Hope Katz Gibbs

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Travel / Washington Post, et al

Weekend Getaway: Little Palm Island [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Travel: Weekend Getaways
Design by Kevin Jolliffe

A THREE-HOUR DRIVE FROM Miami south into the Keys, weary execs will find solace at Little Palm Island, a secluded island paradise—with only one telephone. It’s reminiscent of the uncharted isle where shipwrecked Gilligan found himself castaway. Of course, Gilligan, never dined at a first-class French restaurant, received an hour-long Thai massage or paddled around in a heated pool. The pampering begins at check-in where a perky concierge greets guests inside a hut by the side of the road near Little Torch Key (at mile marker 28.5). Bearing cocktails and information packets, she charms guests until a zippy motorboat arrives to transport visitors to the island.

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Weekend Getaway: The Grand Bay Hotel [New Miami magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
New Miami magazine
Feature: Weekend Getaways

SOMETIMES THE BEST WAY TO get away for a weekend is to forego the hassles of traveling. That’s a secret Miami’s elite have known for years, and one of their escapes is the five-star elegance of the 181-room Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove. From the white-gloved bellman that whisks luggage and ladies through the gilded front door to a complimentary glass of champagne offered at check-in, most everything about the Grand Bay is presented with silver-platter courtesy and discretion. Guests even get to choose the room décor they’d like for their suite: safari, Marrakech and Mandarin are most popular, the concierge confides.

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Colonial Days: Williamsburg’s Kingsmill Resort [Business Life magazine]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Business Life magazine
July 1998

When President Clinton arrived at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg on Saturday, May 9, he huddled in the owner’s mansion with Senate Democrats before playing 18 holes of golf.

After he finished the round, he made his way to a small reception in the conference area where he shook hands with Kingsmill executives. Executive chef Joseph Durante, however, he embraced. “Now this is the man who I want to meet,” the President said.

Clinton has good taste. Not only is the food at Kingsmill rich and sumptuous, but also it is one of only 108 resorts worldwide listed in the 1998 “Standards of Excellence” guide, published annually by the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. From the moment you drive up the grand flower-lined driveway into the Kingsmill Resort, you know you will dissolve into the luxury awaiting you.

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Hiking / Camping Florida’s Trails [The Miami Herald]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Florida Outdoors Guide
The Miami Herald

No trip to Florida would be complete without a hike through the some of the state’s 1,000 miles of trails—many of which have been cleared by 5,000-plus members of the Florida Trail Association. Founder Ken Kern is a 54-year-old nature enthusiast who blazed those trails about three decades ago, soon after the U.S. Navy transferred him to Florida to make an underwater film. On his off-days, he wanted to head inland and explore the terrain. He was disappointed to find, however, that Florida had no hiking trails. “I’ve been an avid hiker since he was a boy tramping through a 10-acre patch of birch and sassafras trees near my home in New Jersey,” he recalls. “I realized I’d traveled thousands of miles to this beautiful place—and there was nowhere to hike.” So Kerns came up with a scheme. He’d start a hiking club, and to attract members he’d hike 160 miles through Florida—and ask anyone interested to join him.

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Flamingo: Florida Bay’s Historic Hideaway [The Miami Herald]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Florida Outdoors Guide
The Miami Herald

In 1905, the small rural town of Flamingo, FL made headlines when two poachers killed Guy Bradleg, the local warden and animal preservationist whose mission was to protect wildlife in the Everglades. He’d caught the men picking off some wild birds with shotguns, and when Bradleg drew his gun the shooters turned theirs on him. He was killed instantly. The poachers fled to the Keys where they were eventually captured. But news of the shooting made the front page of The New York Times. Preservations from around the world picked up on the story, and within weeks launched a campaign to save wildlife of the Florida Everglades. Finally, in 1947, President Harry Truman declared the Everglades a national park dedicated to the protection of endangered species, birds and wildlife indigenous to the region. Today the park is home to 350 species of birds, hammerhead, lemon and black tip sharks, manatees, alligators, crocodiles, otters and green sea turtles.

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Angling for the MET [The Miami Herald]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Florida Outdoors Guide
The Miami Herald

The sea is calm, the fishing rods baited. The captain and angler onboard know where the fish are supposed to be, so now, they sit and wait for the catch-of-the-day. Such a scene is commonplace around the waters of South Florida, but for Jim Anson his awards are testimony to the fact that he is a Master Angler. For the second year, the Miami businessman has won the top title in the METropolitan South Florida Fishing Tournament (MET). Criteria for the award: at least five exceptional catches. A 360-pound shark was Anson’s winning entry in the Fly Division. He also topped the scales in other divisions, having landed a 190-pound, eight-ounce jewfish, a 97-pound tarpon, a 50-pound amberjack, a 49-pound Wahoo, and a 27-pound barracuda. Anson said his success secret is very simple. “All it takes is a lot of dedication, hard work and a great captain.”

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Couple dons wetsuits for Pennekamp wedding [The Miami Herald]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Florida Outdoors Guide
The Miami Herald

Marilyn Robinson and Scott Hutchinson didn’t want a traditional wedding. The couple from Clearwater were each married before and had done the white lace and black tales bit. They calculated a reception would cost $10,000, “and that’s just too much dough to spend all so our friends can get dressed up and drink themselves silly,” Hutchinson confides. No, this time was going to be unique, different, and a bit exotic. They decided to get married beside the Christ of the Abyss Statue at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park—a one-ton bronze statue 21 feet down. With arms extended toward the ocean surface, Hutchinson thought getting married beside the monument would make for a romantic, spiritual memory that would last a lifetime. Robinson was game. She had received her diver’s certification just six weeks prior, and was eager to show off her new skills to her groom, who has been diving for the past 20 years. “It’s legal, and something we’ll be able to brag about to our kids,” Hutchinson said just moments before the big leap.

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Travel: Skyline Overdrive [The Washington Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Travel / The Washington Post
Oct. 5, 1997

WERE YOU ONE OF THE 310,204 car that took Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park last October? Was that you, waiting for a parking space in a scenic overlook drumming your fingers on the dashboard your best view being the window sticker of the car in front of you? You swore you’d never again attempt a Sunday drive in-the autumn. But what if you could see the fall foliage without the rest of the work force? Your best choice is to stick with Skyline Drive. Nothing beats the views and easy hiking from the magnificent ridge-top road-but take it on a weekday. Second choice is to stick with Skyline Drive but leave home at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds. If neither of those choices suits you, we recommend a 270-mile loop that provides a fine day of country driving, front-row seats to nature’s kaleidoscope and little chance of gridlock. The route actually crosses Skyline Drive twice but won’t stick you in a queue. Instead, it sweeps down the winding roads of the George Washington National Forest toward Luray. Along the way, you can wave to the cows, stop by roadside apple stands, visit country stores and tour a winery. We’ve also suggested four other less-traveled country drives, two in Maryland and two in Virginia. Now don’t get us wrong. We love Skyline Drive. It’s just that road-surface-wise, supply and demand tend to fall out of whack during the month of October.

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Travel: Parting Shots [The Washington Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Travel / The Washington Post
September 7, 1997

TRAVEL IS A WAY OF LIFE for Jim Hanney, manager of international security for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. About 20 times a year he heads to some of the world’s most exotic-and often most infection-ridden-places. So Hanney needs to stay on top of the immunizations needed to protect him from common international diseases-yellow fever, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, rabies and meningitis. Without the immunizations, Hanney could be denied entry to some countries, placed in quarantine and forced to receive the vaccine at the border station. Like most travelers, he opts to get the shots stateside. But like an increasing number of travelers, he’s turning not to his general practitioner but to a growing breed of travel medicine specialists. His preference is an Alexandria clinic called SmartTravel, founded in April by registered nurses Jane Johnson and Donna Shipley. “In addition to giving the necessary vaccines, we give travelers all the information they need about water purification, food safety, insect repellent and other things that will keep them healthy when they are abroad,” says Johnson.

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Travel: Many Happy (Tax) Returns [The Washington Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Travel / The Washington Post
May 29, 1998

ACCORDING TO THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, 70 percent of U.S. households will get a tax refund this year. Federal checks average $1,302 each; among D.C., Maryland and Virginia householders, “state” refunds average $402. What will people do with these windfalls? Spend ‘em. Says IRS spokesman Domenic LaPonzina: “From everything we have seen, the majority of people who get a refund spend the money” rather than, say, saving or investing it or paying bills. And many people, he says, spend it on travel. In fact, LaPonzina himself plans to use his ’98 refund to take his 19-year-old daughter to Italy this summer. If you’re expecting state or federal refunds, here are some travel ideas to consider.

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Travel: Road Tip! [The Washington Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Craig Stoltz, editor
Travel / The Washington Post
July 5, 1998

This summer, at least one time, you are certain to spend an extended period belted into a glass-and-metal envelope barreling down the road at 60 mph, perhaps surrounded by people you love, perhaps by people who annoy you, or if your luck is particularly bad, by people who love to annoy you. You will be headed someplace where you hope to have a fine time. To avoid being slightly impatient, uncomfortable and bored, abide by our readers’ favorite road-tested tips for car travel. They have driven many miles many times and, native geniuses that they are, have concocted some novel ways to deal with the inconveniences, problems and hazards of traveling by car. So check that passenger-side mirror, adjust your lumbar support and get a big or travel mug of your favorite road beverage. We’re going for a ride.

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Travel: Kidding Around [The Washington Post]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
Travel / The Washington Post
May 31, 1998

Luckily for us, many readers of The Washington Post Travel section have reproduced. More lucky still, over the months many of them have sent us their favorite tips and tricks for managing travel with their offspring. Many are versions of the obvious tips we all know too well: When traveling with kids ifs even more important dm usual to be organized (a few tipsters sent elaborate descriptions of to-pack lists, maintained on computer, that “age” with the kids’ evolving travel needs); that pre-readers can be usefully, even guiltlessly, diverted with audiotapes and kid-size headphones; that, for infants especially, what you do and don’t remember to slip into the schlepbag can break or make your trip. And yes, we know you were wondering. the tip-stream carries plenty of evidence that the Ziploc Fanatics have spawned, ensuring the survival of yet another generation of people who prefer to pack everything, from cotton swabs to entire swimwear ensembles, in the tidy plastic enclosures. Assuming you’ve managed the basics of organization and planning, we offer the following tips, which represent the more novel and most potentially useful, tips our parent-travelers have sent along.

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More Travel / Washington Post, et al Articles


"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.

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