Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Pioneering in Utah

By Linda Tancs

Utah is gearing up for Pioneer Day, a state holiday celebrated on July 24 to commemorate the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Salt Lake Valley in 1847 to escape religious persecution. Their trek now forms the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, a route spanning five states where 70,000 Mormons traveled from 1846 to 1869. The Pioneer Company of 1846-1847 established the first route from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah, covering about 1,300 miles.

Journey of a Music Hall

By Linda Tancs

Restored earlier this year, Wilton’s Music Hall in London’s East End is the only intact survivor of the City’s Grand Music Hall era. Of outstanding architectural and archeological significance, the arena has gone full circle—from music hall (in 1839, as an adjunct to an ale house) to mission house to warehouse and back to music hall. In its early heyday, two of its stars, Arthur Lloyd and George Leybourne (Champagne Charlie), were the first to perform for royalty. Extreme poverty in the East End in the late 1800s forced its conversion to a mission house that would last for 70 years. Once the mission closed in 1956, the building saw life as a rag sorting warehouse. When redevelopment plans came calling in the 1960s, the campaign began to save the landmark, ultimately bringing it back to life. The hall gives opportunities to emerging artists and presents a year round program that includes theatre (new commissions and classics), opera, dance, magic, music, cinema, circus, traditional music hall, comedy, puppetry and other art forms.

Palace of the South

By Linda Tancs

Macon Georgia’s Hay House (Johnston-Felton-Hay) is designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, unusual for residential architecture, particularly considering the conventions of the antebellum South. Lived in by two families over three generations, it earned the moniker “Palace of the South” during the tenure of the Feltons (extended family of the Johnstons). A private house museum and National Historic Landmark, it spans four levels and is crowned by a three-story cupola. A model of wealth and good taste, most of the furnishings date from the Hay family’s occupancy, highlighted by the 1857 marble statue “Ruth Gleaning” by American expatriate sculptor Randolph Rogers.

Art Colony of the Midwest

By Linda Tancs

Impressionist painter Theodore Clement Steele found artistic inspiration in the scenic hillsides of southern Indiana in Brown County over a century ago. Others followed, creating an art colony in the Midwest. Steele’s life and works (not to mention five hiking trails on 211 acres) make for an interesting visit at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Enjoy guided tours of Steele’s studio (where early morning light filters through floor-to-ceiling windows) and home, hike one of his well-trodden trails or stroll through Selma Steele’s restored gardens. The property is located in Belmont, midway between Bloomington and Nashville, Indiana.

Britain’s Beloved Models Turn 60

By Linda Tancs

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the very first Corgi diecast model car. Introduced in July 1956, the miniature vehicles were manufactured in Wales and named after the Welsh dog breed. Eventually Corgi achieved market dominance over Dinky, the British company that ushered in the modern era of toy cars in 1933. Its prized collections include The Aviation Archive, Hauliers of Renown, Vanguards and The Original Omnibus Company. They’re celebrating their special anniversary with limited edition models of famous vehicles and liveries from the air and the road. The Hornby Visitor Centre in Kent offers visitors a journey through the history of Britain’s best-loved toys, including Corgi, Hornby, Scalextric and Airfix. The retail shop offers an array of these products as well.

Ireland’s First School of Falconry

By Linda Tancs

At Ireland’s Ashford Castle in County Mayo you’ll delight in an embarrassment of riches. Dating back to 1228, the glorious castle on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib set amidst 350 acres of ancient woods was once home to the Guinness family and later found fame as the respite of choice for actors in the classic film “The Quiet Man.” Now part of the Red Carnation hotel chain, the five-star property offers luxurious trappings fit for royalty (a common guest), like unique works of art, carefully sourced antique furniture, custom designed carpets and beds and exquisite towels and linens. No wonder, then, that it’s been voted one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure. Of all the estate’s activities, one of the most exciting is its falconry school. The oldest established school in the country, instruction in this ancient sport requires no previous training. Just the thing when the usual pursuits of golf, tennis, kayaking, boat cruising, horse riding, tennis or fishing just won’t do.

World’s Largest Tree

By Linda Tancs

A giant among giants, the General Sherman in the Giant Forest in California’s Sequoia National Park is not only the largest living tree in the world, but the largest living organism, by volume, on the planet. A giant sequoia (sequoiadendron giganteum), General Sherman is over 100 feet at its trunk, nearly 3 million pounds in weight and 275 feet in height. Needless to say, it draws quite a crowd, which is why the park runs free summer shuttle buses to two separate stops, one above and one below this amazing tree.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 591 other followers

%d bloggers like this: