothing that will make you wish you’d brought another suitcase.

Our ports-of-call along the way toward Nuremberg, Germany were truly the best ‘taster’ of European river cruising. After leaving the beautiful sights, spas and history of Budapest, we made our way toward Austria. At Christmas, Vienna is magical, with strands of lighted crystals (Swarovski originated in this area) strung overhead across the streets.

The Viennese coffee houses are legendary and ordering is a bit of a ritual. No paper cups with check-boxes here. The main square Christmas market was fantastic, with the sights, sounds and delicious aromas of the season. While in Vienna, we made sure to take in an opera, and in spite of my husband’s proverbial ‘eye-roll’ at the thought, he enjoyed it immensely. We took in the Marriage of Figaro, which is light, funny and made for a wonderful Viennese memory.

The next day, we arrived in Melk, touring the incredible Abbey, high above the town. Strolling back to the ship, stopping along the way at some of the quaint shops made for a lovely, small-town Austrian afternoon.

Next up – our stops in Germany. Passau was first, and while each day on a Viking cruise, you can enjoy one of the complimentary tours, you can also ‘free-style’ and create your own walking tour, which we did. Off the beaten path, we found the first of many amazing bratwurst and beer lunches. Delicious! If you prefer to relax, it’s fine to stay on the ship also.

In Regensburg, a beautiful, small city, we chose the ultimate ‘guys’ excursion: An optional trip to the BMW factory and a beer tasting at a pub on the way back to the ship. Touring BMW was to me what the opera was to my husband, before I went.

This article is from the February 2016 Issue of Forever Young

 2016 feb 1941 PT 17 Boeing Stearman


You’re not going to get any inflight drink service. And you certainly won’t be getting up to wander about the plane after take off. What you will get is the ride of a lifetime that also might help save the life of a child in need.

By Glenna Turnbull

Faith Hope and Charity Barnstorming Co. (FHCB) is the brainchild of Joe and Shelley Melatini. By of-fering flights in their 1941 Boeing Stearman, they’re letting people have a rare glimpse into aviation his-tory and donating 100% of the funds to the B.C. Children’s Hospital.

For Joe, the idea of creating a one-of-a-kind fundraiser using this unique method was the easy part – it was finding the plane and trying to get it home again that proved difficult. “I was looking for a way to give back,” said Joe, “and I thought flying might be the answer.”

He began his search for the perfect aircraft for the job and found it a few years later in rural Quebec. “As soon as I saw the pictures, I knew that was the one,” said Joe. The only problem was how to get it home when it could only fly for two hours at a time. He needed to track down another pilot as crazy as he was to even consider the task of flying across the country in an open cockpit plane.

They left St. Hyacinthe, Quebec on April 27, 2013 and arrived in Grand Forks 11 days later after more than 24 hours of flying time with no flight plan and at times, literally flying by the seat of their pants through whiteouts, fog and weather that at times chilled them right to the bone.

Joe’s first flights for charity happened at the 2013 Abbotsford Airshow, where he managed to collect $1500 in donations for the hospital. Now about to embark on his fourth season operating FHCB, he has surpassed $20,000 in donations and is well on his way to reaching his goal of $100,000.

This article is from the January 2016 Issue of Forever Young

 2016 January Panama

 Panama has long been a favorite for retirees and this year it has taken the top spot in our retirement index. Whether it’s Panama City’s glittering promenade or the white-sand beaches of the Caribbean coast…Panama has somewhere for everyone.

Forever Young editor’s note:  While we live in the Southern Interior of B.C. and consider ourselves to be blessed and already living in the retirement Mecca, nevertheless we have reproduced this list from International Living to assist folks looking for a LONGSTAY vacation.  It may be of assistance in selecting a place for a longer stay winter or other season vacation… As I write this, it is snowing out and has been for a few days.  Many of these photos look like the place I wish I were right now!!!  S.N.T.

Panama is the best place in the world to retire in 2016, according to a new Index by the retire-overseas experts at The Index, now in its 25th year, ranks, rates, compares, and contrasts retirement destinations all over the world to come up with the best countries for retirees to consider.

“Researched over months with the help of our ever-growing team of correspondents, editors, and contributors all over the world, this Retirement Index is the ultimate resource for helping you find your ideal retirement haven,” reports Jennifer Stevens,’s Executive Editor.

“We strive to make it better every year. We refine, we add, we whittle…with one goal: to get the most accurate results. Our belief is: The more input, the clearer and more useful the outcome.”

The winner, Panama, scores high across the board in all categories, but receives a perfect score of 100 in three categories—Retiree Benefits and Discounts; Visas and Residence; and Entertainment and Amenities.

Panama has long been a favorite of retirees, who have a choice of lifestyles along both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, on white-sand islands, in mountain valleys, or in cosmopolitan Panama City. Panama is close to the U.S. (a three-hour flight from Miami) and also has the best package of retirement benefits in the world.

This article is from the November 2015 Issue of Forever Young

 2015 dec charlie brown christmas


Endearing Christmas special starts off skating on thin ice.

By Bill Brioux

Good grief! Can it really be 50 years since “A Charlie Brown Christmas” premiered?

The 1965 holiday classic was an immediate hit, scoring a massive audience and winning an Emmy and a Peabody. It has become a holiday perennial, charming three generations of parents and children. Yet, surprisingly, half a century ago, it was a tough sell.

Making it happen was a small band of TV newcomers from around the San Francisco Bay area: Charles Schultz, creator and artist on every single Peanuts cartoon strip ever drawn; Lee Mendelson, a fledgling TV producer; Bill Melendez, a former Disney and Warner Bros. animator who went on to animate hundreds of TV ads and Vince Guaraldi, a local jazz musician.

Schultz had penned Peanuts for 15 years, and while it was rapidly becoming the most widely-syndicated newspaper strip in the world, it hadn’t quite become a pop phenomenon. TV would drive Peanuts to greater fame, with feature films and a Broadway play all part of a ‘60s embrace.

Mendelson had just produced a documentary on Willie Mays and wanted his next project to be about the artist who drew Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He contacted the Peanuts creator—a big baseball fan—who agreed to the project. Schulz recommended Melendez--who Schultz collaborated with on a series of Ford TV commercials—to do the two-minute animated segment needed for the doc.

This article is from the November 2015 Issue of Forever Young

 2015 october portland food trucks

Typical ‘Alexander’ house in Palm Springs.

Palm Springs may bring to mind golfing, shopping and dining, and while it’s all of those, it’s also a microcosm of American history, architecture, celebrity, and culture.

By A.J Williams

Channeling our ‘old Hollywood’ alter-egos, we landed in Palm Springs. This was a ‘QuickTripTo’ my best friend and I had been talking about for years. For me, a chance to explore this iconic destination with such a rich history; for her, an opportunity to escape the routine of kids, errands, work, and doing things for everyone else.

No matter the reason, Palm Springs might just be the perfect Girls Getaway. It’s classier than Vegas, calmer than New York (which I do adore) and if you fall for the unique beauty and confidence of Palm Springs, you’ll fall hard.

To really appreciate the architecture (think George Jetson meets Frank Lloyd Wright) you need to take a tour. After breakfast at Wilma & Freidas (the short rib benny will change your world) in Palm Desert, get over to the Palm Springs Visitor Centre, where you’ll meet up with your tour guide, Robert Imber, a legendary devotee of mid-century modern architecture and all-round man-about-town.

You’ll come away with an incredible appreciation for the visionaries that practiced architecture here decades ago. Frey, Clark, Wexler, Williams, Cody, and of course Lloyd Wright have all put their mark on this town. Simple, yet brilliant design greets you at every turn, as well as many celebrity homes, including Elvis and Priscilla’s Honeymoon Hideaway, one of Liberace’s homes, and of course, Sinatra’s house.

Up on the hill is the ever-present Bob Hope house, which looks somewhere between ‘Darth Vader’s helmet’ and the Bat Cave. It’s iconic (and currently for sale if you’re flush with $25 million). The ‘Alexanders’ are everywhere. These homes all feature the same street-side formula: Parking, breezeway, windows, wall. What differs is the materials used, orientation and the customized décor inside. No two look truly alike, which is design at its finest. For an immersion course, visit during Modernism Week in February.