Even though my husband suggests Barrow, Alaska, as a vacation destination, I prefer a trip to warmer climes, as many of our patrons do during the winter season.

So come to the library to investigate the possibilities in our collection of travel books, which has been upgraded considerably since the arrival of the Measure B money.

One very popular travel destination during our winter season is Hawaii, and we have several different publications for you to peruse before your trip.

We have both the Moon Travel Handbooks and the Lonely Planet Guides on the chain of Hawaiian Islands, as well as on the individual islands. Both publications are very thorough, with expanded sections on history, social customs, religion, arts and crafts, and possible hikes and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Another publication in the Hidden Travel Book series points out many additional features, such as where the finest sunsets occur and the best spots for viewing them. They recommend overnight stays based on the lodging’s special features, and explain mile-by-mile what to expect and what not to miss on a particular drive. The Eyewitness Travel Guides add many photographs and illustrations of scenery, arts and crafts, plants, historical figures, and events. Also, with the help of drawings they give a vivid description of the geological formation of the Hawaiian Islands as the tip of a chain of volcanoes.

The most detailed guidebook of the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i, “The Ultimate Kaua’i Guidebook,” published in Lihue, Kaua’i, excels in its use of cartography and includes 14 detailed maps of all shore areas and hiking trails. The collection “Hawaii: True Stories of the Island Spirit” provides a deeper understanding of the islands through the travel experiences of others.

Just another three to four hours by plane take you south of Hawaii to the South Pacific Islands of Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. Only 500 of the 7,500 islands in the South Pacific are inhabited, and travelers have long been attracted by tales of easy living on those islands. During the day the warm clear waters let you enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. After the 6 p.m. sunset, the South Sea island aura painted by Gauguin can still be found at a feasts and cultural shows, or by watching traditional dancing. Our Moon Travel Handbooks and Lonely Planet Guides cover the whole area, and there are individual volumes on Fiji, Tonga-Samoa, Tahiti, and Micronesia.

Another spot travelers might be drawn to during the winter months because of its accessibility is Baja California. But according to “Fielding’s Baja Guide” by Jack and Patty Williams, winter is not when the peninsular weather is at its best. The temperatures are chilly, and even Baja’s warmest spot – San Felipe, on the coast of the Sea of Cortez – is cool and windy during winter. The best months to visit Baja are April, May, and June, and our book on Baja camping, “Foghorn Outdoors”, can help you select your camping spot.

If whale watching is your thing, several coastal lagoons along Baja’s south central Pacific coast offer prime whale viewing from December to June. Or if the famous cave paintings near San Ignacio attract you, reading Erle Stanley Gardner’s “The Hidden Heart of Baja,” describing his 1962 expedition to these caves, will prepare you.

For just lazing in the sun, there are endless choices along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, as described in depth in Moon’s Pacific Mexico Handbook. Other guides to Mexico describe the Caribbean beaches and coral reefs of the Yucatan. The rainy season in Yucatan is from mid-August to mid-October, and a good time to visit is in November and early December, when it is less crowded and less pricey. Highlights besides swimming, snorkeling and diving are visits to Mayan archeological sites, such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Tulum, and Coba.

Many more beautiful areas to visit during the winter months are described in our books on Belize, Costa Rica, the Caribbean Islands, Florida, Central America, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

Special Programs for Children:

— Kids ages 5 and up may come in any time to sign up for the Winter Reading Program, which run now through February.

Regular Childrens Programs

Saturday Morning StoryTelling

For ages 3 to 7, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. at the library, with Mrs. Fix from Church of the Mountains Preschool.

— Multi-Cultural Storytime

For ages 3 to 5; Fridays, 10:30 at the library.

— Toddlertime

For ages 3 and under; Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. at the library.

— Third Thursday Evenings of Fun

Third Thursday of each month, 7 p.m. at the library; for ages 3-6.

Now On Sale

–Entertainment Books, with tremendous discounts on area restaurants and activities. A portion of the $20 purchase price benefits the Friends of the Library. On sale at the Library and at Boice Countryside Realty.

Now on display at the Library:

— Art above the fireplace by Lee Ann Masuret.

— In the display case: April Shepherd’s salt shakers

Library Hours:

Monday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Truckee Library

10031 Levone Avenue


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