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  1. Tales from the South of France with Paul Shore

    Tales from the South of France with Paul Shore

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    The year I spent living and working in the South of France, back in 1999, brought with it many valuable personal realizations and left me filled with many fond memories.  What follows is one of many short stories that will forever make me laugh and reminisce about my time in France.

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  2. Dr. Manyak on the Tiputini

    Visit the Enchanted Forest

    $0.00

    Ecuador is a small gem of a country with picturesque Quito nestled in the Andes bisecting the unique Galapagos Islands and some of the most biodiverse rainforest in the world.  A recent site visit to the easternmost part of the Ecuadorian Amazon exposed me to the amazing flora and fauna of this ecosystem, now under increasing pressure to be developed because of its oil reserves.  Searching for a suitable site to send nationally-selected Eagle Scouts for the National Eagle Scout Association (NESA), Tiputini seemed to be a great destination. Long experience with expedition medicine required some advance reconnaissance for me to assure safety.     

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  3. Pioneer Playhouse

    Pioneer Playhouse – Danville, Kentucky

    $0.00

    This is our summer for short regional trips. And we’ve found some delightful places quite close to home that are worthy of a visit.

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  4. It is not hard to notice the stray and abandoned dogs, puppies, cats and kittens which inhabit the streets and temples of Asia

    Not Just another Tourist – Volunteering with Animals

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    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead.

    Could you imagine your life without the love and companionships of animals? I couldn't. 

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  5. 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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  6. Folk School (Photos by Richie Holbert)

    John C. Campbell Folk School: Brasstown, NC

    $0.00

    For the past 90 years the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC has been teaching the lost art of folk crafts in the picturesque mountains of western North Carolina. If you can make it by hand, you can make it here! 

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  7. Balloons over Bagan

    Balloons over Bagan – Myanmar (Burma)

    $0.00

    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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  8. 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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  9. View toward Parry Sound from Pleasant Point

    Fall Colour Tour in Muskoka Ontario

    $0.00

    From Six Mile Lake Provincial Park 

    To Oastler Lake Provincial Park, Parry Sound

    Scenic route driving distance:  148  KM 


    I woke up early and chilled.  It got good and cold overnight, and feeling chilly is what woke me up.  I think I should have used both sleeping bags…but when I fell asleep it was not that cool.  Since I was already awake I decided to get up. It was still dark!  

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  10. Photo by Richie Holbert

    I Love Lucy – Jamestown, NY

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    We recently spent the day in Jamestown, NY - the hometown of Lucille Ball. Our visit happened to be on Lucy’s birthday weekend, which is also the date for the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. 

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  11. Master Onda at work

    Making an Edo Period Paper Lantern in Tokyo

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    It was a rainy autumn day in Tokyo, as my companions and I shuffled out of the Toei Chikatetsu metro line at Asakusa Station.  Emerging onto the street level, we quickly opened and raised our large, red, paper umbrellas, on loan from our escorts, and made our way down a few alleys to the Ohshimaya Onda Chochin Lantern Shop.  Here, we were greeted with bows by Mr. Shunji Onda himself, a fifth generation master of the Japanese paper lantern.  Mr. Onda’s business was founded 160 years ago by his great-great grandfather, when Kyoto was still the official capital of Japan and “Edo” was ruled by the powerful Tokugawa shogunate.          He both custom makes and hand paints the lanterns. He uses patterns, designs, letters, characters, and family crests from the Edo period as well as some more modern designs upon request.

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  12. Susie and Beau

    A Tribute and Special Thanks to Two of the Worlds Greatest Dogs

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    Susie and Beau will let you know that this has been a tough year for them and their daddy - Nothing like a major medical issue to stir up the pot.  But we all want you to know what a great comfort it is to have a pet or pets as we grow older and begin to face a variety of medical challenges. Little did daddy know that he was training me to also be a therapy dog for him (and mamma) and Beau has learned much along the way even though he is only 9 months old.

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  13. Living room in villa

    Villas inside Disney Can Bring Magic to a Vacation

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    A couple years ago my fiancée, my daughter, and his son and father all went to Disney World to celebrate our union together before our wedding.  I already had joined the Disney Vacation Club program, and went ahead to schedule a 2 bedroom villa.  Doug’s father could not walk long distances due to a heart issue, and being 80 years old, so we rented a scooter.  We also made sure that the villa was on the first floor.  My fiancée needed to use a CPAK for oxygen at night, so a comfortable place to sleep was key.  Finally, the kitchen was Wonderful, as we had special dietary needs.

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  14. Susie and Beau

    Susie Says - Pick Your Treats Wisely!

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    Another set of recommendations and warnings from the mistress of treats, Susie Sweetdog and her brother Beau – be sure to know what you are giving your beloved pets both in their regular diet as well as with treats. Susie says what again!

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  15. Pecan praline cheesecake

    Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen: Springdale, Ohio

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    A trip on assignment to Maysville, Kentucky finally gave me the opportunity to venture on my return to the Cincinnati area to the Pappadeaux’s restaurant in Springdale, Ohio at the northern edge of the metropolitan area. As I hoped it was a good choice to have an excellent supper on my way back home.

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  16. BackJoy Is A Real Joy!

    BackJoy Is A Real Joy!

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    Last year I was lucky to be asked to review a product by BackJoy called Sit Smart, which I use daily to this day – it keeps my posture straight when I sit in front of my computer, plus they gave back to a charity after my review. So, I was more than thrilled when they approached me again this year to try out some more of their wonderful products.

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  17. Travel Tips from US Customs and Border Patrol

    Travel Tips from US Customs and Border Patrol

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    WASHINGTON—As the busiest three months of international travel approach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages travelers to “Know Before You Go” when traveling to the United States or returning home this summer. CBP officers at international airports, cruise terminals and land border ports of entry around the country and at Preclearance facilities around the world are prepared for the additional traffic expected this summer. Last summer, CBP processed more than 108.3 million international travelers at U.S. ports of entry.

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  18. How Giving Back Changed a Journey Around the World

    How Giving Back Changed a Journey Around the World

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    I like to joke that I know a little bit about retirement, even though I’m in my mid-thirties and definitely not retired. Five years ago, at the age of thirty, I left my 9-5 job, sold all my stuff, and dragged my husband on an open-ended trip around the world with me. I think back on those days now with an incredible amount of fondness. Not only did we reap all of the expected gifts of travel—cultural insights, exposure to beautiful locations, introductions to new friends and places—but we also learned about the lesser known gifts travel offers, like experiencing the kindness of people around the world first-hand. 

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  19. All Aboard the Skunk Train

    All Aboard the Skunk Train

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    Looking for a unique way to see the tallest trees on earth? How about on the back of a Skunk? It might sound strange, but it’s a time-tested journey undertaken by millions of people over the past century.

     

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  20. Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

    Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

    $0.00

    Mexico’s cuisine is far more than tacos and burritos. It’s full of flavor from indigenous plants and grains, and regionally distinctive. Tia Stephanie Tours, a premier operator of cultural and culinary tours to Mexico, has now created three geographically-targeted gastronomic itineraries to Mexico, specifically: Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca. Each tour offers unique experiences emerging from the vibrant food culture, landscape, personality, and community of the particular locality. Notes Stephanie Schneiderman, Founder of Tia Stephanie Tours, “As a specialist in cultural travel to Mexico, we can’t think of a more important expression of Mexico’s culture, than its culinary heritage; its food.  We are delighted to expand our culinary immersion offerings beyond our original Culture and Cuisine of Mexico, which we launched in 2009.”

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  21. Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball: Behind the Scenes

    Times Square’s New Year’s Eve Ball: Behind the Scenes

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    It was snowing in New York City at 5 pm on December 30, 2016, when I stepped out of the Port Authority at Eight Avenue and 41st Street into the traffic of people, buses and cars at the edge of Times Square. How appropriate! Frozen water crystals are falling from the evening sky, as I am on my way to a pre-New Year’s Eve, behind-the-scenes viewing of the nearly six-ton, twelve-foot diameter “Big Crystal Ball!” 

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  22. Fall In Love With Jamaica: Part Four

    Fall In Love With Jamaica: Part Four

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    So I've taken you for a sampling around Montego Bay and Falmouth, but there is much more of Jamaica to see. I did not have the chance to visit it all, but we did explore something very fun in Ocho Rios called Mystic Mountain. Our faithful driver Jermain picked us up at the Melia Braco Village for another day of “What – more places to do crazy things and have fun?”

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  23. Fall in Love with Jamaica – Part One: Melia Braco Village

    Fall in Love with Jamaica – Part One: Melia Braco Village

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    I honestly don't know how I've been in travel this long and have never been to the island of Jamaica, but somehow I missed it. Lucky for me, the Jamaica Tourist Board gave me the opportunity to make a visit to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios and I'm so happy they did.

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  24. Magnificent Zion National Park

    Magnificent Zion National Park

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    It’s almost July!  That means we are halfway through the centennial celebration year for our nation’s park system.  

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  25. See New York City By Boat

    See New York City By Boat

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    Last weekend my husband Doug and I went to NYC.  It was his first visit.  I was in a training in Stamford, so we took some time to see the sights in New York City.  The city can be, and is often very exhausting, so on Sunday morning (Doug’s last day) we were looking for a more laid back experience.

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