Elizabeth and Andy Beyer’s drive along California’s Sonoma Valley Wine Trail was a lifelong dream. They satisfied their love for the beverage during tastings at favorite vineyards. It was food that tempted Mary and Roger Nicholson to visit Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou. They sampled traditional dishes like fresh-from-the-sea food and lip-smacking desserts.Read More
All around Las Vegas lie areas of breathtaking natural beauty, offering families with young children the easy opportunity to explore unspoiled wilderness without traveling great distances. To compose this list, I tapped the memories of three experts: my children, who spent much of their childhoods hiking Southwestern trails with me. These came up as the five places they most enjoyed when they were small.Read More
Remember when Maui was considered the undeveloped island of Hawaii, in the days before hordes of tourists -- and the commercialism that inevitably follows -- invaded its pristine coastline? Well quick -- before the same thing happens to Kauai, visit the Garden Isle, the lushest and prettiest of the Hawaiian Islands. Go before it loses its virginity to the ravaging developers already hovering about its shores. But more on that later.Read More
Halloween in New York City, is that perfect combination of costumes and New Yorkers. The mix of the two always comes up with something unique. If you weren't in the Big Apple yesterday, here are some sights and sounds (but mostly sights) of New York on Halloween.Read More
Ari and Brad Nicholson settle for the night in the most luxurious setting they’ve enjoyed anywhere. Their penthouse is lit by chandeliers and includes opulent touches like a martini bar and hot tub. The ambience is very different where Lee and Laura Hockman are bedding down. As dog lovers, the opportunity to stay in “the world’s biggest beagle” gave them no paws (pun intended). These aren’t the only unusual accommodations available to travelers. Opportunities abound for those seeking a unique experience when it's time to check in and turn in.Read More
Admittedly, I’ve never heard of Lo-Wei, a unique exercise class that combines yoga, strength training and flexibility that stretched my body in ways my mind never thought possible. But it is only one of almost three dozen fitness classes, all part of the dawn-to-dusk workout, weight loss and education focus of the one-of-a-kind, all-inclusive Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa in East Stroudsburg, PA where my friend Kathy and I spent three nights recently.Read More
Shortly after we're startled by the Headless Horseman galloping by, we enter The Haunted Mansion. Then we hurl ourselves through a mostly-dark galaxy, get in an elevator with dodgy wiring, perilously hang upside down and ride a railway with sketchy tracks. It seems we can't get enough of deliberately scaring ourselves.
But, it's all good, safe spookiness.Read More
Quick quiz: Think swinging jazz and soulful blues played in music clubs and by street musicians outside. Picture sidewalks crowded with people sipping beverages from plastic cups as they stroll along.
If you guess that describes New Orleans, you’re right – but there’s more.
Now see yourself visiting museums whose focus ranges from food and festivals to history and mystery. Where? New Orleans again.Read More
When most folks think of Cajun Country, if they think of it at all, it’s probably Lafayette, Louisiana. But most people visiting Louisiana make a stop in New Orleans, and Lafourche Parish, just 45 minutes west of the Big Easy, is a more accessible, more authentic Cajun experience than its more well-known and commercial cousin several hours away.Read More
When I began planning a trip to Alaska, two words came to mind. One was “big,” which many things there are. The other was “mystique,” a sense which pervades the image that people often have of that state. It’s the size of the “Great Land,” as the Aleutian people named the region, which makes the most immediate, and dramatic, impression. Alaska is twice as large as Texas and if cut in half, would be the first and second biggest states in the country. Mount McKinley is the tallest peak in North America, and Denali National Park over which it looms is larger than Massachusetts.Read More
Without hesitation, Rey Rosales declares the view of Chicago is best from Adler Planetarium. So, we all pile into the Mini Cooper to drive southeast through Chicago's famous skyscraper-choked downtown. We pull up at the planetarium psyched to look back across shimmering Lake Michigan's Monroe Harbour to the Windy City's unmistakable skyline. Far left is tall, dark and handsome, 110-storey Willis Tower (the former Sears Tower and formerly the world's tallest building) and far right is Chicago's second-tallest structure, the 100-storey John Hancock building.Read More
In 1607, a small band of settlers founded the first permanent English outpost in the Americas, Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia. At that time, another town already had existed since 1565 in a different part of the New World. Last year, St. Augustine, Florida, which traces its roots to that 16th-century settlement, celebrated its 450th anniversary. That supports its claim to be the oldest continuously occupied European community in the country. Given its history, St. Augustine offers visitors a setting which captures not just the stories but also an authentic atmosphere of its colorful past. That comes to life primarily in the city’s 144 square block historic district.Read More
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job… – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon’s legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.Read More
A great thing about living in New York City, and owning a camera, is the capacity for a visual tapestry for street photography. The reason NYC is featured in so many movies is - the city can hardly take a bad photograph. So let's grab a slice of pizza (the corner slice if it's a square pizza) - and lets hit the street of New York (roughly around the Village and LES), and let's get into the groove of some NYC street photography.Read More