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SUMMER 2016

Ischia, Italy

travel world Enchanted by Ischia Sea of Cortez Cape Breton Island Mackinac Island is Grand A Culinary Trip to Poland The Tabasco Trail Baltimore! Smokey Mountains Arts Sleepless in Saquenay

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

The Magazine Written by North American Travel Journalists Association Members

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TravelWorld International Magazine

LETTER FROM THE EDITORS This issue of TravelWorld International exemplifies the wonderful diversity of travel as well as its commonality. It also again demonstrates the incredible talents and interests of the members of the North American Travel Journalists Assn. You will want to set aside some extra time to savor not only the enchanting word pictures our members paint but also the incredible photographs they bring back from their trips. I’d be surprised if you didn’t want to hop on a plane, ship or train to see for yourself the wonders of the biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez or to check out the enchantment of the Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island or to savor some of the incredible food in Baltimore or Poland that you can flavor with one of the world’s iconic hot sauces. Okay, you get the point—this issue is going to take you places that you’ll want to visit yourself, and we’ve even included a piece on different types of luggage you might want to use.

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

Group Publisher: Publisher: Editor in Chief: Editor: Managing Editor: Art Direction: Operations Manager: Administrative Assistant:

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

Contributing Writers : Donna Adinolfi Joe Baur Denise Davies Julie Hatfield Carole Herdegen Ann Terry Hill

Leslie Long Carol Patterson Sarah Vernetti Deborah Stone Neil Wolkodoff

We’ve not forgotten our very important partners, the destinations that not only roll out the red carpet for visitors but make the jobs of our writers and photographers so much easier. We’d love to hear from you so drop us an email to help us get even better. Dennis and Joy

Dennis A. Britton Editor

Joy Bushmeyer Managing Editor

dennis@travelworldmagazine.com joy@travelworldmagazine.com

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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

Volume 2016.02 Summer 2016. Copyright ©2016 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

SUMMER 2016

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

F E A T U R E S

& S T O R I E S

6 Enchanted by Ischia (Italy) Story & Photos by Donna Adinolfi

12 Sea of Cortez (Baja California, Mexico)

Story & Photos by Joe Baur

18 Cape Breton Island, 5 Top Experiences (Nova Scotia)

Story & Photos by Denise Davies

25 Mackinac Island, It’s Really Grand (Michigan)

Story & Photos by Julie Hatfield

Story & Photos by Carole Herdegen

28 A Culinary Trip to Poland

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SO FUN SO MEMORABLE SO SOLVANG

Journey to the Danish town of Solvang, on California’s Central Coast. You’ll gain a whole new perspective on the world.

VisitSolvang.com

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travel world

SUMMER 2016

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

F E A T U R E S

& S T O R I E S

36 The Tabasco Trail, Avery Island, Louisiana

Story & Photos by Ann Terry Hill

40 Baltimore! The Coolest City on the Eastern Seaboard

Story by Leslie Long

48 Smokey Mountains Arts & Crafts

Story & Photos by Deborah Stone

54 Sleepless in Saquenay, Lac-Saint-Jean Region, Quebec

Story & Photos by Carol Patterson

57 Top Travel Gear for Families

Story by Sarah Vernetti

60 Luggage

Story by Neil Wolkodoff

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View of Regina Isabella

“No matter what happens, always keep your childhood innocence. It’s the most important thing.” – Federico Fellini

Wisteria

Regina Isabella Room with a View

One of my favorite movies, Enchanted April, came out in 1992. I went to the theater at least seven or eight times and have watched it every April since that time. My dream, influenced by the movie, was to return to Italy during the month of April and experience sunshine, wisteria, the deep blue sea and the passionate Italian way of life. Returning to Italy eluded me for fifteen years for one reason or another. Would this journey to Ischia in April bring my heart’s desire to fruition?

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Enchanted by Ischia Story & Photos by Donna Adinolfi

Boat view at Ischia

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The Journey Begins On a brisk April morning I left Detroit, MI for New York’s Kennedy Airport for a connecting flight to Naples, Italy via Meridiana Air. Arriving at JFK early left me time to contemplate the journey over a cappuccino. As an Italian-American it was enjoyable watching other passengers arrive for the same flight. I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the other passengers were from my ancestry since my family was from the Naples and the Mt. Vesuvius area. Santa and Paulo, a couple I met while waiting to board, were returning home after visiting their family in New York. Since my enthusiasm was evident they were receptive in speaking with me about my family surnames and the Naples area. Soon after, we boarded Meridiana Air’s nonstop flight to Naples and it exceeded my expectations. Their service to Naples was comfortable and delightful.

Attraversiamo

(Let’s Cross Over)

Upon arriving in Naples and after a short van ride to the port we were on our way via a quick ferry ride to the island of Ischia. With a glimpse of Mt. Vesuvius in the background I thought of my grandparents and felt a sense of admiration and connection to them. Ischia, the largest island in the Gulf of Naples, is a volcanic island with Mt. Epomeo as its highest peak (Mt. Vezzi is the other formation). It is also known as the ‘Green Island’ due to its Mediterranean vegetation, mountains, rolling hills, and pine forests. Fascinating archeological finds show that Ischia was inhabited over 7,000 years ago and discovered by the Greeks and the Romans. Ischia is also known as the island of ‘Good Health’ due to its mineral springs, which was one of the main interests for my journey as Ischia is world renowned for their many mineral springs and hidden underground sources. Summer brings in the highest number of tourists, however Ischia is a year-round destination.

L’Albergo della Regina Isabella One of the most enchanting resorts in Ischia would also be my home for the next several days. A 5-star luxury resort located in the small village of Lacco Amena, L’Albergo della Regina Isabella immediately seduced me with her beauty and grandeur. Built in the 1950’s by Angelo Rizzoli, publisher and film producer, it soon became ‘the’ place for movie stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Clark Gable and continues to attract celebrities, music icons and many others. The Regina Isabella has 128 rooms, four swimming pools, two bars, three restaurants, 60 spa treatment rooms, a sauna and hammam, a gym, tennis and boats for private hire. From my balcony, I spent time gazing at the sea and colorful fishing boats. Mesmerized by the various colors of the sky as the sun began to set, it was as if time stood still and perhaps it was because the dream I mentioned earlier was actually becoming a reality.

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Food & Wine All three of the dining venues at Regina Isabella were extraordinary. “Sporting” offered a casual atmosphere and peaceful sea views while “Regina Isabella” offered an elegant atmosphere, both with stellar service. Michelin rated “Indaco”, led by Chef Pasquale Palamaro, offered an intimate setting and experience not to be missed. His artistic gourmet creations were exquisite and ranged from colorful appetizers to equally creative desserts. This multi-course event was presented and appeared as artwork and each course was also paired with Italian wines. A must-do culinary delight when in Ischia. Regina Isabella is also home to several annual events including the Global Film & Music Fest in mid-July and their food and wine event called Ischia Vintage held in late October.

Healing Waters Ischia, as mentioned earlier, is best known for the regenerating thermal waters as the springs and muds have therapeutic properties. Prior to building the resort, Mr. Rizzoli rebuilt the thermae/bath complex on the site of the original Greek and Roman baths. The resort’s water contains sodium, chloride, bicarbonate, sulphate, calcium magnesium, bromine, iodine ions and several other minerals. The springs and the muds would soon offer me an opportunity to relieve some aches and pains. By the way, it takes about six months in the thermal water for the muds to absorb mineral and medicinal qualities. My experience with Regina Isabella’s mud pack was quite interesting, relaxing and helpful. I don’t speak Italian and my therapist didn’t speak English, so it was an amusing experience, yet beneficial in the end. I thought the mud packs were going on my knees due to a bit of swelling. However, I received the full mud pack from my upper thighs to ankles and while it was a bit messy, it was an experience I’d recommend to anyone interested in enhancing their well-being and one I would do again on my next visit. One interesting note is that mud treatments with a prescription are covered in the Italian Health System. There are many other services offered at Regina Isabella and some require a mandatory medical exam prior to the service. After my consultation with Costanza Popolano, Regina Isabella’s Spa Director, I set up an appointment with their osteopath, Dr. Leonardo Telese, as it was an opportunity to hear his perspective regarding my knee issue. Fortunately, Costanza was available to be with me for translation. His input was valuable and I was grateful to hear his natural recommendations that would ultimately help me further. There’s a robust menu of services available for this Spa including inhalation therapy, laser therapy, massotherapy, endermologie, and dermatology offerings including microtherapy. Relaxing massages, music and color therapy, Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine services are also available.


Sporting Restaurant Indaco Dessert

Poseidon Waterfall

Regina Spa plunge

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Exploring Ischia A queen, which is how I felt, must visit a castle and alas there was one rising above the deep blue sea called Aragonese Castle. Built by Syracusan Hiero I, a Greek, it dates back to 474 B.C. and offers magnificent views. There is a great deal of history surrounding the castle, which is connected to the main island via a stone bridge. You can easily spend a full day exploring the different levels, gardens, convent and cellars. The next day included a visit to Giardini Poseidon Terme (Poseidon Gardens) and a healing opportunity to submerge my body in the various pools. Volcanic springs feed the pools and different water temperatures create different benefits. It’s recommended that you go from coldest to hottest on the circuit with time limits for each pool depending on the mineral content. Rich in curative minerals bubbling up from the source, you emerge with a renewed sense of well-being…I know I did. You’re surrounded by beauty as you meander through the gardens and take in the scent of jasmine, eucalyptus, hibiscus and oleander. I would recommend that you plan a full day to immerse yourself in all that there is to do here. Poseidon is along the beach and you can begin your day with a walk or plunge in the sea, followed by the mineral circuit and perhaps a yoga class or other service in the Wellness Centre. Massage, Watsu, Shiatsu, Mud Therapy and many other services are offered. There are several dining venues and you can end your day with a glass of wine at sunset.

Regina Isabella Signage Church St. Girolamo

Later in the day, I toured Giardini La Mortella, one of the most memorable botanical gardens. The Garden was created by Susana and William Walton in 1956. He was a British composer and she was a talented gardener which is evident as you walk along the different paths. I passed fountains and streams and the most beautiful and exotic flora. The Orchid House and Victoria House were unique and lovely, however, the Thai Pavilion offered a meditation area and was surrounded by lotus flowers. Their creation continues to be a gift to the world and not to be missed when visiting Ischia. Shopping, of course, would be one more activity to engage in while in Ischia. My interest was in items made in Italy and mainly scarves or wraps, however, Ischia is known for their hand-made ceramics and specialty foods. Via Roma offered a number of unique shops and street side cafés.

Addio Per Ora There was nothing ordinary about staying at the Regina Isabella and exploring Ischia. It brought about feelings of truly living in the moment. Calm breezes, sea views, sunshine and wisteria, amazing food and wine and the gracious people met along the way created a transforming experience. I left there with a renewed sense of well-being and a knowing that I met one of my heart’s desires.

Giardini La Mortella

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Regina Isabella Spiral Staircase

WHERE TO STAY L’Albergo della Regina Isabella www.ReginaIsabella.com/eng/ WHERE TO EXPLORE Aragonese Castle www.CastelloAragonese.it Giardini Poseidon Terme www.GiardiniPoseidon.it Giardini La Mortella www.LaMortella.org Punta Chiarito Hotel Residence, Fruit & Vegetable Gardens www.PuntaChiarito.it www.ruffanoischia.it La Pergola Agriturismo Local Extra-virgin Olive Oil, Marmalades, Wine, Honey & more www.agriturismolapergola.it Ristorante Oasis www.RistoranteOasis.it Ristorante Bracconiere Via Falanga 1, 80070 Serrara Fontana, Ischia, Italy SHOPPING Via Roma, Ischia Porto


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Rich history, astounding architecture, unspoiled beaches, celebrated restaurants and world-class events – they’re just a part of what makes Newport the shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. Come discover the City-by-the-Sea people have been talking about for centuries.

DiscoverNewport.org Media Contact: Andrea McHugh AMcHugh@DiscoverNewport.org

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Sea of Cortez By Joe Baur I am not a cruise person. My association with cruises has always been negative. They usually make the news when a virus breaks out, causing excessive diarrhea, and then the ship inevitably fills up with too much human excrement and starts sinking. At least, that’s been my interpretation of the news. Un-Cruise Adventures in La Paz, Mexico

Un-Cruise Adventures in Baja California Sur, Mexico

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Ultimately, it never sounded like my kind of vacation. Nothing seemed relaxing about cramming a small city onto an obscenely large vessel to be ushered around like cattle and call it “seeing the world.” For this reason, and the previously stated excessive excrement, I signed up for an Un-Cruise Adventures to the Baja Peninsula’s Sea of Cortez last December.

Docks of La Paz, Mexico

El Malecón in La Paz, Mexico


OFF TO LA PAZ OFF TO LA PAZ

I know I just finished explaining why cruises aren’t for me, so allow me to vindicate myself. Un-Cruise Adventures is billed as the cruise for people who don’t like cruises. That alone intrigued me. After all, I have nothing against sailing. In fact, I’d quite like to do a bit more sailing in my life. Sea air and I get along rather well, in fact. Then there was the promise of reaching destinations that are inaccessible by other modes of transportation. This clashed with my image of thousands of tourists shuffling off at port to briefly infest a defenseless city. With Un-Cruise, we would be making port in only one city. For the rest of our time, we would be in rather isolated corners of the sea. So in mid-December, my wife Melanie and I landed in Cabo only to be collected by Un-Cruise and swept away rather quickly to La Paz, Mexico. This also appealed to me as I have little interest in the resorts of Cabo.

The bus ride took a few hours, but we were promised it was a better option than sailing around the southern tip of the peninsula where the crashing waves provide a rocky experience. Traveling by bus allowed us to avoid making the entire ship seasick at the beginning of the journey and maximize our time enjoying the wonders of the Sea of Cortez. Our first night was spent on the ship, running over obligatory safety procedures, meeting staff, and enjoying dinner. In total, they estimated 40-some passengers on board. This seemed completely manageable compared to the horrors I had heard of more traditional cruising services. Then, it was time to start signing up for activities. The way this worked was the activities director would grab a microphone, talk everyone through their options, and simply walk around with a tablet to jot down everyone’s selection. Melanie and I opted for a hike on Isla San Francisco, billed as a moderately difficult jaunt. Although we had barely been at sea, stretching our legs on land was awfully appealing. ISLA SAN FRANCISCO Hiking Isla San Francisco in Baja California Sur, Mexico

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ISLA SAN FRANCISCO

Oasis in Playa Bonanza

Our morning began with pico de gallo on tostada with eggs, cheese and avocado before moving on to our hike, shuttled over to land by a motorized raft. The difficulty of the hike was, perhaps, oversold, but we were too excited to set foot on rarely traveled land to care.

UnCruise knowledgable guide “Paulino”

So far Un-Cruise’s pitch was on point. This indeed felt like a place one could only reach by sea. This meant we were treated to beautiful views along flat desert plains and mountain ridges. Loose rocks on the descent were the only potentially perilous obstacles, though most everyone managed completely fine despite the ever present threat of running into the wrong plant, like a cholla -- ready to stab any appendage that passed by too closely. Our guide, a La Paz local named Paulino who had been attached to the region in some form since college, provided an extra dose of insight throughout the voyage. His knowledge of the history and biology of the area was as encyclopedic as Fernando Jordán, an author whose mid-20th Century “El Otro México” offered one of the first travelogue accounts of Baja California.

Playa Bonanza

We still had a couple of hours to kill after completing the mile-and-a-half jaunt. Still thrilled to be on land after a rocky night at sea, we spent some time embracing the stillness of the ground and enjoyed a drink from the UnCruise pop-up bar. Though perhaps we should have saved the drink until after trying our hand at stand up paddle boarding with gusts of harsh wind rocking the open water. By the time I finally went bipedal, I noticed the wind had already pushed me much further than our instructor would have liked. Locked in an intense, frozen position, I stood still until my muscles were too tired to continue. I then retreated embarrassingly to my knees and spent the next 90 percent of my time in the water paddling back to shore. That mission in and of itself took care of the rest of our time at the beach before we were requested to make our return by the 5 p.m. boarding call. That night, Melanie and I rested on the deck as we enjoyed a meteor shower into the early morning hours. We city folk hadn’t see so many stars in our life, not to mention Melanie who was treated to her first shooting star. The Big Dipper looked more like a lasso from this southern vantage point of the western hemisphere. For an hour or so, we pondered the incredible mystery of the cosmos and watched space objects dissolve before our eyes in the night sky.

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Sunset at Isla San Francisco

AGUA VERDE


AGUA VERDE

Burro Riding in Agua Verde

Traveling again through the night, we awoke in Agua Verde for a morning mule ride. I admit I had my concerns. After all, I assumed the animals weren’t exact willing participants. Couldn’t I just hike the trail myself? But we were told it was hosted by a local family and it sounded like just about our only chance to interact with people not on the cruise, so we obliged. Plus we later learned that the family suffered greatly in a relatively recent hurricane and depended on the income generated from these Un-Cruise trips. Sorry, burro, I thought. You will get the wrath of my ass for this family.

Desert of Isla San Francisco

My burro went by Mamila, which translates to the rubber nipple at the end of a baby bottle. His feisty temperament suggested that the other mules must have made fun of him for his namesake. A Rudolph of the Mexican desert, if you will. We started climbing a stone path with a smooth incline. The feeling of having an animal underneath was different to say the least. I can’t say I loved it or that I was enthusiastic about kicking him stomach to get him moving. I certainly wouldn’t listen to anyone kicking me in the gut. Still, the views were as advertised. Unspoiled desert vistas, mountains, a small oasis and overlooks of the bay where you could see how the area got its name, agua verde or green water. But my derriere felt like I had cycled about 50 miles within an hour of riding the burro. Cowboys and rancheros must have backsides made of leather. However, most of my concern was for Mamila when we came upon the steepest incline of the day. I don’t speak burro, but Mamila seemed to be struggling mightily, losing pace with those in front of us and holding up the line behind. I was seriously concerned he might keel over, but it’s just as possible his lethargy was a sign of boredom and not faintness.

Baja Sur Cactus

Nevertheless, we made it back in one piece for lunch before heading off to the day’s second activity, kayaking. This proved to be far more within my comfort zone. We essentially did a lap of the bay over two-plus hours, stopping at a rocky beach that appeared to be a marine graveyard of sorts, covered in the skeletal remains of hammerhead sharks, manta rays, a turtle and even pieces of a sea lion. Though an interesting discovery and discussion with Paulino, it was ultimately sad from the conservationist’s perspective since the remains were remnants of illegal fishing. LOS ISLOTES

Desert Cactus

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LOS ISLOTES

Swimming with Sea Lions

Today was the day Melanie was most looking forward to, for it was the day we would be swimming with sea lion puppies. I, on the other hand (in my constant state of bravery), kept reassuring myself that Un-Cruise wouldn’t have us swim with wild animals if it weren’t completely safe. I also trusted that our wetsuits, as promised, would keep us afloat. After all, I have the swimming skills of an infant dropped on their head. We were lucky to find ourselves in the first group heading out to meet the sea lions. The choppy water gave some concern that it would be canceled, but instead we plowed ahead. The sea lions were distant, yet visible dots resting on a flat piece of rock in between two larger mounds. As we approached, we saw some of the adults had managed to perch themselves onto the more perilous-looking corners. By the time we hopped in, the sea lion pups were already playing. Groups as large as six or seven darted by us. Our guide said it best: they look like clumsy creatures waddling on the surface, but are ballerinas in the sea, twisting and turning with such beauty and precision, you’d think there was some sort of dance competition going on amongst the pups.

Swimming with a pack of Sea Lions under the Sea of Cortez

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The experience lasted about 45 minutes or so before an encroaching bull let us know that we needed to back off a bit from the rocks and head back to our boat. I for one was flopping with as much uncoordinated speed as soon as I saw one pup dart underwater. Still, that time in the water proved what famed conservationist Jacques Cousteau said of the Sea of Cortez, calling it “the world’s aquarium.” With the thrilling morning out of the way, it was time to relax on deck as we cruised for critters, namely whales, out in the sea.


ENSENADA GRANDE No such luck with critters the day before, but our early morning hike focused our excitement elsewhere. The hike took us through a dried riverbed that after some minutes of desert trail turned to a pure boulder hike, requiring hands and feet most of the way up. We learned about some different plant life, including the Adam Tree, named so because it’s usually naked like Adam in the Bible. Though when “clothed,” as it was on our hike, it has tiny green leaves. Melanie and I had been surprised at the number who signed up. The hike was sold to scare some folks away, advertised as having many “ninety-degree knee movements,” so we had been looking forward to a small, active group. Unfortunately people didn’t feel like self selecting themselves out and joined anyhow, slowing our pace considerably. There was some concern that we wouldn’t make the top of our hike before we were scheduled to start heading back due to our slow start. I was admittedly a tad frustrated, seeing as the hike was listed as just over two miles and I felt should be easy to complete in the allotted time. Thankfully our guide let us hustle to the top and we were rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of the Sea of Cortez heading toward mainland Mexico. The drop off was steep, making for some great dramatic views with the crashing waves beneath. Pockets of wind threatened those who tiptoed too close to the edge. Last on our agenda for the day was another snorkel outing. We knew it would be impossible to beat snorkeling with the sea lions the prior morning, but it was also nice swimming without having to keep an eye out for an angry bull. Indeed, we were able to find some interesting coral, fish, and even a school of manta rays dashing back and forth, spinning in what looked like a tornado funnel underwater. Above they look a bit more spastic with only their fins splashing, much like our sea lion friends.

PLAYA BONANZA & LA PAZ

The final two days flew by like a cliched blur. Day five was dominated by a long hike at Playa Bonanza along a flat, desert field. Paulino, our earlier-mentioned walking encyclopedia, noted that by studying the seashells, the area was probably four to five million years old -- dating back to when the ground beneath us was underwater. We awoke on our final full day back at La Paz with many anticipating a morning swimming with whale sharks. The staff did all they could to maintain an optimistic tone, but the winds had alas forced us to cancel the outing. Our activities director gave the sad news, noting that if the locals thought it too dangerous, it was probably best to listen. Most accepted the news and opted to make the most with an entire day in a lesser-traveled Mexican city.

Personally, I didn’t mind the cancellation. A day in La Paz excited me as it was my first Spanish-speaking city since moving back from Costa Rica about six months prior. I saw it as an opportunity to explore a new city and chat a little with anyone willing. Indeed, Melanie and I had a nice conversation with the owner of a local restaurant that fueled our enjoyment of the port city. La Paz is modestly-sized city at about 215,000 in population. William Walker established his capital for the so-called Republic of Sonora here in 1854, which seems like an inconsequential bit of history until you consider the fact that Walker pretty much epitomizes the worst of U.S. American stereotypes that Latin Americans understandably loathe. For those unfamiliar, Walker was obsessed with creating his own nation, so the Tennessean invaded and captured La Paz with the assistance of 45 men in 1853. The laws of Louisiana were adopted, making slavery legal. When Mexico declared independence the following year, he was met with resistance and ultimately fled back to the States where he was tried for conducting an illegal war. The jury took just eight minutes to acquit him due to the popularity of his Manifest Destiny exploits with southern states. So, he later returned to Central America where he tried to convert the region into his private slave colony. Eventually, he was captured and duly shot. Good riddance, I assume most thought. Today, La Paz appears much more peaceful and colorful than its early history might indicate. Melanie and I both found the city a joy to walk, especially the relatively young Malecón boardwalk along the sea. We ended the evening by purchasing a couple of locally made coffee mugs and a small plate, something we could easily fit into our bags and would surely use. We departed early the next morning by bus to return directly to the airport after bidding a fond farewell to the Un-Cruise staff who had done an incredible job taking care of its 40-some passengers over a week’s time. At the airport, Melanie and I reunited (whether we liked it or not) with the more typical picture of Mexican tourism, the portly Gringo slamming coronas with little hint of the national culture present. It was clear then more than ever before that Un-Cruise Adventures had, indeed, treated us to a special slice of Mexico most travelers to our southern neighbor will never see.

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Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Baddeck the Amoeba schooner under sail

Five Top Experiences

Story & Photos by Denise Davies CAPE BRETON ISLAND Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, offers top class experiences for the traveler – step back into history at the Fortress of Louisbourg, enjoy a round of golf at the renowned Cabot Links, explore the rugged coast on the Cabot Trail, hike along the Celtic Trail, enjoy a meal and Celtic entertainment at the Red Shoe Pub and sail the inland sea at Baddeck. There is so much to enjoy and memories to make all over the island: hiking, winding roads with spectacular views, small villages, local artists and artisans, history, Celtic music, delicious lobster and seafood chowder, golf, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, beach combing, and heartstopping beauty of nature.

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Louisbourg Fortress from the Point of View Suites


LOUISBOURG

Baddeck Kidston Island Lighthouse

Step back into 1744 and explore life in the Fortress of Louisbourg. Hear stories from soldiers on the battlement, bakers at their ovens, the blacksmith at his forge, and get behind the scenes tours of homes and gardens. Learn about life in Louisbourg in the 18th century, one of the busiest harbors in North America with a thriving fishing industry and major trading center with France. Plan on spending at least half a day and wear good walking shoes. Stay and enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Cranberry Cove Inn, a Victorian era home, or at the Point of View Suites with a sweeping view of the fortress across the bay. The Lobster Kettle restaurant serves a tasty lobster creatively presented and you have a terrific view on the patio overlooking the harbor and the fortress. The Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail winds along the coast through Acadian forest, grasslands and with spectacular ocean views. This historical trail starts at the lighthouse built in 1734 and has interpretive signs along the way on history, geology and plant life. The craggy cliffs, rocky beaches and cormorants are a wonderful way to experience the coastline.

Cranberry Cove Inn, Louisbourg

Clear waters of the Margaree River

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Cabot Links stretches along Inverness Beach

CABOT LINKS The Cabot Links is a golfer’s delight. The 18 hole course follows along the seacoast in the town of Inverness on the western coast of Cape Breton. Built in 2012 it has become a premiere destination for golfers and is the only true links golf course in Canada and has won numerous awards. Following along the coastline, there are spectacular views of the beach, dunes and rolling hills. The course was built on lands above the coal mines that closed early in the 1900s. Stay at the Cabot Links Lodge and dine at the Panorama Restaurant where the view matches its name and features fresh local ingredients. Explore the town of Inverness with its “company houses” lining the main street of town. These houses were built in the early 1900s for the miners. Learn more about the history at the Miner’s Museum housed in the old railway station on Lower Railway Street. This is also a great spot to view the golfers on the Cabot Links and access to the boardwalk heading down to the two mile long sandy Inverness Beach. Sunsets are spectacular and there are lots of trails to explore.

Inverness Beach boardwalk between the beach and Cabot Links

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Cape Breton Island west coast


CABOT TRAIL The Cabot Trail is a 950 km (590 mi) drive winding around the northern part of Cape Breton Island with awesome views of the ocean, mountains and the highlands plateau. The communities along the trail each have their own culture and charm and you will want to spend a couple of days to really enjoy it fully. It encompasses the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

Cheticamp fishing boats along the Cabot Trail

Enjoy the many hiking trails following along rivers, hills and streams. The dramatic Skyline Trail is on the Eastern coast, just north of Ingonish. The trail overlooks the rugged Cape Breton Coast with a series of boardwalks and stairs. Whale watching tours are available in many communities including Pleasant Bay, Neil’s Harbour, Ingonish, Chéticamp and Margaree. Each community has its wharf and fishing boats always great to explore. Spend time to experience the unique culture and traditions of each of the communities. Chéticamp is an Acadian French community famous for its hooked rugs. Visit L’Eglise St Pierre (St Peter’s Church) built in 1893.

Rocky headlands of the west coast of Cape Breton

For a feeling of remoteness, take a side trip and visit Meat Cove at the extreme northern tip of Cape Breton. This tiny community is surrounded by cliffs and spectacular views. Explore the walking trails and pebbled beach. Check out the community centre for photos and stories of the fascinating history of the area. Artists and artisans along the way create their distinctive crafts: hooked rugs, quilts, handmade soaps and skin products, leather items, pottery, wooden carvings, paintings and more. In Ingonish, the Highland Links Golf Course, stunning sandy beach, local waterfalls and many trails in the area make this a favorite place to stay on the Cabot Trail. Cape Smokey, just south of Ingonish will take your breath away with its steep incline and views.

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CELTIC SHORES COASTAL TRAIL The well-maintained trail runs along the bed of the old railway track for 94 km (58 mi) along the western coast of Cape Breton from the Canso Causeway to Inverness. Hikers, bikers, snow shoe, cross country ski and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the ever changing ocean views, farmlands, meadows, woods and marshes. Each season has its delights with spring blossoms, wild apples and berries to pick in summer and the spectacular colors of fall. Highway 19, the Ceilidh Trail has many access points to the trail with parking areas and interpretive signs describing the history, points of interest and lives of people in the area. Directional signage along the way show turn offs for food, accommodations, cultural activities and nearby communities.

Celtic Shore Trail

Enjoy a noontime ceilidh (traditional Cape Breton music) and lunch at the Judique Celtic Music Centre. The Exhibit Room gives you a taste of the history of Cape Breton music. You can even take a step dancing or fiddle lesson. Judique Celtic Music Center

Women spinning in 18th Century style, Louisbourg Fortress.

Baddeck Alexander Graham Bell Museum


BADDECK Visit the Village of Baddeck on the shores of the Bras D’Or Lake which is actually an inland sea of salt and freshwater. This large inland sea is popular with sailors and visitors. Sail on The Amoeba – a schooner that takes sailing tours along the Baddeck shoreline where you will likely see bald eagles and sights of Beinn Breagh, Baddeck Lighthouse, Kidston Island and Spectacle Island Bird Sanctuary. The Alexander Graham Bell Museum is a must see. Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor and scientist who built his estate, Beinn Breagh in 1886, he was inventor of the telephone, and tested his kites and Silver Dart airplane on the frozen Bras D’Or Lake. The museum houses his experiments and research activities. Museum interpretation programs include White Glove Tours, guided tours, children’s dress-up tours, slide shows, kite making, experiments and more.

IF YOU GO:

The UNESCO designated Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve has an exhibit at the museum featuring information about the people, wildlife, economy and environment of the Bras d’Or Lake watershed area. Baddeck has something for everyone. Shop for local handicrafts and art. Take a ferry boat from the wharf across to Kidston Island and stroll to the light house or go for a swim. Enjoy a round of golf at the Bell Bay Golf Club. There’s lots of choice of restaurants and accommodations in Baddeck. The Highwheeler is a great place for a casual meal or to pick up a picnic lunch. The Telegraph House Motel has charming rooms and an excellent restaurant. Be sure to try the local oat cakes. Check out the local events calendar for ceilidhs and live entertainment featuring local musicians.

Baddeck Amoeba schooner in front of Kidston Island

Fortress of Louisbourg www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/ns/louisbourg Louisbourg Town www.louisbourg.ca Cabot Links www.cabotlinks.com Celtic Shores Coastal Trail www.celticshores.ca Judique Celtic Music Centre www.celticmusiccentre.com Baddeck

www.visitbaddeck.com

Cabot Trail www.cbisland.com/the-island/cabot-trail

BIO Denise Davies grew up on Cape Breton Island and enjoys exploring its charms. Denise is a travel writer, photographer and videographer living in Antigonish Nova Scotia. Her Out and About Nova Scotia blog can be found at:

www.outandaboutns.com

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Nothing like hitting the @OKC_Rapids for an amazing day on the water

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Mackinac: It’s Really Grand Story & Photos by Julie Hatfield

Mackinac’s Grand Hotel Historic front porch and carriageway

MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN

It’s Martha’s Vineyard without the traffic. • It’s the Seychelle Islands without the bad expensive wine. It’s Nantucket without the attitude. • It’s the San Juan Islands with warm swimmable water.

Mackinac Island (pronounced “mackinaw,”) is the little (2,300 acres) gem that sits a half-hour ferry ride from the tip of the Michigan mitten. In an ironic twist to the City of Detroit’s former power as the nation’s leading automobile manufacturer, cars are not allowed on Mackinac; transportation is by horse and carriage, bicycle, or foot. While it’s still the summer haven of wealthy Chicagoans and Detroiters who built lovely (now $3 to $4 million) Victorian vacation homes along the Straits of Mackinac separating Lakes Huron and Michigan and thus very private, it also is home to what is known as the world’s largest summer hotel, the Grand, also known as “America’s Summer Place” and “Majesty on Mackinac Island.”

The Grand Hotel’s front porch, a little longer than one tenth of a mile, is claimed to be the longest porch in the world, and so famous that if you’re not a hotel guest, you must pay $10 for the privilege of stepping onto it. The Grand, which opened in 1887, is a National Historic Landmark and was the scene for the 1979 film “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer. Nowadays, it’s the social scene for the 1,400 guests who gather each summer evening dressed in the required jacket and tie for men, dress or pantsuit for women, before they head into the main dining room which serves, along with its eight smaller restaurants, a total of between 3,000 and 5,000 meals per day. Last year the Grand said it served 26,000 pounds of prime rib and 16,000 pounds of fresh strawberries in the course of its season, which runs from April to October.

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ut it’s not the size that distinguishes this beautiful old structure that constantly undergoes stateof-the-art updating and maintenance. It’s the spirit of family that permeates the facilities and activities. “Yes, you can touch the antiques,” says Bob Tagatz, resident historian of the hotel, “we’re not a museum.” A children’s program – free to guests – runs throughout the summer every day which, on the Fourth of July weekend ratchets up to an all-weekend carnival climaxing with a family picnic at the nearby Fort Mackinac, complete with Civil-War-era costumed military men and their ladies and lawn games, reel dancing, rifle salutes to the flags of the once just 38 United States, and, of course, fireworks. “Once you’ve spent a July 4th here,” said J. Todd Possett, a banker from Middleville, Michigan, “you have to return every year after.” He had brought his wife and their four children plus one boyfriend of his daughter Gracie, for their 41st July 4th weekend at the Grand. Similar to the owners of the Grand, four generations of the R.D. Musser family, Possett’s family are fourth-generation Grand guests on the Fourth. “My grandparents brought my parents and me here for the first time when I was five,” he recalled, “and we now know about 40 percent of the guests here.” His children, he said, have made fast friends with children they met at the Grand’s children’s program but their favorite thing about the place, he said, is “getting dressed up for dinner.” That’s the only time you need to get dressed up here. Wear whatever you want for the swimming in the pool, tennis games, horseback or bicycle riding, croquet in the tea garden, walking the beach along Lake Michigan, or just hanging out on that amazing porch (when we asked the golf pro what the requirement for dress on their 18-hole course, The Jewel, he answered “We prefer you wear clothing.”) On this latest July 4 it seemed that all 1,400 hotel guests – including a bride and groom who had married at the Grand earlier in the day -- were staked out in the white rocking chairs to see the fireworks show.

Ruby Belle Hatfield and Dad Jason Hatfield, at Fort Mackinac picnic

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Costumed actors at Fort Mackinac

Todd Possett family of Michigan, celebrating July 4 at the Grand for more than 40 years


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s the 30%-and-growing group of U.S. grandparents who vacation with their grandchildren, according to the Travel Industry Association of America, we traveled to Mackinac with three granddaughters aged 2, 5 and 7, and when we asked them what was their favorite thing about their July 4th weekend, they couldn’t decide between our suite of rooms, decorated in strong floral colors by New York designer Carleton Varney of the Dorothy Draper & Company firm – their mother said “This is the perfect little girl’s dream room” – or swimming in the Esther Williams pool with its resident rubber “caterpillar” and all-day free snow cones, or dressing up for the fancy dinner in the big dining room, or breaking away at one dinnertime for the children’s program which allows parents a quiet and elegant dining experience, or taking a horse and carriage back to the ferry going to the mainland. What we loved most, in addition to the July 4th picnic at the fort, were the art galleries and views of the lake within the hotel; the hotel policy of “NO TIPPING’ placed prominently at the check-in desk; the indecision between the massive buffets or the menu that was resolved when waiters told us we could do both, no extra charge; and the smooth check-out system that, cruiseship-style, took our luggage from just outside our hotel room, across the straits and right to the parking area on the mainland so that we could still play un-encumbered on the island before we – reluctantly – headed home.

The Carleton Varney-decorated guest rooms at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel are lovely

Ruby Belle Hatfield, 7, and sister Hazel Bea Hatfield, 5, dressed for dinner at the Grand Hotel

IF YOU GO: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan 49757, telephone 906-847-3331 fax 906-847-3259 Prices range for special weekends, different rooms, American plan, etc. Our suite of two rooms and sitting room, most meals included, cost $791 per room for three nights.

Lulu Kai Hatfield, dressed for dinner at the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, is a little lady

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Making Pierogi

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A Culinary Trip to Poland Story & Photos by Carole Herdegen Two years ago, I started a long overdue research project of discovering my Polish roots through Ancestry.com and the Polonica Americana Research Institute (PARI) at St. Mary’s of Orchard Lake, Michigan. Three of my four grandparents were born in Poland and the fourth, just across its southern border in Slovakia. However, having never been to Poland, knowledge of my ancestors was limited to the names of my grandparents. My only memories were of my maternal grandmother, Grandma Golba. I recall

her as being an expert in Polish cooking. Even though she had limited means, she loved to cook for the family. We all knew we would get a great meal at her house. From morning to night, there she was, in her small kitchen whipping up soups with home-made egg noodles, pierogi, cakes and pastries for everyone to enjoy. My mother inherited her skills. Therefore, as a child, I was fortunately surrounded by Polish cooks. Subsequently, after marriage, having children and living in various American and European cities, I virtually lost the sense of my heritage, at least from the Polish culinary aspect.

Due to the influx of television cooking programs, food preparation has become in vogue. With the rising popularity of The Food Channel, cooking demonstrations and competitions for aspiring chefs, a new breed of traveler has evolved. Visiting a country, town, city or village is now insufficient as travelers also desire to experience new cultural foods. Not only are they taking pictures of monuments and people, but now, in the age of camera phones, they are photographing restaurant foods and acquiring their recipes as well – the elements for a more meaningful trip.

Modern house in Zakopane

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Zakopane Style Architecture

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hile researching future travel destinations, I discovered a culinary tour company that specialized in travel to Poland. This was a great opportunity to combine my love of cuisine and my ancestry research. I chose a tour that began in Krakow and ended in Zakopane, a southern town in the Tatra Mountains. By early 2014, it was an obvious choice because my research led to the discovery of my paternal grandparents’ roots in this mountainous region. I discovered these highland people had deeply rooted folk traditions in food, dance and architecture. In the 17th century documents of the town of Zakopane, I learned my eight times great grandfather was one of its 43 early inhabitants.

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Krupowki Street ~ Zakopane in 1903 ... year my grandfather and his 2 brothers left for America


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y culinary adventure tour of Poland began in Warsaw, the country’s capital. After World War II, Warsaw was left in rubble, but the resilient Polish people raised enough funds to return it to its former glory. Today, the restored Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most places of interest date back to the 14th century. Could the traditional dishes of Grandma Golba be transformed into a fresh new style? I now wondered how the cuisine of modern day Poland would compare with the foods of Western European cities. My objective was to disprove the notion that Polish cuisine was boring, fatty and potato-based. My obsession was to prove that Poland was not only known for pierogi and borscht. My short time in Warsaw was spent dining at some of the best restaurants offering contemporary dishes that were inspired by traditional Polish ingredients. Where will the next great cuisine come from? “Perhaps, Poland.” said the world famous chef, Rene Redzepi of Noma

restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark in an interview for ABC Nightline “Don’t laugh”, he said. Ten years ago people would say that about Denmark and now the concept of “field to table” has grown enormously. Noma Restaurant enjoys the title of being the world’s number one restaurant. Top Polish chef, Wojciech Modest Amaro, said, “I do feel that I have a kind of a pioneering role. We have an abundance of fresh and tasty, high quality food and since 60 percent of success is the ingredients from our fields, we can build a high standard of cooking. Many aspiring chefs who have visited us have drawn inspirations from our cuisine and its preparation. I think that the awareness abroad of what the Polish cuisine is all about is growing at the speed of light.” Chef Amaro is the owner of the only Polish restaurant, Atelier Amaro, to have achieved the

country’s one and only prestigious Michelin Star for the last two years. He faced his toughest test in May, 2014, when chosen to prepare the gala dinner for President Barack Obama and other world leaders who had come to Warsaw to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first free elections in Poland after the war. (The dishes that Chef Amaro served were typically Polish and were intended to bring back the past by using long-forgotten ingredients. For the world leaders’ gala dinner, he served asparagus with fresh broad beans sprinkled with beech oil, Polish veal with unroasted buckwheat and caramelized buttermilk. As a lighter alternative, there was cod with spring vegetables, flavored with lavender flowers. For dessert, he served strawberries with elderberries and a special ice cream made of parsley.) Needless to say, a stay in Warsaw would not be complete without a stop for afternoon tea at the art nouveau Column Bar in the Hotel Bristol built in 1901.

Modern twist of traditional Golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls)

Chef Wojciech Modest Amaro

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Lake Morskie Oko in the Tatra Mountains

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he following day, I boarded a train to Krakow to meet my travel group. Krakow is not only a beautiful city but it was recently named Travelers Choice Award Winner of 2014 by Trip Advisor. It also received the European Travelers’ Choice Destinations Award for 2015. Krakow takes pride in being the home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the Jagellonian University founded in 1364. Everything in Krakow centers on Market Square, one of the largest in Europe. I was delighted to experience its annual Pierogi Festival. A pierogi is a delicious pasta dumpling stuffed with a variety of fillings from the traditional potato and farmer’s cheese to sauerkraut and wild mushroom. Smoked salmon and potato jalapeño are but a few of the new 21st century ingredients. Imagine being surrounded by pierogi booths all competing with samples of the hundreds of varieties of these delicious dumplings. As many as 180,000 pierogi are consumed during this festival. The Polish believe Saint Jacek invented the pierogi

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in the 13th Century when he walked through the streets of Krakow feeding the poor with the dumplings he had personally prepared. Actually, China is the homeland of the dumplings and it was Marco Polo who brought them to Italy where they are called ravioli. However, Poland is the true home of the pierogi. In the next days, not only did I eat in some of Krakow’s top restaurants but I had the privilege of spending one day preparing a superb 3-course gourmet meal with renowned Chef Marek Widomski of the Culinary Institute. Having now experienced contemporary Polish cuisine, I traveled to Zakopane in the southern region of Malopolska to enjoy the traditional dishes I remembered from my childhood. The landscape changed dramatically as the mountainous region of Poland came into view. Our itinerary included two stops along the way for morning visits to the quaint villages of Lopuszna and Gromkow. For lunch, the ladies in each village shared their cooking secrets with us. It was a rare opportunity to be invited into their traditional homes.


ZYWIEC ~ the favorite beer of Poland My newly discovered second cousin, Stanislaw and his family at his daughter’s traditional Highlander wedding in Zakopane

Zubrowka Vodka with a blade of Bison Grass

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Zygmunt’s Column (1644) in Old Town Warsaw

n the months leading up to my arrival in Poland, I never imagined I would discover relatives. However, now I was on the threshold of the place where my paternal grandparents were born and where I would soon meet these relatives.

I was enthusiastically welcomed by my new family members. Knowing who you are, where you come from and what special traits have been passed down through our genes has a special meaning for me. Our family tree has now grown to more than 400.

My grandfather and two of his brothers left Zakopane at the turn of the 20th Century and would never return. Now, it was the grandson of one of the remaining brother whom I would meet and share with him my family story from across the ocean.

My culinary trip to Poland was much more than just eating. It was a personal discovery of my family. I now have something to share with the many generations of Zwijacz’s to follow.

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View of Tatra Mountains

If You Go: Poland’s official Travel Website

http://www.poland.travel/en-us

Poland Culinary Vacations

Experience the Legendary Hospitality & Culinary Traditions of Poland Tel: 772-777-0571 Toll Free: 888-703-8130 www.PolandCulinaryVacations.com

Orange Umbrella Free Walking Tour in Warsaw

Begins each day at 11 AM at Sigismund’s Column at the entrance of the Old Town

HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS & RESTAURANTS: Warsaw:

Mamaison Hotel Le Regina http://www.mamaison.com/warsaw-leregina-hotel.html Set within the historic Mokrowski Palace in Warsaw Restaurant Ateliier Amaro in Warsaw

www.atelieramaro.pl

Krakow:

Hotel Maltanski www.donimirski.com Zakopane: Villa Marilor Hotel www.hotelmarilor.com

About Carole: 34

An accomplished world adventure traveler of seven continents, photographer and travel writer who now makes her home in Michigan.


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THE TABASCO TRAIL STory and Photos by Ann Terry Hill

What a delight! A trip to Avery Island and TABASCO with a tour of the island and an interview with Harold Osborn, Senior Vice President and McIlhenny family member. The family has owned this business since the 1800s and current family members are just as passionate as the original members about promoting and growing their product Over 700,000 of these unique bottles filled with the ‘hot stuff ’ (TABASCO) are produced daily at the TABASCO headquarters plant on Avery Island, Louisiana! They are shipped all over the world---185 countries and territories currently, and still counting. You recognize these bottles, their unique shape filled with red hot sauce. You’ve seen them gracing the tables of some of the finest restaurants in the world, not to mention in movies, in saddle packs and mess kits. The ingredients puts its own special flavor on the intended meal….just a couple drops of that “red liquid stuff ” gives a real zing to an otherwise plain entrée or appetizer. After the Civil War, when the McIlhenny family had returned to Louisiana, Edmund McIlhenny, the head of the family, began filling discarded cologne bottles with a sauce he created from peppers grown on the island, salt from the

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island and vinegar from Bordeaux, France. . He began giving these to friends as a gift. His reputation grew and theses friends urged him to sell the sauce. The result: TABASCO Pepper Sauce, which has grown into a world-wide condiment since its1868 inception. The bottles used today are fashioned from the old cologne bottles Edmund originally used to package his product. The sauce’s legendary three year aging in white oak wine barrels came after Edmund’s death. Tabasco’s history, from an obscure oneroom operation to the international culinary phenomenon it now is, is filled with many highlights. It is rumored that Theodore Roosevelt carried a bottle during his Rough Rider days. WWI and WWSII soldiers had TABASCO in their mess-kits. It’s a well known fact TABASCO was part of their meal. The little red bottles have been in numerous movies while U.S Grant, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton either made stop at Avery Island or had the famous red bottle served on a silver plate to accompany the meal in the White House. TABASCO has been included on many momentos occasions including making the trip to the summit of Mt. Everest on many trips. It has also been carried on many space shuttle missions as well as being kept at the International Space Station. Queen Elizabeth II appointed Tabasco to her royal list, one of the few countries outside of the UK to make the list.


Tabasco Country Store Exterior

Tabasco Country Store Interior

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White Oak Barrels

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abasco peppers are grown in many parts of the world-mainly Central and South America so there is year round production but the seeds are exclusively kept on Avery Island in a locked vault.

When visiting Avery Island and touring the TABASCO headquarters I was astounded to see the mass production in progress. Those famous bottles are filled with the sauce, labeled and boxed for mailing in seconds. Mr. Harold Osborn travels the world to various TABASCO locations checking production . He says, “It is my job to make sure the sauce is powerful and clean wherever it is sold. I make sure it is sold in the traditional glass bottles.” Speaking as a family member, he is certain the sauce will be around for another 146 years.

Barrels of Pepper Mash

A trip to Avery Island, home of TABASCO and the McIlhenny family, brings a new dimension to thoughts of TABASCO and the many things it is mixed with to bring unique flavor to one’s taste buds. Whether you like is hot or mild, it offers the best in hot sauces! It goes on or in everything from pepper seasoning to popcorn, nuts, olives, mayonnaise, mustard ,steak sauce, Worchester sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, marinating sauce, barbecue sauce, chili sauce and Bloody Mary Mix. It is also co-branded with Spam, Slim Jim Beef, Heinz catsup, A-1 sauce and many other diverse items. One of the fun things during my visit was a trip to the country store was having the chance to buy a dish of TABASCO ice cream! Imagine it—sweet and spicy with a dollup of red rasberry sauce on top! Delicious.

Mixing Tank

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From “TABASCO, An Illustrated History”, by McIlhenny Historian Shane Bernard, which you can purchase at the store, is

Jungle Gardens

DWIGHT EISENHOWER’S FAMOUS BARBEQUE SAUCE . ¼¼ cup cup butter butter 1 No. cantomatoes tomatoes 1 No.22 can ¼¼ cup cup vinegar vinegar 1 Tablespoon sugar 1 Tablespoon sugar 3 tspns paprika 3 tspns paprika 2 tspns salt 2 tspns salt 2 tspns chili powder 2 tspns chili powder 1½ tspn Worchershire 1 ½ tspn Worchershire Sauce Sauce ¼¼ tspn TABASCO tspn TABASCO (or more according to personal taste) (or more according to personal taste) 1 tspn black pepper 1 tspn black pepper

Mix all ingredients and simmer for about 15 minutes. For a deeper flavor simmer for about 30 minutes, Use for basting meat, chicken. It can be served as a sauce as well. This makes enough for about 5 pounds of meat. Store in an air tight glass in the refrigerator if not using immediately. Yields 2 ½ cups.

Egrets

The other point of interest on Avery Island is “Man and Envirorment in Balance”, The Jungle Garden. Started by Ned, one of Edmund’s sons, this part of Avery Island is an environmentalists dream! It’s a whole-sale plamt nursery containing varieties of bamboo, camellia and iris as well as other plants. In 1935 Ned opened the Jungle Garden to the public to promote automobile tourism in Louisiana. In 1936 he obtained a bronze Buddha for which he had a temple built to enclose it. Viewing the Buddha has become the focal point of most visitors to the garden. In 19 71 the US Postal Service issued a new commemorative stamp series entitled “Wildlife Conservation.”For almost 200 years the Marsy/ McIlhenny families have sustainably managed their environments abundant and diverse natural resource and have been stewards of the land entrusted to the families! The Garden contains 170 acres of high ground and marsh which have been turned into an environmental haven for blue egrets, nutria, deer and many other forms of wildlife and plant species. Touring this part of the property by car takes at least two hours and is definitely worth the time. If you’re in Louisiana don’t miss the chance to visit Avery Island, TABASCO, and Jungle Garden.

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Baltimore at Night

Baltimore!

THE COOLEST CITY ON THE EASTERN SEABOARD By Leslie Long And lately, it’s all about the food. Having spent most of my life in New York, I always had a feeling I’d love Baltimore for its inherent character, waterfront location, distinct personality and beautiful old architecture. But with my college years spent in Boston, cousins and friends in Philly, pizza and plays in New Haven and vacations that brought me near Providence and Portland, I’d never actually been there. So when my son decided on a college just outside Baltimore, I looked forward to getting to know this city I’d theoretically loved. And four years later, when he contemplated moving elsewhere, I was already mourning my lost connection. Turns out he loves living there as much as I love visiting. He stayed, making Federal Hill his home — and a regular destination for us.

more beautiful row houses, neighborhood-y restaurants and a population of young families and young professionals. Fells Point is right Federal Hill is charming with street after on the water with busy bars and atmospheric street of pretty little brick row houses. At pubs like Duda’s Tavern and Thames Street night, they glow from inside like tiny gems. Oyster House. (It also had Michael Phelps Close to the Inner Harbor and below a before he got tired of people gawking up at beautiful park, the area has cobblestone his all-glass, harborside apartment.) Mount streets, gaslights and blocks of businesses Vernon is elegant — the cultural hub with serving the twenty and thirty something The Walters Museum and inspired strolling crowd who make up most of the residents. alongside impressive cathedrals, monuments Hangout spots that feed their desires for and mansions. Hampden, a bit outside big breakfasts, Ravens watching, casual the city proper, has a friendly, welcoming dining and serious drinking. Many houses atmosphere with endless blocks of small shops here have roof decks, so walking the (last count: 169) offering handmade jewelry, streets at night, you often hear good music hip housewares, vintage clothing, antique and good times coming from high above furniture, artwork, contemporary clothes and the sidewalk. Canton has wide streets, of course, good food. Distinct neighborhoods, each with its very own thing.


Champagne at The Ivy Hotel

Cocktails at Charleston

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Spike Gjerde’s Artifact Coffee

Federal Hill

#2 on Zagat’s list of “Top 17 Food Cities” for 2015. From the moment I had my first crab cake at Faidley’s, a retro seafood spot right off the somewhat grungy Lexington Market, I knew they could cook things in this town that just couldn’t be done a few short hours away in New York. While the crab cakes are uniquely delicious just about anywhere in town — from college bars and corner joints to the better restaurants in the city — the baseball shaped beauties from Faidley’s deserve their constant #1 status. With no noticeable filler and a faint tang of mustard, they’re tender and superb. Crab cakes aside, the welldeserved distinction from Zagat’s has given the city’s dining scene an upgrade in national status, bringing attention to some of its local stars.

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Faidley’s seafood

Spike Gjerde just keeps doing it right. In a spectacular old foundry, Woodberry Kitchen has been called the Chez Panisse of the east coast. Its combination of elegant industrial chic, an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, house made everything (from pop tarts at brunch to the marinated cherry in your Manhattan), their take on local seafood and everything else I’ve ever had there, it’s a restaurant that should be on every food lover’s list. In May, Spike Gjerde, Woodberry’s chef and the genius behind it all became Baltimore’s first James Beard award winner. Recently, in a former automotive garage, Gjerde opened Parts & Labor, a butchery and now popular dining spot. His Artifact Coffee in another reclaimed industrial space is also sublime. Warm and den-like, I had my first Maple Latte there, along with a griddled English muffin with an egg and cheddar cheese — a far cry from the ordinary deli standard. On our last trip, after discovering Artifact, we ended

up there every morning but Spike Gjerde’s places are like that. For years, I would only eat at Woodberry Kitchen for the same reason. When something seems as good as it gets, why go elsewhere? Down a flight of stairs or with sweeping harbor views, the new and the established have a lot to offer. But elsewhere I have gone lately to try the city’s ever expanding food opportunities. Sugarvale, a downstairs hole-in-the-wall in Mount Vernon serves house cured charcuterie and craft cocktails. La Cuchara is the place for innovative tapas, again in an impressive repurposed industrial location. Dooby’s is a great little spot for Korean food with modern leanings. And Ceremony Coffee Roasters is an aficionado’s paradise, featuring seminars and everything coffee at their “pro shop.”


Baltimore Skyline

Magdalena at The Ivy Hote

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The stalwart Charleston in the growing Harbor East area is elegant, hushed and lovely for a special occasion. Chef Cindy Wolf is a local luminary. Around the corner on Aliceanna Street, Azumi serves fabulously fresh sushi in a serene setting. The Brewer’s Art has long been preparing innovative farm-to-table food in a lovely old Mount Vernon townhouse, along with its many craft beers. The main floor dining area is always busy but the big crowd heads downstairs where beer flows thorough the night.

Guest living room at The Ivy

Hotels for every size wallet. Although Baltimore may not be widely known as a luxury destination, the high end is getting higher all the time. The Four Seasons, in the shopping and strolling hub of Harbor East, is as luxe and elegant as you’d expect. In soothing white, gold and beige tones, the rooms have spectacular harbor and city views. The spa is one of the more serene and relaxing spots I’ve visited and once there, I was sorry I couldn’t stay all day. Wit & Wisdom, the hotel’s restaurant by chef Michael Mina serves a copious brunch buffet I’m still dreaming about, especially the shrimp and grits. The newest luxury entry is The Ivy, a sublime addition to the Relais & Chateaux collection. In a Mount Vernon mansion, a stay is akin to being a guest invited into a home of eclectic elegance, from being personally greeted at the entrance to a cocktail bar and mini bar with no extra charge, no matter what you enjoy. The artwork, décor, guestrooms and public spaces are just gorgeous. The Ivy’s downstairs restaurant, Magdalena, is lively and welcoming. Elegant preparations befit the setting, especially the intimate wine cellar dining room. The colorful Hotel Indigo is around the corner from the spectacular Baltimore Basilica, known as America’s first cathedral. The Brexton is in a quirky old building overlooking a tiny alley street with some of the narrowest and most adorable houses I have ever seen. Online rates for both can be surprisingly low — and both put you in a beautiful part of Mount Vernon.

Luxurious bath at The Ivy Hotel


Four Seasons Lobby

Four Seasons “Wit & Wisdom” Tavern by Michael Mina

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Four Seasons Sunrise

Four Seasons: http://www.fourseasons.com/baltimore/landing_3/?KW_ID=sORhl55ls_dc|pcrid|73507377402&gclid=CMvrwauTcoCFdBZhgodH6oICw&source=gaw11baltoS05

Four Seasons Pool 4th floor deck


Four Seasons Baltimore From Harbor

The Ivy Hotel: (Magdalena Restaurant) http://www.theivybaltimore.com/

Artifact Coffee http://artifactcoffee.com

Dooby’s http://www.doobys.com/

Faidleys http://www.faidleyscrabcakes.com/

Charleston http://charlestonrestaurant.com/

Parts & Labor http://partsandlaborbutchery.com/

Thames Street Oyster House http://www.thamesstreetoysterhouse.com/

Brewer’s Art http://www.thebrewersart.com/#!/page_home

Hotel Indigo http://www.hotelindigo.com

Woodberry Kitchen: http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/

Sugarvale http://sugarvalebmore.com/

Hotel Brexton http://www.hotelbrexton.com/

Baltimore Inner Harbor - Evening

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The arts and crafts heritage is alive and well in the Smokies STORY AND PHOTOS by Deborah Stone

From a distance, the fog of early morning gives the mountains a blue-grey tint that looks like smoke.

Pastor Jimmy Morrow is well-known for his famous kudzu baskets.

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Quilts exemplify centuries of rural tradition in Appalachia.

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t takes Pastor Jimmy Morrow about three hours to make one of his famous kudzu baskets. Watching him wind this tough and stringy plant’s vine over and around countless times is a hypnotic experience. Listening to him tell tales of Appalachia, on the other hand, is an insightful journey into one of the most fascinating regions in our country. Morrow is a multitalented man – an author, historian, artisan and snakehandling pastor – who is a well-known figure in the Smoky Mountains. His family dates back to the Civil War era with roots in Morgan Gap, deep in the heart of East Tennessee. Pastor Morrow’s primitive art

paintings tell both historical and religious stories, and his folk art dolls of corn husk are portrayed as characters within these accounts. He’s one of many residents in the Smokies doing their part to keep the Appalachian arts and crafts heritage alive. Maria Holloway, of Holloway’s Country Home Quilts in Cosby, is another. Though not originally from this area of the country, Holloway has lived in the bucolic backyard of the Smokies for many years. She is committed to perpetuating the art of quilt-making; a traditional craft she claims is slowly dying as the number of custom handmade commercial quilters continues to dwindle. Her store is now the only one of its kind in Cocke

County that sells authentic American quilts exemplifying centuries of rural tradition. She also offers classes for those interested in learning or advancing their skills in this art form. Holloway carries a large variety of quilts and has a notable vintage collection. Styles range from Log Cabin and Double Wedding Ring to Postage Stamp, Courthouse Step and Old World Floral Hand Applique, among others. Visitors interested in viewing the quilts are treated to an amazing showcase as Holloway and her staff lift up spread after spread from atop a bed piled high with sumptuous quilts. Each one is more colorful and intricate than the other, providing a sumptuous visual array.

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earby at Five Arts Studio, Marianna Arensbak Shaffer and her husband Ted Shaffer are busy at work in their expansive quarters making trolls of all shapes, sizes and characteristics. The trolls are created from natural materials such as acorn caps, pine cones, seeds, nuts, berries, gourds, jute and sisal. Hundreds of these whimsical pieces line the shelves, displaying their various traits, from the bookworm and computer whiz to the hippie, biker and trail guide. There are teacher and police trolls, along with troll nurses and doctors, firefighters and even grape stompers. The selection is extensive with a troll for every person or personality.

At Five Arts Studio, you’ll find unique trolls created from natural materials.

It all began with Arensbak Shaffer’s parents, Ken and Neta Arensbak, who came to the U.S. from war torn Denmark in 1949. They brought with them scores of adventurous stories involving Scandinavian trolls. The couple wanted their children to grow up with these legends, but the telling of these tales raised the question as to a troll’s appearance. To bring his stories to life, Ken made a troll out of found objects. Neta and her children decided to make more trolls using Ken’s design to give as presents to friends and neighbors who enjoyed the stories. Forty years later, the tradition continues with Marianna and Ted. Growing the best apples is an art over at Carver’s Orchard, a seventh generation family business.

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lso in Cosby is Carver’s Orchard, a seventh generation family business that boasts more than 40,000 apple trees and over 100 varieties of the fruit. Growing the best apples is an art in itself, which the Carvers have perfected since the 1940s. Everything is picked by hand and either sold at the farmer’s market or loaded onto trucks to be shipped out across the country. Then there are the apples that are used to make apple butter, apple cider, apple fritters and the Carver’s specialty, fried apple pie, which visitors can purchase at the onsite shop and restaurant. The pies are true works of art and after eating one of these swoon-worthy creations, you’ll soon be dreaming of the next time you’re in Cosby. For more local flavor, head to the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community just outside of Gatlinburg. Established in 1937, the historic Arts & Crafts Community comprises an 8.5 mile loop that makes up a portion of the officially designated Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail. This area encompasses the largest enclave of independent artists and crafters in the country. There are over 100 shops and galleries on the loop, offering everything from functional stoneware pottery and natural soy candles to handmade soaps, chainsaw creations, handcrafted leather goods, unique jewelry, scenic landscape watercolor and oil paintings, fused glass and more. At Ogle’s Broom Shop for example, third generation broom makers create brooms, hiking sticks and walking canes with custom carvings. And over at Smoky Mountain Dulcimers, you’ll discover an exquisite collection of handcrafted, hammered dulcimers. If you’re interested in the lives and stories of real mountain folk, make a beeline for Paul Murray Gallery. There you’ll find paintings from Appalachia and “Mtn Red” regaling visitors with old time tales. Also check out Earthworks Rock Candles with its selection of oil lamps made from natural slate found in the Great Smoky Mountains. Each candle is split and chiseled to bring out the natural texture and character of the stone and when lit, gives a stunning illusion. At many of the shops and studios, you can watch artisans at work, allowing for personal, up-close interaction with those engaged in perpetuating the arts. The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in downtown Gatlinburg is also worth a visit. This national art education center offers workshops for the beginner to advanced artist, taught by national and international practicing studio artists and university faculty. Course selection includes everything from ceramics and woodworking to fiber, metals/jewelry, photography, painting and more. The public is welcome year-round to visit the 14-acre campus and view artwork in the school’s five galleries, attend special presentations and take a peek at the studios of Artists-in Residence.

Craftsman David Ogle designs a handmade broom.

Spinning is another ageold tradition in the Smokies.

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Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler produces a variety of moonshine in flavors like Apple Pie, Pineapple, Sweet Tea and Original Corn.

hile in Gatlinburg, make sure you make your way to Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler for a different type of craft experience. For the last two hundred year, generations of local families have been making moonshine in the mountains, perfecting their recipes for this famous Tennessee libation. During a tour of the distillery, visitors can see the grains converted into clear corn liquor and learn about the process in detail from distiller, Bruce Whaley. The company makes 1200-1500 gallons of moonshine a day, seven days a week, and sells its product all over the U.S. and Canada. Whaley began making moonshine when he was thirteen years old. With the death of his father, he had to help support his mother, five sisters and one brother. At that time, making moonshine was illegal in Tennessee. It was finally legalized in the state in 2010. After viewing the distillery, you’ll have the opportunity to taste the various flavors of moonshine that the company produces. These include such concoctions as Sweet Tea, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Peach, Blackberry, Big Orange, Pineapple, White Lightnin’, Moonshine Cherries, Charred, Original Corn and others. The most popular flavor is Apple Pie with Blackberry a close second. Pace yourself as some of the flavors are 100+ proof and pack a strong wallop! Authenticity is the name of the game in the Smokies when it comes to the region’s arts and crafts heritage. It’s also a quality that can be applied to the people who make their homes in this very special part of the country. For all things Tennessee: www.tnvacation.com

Bruce Whaley, distiller at Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, has been making moonshine since he was thirteen years old.

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In the Elkmont Historical District of Cades Cove, visitors will find abandoned 1920s style cabins.


South Carolina’s REVOLUTIONARY RIVERS

Listen closely. The waters of the Pee Dee & Lynches Rivers whisper stories of swampy battlefields, colonial rice fields and routes to freedom. Retracing the past from Native American settlements to the island hideout of the Revolutionary War’s Swamp Fox, your outdoor adventure becomes a history lesson you will never find in a book.

Don’t just read history... paddle history. visitflo.com/screvrivers 53


Sphere at Parc Aventures

Caribou in zoo camp

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Sleepless in Saguenay... Lac-Saint-Jean Region...Quebec

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Story & Photos by Carol Patterson

he wolves’ plaintive cries split the pre-dawn silence and my lizard brain screamed, “run”! My logical brain knew sturdy chain-link fences separated me from the wolves but my primitive brain was pulling rank. En-route to the outhouse, I froze and my breath quickened, each inhalation sucking in crisp woodland air. The cacophonous canine chorus rolled through my body as every nerve went on full alert. I wouldn’t be getting back to sleep but I was discovering Quebec’s Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean region turned sound sleepers into insomniacs. Some travel to recharge. I was wondering - was it was possible to get a normal night’s sleep here?

The next day it was on to Village Historique De Val-Jalbert, Canada’s largest ghost town. Founded in 1902 to support a pulp mill, residents enjoyed modern amenities seldom found outside large cities like Boston. Unfortunately the mill could not remain competitive and closed in 1927. Val-Jalbert slept undisturbed until being reborn as a tourist attraction. Now people wander the streets taking streetcar rides from the ‘mayor’ and riding the funicular to overlook Ouiatchouan River waterfalls. After dark, the gates close and a handful of travellers bunk in restored homes. I wandered the empty streets; darkened houses and building ruins provided the perfect backdrop for ghost hunting.

My first night I hung in a fiberglass bubble suspended in the forest and overlooking the cool deep waters of Saguenay fjord. At Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux, two spheres - one camouflaged to blend in, the other looking like a giant disco ball - offer the ultimate tree houses for sleepy travellers. The suspended walkway linking earth to the shiny sphere bounced as I gingerly inched my way into a compact living-cum-sleeping area. Suspended in the forest like a passenger in a silver soap bubble, the whistle of forest breezes and chattering of squirrels soothed my soul. When darkness fell I snuggled in for a night as a forest creature. Unfortunately, I make a lousy forest creature. My city roots showed as I woke frequently to examine each new sound.

Heading into the shadows outside of camp I strode to the outhouse, startled as a lanky caribou drifted into view, his eyes meeting mine briefly before his ghostly figure blended back into the darkness. Wondering why trips to the outhouse yield some of my best Continuing my sleepless ways, I headed to wildlife encounters, I headed to my Zoo Sauvage De Saint-Felicien. Here the tent and another night where the truly dangerous creatures - Homo sapiens novelty made it difficult to sleep. I - are behind fences and animals roam free. crawled into a sleeping bag atop fir Our bus crept past grizzly bears and elk boughs, softer than an air mattress herds, cameras clicking as we enjoyed our and releasing fresh pine smells roving viewing blind. We stretched our legs whenever I moved. Tired from the at a recreated settler’s farm tucking into a hike and breathing fresh air seemed lunch of gourganes (broad bean) soup and the perfect recipe for a sound sleep. roast pork. A black bear ambled by the And then I wondered if the zoo had door stopping lunchtime conversation as a backup generator if the fence lost surely as if the Queen had popped her head power during the night. out of the kitchen.

Val-Jalbert residents doomed to a lesser lifestyle left reluctantly when the mill closed and I wondered if any returned in spirit form. Tired, I climbed the stairs to my room and waited for ghostly appearances. I dozed off awaking just in time to pick up the only ghost I saw - a keychain in the general store.

Bellies full, our guide drove us to a secure part of the forest for our overnight stay as part of zoo’s program, The Walking Adventure in the Land of the Caribou. On one side of an electric fence bears, muskox and bison, on the other slowrunning humans, two caribou and several moose. We piled off of the bus and wandered through towering aspen and waist-high ferns to camp. Looking like a boreal version of an African safari, prospector-style tents circled a large campfire, glasses and plates piled neatly inside a screened dining shelter. French and English flowed as travelers shared stories of their boreal adventure.

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hortly after sunrise, I crawled bleary-eyed from the tent to find everything on the correct side of the fence and our group headed to the town of Giradville and Aventuraid - the home of Gilles Granal and three wolf packs. Arriving at facility’s entrance, Granal greeted us with news we might be invited into an enclosure of grey wolves - imprinted on humans - and engage in some interspecies communication.

straps tucked under our clothes and anything that might get chewed left behind. We lined up against the fence like suspects in a police lineup and the wolves showed as much curiosity as cops frisking us. A large white wolf put its front paws on my shoulders, sniffed my hair, and licked my face with an enthusiasm I couldn’t reciprocate. I soon discovered wolf communication involved licking and sniffing in places non-wolves don’t consider polite.

Through a translator he explained, “We are only going in with the wolves because they want the stimulation, not because we want to see wolves. And we will only go in if the wolves are in the right mood.” Fortunately luck was on our side, the wolves wanted company and we entered cautiously, camera

Sitting among the wolves I felt like Joy Adamson with her lion in Born Free. The wolves’ frantic greetings gave way to pleas for belly rubs before apathy crept in and they wandered away in search of new smells. Not wanting to overstay our welcome we headed to our cabins a few meters from the wolf

enclosures. “You’ll be able to see the wolves from your window when you awake,” Gilles said, gesturing to trees barely visible in approaching darkness. I smiled at the implication I would have a full night’s sleep and headed to bed. I knew the adventure in Saguenay--SaintLac-Jean didn’t stop when the sun went down. I would have to wait until I got home to catch up on my sleep. Carol Patterson inspires everyday explorers with words and video. When she isn’t travelling for work, Carol is travelling for fun. More of her adventures can be found at www.carolpatterson.ca

Zoo Sauvage campfire

Meeting the Aventuraid wolf pack

Val-Jalbert

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Zoo sauvage camp


Image courtesy of Travel Goods Association

TOP TRAVEL GEAR FOR FAMILIES By Sarah Vernetti This spring, the 2016 International Travel Goods Show, produced by the Travel Goods Association, arrived in Las Vegas for three days dedicated to the best luggage, gear, and accessories. Featuring more than 500 brands from over 300 exhibitors from around the world, it’s no surprise that the show included a wealth of products geared toward traveling families.

Are you looking for travel gear and accessories to make your next family trip more convenient? Consider this round-up of unique products, from friendly, bendable flashlights and handy compression packing cubes to luggage that can help keep the kids entertained at the airport during long layovers or delays.

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The Scootie by America’s Travel Merchandise Combine durable, colorful luggage with a scooter and you’ve got a recipe for fun. The Scootie from America’s Travel Merchandise (ATM) can be ridden as a scooter or pulled like a typical rolling bag. The scooter portion folds up, making it a convenient carry-on that will fit into most overhead compartments. In addition to travel, the Scootie is a great option for picnics and park visits too. You’ll find that the bags come in a variety of fun designs, including some that feature popular cartoon characters. (Ages 4-9, scooter features a non-slip deck and a rear brake, available at atmluggage.com, suggested retail price: $99.99) Compression Packing Cubes by Genius Pack Packing for a family can be a challenge. In addition to remembering everything you need for your trip, organizing it in a sensible way and fitting as much as you can into one suitcase can be a real chore. Thanks to Genius Pack’s Compression Packing Cubes, you can organize your items by family member, type, or day—whatever works best for your situation. The cubes feature stretchable mesh and come in a set of three sizes: small, medium, and large. The smaller cubes can be used to hold items that you want to have access to during your flight, while the larger cubes can hold a surprising number of shirts thanks to its compression design. (Cubes come in red or black, available at geniuspack.com, suggested retail price: $38/set)

Image courtesy of America’s Travel Merchandise

Seat Cover by 4 A Clean Getaway These cleverly named seat covers can be used on most airline or train seats. You can even take them to the movie theater. In addition to protecting you and your family from germy seats, the covers can help keep you organized. Pockets near your feet offer a place to store your travel gear, like tablets, magazines, and snacks. This can be much more convenient than trying to rifle through the seatback pocket. An added bonus? The colorful patterns reflect different travel destinations, including Africa, the Bahamas, India, and the United States. (Machine washable, available at 4acleangetaway.com, $36)

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Image courtesy of Genius Pack


BendyMan Flashlight by Walter + Ray These charming, flexible flashlights double as smartphone stands, making them a multipurpose item that you won’t want to leave at home. And thanks to bendable arms and legs that can be used as hooks, the BendyMan makes a great reading light too, allowing you to enjoy your favorite book after the kids go to sleep, even when you’re sharing a hotel room. BendyMan features a friendly smile and is available in four colors: blue, pink, lime green, and black. (Button cell batteries included, available at walterandray.com, suggested retail price: $10)

Image courtesy of Walter + Ray

Play Luggage If you’re looking for quirky, whimsical luggage that will help keep the kids entertained during long layovers at the airport, PlayLuggage has something for you. Their unique rolling bags each feature a game on the exterior. Options include backgammon, chess, and even magnetic darts! For artistic families, PlayLuggage offers the Paris bag, which features a plain exterior on which kids can draw using the included set of dry-erase markers. There’s even a bag with a textured surface that’s perfect for building with blocks. Lightweight and fun, these bags can make a great addition to your family’s luggage collection. (Available at playluggage.com/luggages, price varies based on style) Double Dutch Cross-body Bag by LUG From the newly launched Infinity Collection, LUG’s cross-body bag features a smartphone pocket, a softlined tablet pocket, water bottle holder, adjustable strap, and a pocket equipped with RFID shielding. A water-repellent finish helps make this an ideal bag for traveling with kids. Plus, you won’t have to sacrifice style for function. The Double Dutch bag comes in four stylish colors: black, walnut, olive green, and blue. (Available at luglife.com, suggested retail price: $69.99)

Unite2 by Atlantic When traveling as a family, one of the challenges that parents face is trying to navigate the airport, train station, or bus terminal while carrying multiple bags. If this sounds like a problem that you’ve faced before, check out the Unite2 series from Atlantic. These bags attach to one another back-to-back thanks to a handy strap, allowing you to wheel two pieces of luggage with one hand. The bags come in two colors—blue and black—and a variety of sizes, making it easy to customize a collection to fit your needs. (Available at atlanticluggage.com, suggested retail price: $80-$320)

Image courtesy of LUG

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Luggage By Neil Wolkodoff If you are going for a week or less, the Eaglecreek Tarmac 25 AWD is the optimal size conventional bag that is durable, extremely easy to grab, roll and navigate. Despite the 25-inch size, it holds a good deal more as it expands 15% when more stuff needs to go in. The polycarbonate shell is combined with their Bitech fabrics, so it’s a marriage of firmer side with soft side. Added features like a coat keeper and a piggy bag clip for securing another bag make this like a mid-sized SUV, tough on the outside, lots of comfort on the inside.

The key to picking the perfect checked luggage is to pick the right piece for your belongings that fits your travel style and needs. It can be daunting to pick from suitcases to gear bags that range from $300-$2000 per piece. Comparing price points versus features is challenging because manufacturers don’t seem very enthusiastic about submitting their products to side-by-side tests. We decided to perform a comparison test of four very different pieces of luggage in the checked luggage category to see how they pack, roll, lock, exit the car and hold your belongings when you check a bag. Bags were selected after viewing and discussions with retailers, Internet ratings and talking to travelers. With each bag, we packed them, zipped and closed them, jostled them, repeatedly lifted them in and out of the car, rolled them around the airport, went straight, made turns, parked them. Basically, everything luggage has to do on a trip. Here is a summary of each one and our comments after the test.

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EC Tarmac AWD 25 with cargo net - olive

If you have to stuff it in and go, then a duffel bag sounds like the answer, but most don’t offer any protection or roll well. For recreational and compressible gear for your active vacation, the Pivotal Soft Case Gear Bag is the answer. The rigid frame and bottom protect more delicate items while clothes and other soft goods can be placed just about anywhere using the internal divider support system. A bevy of straps and handles make this easy to get in and out of the vehicle. The award-winning Pivotal handle in combination with the longer length makes rolling the bag extremely easy. While there are only two wheels in the bag, there is a bumper system that Soft Case - Charcoal Orange enables the bag to sit easily upright.


Lojel has made a name in the lightweight, hard-sided market in Asia and Europe, and is gaining market share in the U.S. For the week or longer trip, the Lojel 29 inch Kozmos Magnesium, hard-sided spinner ensures nothing gets left behind with maximum protection. The construction sports an effective combination of advanced aluminum, mesh, and polycarbonate. The interior divider system separates items, a nice feature, as many hard sided pieces on the inside are one big cavern. The ingenious built-in lock & latch system simplifies security and is TSA approved. Match your personal style with aluminum, gold or black finish.

Kosmos 29 Angle

Carrying work or heavy recreational items require a little extra protection. If you carry photography, fishing, snowshoe or other bigger gear, then the Pivotal Transport Case is like the Mac Truck of checked luggage. In 41 and 44inch lengths, this is probably going to be a little extra coin for checking an oversize item, yet if your gear is worth it, you are probably paying this fee already. Besides the hard shell case, the extra tie-down nylon straps help secure the items outside, while the nifty moveable compartment dividers adjust to just about any configuration. The case comes with extra large rear wheels, which in combination with the Pivotal handle make navigation extremely easy for something this size.

Transport Case

Just Roll It Danno’ Eaglecreek Tarmac 25 AWD

Pivotal Soft Gear Bag

Lojel Kozmos 29 Magnesium

Pivotal Transport Case

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DESTINATION INFORMATION VISIT PHOENIX, AZ

DISCOVER OXNARD, CA

Desert character. It can’t be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. Projected against this rugged backdrop is a panorama of charm: Resorts and spas infused with Native American tradition. Golf courses that stay emerald green in the middle of winter. Mountain parks crisscrossed with trails. Sports arenas worthy of the Super Bowl. Restaurants that invite you to dine beneath sunshine or stars.This is the desert you never knew. Discover it.

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, soak up Southern California’s beautiful-year-round weather. Play at our world-class golf courses and taste local wines along the Ventura County Wine Trail. Celebrate the sunset. It’s time to discover Oxnard! www.visitoxnard.com

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

ALASKA

Explore Fairbanks 907-459-3770 http://www.ExploreFairbanks.com

ARIZONA

Sedona Chamber of Commerce (928) 282-7722 http://www.visitsedona.com

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism Phone: 501-682-7602 Website: http://www.Arkansas.com Little Rock CVB Phone: 501-370-3224 Website: http://www.littlerock.com North Little Rock Visitors Bureau 501-758-1424 www.NorthLittleRock.org

CALIFORNIA

www.visitphoenix.com

CALIFORNIA (cont’d.)

FLORIDA (cont’d.)

Tourism New Zealand Phone: 3108572205

INDIANA

Stay In Simi Phone: 8055263900 Website: http://www.stayinsimi.com

Visit Buena Park Phone: 714-562-3560 Website: http://www.visitbuenapark.com Visit Oxnard (805) 385-7545 http://www.visitoxnard.com

Lee County CVB (239) 338-3500 www.leecvb.com

Visit Bloomington Phone: 812-355-7723 Website: http://www.visitbloomington.com Visit South Bend Mishawaka Phone: 574-400-4025

KENTUCKY

Visit Palm Springs (760) 778-8415 www.visitpalmsprings.com

Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau Phone: 502-560-1480 Website: http://www.gotolouisville.com

COLORADO

LOUISIANA

Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Assoc. (970) 945-5002 http://www.glenwoodchamber.com/

FLORIDA

Franklin County Tourist Development Council (850) 653-8678 http://www.saltyflorida.com/ Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau Phone: 305-539-3000 Website: http://www.miamiandbeaches.com Santa Rosa Tourist Development Office (850) 939-2691 http://www.floridasplayground.com/

Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau 504-731-7083 www.ExperienceJefferson.com

MICHIGAN

Greater Lansing CVB (517) 377-1423 http://www.lansing.org/

MISSOURI

Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention & Visitors Bureau (417) 243-2137 http://bransoncvb.com/

NEW YORK

Catalina Island Chamber & Visitors Bureau Phone: 310.510.1520 Website: http://www.catalinachamber.com

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Phone: 239-338-3500 Website: http://www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/

Lowell Milken Center Phone: 310-570-4773

Visit Central Florida Phone: 863-551-4707 Website: https://visitcentralflorida.org/

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation Phone: 7162828992 Website: http://www.niagara-usa.com

Visit Sarasota County (941) 955-0991 http://www.visitsarasota.org

Turning Stone Resort Casino 800-771-7711 www.TurningStone.com

Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau Phone: 805-688-6144 Website: http://www.solvangusa.com/

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Finn Partners 212-715-1600 www.FinnPartners.com


DESTINATION INFORMATION (Cont’d.) 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

NORTH CAROLINA

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Phone: 919-245-4323 Website: http://www.visitchapelhill.org Graham County Travel & Tourism Phone: 828-479-3790 Website: http://www.GrahamCountyTravel.com Outer Banks Visitors Bureau (252) 473-2138 www.outerbanks.org

NORTH DAKOTA

Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau Phone: 605.373.2012

OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau Phone: 405-297-8973 Website: http://www.visitokc.com

TEXAS

Galveston Island CVB (405) 797-5152 http://www.galveston.com Visit Big Bend Phone: 432-837-3915 Website: http://www.visitbigbend.com Visit Houston Phone: 713-437-5275 Website: http://www.visithouston.com

VIRGINIA

Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau (VA) (757) 728-5316 http://visithampton.com/ Visit Norfolk Today (757) 664-6620 http://wwwvisitnorfolktoday.com

WASHINGTON

Washington County Visitors Association Phone: 503-644-5555 Website: http://tualatinvalley.org

San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (360) 378-6822 http://visitsanjuans.com/

RHODE ISLAND

Travel Tacoma + Pierce County Phone: 253-284-3253

Newport, Rhode Island CVB (401) 845-9117 www.GoNewport.com South County Tourism Council Phone: 401-489-4422 Website: http://www.southcountyRI.com

TENNESSEE

Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway (423) 442-9147 http://monroecounty.com/

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

www.glenwoodchamber.com

OREGON

Baker County Tourism Phone: 541-523-1589 Website: http://www.basecampbaker.com

VISIT SALTY, FLORIDA

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Phone: 360-671-3990 Website: http://www.bellingham.org

Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism (360) 629-7136 http://www.whidbeycamanoislands.com/

TRAVEL SERVICES Auto Europe

Phone: 207-842-2038 Website: http://www.autoeurope.com

City Pass

Toll Free (888) 330-5008 Direct: (208) 787-4300 www.citypass.com

Exodus Travel

Phone: 647 880 1581 Website: http://www.ExodusTravels.com

CANADA QUEBEC

Quebec City Tourism (418) 641-6654, 5421 http://www.quebecregion.com

MEXICO PUERTO VALLARTA

Visit Puerto Vallarta (212) 633-2047 www.visitpuertovallarta.com

WEST VIRGINIA

Pocahontas County CVB (304) 799-4636 http://www.pocahontascountywv.com/

WISCONSIN

VISIT Milwaukee Phone: 4145079009

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TravelWorld International Magazine Summer 2016  

TravelWorld International Magazine Summer 2016

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