Montage of 2015: Icy Buffalo to the moon over Mallorca

Full moon illuminates Palma de Mallorca on a memorable night on the Mediterranean Sea in 2015. Craig Davis/

By Craig Davis,

What turned out to be a memorable year of travel in 2015 began with a New Year’s night flight to Buffalo. The first trip of 2016 will have the same destination.

Such are the recurring paths of a sports journalist.

Craigslegz travel alien BeBop from the visiting press perch near the rafters and championship banners at Montreal’s Bell Center. Craig Davis/

Strange bookends for a year that included stops for business and pleasure in Italy, France, Spain, New York , Washington (D.C.), Aspen, Colo., Montreal, Toronto , Ottawa, Philadelphia, Nashville , Atlanta and a variety of Florida destinations. The Craigslegz travel alien BeBop made an appearance at most of them.

Nonetheless, Buffalo held its own as a lesson in making the most of one’s surroundings.

Despite the chill in the air, the day was as sunny, the sky as blue as a South Florida beach day. Late in the morning a line started forming at Canalside’s outdoor skating rink a block from the arena where the Buffalo Sabres play.

In South Florida, you go to the beach in January. In Buffalo, you pull the stocking cap over the ears and skate until the shadows get long.

Music played filled the air, and across the street the line was out the door at the Tim Hortons, which is both a cozy refuge and a tribute to the late hockey star who once played for the Sabres but is now known to a younger generation for coffee and doughnuts throughout Canada and some Northern states.

My only regret, I wasn’t skating that day.

Art is everywhere in the architecture in Barcelona , including this former hospital. Craig Davis/

The winter scenery was much more spectacular a few weeks later at Aspen to revisit Snowmass resort. No matter that trying to reconnect with Hunter Thompson’s ghost got us lost in the woods. Skiing at Aspen has its ways of turning a slight bummer into a rush.

The best travel days of 2015 were on the winding road hugging the breathtaking Amalfi Coast in southern Italy with popular Italian tunes providing the soundtrack for our guide Mario’s commentary, and exploring the artful serendipity of Barcelona.

Most magical night was dancing under the stars on the upper deck of the cruiseship with the full moon over Mallorca.

Snowplows keep the runways clear at the airport in Montreal. Craig Davis/

But the full spectrum of a year’s travel also encompasses dashing from a cab in a downpour to Penn Station to catch a train to Philadelphia. And, when you’re on the hockey beat, there are snowplows on the runway and takeoff delays while they de-ice the wings.

And so the cycle starts again with another Buffalo shuffle.

Looking forward to a visit to that Tim Hortons. And if the line isn’t too long at the rink, perhaps there will be time for a skate.

The rink at Canalside is like a day at the beach on a sunny day in Buffalo. Skaters were deterred by the long or the chilly windy. Craig Davis/




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