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10.2 MAR.APR

the

Green issue Green Seas

TIMES ARE CHANGING FOR CRUISE SHIPS

Equitrek ON HORSEBACK

KERALA EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE ECO-TRIP

PLUS...

Eco-Excellence For Michigan

eco-cruising through

paradise

GOING GREEN IN THE GALAPAGOS 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

Green issue

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR


10.2 MAR.APR

FEATURES 8

GOING GREEN IN THE GALAPAGOS Welcome To The Earth’s First World Heritage Site STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NANCY SCHRETTER

12 GET GREEN ON HORSEBACK Eco-Friendly Horse Adventures BY DARLEY NEWMAN

18 HOUSEBOATING, INDIA STYLE Cruising in Style on the Ultimate Eco-Trip in Kerala STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELE AUVRAY

24 GREEN SEAS Cruise Companies Get Up to Speed on the Environment BY ANDREA GRANAHAN

28 HOLLAND MICHIGAN HOTEL EARNS THE GOLD CityFlats Combines Comfort with Eco-excellence BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS

32 VISIONS OF VENETO The Amazing Charms of this Paradise on the Water BY BARBARA BARTON SLOANE

38 HORSES, JULEPS, & ROSES Glory in Two Minutes at Derby 136 BY MICHAEL DWYER

COLUMNS 4 6 7 44

FROM THE PUBLISHER LETTER FROM THE EDITOR BENEFITS OF BEING A NATJA MEMBER ARTS & ARCHITECTURE

Vancouver’s Art Mecca Granville Island /

48

BY MICHELLE NEWMAN

FAMILY

Forget Kumbaya: Lego Atlantis Fantasy Camp Just Clicks /

50

SENIOR TRAVEL

Coast To Coast Adventures /

54

BY KIM FOLEY MACKINNON

BY SANDRA KENNEDY

SPORTS & SIGHTS

High Spirits At Michigan’s First Certified Organic Restaurant /

57

BY MICHAEL DWYER

GADGETS WE LIKE

Must-Have Accessories For Your Luggage

58

SPOTLIGHT

Ways to Help (Or Infuriate) a Tourism Pro /

61

BY ARLINE ZATZ

BOOK STORE

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


*

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Economy In The Tank?

SOWHAT? GOGREEN! Nearly a year ago, Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, spoke at the North American Travel Journalists Association conference in Cleveland. He spoke to the fact that travel is changing. He said we will see more people traveling with their families and more people traveling via backpacking, hiking, and by more environmentally-friendly means. Boy was he right. In the past 11 months, we’ve seen a huge influx of “green travel” as well as multi-generational family travel. Some say that the economy has driven people to “less expensive” ways to travel. I say, “So What??” Perhaps what’s bad for the economy is good for the environment. I think the economic woes of the country are changing travel for the better. Yes, luxury travel will suffer losses. No way around that. But if the family can economize and travel together, what a great boost for family dynamics! If people are forced to travel more by train or foot, what a better way to see the sites! The experiences that folks will have now are very different than those they would experience if the economy was not in the tank. AND our planet will be better off for it. Yeehaw! I’m constantly telling my 10-year-old daughter to look at challenges as opportunities. Turn the negative around to a positive, and watch the magic happen. I say the same to today’s traveller. Green is good. Having money is very good, but so is not having as much. Going green in travel is an amazing opportunity. And watching more cruise lines, hotels and restaurants go green is very exciting. I challenge everyone to have a “green” travel experience. It will change your life!

Jerri Jerri Hemsworth Publisher E: jerrih@natja.org B: www.travelworldmagazine.com/blog/publisher

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 JAN.FEB


*

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

8

12

24

28

It isn’t easy being green, so asserted Kermit the Frog, oh so long ago, but

Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Drop us a line at Travelworld International Magazine by emailing kim@natja.org.

that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, as many of the hotels, restaurants, and even destinations written about in this issue prove. From Michigan’s first LEED Gold certified hotel to vacationing on horseback to the fragile and important Galapagos Islands, our NATJA contributors take us on an exploration of what it means to be responsible stewards, travelers and residents of our one and only home. Our columnists, as usual, offer advice on everything from senior travel hot spots to the arts scene in Vancouver. We hope you enjoy this issue and learn as much as we did. Happy and safe travels!

Kim Kim Foley MacKinnon, Editor-in-Chief E: kim@natja.org B: www.travelworldmagazine.com/blog/editor

2010 EDITORIAL CALENDAR Summer – Explore the National Parks An in-depth look at parks across the U.S. Fall – Adventure Travel Get your heart racing just reading about these adventures. Winter –Weird & Offbeat Travel Submission? Submit story and

Why take the same trip everybody else takes when you can walk on the wild and weird side.

photography pitches to kim@natja.org. Do not submit images unless requested.

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

Visit http://bit.ly/5Tvbrf for more details


The Benefits of Being a NATJA Member Travelworld International Magazine is the only magazine that showcases the member talents of the North American Travel Journalists Association Group Publisher Publisher Editor-in-Chief Art Direction/Production

Helen Hernandez Jerri Hemsworth Kim Foley MacKinnon Newman Grace Inc. www.newmangrace.com

Vice President, Marketing Contributing Writers

Brian Hemsworth Daniele Auvray Michael Dwyer Andrea Granahan Darley Newman Nancy Schretter Barbara Barton Sloane 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 2010.2 March/April. Copyright ©2010 by Travel Professionals Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Advertising rates and information sent upon request. Acceptance of advertising in Travelworld International Magazine in no way constitutes approval or endorsement by Travel Professionals Inc. or NATJA of products or services advertised. Travelworld International Magazine and Travel Professionals Inc. reserve the right to reject any advertising. Opinions expressed by authors are their own and not necessarily those of Travelworld International Magazine or Travel Professionals Inc. Travelworld International Magazine reserves the right to edit all contributions for clarity and length, as well as to reject any material submitted. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. This periodical’s name and logo along with the various titles and headings therein, are trademarks of Travel Professionals Inc. PRODUCED IN U.S.A.

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Going Green


in the Galapagos Welcome To The Earth’s First World Heritage Site STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NANCY SCHRETTER

Upon arriving in the Galapagos, we found our welcoming party snoozing. Although we were barely a foot away, the sea lions lazing on the dock at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island couldn’t have cared less. There were sea lions everywhere and—in a preview of things to come—they barely acknowledged our presence. Many of us snapped picture after picture, sure that our close proximity to these languorous creatures would be one of the highlights of our trip. Boy, were we wrong. Over the course of a week, our group had more close encounters of the wildlife kind than I could count. We strolled past mating and nesting birds that were oblivious to our presence, watched waved albatross and blue-footed boobies doing their intricate mating dances, and swam with groups of giant sea turtles and tuxedoed Galapagos penguins that catapulted past us at breakneck speed. Strolling along dazzling white sand beaches, we viewed red-pouched frigate birds circling overhead and sea lions nursing their pups with eyes closed in peaceful contentment. We snorkeled with troupes of these playful mammals – some blowing bubbles and darting within inches of our faces. Our hikes took us over black sand beaches, past wild Galapagos tortoises, along rocky cliffs, and through cavernous lava tubes. Darwin’s enchanting archipelago is filled with unusual terrain and exotic creatures. That’s just one of the many reasons why tourism here is booming. As we looked around at the many ships plying the waters of this naturefilled realm, however, many of us wondered, “How long will this paradise exist in its present form?” “The Galapagos Islands rank right up there with the Amazon and the Serengeti as one of the richest and best

known, yet fragile and threatened, ecosystems in the world. Now, the Ecuadorian government is looking to a range of alternative energy resources to make sure it stays that way,” reports Triple Pundit, a popular website reporting on responsible business practices. This fragile chain of islands must be protected. That’s just one of the many reasons I was happy to be visiting the Galapagos with Ecoventura, a recent winner of Conde Nast Traveler’s World Savers Award. Ecoventura offers travelers intimate visits to the Galapagos on comfortable 83-foot yachts accommodating up to 20 people. Because of their small size, Ecoventura’s ships are able to visit some of the region’s most spectacular islands, maximizing opportunities to view the amazing flora and fauna found in the Galapagos. Ecoventura’s M/Y Eric was the first hybrid energy tour boat in the Galapagos.

In addition, Ecoventura is leading the way in alternative energy use and carbon offsetting practices. In 2006, the company became the first Carbon Neutral operation in both the Galapagos and Ecuador. Last year, Ecoventura’s M/Y Eric became the first hybrid energy tour boat in the Galapagos with the installation of 40 solar panels and two wind turbines on the upper deck. The company hopes that the solar panels and wind-powered generators will provide enough power to replace up to 20 percent of the energy formerly produced by diesel generators. This year, Ecoventura’s innovative initiatives have al10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


lowed it to offset a total of 4,031 tons of CO2 this year. The company’s efforts were recognized in May 2009 with a “Cool Business Certificate” from NativeEnergy, a leader in the U.S. carbon solutions market. Ecoventura’s efforts are critical to preserving the islands’ treasures—its unique native species and rich ecological environment. Our experiences in the Galapagos were rich indeed. Here at the earth’s first World Heritage Site, travelers are able to see exotic wildlife and experience them up close in their natural habitats. Each island offers something different and, in some cases, their species are exclusive to this part of the world. One must take care to step around the basking iguanas, nesting boobies, and seals nursing their young on the paths. The animals do not fear humans here—they simply don’t care. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

Juvenile sea lions greeted us as we made our first wet landing on Ochoa Beach and cavorted with us as we snorkeled in the water. Periodically, several would break away from the pack to visit parents relaxing on the beach. The children in our group did likewise. It was fascinating to watch the parallels between human and animal behavior here. On Fernandina Island, our group carefully stepped around thousands of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks and hiked across sprawling black lava fields to see huge sea turtles and colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs in tidal pools and flightless cormorants standing on the rocks. Of course, the troops of fearless sea lions were ever present. Our band of adventurers climbed 369 steps to the top of Bartolome Island’s

barren moonscape and snorkeled near peaceful white-tipped reef sharks near the Pinnacle, a famous rock spire that is one of the most photographed sites in the Galapagos. When Buzz Aldrin visited the Galapagos, he commented that volcanic Bartolome looked more like the moon than any place he had visited on earth. For most of us, this is probably as close to viewing a lunar landscape as we’ll ever get. Favorite memories? Wandering among dozens of wild giant tortoises in the Santa Cruz highlands and posing for pictures. Hearing a fur seal bellow. Kayaking with my daughter behind a massive manta ray as it swam and spread its wings. Watching as a doeeyed sea lion pup waddled over to within inches of our shoes and gazed up as if to say, “Are you my mother?” Jumping off the top of the M/Y Eric and


wondering how long it would take for me to hit the water. Snorkeling within inches of schools of penguins, gigantic sea turtles and cavalcades of kamikaze sea lions. Staring slack-jawed as a pair of waved albatross did their complex mating dance, ritualistically bowing to each other and clacking their beaks. Walking arm in arm along a white sandy shoreline littered with sea lions at Gardner Bay, easily one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Staring up at an equatorial night sky filled with stars of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and feeling so small—and yet so connected to the rest of the universe. Sitting in the ship’s lounge after dinner one night, I talked with Ivan Lopez, one of our two outstanding naturalist guides. Ivan has five years of guiding experience in the Galapagos and nine years as a dive

master. He is keenly aware of the fragile nature of these beautiful islands and the importance of his job. Here in the Galapagos, the quality of the guides is critical to having the best vacation experience. The right guide will be able to gauge his guests and make their passion for the destination match his own. “My job is like the movie, 50 First Dates,” said Ivan. “Each week I get a new group of passengers and I need to have them fall in love with me.” And fall in love we did. Thanks to World Savers like Ecoventura, today’s travelers and their children will be able to experience magical dates with these pristine islands for many years to come.

633-7972. These Galapagos cruises can also be purchased through AustinLehman Adventures, recently named as the Best Tour Operator in the World by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. For more information on Austin-Lehman, visit www.austinlehman.com or call 1-800-575-1540. Nancy Schretter is an award-winning travel writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in travel journalism and publishing. Nancy is Founder and Managing Editor of the Family Travel Network and Founder of Together for Good, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting giving back as part of the travel experience. She has been a family travel expert guest on The Today Show, CNN, NBC News and numerous other television and

IF YOU GO For more information on Ecoventura, visit www.ecoventura.com or call 800-

radio programs. Her work and insights have been featured in national newspapers, magazines, and a variety of trade publications. 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


GET GREEN ON

Horseback

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR


Eco-Friendly Horse Adventures BY DARLEY NEWMAN

As we rounded a corner out of the shaded woods, I felt relieved to be riding into a larger clearing. On the wooded trails outside of Seward on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, my guide Bree told me that it’s not uncommon to run into bears. In fact, she had encountered one just a few days ago along the same stretch. She was lucky that her horse Max defended her, and they escaped unharmed. It was a little unnerving that even if you don’t see them, the bears are still watching you. “There’re bears all over the place. They’re stalking you, but you don’t know it and usually the horses don’t know it. They keep their distance,” said Bree. I was all for spotting wildlife, but I was there for the more tame variety, like the two stately bald eagles circling their nest in the spruce trees above. As I listened to their squeaky

Darley Newman and Doug Smith ride in Haleakala Crater on Maui.


GET GREEN ON

Horseback

Darley Newman and Ibrahim El-Wahsh ride Arabian horses with the Bedouin in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan.

calls, I felt truly special for being able to reach them so unobtrusively on horseback. This Alaska experience, though unique, was not so different from my other experiences reaching stunning TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

wildlife-filled landscapes in out of the way places on horseback, like the high altitudes of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta. In these dramatic, remote landscapes, I was more likely to see wild horses than people. Travel-

ing on horseback, I covered a lot of ground in one day, even amid the frequent summer hailstorms common in high altitudes. Traveling into the crater of Haleakala Volcano on Maui was chal-


lenging not only because of the drastic change in altitude from the rim to the crater floor, but because of the intense sun and changing temperatures. On a fit horse, I was still able to enjoy Haleakala’s wonders—the

varying colors of the day as the sun moves across the crater and the soft crunch of cinders beneath my horse’s hooves—while knowing that I was helping to preserve the delicate ecosystem by keeping on the trails cut

by the park rangers. In many natural places, like the ones mentioned above, the only way to navigate the rugged terrain is on horseback or by foot. There are many advantages to traveling with horses 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


GET GREEN ON

Horseback “Many people only associate horseback riding vacations and with ranches, but there are many and varied types of riding destinations around the world that offer the ability to explore vast lands on horseback...” that are well conditioned to the climate, altitudes and surroundings. The horses are natives of the areas, having been acclimated to the environment throughout their lives and through the adaptations of countless previous generations. They are the perfect guides! Sure, you can walk, but horses can take you much farther, much faster and the ride can certainly be exciting. Many people only associate horseback riding vacations and with ranches, but there are many and varied types of riding destinations around the world that offer the ability to explore vast lands on horseback, while feeling good about making the journey in an eco-friendly way. Some of these top eco-friendly options include lodges, family-run farms and B&B’s, pack trips, camping expeditions, inn-to-inn rides, resorts with riding and more. In the small South American country of Uruguay, you can help out the gauchos on sustainable family-run esTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

tancias, like La Salamora, a hidden gem I discovered on a recent adventure. This country lodge is run entirely by wind power and the owners contribute to the environment by participating in two programs sponsored by GEF and World Bank for the protection of local biodiversity. Over the rolling grasslands, I rode sturdy Criollo horses, a South American breed that have carried gauchos and travelers for generations, a rewarding environmental and a rich cultural experience. In Jordan, you can explore the Wadi Rum Desert with Bedouins, who gather plants to make soap, medicine and other necessities, and practice Leave No Trace travel by setting up mobile camps in the desert. I enjoyed learning about their ancient culture by traveling with them through sandy dunes. Sleeping in the desert reminded me of the many comforts of home, many of which are not necessarily eco-friendly, and how I may not really need many of them. Still on my list is an African Safari on

horseback, where horses give you a greater chance of seeing wildlife, and a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. There are so many amazing destinations that you can explore by horse instead of a mechanized vehicle, and while it sometimes may feel like you’re stepping back in time, that can be good. You can leave technology, electricity and all of the worries that can come


The author riding outside of Seward, Alaska on a Paint horse named Orca.

with connectivity behind at many of these destinations, because it’s simply not available. Horses may whinny or make noise as their hooves crunch over leaves or splash through rivers, but that’s nothing compared to the sound of an ATV or jeep. This means that you’re moving more subtly through a destination and less likely to scare the wildlife you

may be eager to spot. You’re also more apt to strike up a conversation with a local guide, who will shed light on their history, culture and favorite area hidden gems, those places that aren’t in your travel guide or even online. Whether you ride at home or have never spent time in the saddle, there are many opportunities to get green on horseback.

Darley Newman is the Emmy winning host and producer of the Emmy Award-winning Equitrekking series on Public Television and founder of EquitrekkingTravel.com, which takes viewers horseback riding to experience history, culture and nature around the world. For more information and video clips,

visit

www.equitrekking.com

and

www.equitrekkingtravel.com 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


Houseboating, “Sumitra,” a huge double decker house boat, curiously seemed to be topped by a most extravagant Chinese hat. I had never seen anything like it, and was totally flabbergasted by the elegant allure of the curvaceous lines of its body, covered entirely with palm leaf and bamboo

solely tied together with coir rope. It was already late in the afternoon so the sun didn’t make its hand-woven bamboo palm cover shine as much as it did when I saw it again the next day, upon boarding it. It had glided ever so slowly towards the shore, after dark


India Style

Cruising in Style on the Ultimate Eco-Trip in Kerala STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELE AUVRAY

the night before, and its majestic silhouette was already quite impressive to look at, but not quite the same as when discovering it in the first golden rays of a morning sun. “Sumitra� as I learn later, was part of a fleet of 12 former rice barges made from the anjali variety of the jackfruit

wood which were born again in the form of cruise vessels for tourists wishing to immerse themselves totally into the beauty of the surrounding nature in the backwaters of Kerala in South India. Cruising in one of them is the ultimate eco-trip, as noth-


Houseboating, India Style ing can possibly interfere between you and the bountiful nature of rural Kerala. You may pass by some water buffaloes trying to cross the river right in front of you, surrounded only by egrets which are as immaculately white as they are black. You may see Malayalis giving the last hand to rice harvesting in an adjacent paddy field, their dark skin and colorful attire contrasting superbly with the vivid color of the crop in a mid-afternoon sun. You’ll find yourself happily floating amidst gorgeous water-lilies and lotus ponds while watching cormorants. Like the well-written script of a movie scenario, the river life unfolds in front of your very eyes, day by day without anything to hide. Women stay simply busy with their everyday chores by the canal or engaged in a search for the shy but delectable “Karameen.” They look for this fish with their toes, since the karameen hide in the mud at the bottom of these waterways. Other people might be fishing more conventionally; others bathe themselves at prayer time directly into the water; still others carry precious loads of coir from one side of the canal to the other in order to have them transported by most colorful hand-painted trucks to the nearest coir factory. In Allappuzha (Allepey), they know how to process this raw material and turn it into handsomely woven mats or carpeting for export. Journeying through the “backwaters” seems the perfect anti-stress cure. It is an intricate system of canals, lagoons and lakes that lace the interior coastline southwards of Kochi (Cochin) and almost down to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum). A crew is usually composed of four: a captain, an engine TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

driver, a cook and a guide. These houseboats vary in size, having either one, two or three bedrooms inside, aside from a dining-living area, a kitchen and an upper deck cum terrace from where to witness nature at its best. Bedrooms with their en suite bathrooms have queen size beds canopied with mosquito nets, thus adding to their already romantic appeal. They also have open windows, dissimulated by pull up curtains when night falls, that ensure a cool breeze is constantly flowing through. And when the sky starts to metamorphose itself from light pink into deep purple, oil lamps are lit by the captain, creating a “chiaroscuro” worthy of a Georges de la Tour painting, before setting them in the bedrooms or living areas. Waking up before dawn, amidst the serenity of placid Vembanad Lake, I found myself surrounded by a gently rolling carpet of green and lavender water-hyacinths, an amazing sight of complete novelty to me. It is so peaceful and quiet that time seems almost to stand still for a short while. Through the large oval shaped windows with bamboo bars, I can witness the magical awakening of the day and suddenly see, piercing through the yet opaque sky, the first rays of sunlight slowly turning the nearby palm grove into a blaze. It’s all but for a fleeting moment before a profuse light prevailed upon us. Soon after, signs of activities could be heard, as the cook was already busy getting our breakfast on the way. Breakfast, or any other meal we had on the boat, was lovingly prepared and served “kerala-style,” directly on a cleaned and opened plantain leaf, and eaten with one hand. The Indian etiquette with one hand is to use the

right hand only, because the left hand is used to clean oneself and therefore considered too impure to touch food. The right hand mixes rice, “dhal” and curries together to form a moist ball which is deftly popped into the mouth. It’s a simple art, mastered with a little practice, but for those who do not want to go through this, there are forks knives or spoons available on request. The chef’s cooking is absolutely delicious, and how he does it in his tiny kitchen is something of a miracle. He is eager to see the reaction on your face after you have tried his dishes, and willing to please you with the greatest variety possible in such a short time. The abundance of coconut and seafood, along with a host of exotic fruits and vegetables helps of course. He composes his menu after having bought his ingredients in the nearby villages or markets on route, whenever we happened to stop for a visit. This ensures the absolute freshness of everything we eat. Most meals were composed of different curries, such as potato curry, fish and rice curry accompanied by papaya thoren (green papaya, shredded), coconut mixed with fried lady-fingers, or bitter gourd thoren, or ”Aviyal” (mixed vegetables) with some pickles, either lemon, mango or cauliflower for instance, and always served with puri, pappadum or roti (Indian types of bread). Dessert could be local fruits, like perfectly ripened pineapple or bananas and finally a spiced milk tea (Masala tea) with the fragrant aroma of cardamom would end a meal appropriately. The entire crew worked as a team, but also much like a family, and although I could not understand their


Life on the houseboat is the ultimate de-stress vacation.


Houseboating, India Style language (Malayalam), I could sense their profound joy of working together as a unit. It was obvious by the occasional pranks they pulled on each other during their break, with everyone ending up in a joyful laughter. If I asked through my guide what it was all about, they would gladly let me in on it. But while you may be engulfed in everyday new discoveries, you can relax with the assurance that the staff will not fail to take care of every single detail for you, making sure that you are perfectly content. Should the sky darken dangerously, announcing an imminent shower, they would immediately start to cover the roof with a huge plastic sheet. This made sure that no rain would enter any of the boat’s many openings. Meanwhile, on the upper deck, in the

The chef buys fresh ingredients at local markets along the way.

seating-lounging area, books were at hand should you feel like reading. One such book was the prize winner of Kerala-born Arundhati Roy, “The God of small things.” But soon the sky would clear up again and a gorgeous sunset would already be on its way. Among the many discoveries that we made, we witnessed the making of coir rope by village ladies, from the grandmother to the granddaughter; saw fishermen throwing their nets into the sea to get lobster; the weaving of cotton to make bed sheets; saw Hindu temples and colorful churches. We had our palms read and were even offered flowers as a sign of welcome by local children. When we stopped at a shrimp peeling place, or were shown the opening of coconut shells (in order to let them dry and later turned into oil),

none of these activities were rehearsed especially for us tourists. It was the genuine daily life of villagers. Colorful markets were especially intriguing with their well organized row of vegetables or fruits, some of which we had never seen before. Our nostrils were inescapably attracted by the like of jasmine or spices vendors stalls. IF YOU GO The Kerala tourist office website is a good place to start looking for houseboats: www.keralatourism.org Tourindia Holidays for being the pioneer tour operator who first introduced “Kettuvallam”(rice barge) for cruising the backwaters is still offering the most genuine eco trip such as the one described here: www.tourindiakerala.com.


Cruise Companies Get Up to Speed on the Environment BY ANDREA GRANAHAN


For a long time, environmentally speaking, cruise ships were the wicked stepsisters of the travel industry. Tales of black water being discharged over coral reefs and near island communities, massive amounts of garbage going over the side, wakes of plastic debris, followed the ships like the gulls. But the times they are ‘a changin’ and while the cruise ship lines did not rise willingly, they really have risen to the occasion. The formerly wicked stepsisters are not just “greenwashing” themselves, but are truly turning a lovely shade of green and rising to serve as an example to others. Take the Royal Caribbean International company for example. It owns both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity lines. It was among the wickedest of the stepsisters. Once slapped with an $8 million fine for oil discharges and falsified records, the company decided it was time to grow up. Even prior to the fine RCI had began its Save the Waves program. It seeks to reduce waste 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


generated on board and to recycle as much as possible as well as treat unavoidable waste. Since it has begun its ABC—Above and Beyond Compliance—program. RCI became the first cruise line to meet the tough international standard—ISO -14001 which not only imposes tough environmental standards but requires that each year companies continue to improve. Some major cruise lines such as RCI and Carnival Cruise Lines have also established an environmental and safety department independent of the rest of its hierarchy of authority. On the ships, the environmental officer answers only directly to the captain of the vessel. The officer is responsible to see that all waste treatment and recycle regulations are scrupulously followed. Thomas Vatianos, the Chief Environmental Officer on board Celebrity’s Infinity, is passionate about his job. His background is not maritime. He studied zoology in his native Greece, then went on to London to take an advanced degree in Environmental Science. Before taking his job, he had no idea such a position existed. “I was delighted to learn about it because I was concerned about environmental issues for small communities, and a ship is a small community,” he said. Starting with the running of the ship itself, all the newer ships have gas turbine engines which are “zero emission” and use biofuels whenever possible. Vatianos has to work with the Chief Engineer and his crew to ensure the standards are regularly met. Vatianos also works with the navigational crew. “I alert the crew to protected areas such as marine preserves. We do not pass through them.” The treatment of gray and black water also falls under his department. “We use TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

AWP—Advanced Wastewater Purification. It exceeds international regulations. In fact, we have adopted as our standard, the standards set by California and Alaska, the toughest in the world.” These standards require not only that the waste be treated but even after it is treated that it be dumped more than 12 nautical miles offshore. Carnival Cruises, the world’s largest cruise company, also paid the largest fine in 2002 when it was slapped with a whopping $18 million for a variety of charges including dumping oily bilge water off Florida’s coast and falsifying its records about it. Carnival, too, woke up and went into action. It developed a three step bilge processing technique and in 2004 earned its international ISO -14001 certification. Carnival has also invested in green ship building with its newer ‘Spirit Class” ships which have won a coveted “Green Star” from RINA (Registro Italiano Navale Group), an Italian ship rating association. Carnival also worked in conjunction with the International Seakeepers Society, collecting samples and monitoring global water quality. In 2006 NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) recognized the company for its environmental work in the Caribbean. No matter what it has accomplished, the industry may and be facing a bigger challenge in Alaskan waters than it can meet right now. Beginning in 2010, Alaskan voters have decided on even tougher standards. The technology for such standards is in development but looks as though it won’t be ready by 2010. Some Alaskan legislators are seeking an extension on the timeline until the new methods are ready. Richard Pruit of RCI said, “There is simply no equipment out there that can do the job we’re looking at. The

standards create a vast disparity between the cruise industry and the other Alaskan dischargers.” The new standards do not apply to Alaska’s own busy ferry system for example. “If the standards go into effect, there will have to be changes to itineraries and maybe the whole deployment of the fleet,” Pruit added. Since the cruise industry contributes $1.35 billion to the state’s economy each season, legislators are working across party lines to see if the standards can be postponed until technology can catch up. Ironically, a $50 per person per voyage head tax that Alaska collects could build shore facilities to handle the wastes effectively right now. There is strong competition between cruising companies to constantly develop new environmental equipment and standards – competition that makes environmental advocates like Vatianos and his colleagues very happy. RCI has established Ocean Fund, which finances environmental research. One other area the ships have addressed is solid wastes. The first effort is to reduce it as much as possible even down to using syrups for soft drinks instead of bottles and cans. Food waste is pulped and incinerated, not simply dumped. Plastic waste is incinerated. Recyclables are sorted and recycled and companies have arrangements with the ports they touch. “With our company, the money made from selling the recycled items on shore goes into the crew welfare fund which, among other things, pays for a party for the crew at the end of a cruise.” Vatianos grinned. “It’s an extra motivation to make sure as much as possible is recycled.” To make sure the crew gets the message, in the first 48 hours of their training they receive an environmental education. Vatianos also tries to raise the consciousness of the passengers to


ABOVE: Celebrity Infinity environmental officer Thomas Vatianos. RIGHT, TOP & BOTTOM: Recyclables are crushed and wrapped to be unloaded and delivered.

eco-concerns. Passengers are encouraged to reduce laundry needs, and are advised to never throw anything overboard. They get a flyer about the Save the Waves program and get instructions about special waste treatments for chemicals that might harm the sea environment as well as energy saving tips. Captain Athanasios Peppas, Vatianos’ boss, acknowledges the ugly past of the industry. “Long ago, it was everything overboard. Not very nice. Now it is very different. We are very careful.” He said he relies on his environmental officer to advise him. “Our environmental people have good training.” Vatianos says the other officers, including the Captain, respond to environmental issues he raises instantly. “But we, the cruise ships, are easy to target. I am concerned about what happens at sea on other types of ships, such as large tankers. No one has authority over them and there is no global regulation over their practices,” Vatianos said. “I think our future on this planet depends on education. The

children will know we are part of the environment and it is in our best interests to protect it.” Some improvements he would like to see in the future is greater use of wind and solar power. He is very happy about the company’s newest Solstice ships which use solar power, but sees future ships being even better—maybe using energy from waves. “I picture ships with scoops or wings

jutting into the water to capture the clean power,” he said. It’s a poetic thought—cleanly powered winged ships. But even now it is a comforting reality that one can enjoy the pleasures of a cruise with a cleaner conscience on a cleaner ship. Indeed, until airlines can make the transition to bio-fuel, getting to a port to catch a cruise ship does more environmental damage than a long cruise at sea. 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


EARNS

Holland, Michigan Hotel

CityFlats Combines Comfort with Eco-excellence BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS


THE GOLD Take the hotel mattress home

to keep on sleeping responsibly. People do. Shopping’s not necessarily green behavior, but sleeping in the LEED Gold certified CityFlats Hotel in Holland, Michigan is. Floors, fabrics, windows, ceilings, plumbing, elevators and even that mattress submitted to scrutiny. Gold rating doesn’t come easily from the U. S. Green Building Council; it seems only two other hotels have earned it: Gaia (means Mother Earth in Greek) Hotel and Spa in the Napa Valley and The Element in Massachusetts. A new kind of place, CityFlats opened in this city of 35,000 people and 600,000 tulips on the shores of Lake Michigan in April 2008 intending to be a prototype for more sustainability. “The cost of doing green sustainable design is not out of reach,” president and owner Chuck Reid says even after all the bills were in. “This is the right thing to do. “It’s all attainable and in some ways for less today considering the advances in LED lights.” It probably helps in his quest to create jobs, shop without triggering longdistance transport and boost the local economy that Reid also heads up Charter House Innovations in Holland, a custom design firm manufacturing for large restaurants around the world. CityFlats doesn’t feel like a first try, an experiment. It’s solid, and comfortable, all 56 sleeping rooms plus meeting spaces, fitness center, stadium-seat theater room, restaurants and watering holes. CityFlats Hotel in Holland, Michigan, earned a Gold LEED rating through the U. S. Green Building Council.

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Recycled glass and concrete counters, watersaving plumbing, bamboo towels and soaking tubs instead of Jacuzzis.

I couldn’t try out all the rooms but wanted to since each is different from the other, the result of Reid’s work with a dozen interior designers in his quest for “fresh and unexpected.” I did wrap up in bamboo towels and linens—soft, naturally hypoallergenic and sustainable. GOLD ISN’T THE ONLY COLOR Colors are calm, many hues of greens, browns, beiges, blues, all low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. The roof is white to reduce summer temperatures. Black is hidden—the lining of the curtains covering floor-to-ceiling bedroom windows. That’s part of the Gold rating making this place so green: TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

keeping out the heat and cold as needed but allowing natural light the rest of the time through gigantic glass. Lights go off whether you’re an every lamp darkened person or not because the master switch is at the door and turns everything off when you leave. Fresh air continues, however. The CityFlats ventilation system allows 51 percent of the air inside to come fresh from the outside. The adhesive used to secure the cork floors in every room is low VOC too, just like those paints, also better for breathing. I’ll confess to loving a steam room or a steamy shower, but soaking tubs here are self-indulgent too. They’re not Jacuzzi style on purpose; Reid says that draws too much on the energy grid.

Of course, the toilets are low water and dual flush, and Reid says the hotel uses 30 percent less water than what’s considered a normal U.S. hotel baseline for water measurement. Countertops in the bathroom gave me green comfort too, and some new notions. These are certified recycled glass and concrete and pretty as well. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is their manufacturer, revolutionizing what they consider to be a passé concept of cradle to grave. Like CityFlats, this notion is more about use again, not bury. In fact, 81 percent of the construction leftovers from building the hotel found recycling resources instead of building the landfill. I am not sure I understand about the hotel elevator serving five floors—a skyscraper for Holland—but it doesn’t use hydraulic oil and takes 20 percent less energy to run. That mattress to want at home has materials I don’t know about either. Talalay is the latex wrapped around coils covered with quilted foam and rayon—fire retardant and comfortable—and natural fibers for the outer cover. The comfy results I do get. EVEN CONVERSATIONS ARE “GREEN” You can drink if you don’t want to sleep. Cocktails are green every first Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and that doesn’t mean grass-hued martinis. They’re green because the crowd that gathers in the lounge mindfully wants to talk about climate change and the environment, sustainability, farm-to-table and new eco products and past-times. Organic beer and wine is on offer, plus local brews and blends. The marketing coordinator Sarah Lilly says they’re looking into organic spirits. CityFlats serves coffee they call “direct trade” from a company named Intelligentsia that vows it pays at least 25 percent above fair trade prices to growers and cooperatives not just exporters.


Floors are sustainable cork, paints and adhesives low VOC, linens sustainable bamboo, mattresses new combination of eco and comfort materials and big window let in natural light.

There’s a restaurant on the top floor with views of Lake Macatawa and Windmill Island, where Alisa Crawford operates a 248-year-old windmill from the Netherlands. That’s as unusual as CityFlat’s Gold standard because windmills are national monuments in Holland and you don’t find originals elsewhere. This one was moved here in 1964 from Vinkel. CityFlats Chef Shelly Rash shops the local farmers’ market and believes in 100 percent whole wheat and woodfired flatbreads. WESTERN MICHIGAN EARNS LEED CERTIFICATIONS CityFlats Hotel holds the LEED status as the only Gold hotel in the Midwest,

and nearby Grand Rapids reports 54 LEED certified buildings in all four categories: certified, silver, gold and platinum, said Linda Frey with the West Michigan chapter of the United States Green Building Council. As of mid-October, Western Michigan has 108 LEED approved buildings, including Grand Rapids and Holland plus 10 other cities. What’s behind these declarations? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and involves 51,000 building projects in all 50 states and 91 countries. The U. S. Green Building Council took over the certification process in 2009 involving 10 international bodies doing 90 percent of the world’s

certifications. An unlikely diverse constituency, some say they are, with builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, elected officials and concerned citizens, teachers and students. FOR MORE INFORMATION www.cityflatshotel.com info@ciyflatshotel.com 616-796-2100 61 East 7th Street Holland MI 49423 Christine Tibbetts publishes travel destination features several times each month in the Tifton GA Gazette and Community Newspaper Holding Inc. News Service. She can be reached at tibbetts1@bellsouth.net. 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


The Amazing Charms Of this Paradise On the Water BY BARBARA BARTON SLOANE PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL SLOANE

Stepping into an ankle-deep puddle, I almost lost my footing and quickly had to grab the hand of an elderly gentleman who then ceremoniously led me onto a large wooden plank sitting atop several inches of water, courtesy of the Grand Canal. Walking the plank before I reached the hotel door, a fierce gust of wind blew off my hat and turned my umbrella into a bowl-shaped, useless thing. After this inauspicious start, if one were to look at me they’d see someone with eyes sparkling and a mouth turned upward in a silly grin. So why was I still smiling? It’s simple—I was in Venice, and I dare anyone, in any weather and under any circumstance, not to greet the sight of this wonder on the water without smiling. Impossible. Can’t be done. My venture into the Veneto region of Italy did, indeed, start off soggily, but soon the fabled sun that graces this region was out and my umbrella was in—back in my luggage, not to make another appearance for the rest of the trip. Once ensconced in my room at the Luna Hotel Baglioni, I was quickly transported into a Venetian dream with a window that looked out on a canal, water softly plashing against the hotel’s walls. That evening, my travel companions and I had a special treat awaiting us. We walked a short distance to Piazza San Marco and stood transfixed by a luminous silver sky, mauve clouds scudding quickly across the Campanile, and of course, ubiquitous grey pigeons swooping

visions OF veneto Juliet’s Balcony.


visions OF

veneto

Grand Canal, Venice.

overhead in gay greeting. We dined at the renowned Caffe Ristorante Quadri which dates to 1725. Over the years everyone from Stendhal, Proust, Wagner and Byron has dined here and in this pinch-myself moment, now me! CRUISING The best ride one will ever have and one of life’s great pleasures: plying the waters of the Grand Canal. I had the feeling I was in a living Canaletto painting, the sky an impossible blue and surrounded by ancient palazzos, their colors soft terra cotta, cream, gray and beige. This great road of water was filled with vaporetti, motorboats and gondolas, the boat moorings like peppermint sticks jutting up from the water - a scene that will thrill even the most jaded world traveler. One could say Venice has just about everything to wish for. Just about. Built on water, the city, of course, doesn’t have much greenery, trees, parks or gardens. Enter Certosa, an island situated a mere 15 minutes by ferry from Piazza San Marco. This verdant refuge TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

from the tourist-clogged streets of Venice is a tranquil escape. One night I stayed at the Certosa Hotel, a peaceful oasis in the lagoon. Certosa and its sister hotel/restaurant Venissa on the island of Mazzorbo, a few minutes by ferry from Certosa, are the creations of Gian Luca Bisol whose wine-producing family goes back to 1542. Both hotels’ restaurants are managed by the incomparable chef Paola Budel whose culinary offerings are delicious and memorable.

quired in 1905. Many locals believe that in the 19th century the house was a bordello, but I prefer to close my eyes and picture the dear girl leaning over her balcony, swooning over that Montague boy. A visit to the Villa Pisani, created in the 18th century, is one of the Veneto’s highlights. A wall of cypress trees created a cool and relaxing spot where we relaxed after having made the challenging hike up to what is called the Monster Balcony for an incomparable view of the city.

WHEREFORE ART THOU The city of Verona is 71 miles west of Venice, and is, of course, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A longforgotten editor of one of the Bard’s plays wrote: “Verona, so rich in real history has an even greater charm for those who would live in the poetry of the past.” Hummm - live in the poetry of the past - that’s my kind of neighborhood, and the past is ever present in this, one of the great cities of Italy. Our sightseeing took us, naturally, to Casa di Giulietta, a house the city ac-

PASSAGE TO PADUA This is a major art center of the Veneto. Standing below the imposing façade of Padua University, Italy’s second oldest, we learned that Dante and Galileo were once professors here. In the square, we heard a loud commotion, singing, shouting and laughing. Turns out it was a large group of the university’s students serenading a recent graduate in a traditional and bawdy fashion. The embarrassed girl was being marched through the square wearing a crazy costume, her head


Venice at twilight.


visions OF

veneto

Villa Pisana.

adorned with a shower cap, flippers on her feet, and carrying a sign that proclaimed her graduate status. The crowd sang something our guide loosely translated as “You’re a doctor now, big deal, go…….yourself!” All in good fun, but I suspect the graduate would be very happy when her “fun” was over. The modest Chapel of the Scrovegni is one of the best reasons to visit Padua. Sometime around 1305, the artist Giotto did several frescos on the Chapel’s walls, and we stood enthralled before one of his most awe-inspiring, “The Last Judgment.” AN ARCHITECTURAL DELIGHT In the 16th century, Vicenza was transformed into a virtual laboratory for the architectural experiments of Andrea di Pietro known as Palladio, one of the great architects of the High RenTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

aissance. Here we came upon the alabaster-white Basilica Palladiana shimmering in the sunlight. On our city tour, we were rendered speechless by one of Palladio’s greatest masterpieces, the Olympic Theater which was completed five years after the architect’s death in 1585. The trompe l’oeil renderings on stage are, themselves, worth a visit. MEDIEVAL MARVEL In Treviso we strolled through this well-preserved ancient city gaping at the fantastically frescoed houses. We sat on a bench by a slow-flowing canal and enjoyed a spectacular lunch at the Park Hotel Bolognese, a villa of the late 1800s. Viewing Dante’s Bridge, we were told it was so named because Dante actually referred to this town in his “Paradiso.”

ENCHANTMENT ENHANCED The treasures of the Veneto are many; its charms incalculable. However, choosing to visit this region of Italy with all that it offers can be daunting, with the worry that one will miss some dream-worthy site. The Italian Travel Promotion Council (ITPC) is an organization that represents 20 major U.S. tour operators working with Italy and is committed to giving American travelers the best possible experience. Suggestion: to ensure quality, reliability and value, when planning your trip be sure that your local travel agent partners with one of the 20 tour operators affiliated with the ITPC. IF YOU GO Italian Travel Promotion Council www.ItalianTravelPromotionCouncil.com Tel: 310-649-1684.


TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR


Horses, Jul eps, And Roses

Glory in Two Minutes at Derby 136 BY MICHAEL DWYER

The first turn at The Kentucky Derby. PHOTO COURTESY CHURCHILL DOWNS


“And they’re off!” PHOTO COURTESY CHURCHILL DOWNS

I can hear it now: “They’re in the starting gates … and they’re off!” Everything has led to this point: the breeding, the sales, the training, and the prep races. Finally, after thousands of contenders begin the year, only 20 may enter the starting gates on the first Saturday of May. It’s time for “the greatest two-minutes in sports.” It’s time for the Kentucky Derby. Over a decade ago, I started going to Louisville, KY to the famous racetrack Churchill Downs. I went for the party in the Infield. My younger self went to drink beer, flirt with girls, and stay up late—I didn’t know a thing about horses or the “Sport of Kings.” Eventually, I learned about horse racing and I found an appreciation for this massive event and the industry of thoroughbred horses. The Kentucky Derby is the race of TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

the year. Only the best 3-year-olds who have the highest graded earnings get a shot at the “Run for the Roses.” The annual race has been run consecutively since 1875 when Aristides won. The Derby is also the first leg of the Triple Crown Races. The Preakness (second leg) is held two weeks later in Baltimore, MD and the Belmont (third leg) is run three weeks after that on Long Island in New York. Only 11 horses hold the title of a Triple Crown winner. Affirmed was the last racehorse to achieve that honor in 1978. Prices for accommodations skyrocket for Derby weekend. Many of the hotels sell three-night minimum only packages well in advance. Two or three weeks before is the best time to pick up single night rooms, still at a high price, within 30 minutes of the track. Staying 45 minutes away will

give you a better rate and more options. If you go and like where you stay, book for next year at check-out. Between 150,000 and 160,000 race fans come on Derby day. The good seats sell out years in advance and it’s a difficult process to get on that waiting list. Your best bet is to show up the day-of and buy a $40 general admission ticket. Dress comfortablely with sensible shoes—there are very few places to sit. However, lawn chairs and blankets are allowed in the Infield. Some reserved seating is released prior to the event and scalpers are out in front as well. Either way you go, if you want a reserved seat, plan on at least $100 to get a so-so spot in the bleachers. I buy my $40 ticket and walk around the entire day. The Derby is full of colorful people and I like to see it all. Buy


Horses, Jul eps, And Roses THROW A DERBY PARTY If you can’t make it to Louisville, bring the party to you: n

Invite guests to dress up and ask the women to wear Derby hats

n

Serve Mint Juleps

n

Watch the Derby on TV

n

Decorate with roses

n

Print copies of My Old Kentucky Home to sing along with the TV

A memorial to 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in front of Churchill Downs. PHOTO BY MICHAEL DWYER

yourself the traditional drink of a Mint Julep (over 80,000 are sold Derby weekend) and do a tour of the Infield. College kids and young at heart cluster at turn three. Combine a frat party and Mardi Gras with a Slip ’N Slide, and that’s the scene at turn three. For a family-friendly Infield experience, stroll over to turn one. Still a party, this area offers the best chance to see the finish line with your general admission ticket. Races go off about once an hour throughout the day. The big race will be around 6 p.m. Buy a program when

you get there. It lists all the races and will teach you how to bet. If you are a novice to the sport, just pick a name you like and put the minimum bet of $2 on the horse to WIN. As the Derby race approaches, the crowd gets louder and louder. You can feel the energy around you. Talk of who will win floats around every corner. Jump in the conversation, listen to the plans, the strategy, and the “can’t lose” picks of the day. By Derby time I can offer a reason why every horse could win and why every horse could lose. The trumpet sounds the call to the


Ordering Mint Juleps on

2009 Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra,

Kentucky Oaks Day.

heads to the track to win The 2009 Kentucky Oaks.

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DWYER

PHOTO BY MICHAEL DWYER

post and the entire place erupts with joy and excitement. Everyone stands to sing My Old Kentucky Home. You are there with all walks of life. All here to witness history: some are wealthy heads of state, others are famous celebrities, and many just love the party. I grasp my betting tickets in one hand and a julep in the other. Butterflies race in my stomach like tiny colts running in a circle (or maybe it’s the hot sun and too many juleps). The horses parade in front of cheering fans (I wonder what the horses think). With each jockey on his or her mount, the horses load into the starting gates. “And they’re off!” The thunder of hooves race by my position near the fence line and I desperately try to follow the action on the big screens that are scattered all around. “Down the stretch they come,” echoes in my ears TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

as I sip the last of my julep and wait for the race to be official. Most years I just break even, but once in awhile I pay for the entire trip with my winnings! Most everyone will only remember the horse’s name. However, there are several winners today—the jockey, the trainer, and the owner all gather in the winner’s circle. The winning horse is draped in a garland of 564 roses that takes 12 hours to sew. The winning jockey receives a bouquet of 60 matching long stem roses. And a trophy goes to the owner. I spend at least three nights in Louisville. I suggest going to Churchill Downs on Friday (the day before Derby day) to see the Kentucky Oaks race. It’s the second biggest race that weekend and it’s for 3-year-old fillies. Last year, Rachel Alexandra won in style and went on to beat the boys in

“MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME” By Stephen Foster The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home, Tis summer, the people are gay; The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom While the birds make music all the day. The young folks roll on the little cabin floor All merry, all happy and bright; By’n by hard times comes a knocking at the door Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night! Weep no more my lady. Oh! Weep no more today! We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home For the old Kentucky home, far away.


The coveted trophies. PHOTO COURTESY CHURCHILL DOWNS

the Preakness. She also was named 2009 Horse of the Year. Friday and Saturday nights I patronize the Louisville bars—they’re open to 6 a.m. on Derby weekend—and are a big hit with the locals. On Saturday, I spend the entire day at the track. And then on Sunday, I go to the Kentucky Derby Museum. They offer a fantastic 360 degree film titled, The Greatest Race, which is an experience that virtually puts you at the previous year’s Derby. They offer two floors of Derby history with a friendly, handson approach. This classy and crazy event is in my blood and I attend each year. For you, if you have never been—go—it is a thrilling, must-see national gem. And maybe, it will get in your blood and you’ll go each year too. We can trade “can’t lose” picks over a few Mint Juleps.

IF YOU GO Churchill Downs 700 Central Ave., Louisville, KY 502-636-4400; www.churchilldowns.com Kentucky Oaks Day, April 30, 2010 $25 General Admission www.kentuckyoaks.com Kentucky Derby Day, May 1, 2010 $40 General Admission www.kentuckyderby.com Kentucky Derby Museum www.derbymuseum.org Research the Contenders www.bloodhorse.com Fantasy Horse Racing www.roadtotheroses.com

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


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ARTS & ARCHITECTURE

Vancouver’s Art Mecca

GRANVILLE ISLAND SOME OF THE FINEST GALLERIES IN NORTH AMERICA ARE IN B.C. Story and Photography By Michelle Newman

There’s no place else on earth like Granville

Fifty-seven artists’ studios and galleries are on Granville Island.

Island; a feast for the senses where art and fine food intersect. Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s greatest attractions and has earned a great deal of recognition. What was once a dilapidated industrial area in the 1960s was almost magically converted into a bustling, thriving arts center and gathering place. The transformation of this area has been enormously successful and brought a new energy to revitalize a dying area. Locals and visitors flock to Granville Island to enjoy shopping in the many art galleries and shops. The Public Market offers fresh produce, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, and delicious ethnic treats. Granville Island is full of life and energy, is a happening place, and a hub of activity. With over 10 million visitors and locals visiting annually, be sure to arrive early to find a parking spot on the weekend. On a sunny day, enjoy outdoor seating on the waterfront deck and watch colorful adorable toy-like water taxis shuttle passengers back and forth to the island. There’s tons to do on Granville Island and it’s easy to spend an entire day here. Eat your way around the world class Public Market. Shoppers will need lots of

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

time to check out 57 artists’ studios and galleries. Catch a live performance at one of the six performing art venues or at over a dozen theatre and festival production companies. Allow a minimum of four hours to get a good overview. If you’re in the mood for pastries, fresh salmon, pot pie, soup, exotic teas, ice cream, then start your tour in the Public Market. Perfect produce displayed beautifully like a still life composition, handdipped chocolates, artisan cheeses are just some of the goodies awaiting you en route to the ethnic food area. Stop at Edible British Columbia and check out their upscale gourmet products from B.C. and for a free taste of some of their regional specialties. After a nosh in the Public Market, it’s time to do some serious shopping and gallery hopping (hint: allow enough time to browse and make your lunch/snack selection as the choices are overwhelming). If you’re craving an art fix, you’re in luck. Granville Island is one of the premier art districts and has some of the finest galleries in North America. There nothing cutesy about the galleries and you won’t find any tchotchkes here. Watch artists at work and see the creative process in motion as art comes to life in their studios. Sophisticated high caliber crafts and real art are showcased in the nearly 60 top notch galleries and studio space offering everything from photography, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, wood crafts, mixed media, fine wearable art, paintings, to First Nations art. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as this is a pedestrian friendly area. Some of B.C.’s premier artists are represented at two terrific galleries: Circle Craft and Crafthouse Shop and Gallery. These galleries offer an excellent assortment of outstanding crafts like hand-painted


St. Jerome and Girolamo Petrobelli.


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ARTS & ARCHITECTURE

All the quaint features, from the Public Market to the transportation, help make Granville an amazing art destination.

silks, ceramics, handmade dolls, jewelry, handwoven baskets, metal work, and jewelry. Circle Craft is first class all the way and is known for showcasing some of the finest contemporary and edgy Canadian artists’ work. For wearable art I especially like Funk Shui. Jessica De Haas’ unique felted shawls, ponchos, jackets, and scarves are feather light and in gorgeous hand-dyed colors. Perfect for San Antonio winters without being heavy, bulky or cumbersome. Jessica’s creations are felted wool over a base of chiffon and very comfy to wear.

created from fine hand printed silk and cotton fabrics created in India, Indonesia, and other countries in addition to jewelry, accessories, and scarves. Embroidered, block printed, hand-woven, and naturally dyed textiles are featured at Maiwa Handprints. “Maiwa works directly with craftspeople to help create livelihoods and to sustain the voice of handcraft,” proudly claims owner Charlotte Kwon. Textile junkies have been gravitating to this upscale boutique featuring jackets, tops, scarves and yardage for years. In addition, there is also Maiwa Supply offering a

Frommer’s Guide to Vancouver listed Alarte Silks as the number one attraction on Granville Island. Izabela Sauer’s hand-painted silk scarves are a feast for the eyes. The designer also specializes in shibori dyed silks and scarves. Shibori is an ancient traditional Japanese textile dyeing and pleating process which adds a sculptural three dimensional element to her silks. Amity Design Studio features Jelena Corak’s hand dyed sheer silks that seem to float in a luscious array of rich colors. Ponchos, wraps and scarves made of shimmering silk and chiffon look good on any figure type and can be slipped over all black and you have a smashing ensemble. Easy to wear and pack make this a “must have” travel accessory. Maiwa Handprints offers urban ethnic clothing

full array of exquisite designer yarns, fiber arts supplies like natural dyes, handmade Japanese brushes, and instructional books. Hard to find dyes like indigo and cochineal are available. Maiwa holds a series of workshops every year taught by world class artisans and every other year hosts a textile symposium with international guest speakers. For more information, visit www.tourismvancouver.com.

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

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 michellenewmandesigns@hotmail.com.


* FORGET KUMBAYA: FAMILY

Lego Atlantis Fantasy Camp Just Clicks THE ULTIMATE SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS...AND ADULTS. By Kim Foley MacKinnon

Family vacations can be tricky. How to Kids get to interact with dolphins.

please the adults and the kids, plus balance together time with some alone time can make your vacation seem like, well, work. Some things your family members all probably agree upon in a destination may include beaches,

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

pools, sun ‌ Legos. Sure, Legos and kids go hand-in-hand like sand and surf, and really, it was just a matter of time before someone combined them. The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas made the first move and brilliantly partnered with Lego Systems to offer the brand-


ABOVE AND RIGHT: Even kids need a break from the sun. The Lego Fantasy Camp offers plenty of distractions. RIGHT, BELOW: Overview of the Atlantis.

new Lego Atlantis Fantasy Camp this summer. Three five-day sessions, July 12-16, July 19-23 and July 26-30, for kids ages 6-12, are available. The camp includes, among other things, beach Olympics, a resort-wide scavenger hunt, access to the new 8,000square-foot Atlantis Kid’s Adventures (AKA) club, daily lunch, an ice cream social, a shallow water dolphin interaction, and most importantly, kids get to build and learn from a Lego Master Builder (there are only 40 in the world!). Of course, they’ll go home with all sorts of Lego paraphernalia too. Adults can enjoy some guilt-free time soaking up the sun, but if you grew up playing with Legos, you may just be a little envious of your offspring. Book an Atlantis Lego Fantasy Camp session at www. atlantis.com/promotions/legocamp. The $425 camp fee is only for the camp; accommodations are extra. Kim Foley MacKinnon is the editor of TravelWorld International Magazine, as well as The Savvy Factory and a freelancer for a number of publications. Contact her at kim@natja.com or visit her website at www.kfmwriter.com.


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FAMILY TRAVEL SENIOR TRAVEL

Coast to Coast

ADVENTURES CRUISING, HISTORIC INNS, ZEB’S GENERAL STORE AND FLYING FISH By Sandra Kennedy

Do you like viewing humpback whales,

at the top of the list for these adventures. Active mature travelers are exploring despite the economy, whether through voluntourism, experiential learning, spiritual vacations or trips with grandchildren. Your choices are endless, though at times more challenging with life’s changes. Experiencing the following destinations provided me with exhilarating experiences and cherished memories.

Foghorn-like noises followed as three humpback whales dove beneath the surface. One by one, their tails rose and slapped the surface. My husband and I spent 8-days on the 145-foot Safari Explorer, a ship belonging to American Safari Cruises. Due to its smaller size, we inched into narrow passages; inlets and hard-to-reach locations. Its flexible schedule allowed “stop everything” for sightings of whales, bald eagles, sea lions, bear and calving glaciers. Sharing this experience with twenty people instead of hundreds, created camaraderie with crew and passengers. By anchoring at night, we didn’t miss anything during the day. All-inclusive, wallets never surfaced for our social hour, gourmet meals, open bar, skiffs, kayaks, guided hikes and a free massage. A sauna, hot tub, exercise equipment and morning yoga were available on-deck. Cozy staterooms had heated bathroom floors, Tempur-Pedic beds, signature soaps and amenities. In case of medical emergencies, all boats carry satellite communication systems to reach the U.S. Coast Guard. Helicopter and float planes are available to assist in an evacuation. Medivac jets are available in S.E. Alaska and Seattle. Trauma kits and defibrillators are carried aboard and medical service first responders can reach doctors via phone, radio or satellite.

ALASKA

MAINE – ROCKLAND

“Starboard, humpback whales,” said Captain Scottie over the intercom. All 20 guests abandoned activities such as brushing teeth, pouring the first cup of coffee and raced to the bow. Huge sprays of vapor plume shot into the air creating a loud “whooshing sound”.

Golden leaves underfoot, the crisp autumn air colored my cheeks as I walked smack into a Norman Rockwell painting… Well, kind of… My four-day visit to mid-coast Rockland was filled with small town charms. Local townspeople welcomed me with gen-

staying in 19th century historic inns by night and windjamming by day, cross-country skiing in stunning surroundings or dodging flying fish? Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire and Washington should be

September offers its bargain package, “Seniority Has Its Privileges” for travelers 50+. It includes a reduced accommodation rate, several attractions, an Inn-to-Inn tour, ferry ride and a driving map to six local lighthouses.

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR


uine smiles and “Hi, how are you? Within walking distance of town are the four “Historic Inns of Rockland.” You can’t miss with choices such as the LimeRock Inn, Berry Manor, Granite Inn and Captain Lindsey House. Each is one-of-a-kind in décor and history, yet similar in luxury, homemade breakfasts and warm hospitality. Working together, the Inns contribute to the community and offer special events such as: “6th Annual Pies on Parade;” “Sleep Inn, Dine Out;” “Lighthouses, Lobster & Luxury” “Land ‘N’ Sea Scape;” followed by “Quiet Season Romance & Museum;” “Festival of Lights;” “Car-Pooling is so Cool” and “Estrogen Escape”. September offers its bargain package, “Seniority Has Its Privileges” for travelers 50+. It includes a re-

duced accommodation rate, several attractions, an Inn-to-Inn tour, ferry ride and a driving map to six local lighthouses. Walk Rockland’s main street lined with boutique and funky shops as well as numerous art galleries and restaurants. Visit the renowned Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, Lighthouse museum, Puffin Project Center, Rockland’s lighthouse, lobster boats, windjammers and the Owl Transportation Museum. Feeling hungry? Try exceptionally fine cuisine at the Lily Bistro, In Good Company and the eclectic Café Miranda. Wheel chair accessible for attractions and restaurants, except for the windjammers and Historic Inns.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, LEFT: The Safari Explorer sails Alaska; The LimeRock Inn in Rockland, Maine; The Cabernet Inn of New Hampshire; A luxury suite at the Cabernet; Mt. Washington Valley.

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


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FAMILY TRAVEL SENIOR TRAVEL

ABOVE: Zeb’s General Store in New Hampshire is filled with oldfashioned candies, clothes and nostalgia.

NEW HAMPSHIRE – MT. WASHINGTON VALLEY AND NORTH CONWAY If I had time, I would have taken the Conway Scenic train ride. Stepping into its station was a visit to the past. A short walk away, Zeb’s General Store is filled with old-fashioned candies, clothes and nostalgia. Don’t miss the Mt. Valley Weather Museum with hands-on exhibits. Mt. Washington Valley is a year-round destination with specials for seniors. Its seven ski areas and six Nordic centers offer discounts. Other choices include snowshoeing, sleigh rides, dog sledding or perhaps a trip to the treeline of Mt. Washington on Auto Road’s SnowCoach for scenic views. In case you enjoy shopping, outlets such as Eddie Bauer are located in another area of Mt. Washington

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

Valley. Restaurants, a wine-tasting bar and lodges are plentiful. North Conway is a short drive away. Here, I discovered a great combination with the Cabernet Inn and 1785 Inn, within about 100- steps of each other. The Cabernet Inn is charming. Its owners and innkeepers, Jessica and Bruce, made me feel like family. Between my cozy room, delicious homemade breakfast and hospitality, it was difficult to leave. For dinner, I took those 100-steps to reach the welllit historic 1785 Inn. Sitting near the fireplace, I savored rack of lamb and a caesar salad, which was prepared at my table. My day’s finale was a “French Connection,” after-dinner drink. Wheelchair access in 1785 Inn and Mt. Washington Valley’s main street.


WASHINGTON – SEATTLE Fish fly at the famed Pike Street Market. Check it out. This world class, Emerald City, supports hundreds of attractions, such as: The Space Needle, Pike Street Market, the waterfront, Pioneer Square, Seattle Center and International District. In addition, the Chittenden Locks, Museum of Flight, Seattle Art Museum, Aquarium, Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame are extraordinary To get the most for your money, consider purchasing a Seattle City Pass for admission into most of Seattle’s Attraction. In addition, the Go Seattle Card admits you into 30 attractions and tours. The Seattle Super Saver provides package benefits in 60 of Seattle’s hotels. Along with visiting attractions, I had a grand stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Its location is terrific since it is within walking distance of downtown, the waterfront, Space needle and Lake Union. Their friendly staff, rooms with floor to ceiling windows and luxurious amenities contribute to the Pan Pacific’s understated elegance and comfort.

IF YOU GO ALASKA American Safari Cruises www.amsafari.com Tel: 888-862-8881 or 206-284-0300 MAINE Historic Inns of Rockland www.HistoricInnsofRockland.com LimeRock Inn www.LimeRockInn.com Tel: 800-546-3762 or 207-594-2257 Berry Manor www.berrymanorinn.com Tel: 800-774-5692 or 207-596-7696 Granite Inn www.oldgraniteinn.com Tel: 800-386-9036 or 207-594-9036 Captain Lindsey House www.lindseyhouse.com Tel: 800-523-2145 or 207-596-795

The SeaStar Restaurant & Raw Bar has the finest cuisine, especially for sushi lovers and is located adjacent to the hotel. Both are wheelchair accessible. The Pan Pacific Hotel and SeaStar Restaurant are near to Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and Vida Spa. If you want to be pampered at the Spa, I highly recommend the “Eye Collagen” and “Anti-Aging” facial treatment followed by a sauna. Whether you choose a small-ship cruise; a taste of Norman Rockwell; a bed & breakfast within 100steps of gourmet food or city attractions along with a five-star hotel and restaurant experience…Live it up...Enjoy! 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.

Lily Bistro www.lilybistromaine.com Tel: 207-594-4141 In Good company www.ingoodcompanymaine.com Tel: 207-593-9110 Café Miranda www.cafemiranda.com Tel: 207-594-2034 Tourist Information Maine Office of Tourism www.visitmaine.com Tel: 1-888-624-6345 NEW HAMPSHIRE Cabernet Inn www.cabernetinn.com Tel: 800-866-4704 or 603-356-4704 1785 Inn www.the1785inn.com Tel: 800-421-1785 or 603-356-9025

Tourist Information Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau www.mtwashingtonvalley.org Tel: 1-877-948-6867 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON Pan Pacific Hotel www.panpacific.com/seattle/ overview.html Tel: 1-206-264-8111 SeaStar Restaurant & Raw Bar www.seastarrestaurant.com Tel: 206-462-4364 Vida Spa www.vidawellness.com Tel: 1-888-865-2630 Tourist Information Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau Website: www.visitseattle.org Tel: 206-461-5805

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


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SPORTS & SIGHTS

High Spirits At Michigan’s First

CERTIFIED ORGANIC RESTAURANT FEEDING YOUR MIND AND NOURISHING YOUR BODY THE RIGHT WAY. Story and Photography By Michael Dwyer

Mind, Body & Spirits is Rochester, Michigan’s first certified organic restaurant.

Food should taste good, as well as be good for you. I have been eating mostly organic for years now and I can tell the difference. There are many restaurants serving organic meals, but very few that are certified organic. Only one in five states offers a certified organic restaurant. And the Midwest is fortunate to have one in Michigan. Mind, Body & Spirits restaurant is different; it is nourishment done the right way. Michigan’s first certified organic restaurant is in downtown Rochester. Yes, Michigan has a Rochester too. Mind, Body & Spirits (MBS) opened its doors on Halloween 2008 and became certified USDA Organic a year later by Oregon Tilth, a third-party nonprofit organization. “An eco-conscious restaurant serving local and organic meals in a casual inspired atmosphere,” is printed at the top of the MBS menu. MBS is nearly 100 percent organic and uses over 90 percent local ingredients. For instance, the pepperoni

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

and portabella wood oven flatbread uses pepperoni from Graham’s Organic Meats and provolone is from Oliver Farms—two local Michigan businesses. Not only does Mind, Body & Spirits provide a sustainable restaurant with local and organic food, they make it very easy for anyone with food allergies or other dietary needs (or concerns) to eat the way they want. While meat is on the menu, MBS has a variety of options for every taste. A dietary guide is listed on the menu to help guests choose meals that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free. A giant list of organic and local beverages gives you a wonderful selection of coffees, teas, and sodas, as well as hand-crafted beer and wine. MBS also has a full-service bar with liquors, such as Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin and Papagayo Organic White Rum. Factoid cards about the restaurant are on every table, plus the staff really knows their stuff. If you ask as I did, they will tell you all about the ecofriendly environment you are sitting in. A completely renovated 100-year-old structure (one of the finest brick buildings in the county) now uses the latest green-energy innovations. Geothermal heat pumps are used to heat and cool the building and Trombe Walls are used to help store and displace the radiant heat from sun-facing parts of the building. Solar panels on the roof supply electricity and hot water to the restaurant. And Energy Recovery Ventilators are used to recycle and recover a large portion of the air while still providing clean, fresh air to the patrons. Looking closely at the restaurant, you learn the floor is made from bamboo and recycled cork, the table tops are made from compressed sunflower


MBS has its own greenhouse (complete with a rain-water collection system), Energy Recovery Ventilators, and Geothermal heat pumps that are used to heat and cool the building.

MBS can tout Best Green Restaurant for 2009 and Best New Vegetarian Restaurant for 2010.

The greenhouse supplies herbs for the restaurant.


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SPORTS & SIGHTS

Solar panels on the roof supply electricity and hot water to the restaurant.

seeds, and the outdoor patio deck is constructed with recycled milk jugs and tires; they really have thought of everything in an eco-conscience manner. Mind, Body & Spirits continues to gain attention from local and national celebrities and has received local awards, such as Best Green Restaurant 2009 and Best New Vegetarian Restaurant 2010. You may think this type of business would do better in California. However, in Michigan it is one of a kind. Michigan is in an economic slump, more so than the rest of the country. MBS has provided over 30 new jobs, preserved an historic building, and leads the way for sustainable education in the area. MBS not only trains their staff to understand the preparation of organic food and the way green-energy works in the restaurant, they also have educational programs for school field trips and other groups interested in what they do. It is a working lab with a hands-on approach to learning. For example, take a walk into their beautiful, on-site greenhouse. The greenhouse supplies herbs for the restaurant and rain-water is collected to keep the thirsty plants alive. Also, while in the greenhouse, check-out the bio-digester. It’s a large machine that grinds up all the food waste and other biodegradable materials. It then dehydrates them into clean and organic compost, some of which is given back to the local farms where MBS buys many of their food products. Mike Pleze, owner of MBS, says that the restaurant “serves many purposes; it helps the environment, it helps your health, and it helps our economy.” I am pleased to find out that many of the food choices will change eight times per year. Pleze says the menu will reflect the time of the seasons.

McWilliams replied, “If I was asked that a year ago, I would have said, sourcing enough products was our biggest challenge. Now that we’ve been open for a year and half, we have found plenty of organic products and are able to get it easily. Now our focus has shifted and our biggest challenge has changed. Now I’m trying to make organic food more affordable for our guests. Although we’ve found plenty of food that’s organic, many of the items are only available from only one company which makes it hard to get competitive pricing. We need to be competitive with restaurants serving conventional food; I don’t want people to have to sacrifice eating healthy because of the price. There will always be a price difference between conventional and organic but I’m going to narrow the gap.” The strict guidelines of handling, storing and preparing every product that comes into the restaurant to be Certified Organic reveals itself with smell and taste. You know the food is a high quality, fresh product. I asked what was in store for MBS in 2010 and they responded by saying: “This year we will continue to work with local farmers to grow and store more produce so we can use more local product in the non-growing season. Last summer we were over 90 percent local and were able to get produce into the first week of February. Although it was a small amount, the farmers that did try storing through the winter so they could supply us in the cold months were very happy. They are committed to doing more this year and maybe we won’t have a gap at all with local produce. We will continue to work with our local farmers and build a network that we believe will, one day, provide us with all of our organic needs year-round, without going out of state.” IF YOU GO Mind, Body & Spirits INSPIRED DINING 301 South Main Street Rochester, MI 48307 248-651-3663; www.mindbodyspirits.com Michael Dwyer is a travel columnist, freelance writer, and broadcast journalist living in southeast Michigan. He writes

CHALLENGES AND NEXT STEPS I inquired with the restaurant about what the challenges of being organic were and Chef Stewart TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

about travel, relationships, and dating. He is founder of the Rochester Writers’ Conference and can be reached at michael@rochesterwriters.com.


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GADGETS WE LIKE

Must-Have Accessories

FOR YOUR LUGGAGE ANYTHING TO HELP GET YOU THROUGH THE AIRPORT EFFICIENTLY

nifty nest for your laptop This smart-looking, compact, checkpoint-friendly Taipan Lift Laptop Bag from Booq has a waterrepellant coating on the exterior, opens 30 degrees to slip your laptop in and out, or 180 degrees for more access. A fully removable shoulder strap allows for briefcase or over-the-shoulder carrying. It has a large front pocket for boarding pass, wallet, water bottle, and other quick access items. A back pocket has a zipper on the bottom, so you can slip it over a carry-on bag easily. Best of all, the interior has multiple slip pockets and a densely padded Soft Nylex lined laptop compartment. www.booqbags.com

pardon me, your gürdle is showing This 3-in-1 luggage strap helps travelers keep it all packed in. It can firmly secure a carry-on bag on top of a roller bag (freeing your hands); or use the colored strap to ID your luggage quickly at baggage claim; or use it to keep a bag closed as a compression strap for over-packed suitcases. If all of these sound appealing, you’ll probably need more than one! It comes in six bold colors – green, gray, pink, black, orange and blue. It will soon will be offered in custom colors and you’ll be able personally accessorize it with initials, logos or your favorite design. www.thegurdle.com

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


Ways to Help (Or Infuriate)

A TOURISM PRO LESSONS TO LEARN FOR A TRAVEL WRITER By Arline Zatz

As a travel writer, I frequently rely on tourism professionals for information. Curious as to what they require, I queried several to learn what they need and appreciate from journalists and photographers. All were unanimous in the importance of receiving tear sheets, and a few discussed some of their good—and bad—experiences with writers. “Honesty is appreciated,” said Jay Humphreys (Communications Director/St. Augustine, Ponte

Vedra & The Beaches V&CB). “We don’t mind if a spouse or significant other accompanies the writer, but please don’t tell us the companion is an experienced travel photographer. Sometimes we spend time and effort setting up photo opportunities only to find the ‘photographer’ forgot to bring a camera! The ideal writer comes to us with a definite assignment, is a professional and an affable person. We provide a form for writers to complete well in ad-

ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

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FAMILY TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT

TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR


vance of their arrival so we can learn how better to meet their needs and to know a little more about them and their writing experience. One of the best experiences we’ve had was with a writer and photographer team. They had an assignment from Coastal Living and covered our holiday Night of Lights. Their five-page article appeared in the magazine in time to get people excited about coming here for the holidays. However, the worst experience was with a travel writer who came from New Zealand, supposedly on assignment. It turned out that he had arranged the whole thing so he could have a liaison with a woman in Florida that he had met online!” When requesting a press trip, Susan Wilcox, (VP of Communications/California Travel & Tourism Commission) appreciates when writers “send general information about themselves; the assignment publication; past articles produced; circulation and ad value of their outlets, and anything specific to their story.” One of our best experiences notes Wilcox was “when we put together a press trip with 12 journalists from 10 different countries to offer a unique perspective of California. The theme was centered on Green and Sustainable offerings. Though each writer was on assignment for a different publication they enjoyed being the only journalist from their respective country.” Pierre Leduc (Media Relations Officer, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa) relates how “troublesome it is when writers call at the last possible hour for information they think will take only a minute to prepare when, in reality, it’s more complex since I must consult our experts on Canadian military history. In order to better anticipate their needs, writers should tell us the publication assigned to. We’re always delighted to show off our fine museum.” Bob Clifford (Pres./CEO, Clearwater, Florida’s Regional Chamber of Commerce) prefers when “writers keep an open mind for information that we share, rather than have preconceived notions. We request their website, memberships and prior publications. When we devote significant time and resources to a writer and they, or their editor, decides not to go forward with none or much less coverage than was initially presented, it is disappointing.” Sarah Baker Hansen’s (Media Relations Coordinator/Nebraska Div. of Travel and Tourism) pet peeve is “writers who don’t follow through. It takes time and effort to provide information, so deadlines

should be included with a window of time so I can respond thoroughly; the name of the publication and their goals for the story.” Sometimes, when a writer leaves a cell phone message, “The transmission quality may be poor,” explains Robin Jacobson (PR Manager, San Juan Islands WA. Visitors Bureau). “This makes it impossible for the person on the receiving end to understand the number, so a URL for the website should also be left, or the call followed by e-mail with deadline noted. Our staff can then get the contact information from the website. And, it’s crucial to know specs for images. A request to ‘send as hi-res as you have’ is not very workable since many images are hires (300 dpi) up to only 4x6 inches. That may be enough for some purposes, while other publications will require hi-res at 5x7 or 8x10. Also, to say ‘send a bunch of what you’ve got’ is too vague. Requesting a rough number of images and desired subjects or niches is something that gets much faster attention.” Jacobson urges writers “to get our website, name and phone number right in the article. It’s surprising how many writers don’t fact-check or they come up with outdated information despite of what is provided to them in the bureau’s e-mail signatures, on our websites and in our media kits.” Her best experiences have been “with writers who give as much lead time as possible, who are genuinely pleasant people, are organized and thoughtful with follow-up clips and thanks.” Marissa Butler’s (PR Director, Bowling Green Area C&V Bureau, KY), notes she has often “spent hours compiling a reply, carefully touching upon all our attractions and providing historic overviews to have only one short sentence about our biggest attraction end up in print. Occasionally, this becomes a positive as it allows me the opportunity to throw in several mini-pitches of our offerings that may lead the writer to an interest that is completely unrelated to the original query. Always send the circulation figures of the publication or the unique visits of a website along with the request, as it “helps to gauge the priority level and greatly assists when compiling our monthly reports. Writers shouldn’t say ‘Your destination is to be featured in a publication’ – when the only thing included is a city statistic along with dozens of others in a chart along with maybe a phrase or two in the accompanying story!” Just as Katie Harrington (PR Mgr, Lake Charles/SW 10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


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FAMILY TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT LA CVB) wants arrival and departure time, date, preferred accommodations, and story angle, “Requests for cruise information, according to Sarah Scoltock (Holland America Line, PR Manager),“is rarely a problem, but the more details on deadlines and specifics makes it easier to quickly provide information. I am often targeting specific demographics and/or geographical areas for different tours, so it helps if I’m sent information on the writer’s outlets’ demographics, circulation, etc., and how it connects with our typical guest demographics. It’s tough when a writer doesn’t understand that we must evaluate requests from a business prospective. We aren’t being mean, but are looking for the greatest value in relationships for both parties.” Tourism reps, including Nancy Hamilton (Communications Director/Lee County, FL V&CB) occasionally encounter irresponsible writers, or worse. She recalls receiving a last-minute request from a documentary producer asking for assistance with a travel film. “After helping with accommodations, scouting, interviews, b-roll filming, etc., the film crew left our area. Later, we discovered we had hosted a man on Michigan’s Most Wanted list for parole violation and criminal sexual conduct in Ontario. We are now assisting with an international criminal investigation.” A “Request for Media Assistance” form, available online, is required by the Long Island CVB & Sports Commission. “When asked for complimentary accommodations,” Kristen Matejka (Director of Marketing & Communications) says, “It helps to secure same if I know the hotel will be mentioned in the article, if the writer is on assignment, and when the article will run. We appreciated a writer who came with a clear idea about her angle, and did some research beforehand so it was easy to give her information, recommendations, directions, complimentary admissions, and contacts for her trip since she was focused. Later, we received a thank you note and a copy of the story. Our worst experience was with a writer who came to write a story on kayaking and requested all sorts of extravagant amenities. She didn’t have a clear direction, and didn’t give us the courtesy of a reply from her in my attempts to follow up.” Southwest Airlines PR Rep Ashley Rogers likes “when writers do a little research before calling, state the information needed, who they want to interview, and have a specific deadline. I’m happy to TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.2 MAR.APR

fill gaps in information, but a lot of basic information is on our web site. “I love it when travel writers utilize a GPS unit during their visit,” says Joel Cliff (Media Relations Mgr/PA Dutch C&VB). “The amount of time it saves us in preparing for their visit is significant, and thus can be spent on more productive tasks.” Dee Grossman (Exec. director/Tuscarawas County C&VB, Ohio) dislikes when a writer calls, asks for specific information and needs it NOW. “We love to help, but sometimes our schedule doesn’t allow for immediate turn around. And as our budgets and staff continue to shrink, this will become more problematic as time goes on. One of the best writers we’ve worked with sent us a lead-time of one week, was pleasant to work with, and sent a thank you note. Negative experiences aren’t the norm, but one occurred on an all expense paid FAM tour for writers and photojournalists. We took them everywhere, put them in a nice hotel and paid for meals. The photographer sent us two pictures he had taken along with a bill if we wanted to use the photo!” Brenda Krainik (Director of Marketing, Green Bay C&VB, WIS) needs to know “the publication, topic, audience, and if the information will be used in multiple stories. I can then choose the most pertinent venues to visit, and sometimes the type of story determines the type of hotel I supply. My best experience was with a writer who made the trek from California to Wisconsin, journeyed throughout the state visiting the best steakhouses, admiring the countryside, and researched the opportunities for small aircraft pilots to land at our airports. His topics were diverse and, in the end, he used all the information he gathered in three different stories. From a small CVB/s perspective, it was a very worthwhile FAM trip to host.” 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.


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BOOK STORE Waltzing Australia

Boston Baby: A Field Guide for Urban Parents

Cynthia Clampitt

Kim Foley MacKinnon

The awardwinning travel narrative which recounts the author's six-month, 20,000-mile journey around and across the land Down Under, offers a vivid portrayal of Australia, its history and legends, its wonders, its people, and its enduring beauty. Price: $19.99 Available at: www.amazon.com

This diaper-sized volume is jam packed with valuable resources and information that all Boston parents need, with hot tips from parenting experts and essential details on museums, theaters, classes, and play spaces. Price: $17.95 Available at: www.unionparkpress.com

Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii: Her Epic Journey

Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler

Linda Ballou

Gary Lee Kraut

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

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

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

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

Promote Your Book in the TravelWorld International Book Store! Now you can promote your book in the TWI Book Store. Let fellow travelers and readers worldwide know what you’ve published. To request rates, place your order or gather more information, contact: librarian@natja.org

10.2 MAR.APR / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


Profile for Newman Grace Inc.

TravelWorld Green Travel Mar.Apr 10  

Green Travel Issue: TravelWorld International Magazine, Travel Where The Experts Love To Go!. TWI is the only online travel magazine featuri...

TravelWorld Green Travel Mar.Apr 10  

Green Travel Issue: TravelWorld International Magazine, Travel Where The Experts Love To Go!. TWI is the only online travel magazine featuri...

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