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  1. The Lucerne

    Big Apple Hidden Gem - The Lucerne: NYC

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    Give my regards to Broadway, but let me stay on the Upper West Side! I try to find hotels for you in the Big Apple that won’t break the bank, and believe me, that’s hard to do. I have written about two other properties in New York City and now you can add this gem to your list.

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  2. Photos by Richie Holbert

    Show Fever!

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    The producers of RV and Boat Shows are clever. Very clever indeed. They schedule the big consumer shows in the dead of winter when us outdoorsy types are deep in throes of cabin fever, itching to play in the sunshine with our motor toys.

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  3. Angel Oak Tree (Photo by Mike Miller)

    The Angel Oak Tree: Charleston, South Carolina

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    Our trip to see the Angel Oak Tree near Charleston, South Carolina was far more powerful than I had expected. The only other time I’ve felt so overwhelmed, humbled and stunned at the sheer majesty of Mother Nature was standing in the Redwood Forest. 

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  4. Retrorome

    Retrorome: Barcelona, Spain

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    Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, where style, history and culture come together in the second largest city in Spain. It is also the tenth most visited city in the world. With this in mind, where should we stay you ask? I know just the place and it will take you to a time you know well.

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  5. Seville, Spain

    Seville, Spain: Heart of Flamenco

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    As a boomer I was blessed with my father having been in the Air Force and we lived in Spain (Torrejon AFB outside Madrid) when I was in High School  What a perfect age to be exposed to other countries and cultures!  

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  6. Park Inn

    Historic Park Inn: Mason City, Iowa

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    Here’s a trivia question for you. What is the name and location of the last remaining hotel built and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright?

     

    If you guessed the Historic Park Inn in Mason City, Iowa, you are correct! It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was opened to the public in 1910. The entire history of this hotel can be found on their website which is listed at the end of this article. It has recently undergone a $20 million renovation and is definitely worth making the trip to Iowa.

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  7. Hamilton_Turner Inn Exterior

    Hamilton-Turner Inn: Savannah, Georgia

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    If you haven’t paid a visit to Savannah, I highly recommend you put it on your list this year. History, architecture and charm abound in this city and to really get the ambiance, I suggest you stay at the Hamilton-Turner Inn.

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  8. Russian church

    Heart of Russia

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    Experience the splendor of the czars, vibrant Slavic culture and the expansive beauty of rural Russia on tour with Collette! This unique cruise-land tour allows you to see the best of Russia from both the land and sea. Begin your journey in the Russian capital, Moscow, and travel all the way to the glittering city of St. Petersburg. On tour you will spend 2 nights in city center hotels in both St. Petersburg and Moscow and also cruise for 7 nights aboard your 4-star river cruise ship. Collette’s Heart of Russia tour has it all! Don’t miss the opportunity to explore all Russia has to offer on tour with Collette.  

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  9. Classic Christmas Markets

    Classic Christmas Markets

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    There’s no better way to spend your holiday than exploring the magic of Europe in the winter. Join Collette on a glorious holiday adventure that includes Europe’s finest Christmas markets. Enjoy a guided tour of the old quarter, “Petite France,” featuring the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Mingle with locals as you sip mulled wine and explore the lively Christmas markets featuring local specialties, crafts and traditional food and drink. Find items like Nuremberg spicy gingerbread, fruit loaves, bakery goods, Christmas tree angles and toys while exploring the oldest and most famous Christmas Market in Germany. Step back in time as you stroll the streets of past old-world cottages and shops covered in colorful frescos, in the town of Oberammergau, the ideal place to shop for cuckoo clocks, nutcrackers and Hummel Figurines.

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  10. Grand Canal in Venice

    Italy Family Discovery

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    Collette makes travel planning easy so you can simply focus on enjoying the world’s greatest destinations with your family. Collette’s Family tours blend the must-see’s of each destination with hands-on experiences that keep the kids entertained.

     

    Fall in love with Italy as a family and join Collette for an unforgettable family adventure through Italy‘s most magical cities – Venice, Florence and Rome. Filled with history and culture, these cities come to life before your eyes. Explore Italy by foot, train and boat - making your way through ancient and scenic landscapes. Discover the magic of Italy as your family visits the legendary Colosseum, learns the art of making authentic pizza making, indulges in a Tuscan feast, explores a winery for a tasting and a pasta making class, discovers the fantastic world of Leonardo da Vinci and tastes Italy’s sweetest treasure – gelato! 

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  11. Venice

    Bella Italia

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    History, culture, art and romance… just waiting to be discovered on this wonderful introduction to Italy, a country you are sure to fall in love with! You’ll embark on a Venetian adventure that includes St. Mark’s Square, the lively hub of the city's activity and events. Be whisked by high-speed train from Venice to Florence where you’ll see all the highlights of this amazing cultural hot spot. Enjoy a wine tasting and lunch set in the serene Tuscan countryside.  This is truly a wonderful journey across Italy, which encompasses the incredible sights and mouth watering food and drink; a once-in-a-lifetime excursion that will leave you with a heart full of memories.

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  12. Marian at Legoland

    The Art, Culture, Fun, and Accommodation of LEGO

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    “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”. This is the mantra of LEGO.  Yes, those famous LEGOs!  You probably played with them when you were a kid; then your kids played with them, and now, if you have grandchildren, they are playing with LEGOs too.  I love LEGOs. There is something so creative and personal about them. As Jorgen Vig Knundstop, Head of LEGO’s Corporate Management explained on YouTube: “There are many solutions to the same problem, and you have to imagine your own solution.”  

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  13. La Gavroche

    London’s Food, Glorious Food

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    Remember when… English food was considered abominable? Except for we English who loved it, didn’t know better, and it wasn’t until the advent of the early Chinese and Indian cafes that we knew any other cuisine or cooking.  But over the years, especially with the EU making crossing borders easy, the wonderful influx of young chefs from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc., has brought fine dining to an Art form in London and beyond.  Let’s take a look at some of the venerable restaurants in London, and it’s all about adapting tried and true establishments adapting to the “latest” trends

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  14. Street scene

    Old Havana

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    It is a warm evening in Old Havana. You maybe had an early dinner, and are walking along the narrow streets of Old Havana, looking for one of the watering holes, to enjoy a refreshing Daiquiri, or Mojito, and listen to some live music played by a guitar trio… Or you are looking for a “paladar”, a private restaurant, for a late dinner, after a long day visiting museums or any other interesting place… 

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  15. Grand Del Mar

    The Grand Del Mar: San Diego, California

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    Heading to the west coast and looking for a touch of Mediterranean luxury – the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego is the place to go if you have a decent budget for your stay. Rooms start at $495 per night and in addition Villa style suites are available.

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  16. Grand Union Hotel

    A Trip Back In Time - Grand Union Hotel: Fort Benton, Montana

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    If your travels take you near Great Falls, Montana, then please add a couple nights and visit the Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton. Located 36 miles north of Great Falls, this is Montana’s oldest operating hotel. Built in 1882, 7 years before Montana became a state and at the height of the Steamboat era, this property cost $50,000 to construct and $150,000 to furnish. It ran on hard times in the 1980’s and had to close, but thanks to Jim and Cheryl Gagnon, Montana natives, the hotel was purchased by them in 1997, restored and then reopened in 1999. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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  17. Barrio China: Havana’s Chinatown

    Barrio China: Havana’s Chinatown

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    Havana is a city almost 500 years old. There is a lot of history on every street. Every “barrio” or neighborhood has stories to tell, and secrets to be discovered by the curious visitor.

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  18. The Oliver - Tupelo Honey Cafe

    A Charmer in the Heart of Knoxville - The Oliver: Knoxville, Tennessee

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    Knoxville is a city filled with southern charm, history and hospitality, so staying in a chain hotel would be out of the question. However, there is one boutique hotel in town and it’s a gem. Visit The Oliver, located on Market Square in the heart of downtown. Built in 1876 by German immigrant Peter Kern, it was a bakery and retail outlet of sorts. Peter was a man with a vision, and he is remembered today by the bar located in the hotel. It’s known as the Peter Kern Library Bar. It has a speakeasy vibe that serves up old school cocktails. The drink menus are hidden in old World Book Encyclopedias (Boomers will remember those – I still have mine!) This alone is a reason to stay here.

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  19. Boomers and Memorial Day: Vietnam – the War of our Generation

    Boomers and Memorial Day: Vietnam – the War of our Generation

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    As baby boomers many of us came into the world as a result of our father’s return from fighting in World War II or Korea, but our own experiences with war came primarily during the Vietnam War. I was a gleam in my parents’ eyes until my dad returned from the Philippines in 1945 to arrange my arrival at the lead of the boomer generation in 1946.

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  20. Cathedral

    Havana, Cuba: City of Porches

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    Havana has been called a City of Porches. Located on the northern coast of the Big Island of Cuba, it is geographically on Latitude 23.14 North. This means the sun beats mercilessly upon its streets and squares. Why would any city be known for its’ porches?

     

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  21. Balloons over Bagan

    Balloons over Bagan – Myanmar (Burma)

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    There is a well-known saying, “Bagan is (the) spirit of (the) history of Myanmar” and to fully understand the importance and complexity of the Buddhist influence over Myanmar then you really should treat yourself to a hot air balloon flight over the ancient city of Bagan. Although not yet awarded a UNESCIO World Heritage listing, this area is home to the highest density of Buddhist architecture anywhere in the world and stretches across 42 square kilometers of the Irrawaddy plain. I had already spent two leisurely days exploring the area by electric moped, where I  was amazed by the craftsmanship of the builders dating back to the 11th and 13th centuries, however, I needed to experience a “birds eye view,” to really appreciate the historic and cultural wealth of this site.

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  22. Chinese dining and delicacies…

    Rome and Paris Await – More Glorious Food

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    Traveling whets the taste buds, and when you’re in the most glorious, glamour spots on earth, dining is pure pleasure. A feast for the eyes, the nose, the mouth and the stomach.  Something to be desired, something to be appreciated, so let’s visit a few more wonderful places in great towns.

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  23. Lisbon, Portugal

    Lisboa, Portugal: “Golden Age of Discovery”

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    Today scientists and astronomers plan their visits to space, the moon, mars and beyond, but in the 16 Century Lisboa was the center of the universe where royalty, under the direction of Prince Henry the Navigator, underwrote the explorations to other lands – with such explorers as Vasco da Gama, Magellan, Cabral at the helm.

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  24. Fish and chips

    Best Fish and Chips

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    I have ordered fish and chips through the years all across the country. It is a favorite for me and, I know for a lot of you! It is always a good idea to ask the particular restaurant what fish they are using. The best is sole, flounder, grouper or cod. You do not want the batter too thick, its perfect when there is a flakiness to the batter and not too greasy. The chips are the best when they are fresh cut fries. Many times you also will get a small dish of coleslaw. Last and not least is the tartar sauce, I have had yummy tartar sauce and not so yummy tartar sauce. It should be good so you can dip!

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  25. Winter travel

    Planning Winter Travel Adventures

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    Southern states are popular retirement destinations for active adults, but traveling to the colder-weather states can add some adventure to the winter months. Here are our picks for must-see travels this winter. 

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