TravelWorld Luxury Travel Sept.Oct 09
Luxury Travel Issue: TravelWorld International Magazine, Travel Where The Experts Love To Go!. TWI is the only online travel magazine featuring the writing talents of the North American Travel Journalists Association members.
09.4 SEPT.OCT the Luxury issue DISCOVER THE HAWAIIAN SECRET Island of Lana'i EXPERIENCE Southern Sophistication VENTURE TO THE Spas of India PLUS... roughing it in Travel Tips FOR MATURE TRAVELLERS style LUXURY YACHTING IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS T H E M A G A Z I N E W R I T T E N B Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N T R AV E L J O U R N A L I S T S A S S O C I AT I O N M E M B E R S * the Luxury issue TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT 09.4 SEPT.OCT FEATURES 8 GETTING PERSONAL IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Yacht Society Breeds the Best of the Best STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LISA CODIANNE FOWLER 14 A LAP OF LUXURY SOUTHERN STYLE Southern Charm and Comfort are More Accessible Than One May Think. BY DANIEL LEE 22 PINEAPPLE PARADISE Lana'i is the Hawaiian Island Less Travelled STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHERRI TELENKO 28 THE LOVE OF LUXURY Exploring the Spa Scene in India BY CAROLE HERDEGEN THE NATJA OKLAHOMA CONFERENCE GRAND PRIZE AWARD WINNER: 33 OKLAHOMA CITY: EASY TO FEEL AT HOME WITH LOTS TO EXPLORE BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS COLUMNS 4 6 7 38 42 46 48 50 52 FROM THE PUBLISHER LETTER FROM THE EDITOR BENEFITS OF BEING A NATJA MEMBER ARTS & ARCHITECTURE Miami's Wonderful Eye Candy / SPORTS & SIGHTS BY MICHELLE NEWMAN Flying Through Powder And Skiing With Kangaroos / SENIOR TRAVEL BY MICHAEL DWYER Travel Planning Tips For Seniors / GADGETS WE LIKE BY SANDRA KENNEDY It's All About The Power SPOTLIGHT Staying Afloat In Trying Times / BOOK STORE BY ARLINE ZATZ 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * FROM THE PUBLISHER For The JOY OF LUXURY! High threadcount sheets...soft, yummy robes...beds you can stay in forever...massages that transport you to a far away land.... Let's face it--luxury travel doesn't suck. My family and I recently stayed at The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena, Calif. (http://pasadena.langhamhotels.com). It is a famed landmark dating back to 1907 and is the utmost in luxury. While my family is not the type to travel in this style on a regular basis (far from it), it was delightful to take in the history, glamour and beauty that comes with some of life's unexpected opportunities. We were in Pasadena for a NATJA board meeting. The Langham was gracious to host our board members and treat us to an amazing behind-the-scenes tour. We found fascinating the power our stay had to transport us into another way of life and how quickly we were to accept it. After hustling to meet deadlines, struggling to make ends meet, and juggling to keep tranquility in the day-to-day household, it was pure joy when we kicked off the shoes, put on the slippers and sat back saying, "This IS the life!" It made me realize how lucky we were to be able to enjoy this luxury, if only for a night. It also made me realize how necessary it is to experience this kind of treat, especially in these trying economic times. Life is too short to not take that "splurge" trip, even if you think it may stretch you too thin or you don't have the time. You may have to shorten your trip a day or two, or sacrifice your favorite airline to get to your destination. But you must take it. There are luxury opportunities out there that you would not believe, and they are easier to obtain than you know. The stories, the experience, the nurturing of the soul and the joy of luxury are long-lasting. They'll get you through the rough spots. Jerri Jerri Hemsworth Publisher E: email@example.com B: www.travelworldmagazine.com/blog/publisher TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT * LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 8 14 22 28 Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Drop us a line at Travelworld International Magazine by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Luxury means something different to everyone: perhaps a high thread count in a king size bed to one, a night of champagne and caviar to another, or a retreat to an exclusive spa to another. Several of our NATJA writers have definite ideas on luxury. Sherri Telenko heads to Lana'i to relax island-style (page 22). Daniel Lee enjoys high end Southern hospitality (page 14), while Carole Herdegen reviews India's top spas (page 28). Lisa Codianne Fowler heads to the high seas in spectacular yachts in the British Virgin Islands (page 8). Our columnists cover everything from skiing in Utah, senior travel tips, and Miami's architectural gems. And don't miss the Oklahoma Conference journalist award winner Christine Tibbetts' piece reprinted here (page 33). More than 20 stories were submitted to the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitor's Bureau, who carefully read and judged all submissions and chose hers! Happy and safe travels! Kim Kim Foley MacKinnon Editor-in-Chief E: email@example.com B: www.travelworldmagazine.com/blog/editor EDITORIAL CALENDAR Nov/Dec 2009 . . . . . . . .FOOD & WINE Food and travel, from wine trails to culinary schools to hidden gems. Jan/Feb 2010 . . . . . . . . . .IT'S A GREEN, GREEN WORLD Submission? Submit story and photography pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not submit images unless requested. Eco-tourism, from green hotels to green cruises to traveling without leaving a carbon footprint. March/April 2010 . . . . . .ONE IS NOT THE LONELIEST NUMBER Planning, traveling, being safe, and other issues and tips about traveling on your own. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT Travelworld International Magazine is the official magazine of the North American Travel Journalists Association Group Publisher Publisher Editor-in-Chief Art Direction/Production Vice President, Marketing Contributing Writers Helen Hernandez Jerri Hemsworth Kim Foley MacKinnon Newman Grace Inc. www.newmangrace.com Brian Hemsworth Lisa Codianne Fowler Carole Herdegen Daniel Lee Sherri Telenko Christine Tibbetts Contributing Columnists Michael Dwyer Sandra Kennedy Michelle Newman Arline Zatz Editorial/Advertising offices Travelworld International Magazine 150 S. Arroyo Parkway, 2nd Floor Pasadena, CA 91105 P: 626.376.9754 www.travelworldmagazine.com Travelworld International Magazine is published bi-monthly by Travel Professionals Inc. 150 S. Arroyo Parkway, 2nd Floor, Pasadena, CA 91105 Volume 2009.4 September/October. Copyright �2009 by Travel Professionals Inc. All rights reserved. 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I Annual NATJA Conference & Marketplace www.natja.org/conference The Benefits of Being a NATJA Member www.natja.org GETTING PERSONAL in the British Virg Charter Yacht Society Breeds the Best of the Best STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LISA CODIANNE FOWLER TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT gin Islands of the World," the British Virgin Islands boast the most beautiful bays on earth; the trade winds are steady, and, of course, the islands are gorgeous. But so are the owner-operated boats that comprise the majority of members of the Charter Yacht Society (CYS) of the BVI. Unlike cookie-cutter yachts that make up the A ptly dubbed the "Sailing Capital fleets of better known corporate companies, this nonprofit organization represents the cream of the crop-- both in vessels and crew. From 42-foot mono hulls to 105-foot multi hulls (floating five-star hotels), each is custom designed with luxury in mind. All charters are allinclusive: fine food to your liking, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, water sports equipment...once you 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE GETTING PERSONAL in the British Virgin Islands Nutmeg Charters' catamaran features four guestrooms and spacious salon (right). book, you are showered with the best of the best. At first glance, these crewed charters may appear more expensive than bare boating. But hidden costs associated with the latter disguise the bottom line. Not the caliber of CYS boats, they don't have water makers; you must pay for water as you go. You also shell out for provisions--food, beverages, even ice, and recreational equipment. Hotel--an upscale boutique resort at once in the hills and on the shores of Tortola. The very best part? The people. First class in every way. We made some lifelong friends from all over the world. Laughter is a common language and we were all incredibly verbose. THE SPICE OF LIFE Sandy and Elinor were our hosts aboard Nutmeg, a sleek St. Francis 50 Africa to entertain visitors here. Why? "It's the people, really," Sandy explains. "Even if you're as tired as can be, and you have a 24-hour turnaround to clean and provision the boat, when people come they are enthusiastic and we draw our energy from them. People that come aboard like to have fun." Have fun we did, sharing experiences and laughing into each starry night. Our itinerary was planned for "There's a spirit among yacht crews-- a can-do attitude. If I were stranded in the Sahara desert and could choose 12 people to help get me out, I would pick 12 `yachties.' I don't know how they would do it, but they would." ~ Tim Schaaf, Charter Yacht Society With CYS, everything is included. Even crewed charters with corporate companies don't compare to the level of service CYS presents, nor do they allow you to select your crew. Through CYS you can actually peruse bios of the owners and/or of their carefully selected crew. We spent two nights each with Nutmeg Charters, Blue Bayou Charters and finally on land at the Sugar Mill TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT with four guestrooms that include AC, flat screen TVs and en suite heads and showers. With spacious salon, corner bar, both sunny and shaded areas on its sprawling deck and onboard water toys, guest are privileged to the perks of a world-class resort. Veteran global sailors, Sandy and Elinor were handpicked to crew this state-of-the-art 50-foot cat. Each season they leave their home in South optimum sightseeing including a sail to North Sound, where en route we passed a cluster of secluded islands called The Dogs: West Dog, Great Dog, George Dog and Seal Dogs. Great for snorkeling and diving. North Sound is home to popular Leverick Bay, the Bitter End Yacht Club, Biras Creek resort and picturesque Saba Rock. We could have anchored close to shore and joined in the revelry of boat-hopping and partying. But we chose to stay farther out and enjoy Elinor's savory gourmet cuisine, the dramatic sunset and each other's company. Next day, we had the rare opportunity of visiting remote Anegada, a windswept island known for its fresh two-pound lobsters. Rare, because it's off the beaten path and only experienced sailors are permitted to venture there. A long but beautiful sail by mono hull, on this fast cat we arrived in no time at all. Wild donkeys and cows meandered about on the treasure of an island. Snorkeling yielded colorful sea life, and our moonlit lobster dinner on shore at Whispering Pines was pure perfection. Our final morning with Elinor and Sandy was spent exploring The Baths at Virgin Gorda. Huge boulders shelter cool pools of water perfect for refreshing swims and adventurous rock climbs. It's kind of like Disney. We saw plenty of kids with wide-eyed stares and giggles as they discovered nature, not animated, but real. We shared one final Painkiller (an elixir of rum, coconut, pineapple and The romantic Sugar Mill Hotel on Tortola. PHOTO COURTESY THE SUGAR MILL HOTEL orange juice), Sandy's specialty and a BVI tradition, before departing Nutmeg and boarding Blue Bayou. Hugs and kisses--we invited them to our house in Florida, they invited us to theirs in South Africa. LET'S ROCK `N ROLL Blue Bayou is also a catamaran but this one is owner-operated. A Dean 441 awash in rich American walnut, it was designed for maximum interior space. It features a master suite and three large guestrooms, with of course, all the comforts of home. That's because it is. Turns out that captain and hostess Wally and Ruthie June were our Sarasota, Florida neighbors, minutes from our house, just last year. After an invitation from AC/DC friend and rock 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE GETTING PERSONAL in the British Virgin Islands star, Brian Johnson and his notable wife, Brenda, to sail these cerulean seas, Wally and Ruth sold everything, commissioned this luxe, custom 44' catamaran and flat out moved here. "I wanted to move somewhere that was 30 years behind the US," Wally says. "But I missed the time machine and landed in a place that is 50 years behind. It's a beautiful place to live." Wally grew up sailing in New Jersey and mid-western-born Ruth is an accomplished first-mate and culinary queen. Once again we were in the best of hands. First stop, The Bight at Norman Island and home of the legendary Willy T's, a ship-turned-restaurant and bar. Good food, drinks, laughs, new friends. It was the perfect beginning to a new adventure. One which included snorkeling at The Caves, where we witnessed blue tang parrot fish, neon yellow spotted fish and other marine life wonders. At Jost Van Dyke we hopped the quirky beach bars: Foxy's, One Love and The Soggy Dollar--all favorite haunts of locals and jumping with music into the night. In contrast, Sandy Cay was desolate. Rockefeller owned and donated this uninhabited islet to the government stipulating it become and remain a national park. We trekked to a chorus of turtle doves and backdrop of brilliant flora and fauna in rainbow colors. We bid our new friends adieu at Soper's Hole, home of Pusser's Rum restaurant and gifts, where we purchased some liquid gold for our old friends at home. SWEET AS SUGAR Our final nights in BVI were spent at The Sugar Mill Hotel, a historic sugar mill converted to "a boutique hotel for a few special people," and Fodor's choice of resorts on Tortola. AccommoTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT dations range from studios to cottages, and dining here is consistently voted the most romantic in the Caribbean. Besides candlelit dining at the 370-year-old stone sugar mill, there's a casual beachside bistro. Tour the islands to learn about--and dive--the famous wreck of the Rhone; the artist colony, Crafts Alive and The Callwood Distillery at Cane Garden Bay, where the Callwood family has been producing rum for more than 200 years. Or, just lounge on a hammock at the pool or beach at The Sugar Mill, where life is truly sweet. IF YOU GO CYS was founded in 1982 by independent owners of crewed yachts in the BVI. It is the only BVI government recognized body within the crewed charter industry. The society represents the organized voice of individual yachts and their crew. Learn more at www.bvicrewedyachts.com, including booking info through brokers. Yacht brokers are experts at matching guests with the right yacht and crew. There is no additional cost for their services. For more information about The Sugar Mill Hotel, visit www.sugarmillhotel.com. For information about the British Virgin Islands, visit www.bvitourism.com. Lisa Codianne Fowler is an award-winning travel journalist and travel talk radio show cohost. She resides in Sarasota, Florida with her husband Patrick and two dogs, Sadie and Mimi. Visit her online at www.codiannefowler.com or http://lisacodiannefowlerblog.blogspot.com. TOP TO BOTTOM: Blue Bayou Charters' catamaran features a master suite and three guestrooms; Blue Bayou owner and host Ruthie June perpares a meal; the author looks out from Desolate Sandy Cay; the author and her husband enjoy an evening with Nutmeg hosts Sandy and Elinor. SOUTHER a lap RN STYLE Southern Charm and Comfort are More Accessible Than One May Think BY DANIEL LEE of luxury From cool mountain retreats to countryside sporting estates to coastal Low Country plantations, no itinerary of fivestar relaxation is complete without a trip through the American South. But no longer is luxury south of the Mason-Dixon Line the preserve of a few well-heeled families; you, too, can make the rounds of southern travel showplaces, whether in the mountainside footsteps of the Vanderbilts; at a historically-significant antebellum plantation turned resort north of Atlanta; or at a palmetto-shaded redoubt of genteel coastal sophistication just outside of Charleston, S.C., among many other premium destinations. And for those with a yen for a truly personal experience, there are more and more individual vacation rental properties available, like the Laughing Frog Estate hidden away in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. There you'll find solitude, lush grounds, and the chance to craft an a la carte getaway experience without the bustle of a popular resort. The view from Laughing Frog Estate in North Carolina. PHOTO COURTESY OF LAUGHING FROG ESTATE b m esta THE COTTAGE ON BILTMORE ESTATE For pure splendor, start with the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. The imposing French baronial-inspired mansion built before the turn of the last century by George Vanderbilt served for decades as the family's summertime mountain retreat. You can tour the huge, 250-room mansion, with its priceless furniture, historic art, and touchstones of GildedAge culture. You can even stay at the estate's new, well-appointed resort. But to get a real taste of what life must have been like for the Vanderbilts and their guests, book the deceptively plain-sounding Cottage on the Biltmore Estate. Housed in a sumptuously renovated home on the estate (formerly the Vanderbilts' market gardener's residence, TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT later used for VIP visitors) you'll be attended by your own 24-hour staff including a personal assistant, a chef, and even a chauffeur. Guests are feted with multi-course feasts suitable for patrician palates, and handled with the kind of detail-oriented care expected by wealthy travelers of the past, whether it be arranging elaborate picnic outings on the 8,000-acre estate grounds, trips into Asheville for cultural events, or whipping up scratch-baked chocolate-chip cookies at three in the morning. "You make your guests happy with food," says Dalila Mendez, a Cordon Bleu graduate who serves as a Biltmore Cottage personal assistant, or butler. "If they're pleased with the food, you can't go wrong." And it would be tough not to be pleased with breakfasts like Eggs Benedict and saut�ed asparagus or blueberry muffin French toast, lunches including an arugula lettuceroasted pear salad, or dinner entrees such as carefully prepared chateaubriand with a honey-mustard glaze or horseradish cream. Fine wines from the estate's own stock are available, but true oenophiles need not limit their tastes. "If they want a particular wine that is not on the property, then we'll go out and get it," Dalila said. Just as in the Vanderbilt era, dinners are dramatic events, with five courses including soup, salad, a main course, dessert, and after dinner-cheeses. "We always surprise our guests with an amuse bouche," adds Dalila. "It's the very first course that the chef presents PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE COTTAGE ON BILTMORE ESTATE If you can't vacation like the Vanderbilts, you can come near to it with a visit to The Cottage on Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, N.C. (left). A chef and butler will see to your every need, as well as arranging outings in Asheville or around the 6,000-acre, 1900 estate. For an even more secluded experience, consider the Laughing Frog Estate, a privately-owned home packed with hideaways like the library, reading nook, and gourmet kitchen pictured here. Or get out and walk the private trails on the property's 215 wooded acres, enjoy a game of tennis with no waiting, or enjoy organic produce from the estate's greenhouse and garden. to the guests, something small just to cleanse the palate." It's all prepared by the chef and served at the cottage, and of course input from the guests is more than welcome. "We do have a menu, but most of our guests don't choose from it. We tell them we can make anything their hearts desire," Dalila says. The service often begins even before arrival, when the staff contacts future guests to quiz them on their likes, dislikes, wishes, wants, and desires. The 1,500 square foot, two-story home has two plush bedrooms, each with its own very modern, very pleasing bathroom, with polished granite sinks, garden tubs, and walk-in showers. The home's furnishings are styled after those of the estate's centerpiece mansion. If you take a liking to a piece or two, you can order your own from the Biltmore's line of home d�cor. THE LAUGHING FROG ESTATE Some consider home-like solitude itself a form of luxury. So the next stop down south should be a showpiece home nestled in the woods near Asheville, N.C. You'll be surrounded by 215 forested acres, with miles of private hiking trails, your own tennis court (no waiting, no time-slot reservations, no critical kibbitzers), and an organic garden, greenhouse, and orchard from which you're welcome to select produce for the estate's well-appointed gourmet kitchen. The five-bedroom, five-and-a-halfbath home's owner, Kelley Wilkinson, says travelers are turning to private rentals to avoid the crowds they find in resort settings. "When you rent a hotel room, you get the room. You get the lobby that you're sharing with everybody. You get the restaurant that you're sharing with everybody," she said. "For people who don't want to be listening to the sound of cars and lots of people and everything going on, this is a great setting." At Laughing Frog Estate, named by Kelley's young daughter for a species of frogs that emerge in early, early spring for mating season, filling the air with a distinctive chuckling sound, visitors enjoy completely private access to creeks and a koi pond on the property, along with an outdoor Jacuzzi, five miles of private mountainside hiking trails, and even a waterfall outside the front door. Bikes are available on site. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAUGHING FROG ESTATE laughing frog esta barn y gar ns Inside you'll find large-screen cable/satellite televisions with a vast DVD library, fireplaces, a pool table, sophisticated d�cor at every turn, plenty of reading material and nooks in which to curl up for hours or minutes of silence. Dramatic mountain views spread into the distance, giving a sense of expansiveness to complement the nested feeling of the property. The 2,000-square-feet home is ornamented with antiques personally selected by Kelley, an artist specializing in watercolors. Several of her own works ornament the dramatic grand staircase from the huge great room. Many of the furnishings predate the home, and served as inspiration for its design. "I basically drew out the plans on a napkin," says Kelley, who cultivates a serious interest in architecture in addition to her artwork. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT "Much of the wood comes from the property. It was an old Appalachian home site, including an entire mountain cove," she says. When they bought the property twenty years ago, there was nothing there but the foundations of previous structures. "It was a very long process building the house, probably about ten years, because so much of it was handmade." Local artisans specializing in wood and stone worked on the house, which includes 200-year-old stainedglass windows salvaged from a Rhode Island seaport mansion. "Everybody is different, but most people love the openness of the home, the windows, the feeling that they can see forever, and yet it's nestled back into the mountain," Kelly says. An onsite caretaker (occupying their own cottage at some distance from the main house) also serves as a concierge arranging on site or off site experiences. "For some of our guests, we've arranged for private chefs; we have arranged for small weddings...We try to make it a special experience." BARNSLEY GARDENS RESORT Special experiences are also on tap at a wonderland of comfort hidden in the foothills an hour north of Atlanta that blends the best of an Old South upcountry estate with features of a traditional English rural village. Centered on the dramatic ruins of an 1840s Italianate mansion built by wealthy cotton businessman Godfrey Barnsley, the resort offers carefully restored heirloom gardens, newly-constructed guest cottages, five-star dining, championship level golf, and endless other activities, including fish- PHOTOS BY DANIEL LEE The cottages at Georgia's Barnsley Gardens Resort, (left) are modeled after English bungalows, but their flowering shrubs, shade trees, and porches facing quiet lanes and sidewalks make it easy to picture yourself visiting in some quiet southern village. Don't miss the resort's carefully maintained antebellum ruins and spectacular heirloom gardens, the site of starlight dances, art excursions, or if you choose, solitary gourmet dinners for two, served by the always-smiling staff. Above, the Georgian Revival fa�ade of The Woodlands, promises exactly the kind of coastal sophistication you'd expect just outside Charleston, S.C. You can enjoy five-diamond fare on the dining terrace (above right), or spend hours relaxing around the pool in the inn's comfortable wooded setting. ing, hunting, canoeing, biking, horseback riding, nature hikes, even paintball battles. Most interesting, it's a destination that is both old and new, as the grounds were gradually reclaimed over the last twenty years from the lush southern undergrowth that consumed the property when it was essentially abandoned in the mid-1900s. "You used to drive by on the road and look up here and just see kudzu," says Recreation Manager Donna Martin, an area native who presides genially over "The Outpost" a reconstructed and deliciously creaky log cabin packed with gifts, souvenirs, and sporting equipment, Guests stop by The Outpost to chat and gear up before heading out to fish, play Frisbee golf, practice archery, take bird watching hikes, try the resort's sporting clays shooting course, or many other outdoor activities. The property consists of thousands of rolling acres, from carefully manicured to heavily wooded, with nooks and crannies of all sorts in between. A graceful pair of swans nest at the fishpond. Bocce balls rest on the carefully trimmed lawn, ready to roll. A tiny landscaped spring called "Carl's Folly" provides a shaded hideaway mere footsteps from the dramatic ruined mansion and its lush, boxwood-based parterre, carefully restored to its original form, based on the design principles of premier 19th century landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing, who also designed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution. The ruins themselves stand open, partially restored, and available for pic- nics, dances, and romantic moonlight dinners. Very gently lighted at dusk, the old mansion at eventide is a sight not to be missed, especially when the flowering shrubs and boxwood scent the evening air with their musky aromas. The resort sponsors regular Firefly Evenings at the ruins, with dinner and dancing that echo the mid-19th century affairs of the original owners. Continuing the magical theme, the resort's official Fairy Godmother, Denise Webb, stands ready to get creative in making your Barnsley Gardens visit a special one. From her prop-crammed office in the restored 1840s stage coach house, where female plantation guests done in by their four-week journey from Savannah were powdered and refreshed for visiting, Denise has an actual wand to work her magic, though it's usually kept behind glass. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE WOODLANDS w dlands "Sometimes we dress up in costumes; we have water balloon fights, lots of crazy things," says Denise. "If you want to do a rodeo with your family, we'll teach you how to rope and ride." THE WOODLANDS RESORT & INN No roundup of the American South would be complete without a visit to a first-rate Low Country estate, and the Woodlands Resort & Inn near Charleston fills the bill superbly. In fact, nowhere will you find a more complete luxury package: The Woodlands and its renowned dining room are one of only three U.S. properties to earn AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five-Star awards for both lodging and dining. Guests approach the 1906 Georgian Revival estate along a winding lane lined with Spanish moss-draped live oaks, catching glimpses of the carefully groomed croquet lawn, English-style red-clay tennis courts, and beautiful gardens before pulling up before the imposing columned inn and being welcomed by a concierge, often with a tasty gourmet treat to offer in greeting. Choosing from among 18 room packages, or a separate cottage, visitors relax in an environment designed to put them at ease even as they bask in luxury and take advantage of amenities that are far from routine for most people, but would have been just the thing for the home's builder, fin de siecle railroad tycoon Robert W. Parsons. For instance, you'll be able put your feet up in the Governor's Suite without kicking over any of its West Indiesinfluenced knick-knacks; the suite measures an expansive 864 square feet spread out over two rooms, a plush master bedroom and a sitting room complete with a gas fireplace, wet bar, and a balcony overlooking the property's gracious 42-acre estate. In keeping with the property's World War II role as a well-chaperoned meeting place for American servicemen and TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT local belles, even the one-room Executive Suite offers plenty of room (630 square feet) for friends and family to gather. But if you have a few more friends or relatives, or just a yen for solitude, you may want to look into the Woodlands' Country Cottage, located a short distance from the main inn -- apart for privacy, close for convenience. And while you're there, enjoy the cottage's deluxe-sized whirlpool bath, separate shower, and steamwarmed towel racks (also available in other inn rooms). But there's more to luxury than hot towels; you can also accent your visit by choosing from an extensive list of extras ranging from a special rosepetal turndown service at $18, freshbaked cookies and milk for $14, chocolate-covered strawberries at $22, a dozen roses at $99, Dom Perignon for $232, even a bottle of Cristal champagne at the bubbly price of $486. At the Woodlands, wonderful food is a crucial element of the equation. Known locally and by international travelers for having South Carolina's only Mobile Five-Star Award restaurant, the Woodlands features New American Cuisine as created by Chef Nathan Whiting. Guests enjoy dishes like South Carolina Quail Breast, Keegan Farm Suckling Pig, Chilled Hawaiian Blue Prawns, and Coddled Main Lobster with Thumbelina Carrot Mousseline. For off-site activities, you can't go wrong with the small town of Summerville, home to shops, cafes, and boutiques. A mere twenty minutes away is the historic district of Charleston itself. Stroll the narrow, old-world lanes between Broad and Battery streets and view the dramatic side-yard gardens ornamenting the 17th century downtown mansions. Or travel up the Ashley or Cooper rivers to visit spectacular plantations like Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation, or Drayton Hall. For those with military tastes, consider reconnoitering military sites like Civil War-era Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter, as well as the retired U.S. warship the U.S.S. Yorktown on a lap around Charleston Harbor, their no-nonsense utilitarianism a fitting counterpoint to your lap around the South's luxurious destinations. THE DELUXE DETAILS Barnsley Gardens Resort 597 Barnsley Gardens Road Adairsville, GA 30103 888-467-9062; www.barnsleyresort.com Manor Rooms: $259-$299; Garden Suites: $335-$375; Meadow Suites: $375-$399; Arbor Cottage: $556 Bike Rental: $12 per day, $30 per 4 hours; $10 trail-use fee for visitors with their own bikes Sporting Clays: 100 rounds, $40 Barnsley Gardens member/$65 nonmember Garden Tours: $10 adults; $8 seniors; $5 under 12; complimentary for resort guests Paintball: $20 field admission; $15 paintball gun and safety gear; paintballs--$50/1,000; $25/500; $12.50/250; paintball package: $65 for field admission, 500 paintballs, paintball gun, safety equipment, 9 oz. CO2 tank, referee. Horseback Riding: (Riders must be 11 or older) 1 hour/$80; 2 hour/$125; children's corral ride $45/30 minutes. The Woodlands Inn 125 Parsons Road Summerville, SC 29483 800-774-9999; www.woodlandsinn.com Superior Room: wkday/$125 per night, wkend/$255 per night; Junior Suite: $265, $305; Executive Suite: $345, $395; Governor's Suite: $455, $565; Cottage: $595, $695 The south is packed with luxurious resorts and destinations. Here are just a few more: m amazing sou rn s ts flight cuisine at the on site gourmet restaurant. THE LODGE ON LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND Post Office Box 21078 1000 Hampton Point Drive Little St. Simons Island, GA 31352 888-733-5774 www.littlestsimonsisland.com You may feel a bit like the crew of the S.S. Minnow on this nearly deserted island off the coast of Georgia. Limited to thirty overnight guests, the lodge specializes in toes-in-thesand relaxation in a casual, rustic atmosphere combined with top-of-the-line beachfront cuisine. THE GREENBRIAR 300 West Main Street White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986 800-453-4858 www.greenbrier.com If you want to wander in the footsteps of some of the leading lights of the nation, try this National Historic Monument near White Sulphur Springs, W.V. In operation since 1778, and for thirty straight years a AAA Five Diamond Award Winner, the Greenbrier's imposing architecture and dignified presence really lets you feel you've arrived. BLACKBERRY FARM 1471 West Millers Cove Road Walland, TN 37886 865-380-2260 www.blackberryfarm.com Located on the fringe of the Great Smokey Mountains, Blackberry Farms offers guests a rural but luxurious resort experience complete with fly fishing instruction and guided trips to gurgling mountain trout streams, as well as top THE HOMESTEAD P.O. Box 2000 Hot Springs, VA 24445 866-354-4653 www.thehomestead.com A historic monument to comfort and luxury offering modern travelers tbe best in traditional recreation amenities, that's The Homestead in a nutshell. Skeet, carriage rides, leadership and teams courses, bowling, supervised kids' activities, downhill skiing, a European-style spa, and even a grand ballroom are among the highlights of a stay at The Homestead, founded before the American Revolution. PINEHURST RESORT 80 Carolina Vista Drive Village of Pinehurst, NC 28374 910-235-8507 www.pinehurst.com There's more than golf at the Pinehurst Resort, though many will want to take time out from enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and activities to play through the resort's famous championship courses, especially the renowned Number 2, which despite the name is second to none. THE RITZ-CARLTON LODGE, REYNOLDS PLANTATION One Lake Oconee Trail Greensboro, GA 30642 706-467-0600; www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/reynoldsplantation Kids and their parents will love this resort's dramatic lake front pool, as well as all the other amenities on the property. Remember to check out the "club level" accommodations for the very best in attentive service five-star extras. Laughing Frog Estate Asheville, NC 828-712-9910; www.vrbo.com/169238 $985 per night (2-night minimum)/$5,200 per week ($300 cleaning fee); "Couples" rate: 2 people only, $2,600 per week, plus tax and cleaning. The Cottage on Biltmore Estate Inn on Biltmore Estate 1 Antler Hill Road Asheville, NC 28803 800-411-4063; www.biltmore.com; $2,800 per night. Daniel Lee is the former editor of Jack and Jill magazine for kids. He has also written for the Nashville Tennessean, Cincinnati Enquirer, Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal, Children's Digest and U.S. Kids. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE P I N E A P P L E P Four Season's Manele Bay, Lana'i, Hawaii. Paradise Lana'i is the Hawaiian Island Less Travelled BY SHERRI TELENKO STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY The horses' strides stir up the red rich soil of Lana'i, one of the smallest and least travelled of the Hawaiian Islands. Their hooves rip up the black plastic buried in the ground for weed control decades ago. Visitors in saddles ooh and awe at the panoramic view of the Pacific waters (home to 3,000 Humpback whales in winter) and distant fog-covered mountain peaks that make this region a fantasy vacation for many. The animals are used to the steep sloping trails that meander through this hilly landscape past dense brush of invasive species (including deer) and the occasional abandoned pineapple or coconut tree. From the back of a horse from the Stables at Ko'ele is the best way to see the landscape of Lana'i--a place where Spanish Paniolo once taught Hawaiian natives to be cowboys. And that's just one of the island's peculiarities. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE Paradise P I N E A P P L E The pool at the Four Season's Manele Bay. With only 30 miles of paved road, no traffic lights and 100 miles of walking trails, exclusive Lana'i has been a destination of choice during the last two decades of the well-heeled who love this tropical landscape, modified over the years by cattle farming and agriculture. Bill Gates was married here at the luxurious beachside Four Season's Manele Bay Resort and, according to staff, returns to vacation regularly, though not necessarily buying every room on the island as he did during his wedding. The history of the island is as eccentric as the aura of the land itself, within a 45-minute ferry distance of both Maui and Molokai. Because all of Hawaii's beaches are public property, some people come for the day to enjoy the expanse of seaside sand downwind from the imposing Manele Bay perched cliff-side with a gasp-inspiring view of Maui, just miles away. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT However, the sparsely inhabited island wasn't always welcoming to humans. Prior to the 15th century, Lana'i was believed to be controlled by maneating evil spirits, and few people survived in this hostile place. Then, in the 1600s, things changed. Maui prince Kaula'au was banished to this island by his father, and he is credited as driving the evil away, making room for human habitation--and eventually a series of diverse capitalist ventures in the 20th century. Formally the largest pineapple plantation in the world, thanks to James Dole who bought the island in 1922, Lana'i has undergone a few reinventions in recent history. Though the Dole Food Company's presence is still evident in the naming of parks, existence of residential row houses originally built for plantation workers in Lana'i City (a half-hour shuttle ride from Manele Bay) and presence of Filipino and Chinese descendants of those who immigrated here to work in the orchards, there's a new chief in town. Today, Lana'i is 97 percent privately owned by David Murdoch, who acquired the island by purchasing Castle & Cooke in 1985. The pineapple industry, no longer profitable thanks to cheaper foreign imports, was phased out in the 1990s, replaced by Hawaii's economic engine of choice: tourism. Or in this case, luxury destination travel. There are only three accommodation options on the island: Manele Bay and Lodge at Ko'ele, both extravagant upscale resorts managed by the Four Seasons, and one humble but authentic Hotel Lana'i in the center of the small downtown, home to a sampling of galleries and eateries. The hotel is an 11-room country inn originally built in 1923 to house executives of the Dole Corporation. Now, it's primarily used by Hawaiian residents visiting the is- Horseback is a great way to meander the landscape of Lana'i. Paradise P I N E A P P L E A view of Lana'i from the ferry. land, as it offers economic rooms and a newly opened restaurant Lana'i City Grille under the stewardship of Mike Charles from Arizona who bought the business with his aunt in 2007. But it's the two shining-gems, Manele Bay and Lodge at Ko'ele, built in the early 1990s that attract the discerning international and mainland travelers. Here visitors discover a posh tropical paradise with all creature comforts one could demand from an island simultaneously blanketed with otherworld exoticism, and the benefits of the U.S. Constitution. The Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay is the larger of the two with only 236 rooms (most more than 600 square feet in size including marble bathrooms). A beach resort steps from Hulopoe Bay, the Manele is about indulgences such as a health spa, TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT ocean view swimming pool lined with umbrellas and private beach cabanas, a poolside terrace restaurant called Ocean Grill and two world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman. This hotel, with a distinct Asian sensibility in both ornate design and personal service, is complemented by layers of Chinese gardens, koi ponds and Hawaiian foliage that make the walk from elevator to room feel like a stroll through a quiet Ming retreat. By contrast, The Lodge at Ko'ele is seven miles inland, usually ten degrees cooler and draws on the charm of a Grand English Manor to create a stately hunting lodge folded into the mountain wilderness. With 102 rooms, it's small by Hawaiian hotel standards, yet big on amenities such as spa, fitness centre, golf course (whose 17th hole is on a cliff with fairway fifteen stories below), acres of Asian-inspired gardens and reflecting pool that mirrors dinner tables in the adjacent Great Room restaurant. Add to that stables with riding trails on the property and a sporting clay facility to test marksmanship and you've got a place you haven't just travelled to, you've arrived. And arriving is the best thing about Lana'i. Sherri Telenko has been an editor and writer for 15 years after graduating from the University of Guelph with a Masters degree in English Literature. Currently, she teaches at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, while writing travel articles, lifestyle pieces and personality interviews. Her travel articles focus primarily on urban adventure, arts, culture, cuisine and nightlife, and upscale resorts, spas, inns and family travel. THE ove of L It would be hard to write about the luxury spas of the world without positioning India's at the top of the list. After all, India has a 5,000-year-old history of healing spas which practice the system called Ayurveda. It's a Sanskrit word meaning "science of life." The herbal remedies of the old pagan cultures when combined with the spiritual healing techniques of wise Indian sages combine to form a well-rounded system of treatment to help the body heal itself. Exploring the spa scene in India BY CAROLE HERDEGEN PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT uxury L Blend this with yoga, its sister science, add the luxury of a 5-star hotel and you have a sumptuous Indian spa destination. India has many types of spas: hotel spas; destination spas; resort spas and medispas. There are allegedly more than 2,300 spas in India, but it's the top end of this list that is the most intriguing for spa aficionados. In choosing a luxury spa in India, one must look far beyond the typical spa services of luxury Western hotels. Many luxury Indian spas utilize history, astrology, Mughal landscaping and architecture to remain in harmony with nature. In case a person thought that wearing gold jewelry was the only way to make heads turn, how does having a gold facial sound? Silly or extravagant? Today, fruit scrubs, hot stones and even the hands of two attendants kneading your body sounds rather ordinary compared with the gold facials offered by many spas in India. Having its roots in Ayurveda, 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE THE the gold facial is an anti-oxidant and combats free radicals, one of the major culprits in the aging process. Just as Cleopatra used gold to reduce her wrinkles, spas are offering the gold facial as the answer to the fountain of youth. If one wants to live like a queen and get a 24-karat gold treatment, book a gold facial at one of the many spas offering this health regimen in India. L ove of L uxury tions from the royal palace of the Mughals. It includes everything from a honey citrus wrap to a lavender milk bath. Expect to pay about $80 to $180 for treatments listed in the spa menu. THE HOTEL SPA In the exclusive list of Small Luxury Ho- THE RESORT SPA The Radisson Resort and Spa in Alibaug (20 miles from Mumbai) is an example of an independent spa in a resort setting. This can be a good choice for couples when one person loves spas and the other loves to play skills of two therapists and has won the coveted Pevonia Asia Spa Award in 2008 in the best spa treatment category. This spa technique combines five different massage styles of Japanese Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Swedish and Balinese. The therapists use their forearms and elbows to relax the muscle tissues. The cost for the one-hour signature treatment is $130. And finally, the dining facilities at the resort offer a delicious light menu to complete a day at the spa. THE DESTINATION SPAS Ranked second in the World's 100 Best Spas in 2008 by Cond� Nast Traveler The lobby of the Oberoi Amarvila Hotel in Agra. PHOTO BY CAROLE HERDEGEN Spa Treatment at Mandara Spa. PHOTO COURTESY OF MANDARA SPA tels of the World, the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra stands out year after year in the top ten lists of Travel + Leisure and Cond� Nast Traveler magazines. The hotel's Mughal palace architecture provides a bird's eye view of the majestic Taj Mahal from the balcony of every suite. The hotel spa offers a unique experience that combines Ayurveda and Thai therapies with cutting-edge Western techniques and amenities. The signature treatment, Noor-e-Taj, is a three-hour experience that was created as a tribute to the beauty tradiTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT tennis or hike. The Mandara Spa at the Radisson Resort not only has its roots in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions of Bali, but also in European traditional and classic techniques. The 20,000 square foot Mandara Spa has the distinction of being the largest in Asia. In contrast to the Oberoi Amarvilas spa, this resort spa is contemporary in design. In keeping with the theme of the spa, the Mandara Spa has developed unique and exotic spa treatments. The signature spa treatment, "a four hand massage" incorporates the Magazine is the Ananda Spa located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Its sole purpose is to provide mind and body fitness, healthy eating, spa treatments and relaxation. The spa combines traditional Indian wellness regimes of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with the best of International Wellness Experiences. Deluxe rooms start at $350 per day excluding meals and spa treatments. In a sub-list of destination spas, it is easy to include Aman-i-Kh�s, a Moghul-inspired luxury safari camp lo- cation on the edge of Rajasthan's Ranthambore Tiger Reserve National Park. There, guests venture out in jeeps in the early morning and late afternoon to spot tigers, leopards and marsh crocodiles. They return to camp for soothing massages in the spa tent fit for royalty. There are 10 air-conditioned tents. Within are screens that separate the tent into different areas for sleeping, dressing, bathing and living. Aman-i-Kh�s was second in the Best Resort in India and the Indian Ocean by the Gallivanter's Guide to Idyllic Places for Dedicated Travelers in 2008. The treatments in the spa tent include massages, facials and scrubs. What is of spa for better health and to fight illness. The spas offer holistic, organic elements in treatments, as well as an emphasis on mind-body-spirit connections while advocating eventual lifestyle changes. In some cases, these treatments will combine the elements of massage, meditation, yoga and energy manipulation like reiki. As a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the beautiful Kumarakom Lake Resort in the southern state of Kerala is an example of a great resort that features a top-rated medispa. Visitors come from around the world to receive holistic treatments and unique therapies at the Ayurma- countryside. These structures have been meticulously enhanced by the addition of traditional furnishings and d�cor. Because of the resort's unique design and authentic reproduction, it has been named the leading resort for the third year in India's World Travel Awards. Two hundred years ago, the Ayurmania was a beautiful Kerala Mansion in the style of the traditional "nalukettu" or four-sided mansion built around a courtyard. Guests staying at the resort meet Dr Liji Krishnan, the Ayurvedic Consultant. She can recommend specifically designed treatments. The Rejuvenation Massage (Abhyangam) uses traditional techniques Sirodhara hot oil treatment at the Ayurmania in Kerala. PHOTO COURTESY OF KUMERAKOM LAKE RESORT The Mandara Spa at the Radisson Resort and Spa in Alibaug. PHOTO BY CAROLE HERDEGEN different at the Aman is the inclusion of the traditional body art of India. Guests can experience the decoration of their arms or hands with delicate henna art using local ingredients, herbs and spices. Expect to pay $1,000 per day including meals, but excluding spa services. THE MEDISPAS The medispas have similar traditional spa services but added to this is a complete Ayurveda Center under the supervision of a doctor or an ayurvedic practitioner. Guests come to this type nia, the first-class Ayurvedic Center while enjoying the luxury of a top rated resort. Ayurmania has received the Kerala Government's Green Leaf Certification, a prestigious award presented only to the best and most authentic practitioners of this healing art form. From the first moment of entering the resort's gates, one immediately experiences the sensation of peace and tranquility. The entire village has been specifically designed and carefully rebuilt using authentic buildings called Illams from the surrounding Kerala accompanied with medicated herbal oils to relax the entire body as well as special head and face massages. The large wooden massage table in the treatment room is raised in the middle so any surplus oils drain off into the small openings at each corner of the table. A large opening for the patient's face at the top end of the table is similar to the massage tables at most therapy resorts and spas. A 30-minute massage of warm herbal oils begins with a procedure called the Sirodhara. While lying face 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE THE L ove of L uxury Aman-I-Khas Safari Camp in Rahasthan. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE AMAN RESORT GROUP The Spa at the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OBEROI GROUP Kumarakom Lake Resort in Kerala. PHOTO COURTESY OF KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT up on the wooden massage table, a hanging brass pot containing the same warm oil begins to flow over the forehead for another 30 minutes. This is considered an excellent treatment for relaxation insofar as it stimulates tranquility of the mind and improves mental functions. Patients feel the intended results almost immediately. Another procedure called Njavarakizi is the most unusual. The treatment involves a massage with medicinal Njavara rice cooked with milk and herbs. When dried, the rice is powdered and placed into a muslin cloth bag and massaged all over the body. The patient wears a protective covering over the nose and mouth to facilitate easier breathing from the dust of the powdered rice. Sometimes called a dry massage, this treatment helps to rejuvenate sore and tired muscles and eases stiffness in the joints. The above treatments are just three of the many specialized procedures that are prescribed at the Ayurmania at the Kumarakom Lake Resort. The Ayurvedic physician determines the length and TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT number of days of treatment. Ayurmania offers one week programs of rejuvenation or de-stress for $260, plus taxes per day with double occupancy. PRACTICAL INFORMATION The best time to visit India is between October and March but since this is also the high season it is advisable to have advance bookings for luxury accommodations. For the most comprehensive information pertaining to visas, travel taxes, medical, train and airlines, visit www.tourindia.com. Although Hindi is the official language of India, English is widely spoken in most Indian cities. INDEBO Travel are the experts for travel and tours in India. As a destination management company for 29 years, they can fulfill all travel and itinerary needs. Visit www.indebo.com or call 888-546-3421. SPA INFORMATION Oberoi Amarvilas Agra www.oberoihotels.com Reservations: email@example.com Radisson Resort and Spa Alibaugh www.radisson.com/alibaugin Reservations: 800-395 7046 Ananda Spa Rishikesh Valley in the Himalayas Valley www.anandaspa.com Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org Aman-i-Kh�s Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve National Park, in Rajasthan www.amanresorts.com/amanikhas/ home.aspx Reservations: email@example.com Kumarakom Lake Resort Kottayam, Kerala www.thepaul.in/default1.htm Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org Michigan writer Carole Herdegen is Editor and Travel Consultant of TravelSite.com, the host site of her travel magazine, TravelQuest with Carole Herdegen. Her 20 years of traveling to India has made her a travel expert on India. presenting the NATJA OKLAHOMA CONFERENCE GRAND PRIZE AWARD WINNER In 2008, the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) announced a new contest for attendees to enter. The writer who submitted to the host Convention and Visitor's Bureau the best story about the host city would win a grand prize provided by the CVB. More than 20 stories were submitted to the Okahoma City Convention & Visitor's Bureau who carefully read and judged all submissions. TravelWorld International Magazine is proud to reprint the winning article here for you to enjoy, written by NATJA member Christine Tibbetts. Congratulations, Christine! Christine Tibbetts is an award-winning NATJA travel writer and frequent TravelWorld International Magazine contributor. She is based in south Georgia, producing destination features on assignment for the Tifton GA Gazette and Community Newspaper Holding Inc. News Service. Most recently, she won an Outstanding Journalist award from Travel Media Showcase in Montgomery, Alabama. Tibbetts is a 1970 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. When occasionally not traveling, she provides marketing and public relations services to political candidates, grows backyard vegetables, volunteers for Hospice, hikes in the woods and tries to stretch her yoga poses. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE G R A N D oklahoma city: P R I Z E TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM A W A R D W I N N E R BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS easy to feel at home with lots to explore Outside my familiar zone and into new realms. That's good when it happens on a trip, especially to a place I've heard about all my life but never experienced. I expect newness in really far away places, or spots I never heard of, but I was mightily surprised by the depth and breadth of experiences in Oklahoma City on a five-day visit in June. Guess I've known about it all my life, especially in the late '60s when I lived next door in Missouri. Certainly felt the anguish when the federal building there was bombed. Never chose to go to Oklahoma City until a conference plopped me right downtown in the Skirvin Hilton, a sumptuous property with changing moods on every floor and, despite the 14 floors, a small-enough lavish lobby to feel welcoming. Big showy lobbies overwhelm, as I suppose they are intended to do, but I liked the scale of this hotel, and the scale of the city. Downtown walking works. You need a car or cab to some of the sites, but you can do a lot that's pleasant right from the front door of city-center hotels. Great big handy maps posted on the sidewalks kept me straight, walking alone to get a feel of the place, and hunting dinner. Bricktown offers good choices; I had a light-crust pizza for under $10 that first night at Zio's and an outstanding pasta primavera with wood-grilled fresh vegetables for under $20 later in the week at Nonna's. Plenty of prime rib, steaks and pork chops in restaurants throughout this red brick district too. This used to be an industrial district, with lots of railroad activity; renovation in the 1990s to turn it into an entertainment hub held onto all those bricks, arched windows and decorative doorways. Tire of the bricks? Hop on the water taxi for a spin through the mile-long canal or cheer for the RedHawks at the minor league ballpark right in Bricktown. Walking left from my hotel got me to Bricktown in two blocks; turning right and going just about the same distance offered three fine adventures: art museum, botanical gardens and national memorial. For fans of blown glass and the works of Dale Chihuly in particular, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a must do. More of his works are permanently on display here than anywhere in the world. That includes the tallest--a 55-foot tower of orbs, spheres and colors in the front window, lighted at night. Two Finnish boats spill over with colorful, whimsical Chihuly shapes in a room of their own with a raised glass platform reflecting like water. I desperately wanted to sit quietly in the corner of that glass water, keeping my hands to myself and contemplating. The guards were attentive so that didn't last long. Why here? Might have something to do with Chihuly's wife, Leslie Jackson, being an Oklahoma City native. "Why here?" can be asked a lot around this city. I quit after a long string of interesting discoveries and began instead expecting the excellence. Check out your heartbeat on the lawn of the National Memorial & Museum, where 168 handcrafted chairs represent the lives lost in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building; 19 are smaller for the children. You won't want to speak, only feel. Listen a little if you like, because stories are well told dialing up some private listening on your cell phone. Go twice, day and night, because the experience is powerful in different ways with the changing light. Go inside too. I got the message to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever, but I appreciated it in extra ways meeting local people volunteering here, like Sue Craig who said, "This is healing for me to come here." Oklahoma City people captured something valuable, and personal about the human spirit in the way they put this memorial and museum together. I sensed it, but was touched even more by low toned, occasional comments from a man walking next to me, a New Yorker. "Why haven't we been able to do this for the people of the World Trade Towers?" he asked in numerous ways. "Why are we arguing about the plans in New York, and these Oklahoma people figured out what the 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE Buffalo, prairie dogs and expansive views provide an astonishing counterpoint to the arts, culture and heritage in Oklahoma City. All are easily seen at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, 60,000 acres protected by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, located in the heart of the downtown Arts District, has a permanent collection consisting of European and American art. Shown is the iconic fifty-five-foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower in the Museum's atrium. PHOTO BY PAUL HOUSTON PHOTOGRAPHY The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is a tribute to those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building downtown. The 30,000 square foot Memorial Museum allows visitors to experience that day and those that followed through the voices, images and artifacts of survivors, family members and rescue workers. PHOTO COURTESY OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL & MUSEUM A W A R D city and its families needed, and what we who saw the news need?" Best I can figure, that's a reason to travel--to experience how others live and breathe and interact with one another. The message is powerful in this place and it's joyous, sometimes boisterous and certainly loads of fun at the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. I didn't really know I was a big western fan before I got here. Now I'm hooked. Stunning art, including Remington's "Buffalo Signal" which is the only one ever cast, and Albert Bierstadt's "Emigrants Crossing the Plains." Too many rooms to count with exhibitions to suit all kinds of moods. Don't love oil painting and sculpture as much as I do? No problem; hang out in the firearm collection. Not as thrilled as I about the photos of women riding in rodeos? No problem; marvel at the room full of barbs and barbwire in unbelievable shapes with specific purposes for each. Love Western movies and actors more than I do? Immerse yourself in an entire section with film clips, memorabilia and interactive displays. I'll be content in the gallery about functional, mechanical and decorative arts of this era. The museum's one-quarter cowboy, and three quarters western heritage, they say; best I could measure in an afternoon, there's plenty for lingering more than a day. Stay too long one good place and you miss another in Oklahoma City. The Paseo Arts District is a good walkabout, a little north of downtown, with 60 artists in 17 galleries, all in Spanish revival buildings of purple, terra cotta, yellow, pink and aqua, and tile roofs. The artists seem to live and work here so the mood is vibrant with mixed generations and loads of energy and creativity. W I N N E R wildlife refuge: surprise near a city NOT SMART TO GET TOO CLOSE to a buffalo, but scores of them are easily visible in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Oklahoma City. Prairie dogs too, and they're safer to cozy up to. Sixty thousand acres in mountains considered among the oldest ranges on earth, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that maintains this land, protect the buffalo. Nearly extinct, they were reintroduced in 1907 with 15 bison from the Bronx Zoo and refuge officials say 550 now roam here, along with 700 elk, 2-300 longhorn cattle and perhaps 1,000 whitetailed deer. More than half of the land belongs to the animals; the rest of us can visit 23,000 acres with stunning views, 22 lakes, hiking trails, an abundance of birds, and some copperhead snakes, which are really copper-colored because of the minerals in these ancient rocks. I don't know if the prairie dogs can be counted because they dart head first into their holes when spooked by people, shadows of big birds overhead or noises they don't like. � Energy is also in evidence on the seven miles of downtown water where long boats with eight rowers train, some in preparation for Olympic trials. They're great fun to watch, from your own kayak, or the deck of a passenger boat on a 90-minute cruise through two locks. Depart from the Chesapeake Boathouse on the Oklahoma River, go to Meridian Landing at 15th Street and take the city trolley back. That's a fun half-day. Plans are in the works to connect the river to the canals, the boats to the water taxis giving Oklahoma City yet another dimension to an already diverse and interesting personality. WHEN YOU GO: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-225-5652 www.visitokc.com National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 405-478-2250 www.nationalcowboymuseum.org Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum 888-542-4673 www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org Oklahoma City Museum of Art 405-236-3100 www.okcmoa.com Oklahoma History Center 405-522-5248 www.okhistorycenter.org Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/ oklahoma/wichitamountains/ refhist.html The big guys keeping an eye on things at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * ARTS & ARCHITECTURE Miami's Wonderful EYE CANDY TAKE YOUR PICK, ARCHITECTURAL JUNKIES...MIAMI'S GOT IT ALL. Story and Photos By Michelle Newman Miami is all about design, fabulous architecture, glamour and glitz. The greater Miami area lives ands breathes art ranking amongst the top four contemporary art centers in the U.S.Art Basel,an annual extravaganza has put Miami in the forefront of the international art scene.Take your pick,as an architectural smorgasbord Miami has it all; Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival,'50s Modernism, and '70's leftover schlock. Sleek streamlined sky scrappers along Brickell Avenue, Pastel colored Art Deco hotels line Ocean Drive, and MiMo, Miami's newest edition has emerged as a transformed edgy neighborhood with an attitude. Then there's the hot Design District just north of downtown that's thriving with design studios, trendy bistros, galleries, antique shops, and showrooms. Put on your comfortable shoes and plan on spending about four days to get your fill of Miami's eye candy. architecture gracing the storefronts of the chic caf�s, designer boutiques, and art galleries. Check out these gems: the Sterling Building, Colony Theatre, Van Dyke, and the stylized banana leaves accenting the 1936 Lincoln Theatre. Head down a few doors and watch artists working in their studios at the Art Center of South Florida. Swing down Washington Avenue and detour onto Espanola way; surrounded by pink stucco buildings, balconies, arches, and columns, you'll swear you've arrived on the Italian Rivera. BILTMORE HOTEL The Biltmore Hotel, a National Historic Landmark is the grand dame of Coral Gables with its pink tiered tower inspired by Seville's Giralda tower. The elegant Biltmore exudes Old World charm and is saturated with lavish architectural details including handpainted tiles, mahogany aviaries, voluminous cobalt blue vaulted ceilings, ornately painted wooden beams, and an exotic mish mash of Moorish and Mediterranean motifs accent the grand lobby. Originally slated to be demolished in the 1970's, a group of determined preservationists rescued the landmark Biltmore from the wrecking ball providing another incarnation for this majestic hotel to be restored to its former grandeur. As a National Historic Landmark, the Biltmore has a rich and colorful past and has undergone several reincarnations including serving as a military hospital during WW II and the original site of the University of Miami Medical School. In its early days, the Biltmore was a glamorous place with celebs like Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller as regulars. In his pre-Tarzan days, Weissmuller was a swimming instructor at the legendary pool. With 700,000 gallons of water, the pool is the The Colony is one example of the colorful Art Deco hotels of South Beach. SIZZLING SOUTH BEACH For a comprehensive overview of South Beach, take a walking tour offered by the Miami Preservation League. Skip over to Ocean Drive and marvel at the well-preserved pastel-colored Art Deco hotels. Study the unique architectural details including terrazzo floors, eyebrows, and sleek lines with a futuristic influence. Versace's Mediterranean Revival palazzo is a popular spot for a Kodak moment. Lincoln Road is another hot spot for fabulous Deco TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT The Biltmore Hotel, the grand new caption Gables. dame of Coral * ARTS & ARCHITECTURE largest hotel pool in the country resembling a minilake with a dramatic waterfall and Greek statues gracing the loggia. The pool was the center of social life in the 1920s and '30s with frequent aquatic events and competitions, beauty pageants, and galas; it was the place to see and be seen. Lots of famous folks have stayed here through the years and recent guests have included former President Bill Clinton and presidential wanna-be John McCain during the last presidential campaign. President Clinton loves the Biltmore's golf course and when he's in town likes staying in the exclusive two-story Everglades Suite with a private elevator, going up to the tower. The two-story suite is well-ap- pools. While a romantic spot for adults, kids love to swim and hide in the grottos (but they have to be over age 3). The pool holds 820,000 gallons of spring water coming from an underground aquifer; every summer evening the pool is drained and refilled overnight. VIZCAYA Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the palatial winter residence built in 1916 by John Deering of the International Harvester fortune, is the ultimate showplace of lavish excess. Vizcaya is a classic example of Mediterranean Revival with tiled roofs, exquisite formal Italian gardens, and superb decorative arts. Thirty-four rooms are filled with priceless treasures spanning 2,000 years. Take a tour with a welltrained docent and see one spectacular room after another filled with breathtaking European and Asian antiques; each room is influenced by a different theme including the Cathay Bedroom, the Adams Library, and Deering's Napoleon Bedroom. The formal manicured Italian and French Renaissance gardens are heavily accented with statuary, fountains, coral grottos, sphinxes, griffins. The drippy grottos are gorgeous with their shell-encrusted mosaic ceilings and gargoyles. Mr. Deering and his interior designer Paul Chalfin made frequent trips abroad to purchase furniture and decorative arts sparing no expense. Marble floors, hand-painted murals, fine sets of china, and a 16th century inlaid marble table from the Medici workshop adorn this Palazzo on Biscayne Bay. If you're more into Modernism, check out Miami's emerging edgy MiMo district with lots of funky '50s and cool '60s retro architecture. Trendy galleries, boutiques and caf�s seem to pop up overnight providing a fun addition to Miami, South Florida's playground. Plan on attending Art Basel, the mega annual art event this December in South Beach if you can, and you'll have a hard time deciding which is more interesting...the art or the people. For more info visit,www.miamiandbeaches.com. Michelle Newman is a designer, writer and photographer focusing on art, craft, design, fashion, and cultural destinations. She has written for Better Homes and Gardens, Womans Day, Belle Armoire and Expressions. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she can be reached at email@example.com. The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was built in 1916 by John Deering. pointed with a dramatic fireplace, Oriental carpets, and hand-painted ceiling frescoes depicting pelicans and flamingos and scenes from the Everglades. VENETIAN POOL Created in 1923 from a rock quarry used to build the homes and roads of Coral Gables by city founder George Merrick, the Venetian Pool, is the only swimming pool to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and rightfully so. This stunning architectural wonder is such a well-kept secret that some of the locals don't even know about it. The Venetian Pool's Mediterranean revival style is a delightful paradise in the midst of a suburban oasis with palm trees, loggias, grottos, caves, waterfalls, islands, and a special bridge bringing magic to the TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT Calling All Travel writers, photographers, journalists, CVB's, DMO's, public relations firms, broadcast, cable, and internet content providers... You are cordially invited to submit entries for consideration in the 18th Annual North American Travel Journalists Awards Competition The entry period is Oct. 1, 2009�Nov. 30, 2009. All entries must have been distributed in print, internet or a broadcast outlet from Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009. For more information and to enter, visit: www.natja.org/awards You don't need to be a NATJA member to enter and win! * SPORTS & SIGHTS Flying Through Powder and SKIING WITH KANGAROOS UTAH OFFERS UP AN AMAZING WINTER PLAYGROUND By Michael Dwyer What is "The Greatest Snow on Earth?" It's some of the lightest and driest fluffy precipitation in the world that blankets the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah. Each winter season, from November through April, the heavenly powder drifts across the mountains of the state. While this type of snow may happen elsewhere, in Utah it is a consistent gift from above. And it's the gift that keeps on giving. While most of Utah's 13 ski resorts average 300�500 inches of snow per year, up to 700 inches may fall during the season in a few of the lucky ski areas. The quality of the snow is reliable and the amount is dependable. However, all the ski resorts in Utah are different from one another, though you'll find charm, luxury, and fun everywhere you look. Most of the ski areas are within an hour drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, making it one of the more convenient ski destinations in the country. Just 36 miles from the airport is the charming town of Park City, home of the Sundance Film Festival. Here there are three wonderful ski resorts, fantastic shopping, and a variety of dining options. Deer Valley is the top-end resort for luxury and glamour. You won't find snowboarders here; this is a ski-only area ranked the nation's number one resort by many people in the industry. If you're an intermediate skier or snowboarder, you may want to try Park City Mountain Resort with the most intermediate terrain of all the resorts in Utah. And for a big rush, you must do the Alpine Coaster Ride. I had a blast on this thing. Feel free to wander over in your ski boots to jump on. Be brave; don't use the hand-break. As your heart pounds and you're sure Fresh tracks through the powder at Alta. PHOTO BY MICHAEL DWYER TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT The Alpine Coaster Ride at the Park City Mountain Resort. PHOTO COURTESY OF PARK CITY MOUNTAIN The author with the Flying Kangaroos at Snowbasin Resort. PHOTO BY STEVE MAZZUCCHI Intermediate skiers and snowboarders enjoy Park City. PHOTO COURTESY OF PARK CITY MOUNTAIN * SPORTS & SIGHTS Alta is a skier-only resort with a variety of terrains. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALTA SKI AREA you're going to fly off the rails, you'll be tempted to slow down--resist pulling on the brake --just hold on, yell, scream and enjoy! This resort is family-friendly and has four terrain parks to keep the wild ones busy. The Canyons is the third resort in Park City and offers the largest skiable terrain with more advanced runs in Utah than the other resorts. Everything you need is on location in the Canyons Resort Village. Also very close to the airport, in Little Cottonwood Canyon, are the resorts of Alta and Snowbird. Alta is the other skier-only resort in Utah and it's been that way for 70 years. Tradition, scenic views, and powder will almost overwhelm you. Alta has a nice variety of terrain for any level of skier. And you won't have to worry about a snowboarder running you over. Alta was my first true experience with powder skiing. I had fun learning to slice tracks through the 12 inches of fresh snow that had fallen the night before. The locals live for "powder days" and you'll have to arrive early to take advantage of all that virgin terrain. If you stay at the Alta Lodge, the walk down the old wooden staircase might make you think twice, but once settled in, you'll understand the charm. This is a classic ski lodge, rustic and homey. For an easier entrance and more luxury, book a room next door at Alta's Rustler Lodge. It has all the amenities you could want. Even though I stayed at the Alta Lodge, I walked over the Rustler for a massage at the spa-- it was just what I needed to make my muscles relax after all that powder skiing. If you do snowboard, try Snowbird, next to Alta. In fact, for skiers, they offer an Alta/Snowbird combo pass for those who want a lot of variety. Snowbird also has the longest season of all the resorts in the state and highest vertical drop serviced by a lift. Between Little Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, are the less-crowded resorts of Solitude and Brighton. Just a couple miles apart from each other, both are located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Brighton is the "place where Utah learns to ski and snowboard." This family-friendly resort has three terrain parks and the entire area is accessible by a high speed quad chairlift. Brighton is definitely popular with the locals. Nearby Solitude lives up to its name; there are no lift lines. I felt as if I had the mountain to myself at times and I would stop and just take in the view, it was tranquil. However, I did have the chance to take a ski lesson with 2005 Instructor of the Year, Ron Cook. Bouncing back-and-forth between Solitude's two new high speed quad chairlifts, Ron took me all around the mountain. I saw improvement with each run. Ron really knew how to instruct with a gentle voice and clear direction--I didn't even feel I was in a lesson-- it was smooth and natural. Anyone will benefit from a lesson, no matter what your skill level; I encourage you to brush-up on your technique while in Utah. You will find a couple resorts to the south of Salt Lake City that are more rustic and value-oriented. Sundance Resort is an hour from the airport and offers an intimate setting and low key atmosphere. While Brian Head Resort is best accessed from the Las Vegas International Airport, it is ones of Utah's friendliest resorts for families on a budget. And it is wonderful for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Scattered to the north of Salt Lake City, you may discover Utah's other ski resorts. Family-owned and operated Beaver Mountain is another family-friendly value resort. Powder Mountain has the most skiable terrain in Utah with equal amounts of area for all skill levels and with budget prices. Wolf Creek Mountain is one of the smaller Utah resorts. However, they have the best prices and night skiing. Snowbasin, sort of off on its own, is just a half an hour drive from the airport and is my favorite ski resort in Utah. They have everything, including two high speed gondolas for a quick, enclosed 12-minute ride to the top. Attentive and courteous staff is around every corner. On a visit there, I met and skied with the Australian Aerial Ski Team, The Flying Kangaroos. Steve Rogers, their North American representative, told me that Snowbasin is their "home resort from December through March." This will be the Kangaroos sixth season at the resort. They ski almost every day for about six hours. Some of the women have only been skiing three years and they out-skied me at every turn. The long runs at Snowbasin were challenging, and fortunately, the Kangaroos led the way. They are fit and fast--gymnasts that have learned to ski. Be- linda Price, one of the coaches, told me that it is easier to teach a gymnast to ski than it is to teach a skier to do flips off a ski jump! Makes sense to me--I'll keep to skiing for now. To date, three members of the team are on their way to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. I wish them all good luck. While you're enjoying the slopes of Snowbasin, you may see the team in training; they dress in matching red ski jackets. More than likely, you'll see a red flash go by and just tell your friend that you were passed by a Flying Kangaroo in Utah. You have so many options in Utah with skiing and snowboarding. Shuttles run to many of the resorts from the airport, so you may want to opt-out of renting a car. Utah is a great destination all year long. Look for deals early season and schedule a lesson. You'll be powdered with pure joy. IF YOU GO Gateway Airport: Salt Lake City International (SLC) Ski Utah, 801-534-1779, www.skiutah.com Michael Dwyer is a travel columnist, freelance writer, and broadcast journalist living in southeast Michigan. He writes about travel, relationships, and dating. He is founder of the Rochester Writers' Conference and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The tranquil Solitude Resort as viewed from a lift. PHOTO BY JOHN HORACEK 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * TRAVEL PLANNING SENIOR TRAVEL FAMILY TRAVEL Tips For Seniors TIPS TO HELP MATURE TRAVELERS TRAVEL WITH EASE By Sandra Kennedy What's your next adventure? Will it be an Italian culinary feast, voluntourism, African safari, bird watching in Ecuador, cruising in Alaska, lying on a Caribbean beach or painting in Provence? Imagine your dream trip. When would you go? Will you travel with spouse, friends, grandchildren, family, tour group or solo? Begin researching your destination through libraries, guidebooks, travel agents, travel bookstores, films, the Internet and reviews. Learn about the culture, customs, language and which regions you would like to visit. BOOK IT: ALWAYS ASK FOR SENIOR DISCOUNTS The Internet is an invaluable resource used by many mature adventurers. However, if you are uncomfortable with it consider a travel agent affiliated with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). Their personalized service assists you throughout the entire travel process from booking to your return. You can work directly with tour operators. Check out mature traveler tours such as: Grand Circle Travel, Elderhostel, ElderTreks and WalkingTheWorld. Booking through Kayak or SideStep travel search engines allows you to compare airlines, hotels, cars and cruises. Check for added baggage and fare fees, senior discounts (usually over 65) and itineraries. The fare may be less but might cost you more in terms of two or more airline connections, airport waits or flying red eye. Online travel agencies book hotels, cars, packages, cruises and rail. The top three: Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity charge no booking fees. Hotwire and Priceline are great for bargainers. You choose a price and place a bid. If an airline or hotel is willing to accept it, your credit card is immediately charged. Then, you find out which major airline or hotel was chosen. Other online agencies include: bing travel, CheapOAir, CheapTickets and TravelZoo. You may want to try an online travel planner such as TravelMuse. Also, check discount airlines such as Southwest (deals for seniors), Jet Blue and Air Tran. For reduced fares: Airfares are in continual flux. Try different times, days, airports (may not be worth the hassle), and flexible dates. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the best days to book. Helpful online assistants include Yapta (rate-tracker for airlines and hotels) and SeatGuru (choose best seat). Train or bus: Train: Amtrak (U.S., deals age 62+), Seat61--How to travel by train or ship worldwide, Canada VIA Rail (Canadian, discounts 60+), EuRail (Europe, age 60+ some countries). Bus: Greyhound, (U.S. discount 62+). CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR As travelers, you know that it is no fun to get sick on a trip. It's important for you to get a checkup. Discuss your trip and get written prescriptions for each medication. Also have their generic names. Keep your prescriptions in their original containers. Be proactive with your preparation for health concerns, such as diabetes. Contact your doctor, travel clinic or Center for Disease Control and Prevention for required immunizations. Begin early, since some diseases require a series of shots. Call your medical insurance provider to learn about your coverage. Keep your insurance policy and emergency numbers with you. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid is recognized overseas. TRAVEL AND MEDICAL INSURANCE Choose a well-established travel company such as Travel Guard for medical, flight and trip assistance, TravelInsured, AccessAmerica, MedJet Assist for medical evacuations and InsureMyTrip, a travel insurance comparison site. Mainly, you will be looking for trip interruption and cancellation, medical, baggage and evacuation. PASSPORTS AND VISAS: KEYS TO YOUR ADVENTURE If you do not have a current passport or visa (required for certain countries), begin the process about four months early. Be sure to check your current passport for its validity six months from the last date of your trip. Take two to four extra passport photos with you in case yours is lost or stolen. You need several blank pages in your passport for visa stamps. Photocopy your visa and passport documents to carry in a separate area of your luggage. If it is lost or stolen, immediately contact your Embassy or Consulate and police. Keep their phone numbers and addresses with you. LUGGAGE Take one rolling suitcase and a daypack or bag. Remove the tags from your last trip. Make sure that your luggage is visibly different from other bags. Add colorful stripes, ties and tags showing your name and tour company (or email and phone number where you can be reached). On the inside of your tag write your name, address, phone number and email. Inside your luggage, put your name and a copy of your itinerary. Leave an emergency name and number. Use TSA-approved locks that allow your suitcase to be opened without breaking the lock. PACKING TIPS Pack lightly: Bring comfortable shoes. Consider taking a collapsible "monopod" which can be used as a walking stick as well as a tripod for your camera. Read Arline Zatz's "Spotlight" Column in TravelWorld Magazine of May 2009 (NATJA--North American Travel Journalists Association's online publication.) It is entitled, `Members "Must Have" Travel Items'. Another helpful resource is: OneBag. Packing lists and tips can be found on Rick Steves website. JohnnyJet has a travel portal with travel websites that includes a packing list for men, women and children. OTHER WEBSITES TO CHECK www.travelwithachallenge.com --by Alison Gardner, columnist for Transitions Abroad www.transitionsabroad.com --senior section and 50 Best Travel Websites www.VantageTravel.com --Tours and 151 Senior Travel Tips www.smartertravel.com/senior-travel/ --Useful senior information for traveling www.about.com --section on senior travel www.AARP.com --Extensive senior (50+) travel information www.AAA.com --Road trip information, TripTiks for U.S. states with travel information and rated hotels www.travel.state.gov/travel --U.S. Department of State � International Travel www.iamat.org --International Association of Medical Assistance for Travelers www.travelworldmagazine.com/articles/membersmust-have-travel-items Sandra Kennedy has traveled extensively in China, Tibet, Europe, Morocco, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Tahiti and the Cook Islands. She taught eight years for American Internationals Schools in Paris, Lima and Lisbon. She is currently a travel writer and photographer based in Oregon. Her articles have been published in International Living, The Traveler, The Times Newspaper, 40 plus Travel and Leisure (UK), Oregon.com, Offshore Wave, Transitions Abroad, Adventure-Life Journeys and others. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * THE POWER GADGETS WE LIKE It's All About WHEN YOU NEED IT, YOU GOT IT... the mophie juice pack air This little number extends your iPhone's battery so you can watch movies, listen to your favorite music or podcasts, or play games on a flight or long road trip. The protective case houses a rechargeable lithium polymer battery which doubles the battery life. It has an integrated 4 LED charge status indicator that shows off how much juice is left and comes in black, white, and purple. It's currently available at Apple stores nationwide. www.Apple.com. "go mini"--my little steamer This mighty little gadget uses 850 watts of powerful steam to smooth out wrinkled clothing disasters. It produces steam within two minutes and is quite small, making it a great device for traveling. It's available in pewter, lime, tangerine, lemon, lavender, cornflower blue, white or desert rose. www.hsn.com TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT the fueltank and callpod Imagine...simultaneously charging two small electronic devices without any outlets! The Fueltank contains a rechargeable lithium ion battery which has more than seven times the capacity of a standard mobile phone. It utilizes device-specific adapters so you can customize your Fueltank to meet your needs. Devices can be charged at home, in the car or while traveling. The Callpod is a nifty little number that is a 6-way charging device allowing you to charge multiple cell phones, PDAs, headsets, and most other mobile electronics with a single power cord. It definitely eliminates the clutter from having multiple chargers and is compatible with thousands of mobile devices. Traveling internationally? No worries. Chargepod is compatible with all foreign 120/240 V adapter wall plugs. www.callpod.com solio Your on the adventure of a lifetime...far from civilization and your batteries go dead. Yikes! But if you're traveling with a Solio, no problem. We tested the Solio Classic, a "Universal `Hybrid' Charger that is powerful enough to charge all of your handheld electronic products at home or on the move, anywhere under the sun." It's called a Hybrid because it can accept power from either the sun or the wall storing this energy within its own internal rechargeable battery. We even charged it on our computer via a USB cable. Solio then uses this energy to power your gadgets at the same rate as your wall adapter. According to the company, Solio will also hold its charge for up to a year. It fits into the palm of your hand when it's collapsed and can be a one-stop charging solution for all of your personal electronics such as cell phones, iPods, digital cameras, game players, and GPS. It comes with all the necessary adapters and cables. www.solio.com 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * STAYING AFLOAT SPOTLIGHT FAMILY TRAVEL In Trying Times HOW WRITERS ARE COPING WITH THE DOWNTURN IN THE ECONOMY By Arline Zatz "Over 12,000 writers have lost jobs over the past two years. Many are now competing for fewer assignments as magazines and newspapers either have closed or reduced the frequency of publications," says author and American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) member Caitlin Kelly. Kelly is now "reaching out to new print clients across the country while pursuing new areas, including web-based content creation." Although NATJA member Linda Kavanagh says her "writing assignments have been cut in half, many publications turned into bi-monthlies, editors fired, and that I have to work with new contacts TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT from week to week, I'm delighted that my public relations company is experiencing about a 30 percent increase thanks to hospitality industry clients." To keep her columns going, Kavanagh "supplies a few freebies. I feel that the writers who keep the most active and stay in contact with editors/publishers, will be the ones to get the paying jobs when they are back. Publishers appreciate dedicated writers." ASJA member Beth Levine--a successful freelance writer for over 20 years--has recently been brainstorming in order to remain solvent. She recalls, "Before this falling economy, my dips were generally minimal, with 80 percent of my income from magazines and newspapers, and 20 percent from corporation and public relations work. The percentile split has changed during the past year with magazine work next to zero. As a result, I've had to ramp up my corporate work. Fortunately, I have a solid background in public relations and marketing, but still, I feel like I have to reinvent myself in very little time." "The present economy has actually helped my recently launched online travel magazine (www. francerevisted.com), notes Gary Lee Kraut (NATJA). Besides supplying advertising space, Kraut accepts articles, and says that his magazine "attracts readers who have found that their usual magazines or newspapers no longer are willing to invest in travel pages." Although he pays a low fee to writers, Kraut believes that "the magazine, in offering assignments, is especially helpful for those who have found that print publications are no longer able to give them the freedom to write about and explore destinations and themes that truly interest them. My web site has been able to keep its head high, and those of its writers as well." To cope with several lost clients, Margaret Haapoja ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM is writing for a new online newspaper sponsored by a local public radio station. I scour the newsstands for new magazines to query, and am fortunate in specializing in gardening topics. In this age of `green' environment there's more interest in articles about growing vegetables and flowers." Maxine Sommers (NATJA)--a travel writer for 26 years--has definitely been affected by this economy. "I've never seen anything like this, and clients I usually work with say budgets have been cut or are nonexistent. This year, my main newspaper (circulation 100,000) has been cut to the bone. Fewer articles that are pitched are being accepted. I'm trying new outlets, but the sound of silence rings loud and clear. Time will tell." On the other hand, Nancy Monson (NATJA) believes she has been fortunate so far because her writing and editing "is so diversified, although I've had trouble getting magazine assignments. Editors are slower than usual to assign and are using more inventory than before, while some of my smaller, regular magazine outlets aren't assigning at all. I'm definitely concerned about the future." Entertainment Writer/Blogger Jane Louise Boursaw (NATJA) previously wrote for consumer magazines and their web sites, but over the past few years, most of her work has shifted to blogging. "As magazines have gotten thinner or closed down, blogging and online work has picked up steam. Blogging isn't a passing fad, and whether you're monetizing your own blog or blogging for another company, it will be around for years to come. I've worked hard over the past year to diversify the type of work I do, which is helping me during this down economy. I blog about the entertainment industry, write a family movie column, teach an online blogging class, and do occasional print and web magazine work when it comes my way, but I don't seek it out. The way I stay afloat during these hard times is to keep a lot of different types of work in the mix. That way, I'm not panicking if one thing goes sour." Lisa Collier Cool (ASJA) has discovered that being optimistic and persistent can pay off big-time although, like others, she's finding it more difficult to get work. "I've had to be more aggressive in following up because, with smaller staffs at magazines, editors are swamped and take longer to respond or don't reply at all. Now I'm casting a wider net, and sending more queries and letters of introduction to custom magazines and places that run advertorials, including newspapers and organizations' publica- tions. As a result, I broke into 3 new markets so far this year." When Cool encountered a dry spell, she used the time to create a web site to showcase her work. "That really paid off," says Cool. "Recently, an editor I knew years ago but who I had lost touch with, found me via the web site and gave me a $7,800 assignment. I'm also doing everything in my power to `rejection-proof' my queries. Instead of just proposing one way to a story, I suggest two or three options, so if the editor doesn't like one approach, she can see other ways to do the story." Nancy Pistorius (NATJA) refuses to take `no' for an answer. "If the editor points out something negative about the idea, I shoot back a solution. I also have friended my editors on Facebook and LinkedIn, then post if any of my articles are published so they can see what I'm up to. This keeps me on their radar. In today's economy, my motto is `I will write anything that anybody will pay me for.' I write for a wide variety of outlets, and find myself working harder than ever, with more freelance assignments." Tim Leffel (NATJA) hasn't seen his income and workload dip much. He's thankful he "saw this coming years ago. That's when I scaled back my work for consumer print publications. For the past few years I've mostly written for other people's web sites, my own sites that get ad revenue, and trade publications. I've built a business and a brand instead of relying on assignments from editors that would likely be gone a year later, or from newspapers/magazines that would be in trouble as soon as the economy turned. This is a great time to be an entrepreneur, but a terrible time to be a generalist freelancer who has always relied on print article assignments." There is no doubt that these are troubling times for everyone. On the bright side, writers interviewed are resourceful, proving with perseverance and diversification; they can find new ways to keep money flowing in. Arline Zatz is the award-winning author of Best Hikes With Children in New Jersey (The Mountaineers); 30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey (Backcountry); New Jersey's Special Places (WW Norton); New Jersey's Great Gardens and Arboretums (WW Norton); 100 Years of Volunteer Wildlife Law Enforcement in New Jersey (NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife); and Horsing Around in New Jersey (Rutgers University Press). Her features and photographs appear nationally in newspapers and magazines. She can be reached via web site: funtravels.com. 09.4 SEPT.OCT / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE * BOOK STORE Baseball Bits The Best Stories, Facts, and Trivia from the Dugout to the Outfield Dan Schlossberg Facts, stories, and anecdotes about legendary players and managers, teams and games to remember, and everything from spring training to winter dealing. Casual fans and hardcore baseball buffs will enjoy. Price: $14.95 Available at: www.baseballbits.com Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii: Her Epic Journey Linda Ballou Through the eyes of high chiefess, Wai-nani, experience the Hawaiian society as it existed when Captain Cook arrived at Kealakekua Bay in 1779. Price: $17.95 Available at: www.lindaballouauthor.com Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler Gary Lee Kraut A true insider's guide intended for those who enjoy fine informative travel writing, whether returning to Paris, looking to get it right the first time, or savoring Francophile fantasies from home. Price: $18.95 Available at: www.amazon.com Horsing Around in New Jersey: The Horse Lover's Guide to Everything Equine Arline Zatz The first guidebook to everything equine in the Garden State, this book is for horse lovers-- from the novice who yearns to go horseback riding but doesn't know how or where to begin, to the experienced equestrian seeking new trails, campsites, and challenges. Price: $19.95 Available at: www.funtravels.com 30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey Arline Zatz Discover the heart of the Garden State--its farmlands, beaches, pine barrens, lakes, and canals--by bicycle! Tours contain directions, detailed maps, and informative descriptions of the natural, cultural and historic features encountered along the way. Price: $16.95 Available at: www.funtravels.com New Jersey's Great Gardens Arline Zatz Explore the gardens of the Garden State. The 125 gardens include rose, colonial, herb, Shakespeare, demonstration, education, bird, butterfly, and wildflower gardens, plus one-of-a-kind gardens in unexpected places. Price: $19.95 Available at: www.funtravels.com Promote Your Book in the TravelWorld International Book Store! Now NATJA members can promote their books in the TWI Book Store. Let fellow members and readers worldwide know what you've published. To request rates, place your order or gather more information, contact: email@example.com TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.4 SEPT.OCT