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Archive for September, 2011

The Land of Enchantment

By Linda Tancs

New Mexico is a state in the southwestern U.S., a terrain of mountains, high plains and desert so captivating it earns its nickname as the land of enchantment.  You’ll be sure to expand your horizons (literally speaking) with visits to places as diverse as the ancient Carlsbad Caverns, the white sand dunes at White Sands National Monument and the highest point at Wheeler Peak northeast of Taos.  Learn more at Travelrific® Radio.

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The World Series of Barbecue

By Linda Tancs

All hail the king of barbecue:  Kansas City, Missouri’s American Royal is the largest barbecue contest in the world.  Beginning tomorrow through 2 October, this four-day annual food festival in Kansas City’s historic Stockyards District is part of the competitive circuit where nearly 500 teams compete in four meat categories.  Of course, what’s a barbecue without the sauce; the competition includes a Sauce Contest for the moniker Sauce Best Sauce on the Planet.  Open to products available commercially, this year the sauces will be judged plain and on unseasoned pulled pork.  The American Royal, a nonprofit organization now in its 112th
year, raises funds for youth and education.  Proceeds from this year’s beverage sales will benefit the American Royal Education and Scholarship Fund.

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North America’s Largest Scandinavian Festival

By Linda Tancs

Tens of thousands of people visit Norsk Høstfest, North America’s largest Scandinavian Festival, in Minot, North Dakota.  Today through 1 October you too can enjoy such favorites as aebelskivers, lutefisk, and lefse.  Of course, the fest is more than just a food tasting.  There are also over 200 internationally recognized artisans and craftsmen, silver jewelry, Norwegian sweaters, authentic Scandinavian gifts, fine art and souvenirs. And don’t forget the hospitality.  There is a tradition at the festival of introducing yourself with, “Hi, and where are you from?” If you participate and encounter the “Mystery Viking,” you’ll win $100.  Skål!

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Art and Architecture Tours

By Linda Tancs

For nearly 40 years National Trust Tours has been offering the intellectually curious traveler a world of cultural enrichment in luxurious surroundings through more than 70 distinct itineraries.  With a special emphasis on art and architecture, tour members gain unprecedented access to private homes, gardens, castles and collections around the world.  Upcoming offerings include art and architecture in Chicago, the imposing Biltmore estate in historic Asheville, North Carolina, and the Hudson River Valley fall foliage cruise aboard American Glory.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities.  Want to share your passion for history and culture?  Join Gozaic, their online community and destination guide for cultural and heritage travelers.

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Exotic Foods in West Virginia

By Linda Tancs

When you think of exotic foods, what comes to mind?  Deep-fried crickets?  Cock’s combs?  Blood pudding?  You don’t have to travel to the far corners of the earth to experience strange or exotic foods.  Just head to the West Virginia Roadkill Cook-off and Autumn Harvest Festival on 24 September in Pocahontas County.  There you’ll enjoy such delicacies as squirrel gravy over biscuits, teriyaki-marinated bear and deer sausage.  Get ready for some grub!

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National Food Fest in France

By Linda Tancs

The late cookbook author and TV chef Julia Child referred to French cooking as a serious art form and a national sport.  So it might be surprising that France has never hosted a national food festival.  Until now.  The inaugural La Fête de la Gastronomie will take place this year on 23 September (the first day of autumn) and will herald the start of autumn each year thereafter.  The theme this year will be “la Terre” (the land), highlighting local products made in different regions of France.  Famous chefs will cook on the streets, including Thierry Marx and Alain Ducasse.  Bon appétit!

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Hawk Watch in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

The time is ripe for hawk watchers to visit Washington Valley Park in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  Located along the First Watchung Ridge, the park is one of the East Coast’s premier locations to watch thousands of raptors migrate south every autumn.  In the Miller Lane section of this natural setting boasting over 700 acres, hawks, eagles and falcons wing their way over the treetops from August to November to points south in Central and South America.  Mind you, there’s a world underfoot as well, like largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch in the 21-acre reservoir at the Newman’s Lane section.  Bounded by pine and hemlock forests, open freshwater wetland marshes, and impressive rock outcroppings, the area offers some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the state.

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