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MAY/JUNE 2014

travel world

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A G A Z I N E

Family & Education

ISSUE

“Circle The Wagons” In the Badlands of Alberta, Canada

D-DAY MEMORIALS in Normandy, France TRAIL OF TEARS - A Native American Tragedy FAMILY TRAVELS to: Africa, Brazil, Greece, Poland, Colorado, Hawaii and Arizona

Space Vacations

The Magazine Written by North American Travel Journalists Association Members

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Photo credit: Robert Demar / aerial view, Mark Gardner / bikes, Mike Bertrand / Friday Harbor, Jim Maya / whales

Lopez Island • Orcas Island • San Juan Island / Friday Harbor

InspIratIon For the senses VisitSanJuans.com

Explore Historic Friday Harbor Find Endless Adventure

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Discover Nature’s Splendor


travel world MAY /JUNE 2014

F E A T U R E S

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A G A Z I N E

Family & Education 6

Travels with My Dad in AFRICA BY MAUREEN LITTLEJOHN

Wedding in Maragogi, BRAZIL 13 Family BY ELAINE J. MASTERS the Wagons” Alberta, CANADA 18 “Circle BY CHRIS MC BEATH Memorials in Normandy, FRANCE 26 D-Day BY GARY LEE KRAUT Thessaloniki & Halkidiki, GREECE 32 YASNY! BY PETER ROSE of Copernicus, POLAND 38 Ghost BY JOHN EDWARDS

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WELCOMING OUR NEW EDITOR Dennis A. Britton We seem to be on a roll at TravelWorld International Magazine! Not only is this the sixth publication within the last nine months, but now we have a second editor. And this new one is not just any editor! Dennis A. Britton is a Pulitzer Prize winning, life-long experienced editor. Besides his endless credentials, among which are editor-in-chief of both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Denver Post, Dennis is exceptionally interesting, witty and will be a great asset to our team! We are pleased and excited that he will be be joining us! Welcome Dennis! So happy to have you on board!

Dennis A. Britton Editor

Joy Bushmeyer Managing Editor

TravelWorld International Magazine is the only magazine that showcases the member talents of the North American Travel Journalists Association

Group Publisher: Publisher: Editor in Chief: Managing Editor: Editor: Art Direction: Web Manager: CVB Laison:

NATJA Publications Helen Hernandez Bennett W. Root, Jr. Joy Bushmeyer Dennis A. Britton Artistic Design Services Yanira Leon Dawn Vivenzio

Contributing Writers : Maureen Littlejohn Elaine J. Masters Chris Mc Beath Gary Lee Kraut Peter Rose John Edwards

Carrie Dow Jeffrey Lehmanns Christine Tibbetts Dave Houser Lisa Sonne

Editorial /Advertising Offices: TravelWorld International Magazine 3579 E. Foothill Blvd., #744 Pasadena, CA 91107 Phone: (626) 376.9754 Fax: (626) 628-1854 www.travelworldmagazine.com

TRAVEL TRIVIA Quiz 1. Which US state has the most lighthouses? 2. When is the rainy season in Puerta Vallarta? 3. In what sea is the Great Barrier Reef? 4. What US city claims to have held the first Marde Gras celebration? (Not New Orleans). 5. In what country did Chess originate?

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(Answers on Pages 71)

Volume 2014.5/6 May 2014. Copyright Š2014 by NATJA Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Advertising rates and information sent upon request. Acceptance of advertising in TravelWorld International Magazine in no way constitutes approval or endorsement by NATJA Publications, Inc., nor do products or services advertised. NATJA Publications and TravelWorld International Magazine reserve the right to reject any advertising. Opinions expressed by authors are their own and not necessarily those of Travel World International Magazine or NATJA Publications. TravelWorld International Magazine reserves the right to edit all contributions for clarity and length, as well as to reject any material submitted, and is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. This periodical’s name and logo along with the various titles and headings therein, are trademarks of NATJA Publications, Inc. PRODUCED IN U.S.A.


travel world MAY /JUNE 2014

F E A T U R E S

I N T E R N AT I O N A L M A G A Z I N E

Family & Education ISSUE

Mountain Ranch in the COLORADO ROCKIES 41 Snow BY CARRIE DOW on LAKE POWELL with Uncle Jeffrey 46 Houseboating BY JEFFREY LEHMANN “TRAIL OF TEARS”, A Native American Tragedy 52 The BY CHRISTINE TIBBETTS National Park on the Big Island, HAWAII 59 Volcanoes BY DAVE HOUSER VACATIONS, Huntsville Space Camp 65 SPACE BY LISA TE SONNE INFORMATION 70 DESTINATION TRAVEL TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWERS

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TRAVELS WITH MY DAD: A Father-Daughter Bonding Trip Through Southern Africa By Maureen Littlejohn Bumping along the highway, strapped into my seat aboard the tour group’s converted truck, I was marveling at my surroundings. Flame red desert dunes rose on the horizon and ostriches loped along in the distance as a deep blue African sky stretched straight up to heaven.

But the scenery wasn’t the most amazing part. What truly stunned me was that I was traveling through southern Africa with my 87-year-old dad. The last time we had traveled together was 40 years ago on a family camping trip to the Canadian Maritimes. A petulant teen, I slept and snarked my way through most of that journey.

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ore recently, I had been volunteering in Swaziland with an agency that dealt with gender-based violence. I was burned out and in need of a vacation. Dad, based in Toronto, had never been to Africa and since my mom had passed away 10 years ago he had only taken small vacations in North America. I suggested he come over for a visit. A tad nervous – I didn’t want him to be bored, were the hotels going to be nice, was the food going to be OK?, would we see enough animals? – I made sure we had a full itinerary of destinations using travel companies vetted by seasoned friends and Internet reviewers. We met up in Cape Town and acclimatized by touring the wine districts of Stellenbosch and Franschoek. Quaffing a bubbly champagne-style wine at Villiera Wines, a classy establishment also known for its honey-like late harvest vintages, “This is a perfect way,” said dad, “to get over jet lag.” Good. It worked to calm my nerves, as well. My favorite stop was Fairview Winery, that also produced a fine array of cheeses. In the tasting room we filled our glasses and snacked on creamy samples of goat and cow’s milk cheeses. We also stocked up in the shop for the big trip ahead. The tour group’s truck, which I nicknamed Beastie Girl, seated 20 travelers from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the United States. Helmed by Pilani, the jolly driver/guide from Zimbabwe, Beastie Girl transported us from Cape Town into Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the end of our 20-day trip. Heading north of Cape Town, driving by thousand-acre farms, efficient irrigation systems and experiencing excellent roads, we were reminded of the prime oranges and advocados that travel so far to stock Canadian grocery stores in the dead of winter. But it was even better to eat them right where they were grown.

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Reaching Namibia a day later, we stayed overnight in a guest lodge along the Gariep, or Orange River reknown for propelling diamonds all the way from Kimberley’s famous volcanic pipes to Namibia’s Atlantic coast. Sitting in front of our cabana, we gazed out over the magnificent river dotted with egrets and herons and indulged in nip of duty-free scotch Dad had tucked in his bag. “I had a chance to come and work with a mine in Namibia once,” dad said, “But another fellow was assigned the post. I’ve wanted to come here ever since.” I was glad I had helped make it happen. Bumping through the arid, mineral-rich landscape we made our way to the Fish River Canyon. Second only to the Grand Canyon in size, the Fish River Canyon’s main waterway is dry much of the year. Was it been mistakenly named?, we asked Pilani. “Catfish nestle deep in the mud of the dry riverbed, waiting to come out during the rainy season.” Perched on the rim of the canyon, we peered down at the bone-dry looking riverbed. “They are sleeping there right now,” he said with a chuckle. As we departed the viewing area, Pilani stopped and brought our attention to scattered, pointy plants growing straight out of the black basalt. “These are Quiver trees, they are succulents and can live up to 200 years,” he explained. Despite it’s stark, moon-like environment, the area was full of life. You just had to know where to look. Our first sightings of iconic African animals were at a rest camp. Oscar and Wilde were two cheetahs who had been born to a mother captured from the wild by a local farmer. Now 12 years old, they lived at the camp and visitors could enter their enclosure for a guided walk. The young German guide stayed perfectly still and Wilde came out of her hiding place, lay at the guide’s feet and started purring. Curious, Oscar watched us carefully from a distance. They had never had the chance to run, the guide told us, and my heart broke as I saw Oscar sidle up to the edge of the fence and stare out into the wilderness.

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was much happier when we reached the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Flying over the world’s largest inland delta–15,000 square kilometers–I could see groups of elephants standing knee deep in swampy water lazily munching on green delta grasses. The area is home to at least 200,000 large mammals. After reaching our island lodge, dad and I set up on the porch of our stilted cottage, a permanent tent complete with bathroom and outdoor shower. We had reserved the afternoon for reading and napping on comfortable chairs in the warm sunshine. But the snoozing was not to last for long. Waking up to a racket of crunching and crashing, we saw a huge elephant stride by, in search of the island’s tastiest grasses. One of the lodge’s guides was walking after him clapping his hands loudly. “Out, out,” he shouted and the pachyderm trotted off like a deer caught nibbling carrots in the garden. Lots more wildlife was to come. In a canoe ride among water lilies we sighted crocodiles, Cape buffalo and hippos. On a walking tour a warthog started shadowing our group, and curious baboons watched us from the tops of deserted termite mounds.

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Another highlight was Chobe Park. Known as “Land of the Giants” the 11,000 sq. km reserve was teeming with elephant families spraying each other and playing in the river. Pods of hippos, disguised as rocks, floated by our jeep and monitor lizards kept careful watch for prey along the shore. Our last day was in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls. Dad and I spent most of the day mesermized by the thundering water, or Big Smoke, as it is known locally. Although there was plenty to do, from bungee jumping to river cruises to helicopter rides, we opted to stay put. Gazing at the rushing water from a number of lookout points, we got soaked to the skin from the spray. But that didn’t matter, it was all part of our experience. Who would have guessed that sulky teen of 40 years ago would end up travelling 5,000 km through southern Africa with her dad, and loving it? “Great trip, eh honey?” said dad, giving me a hug as we stared at the falls. “Not just a great trip, dad,” I replied. “The best one yet.”

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Brazil

A Family Wedding

Manatees, Mangroves & Maragogi

By Elaine J. Masters

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drenaline can carry you far, especially at the onset of a big, international trip. On the way to Brazil, it bolstered our loose-knit group when a cancelled flight meant we nearly missed the wedding reception that prompted our departure. We were a family, related mostly through ceremony and circumstance, and determined to enjoy two weeks seeing the country together. Millennials, Boomers and a pair of seniors were in the mix. Between us there were chemical and digestive allergies, walking limitations and more than a few bottles of prescription meds. It could’ve been a disaster but preparations began months earlier and our new Brazilian daughter-in-in law, Vanessa, took the reins, organizing the journey and acting as translator throughout. On arrival in Sao Paolo, wheel chairs were pushed by airline attendants, over-packed luggage was stacked on free and abundant carts and only one bag was temporarily lost. Grandmother Pearl had her carryon packed with immediate medical necessities, but her clothes didn’t arrive for 36 hours. She was undaunted, having handled more demanding challenges over her 75+ years, and still made it to the reception looking elegant in an outfit cobbled together from combined efforts. The party was a treat as we stumbled through conversations and introductions, ate delicious salads and grilled meats, sipped Caipirinhas, the national cocktail, and bounced along to Samba-esque, Brazilian cover tunes.

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ack in the States it was still winter but south of the Equator the late summer was steamy hot. Our plan was to spend five days in the relative cool of the northern beach community of Maragogi. After two days in Presidente Prudente we said farewell to our new Brazilian family and flew off to the coast. Recife is one of the sites of the World Cup and the Olympic games, but there was no visible evidence at the airy and sleek airport. We did discover that the traditional, baked cheese puffs, pao de queijo, made a great snack while waiting between planes. They’re ubiquitous throughout the country and for our allergy minded travelers, also gluten free. Vanessa had negotiated a shuttle from the airport to the Maragogi Salinas Resort for our group of 10. For two hours we sleepily listened to the tour guide point out sights along the road as city gave

way to sugar cane fields and we spied coconut groves rising above a bright sea. Vanessa translated as fast as she could to keep up with the guide’s spiel. It became a pattern. We were about to be the only Americans, the only English speakers, for miles. Grandmother Pearl said the area looked a lot like Cancun did only 40 years ago with no high rises. The Maragogi resort was spacious and comfortable. It had the usual amenities that most all-inclusive facilities include. Our rooms were simple, clean and comfortable with ample AC. Each morning we woke to brilliantly colorful dawns and after dreaming of blue water for months, could stroll across one of the river bridges to dip our toes in the soft, warm ocean. We’d heard about ‘natural pools’ that could be enjoyed at low tide but soon discovered that the reef, less than a mile offshore, was nearly devoid of sea life. On the afternoon our group joined a boatload of snorkelers. The boat was packed and to our dismay we soon tied up next to a line of other stuffed snorkel boats. The few fish we saw were friendly and poked around waiting for handouts. It wasn’t what we had in mind but they were lovely and the water felt great.

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solated by our lack of language, we soon slipped into a rhythm – gathering around breakfast, setting up loose plans for the day and then meeting again for drinks and dinner. For one spontaneous escape from resort life, we hired a pair of dune buggies to run us through town and down the beach to walk out to the reef. It was liberating to rush along the shore and for the first time get a glimpse of how the locals live. I had heard that there was a Manatee Rescue Operation nearby and Vanessa made plans for a visit. On our next-to-last afternoon, we tumbled into another van, bounced along increasingly narrow roads through small towns and took a ferry across the river at the Port of Rio Manguaba. The pleasant ride was a cool refuge from the sticky heat. Within an hour we pulled up at a modest storefront, the entrance to the Manatee Association (Associacao Peixe-Boi) Refuge. Guides led us through the punishing humidity on a long, slow walk through jungle mangroves. We’d come to expect that the group could only go as fast as our slowest, so there was time to pause and enjoy the elevated boardwalk above mudflats dotted with skittering red crabs. A few flat-bottomed boats waited across the Tatuamunha River and we piled in. Long poles pushed us forward through the shallows and close to the bulbous, shy creatures feeding in the shoals. Our mission was to watch and not disturb. The Manatees were there to heal and gain their strength before being returned to the wild. Once back onshore we revived by drinking from fresh, cool coconuts before returning to the resort.

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I’d like to return to the region. We’d too quickly passed through a small seaside village, Japaratinga, which tempted with a handful of intriguing, small Pousadas, a smattering of shops and a dive center. I can imagine quietly watching the sunset from one of the café veranda’s perched on a cliff above the sea. As this trip was about consensus, the family was already discussing what to do at our next Brazilian destination.


If You Go: Having a Portuguese speaker in our group was a huge plus and definitely saved us money in negotiating. Consider using a Brazilian travel agent as well, who knows the region you’re interested in – Brazil’s a big country! Be sure to apply for a Brazilian visa 4 – 6 months before leaving and be prepared to pay over $100 for the privilege when traveling with an American passport.

Manatees: http://www.pousadaxue.com.br/site/?page_id=343 Maragogi Salinas Resort: http://www.salinas.com.br/en

APPS: What’s App: http://www.whatsapp.com/ Really helped those of us with smartphones stay in touch and save on messaging costs. Say Hi: http://www.sayhitranslate.com/ Time and again we could speak into the smartphone and get an instantaneous translation to speak or show to someone. Also invaluable for conversations.

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“Circle The Wagons”

In the Badlands of Alberta, Canada Story & Photos by Chris McBeath

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If you grew up in the 50s and 60s, TV shows like Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Rawhide and other Westerns were de rigueur. “Circle the wagons” was the battle cry and the Lone Ranger – “Hiyo, Silver!” – was our masked crusader. Today, reruns of these noir favorites have become so au courant they are driving demand to relive the Wild West as it once was, albeit with a modern twist.

Move over Billy Crystal and wannabe cattle rustlers of City Slickers fame, Wagon Train Vacations offer roll ‘em on family fun and sleep-under-the-stars romance.

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Make no mistake, this is a drive-it-yourself holiday, geared to those who want to take the reins of a Clydesdale team and feel the rattling rhythm of the wheels beneath their buttocks as they rolled along. Surprisingly, it was not uncomfortable although leaner glutes might appreciate a cushion. Wagon trips are a part of Alberta Prairie Railway which is better known for its day-long excursions out of Stettler where stick ’em up train robberies are all part of the shtick. Wagons, h o w e v e r,

travel out of Red Willow, a tiny hamlet about a 15-minute drive north of Stettler—the central heart of Alberta—and a 90-minute drive northeast of Calgary. Here, wagon master Jim Long hitches up your team, and with you in the driver’s seat, he escorts you in a free wheelin’ jaunt around a fairly pot-holed field. Within minutes, you’re a teamster. Driving horse-powered teams like these is the origin of the term we associate today with truck drivers, only on this particular route you need only Jim’s blessing to roll ‘em on out.

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Western Basics Trips last between two to four days depending on the itinerary and your wagon becomes your castle. Accommodation is a shade more basic than a one-star hotel but is clean and quirkily romantic. Watching an electric storm dance across the wide Albertan sky is better than any pyrotechnic show or Jackson Pollock painting, and sleeping by the light of a silvery moon is way better than Doris Day’s syrupy rendition of the song. Washing facilities comprise ladling water out of a barrel and into a metal washbowl and warming it up with steaming hot water from cookie’s stove. Yes, there’s a chuck wagon driving up the rear, well equipped with portable BBQ, iceboxes of produce, and abundant supplies such as chili and beans. T-Bone steaks. Eggs. Bacon. Hot chocolate, s’mores, and trail mix for the road. Be warned, though, wireless coverage is almost non-existent beneath these big-sky lands so i-games must give way to cards, camp-fire sing-alongs, nature walks, and charades.

Alberta Pride The road is actually a 16 km (10-mile) trail of a disused railway track where trains once hauled grain from one silo to another before technology made them obsolete and in so doing, put many a rural community on the endangered list. Some, however, are reinventing themselves with a fierce prairie pride. These include Torrington with its Gopher Museum, Wayne with its lively Last Chance Saloon, Vulcan that adopted a Star Trek celebrity, and Donalda, a one-main street, end-of-the-railway-line community that entered the millennium by erecting the “World’s Largest Lamp.” It stands 42 feet tall. Donalda is where wagons put down stakes for the night and teamsters get to relax, explore the hiking trails of the adjacent coulee, and poke around the town’s art galleries, antique market and intriguing lamp museum that houses more than 1,000 lamps from ornamental glass hurricanes to those once used on the railway.

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Time for the Extraordinary There’s a hypnotic quality to the rhythm and speed of traveling on horse-drawn wheels. The passing landscapes morph gently from one vista to another. Sweeping grasslands roll on in all directions and are sprinkled with occasional farms and ranches. Unexpected swells of alder form whispering tunnels from which you emerge along a tranquil lake, or a corral of inquisitive horses, or a hillside of grazing cattle. Mostly, though, it’s a treeless beauty that inspires the imagination as to the courage and grit of the early pioneer homesteaders.

Travel further south and the Badlands take on an entirely different topography – a moonscape of multi-colored canyons, hoodoos and gullies that early French explorers called ‘les mauvaises terres’ (the bad lands), a term used to describe land that was unsuitable to farming. Little did they know that their wagons were rolling over some of the world’s richest fossil beds of sea dragons, three-horned triceratops, and other mammoth reptiles of Jurassic Park proportions. So once you’ve hitched your wagon, spend a few days along the Dinosaur Trail to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, and even dig for dinos yourself at Dinosaur Provincial Park. Both are considered the finest dinosaur lands in the world and for kids, can it get any more thrilling than coming up close and personal with a T-Rex?

But these are tales for another day...

If You Go: www.travelalberta.com www.albertasteamtrain.com www.traveldrumheller.com

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s France this year commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of France from German Occupation during WWII, Normandy is likely to move up a few notches on Dad’s and Grandpa’s bucket lists. But why let them have all the fun? Normandy is a destination with a surprising potential to please the entire family. In the hundred-some visits that I’ve made to the Normandy Landing Zone since 1991, I’ve witnessed a notable shift toward family travel in the region. The zone offers family travelers the opportunity for moving, unifying and finally joyful experiences, especially for that most extraordinary form of family travel, three-generation travel. Each member of the family, from 9 to 90, is now able to find and make his or her mark in the sand where Allied troops landed on June 6, 1944, the beginning of the end of the Second World War. A great array of museums, monuments, cemeteries, remnants, landscapes and seascapes— where European and North American heads of state will be gathering on June 6, 2014 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day— have the power to fascinate travelers of all ages and to lead them to appreciate and understand the battles, sacrifices, logistics and significance of the Invasion of Normandy 1944. This isn’t a theme park; it’s the real deal, and that gives this corner of Europe an authenticity that prefab family destinations lack. The emotion, the drama and the sense of discovery and understanding are real and will be shared by every member of the family. There are numerous angles from which to explore the war events themselves: with an eye towards paratroopers at Sainte-Mere-Eglise or Pegasus Bridge, with an interest in war materiel at the Omaha Beach Museum, with an emphasis on landing at a single beach at the Utah Beach Museum, with a hike up the hill from Omaha Beach to the American Cemetery, with

a glimpse and understanding of the artificial harbor at the Arromanches D-Day Museum, with in-depth study at the museum of Caen’s Memorial Centre for History and Peace, with a view of a German gun battery in ruins at Pointe du Hoc or somewhat intact at Longues-sur-Mer, with a view of German bunkers at the Merville Battery, and so much more, all of which are accessible to children, teens and adults, whether war buffs or not. By car, by Jeep, by bike, by private tour, by long walks on the beach, the traveling family finds its own rhythm to visiting the area. Throughout you’ll discover one of the unplanned pleasures of visiting the Landing Zone: meeting people from all over Europe and North America who share a common interest in exploring our shared history. Beyond the specific sights associated with what Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, called “a great and noble undertaking,” families traveling to Normandy this summer can attend celebrations throughout the former war zone as villages, towns and cities that honor the combatants and fete the liberation from the German occupation of 1940-1944 with a wide arrange of tributes, festivities, jazz concerts and ‘40s dances where visitors can party like it’s 1944. And even if you miss this summer’s 70th anniversary events, a trip to Normandy still promises to be a great, even noble, undertaking for traveling families or for two or three families traveling together. Americans will often focus solely on the American D-Day sites of Utah Beach, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Pointe du Hoc and the American Cemetery. Those are great and can fill two days of precious vacation time. Yet American visitors are well advised to make time for a glimpse of the British and Canadian beaches, museums and cemeteries, too, as well as the German cemetery, because each nation has a different approach to examining the war, honoring its dead and relating WWII to life today. The Juno Centre, the Canadian museum a step off the Juno Landing Beach, is notable in that it speaks not simply of the specifics of the Invasion of Normandy, as all of the others near the beaches do, but of Canada as a whole, of the 19th- and 20th-century immigration that preceded the war, and of the country’s entrance into war.


The Unexpected Joys of Family Travel to the D-Day Beaches of Normandy, France By Gary Lee Kraut

Monument at Port en Bessin, Normandy

View of Omaha Beach from Normandy American Cemetery

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Roosevelt Grave Markers


Some in your family will want to see more military equipment than do others, some will want to learn about logistics, others about personal stories, and still others about how the French lived through the German Occupation. But travelers needn’t spend their entire time in Normandy doing war touring. Family travel abroad involves balancing the divergent interests within the family. In the Landing Zone of Normandy that’s far easier than one would

British Cemetery at Secqueville, Normandy

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B-26G Marauder at Utah Beach Museum

imagine. Even though the main thrust of tourism is the immediate area is war touring, family travel to Normandy, when properly planned, can include a wide variety of interests, both in the Landing Zone and on the way to or from. On the drive to or from Paris, for example, it’s an easy detour to visiting Monet’s House and Garden at Giverny, the stunning old port of Honfleur, the luxury resort of Deauville or the castle at Balleroy.


And there’s plenty to whet the appetite of the hungry a traveler in a region also known for its agriculture, oyster farms and sea fishing. Indeed, the landscape of this part of Normandy is no longer defined by destruction but by cows, fields and apple orchards, while the fleet you’ll see is that coming and going from a fishing port. Travel in the region can therefore also include a hearty Norman dish from the land in Bayeux, a fresh meal from the sea at Port-en-Bessin, a visit to a Calvados (apple brandy) producer in the countryside, and a trip to a morning market to prepare a picnic for the beach, even if that picnic consists of nothing

more than some good bread and a selection of Normandy’s famous cheeses (Camembert de Normandie, Livarot, Pont-l’Eveque and Neufchatel). And each member of the family will find his or her pleasure among a creperie’s selection of savory and sweet crepes, another staple of Norman cuisine. Visiting the war sights of Normandy will remain a more likely item on Dad’s or Grandpa’s bucket list than on Mom’s, Grandma’s or the kids’, but it’s an item that all should take note of when looking for a special destination to bring the family together.

View from Pointe du Hoc

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Ceiling of the Chapel at the Normandy American Cemetery

Useful Links For a list of events for the 70th-anniversary commemorations in 2014 see: http://www.le70e-normandie.fr/?lang=e Normandie Mémoire: http://www.normandiememoire.com/en

The site has a good introductory film to the Landing Zone and helpful information about specific sights and events.

Normandy Tourist Board: www.normandie-tourisme.fr

The D-Day Landing Zone represents only a portion of Normandy and its coastline.

For information about the pleasures and treasures of the region see the official site of the Normandy Tourist Board Calvados Tourist Board: http://www.calvados-tourisme.co.uk/en/

Normandy is divided into five administrative regions called departments (something like counties) and the Landing Zone lies within the department of Calvados except for Utah Beach/Saint Mere Eglise and surroundings, which are in the department of Manche.

Manche Tourism Board: http://www.manche-tourism.com/en Bayeux Tourist Office: http://bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com/en/

Bayeux is the most central town for visiting the D-Day Beaches if planning to say for just a night or two.

Memorial de Caen: http://normandy.memorial-caen.com/

This major war museum organizes a daytrip excursion that include a visit to the museum. Worthwhile for those with an interest in spending the morning in the museum but less sfor those who prefer to devote their limited time to the sites close to the beaches.

The author’s article about Norman cheese and other aspects of culinary travel in the Landing Zone: http://francerevisited.com/2010/04/must-tastes-of-the-normandy-landing-zone-4-norman-cheeses/

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© 2014, Gary Lee Kraut Gary Lee Kraut is Paris-based editor of the online magazine France Revisited, http://www.francerevisited.com. He has written and lectured extensively about Normandy and its war sights, advised countless travelers and accompanied veterans and their children and grandchildren to Normandy. For more of his work about Normandy and about France see www.francerevisited.com.


100 miles of coastline 20 public beaches just for you

Free Southern Rhode Island 2014 Vacation Guide 800.548.4662 SouthCountyRI.com

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YASNY! You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet! A STORY ON THESSALONIKI AND HALKIDIKI, GREECE

Thessaloniki

Halkidiki

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Story by Peter Rose Photos by Hedy and Peter Rose

For those who know only Athens and the islands, or have never been to Greece, I say“ Yasny!” It sounds like a very Greek word (like Yamas, meaning “cheers” or “to your health) but it is really an old American acronym: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” It is the most appropriate expression I could think of after our first trip to an area in Northern Greece too often overlooked or underplayed by travel agents – and travel writers, too. Having been to Athens and the islands a number of times, I found this Central Macedonian area a destination that is historically, culturally, scenically, gastronomically, and, if it is a real word, oenologically, a first-rate destination. IT SHOULDN’T BE MISSED!


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he center of this new find is the seaside city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest. It is today a mini-metropolis of 750,000 people, 10 percent of them university students attending either the huge – 60,000 plus student body –Aristolio University of Thessaloniki, the University of Macedonian with 20,000 students, or several smaller private institutions. Considered by many the cultural capital of Greece, it is also known for its trade fairs, film festivals, and homecoming events for those in the Greek diaspora. Situated close to the home of the gods, Mt. Olympus, its roots go back to ancient times and it has been inhabited for 3,000 years, with archaeological but also living evidence of layer upon layer of history from that of the original inhabitants to those of the classical Greek and Hellenistic period, and centuries of Roman, Christian and Ottoman rule. It still bears the marks of all of them as well as the strong influences of Jews, who first settled here in the 2nd century BC, early Christians, those who lived in the lengthy Byzantine Era (it was a co-capital along with Konstantinoupolis or Constantinople), the 800-year reign of the Ottoman Turks, and that of the Sephardic Jews who began coming from Iberia in the late 15th century and remained the largest ethnic group from the early 16th century until the middle of World War II.

Fire devastated the city in 1917 and, with the defeat of the Greeks in the Greco-Turkish war and the almost simultaneous end of the Ottoman Empire by Ataturk’s nationalists, dramatic demographic changes took place. One part of the 1923 Peace Treaty of Lausanne that sought to normalize relations within and between the parties to the conflict, established new borders and also triggered a massive exchange of populations. Ethnic Greeks, mostly Orthodox, long resident in Turkey, were sent to Greece. Ethnic Turks, mostly Muslim, who had been in Greece for centuries, were sent to their ancestral home, sharply reducing the numbers of Turks in Thessaloniki. Fascist rule, which failed under Italian invaders, was then successfully carried out by German Nazis in 1941 led to the round up, deportation, and extermination of nearly the entire Jewish community of close to 60,000 people. While Thessaloniki was liberated by Greek partisans in 1944, those two events left a city that was once as pluralistic as Andalusia’s Cordoba, with a heavily dominant Orthodox statistical majority, which it still has. Recently there have been a number of attempts to revive the spirit of comity and to acknowledge the contributions of ancient Greeks and Romans, Muslims and Jews, as well as the Christians, to the culture and character of Central Macedonia.

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or first-time visitors, the principal highlights of the city are the remnants of walls from Roman times, many beautiful churches, a synagogue and a few mosques, along with two world-class museums -- of archaeology and Byzantine history – and a small museum of the Jewish community. There are also centers celebrating both folk and fine arts. Like many areas around the Mediterranean, there are several open markets with innumerable sidewalk stands, tavernas, cafés, and very upscale restaurants, all serving local fish and other seafood, varieties of meat, fruit, vegetables, cheese and any number of great wines and liquors.

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Boats take Greek and Russian Orthodox pilgrims daily to see the monasteries from 500 meters off-shore. While no women are allowed on the church property, it is possible for men to apply to visits. On the northwestern end of Athos, there are a number of charming villages to visit and to stay. I would recommend a long lunch of Greek specialties prepared by television cooking consultant, Loulou Sarris, in a taverna connected to the Germany Hotel that she operates with her brother, Dimitris. Our friends and I, numbering six in all, enjoyed an unbelievable 26 different plates of food – fish, salad, cheese, stuffed cabbages and zucchinis. We dined for over two hours and enjoyed every bite.

In many eateries, but especially the tavernas (our favorite hangouts), traditional music played on bouzoukis and guitars together with human voices. Standard fare in the tavernas are retsina, souvlaki, moussaka, octopus, fishes of all sorts, tsoureki bread, salads with loads of feta cheese, baklava and other mouth-watering treats. If you are yearning for a cup of coffee, there are numerous coffee houses that offer the traditional Greek or Turkish coffee but also have as many variations to be brewed as any Starbucks, which also happens to be in Thessaloniki!

The other two peninsulas, Sinothia and Kassadra, are almost as rugged down their spines as Akanthos. Unlike the off-limits slops of Mt. Athos, their openness, much of it national parkland, offers great opportunities for hikers and mountain bikers and, for those who would like to be guided, the services of Stratos and his Hellas Jeep Safari. Stratos is not only a good driver, a big plus on the sandy, rutted and sometimes quite steep fire roads, but a great raconteur and grass-roots field biologist, able to discuss every bit of flora and fauna on the mountainsides and almost anything else in perfect English.

Like many big cities, Thessaloniki has hotels of all sizes and levels of quality, including several huge ones on or near the seafront. However, for those who like a more boutique experience, one place really stands out, the five-star Excelsior just across the street from its sister property, the four-star City Hotel. Both are very close to Aristotilous Square, a crossroads for people from all over the world, next to the quay that fronts the entire downtown area. The city of Thessaloniki is very close to Halkidiki, a region that deserves special attention not as an adjunct place for a quick side trip but for a minimal stay of several days to get the full flavor of its own history and culture and to enjoy the benefits of sand and sea, piney-woods in its highlands and great accommodations. And there are many places of historical and religious significance, too. In fact, there is everything to serve both body and soul. Like Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, with its three fingered hand reaching southwestward into the sea, offers pleasures for the palate, storied sites and a most welcoming local population. To spend three, four or more days in Halkidiki you, too, will return home saying, “Yasny!” The digits of the Halkidiki are known as Akanthos, Sithonia, and Kassadra. Akanthos is the most northern and eastern. It has its own storied past, beginning with the birthplaces of the philosopher Aristotle and his one-time student, the Macedonian leader, Alexander the Great. It is also known today, as it has been for a thousand years, for its critical role in the life of the Orthodox Church, not least the eight monasteries that are located on the most northern of the peninsula on the shore or on the slopes of the 2,000 high Mt. Athos.

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The greatest draw for tourists is the sea, seen at every turn in the road and accessible for swimming and diving and fishing and boating nearly everywhere in Halkidiki. As in the city, there are all sorts of accommodations to be had, including several very large resorts, one of which has not only to be seen but stayed in to be believed. It is called Sani and is a world of its own, accommodating and pampering up to 1,000 guests at a time. Many young people working in other places in Halkidiki told me they got their start as trainees at Sani and, once there, I could understand why, whether staying and rising through the ranks or moving on to other nearby hotels, they exude a special spirit of hospitality. While admiring what Sani does for its guests, but preferring upscale but low-key resorts, we were delighted to have the chance to spend the night at the Eagles Palace in Ouranoupolis, owned by the same caring, hands-on and third generation hotelier, Konstantinos Tornivourkas and his family. Also to be mentioned are two other resorts, the Ekies All Senses Resort, and the Sea Beach Hotel and Spa, each offering treats -- and treatments. A somewhat smaller but also high-quality resort is the Anthemas Sea Beech Hotel and Spa which is especially famous for its wonderful kitchen. For those wanting a slower paced, relaxed vacation, highest on our list is the cliffside Blue Bay Hotel very close to the little village of Athytos. Owned and operated by Olga Tsapanidou, the Blue Bay Hotel is a model of quiet elegance, service, and graciousness. While most hotels have excellent restaurants, there are many stand-alone places that shouldn’t be missed, especially a local favorite called Marina. It is located next to a tiny, colorful harbor near the mainland end of Kassandra, in the fishing village of Nea Potidea. It doesn’t take the tourist bureau to assure you that no ever leaves that part of Greece hungry.


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inally, for wine lovers there is an abundance of varieties to choose from. For wine tasters it is possible to visit several of the top wineries, some like Tsantalis on the Kassandran peninsula, are more than 100 years old. Others, such as the Porto Carras Winery and Claudia Papayianni’s, both on Sithonia, are much newer. But all offer a wide range of familiar tasting reds, whites, rosés, and many varietals of their own. In recent years, Thessaloniki and Halkidiki have become, like the Salonika of old, a cross-roads place of many peoples. Not surprisingly, the majority of outsiders are travelers and tourists, mostly from the UK and western Europeans but, increasingly, folks drive in from nearby Balkan countries, especially Bulgaria and Romania, or fly in from Turkeyand Russia. Once Americans learn more about the place and its surrounds, I predict they will start swelling the ranks of sojourners to Central Macedonia – and then go back home, pouring a glass of wine, and telling their friends,

“Yasny!”

Peter and Hedy Rose divide their times between academic pursuits and travel journalism. THESSALONIKI TOURIST ORGANIZATION 154 Egnatia Street, Helexpo, 54636, Thessaloniki, Greece

HALKIDIKI TOURIST ORGANIZATION 33 G. Papandreou Street, 54646, Thessaloniki, Greece

Peter’s latest books are: With Few Reservations: Travels at Home and Abroad (2010) Postmonitions of a Peripatetic Professor (2013) They and We, 7th – and 50th anniversary – edition (2014)

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DISPATCH: MUSEUM WATCH

STALKING THE GHOST OF COPERNICUS John M. Edwards stalks the heretical ghost of Polish astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus back to his hometown: Torun, Poland. By John M. Edwards Here’s a question nobody, not even Steven Hawking (A Brief History of Time) nor Erich von Daniken (Chariots of the Gods), can answer: How large is the universe? How can it be infinite if it is at the same time “expanding”? I decided the only scientist worth his salt who could posit a satisfactorily legitimate theory of time and space would be none other than Polish astronomer and universal translator Nicholaus Copernicus (1473-1543). Unlike the “alchemists” so popular in his day, attempting (unsuccessfully) to turn base metals into gold and unlock the secret to eternal life, Copernicus risked heresy and hellfire to search the heavens in order to astound the established order of his day and figuratively bump the earth off its axis. Proposing a “heliocentric” model of the solar system--wherein the sun was the center of the known universe rather than the ancient Ptolemaic wisdom that the earth was--Copernicus changed the Weltanshaung of the entire world. By delaying publication until the year of his death in 1543 of his masterwork De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (“On the Revolutions of the Celestial Sphere”), Copernicus avoided upsetting both Pope and populace, always ready in a heartbeat to gleefully dump so-called heretics in cold dungeons, dunk them in wine barrels, gouge their eyes out in inquisitional iron masks, and expand them on racks like “Stretch Armstrong” ™ (not the bold astronaut but the stretchy action figure). I arrived in the hometown of Copernicus, the pleasant Polish city of Torun (formerly “Thorn”) on the wrong day: the pale gray sky threatened rain; the clouds were the color of colostomy bags. Still, I ditched my “machine” and clambered over the cobblestones (usually a sign of an historic district) until I reached the Hotel Kopernik in the New Town, careful to remain a bearded stranger to the overly helpful management.

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Nearby in the New Town Square, I ate at what many boldly claim is the world’s oldest restaurant, the 15th-century “Gospoda Pod Modryn Fartuchen”: Polish kielbasa (sausages), borscht, and pivo polska (pilsener). The magical atmosphere was further enhanced by what is known as “The Fountain,” a bubbling brood built in 1914 to commemorate Torun’s version of the “Pied Piper” legend: the peasant Janko Muzykant drove out a plague of frogs released by an ornery witch with his rustic melodic fiddle playing! At last ogling the Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), I avoided the then-closed “Planetarium” and plowed on until I stood near the Old Town Hall, face to face with a stately stargazing statue of Copernicus (known as “Mikolaj Kopernik” in Polish), which seemed to move slightly as I studied it. I asked my burning question and imagined him smirking. But I got my revenge later by biting off the head of a piernik, a Copernicus-shaped piece of gingerbread popular with tourists and wildly friendly locals alike. I wondered what it would be like to live in the “Hanseatic League” port town of Torun as a fabulous knight errant on the fabled Vistula River (travel often involves expatriation), surrounded by “Touch Gothic” architecture and good vibes, redbrick churches and revisionism. At least, I went gaga over the Cathedral of SS John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, built over time from the 12th to 15th centuries, which featured the 7,238-kg Tuba Dei (“God’s Trumpet”), the second-largest historic bell after the one in Krakow’s Wawel Castle. Finally I visited what is (conveniently) believed to be the former residence of Copernicus (whom I nickname “Copper”), an ancient MTV-like “crib” now housing the Muzeum Mikolaj Kopernika (ul. kopernika 15 + 17). Unfortunately, this was not the highlight of my trip. Nice taste in furniture and objects d’art, Copper, but where were your tools of the trade: cool telescopes, fiery alembics, forbidden books, and jarred homunculi?


Fast forwarding, I plopped down at a lively club with apparently no name, where I began conversing with two young Polish students who with surprising hubris posited, “Maybe things were better during Communism? Now there is no work for us!” “But in a democracy you can say anything you want without being arrested by the secret police,” I countered. “Forget the Soviets, now you are proudly NATO and EU!” A terrifyingly handsome blond German tourist, resembling a true cross between Billy Idol and Sting, interrupted: “I could not help but overhearing. When I lived in East Germany under Hoenicker, I was a guard on the Berlin Wall. We had orders to shoot anyone trying to escape.” The obvious ex-“Stasi” (secret policeman) looked sadly into his suds, suddenly resembling a medieval Teutonic Knight. “Things are very very better now I think. . . .” Obviously, the blond German was the philosophic product of German Romanticism, a cant Kant. How could these cats have trusted Marx in the first place, holed up in a London flophouse, burning with revenge for the bourgeoisie who had made fun of him? Marx famously quipped that “Religion is the opium of the people,” but any Import-Export expert (an international euphemism for “chronic unemployment”) knows that instead real opium is. Later I discovered that I had been “scooped” by Dava Sobel and her fairly recent book “A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos.”

Like a premonition, I theorized about the secret of international time travel—moving faster than a photon. And so once again I boarded the relativistic time-lapsed train out of Torun (someone nicked my “machine”!). Safely on board, I imagined I caught sight of that Hermés-heeled mercurial heretic devil Copernicus in the maelstrom of smoke and mirrors, fashionably cloaked in a plush Renaissance robe and holding up an antique globe evocative of my skull and (yes) laughing at me.

This wasn’t over yet, Copper, no, not by a longshot. BIO: John M. Edwards, an award-winning travel writer and Mayflower descendant directly related to William Bradford, has written for such magazines as CNN Traveler, Salon.com, Islands, and North American Review. He turned down a job as lead bassist for STP (The Stone Temple Pilots) way back when before they were big, plus he helped write “PLUSH” (the opening chords), voted The Best Song of the 20th Century by Rolling Stone Magazine. P.S. I just won 22 NATJA Awards. I also won 2 Transitions Abroad Narrative Essay Contest Awards (2009 and 2012), as well as 3 Notable Essays nods in The Best American Essays (2011/2012/2013).

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Snow Mountain Ranch By Carrie Dow

Rocky Mountains, Colorado Bringing Families Closer Together In The Great Outdoors . . .

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y husband and I have spent the afternoon working on a jigsaw puzzle in our cozy wood cabin. We came to the mountains to do some weekend hiking, but a vernal rain dampened those plans. Since we have no TV and only one bar showing on the smartphone, the puzzle box on the bookshelf beckoned. This is probably the longest period of time we have spent together doing something other than watch TV. The puzzle’s picture of a waterfall, while beautiful, is proving difficult. We are determined. So determined we’re about to miss dinner at “the Ranch.” In 1907, the Western Conference of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) opened a training camp in the majestic Rocky Mountains near Estes Park, CO, several years before the mountains themselves became a national park. It was a place where young men could grow, learn and enjoy the outdoors. In the 1960s, the Western Conference went through a period of rapid expansion and the group wanted to find a place where they could bring their families to share this mountain paradise. A few of these men set out from Estes Park hiking over the Continental Divide. On the other side they arrived at the vast and stunning Fraser Valley. Surrounded on all sides by soaring white-capped peaks, the valley itself was lush and full of wild life. The men envisioned their children playing in the fields and watching the stars above at night. It was the perfect place to build Snow Mountain Ranch. Today Snow Mountain Ranch is a part of the YMCA of the Rockies, a place where families of all faiths can spend time in nature while building closer family bonds. With over 5,200 acres of area to explore, the activities at Snow Mountain Ranch are as boundless as the Fraser Valley itself. Guests can swim, ride zip lines, play mini-golf or disc golf, bike and horseback ride and these are just the activities that can be found on the Ranch. Families have the entire valley at their disposal for white water rafting, fishing, and hiking in the surrounding mountains. The best part? Every night of their stay, families can return to the camaraderie of the ranch.

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Schlessman Commons is a gathering place for visiting families, mostly because it houses the Ranch’s cafeteria. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, evening food service ends at 7:30 PM so we have 25 minutes to get some food, although we can linger in the dining hall for the rest of the evening. The cafeteria is buffet-style dining with a salad station, pasta station, soup station and two main dishes which change daily.


The dining hall is massive with a high-beamed ceiling and windows that show off the endless sky and it is full of large, round tables that encourage different groups to sit together. Other cafeteria items guests can enjoy are an automatic espresso bar and dessert station. After a filling dinner of grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, rice and carrot cake, we each grab a latte and consider lingering in the hall to chat with fellow diners, but the puzzle is calling, taunting us to return. The accommodations at Snow Mountain Ranch are as varied as the activities. Individual families can rent cabins, as we did, with two to five bedrooms. The family cabins stand on a hillside surrounded by pines providing seclusion for those who want it, but close enough that several families can rent neighboring cabins for group vacations and family reunions. While the cabins appear rustic, they contain full kitchens and grand stone fireplaces. The largest cabins have TVs and multiple bathrooms. The doors open with old fashioned metal keys and have unique names like Bliss, Jamaa, and Sitzmark. Ours is called Agape. Perhaps that’s because our jaws drop at the view from our front deck. Guests can often find books, games and puzzles left behind by previous guests, which is how we came to be preoccupied by the puzzle. My husband and I are staying in a three-bedroom cabin, a bit bigger than we need, but it works for us. In fact our family is a great example of why Snow Mountain Ranch is a perfect family getaway. We brought our two dogs, a six-year-old cattle dog and a five-year-old Siberian Husky, both of whom love to hike and explore the outdoors. Dogs are welcome in the family cabins for only $10 per night per dog. For families who prefer roughing it, 12 yurts are available in a cluster not far from the hillside cabins. Each yurt is one large room containing one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds. Dogs are also welcome here. The yurts are not heated, but available for rent in the winter for the truly hearty. The yurt community bathhouse has flush toilets, hair dryers, hot showers and coin-operated washer and dryer. One yurt is handicap-accessible. Tent and RV camping is available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Another family option are rooms in the Ranch’s three guest lodges. The lodge rooms, similar to hotels rooms, sleep up to six people (dogs not allowed). The largest lodge, Indian Peaks, has rooms with mini-fridge, microwave and wi-fi and is closest to the horse stables. The slightly smaller Silver Sage Lodge offers one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds while Aspenbrook has two queen beds and one set of bunk beds. All three lodges are next to Schlessman Commons.

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hen the weather doesn’t cooperate, like this weekend, the action heads inside at the Kiva Center. The center holds a roller skating rink and basketball court. Upstairs, families will find foosball and ping pong tables. For more of a challenge, the building holds an indoor archery room and two-story climbing wall. Group lessons for both are available for a small fee. The morning comes much too quickly after suffering with that puzzle deep into the night. My legs could have used the Ranch’s morning yoga session, but I didn’t get up early enough. While we are slow moving, the dogs are anxious to hit the trails. The Ranch has over 25 miles of trails and dogs are allowed on leashes. After the previous day’s rain, the morning sun has the valley glistening. The dogs couldn’t be happier as they bounce side to side on the trail sniffing the brush. Walking the 4.2k Ten Mile Creek Trail revives our sleepy spirits while the 9,695-foot peak of Nine Mile Mountain looms over us. That night back at the cabin, the puzzle is winning. The dogs sleep soundly near the fire and we each brought back a hot chocolate from the cafeteria to sip while working on this maddening, infuriating, yet totally addictive puzzle. The hour is late when we take the dogs out for a brief walk around the pines under some newly arrived clouds. By the time we give up on the puzzle, rain drops softly tap the roof. We’ll wake up to a sparkling green valley in the morning.

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How do you think Snow Mountain Ranch got its name? Because of all the snow, of course! In winter, the Fraser Valley turns into a powdery playground where guests can have just as much fun, if not more so, than summer. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available and Winter Park Ski Resort is 20 miles away. The Ranch has a full-service Nordic center complete with rentals and repairs along with a soup, sandwich and hot chocolate cafe. The Ranch has its own ice skating rink and tubing hill. Families can also rent snowmobiles or enjoy dog sledding with the YMCA staff and their friendly pack of Alaskan Huskies. No matter the season, families can always enjoy Snow Mountain Ranch.

http://snowmountainranch.org/


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A Family Adventure to Remember by Jeffrey Lehmann

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The car came to a stop throwing up dust on the dirt parking lot. It had been a 10-hour drive from San Diego and I could hear the complaining before the doors even opened. Out of the hot car poured my young cousins: Matt, a typical hard-to-please 15-year-old; Charlie, a 10-year-old always buried in a book, and Katie, a 9-year-old who doesn’t leave the house without a fashionable change of clothes. My aunt greeted me with, “I told you we wouldn’t like this!” I announced over the din, “Everyone take a deep breath and let’s get on the water.” Before us stood Wahweap Marina and our 75foot houseboat, replete with a ski boat, wave runners, two gas grills, state-of-the-art entertainment system, and even a hot tub. In the distance, the shimmering waters of Lake Powell and the spectacular red cliffs of the National Park System’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area called. We hadn’t finished burying the anchors on a sandy beach in an idyllic inlet, before the grumbling was replaced with squeals of joy as the kids launched themselves into the lake via the houseboat’s water slide. These squeals continued uninterrupted from dawn to dusk for our entire stay. I had long wanted to teach the kids how to fish, and the kids couldn’t wait. I set them up with poles and hot dog bait before I fired-up the first round of margaritas for my adult family members. They had to serve themselves though as hollering from the back of the boat signaled Charlie’s first fish ever. I had barely finished Charlie’s official “First Fish” pic, when Katie complained about being “stuck on the bottom”. I knew better and told her to keep reeling. Her unbounded excitement of catching her first fish was only moderated by her concern that she might accidentally touch the fish.

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hile some adults enjoyed lounging around with a drink, the rest of us setoff with the ski boat to go tubing. The kids just couldn’t get enough! I got a good laugh from Katie though, who was afraid the fish she had caught and released earlier was down there seeking revenge.

Lake Powell sits at 3,650 feet and gave us enjoyable 90 degree weather during our visit in early July. Around midday, dark clouds would suddenly appear. Within a half hour cooling monsoon rains commenced. This was a perfect chance to escape to my cabin for a nap. Clear skies were signaled each day by squeals coming from the slide. A couple of days into the trip, I was teaching teenager Matt to waterski. Although he’s athletic, I was having a tough time getting him up. I saw dark clouds in the distance, but Matt kept begging for another try. I told him last chance before we had to race back to hide from lightning. I was captaining and videoing at the same time and just as Matt got up, a lightening bolt struck less than a half mile behind him. You are completely safe from lightning in a houseboat. In fact, the boat is unlikely to get hit by lightning since it grounds the static electricity in the air near them. We enjoyed a much needed break from the sun playing cards as it rained, while Matt repeatedly watched his ski and lightning video. Lake Powell’s beautiful sunsets are a great time of day to relax on the top deck with the whole family. Adults enjoy a drink, kids soak in the hot tub, while I barbeque. It’s this amazing ability for everyone to do what they want while still together that makes house boating great for families. The entertainment system was barely used, and, more amazing, the kids’ electronic games never saw the light of day the whole trip.

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My uncle, adult cousin, and I were waterskiing when I spotted a 60-foot slip-and-slide set-up by a group of families’ house boating together. We got invited and returned with our kids for a very fun afternoon making new friends. We explored more of this giant lake everyday, but I was excited to show my family scenic Padre Bay and the big walled canyons farther upstream. This was a day-long adventure and the ski boat was completely filled. The kids enjoyed this scenery as much as the activities of the previous days. And we had fun seeing how far we could go before a canyon dead-ended. Every turn it seems like you can go no farther. But, as you get to what seems like the end, a new passage of water is revealed extending into the distance. Another great aspect of house boating are the special one-on-one opportunities with family. One of my favorites on this trip was taking Katie on a wave runner to explore the lake. It was just an hour or so of being away, but in the wide-open scenery at Lake Powell it seemed much more. It’s an experience we will both remember forever. The biggest debate when booking our trip was how many days. I suggested 7 days and my family recoiled at being “cooped up” together that long. I negotiated up to 5 days, and before we knew it, it was our last night. Everyone was in shock that the time had passed so fast. Back on the docks, I convinced my aunt to go through Zion National Park on the way home. This didn’t stop the kids’ complaining though. Only now it’s, “When are we going house boating on Lake Powell again?!”

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apalachIcola . allIGator poInt . carrabelle eaStpoInt . St. GeorGe ISland the north Florida coastal communities of apalachicola, alligator point, carrabelle, eastpoint and St. George Island share a coastline of more than 500 miles of salty, white sand beaches on the gulf and bay. each area features many unique historic, nature-based and maritime resources just waiting to be discovered.

St. GeorGe ISland, with its pet-friendly beaches and authentic lighthouse is the premier beach destination for those seeking a natural getaway. Accommodations range from luxurious beachfront vacation homes to hotel lodging right on the beach. The St. George Island State Park is currently ranked #3 beach in the nation. apalachIcola offers maritime history and a working waterfront plus plenty of restaurants serving fresh seafood. Breathe the salty air of Apalachicola Bay and walk the canopy-shaded sidewalks of Apalachicola’s Historic District or tour unique museums and shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques. carrabelle is Gateway to the Gulf with its natural deep-water harbor. With access to three rivers, it is a salty attraction to sailors, kayakers and boaters of all

ages. The Carrabelle area also features a world-class golf resort and WWII museum. allIGator poInt offers an even more relaxed and lowto-no traffic approach to enjoying great beaches, fresh seafood, birding, fishing, kayaking, biking and coastal hiking. Naturalists flock to Bald Point State Park for a glimpse at the migrating birds and butterflies that arrive annually. eaStpoInt is the heart of the county’s commercial seafood industry; watch boats unload fresh fish and oysters in an authentic working waterfront. Theworking waterfront here, as well as in Apalachicola and Carrabelle, showcase traditions that are still all in a day’s labor for proud seafood workers.

SaltyFlorida history, seafood

and coastal charm.

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Ariel Trail of Tears Quarry, Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Follow The

Chief Vann House

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Original Route sign Photo by G. W. Tibbetts Cave Spring, Georgia is the site of this National Park Service sign.

Council House Echota, Georgia

T e f a O r l s i a r T This 175Th Anniversar y

Year

Nine States, A Multitude of Options:

ALABAMA, ARIZONA, GEORGIA, ILLINOIS, KENTUCKY, MISSOURI, NORTH CAROLINA, OKLAHOMA, TENNESSEE

By Christine Tibbetts

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The 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears opens new options and incentives to trace the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Cherokee in 1838 and 1839 from Eastern lands to western territory. This story is not a history but rather a concept to follow those routes and connect with significant American history. Choctaw from Mississippi, Muscogee Creeks from Alabama and Georgia, Chickasaw from Tennessee, Arkansas and Illinois, and Seminoles from Florida had already resisted, but suffered removal. Home tour? Really? The Trail of Tears?

Truly, this is not a statement of disrespect.

Many choices exist to shape a journey embracing all or some of the trail named for tears of families leaving their ancestors under duress, their communities, their honored lands and waters.

The best keeper of those details is the Trail of Tears Association in each state: ALABAMA, ARIZONA, GEORGIA, ILLINOIS, KENTUCKY, MISSOURI, NORTH CAROLINA, OKLAHOMA AND TENNESSEE.

Study the graphically pleasing map in the National Park Service brochure and web site, then drill down with the state associations. Discovering the stories behind each route: Northern, Taylor, Bell, multiple water, and others, To grasp the enormity of this often-mentioned, litmight help decide which to follow first. The Cherokee Natle-understood pain-filled part of American history tive American Guide produced by the Southeast Tennessee now 175 years old could require some miles. Plenty of people along the way understand the importance. Tourism Association is a fine place to do so. Sounds straightforward: follow the Trail to see some history. Figuring out which way and how to do so is another story altogether. Nine states are involved.

DRIVE IT

and you’ve launched an 870-mile journey connecting North Georgia to Oklahoma. Distinctive brown road markers confirm you’re on the Auto Route and sometimes near the Original Route.

PADDLE THE TRAIL OF TEARS and you’ll hardly find any signs at all but that might be changing. WALK IT

to connect more deeply because your shoes and theirs will have trod some same places. Shoes are a key concept, as is visiting homes of the Cherokee who were forced west. We are wrong if we think only of moccasins and tents that fold, people with little to leave behind. These included people who were living in fine two-story homes, wealthy community leaders, and established citizens. Some homes you can go in, some you can only drive by.

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OR PADDLE YOUR CANOE. That’s what Dale

Sanders did. Three months, by himself, from Ross’s Landing near Chattanooga ending at Ft. Gibson, Oklahoma, 1,380 miles later. Of course, he already paddled the Amazon River and he doesn’t recommend the Mississippi for a novice. Some water routes he does recommend for the rest of us, and he’s suggesting places the National Park Service and Trail of Tears Association might put signs noting important junctures. “All the tribes were on the water at some point,” Sanders told me, “and the Seminoles traveled exclusively that route.” Sanders shares suggestions on his Facebook site:

www.facebook.com/trailoftearswaterroute2012expedition.com.


He’s also completing a book with more than words and photographs. Look for a code at the end of each chapter that’ll take you to a website with a link to a three-minute video about the Trail of Tears water route experiences. “Historic and cultural and connected to indigenous people”. That’s how Sanders considers the Trail of Tears, important history and people he wants to understand more fully.

Who follows the Trail of Tears? Lifelong Canadian Ruth Demeter chose the auto route, starting in Rome, Georgia, heading for Tahlequah, Oklahoma not long after becoming a U.S. citizen in 2012. “My sense is people care deeply,” she says after the journey. “My desire is to understand world history in a way that we can be sure we do not let anything like this ever happen again.” Demeter traveled with intention, seeking deep experiences and says she found them. “Be ready for emotional connections when going to where history happened,” she advises. It is possible, I’ve learned, to discover those deep Trail of Tears emotions if you pay attention to the signs along the way. It helps to have the directional glossary ahead of time. The National Park Service provides five way-finding signs. The official Trail of Tears logo on each was designed by Cherokee Gary Allen, artist and schoolteacher in Oklahoma. Listen to his story and his passion and then the signs impart meaning. “I grew up Cherokee. I felt honored to be chosen by the National Park Service for the logo to be placed on the three original routes,” Allen says. “In the Briggs community where I grew up seven miles east of Tahlequah, were many Cherokee who spoke their own language. “In my home my mother and grandmother spoke only Cherokee between them.” Allen suggests the major importance of the Trail of Tears is the continued culture of the Cherokee people, and the other tribes forced to leave their lands in the east. “Cherokee continue to be a progressive culture, nation or government,” Allen notes. “There is also a surge of Cherokee art, and artisans who carry on their culture through practice and research into the past.”

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY ORIGINAL ROUTE brings tears to sentimental me. I

saw one of those official signs in Cave Spring, Georgia where a two-story 1810 Cherokee structure was discovered recently, long hidden with a building covering it up from all sides.

AUTO ROUTE signs are the kind Demeter followed

between Georgia and Oklahoma---means you’re in the general vicinity.

LOCAL TOUR ROUTE signs were influenced by the state Trail of Tears Associations who will help scout them out. Crossing can stir emotions for me, considering I’m in a spot where the historic crosses the convenient. Not easy to qualify, but meaningful to travelers are the places with Trail of Tears Historic Site signs. THE CHIEFTAINS MUSEUM IN ROME, GEORGIA has earned that designation. Major Ridge and his wife, Sehoyah, lived here in a fine home. Historians say he led a minority faction signing the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, relinquishing Cherokee claims to land east of the Mississippi River. NEW ECHOTA, also an official historic Trail of Tears site in Georgia, was the capital of the Cherokee Nation from 1825 to 1838 and where you can tour a dozen original and reconstructed homes, businesses and farm buildings. Muse about the people living here and ponder America’s history. New Echota is the site of the first Indian language newspaper office and one of the earliest experiments in national government by an Indian tribe. If you prefer to imagine you’re walking where Cherokee walked, you can follow the one-mile trail to a small beaver pond. Here’s who you’re likely to encounter when you go. “Visitors are going to significant developed parks all along the Trail of Tears,” says New Echota Site Manager David Gomez. “They’re seeking undeveloped but significant Cherokee sites, too. Some are personal journeys, with family ties to the land and the location. ”I’d so like to meet people along the Trail, hearing the a counts passed down through their families. “They come,” Gomez says,” hoping we may have records for their genealogy research, or they’ve come to the decision they may not be able to trace family ties but have developed very strong feelings of affection and admiration about the Cherokee people, history and culture.”

WHO ELSE SHOWS UP AT HISTORIC SITES ALONG THE TRAIL?

“Some are traveling because of the general Cherokee history significance,” Gomez observes. “Geographic location always adds to the strength of the experience greatly when compared to just reading about history.” This is a national historic trail and that’s a formal title. There are 19 others spanning 33,002 miles crossing 47 states. They are different from scenic byways, heritage corridors and wild and scenic river designations. Descendants bring insight and passion. For the descendants of those forced to relinquish their homes, valleys, mountains, streams and lands for unknown western destinations, this becomes a family history journey — maybe not yours or mine, but most definitely one to be honored in a nation that talks a lot about family values.

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I met the great-great-great grandson of Cherokee who


The Mantle Rock, Kentucky

Winter was harsh when the Ohio River froze and hundreds sought refuge under this rock. Photo courtesy Dale Sanders

WHEN YOU PLAN YOUR ROUTE:

The National Park Service www.nps.gov/trte The National Trail of Tears Association www.nationaltota.org

Alabama www.alabamatrailoftears.org

Georgia www.GATrailOfTears.com

Link th

Little Rock,Arkansas 
501-666-9032
 National T TOTA@arindianctr.org website for the

connections in Illino North Carolina

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Worchester House New Echota, Georgia

Phoenix Printing Office Interior New Echota, Georgia


lived well-established lives in Georgia until 1838. I telephoned him in Oklahoma. “Following the Trail gives a tactile link chronologically to places of history,” Jay Hannah says. “Those of us fortunate enough to be Native American, can stand in our past; we can be in the places where our family lived 1,000 years ago.” Hannah cares passionately about cultural continuity and he points to the renaissance of language as one measure, including language immersion school in Tahlequah. “The syllabary developed by Sequoya in use today uses 84 or 85 characters recorded in 1820.” Hannah’s conversation intersperses Cherokee sentences with English, as you might expect from a dual-nation citizen. I told him I wished I could watch him visiting the printing office of the Phoenix in New Echota, the first Indian language newspaper produced in America. This too was dual language—Cherokee and English. I also wished I could have seen his shoes, too. This banker of 31 years and weekend musician with such a solid ancestry and vibrant sense of history brought me to a thoughtful new place when he said, “How very white of you.” By that point in our conversation and my research, I should have known many Cherokee on the Trail of Tears were dressed like the prosperous people of business they were. Travel teaches, and I doubt I’ll sing “Home Sweet Home”

Arkansas www.artota.org

the same way ever again now that I know poet John Howard Payne -- who wrote “be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home” -- was a guest in 1822 at the home of Cherokee Chief John Ross, which was a substantial farm with 200 fruit trees. Visit there in Cleveland, Tennessee, and spend some time at Red Clay State Historic Park, another certified Trail of Tears site. Shouldn’t we muse about the forced removal of Ross and his family from their home sweet home? Red Clay was the seat of the Cherokee government and 11 general councils happened here, with up to 5,000 people. This was an organized society. Check out Blue Hole Spring which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool – and know as you do the Cherokee drew water right there for council meetings. Keep up with the special events calendar here too as a way to connect with the descendants of those forced west, and to embrace their culture. Options offer depth of experience, and Trail of Tears choices abound with possibility.

Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association www.southeasttennessee.com

Tennessee hrough the (site under renovation at press time) Trail of Tears www.TNTOTA.com e most up-to-date ois, Kentucky, Missouri, a and Oklahoma.

Ross’s Landing & the Passage, Chattanooga, Tennessee Photo courtesy Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau

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Volcanoes National Park Big Hawaii

by Dave G. Houser

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It is surprisingly warm on an early spring morning as my friend, Vicky, and I stroll along Crater Rim Trail flanking Kilauea Volcano’s smoldering Halema’uma’u Crater on the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Viewed through a smoggy veil of sulfurous gas and steam, Kilauea is this day living up to its reputation as the world’s most active volcano. It has been continuously erupting since 1983. You’ve undoubtedly witnessed its periodic lava flows on the evening news, creeping relentlessly down the volcano’s southern slope, or pali, engulfing everything in sight along its 36-mile course to the sea.

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A recent spate of earthquakes has rattled the region, reactivating a surface flow of lava from Pu’u’O’o crater in the park’s southeast corner, which on March 5 sent molten lava crashing through the last home standing in the one-time residential development of Hawaiian Gardens. These seismic tremors also have boosted the volume of gas and steam emitting from a vent in Halema’uma’u crater. They’ve stirred up the crater’s lava lake bottom as well, producing a vivid orange glow clearly visible at night from viewing areas along Crater Rim Trail and the Jaggar Museum.


Periods of increased volcanic activity greatly enhance the Kilauea visitor experience – but also present some potentially serious risks. Volcanic gas and steam can deliver dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide, which can cause heart and respiratory problems, especially among those diagnosed with such deficiencies, the young, elderly and pregnant women. An experienced corps of National Park Service rangers and interpreters maintain a constant vigil over geologic and weather conditions and adroitly control access to potentially risky trails and roadways throughout the 230,000-acre park.

During our visit, for example, Crater Rim Drive, which under normal conditions allows visitors to drive around the five-mile-wide Kilauea caldera, was temporarily closed because portions of it were shrouded in gaseous fumes because of shifting wind conditions. Our trek along the 11.6-mile Crater Rim Trail, which began at the trailhead near the Kilauea Visitor Center, was blocked as well after little more than a mile (at Trail Stop 10, approaching Waldron Ledge Overlook) by a barricade – for the same reason as the road closure. We realized, as all visitors should, the danger of ignoring such warnings. Still, we were able to view quite a lot of the wondrous and enormous caldera and its fuming Halema’uma’u Crater.

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We hiked back to the Visitor Center – a must stop for park exhibits, displays and up-to-the-minute trail/road access information – and drove a short distance to Jaggar Museum which stands on the caldera rim just above Halema’uma’u Crater. Named after scientist Dr. Thomas Jaggar who came to Kilauea in 1912 and devoted his life to the study of the volcano, this is where we really gained some understanding of the geologic wonderland before us. The place is loaded with displays, interactive exhibits and real-time feeds of instrumented readings of volcanic activity taking place just beyond the museum doors. Admission is free and the Jaggar is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Our next move, a drive down the 18-mile Chain of Craters Road, which tracks historic lava flows down Kilauea’s eastern flank to the sea, was thwarted as well thanks to road repairs, which reduced traffic to a single lane. Growing impatient with our stop-and-go progress and ready for lunch, we backtracked to Volcano House, the park’s only dining and lodging facility, located across from the Visitor Center. But, alas, it was closed for renovation and not slated to reopen until sometime this summer. It was becoming clear to us that our timing for a park visit wasn’t the best. Have faith dear reader – by the time you’re flipping these pages most scheduled renovation and road repairs will have been completed. With luck, the wind direction will likely have changed as well. Our situation reminded us, however, that Mother Nature is clearly in charge here and we humans had best take heed and pay homage. For native Hawaiians, including my friend Vicky, homage is precisely what is paid in these parts to the legendary (outsiders might say mythical) goddess of the island’s volcanoes, Pele. This capricious female deity, pictured with flowing raven-black hair, is believed to reside somewhere within the fiery inferno of Kilauea and is viewed by natives as responsible for all volcanic activity.

Big Island Visitors Bureau: (800) 648-2441 www.bigislandhvcb.com

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10, 9, 8, 7…. As blast-off for family vacation gets closer, you may want to think “out of this world.”

COSMIC FAMILY VACATION by Lisa TE Sonne Space travel, to earth orbit and beyond, is opening a whole new chapter of commercial tourism, but the price tag to experience Zero-G usually includes lots of zeros. For memorable thrills at a lower fare, you can enjoy some cosmic experiences here on earth. You can touch a moon rock or meteorite, talk to an astronaut, strap into a simulator, peruse the remarkable vehicles that have been to space, or head out to New Mexico’s Space Port: http://spaceportamerica.com, , a home to some of the spaceships of the future. And whether you are a child or an adult, you can immerse yourself in Space Camp, in Huntsville, Alabama:

http://www.spacecamp.com.

The President of the Space Tourism Society ,: (http://spacetourismsociety.org), John Spencer, says earth-bound space travel is becoming increasingly popular. He cites that more than 8.6 million people visited the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC last year. Rides and attractions at Disney’s EPCOT Mission to Mars attracted 4.1 million. Three of the US Space Centers – the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Johnson Space Center in Texas, and the Space Camp in Alabama – entertained 1.9 million visitors curious about life beyond earth.

GOOD LUNACY: TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED During the six Apollo space missions back in the 60s and 70s, 842 pounds of lunar geology were brought back to earth. Most of these celebrities of the rock world are under lock and key in special conditions in Texas, but some have been made available for earthlings to touch. One of the great highlights of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum in Washington, DC, is a real piece of the moon literally at your fingertips, and not far from the Apollo 11 capsule that carried the first people to walk the lunar surface, At the Kennedy Space Center, you can touch a small piece of the moon not far from a looming Saturn Five rocket, then test your G-force mettle on a launch-simulating ride that cost $70 million to build. To put your paws on something much larger than a moon rock and from further away in our galaxy, head to the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York, where the Willamette Meteorite now rests. Scientists think the 15-ton space rock may have journeyed to earth from an asteroid belt between Jupiter and Saturn more than 10,000 years ago.

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SHUTTLE VACATIONS Spencer says more than $300 million dollars will be spent in the next few years developing the three “retired” space shuttles that once orbited millions of miles around earth and helped build the International Space Station. The shuttle Discovery holds the record for the most space trips (39) and gets kudos for launching the Hubble Telescope. Admission is free at the Steven F. Udar-Hazy Center in Virginia:

http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center/.

The Endeavour, named by school children, is now settled at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Space lovers visiting LA can also tour NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) :

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/tours/views/

to learn about exploring other planets, then head to the Griffith Observatory to see stars that have been around a lot longer than Hollywood. The last shuttle to fly in space, Atlantis, will open to the public June 29, 2014 as part of Florida’s Kennedy

Space Center. For a peek at the first shuttle, head to the Hudson River in New York. The Enterprise (yes, it was named in honor of the Star Trek starship) never flew into space, but now sits on an aircraft carrier at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Temporarily closed due to Hurricane Sandy, it should be open again by July 10, 2014. While shuttling from coast to coast for space-blasts from the pasts, you can land in the heartland to learn about Russian and American launches at the Cosmosphere in Kansas : http://www.cosmo.org. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum boasts the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow, as well as a diverse collection of American memorabilia, including spacecraft from the Mercury program (Liberty Bell 7), the Gemini program (Gemini 10), and the Apollo program (Apollo 13). As the countdown to summer vacation begins, these are just some of the many ways your family’s mission for fun can include a flight plan for earth-based space travel.


NATJA Member Lisa Sonne has been covering Space Travel for over two decades including going weightless with cosmonauts over Star City in Russia on a LIFE magazine assignment, helping land a space shuttle with moonwalker John Young (in the astronaut’s simulator at Johnson Space Center,) getting Carl Sagan to sign a tile from the Space Shuttle and interviewing the latest host of COSMOS Neil deGrasse Tyson for an essay she wrote to accompany a special edition of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Wrinkle in Time. Some of Sonne’s space writing is available on her website: www.WorldTouristBureau.com under Space Travel. Sonne’s first time to the site of the NATJA 2014 Conference (Huntsville, Alabamba, aka Rocket City) was when she and Sally Ride dressed up in the required “bunny suits” so they could watch part of the International Space Station be built. They also visited the engaging Space Camp programs at the US Space and Rocket Center as part of launching Space.com. She received the GOLD this year for Destination Writing so we asked her about some good family destinations for “Space Vacations” to get fellow NATJA writers primed for the fall conference.

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GREAT CITIES

THE BEST ATTRACTIONS

SAVE MONEY. SAVE TIME. Atlanta Boston Chicago Houston New York City Philadelphia San Francisco Seattle Southern California Tampa Bay Toronto

Learn more or buy at citypass.com

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DESTINATION INFORMATION EXPLORE BRANSON, MO

Branson, Missouri, nestled in the lakeside beauty of the Ozark Mountains, is America’s affordable, wholesome family entertainment capital that emphasizes fun, comfort and the feeling of being right at home. Featuring an array of live theaters and attraction venues and active recreational pursuits, the community embodies essential American values such as patriotism, faith, courage and generosity of spirit in a warm inviting atmosphere that is truly genuine and heartfelt. www.explorebranson.com

UNITED STATES ALABAMA

Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (205) 458-8000 www.birminghamal.org Hunstville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau (256) 551-2235 www.huntsville.org

ALASKA

Alyeska Resort (907) 754-2592 www.alyeskaresort.com Explore Fairbanks 907-459-3770 www.ExploreFairbanks.com ARIZONA Visit Phoenix (602) 452-6250 www.visitphoenix.com ARKANSAS Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau (479) 783-8888 www.fortsmith.org/ Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau 501-370-3224 www.LittleRock.com CALIFORNIA Janis Flippen Public Relations 805-389-9495 www.JanisFlippenPR.com Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (562) 495-8345 http://www.visitlongbeach.com/

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ALYESKA RESORT

DISCOVER OXNARD, CA

Alyeska Resort is Alaska’s premier year-round destination featuring the 304-room Hotel Alyeska. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is the perfect base camp for visitors whether they are seeking powder-filled slopes or a mountain retreat between stops at national parks and sports-fishing lodges. The resort is within close proximity of three national parks and the Kenai Peninsula, and is home to the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest, part of the Chugach Mountain Range.

Nestled along the Pacific Coast between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Oxnard, California offers everything you need for a great vacation. Catch a boat out of our scenic marina for a whale watching cruise or to explore the Channel Islands National Park, “America’s Galapagos.” Enjoy miles of uncrowded beaches and oceanfront bike trails. Grab a kayak, ride the ocean on a paddle board, boat, fish, and soak up Southern California’s beautiful-year-round weather. Play a few holes at our world-class golf courses and taste local wines along the Ventura County Wine Trail. Celebrate the sunset at one of our fabulous gourmet restaurants. It’s time to discover Oxnard!

Visit Oxnard (805) 385-7545 www.visitoxnard.com Visit Palm Springs (760) 778-8415 www.visitpalmsprings.com Visit Pasadena (626) 395-0211 http://www.visitpasadena.com/ San Diego Zoo Global (619) 685-3291 http://sandiegozoo.org/ Visit West Hollywood 310-289-2525 http://www.visitwesthollywood.com COLORADO Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (970) 945-5002 http://www.glenwoodchamber.com/ DELAWARE Kensington Tours 647-880-1581 www.kensingtontours.com FLORIDA Franklin County Tourist Development Council (850) 653-8678 http://www.saltyflorida.com/

GEORGIA Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau 678.297.2811 www.AwesomeAlpharetta.com IDAHO Visit Idaho (208) 334-2470 http://www.visitidaho.org/ LOUISIANA Visit Baton Rouge (225) 382-3578 http://www.visitbatonrouge.com/ Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau (318) 429-0658 http://www.shreveport-bossier.org/ Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (318) 442-9546 http://www.theheartoflouisiana.com/index.cfm MASSACHUSETTS Open the Door, Inc. 617-536-0590 http://www.openthedoor.biz/ MISSOURI Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB (417) 243-2137 http://bransoncvb.com/

LDWWgroup 727-452-4538 www.LDWWgroup.com

Maryland Heights Convention & Visitors Bureau (314) 548-6051 http://www.more2do.org/

Leigh Cort Publicity (904) 806-3613 http://www.leighcortpublicity.com/

The Beenders Walker Group (573) 636-8282 http://www.tbwgroup.net/


1. Michigan

TRAVEL TRIVIA ANSWERS (quiz on page 4):

2. From mid-June to mid-October 3. The Coral Sea 4. Mobile, Alabama 5. India (before 6th century, A.D., then Persia, then Southern Europe

VISIT PALM SPRINGS

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO

Palm Springs, California is known for its storied Hollywood legacy, Native American heritage and stellar collection of mid-century modern architecture. Palm Springs is California’s ultimate desert playground. It truly is like no place else. Lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun is always a favorite pastime. If you want to explore the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful climate, there are plenty of activities. Soar to the top of Mount San Jacinto on the world famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, hike scenic trails and stroll through the ancient palm groves in the Indian Canyons, or take an off-road excursion of Joshua Tree National Park or the San Andreas Fault.

Take a ticket to your next Colorado Rocky Mountain adventure by exploring “America’s Most Fun Town,” Glenwood Springs, Colorado! For over a century, visitors from around the globe have added Glenwood Springs to their travel itineraries. Our destination is family friendly, affordable, and blessed with a remarkable mix of geological wonders including hot springs, vapor caves, two rivers and a canyon, surrounded by the glorious Rocky Mountains. Whether you crave hiking, biking, fishing, outdoor activities or relaxing spa time, you’ll find it all in Glenwood Springs.

www.VisitPalmSprings.com

NEW YORK Development Counsellors International 212-725-0707 www.AboutDCI.com Dutchess County Tourism (845) 463-5446 http://dutchesstourism.com/ M Silver – A Division of Finn Partners 212-715-1600 www.FinnPartners.com Ulster County Tourism 845-340-3568 www.UlsterTourism.info NEVADA City of Henderson Department of Cultural Arts and Tourism (702) 267-2171 www.cityofhenderson.com OHIO Lake County Visitors Bureau 440-350-3720 www.LakeVisit.com Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau (330) 602-2420 http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/ ––columbus-ohio.cfm?id=7778 OREGON City Pass (503) 292-4418 www.citypass.com/ Lincoln City Visitor & Convention Bureau (541) 996-1271 www.lincolncity.org/

www.glenwoodchamber.com

PENNSYLVANIA Camelback Lodge & Indoor Waterpark 608.206.5796 www.CamelbackResort.com Camelback Mountain Resort 608.206.5796 www.SkiCamelback.com Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark 608.206.5796 www.Camelbeach.com RHODE ISLAND Discover Newport (401) 845-9117 www.gonewport.com South County Tourism Council (401) 489-4422 www.southcountyri.com TENNESSEE Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway (423) 442-9147 http://monroecounty.com/ TEXAS Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau (888) 653-3788 http://visitnacogdoches.org/ VIRGINIA Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau (VA) (757) 728-5316 http://visithampton.com/ Virginia Beach CVB (757) 385-6645 http://www.vbgov.com/Pages/home.aspx

VISIT SALTY, FLORIDA

We’re Salty! If you’re looking for the old Florida experience you’ll find it in Franklin County. Tucked along Florida’s Panhandle, the coastal communities of Alligator Point, Apalachicola, Carrabelle, Eastpoint, and St. George Island offer beaches, history, adventure and fresh Apalachicola Bay seafood served up in an authentic “salty” setting. Relax on award-winning, pet-friendly beaches, climb historic lighthouses, charter eco-tours and fishing trips or bring your own gear and enjoy camping, paddling and hiking on acres of wooded trails and miles of quiet streams. Tee up on a championship golf course, enjoy live theatre performances in an historic venue and browse local galleries, museums and shops. Fresh local seafood is served at more than 30 area restaurants and local seafood markets.

www.saltyflorida.com

WASHINGTON San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (360) 378-6822 http://visitsanjuans.com/ WEST VIRGINIA Pocahontas County CVB (304) 799-4636 http://www.pocahontascountywv.com/ WISCONSIN Savvy Owl Marketing & Public Relations 608.206.5796 www.SavvyOwlMarketing.com

INDIA KERALA The Travel Planners (905) 230-2701 Www.ttpkerala.com

MEXICO PUERTO VALLARTA Visit Puerto Vallarta (212) 633-2047 Www.visitpuertovallarta.com

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