TravelWorld Family Travel Jun.Jul.Aug 09

Page 1


the family issue 10 TRIPS FOR


In The United Kingdom SNEAK A PEAK AT


juggling THE JOB





Cleveland ROCKED!


the family issue





14 TRIPLE DUTCH TREAT Amsterdam, Delft and the Hague BY NANCY PISTORIUS

20 10 UNDER 10 Suggestions to engage kids under the age of 10 (or just your inner 10-year-old) BY ROBIN ESROCK



COLUMNS 4 6 7 33


72 Hours In The City Built On Rock And Roll



Magnificent Mar-A-Lago /




Slime Will Bring Us Together /




Big-League Teams Take Long Look At Las Vegas /



Time Travelling In The Big Apple /




Family Friendly Fun On Florida’s Space Coast /




Do You Recycle Your Work? /







Have Kids?

PLEASE TRAVEL! Blistering heat and hot cocoa in a motel room. These are the earliest memories I have of vacation. I was four. It was 1969. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas was but a small regional airport. The drive-up motel that we stayed at was right near a runway. We needed to be near the airport so Dad and my brothers could watch the airplanes take off. Dad is a bit of an aviation nut. Mom and Dad were exhausted after driving four kids in the 1965 Chrysler station wagon 51⁄2 hours through the midday desert heat from Los Angeles. I remember the awful July heat and the wonderful motel room. I hated being outside by the pool with Mom. My feet burned. I wanted the cool shade of the room. Besides, there was hot cocoa in the room with funny pleated paper cups that you could blow into a puffy pillow when you were done. I have no recollection of what else we did. But it was also the last vacation we ever took as a family. Then my grandparents took me on vacation when I was 13. A week-long bus tour up the West Coast. I was the youngest participant by 50 years and doted on by all. I experienced Hyatt Hotels, first-class restaurants, tipping bell-hops and the thrill of seeing new cities. I was hooked. Traveling opened up a magical world for me and I credit my grandparents for opening that door. It made me realize that the world was not contained to my little white-bread town in north Los Angeles county. It was vast and colorful. My husband and I travel with our 9-year-old daughter all the time. We’ve done so since she was a year old. She loves it. Of course, for her, the best part of the all our journeys are the hotels. But the lessons she is learning are priceless, as are the memories we’re making for all of us. If you have kids, you can and should travel with them. They will do better in school. They will do better socially. They will be better leaders. They will have amazing memories and dreams. How can you not give that to your children?

Jerri Jerri Hemsworth Publisher E: B:





Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Drop us a line at Travelworld International Magazine by emailing




Cleveland certainly rocked! Our annual conference, held this year June 2-5, was a great chance to make new friends and reconnect with old, as well as enjoy some stellar speakers and professional development seminars. Exploring the charms of the city was a large part of the conference and I look forward to seeing all the stories resulting from the visit. I came away from Cleveland energized with the enthusiasm many of you expressed to me about the direction the magazine is taking (as well as a new appreciation for beef-cheek pierogis—delicious!). Look for more new ideas in the future, and hopefully, more NATJA members contributing. This issue celebrates family travel. Our cover story by Daniel Lee (page 8) details the crazy juggling act travel writers often perform with their families, trying to combine business and pleasure, especially with kids who don’t quite understand the difference. Robin Esrock (page 20) gives us 10 destinations perfect for kids under age 10, a great jumping off point for anyone looking to broaden their kid’s horizons. Nancy Pistorius (page 14) tells us why Amsterdam, Delft, and The Hague are perfect family destinations and we can enjoy a classic road trip on Wisconsin’s Highway 35 with Lisa Loucks Christenson (page 24). Janet and Stuart Wilson (page 28) let us peek over their shoulders as they explore their family’s genealogy in the UK, and as always, our columnists offer fascinating insight on everything from how to recycle your work to touring New York’s Lower East Side to a behind-the-scenes peek of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. For my part, I share a piece about how slime, Spongebob, and waterslides can bring you closer to your child, with only a little of your parental authority in disarray. Dignity is a small price to pay for serious bonding and there’s no better way to shed our everyday selves, and roles, than to get out and explore. Happy and safe travels!

Kim Submission?

Kim Foley MacKinnon Editor-in-Chief E: B:

Submit story and photography pitches to Do not submit images unless requested.


Look for more new ideas—including blogs, starting with mine and the publisher's this issue—in the future, such and hopefully, more NATJA members contributing.

The Benefits of Being a NATJA Member Travelworld International Magazine is the official magazine 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.

Vice President, Marketing Contributing Writers

Brian Hemsworth Lisa Loucks Christenson Robin Esrock Daniel Lee Nancy Pistorius Janet Wilson Stuart Wilson

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A S S I G N M E N T :

Behind the Scenes of a Working Family Vacation STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIEL LEE

It was a great idea! Take my wife, Melissa, and kids, Caroline 11, and Christopher, 8, along on a writing trip. We’d spend spring break exploring the Southeast coast, and along the way I’d pick up material for a couple of travel assignments. How could it go wrong? A week later we pulled into The Cloister Resort on Sea Island, Georgia, destination of presidents and foreign statesmen. A flying squad of bellmen and parking valets snatched open our minivan doors and there we sat, blinking amidst a settling debris-cloud of laundry, DVD boxes, broken souvenirs and fast food sacks. A half-empty Pringle’s can fell out and rolled across the cobbled porte cochere with a forlorn, hollow rattle. Judging from the staff’s faces, this was a new experience for them. For us, it was standard procedure. The trip grew out of two assignments: one for a piece on lighthouses for the Nashville Tennessean and another on coastal resorts offering special programs for kids and families that would run in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The plan was for us to start with Savannah and Tybee Island in Georgia and work our way south, stopping over at Daufuskie Island, St. Simon’s Island, Sea Island, and ending up at Jekyll Island. Along the TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

way we’d see the sights and I’d see to the things you do on assignment: photos, local color and quotes from regular folks and resort staffers. Visitors to Savannah, Ga., founded in 1733, will be familiar with its lush selection of architectural and historical attractions and the lovely garden squares bursting in early spring with floral beauty. We were eager to get out in it; I had my camera charged up, lenses cleaned, extra memory cards ready to fill with great shots of horse-drawn carriages, wrought-iron embellishments and sun-washed southern scenes. That’s when the weather turned. A low, gray ceiling descended, intermittent rain kept us dodging from awning to overhang, a cold wind sprang up and moods sank. On a regular writing trip, one deals with bad weather by attending to other matters. You de-emphasize the photography, work the indoor venues and let your writer’s imagination color in the gray sights you’re actually seeing. Kids don’t do that very well. They did enjoy walking through the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, part of the 1835 railroad shops spared by Union General William T. Sherman at the end of his March to the Sea. The kids climbed on an-

g g u l j g in the job and kids

Even on the job, there’s time for horsing around with the family, as in this quiet beach ride on Daufuskie Island. Daufuskie, the largely undeveloped setting of Pat Conroy’s novel The Water Is Wide, is accessible only by ferry from Savannah, Ga., or Hilton Head Island, S.C., which is visible across Calibogue Sound in the background.

juggling the job and kids

tique train cars and yard engines and looked on curiously as caterers transformed the old roundhouse into the scene of a fancy fundraising dinner later that evening. We also made a circuit of the historic district on a stopand-go trolley tour, which because of the weather, was jam-packed by tourists who would otherwise have been on foot. But their patience thinned dangerously when I had to chat with other visitors—the couple sharing a waffle cone with their dog outside Leopold’s Ice Cream (a historic district landmark since 1919), young couples along the Savannah riverfront, street musicians. Like a lot of folks, kids think one interview should be plenty, not realizing that regular people aren’t fluent in “quotespeak” like the politicians they see on the evening news. “Dad’s talking to another saxophone player,” my 11-year-old daughter sighed as I held up progress yet again. The weather finally cleared, and we drove out to Tybee Island to climb the lighthouse. Later we stopped at Civil War-era Fort Pulaski. There, to Christopher’s delight, we pretended to fire enormous cannons at defenseless Tybee Island just across the marshes, explored the imposing battlements and watched a musket demonstration by a historical re-enactor. Between Savannah and Hilton Head Island, you’ll find largely undeveloped Daufuskie Island, the inspiration for Pat Conroy’s novel, The Water Is Wide. You can still see the tiny schoolhouse where he taught the island’s young residents. On the ferry out (the only way to reach the island), we passed a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat with an imposing machine gun mounted in the bow. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

Christopher’s eyes lit up happily, thinking perhaps of Daufuskie’s Bloody Point. Disappointingly, it’s just a golf course, and the closest thing to battle there is a bunch of guys trying to shoot 80. We stayed in a very nice cottage with a screened-in front porch overlooking Calibogue Sound and the Atlantic, with Hilton Head Island visible just a short distance across the water. Melissa headed off for a spa treatment as the kids enjoyed ham sandwiches on the beach and swung happily in the hammocks suspended between tall pine trees just off the sand. I also discovered that having kids along can make the job easier. Working alone, it’s not uncommon for people to be a bit reluctant to talk to you. But add a couple of kids giggling in hammocks in the background, and suddenly you’re trustworthy. I think Ryan and Tatum O’Neal sold bibles the same way in the movie Paper Moon. But “easier” is not the word you’d want to use all the time. We set out for a family bicycle ride that quickly crashed, literally. First Caroline fell, and then Christopher. Caroline sprained her wrist. Christopher skinned his knees. The job turned from travel writing to parenting and TLC. We were able to limp back, and I tried to get a few shots of the happy family out biking, but the expressions on those faces wouldn’t have sold many Good Books. Next up was The Cloister, a Mediterranean-style resort on Sea Island, just off Brunswick, Ga., that not only hosts presidents, it makes them do yard work. Along the lush main drive there are several commemorative trees planted by presidents and their foreign guests. At The Cloister, besides lectures from the likes of former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, they’ll import wildlife experts to introduce your kids to hawks, owls, toothy reptiles and sea turtles, and will send platoons of staff

bustling after whatever you need, even if what you need is a Bionicle left in the van by your son. Usually I’d just walk down to the parking lot, but the parking valets had snatched our dust-covered Honda Odyssey and hidden it away somewhere so as not to embarrass the limos and Lexuses of the other guests. Arkansas, maybe. So I had to call on our butler. Yes, our butler. “A ‘Bionicle,’ Mr. Lee? Hmm. Not a problem, Mr. Lee.” It was clear from his voice that he wasn’t familiar with this particular robot warrior toy, which looks a bit like a preying mantis on steroids. Perhaps the foreign minister of, say, Myanmar, prefers a different sort of combat action figure. But at The Cloister, they just get the job done, no matter what. Ten minutes later we opened the door to find our butler and a line of spit-and-polish staffers carrying—a bit gingerly—all our informal traveling containers: K-Mart sacks, leftover Penney’s shopping bags, and grimy canvas totes promoting everything from Jolly Time popcorn to Busch Gardens wildlife parks. Unsure about this “Bionicle,” they just brought us everything. Now that’s service, but in a five-starplus resort, paper bags from Tractor Supply Co. prompt raised eyebrows. Jekyll Island, our final stop on this family island tour, had also been the first stop, after a fashion. Melissa and I had honeymooned there 20 years before. I was looking forward to showing our kids the beaches where their mother had fallen asleep, the seafood restaurants in which she had snoozed, the tidal marsh patrolled by countless skittering crabs that brought her finally to terrified, tippy-toed alertness. (The wedding-planning process had been long and frazzling.) A just-completed $4.2 million renovation of the island’s crown jewel, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, built between

Christopher bugs a beach bug on Daufuskie Island.

Jekyll Island, Ga., former playground of Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and the like, still offers gracious activities like croquet on a manicured lawn in front of the 1900-era Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

A hammock just off the beach helps Caroline find her smile after the bike mishap.

Daufuskie is lined with bike paths, none of which are much fun when you fall off in the first ten minutes.

juggling the job and kids

1886 and 1902 as a wintertime retreat by Rockefellers, Pulitzers, Vanderbilts, etc., gave me the angle I’d use for the story. In fact, it quickly turned into a wide-angle story, as the hotel, with its 157 rooms and suites in the original clubhouse, an annex, and several separate structures spread out over its beautifully landscaped grounds, consumed all the time we had available. I toured the property with a staffer,

At The Cloister, on Sea Island, Ga., naturalists from a nearby university offer wildlife shows including crocodiles, birds of prey, and snakes large and small that young guests and slightly panicky moms are welcome to touch.

then prowled around taking photos of the croquet court, preparations for an outdoor wedding reception, many of the rich founders’ so-called “cottages” (the two- and three-story kind, with servants’ quarters, parlors, and formal dining rooms), and the graceful, Lazarus fern-covered live oaks shading shell-composite walking paths. Melissa and the kids got stuck at the pool all afternoon. Okay. So their part wasn’t all that bad, though they did end up looking a bit like the lobsters available in the clubhouse’s top-flight dining room. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

But we missed out on some nice family history because I was there to do a job, which had to come first. Maybe later we’ll make it back to Jekyll Island to touch the family memory stones. Looking over what I’ve written here, it sounds like our family trip turned into something of a trial, which isn’t really the case. It’s true; the job makes it harder to enjoy family time. But the job also put us inside The Cloisters, not a likely destination for us otherwise. Even Daufuskie Island and the Jekyll Island Club Hotel would have been something of a stretch, at least in the same year. But it’s not the high-end stuff we remember anyway. It’s the smaller things, like the sea breeze at the top of Tybee Island lighthouse as we watched huge ocean liners steaming up the Savannah River, an endless expanse of blue sky and ocean spreading out behind. Or letting the kids drive our golf cart on Daufuskie Island (officially against the rules), and nearly colliding with another family letting their kids drive, the kooks. One sunset, we listened to a mockingbird trill from the dining room verandah at The Cloister; the next afternoon we peeled spanking-fresh shrimp at a dock café near the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. And I got to show the kids you don’t have to worry about those iggly-wiggly little legs, because, see, they come right off. And then you have this meaty orange crescent of just-caught shrimp to dip in the tangy sauce and…yum! Try it! These are the things family trips are really about, and somehow we always find time to fit them in. TRAVEL TIPS It takes hard work and planning to get through a family writing trip with both intact; here are a few ideas. ■ Full Disclosure: Make doubly sure the folks at your destination are okay with your family coming along.

At Jekyll Island, there was a bit of confusion at the front desk. Believe me, you don’t want to overhear this whispered telephone call: “He’s brought his whole family.” ■ Agendas Rule: Inform your kids that sometimes the show has to go on, especially when the resort has put together an agenda for you. After a beautiful evening at The Cloister, the weather turned bad the next morning. Trouble was we were scheduled for a Jeep train shell-collecting expedition. In good weather, it would have been great; in 50 degree temperatures with a near gale-force wind blowing in off the ocean, not so much. ■ Picture Parity: If your kids end up in your photos, make sure everybody gets the same amount of lens time. Good or bad, send in the same number of shots of each youngster. Inevitably, somebody won’t get into print. Blame the editor. ■ Know the Limits: In Savannah, we had to skip a ghost tour because my kids are a bit too squeamish for that sort of thing. We also had to skip the haunted pub tour, because even in Savannah they won’t let 11-year-olds drink. ■ Bring Help: Don’t try to report on a destination and supervise your kids at the same time. Parenting, especially in tourist areas, is a serious and fulltime job. ■ Patience, Please: As a professional, you understand that a writing visit to a vacation spot is very different from a recreational visit. Your kids probably won’t get the distinction, so you may have to explain why you need to take 20 photos to get one useable image and talk to 20 people to get one useable quote. Daniel Lee has been the editor of Jack and Jill magazine for kids since 1994. He has also written for the Nashville Tennessean, Cincinnati Enquirer, Indianapolis Star, Louisville CourierJournal, Children's Digest and U.S. Kids.



Amsterdam, Delft and the Hague BY NANCY PISTORIUS




dutch treat Imagine a place where children can explore a whole country that is just their size, paint up a storm at a real Delft china factory and, best of all, stir up and serve sweet goodies to their parents at a real restaurant! A family trip to the Netherlands serves up Dutch treats galore. Forget the tawdry images of drugs and sex. The Netherlands for families is a land where stone trolls are chained outside children’s bookshops and preschoolers can be chefs for a day. A place where the old exists comfortably with the new. SETTLING INTO AMSTERDAM Amsterdam is a place of enchantment, with its Old World charm, bustling bicyclists and 165 canals. A good base of operations for your family is the NH Grand Hotel Krasnopolsky (Dam 9). Not only is it centrally located at Dam Square in the historic district, just opposite the Royal Palace (and within easy walking distance for little legs to many points of interest, including the Anne Frank house), but it boasts a fabulous breakfast buffet in the stunning Winter Garden restaurant. Your kids will marvel at its Victorian glass roof. The buffet is bountiful, with a wide selection of fruit and Dutch cheeses. Kids can order steaming cups of hot chocolate and parents can enjoy sparkling wine. Even the pancakes are Lilliputian and will appeal to the small fry. These sweet mini-pancakes are a Dutch delicacy and are called “poffertjes.” Inside my hotel room at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnopolsky was a little alcove (sort of like a balcony) beyond the drapes, with a huge window overlooking the street. If your family is TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

Amsterdam has many wonderful activities for families. PHOTO COURTESY NETHERLANDS BOARD OF TOURISM & CONVENTIONS

lucky enough to be able to book such a room, your children can have fun being voyeurs, gazing out on the many bicyclists, motorists, and passing pedestrians in the busy street below. It’s a fascinating way to absorb the Dutch culture before going out to explore. My choice of a “splurge hotel” in Amsterdam is the fabulous Amstel Intercontinental (Professor Tulpplein 1). You and your children will be pampered and spoiled beyond your wildest dreams and the rooms are absolutely gorgeous, with Delft-Blue-patterned wallpaper. If you spring for a river view, your kids can look out the window and see the houseboats on the Amstel River. TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS There is so much to do for families in Amsterdam! Visit the Bloemen Markt, the only floating flower market in the world. In all seasons, it’s one of the most fragrant places in Amsterdam. Your kids will be amazed to see flower stalls standing on houseboats, and the flowers themselves are dazzling, in a bright rainbow of colors. You can even see such rare specimens as black tulips.

If your children are a bit older, they might enjoy a tour of a diamond cuttingand-polishing factory. The tours generally last about a half-hour, so smaller children might get fidgety. Tours are free and are offered by several renowned diamond firms throughout the city. WATERWAYS OF WONDER A great way to see the city (and chill out at the same time) is to take a canal cruise all around Amsterdam, often dubbed the “Venice of the North.” I recommend taking two separate cruises during your stay—one during the day, so that you can clearly see the charming narrow canal houses, elegant merchants’ residences, churches and warehouses along the route, and another in the evening, so that you can all “ooh” and “ahh” together at the romantic sight of the “Seven Bridges” beautifully illuminated. There are many canal cruise companies located near Central Station, but my favorites are Holland International and Lovers. And if your kids are craving American food, Canal Company offers a pizza cruise with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert!

ABOVE, LEFT: Even little ones enjoy the Bloemen Markt, the only floating flower market in the world. ABOVE, RIGHT: Wonderment awaits all at the Madurodam. PHOTOS COURTESY NETHERLANDS BOARD OF TOURISM & CONVENTIONS

A SHOPAHOLIC’S DREAM-COME-TRUE Families who love to shop can easily spend a whole day in the area called The Nine Streets, nine blocks of fantastic shopping—vintage, consignment, high-end fashion, shoes, cosmetics, cafes and restaurants. Kalverstraat is the main city centre shopping street. If you have a teenage daughter, she’ll be in heaven, drooling over the H&M shops and the Lush cosmetics boutique. Younger girls will adore visiting the sweet little white bunny of Dick Bruna’s picture books at the Miffy Shop—“De Winkel van Nijntje.” The shop has all sorts of goodies, like Miffy backpacks and beach balls. Be sure to stop in a bakery that makes stroopwafelen. Your children will delight in these decadent treats— two thin waffle wafers sandwiched together with gooey, sticky syrup. MUSEUMS CAN BE CHILD’S PLAY You’ll enjoy wandering in Amsterdam’s fabulous art museums, where the paintings are so exquisite that they can move you to tears. But there

are also museums where your children can be entertained as well as educated. Your kids can play to their hearts’ content at the NEMO science center. What’s in the name? NEMO means “nobody,” and children visiting NEMO believe themselves to be in “no man’s land,” where fantasies suddenly seem to become real. NEMO reminds me of the Exploratorium in San Francisco, only more modern, colorful, and cutting-edge. There are no bored, impassive looks on any of the faces of even the teenagers playing there! NEMO’s philosophy is “learning by doing,” and there are tons of interactive exhibits, and cool, manipulative “toys,” engaging all the senses. The Rainbow Shadow room is especially fun. NEMO’s only rule: “Please touch everything you see and explore!” LITTLE CHEFS The Kinderkookkafe (in the beautiful Vondelpark) is a small restaurant run entirely by children (assisted by the friendly staff). Kids cook tasty meals, serve the food to their parents, bring the bill, and even wash up. Birthday

parties (and other groups of six or more kids) reserve time at the Kinderkookkafe throughout the year, but there are also “open registration” dates when individual children can come make lunch, tea, or dinner. (Dates for 2009 are posted on the website,, but you’ll have to use Google to translate from the Dutch.) A YOUNG GIRL’S COURAGE Many young girls who have been inspired by her diary want to head directly to the Anne Frank house upon arriving in Amsterdam, and don’t be surprised if this is the highlight of your trip. For more than five decades, this house has stood as testament to a girl’s bravery in the face of the worst of humanity. Allow yourselves time to recover afterwards from the very moving experience of touring this special place. GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING Well worth a side trip (and easy to get to by train), Delft is sometimes called by the locals “Little Amsterdam,” as it 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


dutch treat greatly resembles Amsterdam, with its picture-book canals, but in miniature. You and your children (ages six and up) will enjoy taking a tour of the Royal Delft Factory, and then later painting your very own Delft Blue tiles in the workshop. You’ll need to explain to your kids that they can’t take the tiles home immediately, as they need to be glazed and finished off in the oven first. The tiles will be mailed to your home address. A fun place for the whole family is Stadsherberg de Mol, a Medieval theme restaurant where you eat with your hands from wooden bowls, while being entertained by live music from troubadours. Be sure to save time to have a slice of probably the most delicious apple pie that you’ve ever had in your life (with a huge dollop of whipped cream made from real cream) at Kobus Kuch, a cozy café in the Beestenmarkt. To help your older kids fully appreciate Delft, you should buy or rent a copy of Girl with a Pearl Earring (or read the book) before you go, so you can scout all the film’s locations in Vermeer’s hometown, and then go see the actual painting in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

wonderland, with all the different regions of Holland represented in a surface area of 18,000 square miles. The figures are staggering—12 miniature trains, 32 aircraft, 5,236 miniature trees, and 50,000 lights in the miniature village! The fascinating part is that it’s actually a “working” town with buses, planes, trucks, boats, and trains which actually move from place to place. One of the highlights of the exhibit for me was putting a coin in a slot, and watching a tiny bus bring me a pair of little Delft china shoes. A terrific place to stay in the Hague is the Novotel Den Haag Centrum (Hofweg 5-7). Your kids will think the minimalist décor is very cool, and there’s a very nice breakfast buffet so that you can fortify yourself before going out to explore.

THE MAGIC OF MADURODAM If Delft is Amsterdam in miniature, the Hague (“den Haag”) boasts its own miniature world, Madurodam. You and your kids will feel like giants, walking among palaces, ships, medieval houses, and even an airport that are 25 times smaller than real life! This place is truly a child’s

WHEN TO GO Any time of year is great for touring the Netherlands, but the absolute BEST night of the year to be in Amsterdam is the first Saturday in November for “Museumnacht,” when nearly all the museums and attractions are open after hours (usually until 2 a.m.). You pay one small price for a ticket to


ABOVE AND RIGHT: Children of all sizes will feel like giants and be delighted at Madurodam. PHOTO COURTESY NETHERLANDS BOARD OF TOURISM & CONVENTIONS

over 40 different museums, and (determined to prove that culture isn’t “stuffy”) all of them are sparkling with special events geared to young people. Would you believe DJs and breakdancing in the Rijksmuseum? IF YOU GO The Netherlands Board of Tourism Cool Capitals: Amsterdam The Hague Nancy Pistorius has written travel articles on a variety of subjects, including family travel on cruise ships. She has writen for Womans Day, Cosmopolitan, Chicago Tribune, Illinois Times, Social, Springfield’s Own magazine and the Wichita Getaways Examiner for Her most recent honor was the 2009 Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award (Fiction).

The Corkscrew roller coaster at Cedar Point, the “roller coaster capital of the world” in Sandusky, Ohio. PHOTO: COURTESY OF CEDAR POINT

nder Suggestions to engage kids under the age of 10 (or just your inner 10-year-old) BY ROBIN ESROCK


under Even the savviest world travelers can get stumped when it comes to planning a family vacation. Here are some suggestions to kick-start your imagination.









If budget isn’t a concern, your kids will never forget an encounter with animals in their natural realm. At the Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest game reserve, 147 species of mammals roam the wild, including the Big Five. Kids can discover what they are in special programs like the one found at Khoka Moya Camp, designed to satisfy the overzealous curiosity of a 10-year-old. If a safari is out of range, a good zoo or aquarium will help create a lifelong respect and understanding of the creatures we share the planet with.

The terrific appeal of major sporting events is the passion that runs through them and the incredible sense of community found when fans come together. Taking your kids to sporting events of any type—baseball, ice

When it comes to education, nothing engages kids more than getting their hands dirty, and seeing big machines in action. Cities across North America offer a variety of factory tours from dairies to candy, cars to fish hatcheries. Both parent and kid learn about the products they use, the professions that create them and the fascinating science and technology in use. Plus, when it comes to candy and chocolate factory tours, the experience can also be delicious.

Lego’s evolution from humble beginnings in a small Danish wood shop to the world’s most popular educational toy proves its genius. Combine simplicity, logic and creativity, and let a child’s imagination take it from there. There are four massive Lego theme parks worldwide, where millions of colorful little bricks have been used to create replicas of cities, celebrities, castles and more. Kids who visit will be entertained, inspired and shown how small pieces of imagination can yield big results.

skating, football, athletic meets—is a great opportunity to educate them about competitiveness, even as you holler and scream in support of your team. A major sporting event, like the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver or the Superbowl will never be forgotten.


What’s more exciting to a 10-year-old: the world’s biggest toyshop or walking amongst dinosaur bones at the American Museum of Natural History? FAO Schwartz and the Toys R Us near Times Square offer floors of safe and honest fun, although your credit card might get injured. The museums, including Manhattan’s Children’s Museum, will both dazzle and educate. Throw in the theatre, Central Park, or a visit up the Empire State Building and watch your kids grow just as enamoured by the Big Apple as the millions of adults who visit it each year. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG



Who doesn’t smell cotton candy and recall their youth? Local fairs and travelling circuses have enthralled kids for generations past and will for those to come. Color, lights, sounds—there’s enough stimulation before you add the sugar fix and watch them go crazy. The childhood appeal of fairs lasts for just a few, precious years (after that, teenagers decide that malls are more their thing). Give your kids something annual to look forward, as they grow tall enough for the rides and attached to the childhood memory.



Baseball games are always a good time for kids.





Ten is a good age to expose your kids to a different language, a different culture and a different way of life. They’ll learn that the world is bigger than what they simply see around them, and that all cultures should be appreciated and respected. Too young for the Louvre perhaps, but the romance of Paris is captivating. Whether it’s Tokyo or Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv or Prague, having your kids interacting and learning about life abroad will not only broaden their minds, it will make them feel particularly special.

The mother of all theme parks, throw your kids into the clutches of Disney, the teeth of Jaws at Universal Studios, the roller coaster frenzy of the Six Flags resorts and Cedar Point, the second oldest amusement park in North America located in Sandusky, Ohio. It’s not like you’ll have a choice, they will hear about it from a friend at school and the nagging will begin! The major theme parks might be multi-platform marketing machines, but it’s heaven for kids and their reactions will be priceless.


Getting Left Behind When You Travel is


Don’t let it happen to you. Come along with TravelWorld International.


There’s another side to all this family fun, one that can have a profound effect on your kids. Volunteer for a day for organizations that serve the needy. Allow them to appreciate and respect what they have, and be generous to those who have not. Whether it’s reading to the aged, helping out the disabled, or helping out at the local community center, it’s never too early to introduce the importance of helping those around you, in whatever way you can. Kids give generously—they just need to be shown how.


There’s only one bug you might be OK with your kid picking up, and that’s the travel bug. They breed in ancient sites, like the Pyramids of Egypt, the Lost City of Maccu Piccu, Jordan’s Petra, Chichen Itsa, or Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Massive structures recalling a historical age can overwhelm a 10-year-old and create a lifelong passion for history and for travel. In our digital world, the worn stones of the past stoke a child’s curiosity and open new worlds of wonder. Robin Esrock is a travel columnist and co-host of the OLN/National Geographic TV series Word Travels. You can read about his adventures to over 80 countries at his website:

EDITORIAL CALENDAR Sept/Oct 2009 Luxury Nov/Dec 2009 Food & Wine Jan/Feb 2010 It’s a Green, Green World Mar/Apr 2010 One is NOT the Loneliest Number May/Jun 2010 Explore the National Parks For article pitches, email For advertising opportunities, email

How many of Wisconsin’s annual visitors, family vacationers, travelers or explorers have truly experienced the myriad of stories found on the internationally renowned scenic Highway 35, the Great River Road? For families who want to slow down and take a journey almost back in time, it’s a rewarding trip. Scenic Highway 35 offers endless opportunities for exploration. The motto of the Mississippi Valley Partners, a non-profit organization, promotes “100 miles of

hit the

highway friends.” Your journey of 100 friends starts in the oldest town of the Highway 35 journey, Prescott, established in 1851. Here you’ll find ample opportunities for antiquing, swimming, fishing, hiking and boating. Stop in at the Heritage Center to see exhibits, maps and gather information from the Chamber of Commerce housed there. Diamond Bluff is the next little town; here the residents known as “bluffers” enjoy some of the best views of the Mississippi River. It was a French settler, Monte Diamond, who named this settlement nestled under towering limestone bluffs that served as landmarks to the river pilots. Head over to Sea Wing Memorial Park and read the memorial plaque erected there describing the major river disaster that occurred near this settlement. Next stop is Flat Pennies Ice Cream, with an impressive caboose, #27, that is, located in Bay City. Taste their unforgettable shredded beef sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and tasty ice cream treats. Camp, fish, share tall tales, and catch a sun tan on the large beach, but don’t swim in the harbor where serious fishermen launch their boats into the waters in search of their next big fish. Set at the foothills of the bluffs is Maiden Rock, a quiet village richly painted with history, and murals. This town, established in 1850s earned its name from the story of an Indian Maiden who plunged to her TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG


ABOVE: Charming Alma, Wisconsin.

Lake Pepin in Stockholm, Wisconsin.

hit the

highway death to escape an arranged marriage. Stop and have lunch at Old Man River Pizza Pub, a historic joint well worth the stop. I recommend their taco pizza, which tastes more like a classic taco with a dash of pizza added in. Visit the Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery to pick up your own cider-making equipment, picnic baskets and an immense choice of fruit wines made from Wisconsin flavored fruits. Next stop, just five miles away the

dine in or out and you’ll understand why Travel Wisconsin rated Stockholm as one of the top five shopping destinations in Wisconsin. It is here that you can buy up breads at the Bogus Creek Bakery, or delicious Swedish donuts, but you’ll have to get there early before the crowds snatch them up. I recommend that you budget a half-day or at least a few hours to visit all the stores in this village of artists and entrepreneurs. If you can, plan a full day visit on July 18, 2009 for the 36th annual Stockholm Art Fair where over 100 exhibitors dis-

The Pickle Factory, Pepin, Wisconsin.

small village of Stockholm, population 97, established in 1851 by Swedish immigrant farmers. Any day you visit you’ll find the streets busy with shoppers and visitors looking to find unique, one-of-a-kind items sold by the artisans, craftsman and eateries who sell their wares in quaint shops that are rich in history and aesthetic appeal. Travel there, walk the streets, TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

place of the world-famous author, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Does the offer of tasty foods, set among arts and crafts booth, a fiddle contest, parade, demonstrations, or your chance to become the next “Pepin Laura” make you want to kick up your boots? If so, visit Pepin September 12-13, 2009 to celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. No matter if you spend the day swimming, fishing, boating, or shopping the boutiques, or trying to gather a fin sample from the mysterious lake monster named “Pepie” to claim the $50,000 reward for proof of its exis-

A picturesque scene in Stockholm, Wisconsin.

play their arts and crafts. It was during the 35th annual Art Fair that I fell in love with this little village and opened White Wolf Creek Gallery & Gifts and Emme Jo’s Art Palace, where you’ll find a collection of kids’ art made by the young village’s artist in training. About five miles south of Stockholm you’ll find the city of Pepin, the birth-

tence, there is no doubt you’ll come to the end of your day fulfilled from your adventures, and hungry for dinner. Your experience visiting Pepin will be richer by dining at The Pickle Factory Bar & Grille. Visit in the early evening and inquire for a spot on the upper deck so you can watch the orange and golden hues of the sunset rippling across the Lake Pepin as yachts, sail

boats and boaters breeze by. Whether you choose a sandwich, pizza or steak, there is one appetizer you will have to try: deep-fried pickles. Yes, pickles! Served with a ranch dipping sauce, or order them like me, with a bit of tarter sauce, and you’ll quickly receive a basket with a stack of lightly battered fried dill pickle spears. So delicious, they could be their own food group, so unforgettable you’ll want to come back and order them again. Next stop is Rock in the House in Fountain City. Most of us living or traveling through the blufflands are

and Toy museum featuring an enormous collection of pedal cars. By now, you’ll have worked up a thirst and you can quench it by drinking from the historical water fountain that gave this city its name. In Nelson, the main attraction is the Nelson Cheese Factory & Deli. I would not even venture a guess as to how many garlic cheese curds I’ve nibbled on my travels, but I am sure there is at least one curd for every string peeled from the smoked string cheese. This stop is a must for all ages! Up the road, you’ll find the town of

A pair of bald eagles roost over the Mississppi River.

ture garden just off the highway on the right side called Prairie Moon Sculpture Gardens and Museum. Here you will find collection of sculptures made from broken glass, stone, and cement pieces that have been broken to be made beautiful. One man’s vision became a resting stop for his creations and has since been entertaining the visitors who venture here. I may not ever “reap the shot” of Pepie, the sea monster of Lake Pepin, but I will forever watch the shores for his silhouette against the unforgettable sunsets. Traveling the Great River

Shoppers of the The Nelson Cheese Factory (top) will find cheese curds of every delight.

accustomed to seeing chunks of limestone that have broken away from the bluffs and littered the ditches. Try to imagine a block of limestone that is a story and half tall, about 20 feet wide and several feet thick. Then envision it rolling down a bluff and rolling into a residence cutting their house almost in half. Talk about a sharpening stone! Next stop in town is Elmer’s Auto

Alma, a river town that has never lost its charm or unique shops, galleries, fine dining and museums. The shops, like in many small towns turn over to new hopefuls, but there are classic shops that have endured the ups and downs of our economy. As you leave Alma, your next stop will fulfill the art side of your soul. In Cochrane, there is an outdoor sculp-

Road has changed the course of more than one person’s life that I know. Lisa Loucks Christenson is a writer-photographer based out of Rochester, Min. She has been published in Esquire, Self, Woman's World, Career World, Rourke, Trips and Journeys, Harcourt, Disney, Times Plain Dealer, Writer’s Weekly, and Writer’s Digest. She can be reached at 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


Family History Exploring the U.K. in Search of Roots STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANET AND STUART WILSON

The small sign beside a country lane in Bedfordshire, England pointed to Edworth Farm. Trepidation mingled with anticipation mounted as we steered between fields toward an old stone farmhouse and barn. Any concern about trespassing evaporated when the farmer driving up on his tractor said, “You must be Spencers.” He gestured toward his house saying, “The key to the church is hanging on a peg by the back door.” A short path led us to the small stone St. George Church of Edworth Parish. Finding Edworth’s Church crowned a family journey on which we guided our niece, Karen, and nephew, Ian, on their first trip to Britain. Karen, age 23, sought to feed her fascination with

The ruins of Urquhart Castle rise over Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands.



Family History English history and monarchs. Ian, age 18, wanted to see Scotland, the land of castles, kilts, and his great, greatgrandfather’s birth, and especially the castles. On our 16-day trip looping through England and Scotland, and a corner of Wales, we traveled by rental car and railway, staying mostly in small B&Bs. We wanted to show the kids what we love about Britain, satisfy their historic curiosity, maybe stoke the fires of travel in the younger generation, and tap into family roots. Pursuit of roots led us to the former village of Edworth and its redundant church—British parlance for a church without parish. We showed Karen this modest 13th-century Norman edifice where some of her maternal grandfather’s ancestors were baptized and worshiped. A brass plaque in the church commemorates the family’s connection. Karen and Janet (both Spencer descendants) signed the visitor registry and snapped photos. Only some stone foundations remain of the village once standing here. We left a small donation for the Church of England’s redundant churches’ fund, helping keep the old building in some repair. Advance arrangements for our trip included an airline ticket package with five nights in a London apartment, a rental car and B&B voucher package, three-day BritRail passes, Globe Theatre tickets, and some custom, detailed Ordinance Survey maps we ordered online to help us locate backwater places like Edworth. We’d also completed some family history research. Our trip commenced as a flight to London’s Heathrow and a TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

train journey to Bath via London’s Paddington Station. We thought Bath offered a historic yet gentler introduction to Britain than immediately plopping our jetlagged bodies down in the middle of London. On foot in Bath that afternoon we toured the Roman Baths learning of Aqua Sulis, a wealthy Roman spa town before its rebirth in the late 17th and 18th centuries as a Royal Spa. Next morning we picked up our rental car, traveling with Ian to nearby Wells and to Stonehenge. Karen, feeling unwell, stayed at our B&B with a solicitous landlady. We wandered Wells’ tidy streets on market day in the rain, and sheltered in the little town’s mighty cathedral. We puzzled over the motivations, but marveled at the engineering embodied in Stonehenge. A night in the Cotswolds near our favorite village, Chipping Campden, preceded our excursion to North Wales. Near Ruthin, our most memorable B&B came with low-ceilinged sections dating to the 16th century and a lovingly-tended garden. At the nearby traditional White Horse Pub, we savored a contemporary dinner. Ian and Karen used a nearby red phone booth and pre-paid phone cards to make the first of several calls home. A brief visit in black and white, halftimbered Chester broke up our journey to the Lake District. In Keswick a memorable pudding called spotted dick followed traditional pub fare, launching our two-week search for Britain’s best pudding. As we headed for Ballantrae, Scotland, supposed birthplace of great, great grandfather Wilson, we took a serendipitous turn off the highway in search of a picnic spot. Our picnic ended up as sandwiches in the car while sheltering from the rain. Then Karen noticed a castle on the map not far away. We wandered down country lanes and found Caerlaverock Castle, a

ABOVE: Oban, Scotland is the jumping-off point for visiting the islands of Iona and Mull. BELOW: The Tower of London is a must-see historic attraction. LEFT: The four of us pose under a Celtic cross on the island of Iona, Scotland. FAR LEFT: In Bath, England, touring the Roman Baths.


Family History National Trust-owned ruin. Built of stone and brick, added-to and remodeled over the centuries, this fortresshome included battlements, round turrets, a carved stone coat of arms, cavernous fireplaces, moats, even a draw-bridge—maybe the perfect castle ruin, and a big hit with Ian. Welcome to Scotland! We found several Wilsons buried in Ballantrae’s graveyard, and then Ian and Stu climbed through a fence to explore a small ruined castle nearby. Touring the Foreland District, where a baby named John Wilson was living with his parents on a dairy in the 1857 British census, stirred our imaginations. What was life like here 150 years earlier, and what might have motivated a young family to soon sail across the Atlantic? Oban, a town renown for distilled spirits serves as the jumping-off point for the island of Mull and the tiny adjacent island of Iona. We toured Iona’s 6th century Abbey founded by Columba in his mission to bring Christianity to Scotland from Ireland. A loop through the Highlands revealed no mysterious monsters along the banks of Loch Ness, but dramatically situated Urquhart Castle overlooking the Loch proved a great spot for another picnic lunch. We found plenty of dramatic scenery soaked in bloody history at Glencoe and Culloden. Edinburgh, surmounted by its iconic castle, served as home for several days. One evening Janet and Stu enjoyed a quiet dinner at a neighborhood Indian restaurant while the kids got take-out and ate in. One morning Karen was so TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

homesick she wanted to go home, but by evening things looked up. Ian shopped for a traditional Scottish tartan, but the price ($500) left him kiltless. We walked the Royal Mile, toured Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace and strolled Princes Street. A day-trip to Stirling used our last car rental day. We headed south to England by train, with our first stop York. Once one of England’s most important cities, centuries of stagnation left York one of its best preserved, its medieval wall largely intact. While we usually rented two rooms, one for the men and one for the women, here we ended up with a tiny family room with a double bed and bunk bed in a space hardly big enough for the double. We toured the impressive National Railway Museum (for Stu and Ian) followed by afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream at Betty’s (for Janet and Karen). Then we all reveled in the experience of sitting in the quire (choir) for Evensong at York Minster, one of Europe’s great cathedrals. A fast train sped us to London for the final five days of our trip. We stayed in our small apartment, shopped at the local super, and fixed our breakfasts plus a couple of dinners, providing a relatively economical way for four of us to visit one of the world’s most expensive cities. We took the kids to the British Library, the British Museum and to the Tower of London. Janet secured advance tickets for the 700-yearold Ceremony of the Keys where the Yeoman Warder in traditional uniform brings the keys at precisely 9:30 each evening to ritually lock-up the Tower. One morning we stood in line for admission to Parliament, a first for all of us, and well worth the wait. Security was elaborate and a little intimidating. In the House of Commons we sat behind a glass wall in the public gallery listening to lively debate about a Welsh transport bill, in contrast to the set

speeches that typify the U.S. Congress. One afternoon we split up; Janet and Karen heading for Westminster Abbey, Stu and Ian for Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms. Karen searched for monuments to monarchs, especially Elizabeth I, while Ian imagined himself in the underground rooms during the Blitz. Later, we celebrated Janet’s birthday dinner in a tiny, exquisite restaurant where the sticky toffee pudding came a close second to Keswick’s spotted dick in our best pudding quest. A trip highlights list must include attending a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre, a reconstruction in the original South Bank location. We ordered tickets ahead to see A Winter’s Tale. It proved to be a magical evening; the kids transfixed by wonderful performances in the perfect setting, audience interaction and spirited Elizabethan Theater. Shakespeare came to life here—the best we’ve ever seen. We cruised to Greenwich on a nautical day trip, returning by train. After boarding the Cutty Sark we wandered the Maritime Museum searching for Admiral Duckworth’s portrait (Janet’s and Karen’s family name). Alas, the Admiral had been moved and was not currently on display. Karen settled for a photo of the painting. The train to Cambridge launched another day-trip. We rented a car and drove to Stotfold, once home to Spencers, where we toured the church and lunched at historic Checkers Pub before commencing our hunt for the vanished village of Edworth, Ordinance Survey map in hand. Finding Edworth’s church, and being there, proved a suitable culmination of a family journey about family and history. Award-winning freelance travel journalists, Janet and Stuart Wilson can be found at or on their blog at .


City Built on Rock and Roll NATJA’S 2009 annual conference of travel writers and photographers was held in Cleveland, Ohio, June 2–5. Sponsored by Positively Cleveland, the state of Ohio, the DoubleTree Hotel Cleveland Downtown/ Lakeside, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art and the House of Blues, it was 72 hours of learning and laughter. Powerhouse presenters such as National Geographic Traveler editor, Keith Bellows, PBS’ Emmy-winning Weekend Explorer Jeffrey Lehmann, GateHouse Media travel editor Fran Golden, travel columnist/blogger and National Geographic Traveler ombudsman Christopher Elliott and CEO Kevin Fliess punctuated the need for change in travel journalism. Indepth professional development workshops and networking events made the conference one for the record books. Photography by Ben Root, unless noted.

ABOVE: Positively Cleveland wore shirts that advertised Beef-Cheek Pierogi. Very identifiable, but what the heck does it mean? RIGHT: Artfully painted giant guitars litter the city near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.







1. Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees game set the week off right. PHOTO: JERRI

Cleveland. The B.A. Sweetie Candy Co. claims to have the world’s largest selection

HEMSWORTH 2. The “Dine Around” in the East Fourth Street district let attendees

of PEZ candy. PHOTO: JERRI HEMSWORTH 5. Keynote speaker Keith Bellows kicked off

take advantage Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Lola. PHOTO: KIM FOLEY MACKINNON

the conference. 6. Culinary writers and photographers took advantage of a very

3. CEO Kevin Fliess explores the meaty side of things at the West

popular “Foodie” day trip that was led by Chef Tim Maxin of the Ritz Carlton

Side Market. PHOTO: KIM FOLEY MACKINNON 4. The world’s largest candy store is in

Hotel. 7. Writers were able to network at many of the conference events.







8. Some of the staging at the closing dinner held at the House of Blues.

networking for travel journalists. Is everyone “Tweeting” yet? 12. NATJA

9. Keynote speaker Fran Golden spoke about the future of print travel journalism.

member Roger Fasteson enjoyed the wine tasting event that was hosted by the

Bleak though it may be for newspapers, there is hope. 10. Jeffrey Lehmann gave

Lake County Ohio Region Wineries. 13. Journalist Lisa Lawrence from California

everyone insight into travel journalism as entertainment and his passion for travel.

enjoys a glass of wine with NATJA CEO Helen Hernandez. 14. The Great Lakes

11. Christopher Elliott shed some light on the power of new media and social

Brewing Company was a stop on the “Foodie” day trip.








15. The new “Green” Marketplace was a success for both writers and

and very fun to be with!! 18. The restaurateur at Gusto, in Little Italy,

exhibitors. 16. The panel for the “How to Catch an Editor’s Eye” workshop

provided delightful musical entertainment for diners. PHOTO: JERRI HEMSWORTH

included (from left) Mary Mihaly (ASJA board member), Dan Schlossberg

19. Journalist Peter Rose, AAA publisher Terry Ausenbaugh, NATJA advisory

(NATJA president), Christine Tibbetts (freelance journalist) and Leigh Cort

board member Kathryn Farrington and Positively Cleveland president Dennis

(creative PR expert). 17. The team from Positively Cleveland was exceptional

Roche. 20. Cleveland Museum of Art CEO Timothy Rub hosted the NATJA







crowd. 21. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Terry Stewart

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo were amazingly accessible...and cute.

addresses the conference attendees at the amazing reception and dance party

PHOTO: ELIZABETH HEMSWORTH 25. The Great Lakes Science Center was a favorite

at the Rock Hall. What a great time! 22. Attendees look on as Terry Stewart

on the “Family” day trip. One could spend hours going through the

educates the crowd as to the origins of rock and roll. 23. The Rock and Roll

extraordinary exhibits and hands-on displays. PHOTO: JERRI HEMSWORTH

Hall of Fame and Museum at night. 24. The family of wallabies at the

26. The Prayer Warriors rocked the house at the House of Blues final dinner.




Mar-A-Lago BEHIND THE SCENES AT A PALM BEACH TREASURE Story and Photos By Michelle Newman

Welcome to the Donald’s Digs, Mar-aLago, a historic property with an amazing pedigree and undoubtedly the premier piece of Palm Beach real estate. Just like Mr. Trump, Mar-a-Lago is over

Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, a magnificent showplace once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post is considered by many to be Palm Beach's prime piece of real estate.

the top and bigger than life. Breathless opulence is the best way to describe this lavish 114-room villa built by Marjorie Merriweather Post (as in Post Cereals) and E.F. Hutton, taking nearly four years to build. Mrs. Post was the founder of General Foods and the wealthiest woman in America. Mar-a-Lago was a mini-resort built in one of the social capitals of the world. Completed in 1927, this is where Mrs. Post entertained dignitaries and VIPs. And now Barron Trump, who looks just like his daddy can be seen walking the gorgeous grounds ice cream cone in hand. Donald Trump and family spend nearly every weekend in season at Mar-ALago, their second home.


Mar-a-Lago translates from Latin to "Sea to Lake" and is the only property remaining in Palm Beach that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Worth. Mrs. Post hired two prominent architects for Mar-aLago, Marion Wyeth and Joseph Urban, the Austrian architect of Emperor Franz Joseph. The finest artisans were imported from Europe to work with local craftsman to cast ornate iron work, carve stone sculptures, handcraft wood work, cast plaster relief, and inlay marble floors. Many of the artisans and craftsman lived on the premises for several years while working on the estate. It's not at all surprising that Mar-a-Lago was designated a National Historic Site and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The Moorish-Mediterranean mish-mash built on over 20 sprawling acres of heaven, Mar-a-Lago is now an exclusive private club with guest suites, penthouse cabanas, croquet court, tennis courts, world class spa, and an oceanfront beach club. I was lucky enough to go on a private tour of the property, which is strictly members-only. According to the terms of Mrs. Post’s will, after her death, in 1973, Mar-a-Lago was transferred to the federal government to use as a diplomatic/presidential retreat. For a brief time it was used as the southern presidential retreat, however, Mar-a-Lago was a security nightmare being surrounded by so much water in addition to costing a fortune to maintain. In 1985, Mr. Trump purchased the estate from the Post Foundation. When facing bankruptcy, Mr. Trump desperately held onto his beloved Mar-a-Lago and did whatever was necessary not to lose his favorite property. "Mar-a-Lago is priceless, there's nothing else like it anywhere in the world," Bernd Lembcke explained during s private tour of Mar-A-Lago. Lembcke is man-

An exotic Moorish inspired caption leads to the private new entryway entrance of the Trump family quarters.



aging director of Mar-A-Lago and has been a member of the Trump team for 13 years.

INSIDE MAR-A-LAGO The exquisite craftsmanship and details of Mar-aLago belong to days gone by, when artisans took their time and took great pride in their work. Regardless of one's budget, it's no longer even possible to find this caliber of craftsmanship where everything was meticulously hand-crafted. It's eye candy everywhere you look and every corner you turn. Amazing details prevail in the interior and on the exterior; elaborate carved and gilded ceilings, ornate plaster work, rare pecky cypress, carved Dorian stone statues, a 75-foot

Lago and incorporated into the architectural décor. Nearly all of the furniture in the Grand Hall and living room is original. Ornate carved and gilded Italian and French Louis XIV grace the interior. A priceless Flemish tapestry was cut to size to fit the wall panels surrounding the enormous living room. A prized Meissen clock collectible is another showpiece in the living room. Mrs. Post commissioned Florence Ziegfeld’s set designer to paint mural panels for the formal dining room walls and these are original along with the gorgeous chandeliers. As the Dowager Queen of Palm Beach, Mrs. Post loved to entertain lavishly and collected a huge assortment of the finest crystal and china, not to mention the solid gold charger plates kept locked in the safe. Only the best china and crystal would do for her taste; Capo di Monte and fine Venetian stemware line the cabinets of the large butler's pantry. In the 1990s, Christie’s appraised the stemware at $1,000 per stem!


Mrs. Post purchased a collection of 36,000 hand painted HispanoMoorish tiles some of which dating back to the 15th century.

tower like a minaret piercing the sky providing spectacular vistas, carved crests and fountains scattered on the grounds. Clay roof tiles and marble from a Cuban castle were incorporated into the décor. Two architectural arches with a Persian tree of life motif flank the outside entrance to the sweeping veranda resembling the gates to an exotic souk. Mrs. Post purchased a collection of 36,000 handpainted Hispano-Moorish tiles, some of which date back to the 15th century. These exquisite tiles feature Moorish and Andalusian motifs of geometric Islamic patterning just as you would see in Moroccan mosques and lion and castle motifs of Andalusia. The tiles are imbedded into the walls as accents through out Mar-a-


Not only is Donald Trump good at making money, he is also good at decorating. When I asked Mr. Lembcke who the interior designer was, I was rather taken aback at his response, "It was Mr. Trump, of course, he's our own in-house designer!" He explained that Mr. Trump was very involved in the restoration of Mar-a-Lago adamantly going to great lengths to maintain the property's historic and architectural integrity. "Mr. Trump didn't want to change the main house as it is such a historic architectural treasure and after the house was vacant for eight years, he was determined to bring it back to life and maintain its integrity in the process." Trump had a "hands on" approach and was responsible for a handful of major additions and improvements, such as converting the library into a bar area; expanding the Tea Room; building the oceanside Beach Club; converting the servants’ quarters to a world class spa and beauty salon; and adding a 20,000 square foot Louis XIV ballroom. The Versailles-like ballroom is an opulent spectacle of mirrors, marble, gold and 17 Austrian crystal chandeliers, making it the largest ballroom on the island. The original ballroom was not big or grand enough for Mr. Trump. Mrs. Post used the original ballroom to

host square dance parties and movie screenings; somehow it’s hard to imagine Palm Beach socialites draped in jewels square dancing. While he could have settled for faux gold leaf to gild the elaborate ballroom ceilings, Trump decided to go with real 24 karat gold leaf, at a cost of $7 million. From the rich mahogany paneling in the spa to the exquisite Italian marble and the sparkling Austrian crystal chandeliers, no corners were cut. In addition to being featured on "The Apprentice," "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," and America's Castles, Mar-a-Lago has received numerous awards and recognition. The Historical Society of Palm Beach has recognized Trump for his restoration of Mar-a-Lago to its original splendor while the American Academy of Hospitality Science has bestowed the 6 Star Award for over all ambiance, service, quality of food, management, and hospitality.

THE DONALD...UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL While some folks may perceive Donald to be a bit brash and flamboyant, he was warm, friendly and welcoming when I met him at Mar-a-Lago and couldn't have been nicer. (As an aside, Donald's hair looks much better in person.)

CELEB SIGHTINGS Celeb sightings are de rigueur at Mar-a-Lago. In addition to seeing Trump, you may spot Tony Bennett set up somewhere on the grounds with his easel and paints capturing Mar-a-Lago's magnificence; Oprah and Maya Angelou lunching at the Beach Club; Regis Philbin playing tennis on the clay courts; or Celine Dion playing a round of golf at the club. So many of the who's who hang out here the list is endless: Diana Ross, Paul Anka, Tom Jones, Michael Jackson, Priscilla Presley, Olivia Newton John, just to name a few. So, if you want to join the ranks of these celebs and mingle with the rich and famous, all you need to do is have a member sponsor you, get the board to approve you, come up with $200,000 for the initiation fee and then pay $2,000 per month! More on Mar-a-Lago at 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


Will Bring Us Together BONDING AT THE NICK HOTEL Story and Photos By Kim Foley MacKinnon

Sitting in a kiddie pool in my bathing suit with goggles on, waiting for my 10-year-old daughter to dump a bucket of green slime on my head while dozens of people watched made me wonder if

Kiddie pool + bathing suit + goggles + crowd = Slime fest waiting to happen!

this would undermine my future parental authority. We were at the Nickelodeon Family Suites in Orlando, Fla., a modern marvel of marketing genius, where the characters of the popular television network come to life and parents are definitely not driving the agenda (even while they shell out the dough). All accommodations here are two- or three-bedroom suites, decorated in eye-popping colors and feature giant murals of Nicktoons. They all have a kitchenette and the kids rooms sport bunk beds. The slime party in “Studio Nick” is just one of the


many add-on activities you can choose to enhance your vacation. Besides private sliming parties, there’s a live show each night in the studio, which resembles a television studio with lights, cameras, and a host with microphone. Families volunteer during the day to compete against each other for the prize: getting slimed. Character breakfasts include a song and dance number with SpongeBob, Jimmy Neutron, and others from Nick shows. There are pool-side contests each day, where kids compete (to get slimed, of course) and then there is a giant waterslide complex, where each day a giant bucket pours out 400 gallons of slime onto screaming, squealing kids. Yes, slime is the name of game here and kids can’t get enough of it. When you take your family to Orlando for a vacation, supposedly it’s all about the kids. There’s Disney, rides, theme restaurants, and so on, but often so much of what you encounter seems geared to adults, or at least teenagers. A lot of things have loud, scary thrill content. And often the agenda to do more, see more, ride more, can be exhausting for everyone. I know I’ve been a victim of that. The environment at the Nick Hotel, while a crazy, madhouse of hundreds of kids, never lets you forget that’s it IS all about the kids, every minute. And while my pre-teen scoffed at some of the silliness going on, she also loved it when I joined her on the twisty waterslides and yes, allowed myself to be doused with gloppy green goo. Kim Foley MacKinnon is the editor of TravelWorld International Magazine, as well as the DailyCandy Boston Kids editor and a freelancer for a number of publications. Contact her at or visit her website at

An exotic Moorish inspired caption leads to the private new entryway entrance of the Trump family quarters.

The pool at Nickelodeon Family Suites has plenty of space and fun for all.

The Nickelodeon character

Lookout below! Four-hundred

Cosmo is a favorite for kids.

gallons of slime pours out onto anxiously awaiting kids.


Take Long Look at Las Vegas SIN CITY OFFERS A WILD PLAYGROUND FOR ALL KINDS OF SPORTS Story and Photography By Dan Schlossberg

In Las Vegas, the biggest sport is still gambling. But the plethora of roulette wheels, blackjack tables, and digital slot machines could soon have competition. Big-league sports venues are galloping into town with all the determination of a wagon train chased by Indians.

The skyline of Las Vegas includes Excalibur, The Palazzo, the Las Vegas Hilton and New York, New York.

Major-league baseball has already played six “official” games in Sin City—when the 1996 Oakland Athletics needed a close-to-home substitute when repair work on their home park took longer than expected. No other major-league opener had ever been played in a minor-league park. Cashman Field, normally used by the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, has also hosted a myriad of exhibition games—most recently a two-game set between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox on March 4-5, 2009. The same two teams once packed a record 15,025 into a field with a capacity of 9,334—no mean feat. The stadium, part of a larger Cashman Center that


includes a large theater, two exhibit halls, and 16 meeting rooms, first hosted a game on April 1, 1983, when the San Diego Padres played the Seattle Mariners, but was always considered too small to accommodate a big-league tenant. In addition, Major League Baseball officials were so adamant about keeping gambling out of their game that they effectively succeeded in keeping their game away from the nation’s gambling hub. Until now. The Baseball Winter Meetings, a media circus involving players, managers, and executives from both the majors and minors, came to Las Vegas for the first time in 2008, enjoyed a stay split between the Bellagio and the Las Vegas Hilton, and seemingly softened their opposition to future franchise relocation to the glittering gambling mecca. Both the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals) and Florida Marlins have eyed the city and might have been seduced with the promise of a newer and larger ballpark. Completion of a new arena next year may coax the NHL and NBA to place franchises in town before baseball acts. Major League Soccer is considering the creation of a Las Vegas expansion team and two incumbent minor-league teams (the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League and the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League) have done well. The city has also hosted teams from the Canadian Football League, Arena Football League, and XFL plus such special events as the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, the NBA Summer League, and the training camp of the 2008 USA Olympic basketball team. Always known as a great place to horse around, Las Vegas has hosted the National Finals Rodeo every year since 1985. It drew so many fans last December

that delegates to the Baseball Winter Meetings had to scramble for accommodations—even though the Las Vegas Hilton, adjacent to the convention center, has more than 3,000 rooms. College sports is also more than a blip on the local radar. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), a member of the Mountain West Conference, competes in NCAA Division I men’s and women’s sports while the College of Southern Nevada has excelled in community college baseball. Beyond gambling, the biggest obstacle to bringing big-time sports to Las Vegas is the scorching summer climate. Daytime temperatures top triple digits in July and August while the corresponding humidity is so low (often below 10 percent) that dehydration is a potential problem. But rainouts aren’t, although there are occasional summer thunderstorms. Average annual precipitation is only four-and-a-half inches, most of it coming during the winter. Once a rest stop for pioneers in covered wagons, Las Vegas has also been a railroad town and a staging point for area mines. But the 1931 legalization of gambling, the 1936 completion of Hoover Dam, and the advent of air-conditioning converted the dusty desert town from a sleepy backwater into a city that never sleeps. 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE



It certainly has enough lights: the city is so wellilluminated that it is often identified by orbiting astronauts as the brightest spot on the planet. Unlike Phoenix, where participation and spectator sports rule, Las Vegas revolves around gambling— with each casino-resort betting its added attractions can lure customers to the slots and blackjack tables. The Mirage was the first of the megacasinos, in 1989, but the building boom never stopped. The biggest and best are located on or near the Las Vegas Strip, a four-mile stretch that runs along Las Vegas Boulevard and is actually located in Paradise, Nevada. Virtually all feature themes (i.e. Paris, The Venetian, Excalibur, and the pyramid-shaped Luxor); a myriad of restaurants; and headline entertainment, from Bette Midler to Barry Manilow, but also include such specialty acts as comic Rita Rudner. There’s often something extra, such as the lion habitat at the MGM Grand, the roller-coaster at New York, New York, or the rejuvenated Volcano at The Mirage. The list of free attractions is long: pirates do battle at TI (formerly Treasure Island), wild animals have their own habitat at the Flamingo, and fountains erupt on schedule at both Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace. Also free is the high-energy sky show at the Rio, the elaborate floral conservatory at the Bellagio, the tram ride that links Excalibur and Mandalay Bay, and a twilight stroll among the shops that line the man-made canals inside The Venetian (gondola rides cost extra). The Fremont Street Experience, a nightly multimedia show under a $70 million light canopy, lures visitors downtown, where the casinos are older, smaller, and often less expensive. Also not to be missed in Las Vegas are the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Natural History and the Atomic Testing Museum, a four-year-old Smithsonian offshoot that features a “Ground Zero Theater,” which simulates for spectators an atmospheric test of a nuclear bomb. The Nevada Test Site, in the desert north of Las Vegas, went into service early in 1951. Getting around is easy—especially on the Strip. The sleek and silent Las Vegas Monorail covers the whole four miles in 15 minutes—a feat impossible by car—and runs frequently, with stops at multiple casino hotels as well as the enormous convention center, adjacent to the Las Vegas Hilton. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

Pink jeeps also populate the Las Vegas roadways: Pink Jeep Tours, founded in Sedona in 1960 but expanded to Las Vegas in 2001, run full-day and half-day tours to Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Death Valley, and the nearby Valley of Fire, a state park with unusually photogenic rock formations. The company operates 20 Tour Trekkers, high-end, all-terrain vehicles that hold 10 passengers, and does hotel pick-ups, and even offers a 10-hour combination tour that includes Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon—using a helicopter and pontoon boat ride to complete the journey. Cars can drive across the top of Hoover Dam, less than an hour from Las Vegas on U.S. 93. The narrow two-lane approach has several sharp turns and falls victim to occasional rock slides. Halfway across, both states and time zones change, with Nevada on Pacific Time and Arizona on Mountain Time (the times are identical in summer because Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time). Because bus and truck traffic across the dam is restricted by security concerns, some of it must head south to cross the Colorado near Laughlin, NV. That will change next year, when the Hoover Dam Bypass—1500 feet downstream—is completed. Las Vegas Helicopters also provides aerial sightseeing, landing in the Grand Canyon for a scenic lunch along the Colorado River. For most visitors, however, the greatest sites are the world of neon that explodes at night. From the Eiffel Tower to the Statue of Liberty, Las Vegas is a dream world—and has the potential to make some dreams come true. Widely known as Sin City for its topless pools and risque shows, Las Vegas is also known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, the Capitol of Second Chances, and “Lost Wages.” Just ask anyone flying out of McCarran International, the city’s fast-growing airport. The smart ones will be on discount carriers like JetBlue, which links Las Vegas to New York’s JFK in under five hours. Former AP newsman Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ is president of the North American Travel Journalists Association, travel editor of Sirius XM’s “Maggie Linton Show,” and author of 34 baseball books.


In The Big Apple NEW YORK’S LOWER EAST SIDE By Victor Block

Victoria Confino’s pretty face displays a series of emotions as she recounts her family’s history and shows visitors around their tiny, threeroom apartment. She explains that her SephardicJewish parents migrated from Turkey to New York City, where her father found work as a pushcart ped-


RIGHT: The same building today. PHOTO: KEIKO NIWA

dler, then within three years saved enough money to open a small factory that produces underwear, where she works. Seven people share the cramped space in a dimly lit tenement building in the Lower East Side. Victoria sleeps near the coal stove so she can keep the fire going on cold nights, while crates covered by throw rugs serve as beds for her brothers.

Despite the hardships, the vivacious teenager smiles as she describes the wonders of conveniences like gas lights and running water. “A lot of things in America are magic,” she exclaims. Outside the narrow, six-story building at 97 Orchard Street, the year is 2009. Inside what now is the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, visitors are transported in time back to 1916, as Victoria—played by a costumed interpreter—describes life as it was. Her story personalizes the trials and tribulations of first-generation immigrant families to the United States. It is augmented by equally moving narratives about several others of the nearly 7,000 people from more than 20 countries who lived in the building over seven decades, until 1935. Their histories weave a rich tapestry of the Lower East Side when it served as a magnet for immigrants to the neighborhood in a nation of immigrants. For visitors like my wife and me, the stories in ways resembled those of our own families. For our grandchildren who were with us, they introduced a facet of America’s past in a very personal and meaningful way. We combined stories of Victoria Confino and other former residents of the building with an organized neighborhood walking tour. Each of us left with increased appreciation for the challenging obstacles that millions of new Americans faced and overcame. The Tenement Museum is the perfect place to begin an exploration of New York’s Lower East Side. It provides a fitting introduction to a quarter of the city where waves of immigrants in search of the American Dream came face-to-face with a more stark reality. By the 1840s, people from Ireland and Germany were flooding into Manhattan, followed by Italians. The roots of Chinatown are traced back to the turn of 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE

* The Baldizzi apartment.

The Gumpertz apartment.





LEFT: An historical interpreter shows how Victoria Confino lived in the cramped quarters of the tenement. PHOTO: VICTOR BLOCK




the 20th century. Between the 1880s and 1920s, more than two million Jewish people, most from Eastern Europe, joined the flow. After World War II, Poles and Ukrainians added to the migration. So did Hispanics, many from Puerto Rico and, recently, the Dominican Republic. The Tenement Museum provides very personal introductions to several immigrant families. One tour visits the apartments that once served as home to the German-Jewish Gumpertz family and Italian-Catholic Baldizzis, furnished much as they were during the 1870s-1930s. Another describes the life of the Moores, an Irish couple who in 1869 were dealing with the death of a child. What makes these tours especially telling is that each story is based on meticulous research. One product of this scrupulous attention to fact is a recording made by Josephine Baldizzi Esposito before her death in 1998, recalling when she lived at 97 Orchard Street between 1928 and 1935, from age two through nine. She recounts how family members savored a roll with butter that each received on a weekend morning, a special treat during the Depression. With a smile in her voice, she recalls weekly baths she and her brother enjoyed in the same sink where dishes were washed, and her mother listening for hours to Italian music on the radio. Expanding our historical horizon to the entire neighborhood, we next embarked on a guided walk with Big Onion Tours. Perusing the list of options, we exclaimed in unison,“The Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour.” It explores the Lower East Side with knowledgeable guides who discuss the immigrant groups that descended upon the area, and also directs participants to a parade of eateries for tasty samples. Visits to several religious and other structures demonstrated the mixed and changing ethnicity of the neighborhood. What once was a Baptist church later housed a synagogue. An English Lutheran church subsequently served an Irish Catholic parish. But it was our stomachs that offered the most welcome evidence of the multi-cultural melting pot.A kosher bakery stands adjacent to a falafel shop.Mendel Golberg Fabrics (“Established 1890”) is next to the Chang Wang Restaurant. Vic’s Pizza is neighbor to The Pickle Guys. Among numerous tastings were tofu and dried plums in Chinatown, and fried plantain, which represented the immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

Halvah,a sweet confection from a Jewish bakery served as a fitting dessert, along with canola in Little Italy. Along with a virtual gastronomic world tour, thoughts of the Lower East Side conjure up images of pushcarts and mom-and-pop shops where vendors peddled clothing from racks on the sidewalks at cut-rate prices. That was the scene at the time when the Confinos, Gumpertz and Baldizzis resided there. Today, the setting is different. True, a kind of outdoor mall still exists along a stretch of Orchard Street each Sunday, where store owners set up tables outside from which they peddle their wares. And there still are stores where shoppers engage in good-natured bargaining and leave with goods that would cost more elsewhere. However, in recent years those echoes of the past have been losing out to more pricey boutiques and specialty shops. A smattering of luxury condominium and apartment buildings has sprung up, along with upscale restaurants. While some people call those recent changes progress, others complain that they are erasing the past. Yet the ghosts and memories of men, women and children who crossed oceans to reach that neighborhood in search of their dreams live on, for those who wish to recapture them.

IF YOU GO Lower East Side Tenement Museum 108 Orchard Street; $17 for adults, and $13 for seniors 65 and up, and students. 212-982-8420; Big Onion Walking Tours Most tours last about two hours and move at a leisurely pace. All tours cost $15 for adults, and $12 for seniors 63 and up and students. There’s an additional charge of $5 per person for the“noshing stops”on the Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour, which turned out to be a real bargain. 212-439-1090; Victor Block is an established, award-winning travel journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of major outlets for over a quarter-century. His specialties include off-beat travel, overseas destinations and seniors travel. He augments basic information with an introduction to the people, culture and essence of places he visits. He currently focuses on newspaper travel features. He is based in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE




Photography By Charles Pannell

Located just 35 miles east

of Orlando, Florida’s Space Coast makes an excellent family vacation destination. This diverse coastline stretches from Titusville in the north to well past Melbourne in the south; and it’s well within driving distance of the Orlando and Melbourne international airports.

Sunset from Black Point Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Best of all, wheelchair-access is excellent along the Space Coast, where you’ll find everything from wildlife and warbirds to moon rocks and manatees. Blast off for Kennedy Space Center First stop on any Space Coast itinerary should be the Kennedy Space Center, the anchor attraction of the area. Access is excellent throughout the complex with level walkways, wide doorways, accessible restrooms and ample


space to maneuver in all the exhibition areas. An access brochure is also available at the ticket booth. The best plan is to arrive early and take the first bus over to Launch Complex 39 and the Apollo/Saturn V Center. The bus tour is included in the admission price, and all buses have wheelchair-lifts and tie-downs. Back at the main visitors complex you’ll find a number of other diversions to round out your day. Make sure to catch the 3-D presentation at the IMAX theater and save some time to walk (or roll) aboard the Space Shuttle Explorer. And don’t miss the famous Rocket Garden, where you can get a close-up look at eight historic rockets. Manatees Galore Kennedy Space Center shares its property with Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve, a 35-mile long barrier-island populated with an abundance of wildlife. So pack a picnic lunch, take your binoculars and spend a day exploring the area. It’s important to note that because of its proximity to Kennedy Space Center, the refuge is closed during launches, so check the refuge website for updated schedule information The visitor center is located on State Route 402, approximately five miles from the refuge entrance. A quarter-mile accessible boardwalk trail winds behind the visitor center and allows wheelchair-users an unobstructed view of the surrounding salt marsh. Just up the road, the Black Point Wildlife Drive is also a must-see, with several viewing platforms and turnouts along the road.

And of course, don’t leave the reserve without getting a glimpse of the playful manatees. The best place to view them is at the manatee observation deck near Haulover Canal, approximately 10 miles from the visitor center. There is ramp access to this boardwalk deck, which overlooks a popular manatee feeding area. Warbirds & Stars Located just west of Kennedy Space Center at the Space Center Executive Airport in Titusville, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum is one of the newer attractions in the area. This excellent aviation museum includes a comprehensive display of military aircraft dating back to WWI. Access is good throughout the museum; with accessible parking near the entrance and level access to the main building and the restoration shed. It’s a must-see for aircraft buffs, and great fun for kids. And for a little star gazing, head on over to the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory, located on the campus of Brevard Community College. There’s no admission charge to the rooftop observatory, which is accessible by elevator. Be forewarned though, the observatory is only open on Friday and Saturday nights, from sunset until 10:15 P.M., so plan ahead. Last but not least, don’t miss Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. Located next to the Holiday Inn on Atlantic Avenue, this beachside park includes a 1,000foot beach boardwalk, the Johnnie Johnson Nature Center and an excellent marine hammock boardwalk trail. There is ramp access to the nature center, which contains a number of interpretive exhibits about local wildlife and marine ecology. Accessible parking is available near the nature center, and the beach boardwalk is just around the corner. The highlight of the park is the Marine Hammock Trail. This 3,155-foot interpretive trail is 6-feet wide and has level access from the nature center. The boardwalk is not entirely flat—undulating would be a better description—but it’s shaded and there are lots of spots to stop and take a break. It’s hard to believe such a diverse ecosystem exists literally in the backyard of the Holiday Inn, but it does. If you like nature, then this is definitely the place for you, and it’s a great way to top off your Space Coast vacation.

Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum 321-268-1941; Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory 321-433-7373; Space Coast Office of Tourism 321-433-4470;

TOP: Boardwalk trail at visitors center at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. MIDDLE: Rocket Garden at Kennedy


Candy Harrington is the editor of Emerging Horizons and

Space Center.

Kennedy Space Center 866-737-5235; Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve 321-861-0667;

the author of Barrier Free Travel: A Nuts and Bolts Guide

BOTTOM: Warbird at

For Wheelers and Slow Walkers. Visit her blog at

Valiant Air Command for access news, resources

Warbird Museum in

and industry updates.



Do You


Don’t put previously published work in a drawer or forget about it—not when many articles can be sold again and again. NATJA members have found that recycling work is a great way to earn extra dollars. Best of all, since all the research has already been done, recycling takes little effort and pays off in a big way. Georgia Hesse says, “It’s wise to check each magazine’s policy before submitting. In the past, I was always successful with newspapers when my submission read ‘Exclusive to you in your circulation area.’” Hesse recycles each feature several times and frequently has to change the wording due to the geography.“If you sell a story about Carmel to a San Francisco paper, you can presume knowledge of where Carmel is and your description of getting there would be far different from that if the audience is in Florida or Montana.” She believes that conditions are changing so fast now that editors are confused about what they can and cannot require. Her advice is to “Make sure you get at least five different stories from every trip you take, write each independently before you start recycling, and be very honest. The publication community, especially for travel articles, is very small and reputations spread quickly.” Don Philpott has always recycled features and artiTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG

cles. He says, “It’s often easy to tweak features that have appeared in the U.S. for a British audience. When features are seasonal they can be updated annually. The secret is in rewriting the introduction to appeal to the publication’s specific audience. It obviously makes sense not to send the same piece to newspapers or magazines that share the same circulation areas.” Daniel Lee says, “Sometimes an original article can be reformatted and sold to different markets. For example, after a trip along the East Coast, I wrote a newspaper feature about kids enjoying that area. Resulting from that same trip, another newspaper feature about lighthouses was published and, similarly, features I had written originally in kids’ format ended up in an op-ed piece.” Currently Lee is repurposing an article to appeal to adults, which was previously written for a kids’ magazine. King Montgomery waits several years after initial publication of an article before querying, having been told by editors that,“After two or three years no one remembers the article anyway. If magazines are very disparate in target audience, I might be more technical in a fly fishing magazine article in the Bahamas, but would stress the travel aspect more in a travel magazine, but basically use the same article. I’m successful most of the time and recycle each ar-




ticle two to three times.” Montgomery’s advice is to develop a relationship with editors and be able to adapt your article to their needs. Some magazines, however, never take recycled material. “Occasionally I rework articles and recycle them,” says Jim Loomis. “However, the only things I recycle verbatim are places that have run in a newspaper or magazine, which I then send to travel websites. I do this free of charge to gain more publicity for those subjects I think are worthy.” On the other hand, Jim Bruner always offers publishers first rights only. “Occasionally,” he says, “they ask that I not give the article to another publication until a certain date (six months or so), or they may ask me not to submit the article to certain other publications. I always clarify things up front so there won’t be any problems later.” Richard Every usually recycles articles one time although he says he may turn the article into roundup theme pieces later. “I target publications that have run my material before or those that I know are still buying travel.” “It’s not difficult to recycle articles when I think ‘niche markets,’” notes Susan Eberman.“Some of my articles have been recycled more than 10 times over several years, while others have only been published twice.” Eberman customizes each article to the specific publication. “This involves a different emphasis on each topic covered in the article so some of the wording must be changed, along with any updates. Few editors asked if the article has been published before, but when asked, I answer honestly. Part of my success comes from reading hundreds of publications that I either purchase or read online so that I can customize the article for the specific publication. Nancy Wigston searches for publications that have a no-rights-grabbing contract so that she can then “offer the same article to another outlet. Normally I don’t make changes after six months to a year has elapsed, especially if the topic is the same and the publication venue is widely different. Another useful tactic is to use part of an original article in a completely new place—a round-up piece that incorporates earlier trips and quotes. Normally I recycle each article two to three times.” If you’re just getting into recycling, Wigston advises, “Be aware of what contracts you’ve signed and the rights you’ve retained. Make certain the article is yours to use and re-use, as long as the markets are not geographically competitive.” Like other members, Jon Siskin and Charles Jacobs

recycle their work, being careful to check whether the publications’ circulation zones don’t clash. Jacobs also sends out multiple manuscripts simultaneously. “If the story originally appeared in a national publication, I inform recipients of this fact.” Jacobs feels his “success depends on the piece and whether there will be interest from readers of a certain publication. On the average, I recycle to newspapers six to 10 times for each article, occasionally making appropriate changes, but the majority of times I don’t have to change the wording. Editors of magazines are advised the article has run before, but not on simultaneous submissions to non-competitive newspapers.” Victor Block says he “watches for special sections/issues related to the destination or theme of a story.” If seasonal, he tries “to recycle features in time for the following appropriate season.” He queries magazines, but most often, simply submits to newspapers. “I have several regular outlets in different geographic areas where I can occasionally recycle articles. This depends on the opportunities that I come across. Often I have to change the lead, sometimes other copy, and usually have to reduce the number of words. I feel that once I’ve researched and written a story, I’ve done 95 percent of the work and then it’s easy to update/act-check, and if necessary, cut or refocus a story.” Describing herself as a “committed market junkie,” Sheila O’Connor subscribes to many online market newsletters in the US and UK. “I read the publications for market outlets and after I’ve marked up what I think would work where, I submit them usually by querying first. I tend to stick to magazines. I try to set aside a ‘marketing’ day once a week to recycle features/articles. I sell one-time rights and the overseas publications don’t seem to mind that it has sold in another foreign county as long as it is not on the Internet. That way they get first rights in their own country. My top recycled article has sold 23 times and continues to be popular. It’s about spending a night in Canada’s Ice Hotel.” O’Connor says she rarely changes the wording but does update relevant information. Arline Zatz is the award-winning author of Best Hikes With Children in New Jersey (The Mountaineers); 30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey (Backcountry); Horsing Around in New Jersey (Rutgers University Press), among others. Her features and photographs appear nationally in newspapers and magazines. 09.3 JUN.JUL.AUG / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE


LIBRARY Baseball Bits The Best Stories, Facts, and Trivia from the Dugout to the Outfield

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

Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler

Dan Schlossberg

Linda Ballou

Gary Lee Kraut

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Horsing Around in New Jersey: The Horse Lover's Guide to Everything Equine

30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey

New Jersey's Great Gardens

Arline Zatz

Arline Zatz

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