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 United States



AHI LELE FIRE SHOW HEATS UP KAUAI

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ahi Lele (which translates to dancing/jumping fire) is a must-see!
After living on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kaua’i for the better half of last year, I had the privilege of experiencing many jaw-dropping cultural performances from local artists, musicians and dancers. Because Kauai is the type of mind-blowing place you visit once and think about every day for the rest of your life, I knew I had to return. This time around, I got wind of a new show, the Ahi Lele Fire Show by Destination Events Hawaii. After sharing a delightful brunch with my partner at Kitchen Table on Sunday afternoon and loving it, I revisited the open-aired venue on Wednesday night for the fire show, and I was certainly glad I did. It was, indeed, the best fire dancing performance I have ever seen. To top it off, I quickly learned that this is Kauai’s only exclusive fire show which includes a locally sourced three-course meal, embracing the farm-to-table concept in a bold and exciting way.…
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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A shaded forest with dappled sunlight dancing between the trees; a clear stream that cascades over a severe, silver rock face; a certain hush, save the occasional bird and the crunching of leaves underfoot, and there, in the middle of it, a house like a no other, rising from a waterfall.
Exterior view of Fallingwater from www.fallingwater.org
There’s a reason why Frank Lloyd Wright remains one of America’s most beloved architects. Falling Water, the stunning summer home that Wright designed for the wealthy Kauffman family in the 1930s, garnered instant fame for its daring position within (and incorporation of) the natural landscape. Falling Water Built between 1936 and 1939, the house appears to float over Bear Run, a mountain stream in the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh. It utilized innovative construction techniques, including cantilevers and reinforced concrete, all while somehow staying true in color, shape and texture to the surrounding environment, which was much loved by the Kauffman’s and their employees in Pittsburgh.…
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20 Years After Terror Attack, Oklahoma City Museum Undergoes Expansion

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A lot has happened since the pictures of devastation from the usually quiet municipality of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA made headlines 20 years ago. Heart-wrenching images of a bombed office building and broken bodies, the kind we are used to seeing from the Middle East and not the American Midwest, were on television screens and in newspapers in parts of the world that never knew Oklahoma City existed. The date was April 19, 1995. The time was 9:02 a.m. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in the middle of downtown in the Oklahoma state capital, exploded with a hellish boom that people could hear 30 miles way. “Like a sonic boom, except at least 100 times louder,” said survivor Cathy Jean Coulter. Right away first responders knew the cost in humanity and lives was devastating. Two militant anti-government Americans and former Army buddies, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were captured shortly afterwards, and in time, tried and convicted.…
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Choo Choo! A Scenic Trip on the Verde Canyon Railroad

 United States

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lounging back on the comfortable love seat of the First Class railroad car on the train, I popped a chocolate brownie in my mouth. There was a sumptuous spread of food on the table before me and someone was strolling around taking drink orders. I could not be more comfortable. This was the way to travel. On a train. No tiny airline seats, no elbows banged into your head as people pass, no seats reclined into your lap, no dry peanuts. Not only was this First Class railroad car itself completely comfortable and relaxing during our scenic journey on the Verde Canyon Railroad in Clarkdale, Arizona, the view out the window for the entire trip was absolutely spectacular. The Verde Canyon Railroad is a very popular outing in the Clarkdale area. The parking lot was full when we arrived and people were streaming into the quaint depot to buy tickets. Luckily, we had tickets waiting for us because they had been arranged prior to our trip but I had no idea if they were Coach or First Class.…
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Happy 100th Birthday to San Diego’s Famed Balboa Park

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Balboa Park, just outside Automotive Museum.
A century ago, the world came to San Diego – an amazing feat, considering that much of the world did not know San Diego existed. The occasion was the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Its purpose was to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal. In 1915, San Diego, today the eighth largest city in the United States, was Lilliputian with a population of roughly 32,000. Both San Francisco and Los Angeles had a few hundred thousand citizens each; San Francisco was even hosting a dueling expo, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. But on July 9th, 1909, prominent San Diego banker G. Aubrey Davidson formally suggested that his city, a toddling beach community located in the big toe of the Golden State, host an exhibition in 1915 to celebrate the man-made marvel’s opening. If the event made the city a household name and helped it bounce back from the economic Panic of 1907, so much the better.…
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Art in Philadelphia: More than just the Rocky Steps

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To most, the name “Philadelphia” is synonymous with Rocky Balboa, the Liberty Bell, and soft pretzels.  But the cradle of American democracy boasts more than its well-known slew of historic landmarks and pop culture references – it is also home to a large number of world class art museums, complete with its very own Avenue des Champs-Élysées leading from City Hall to what is, arguably, the crown jewel in the city’s collection: The Philadelphia Museum of Art. But before we talk about the PMA, let’s start with a few other sites not to be missed.  Heading northwest from the city center along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, you’ll pass Logan Square (an architectural delight itself) before coming to the new (if controversial) home of the Barnes Foundation.  Established by Dr. Albert C. Barnes in 1922 to “promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts and horticulture” the collection was originally housed on the Barnes estate in Merion before it was brought to Philadelphia in 2012.…
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Shrimping on the Lady Jane

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

If you have been on any dolphin watching cruises, you know they can be pretty boring at times. If you are lucky, you see a few dolphins or sometimes just their backs as they come up for air, and if you are unlucky, you spend a lot of time just watching the water waiting for dolphins to appear. A shrimping excursion with the Lady Jane is absolutely nothing like those experiences but, instead, is one of the most interesting cruises you can take with kids if you are in the area. We were visiting the beautiful King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on charming St. Simons Island, Georgia and decided to take one of the shrimping excursions for an afternoon outing. My expectations were pretty low and assumed we would be bored on this two hour adventure, but I was completely wrong. We headed over to Brunswick, where the Lady Jane is docked just a few minutes away from the resort.…
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Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

 United States

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

We hadn’t been to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in years. Caught up in traveling all around the world, we had almost forgotten this charming town tucked away at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States.
The beautiful LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
We were in town to check out Wilderness Wildlife Week, an annual event that brings together fans of nature with an astonishing variety of presenters, hikes, and bus tours of the area. What really amazed us about this event is that every single activity from the decorated entrance to the gorgeous displays in the beautiful LeConte Center to every single presentation, hike, and tour is totally free to anyone who would like to attend. Professional writers, park rangers, musicians, storytellers, wildlife experts, and others all provide their expertise for free in rooms full of fascinated spectators.
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Where the Mississippi River is Born

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

St. Anthony Falls, at left, on the Mississippi River as seen from the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis.
The Mississippi River. The blues and jazz and paddle wheelers, poker-faced riverboat gamblers, Tom Sawyer and the Big Mo, and music meccas New Orleans, Memphis and St. Louis. Not here. Not in Minnesota, especially north-central Minnesota. The mighty Mississippi isn’t so mighty in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Up north, it’s pretty humble. One can walk across the Headwaters of the Mississippi, where Lake Itasca morphs into the nascent river. It’s not exactly a trickle at its source, as some may have heard. But it is hardly the big, fat, muddy behemoth most of us are so familiar with. It’s about the size of your basic state park brook, alongside which one might unfold a tent and settle in for a night of cooking hot dogs and roasting marshmallows. And it is ankle deep.…
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Five Fabulous Bed and Breakfast Locations to Visit for Mother’s Day

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother’s Day will be here before we know it and I can guarantee that most mothers would adore a getaway with you more than any other present you can imagine. Hotels and resorts are perfectly lovely, but there is nothing as comfortable, charming, and unique as a stay at a quality Bed and Breakfast location. Fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, comfy beds, and a full gourmet breakfast make them the perfect choice for that special trip. Here are some of my favorite choices – now make your own reservation!
Welcome to the Villa D’Citta!
  1. Villa D’Citta in Chicago, Illinois: You will have plenty of choices for places to stay in the Windy City, but this gorgeous Chicago Greystone in the middle of the luxurious Lincoln Park neighborhood should be your first choice. Park in the garage (a former carriage house), then walk through the outside grotto and climb up the winding metal staircase up to a large, outside hot tub.…
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This is how to experience Niagara Falls

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Falls on U.S. side. Photo by Michael Schuman.
The worst thing one can do at Niagara Falls is to simply stop and look at the falls. Niagara Falls might be an iconic North American destination, but there is so much to do here than stand and watch. The best way to experience Niagara Falls is to explore the scenery, to become part of it, to meet nature head on. If you don’t get wet here, you haven’t gotten your time or money’s worth out of your trip. For those who don’t know their way around this world wonder, here is a Niagara Falls primer. Where exactly is Niagara Falls? There is a two-part answer to this question since there are the cities of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls water spectacles. First, the cities. Niagara Falls, New York sits across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, Ontario. They are separate cities with identical names in neighboring nations and are located about twenty miles north of Buffalo, New York.…
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What Makes New York New York?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Times Square.
The purists howled over a decade ago when New York City was accused of Disneyfying Times Square. The funk and grit were replaced by family fare, but with the changes came a friendlier New York. Cab drivers volunteered to be less abrasive. Visitors are less likely to encounter muggers. Signs warn of $350 fines for unnecessary car horn blowing. For those of you who have never been to New York City, or who have not visited in recent years, following is our list of ten venues that make New York New York.
Close up of Waterford crystal ball at Times Square.
1. The must-see Just as any visitor to France would be remiss to skip the Eiffel Tower, every city has a site that must not be missed, no matter how frequently it is touristed. In New York, this place is Times Square. The neon jungle dazzles the eyes of visitors like a visual sonic boom.…
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5 U.S. Family Resorts Perfect for Spring Break

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

As spring break time approaches, families considering vacations are faced with a dilemma — should we head to a resort in the Caribbean or stay close to home? Don’t rush to get that passport. The answer shouldn’t be that cut and dry, as there are some wonderful resorts with lots of activities right in the United States.
Boyne HighlandsYou can ski through April at Boyne Highlands Resort
Boyne Highlands
You may be sick of shoveling snow at home, but how about a place you can enjoy the snow in? At Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan, you can ski, snowboard, tube, zip line and dog sled through the end of April. Accommodations at Boyne Highlands vary from standard hotel rooms to four bedroom house rentals so you’ll have enough room for the whole family. You’ll also be able to satisfy everyone’s food needs with an enormous breakfast buffet, a cafeteria that includes a macaroni & cheese bar, salad bar, and smoothie bar, and Aonach Mor Moonlight Dinner experience.…
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6 Mobile Apps to Ensure you Travel Happy

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Traveling today can take all kinds of twists and turns from unexpected delays to problems with airfares. Wouldn’t it be great if you had your own travel assistant who would advise you of the best way to resolve the issue and seek out helpful information for you? Well, that’s exactly what a travel app can do. Once you start looking for travel apps you will find there are dozens upon dozens to look through in order to decide which one is best for you. Here’s a few that are sure to help you out:   Wi-Fi Finder - Available FREE on iPhone, iPad and Android  We all know the pain of data roaming charges and I have even found myself sitting in fast food restaurants just to get free access. Let’s face it – when you are traveling, finding free Wi-Fi is a difficult thing to do, especially if you are unaware that free Wi-Fi is often much closer than you think.
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